How To Deal When Your Decorating Tastes Are Too Extra For Your Partner
Moving in together is a big step forward in a relationship, and with all the major issues to talk about—how you should divide chores, who handles which bills, making sure they know you hiss and singe whenever the drapes are opened—potential aesthetic clashes often go undiscussed. Which brings me to this poster of Ronald Reagan riding a dinosaur. I’d been dreaming about this poster for years (even though it’s far outside the budget of most freelance writers at $80 USD). Imagine my surprise, then, when I excitedly shared my Pinterest board with my prospective live-in partner and he said, I quote, “I will not share a home with that thing.”
As you can imagine, I spent a lot of time meditating on whether I even want to be with a person who doesn’t appreciate such a fundamental pillar of my being. However, having decided that hilarious, brilliant writers willing to deal with my lifestyle of lying around at home in the dark watching Netflix and occasionally working don’t come around too often, I was faced with a dilemma as old as time: How to deal when your decorating tastes are too extra for your partner. If you find yourself in a similar situation, here are some tips I’ve learned to help you cope.
Explain It At Length
Are you sure they fully understand why you need this in your life? Maybe they don’t get it. It’s hard to put the majesty of Ronald Reagan riding a dinosaur into words, but I gave it my best try. I told Mark that I know he’s a filthy Canadian communist and not especially keen on glorifying America, particularly that particular period of my country’s history. That’s the joke. It’s making fun of the glorification of America. With dinosaurs.
I told him that yes, for the last time, I’m aware that bringing this poster into his home country, where we eventually plan on making our life together, may very well be grounds for deportation. I told him that I felt like he was really missing the point, and I couldn’t believe that after all this time he had so little faith in my smuggling capabilities. This was clearly getting us nowhere.
Bargaining and Compromise
All relationships require some give and take. Try telling them that they can hang up something you hate if they let you hang up Ronald Reagan riding a dinosaur. This did not work for me personally, however, because it turns out Mark has thoroughly normal taste. I’m not wild about hockey or abstract modern art, but I don’t hate it enough that it feels like a fair trade, and I can’t have that on my conscience. The dumbest thing he has is a life-size horse head mask, and that’s objectively awesome.
Next, I suggested a compromise: We hang up Ronald Reagan riding a dinosaur, but he gets to deface it. He can grab a Sharpie and give it an Afro wig, Hitler mustache, anything he wants. It can be a game! Every friend we have over gets to add something to Ronald Reagan riding a dinosaur. He correctly pointed out that I don’t have any friends and he won’t invite anyone into a home that contains Ronald Reagan riding a dinosaur, but it was worth a shot.
Deception and Tomfoolery
If nothing else works, order the poster and pretend someone else ordered it for you as a gift. You’ll need to dig up some dirt on someone in your social circle and use it to rope them into your con to really sell the lie. I chose our Bunny Ears colleague Carolyn Burke, because I found out she doesn’t even have a dog and she’s just been kidnapping strangers’ dogs for jokey articles. (Don’t get salty, Carolyn, there’s no point now.) Because what are we gonna do, just throw away an $80 gift? What if Carolyn comes over and she’s like, “Where’s that $80 gift I got you?” We can’t just throw away an $80 gift!
Secrecy and Betrayal
It turns out we can just throw away an $80 gift.
If this happens, it’s time to get serious. Fish that bad boy out of the trash in the dead of night and sneak it into the basement. Mark never goes in our basement because that’s where I keep all my Shailene Woodley statues and they creep him out for some reason. Hang it up in a basement closet, just to be extra double safe. Now you can spend as much time with Ronald Reagan riding a dinosaur as you want. Try to remember to come upstairs to eat and sleep every few days so your partner doesn’t get suspicious. I find that if you just tell them you’re working on a new Shailene sculpture they don’t ask too many questions.
I know it’s important to be honest in a relationship, but you know what else is important? Your personal happiness. If your partner is standing in the way of the one thing you know will make you truly happy, it’s okay to keep a few harmless secrets between you. By “you,” of course, I mean you and Ronald Reagan riding a dinosaur. That’s what’s most important: Ronald Reagan riding a dinosaur.