Perhaps I'm the only one to notice this, but, if you look closely, you'll find that commercials for depression medication are full of 1) sadness and 2) wood paneling.
Coincidence? I think not.
There's one commercial (for Cymbalta, I think) that features four (!) different shots of people in various paneled rooms--dining rooms, living rooms, horribly depressing bedrooms--during the pre-medication montage of sadness. And after Cymbalta? It's nothing but wide-open sunny windows and fresh, clean white walls, my friends. Either 1) the Cymbalta gave those poor souls enough wherewithal to get the hell away from that wood paneling or 2) the Cymbalta gave them enough wherewithal and getupandgo to paint over that bummer wood mess, already. Hard to say which.
Since I can't find video evidence of the ad in question, here is a screen grab of Cymbalta's website. Kindly direct your attention to that wood paneling, lurking there in the background, crushing the spirits of that poor be-robed woman. Who does depression hurt? Everyone, everyone forced to live under the tyrannical spell of dingy, outdated wood paneling.
Why do I bring this up, you ask? (And thanks for asking, by the way. I know this is tedious.)
Meet The Wall. The Wall of Wood. The Depressing Wall of Depressing Wood. The Wall of Ongoing Marital Discord and Strife When Will It End Who Knows. (Or, for short: Divorce Wall.) The Wall was here when Byron purchased the house and six years later, The Wall is still going strong. The Wall abides.
The Wall, the north wall of our rectangular living room, also features a lovely brick fireplace, untouched built-in bookcases original to the 1950's construction, and a big expanse of mirror tiles Byron put up after four years of unrelenting debating, griping, and moping from his wife. The mirrors nicely cover about 65% of the wood wall, leaving this tricky 35% to be dealt with.
(A side note: Sorry about the candles. I guess I replaced the candles sometime before taking these pictures, and all those fresh, unburned candles are kind of bothering me now. It's like the cheesy interior design equivalent of your dad wearing pristine, blindingly-white tennis shoes all over Rome or Paris or New York City or whatever. Not cool, Daaaaad.)
That 35% of The Wall has mysterious powers over me. Sometimes, when we're watching TV with our backs to The Wall, I will start thinking about The Wall, feeling it there, looming over me, absorbing my very life force into its dingy wood grain. I'll peek over my shoulder, stewing, plotting, thinking about my next move in the ongoing battle for eventual control of The Wall and Byron will inevitably notice my furtive little glances and say, firmly:
"No. We're not painting it."
See, Byron takes deep offense at any piece of real wood being painted anywhere, ever, regardless of said wood's quality, appearance, or ability to cause clinical depression. The fact that you would cover beautiful, natural wood grain with anything but stain is an abomination to him, truly. My grandfather, a contractor and carpenter, had this same crippling aversion to wood painting and, though I'm sure marrying an architect might have earned me ten demerits with him, I know that he would appreciate Byron's hardline anti-paint position.
No painting the wood. Especially white, are you trying to kill him?
Which reminds me: the problem with marrying an architect, ladies, is that you are marrying someone with an opinion about every single thing that happens to the interior of your home. And I know that may sound appealing, like maybe you'll spend lots of lovely Saturday mornings picking out fabric swatches together and thumbing through paint chips over mochaccinos before going antiquing, but it ain't so, sister. You are marrying a man with a Design Viewpoint, a Design Philosophy, and he feels particularly good about his aesthetic because it comes with a master's degree.
You want to paint that wood? His master's degree begs to differ.
And though it seems pretty ridiculous now (writing this as a somewhat mature adult with bigger fish to fry), I do believe more than one newlywed argument about The Wall actually ended in tears. Once upon a time, I literally cried over The Wall. Silly? Sure. Were there pregnancy hormones involved? Oh, probably.
But the Cymbalta people don't lie. The Wall, she has mysterious powers.
You know, the wood is reading kind of nice in these shots, which is completely irritating. You'll have to trust me, though: in person The Wall is a total bummer. It will mess you up good, and soon you'll be stumbling around the house in my robe, trying to find a clean pair of underpants, subsisting on string cheese and crying over a particularly touching episode of Mr. Rogers.
Maybe a closer view will help:
I don't know; is it the wood grain? The finish? Maybe it is just me.
But here's your chance to play at home and weigh in on this issue of moderate-to-low importance. What should be done with that pesky Wall? Once a final decision is made, we'll finish out the mirror edges with some trim and be done with it. (And, just so you know, Byron has absolutely assured me that he has every intention of completely ignoring the results of this poll. Fun!)