I bought new cushions for my pool chairs two years ago. They weren’t cheap. They also came with a promise not to fade in the sun or be ruined by rain.
These cushions managed about one month in the sunlight before they turned pink. Don’t get me wrong, I love pink, but only when it’s not pink that’s supposed to be red.
I bought them after I spotted them in a summer decor catalog, and had convinced myself that they were the solution to all my backyard flaws.
They were not.
And now that these washed out, overpriced cushions have failed to provide the eye-catching pop of color I intended, I’m in a bit of a predicament. (Which may be a little dramatic, but just go with it.)
Through the winter months this wasn’t a big deal to me. Less than half a dozen people cut through our backyard from October to March, so no one was the wiser.
But now that pool weather is upon us, I want new cushions. And I want new cushions because my backyard doesn’t bear any resemblance to a page from Better Homes & Gardens with weather-spotted loungers. (My backyard doesn’t resemble any sort of BH&G with non-weather-spotted loungers, but let’s pretend just because it makes me feel better.)
Now that I think about it, in addition to brand new chaise cushions, we need to toss the chewed up wicker couch that our dog converted to his own outdoor bed. That was actually our intention last summer when we bought a new bench that was supposed to be like the bench I had seen on Pinterest which didn’t look anything like that stupid Pinterest bench when we placed it on our patio.
(Because Pinterest lies, too, apparently, but I can’t go there right now.)
The thing is, everyone else has these gorgeous, magazine-quality backyard freaking resorts, and I have faded red cushions that look like the *before* shots of a fixer upper remodel.
How will I ever keep up at the pace? Do I invite people over at the risk of exposing this eyesore?
First, if this is the biggest problem I face all summer, HALLELUJAH.
Secondly, if this is legitimately a crisis situation for me, then perhaps I need to prioritize getting a life before purchasing new cushions for the lounge chairs.
Thirdly, let’s dive deeper here for quick second.
Yes, those ugly faded cushions took up some prominent mind space for a bit. Every time I walked out the back door, they reminded me that I was far more than two red cushions short of a Crate & Barrel layout.
Then it dawned on me that I can stress myself to crazy to keep up with my *everyone* else in my comfortable suburban neighborhood, but the line to Enough will get further and further beyond my own backyard.
There will always be someone else with more and better. (Excuse me, there will always be lots of someones with more and better.) (At least when it comes to things like outdoor courtyards & square footage & picturesque landscaping.)
So I decided that I’m going to keep those faded cushions another year.
They’ll be a symbol that I am enough, and I have enough, already. They’ll remind me that I’m not going to chase an illusive, surface-level acceptance through material goods and outward appearance.
[Okay, time out for a second: this isn’t a personal stance against an affection for cute patio umbrellas, or an imbalanced angst against taking pride in the warmth and appeal of the home environment. So don’t get the idea that I’ll be boycotting Pottery Barn or something ridiculous like that.]
I’m done with allowing comparison to take up space in my head and steal my joy.
Besides that, I want my friends to feel loved and welcome and cozy when they spend time here. And how better to achieve that then to invite them to sit on mildewed furniture? (Okay, okay, maybe we’ll just pull out one of those lovely camping chairs that we take to baseball games and call it good.)
What you see is what you get around here, y’all. And you really can’t get more Dalke than an armful of baseball chairs circled up alongside the pool.
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