Well, You Asked Me For An Honest Opinion, Right?

Why on earth do people start out a conversation with “Can I get your honest opinion about something?” only to get mad when you provide the requested honest opinion?

And worse, why do you ask an older person for an honest opinion? Most of the time, we’re going to give you just that, because we have nothing to lose, few reasons to regret anything anymore, and the need for a lot of laughs, even if they are at your expense.

Allow me to elaborate on how I got onto this soapbox today.

A coworker’s wife just remodeled their kitchen. Coworker refers to his wife as a “designer,” even though she has no training, professional accreditation, or project list she can share with potential clients. I guess giving her a title sounds better than her actual description: wife and mother of two small and unruly children (I’ve met the kids and “unruly” is the kindest word I can use). The coworker sent me a picture of the kitchen.

Well, I did like the floor, which is a slate-gray stone. Everything else ranges from awful to hideous. For starters, it’s all blinding white. Not cream or off-white, but blaring, glaring white. There’s no relief from the white attack. The edges of the island and the cabinets are scalloped in an effort at French provincial that fails. The lighting is inadequate and the center island is so large it dwarfs the rest of the space and blocks movement from the stove to the sink to the fridge. There is open shelving, which I prefer, but it looks like a junior high school woodshop project; rough construction, also painted white, not hung straight. As you have figured out, I hate white as a design choice. It is the absence of color and imagination, the default whatever decision. You cannot find inspiration from that crayon company’s bazillion colors in a box, let alone anywhere else?

So when he asked me what I thought of it, I told him only a sledgehammer would make things right. I’ve been through a kitchen renovation, and let the pros handle most of it because DIY can be shorthand for DIYDI (Dangerous If You Do It) and you’ll have quite the time explaining some injuries at the ER, and it hurts to have a claw hammer pulled out of your ear after your significant other shows you where they can jolly well put it.

And of course, the coworker got huffy and defended his designing wife, which is understandable. She’ll get work from someone, no doubt, if her rate is low enough. Just not from me. I’d rather go on telling it like it is and living in my collected home, rather than any designed space.

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