Ancora Imparo

Hi all! This post, again, is in response to A writer’s path‘s prompt on Ten Quote Tuesday –

  • Have a scene with an unorganized interior decorator.

Ancora Imparo

Ever since Mark proposed, my parents’ happiness and excitement over getting their only daughter married knew no bounds. My dad immediately plunged into the property market and my mom is digging into reams of wedding plans! And now I have to attend meetings to okay starter courses and interior designing of our new home! Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to be getting to married to Mark, I love him! But my idea of marriage was a little bit less hectic than my parents’ version. On my way to the interior decorator’s, I listed out bullet points on the list of things that I would have done differently to have a simple , chaos-free wedding.

I checked the time and saw that I was 5 minutes early for my appointment as I always plan for every meeting of mine. Lydia Wyatt was the interior decorator to go to, according to my Mom, Mark’s mom and few friends of mine. With this high recommendation, my expectations from Lydia were expectedly quite high. I envisioned an impeccable woman with a sophisticated dressing sense and a portfolio in her arms, just as they show on TV. I planned on telling her, how Mark and I wanted our home to be – contemporary modern, yet simple and comfortable. I looked forward to all the ideas that she would recommend to me.

Excited by the prospects of doing up our new home and living in it, I pushed open the door to Lydia’s downtown studio and waited in the foyer for someone to receive me. I could see the entire place from where I was standing and I was dumbfounded for a minute. The whole place was in disarray. Files were strewn across on the tables and on the floor. Curtain samples were draped haphazardly on a pipe placed on doors. Pictures of designs for the living room, bedroom, etc. were stacked on the chair, few of which had tumbled down on the floor. Pens and markers were lying on the design kept open on one of the tables. A calendar was tacked behind the chair with appointments marked on a few dates, my name was written in a green marker. Feeling my vision of a perfect interior decorator drowning in the chaos of the studio, I brought my gaze back to the wall of the foyer. A simple plaque stood hanging with the words –

Art is never finished, only abandoned.
― Leonardo da Vinci

Oh yeah! I could see all that was finished and abandoned in the studio! Such shabbiness! And to top it all off, there was no Lydia to receive me at the time of my appointment. I cannot stand tardiness and I never make my appointments wait for me, so this was obviously infuriating me. For a minute I thought I had come to the wrong address for I could not fathom anyone recommending such an unorganized person! Just as I was contemplating on calling it off, I heard someone running up the steps. A 30-something woman wearing a camisole and cutoffs came towards me extending her hand.

Hello there! I am Lydia. You must be Esmeralda, your mother called and set up an appointment. I apologize for not being here at the appointed time. I had a job to do a garden for one of my clients and I lost track of time tending to the Hydrangea. But no worries, we are here now and we’ll get right on to designing your home. I have a few ideas spread open on my desk. Why don’t you come in and we’ll have a look?”.

I thought of different answers to looking at the design to my home with markers and dusting rags on it, as she rambled on about the designs. Biting my lip I shook her hand

Nice to meet you and its Esmè.”

My hand came away from hers and a bit of dirt was smeared on mine. Seeing my aghast expression, Lydia mumbled an “oops” and thrust a sanitizer bottle towards me. This was the last straw. I cleaned my hands with the sanitizer and blurted out-

Lydia, I don’t think we are going to work out. I am sure you are good, but our styles don’t seem to match. I apologize for taking up your time. I’ll see myself out.

Lydia seemed surprised at first, but then a look of understanding crossed her face. Smiling, she nodded. Feeling relieved, I raised my hand to wave a goodbye before backing out of the studio. She caught me at the door and said,

You know, when Da Vinci painted the famous Last Supper, he had his hands, arms as well as his tunic full of paint. And when people questioned his art, he used to say – Nothing can be loved or hated unless it is first understood.

Winking at me, she closed the door to the studio.

I relayed the morning’s events to my mom including Lydia’s cheeky comment. I had expected my mom sympathizing with me and apologizing for recommending the wrong decorator, instead she was reprimanding me for walking out on Lydia! She got a few magazines and photographs and ordered me to have a look. The pictures were of homes with beautiful furnishings and elegant colors, exquisite artwork – all that I would want in my home. The styles of the rooms ranged from sumptuously lush to strictly tailored, that emphasized crisp execution, commonsense comforts, and brisk organization. The designs could almost be the handiwork of the Billy Baldwin of the 21st century! And the decorator was listed as Lydia Wyatt! I found it difficult to relate this clean and organized work with Lydia.

Realizing that I had let appearances deceive me, I wanted to give Lydia another chance. Her comment about Da Vinci rang in my ears, as I climbed the steps to her studio for the second time that day. This time she greeted me at the door dressed in an impeccable suit, with a friendly welcoming smile on her face. Embarassment filled me at how I had treated her, but yet I asked –

You never told me what Michelangelo used to say..?”

Shaking my hand with a clean manicured palm she smirked and said –

Ancora imparo – which means I am still learning


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