Friday, March 14, 2008

A Room of My Own

My kids wrote a descriptive essay describing their bedrooms. It was interesting--after I finished reading them all, I thought about how most teenagers have a little kind of cool haven where they hunker down to live out the droning lonely complicated time that is high school. It's also a place where you shamelessly put all of your identity onto your wall--or the identity you either think you should have or that you want.

The kids all called this room "theirs" and "the only place I own in the house" even though that's a straight up lie because they're all 14 and jobless. But it's like they need a little safe space to curl up because they're not quite ready to not be a kid and it's like their rooms are outside reality.

It made me think of a few things.

1. When I was a teen, I didn't spend time in my room except to sleep, and I shared it with my sister. I tried putting things up on the walls and on a shelf, but it never looked all that great and it never felt like the stuff reflected my personality very well. I carry these same Feng Shui insecurities into adulthood. Also, I was envious of people with cool rooms--I can remember one friend in middle school just had a shitty little room with a daybed, an old dresser, and two desks, but her room felt like her--a whirlwind of life, busyness, and cool people. And boys. And then there were the people with the artsy rooms. I still envy them. But I do have a nice yellow living room, at least.

2. I'm curious about other couples who live together. What happens when you go from having two rooms to one? My boyfriend and I now share a room that's pretty much a bed, night tables, bookshelf, and a dresser (with paint and pictures). But I have all my clothes in the guest bedroom because I get dressed early in the morning, and he's got his computer and music stuff in this room thing that we call "the office." So we still have our own spaces, in a way. What do other people do?

3. Does this my-room-as-my-little-haven thing go away as we get older? Do we start to deal with life in a way that we don't need to curl up with our band posters and YA series praying that we're not boring but we're not the only ones like us? Maybe homes start becoming more like places to relax than hide or escape.

I still like band posters and YA series, though.


Meeleez said...

My boyfriend bought a house last month and we share the master bedroom. Two of his friends rent the other 2 bedrooms. "Our" bedroom consists of only my furniture and my decorations. His last bedroom was "decorated" with a boxspring and matress on the floor and a desk with his computer and TV. Blank walls, no dresser, no bookshelves, no character. He obviously didn't care at all what we did with the room, and was more than willing to let me take over. We do have a huge walk in closet with both of our clothes. We don't always have to wake up at the same time so the closet is really awesome for getting ready without disturbing the other one.

Interestingly, my bedroom as a teen was definitely my haven. I spent almost all of my time there and it really was the only place I could get some "privacy". On the contrary, his teen years, he was pretty much allowed to do whatever he wanted, he got along incredibly well with his family, and probably spent very little time in his room. This is probably a big factor in that I really care about personalizing our bedroom, and he couldn't care less.

Even though all of the furniture is mine, I have made a big effort to make the room look "ours" and not "mine". There are about a billion pictures of the two of us all over the room and I have taken what little decor he does own (including an incredibly ugly monkey clock) and incorportated it into the room.

I do know that it still probably looks more "mine" than "his", but the only way to avoid that would be to use cinder blocks as a TV stand and attempt to mimic a jail cell.

Tino said...

Haha, fascinating!

I'm kind of like him in that I was always hanging out with my family and never in my room, but then I used to feel like there was something weird and child-like about that.

Fermi said...

In our apartment we have the rooms pretty much split up.

Living Room: Total LSU decor, also his big tv and video game systems.

Dining Room: Five big framed Wedding things. Photo mixes and big photos. This is the most (US) because I am not big on photos, but the Dining room is MY room: My desk (where I live).

Bedroom: My Room. All of my paintings. The closet is mine. and 2 of 3 dressers are mine. he has one dresser in our bedroom.

Study: His Room. This looks like his High school bedroom. The closet has all of his clothes, and we have tons of books in there. Also it has a framed ozzy album cover, A poster size collage of him and his sister, periodic table, american flag.

Kitchen: My room. Decor: Paintings.

Bathroom: This is the most mixed room in the house. we have 3 pieces of my artwork, but we have LSU soap pump, toothbrush holder, shower curtain. My Fish rug. Although we are planning on getting rid of the fish rug and going for LSU rugs. So I guess he is going to take over the bathroom soon enough.

In high school, I painted my room blue and painted fish on the walls. (and sea turtles, dolphins, etc.) It was super cool. When my parents sold the house, it was to a musician and his family, and they loved the room.

In college, I started using canvasses.