Hello again from a Kozy place!
Another birthday has come and gone, with all the fanfare and
hoo-ha befitting a princess. My morning was spent, among other tasks, helping
the Prez install a toilet for a couple I like to refer to as Mr. & Mrs.
Type A. The type A’s live in a million dollar home not far from the Kozak
mansion where we reside and we were thrilled to take them on as clients because
they had a long to-do list and an open cheque book. It was obvious, fairly
quickly, though that the Type A’s had contracted a disease common in today’s
society – Fussism. Maybe it was the three page, detailed, prioritized list of
projects for their immaculate home that they gave us on the first day, or
perhaps it was the fact that they wanted all of their brand new toilets
replaced because they were an inch too short, but somewhere along the line the
symptoms of Fussism became horrifyingly clear to us.
Some of you may not have heard of this debilitating illness;
it’s not something “nice” people like to talk about, especially those who are
afflicted and spend years in denial. Fussism is usually found among those who
have too much money and not enough joy in their lives but it can strike anyone.
The symptoms include: worrying about ridiculous things (e.g. your toilet being
one inch too short), the inability to appreciate what one has, and a general
feeling that nothing is ever quite good enough.
Money is nice, I like money, but if you have it, and you’re
not enjoying it, if your life is not enriched by your riches, what is the
point? The Prez and I’s piggy bank is about as low as it can get right now but
in the last month we have laughed more and enjoyed our time together more than
we have in the past eight years. Not that we weren’t happy all those years, I’m
merely making a point.
What I’ve seen in my handy travels of late is that people’s
homes are, generally, a very vivid reflection of their selves. From the
cluttered and confusing to the museumish and stark, a person’s home screams
“This is who I am!” louder than anything. (Hey wait, we have no home…hmmm….what
does that say about us?)
Think of all the people you know and consider at whose house
you feel most and least comfortable. For me, in the “most” category, it has to
be Martha and Patty Cakes Roney. With all due respect to my many other friends
with homes that I love, Casa Roney just has that something special for me.
First, being next door to our old house, the neighbourhood is one I feel very
comfortable in. Second, the people that live there are two of our favorites.
And third, cats live there – always a plus for a house.
Beyond the three factors I mentioned, what makes Casa Roney
so special to me is that it is a house that is loved and lived in. The
furnishings are relatively new and clean, the décor is fairly modern, and the
layout is typical of homes from that era. Nothing, from an architectural or
design standpoint makes this house spectacular though (with the exception of
the landscaping which Martha works very hard at). In many respects, Casa Roney
is a very average house. I have friends with nicer, newer houses, houses with
better views and a swankier décor but that doesn’t matter. When I walk into
Casa Roney, it is as if all the weight gets lifted off my shoulders by some
invisible doorman. “Sit down and have a cider!” the kitchen stools say. “You
look like you’ve had a hard week, how about putting your feet up and watching a
movie?” the basement couch invites. And the back deck is always trying to talk
me into staying for dinner. I never worry that I might break something or that
I might dirty the bathroom towels by wiping my hands.
Sure there are things about Casa Roney that could be fixed,
changed, upgraded, organized, yadda yadda yadda, but the priority of this place
is as a shelter for family and friends to live
in. We have lots of friends (thank you universe!) and many homes that we love
spending time in but no place that screams, “Welcome!” as loudly as Casa Roney.
My point is that you can fuss and fuss over the height of
your toilet but that won’t necessarily help create a place that people want to
be. The Type A’s have a lovely house but nothing about it feels like a home to me. The Kozak kitchen with
Adamantium Chef Kozy whipping up some gourmet feast, that feels like home. Mom Nancy’s
rancher with books on the walls, books on the floor, books on the table, that
feels like home. Miz Liz with her two bad dogs roaming through the living room,
chewing on squeaky toys, that feels like home. And Mom II and the Baja kitchen
that is actually Grand Central Station for good times and gossip, that
definitely feels like home.
Don’t get me wrong, the Type A’s are nice folks but you
definitely sense a lack of appreciation for all that they have. We have done
much less for other clients and have been shown much more gratitude. Lise
practically falls all over herself praising everything we do, not that we
expect it but, you know what, it feels really good. And knowing that she
appreciates us makes us work as hard as we can for her. It is not in our nature
to give less than 100% at any job we do but some people get 110%.
Sadly, I have had to battle Fussism at different points in
my life. Ask the Prez about my nearly obsessive/compulsive towel folding or my
CD collection organized alphabetically and chronologically by genre and you’ll
get some idea of my inner fuss-demons. I was at my worst when we were living
high on the piggy but traces of the disease will always flow through my veins.
Sometimes I give in but mostly I can stop myself and ask, “Does this really matter?”
The answer is, invariably, NO.
OK, I’ll always have to brush my teeth after every meal but
that’s just good oral health and not Fussism, right? Right??!
Bottom line folks – perfection is a dream. Do you suffer
from Fussism? Be honest with yourself. If the answer is “yes”, don’t panic,
there is help, there is a cure. Stop. Think. Ask yourself, “Does this really
matter?” Will your life be better with a
taller toilet or are you merely wasting time and energy that could be better
Think about it.
Until next week, I hope this finds you healthy, happy and