Am I the only person who likes being in the dark?
|I love darkness.
As a child, I adored creating secret, shaded forts from blankets and boxes. In college, I darkened my dorm room windows with black construction paper for optimum viewing of both television and video game. To this day as wife and mother, my illicit affair with the dark continues to thrive.
It’s my nature to gravitate toward candlelit, wood-walled restaurants with hanging lamps dimmed low. I love autumnal haunted houses, leaf-canopied woods, and dank European castles. I've courted smoldering fireplace and midnight thunderstorm, breezy tunnel and murky pond.
My home, of course, is a reflection of this dusky romance. The curtains in my living room are a sheer forest green, drawn closed permanently. A bit of gentle light peeks in, but it’s not the blinding assault of illumination some people adore. Lamps are my dearest companions; they stand ready in every room except the bathroom, providing shelter from the glaring ceiling lights preferred by my husband.
On some level, I suppose, I know he’s right. We do need more light than the lamps provide. I just want a middle ground that doesn’t seem to exist. We can’t afford to install new lighting throughout the house, which would be the ideal solution. And we don’t have room for bigger lamps. So we move through the halls and rooms, he and I, turning lights off and on and off again in turn - dancing the waltz of the battling fireflies.
I don’t mean to complain about my light-lover husband. Really, I don’t.
At least I am not living with my father, proponent of homes with sprawling Florida rooms and plenty of “cheery, natural light” - or, God forbid, my mother, Queen of the Sun: proud owner of a bright, immaculate Colonial decorated in flower swags of pine-meets-cranberry and a golden framed overdose of Thomas Kinkaid, the Painter of Light himself.
My son, Jonah, is naturally in complete agreement with me on the Great Light Debate. He plays happily by lamplight with both book and ball, never uttering a single word of complaint when all the blinds are drawn. Once he learns to talk, I’ll have him explain our point of view to that silly father of his.
Since Jonah and I were home alone all day for the first three years of his life, we never worried about any pesky folk who may have wanted to actually see. We enjoyed exercising complete control over the ambiance of the entire house. To this day I can make coffee, change a diaper, shower, and play peek-a-boo in what most would consider a mid-evening darkness. I dance, write, brush my hair, and pay bills in the dark.
I even vacuum in the dark. There is, after all, a small bulb’s beam on the front of the vacuum. It provides me with just enough guidance to avoid slamming into furniture and walls. I find this vacuuming method both faster and more pleasurable. My house gets just as clean as yours does. I assure you. Come over and see for yourself!
Just don’t turn on the light.