Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Shed some light

See that picture over there? I like those things. Floor lamps. Well, really, any kind of lamp. We have a couple of floor lamps and a bunch of table lamps and as soon as it gets the least little bit dark outside, I like to turn them all on, every single one of them. I want every room in the house to have some kind of light on in it.

I can't resist a lamp. My mother occasionally gets fits of redecorating and buys new lamps and she offers the old ones to me, and even though every end table in my house already has a lamp sitting on it, I always say, "Sure! Thanks! I'd love to have it!"

If I can't have a floor lamp or a table lamp, I'll settle for something else, such as a light on the range hood (which stays on permanently with a fluorescent bulb because our kitchen is so dark) or the light in the china cabinet, which pleasantly illuminates the Pfalzgraff. I'm also very partial to a fake ficus tree with fairy lights twined in its branches.

My mom recently gave me a table lamp that I decided would look nice in our bedroom, on a table next to an armchair where I am theoretically supposed to sit and read on the nights I can't sleep. I found a tiny 7-watt night light bulb for it and I love that lamp beyond all reason. Not because of the reading, no. My eyesight isn't good enough to warrant reading by the powerful glare of seven watts, even though I haven't yet succumbed to bifocals. No, I love that lamp because we hooked it up to a timer and it comes on at 6:00 a.m. with a gentle glow of light that signifies that it's nearly time to wake up and I can't tell you how much better that has made my mornings.

For one thing, your eyes kind of get used to the light before you even open them, so you don't have to stumble around in the dark trying to find your socks OR stumble around in the light with your eyes squeezed shut, trying to avoid the pain of an entire 40 watts of power searing your eyeballs as you try to summon up the will to live on a dark, rainy autumn morning. Seven watts is more of a subtle nudge awake instead of an air horn sounded right next to your head.

Another thing is that seven watts makes the room look so cozy and inviting that I leave it on all day on days like this -- dark, rainy -- so that I can feel soothed and welcomed and loved when I walk into the room. Today we got home from Shakespeare class and all I wanted to do was go upstairs, put on some kind of garment made of fleece, put on my slippers and just sit for a moment in the quiet, listening to the raindrops pattering on the windows. Sure enough, my light was burning cheerfully, just barely brightening the room with a golden glow that made me feel less like Sara Crewe or the Little Match Girl and more like, say, Cinderella. Cinderella after the shoe fitting. I immediately felt rested and calmed with a sense of well-being that you just cannot get in the harsh glare of a ceiling fixture.

So I love lamps. And incidentally, I also love my husband. But when he goes behind me in the house and turns off everything that I just turned on, giving me a droning, everlasting lecture about the electric company and how anxious they are to part us from our money and then he wants me to sit in the gloom of a wet morning squinting at the pages in my book or trying to see if that's dried food or just the pattern on the plate as I unload the dishwasher, I get a sudden urge to do something else electric. Like maybe, I don't know, TASER HIM.


Amy said...

I knew where this was going! LOL - does he consider himself warned?

Kayte said...

I have never given lamps their due regard prior to this, but I will from now on. That little 7 watt bulb thing sound nice...the things you come up with over there!