Parental Supervision

October 6, 2009

There are rules in life that parents seem to impress upon their children for no other reason than to maintain order in an otherwise chaotic world: “elbows off the table”, “tuck in your shirt”. There’s a long list of these universal-codes-of conduct that seem to be passed from generation to generation; rules that would create no crisis should they be violated, yet remain sacrosanct nonetheless.

When it came to many of these rules, the Jackson household seemed liberal in comparison with the benchmark equivalents in the neighborhood. That being said, I had a habit that my mother had tried in many ways to discourage as a child.  As the years passed however, the habit only worsened, even after I moved from my parent’s house into my dorm room, into various rentals and eventually even into my own home.

I can still remember my mom’s face when she looked into my bedroom from the hallway during her last visit to Dallas. “When are you going to pick up your clothes off the floor?”

Not having an answer, I quickly kicked the offending pile under the bed and closed the bedroom door.

Last weekend was my dad’s first visit to Dallas without my mom. We had a great time, working on projects around the house (I now know how to start my new lawn edger that he gave me in April), exploring the local eateries, and we even attended a lecture at SMU.

Dad is not the type to notice a few clothes on the floor…or at least he would never mention it to his much-too-old-not-to-know-any-better son. But while mom was not physically present during this visit, her hopes and dreams that her first-born would someday master some basic housekeeping skills had yet to be realized…I tried to keep the door to my room closed as usual during these parental visitations.

It’s not that I am a particularly messy guy. I am pretty good around other areas of the house. The dishes get washed, the lawn gets mowed, and the laundry gets done. And it’s not that I was “rebelling against system” by leaving my clothes all over the floor…it’s just that I had nowhere to put them.

So last Friday, I took dad to the design district near downtown Dallas. My goal was to find a piece of furniture that would forever resolve this issue that my mother had spent forever trying to solve. The solution was found in an old armoire.

TG 001

It’s made out of walnut and stands almost as high as my ceiling. Which means that it had to be dismantled and rebuilt inside my bedroom (which the owner of the shop that I purchased it from was surprisingly willing to do…). My dad seemed to enjoy seeing how the old armoire had been built and watching it get reassembled by the store owner. I was freaking out over watching a large purchase broken down into pieces scattered all over my front yard.

 A simple furniture delivery slowly turned into a 2-hour project. Once again, dad and I found ourselves in a “big as Texas” adventure, which has become a tradition during these parental visits to Dallas (tornado sirens come to mind).

But the armoire was rebuilt perfectly. It’s beautiful, functional, and built to stay with me forever. And all of the clothes are off my floor now; I think that my mom would have especially enjoyed this visit.  TG 002


2 Responses to “Parental Supervision”

  1. Hi
    A trip to Dallas to visit Howard is always a memorable event. I think this is about the 6th trip and we rarely ate at home after breakfast. The wonderful cuisine and restaurant tour is worth a book, or if you are inclined a visit. We have never eaten at the same place twice unless it was by special request. The restaurants are always special gems. This time our tour included a small Italian bistro, a Spanish restaurant for tapas, a fusion South American and Caribbean restaurant and a fusion Asian eatery to mention a few.
    Howard has become an incredible bargain hunter. We saw lesser quality clothes cabinets at 10 times the price for what Howard spent on his beautiful piece. He politely negotiated a nice discount and delivery with a full satisfaction guarantee that included a master 18th century craftsman dismantling and reassembling of the furniture. I could only stand back and admire the process.
    I can assure you there is no room in Howard’s home where the door needs to remain closed anymore. It is an incredibly beautiful home and uniquely furnished and decorated.
    Howard Fresno

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