'You are a disgrace to your gender'. Those were his exact words, yesterday. Gosh. Whither this uncharacteristic outburst of manly vitriol? Was this because I had forgotten to don my 5-inch pale-pink-bra-strap Dior Haute Couture Fall 09 heels to do the washing up? Because I had dared allow a stray hair to disrupt my perfect bikini topiary? Because I dropped my Molton Chocolate Babycakes whilst stooping to nibble his ear? Nay, 'twas because I refused to come and look at 5 pages of John Lewis curtain pull-backs at 10.37pm.
I admit it: I'm not a nester. In Ikea, I'm the one trying to sneak five minutes kip on the bunkbed display after overdosing on mëatbållen while he strides about with measuring tape around neck and pencil behind ear like some sort of MDF couturier. I have a mental image of this coming Saturday, when the new Habitat Sale bed is being constrcuted en duet, and it looks like this.
But this isn't because I am indifferent to the importance of place, or the concept of home. No, it's precisely because my surroundings are so important to me that I'm so reluctant to participate in their genesis. I like to live under the illusion that special indoor places are organic. That they have a life and a character of their own. That they spring forth spontaneously and fully formed from the slender thigh of Jean-Michel Frank. When you admit that you have actually contrived to angle the spotlight just so, match the cream in that silk throw to the wax in your three-wick Jo Malone, and pop a just-the-right-side-of-pretentious-retro book cover print on the wall, you lay bare just how embarrassingly obvious, blandly bourgeois, petty lounging-in-my-loft-on-a-double-page-spread aspirational you really are.
It was the poet Grace Nichols who said "wherever I hang me knickers - that's my home". Exactly. And I expect my might-be-Established-and-Sons-if-you-didn't-know-better bedstead to rise and meet my perfect pants without having to hammer bit A into plank B into joint C before watching it all fall apart. Slowly.
Alternatively, it could just be that I'm lazy, but let's go with the other thing.