Ensconced in Crazy

{photo courtesy: http://petelaburn.files.wordpress.com}

When you have things on your mind, do you sometimes choose to focus, or even fixate, on much smaller, less important issues?  I’m sure there’s some sort of official term for it — redirecting, maybe? 

Do you do this?  I think I do.  Here’s why.

I have some things on my mind.  Don’t worry — nothing disastrous or horrible, but enough to keep my brain more than occupied.  Regular life stuff.  But you know what I have decided to focus on instead? 


My hideous entryway sconces.

So, in the category of “highly frivolous but slowly driving me insane,” can we just talk about these for a minute?  That would make me feel better. 

Thanks.  I knew you guys would be there for me.

OK, not to be dramatic, but these sconces haunt me.  I have been trying to replace them for the better part of a year, with no luck. 

Maybe you don’t think they are hideous (in which case, I will ship them to you, or I’ll pay for your eye exam — your choice).  Let’s have a closer look.

Are you with me yet?  Can you see your own reflection in their shiny awfulness?  Do you see how they cast a gold glow that reaches far and wide?

And, no, they are not tucked away.  They are in our front entryway, where I had immediately noticed them the first time we walked into our house as prospective buyers.  I think the morning sunlight bounced off of them and nearly cost me a retina.  But I  dismissed them and figured they could be easily replaced — because I’m not one of those dipshits on House Hunters, who walks away from a home purchase over the wall color or light fixtures.  A quick fix, I thought.

Ah, not so.  Because it turns out that the “easy to replace” approach didn’t factor in some very specific and restrictive measurements — meaning, I can’t install any sconces that are more than exactly six inches deep in this space, or we can’t open the basement door.  And we can’t have that. 

Trust me, I have combed through lighting websites and searched every variable of sconces online until my head throbbed. 

And here’s the conclusion that my research has produced.  Anything under six inches in depth either:

  • looks exactly like what I already have
  • costs a fortune or
  • is even more hideous 

By “even more hideous,” I mean something  like this.

My eyes.  They burn.

It seems we’re at a crossroads, me and my sconces.  So, maybe a more pragmatic approach would  help — like applying the Five Stages of Grief to my dilemma:

  • Denial:  This can’t be hard.  They are just sconces.  Surely I’ll find an easy and quick replacement.
  • Anger/Resentment:  How can this be so hard?  I’m an intelligent person, looking for a damn light on a wall.  And where is the address of the former-former-former owner who shopped at a 1970s Light-o-Rama showroom?  What the hell was she thinking, and why has she done this to me?   I think I hate her.
  • Bargaining:  If I find the right sconces for the right price, I swear I’ll never complain about another fixture in the house.  Or maybe if we spend less on the basement renovation and sacrifice the wet bar, we could spring for the proper sconce solution. 
  • Depression:  I just don’t think there’s a viable answer except to live with the sconces under their far-reaching golden glow.  The members of Fordeville are destined to look jaundiced forever.  Or we could find a new house.  Maybe we should just move.  I hate moving.
  • Acceptance:  I can begin to move on — gradually — to other home projects and overlook the eye sores that greet me in plated faux gold every damn day.  I will start small.  I will frame a print for the kitchen.  Mantra:  My happiness does not come from lighting fixtures.

[Just FYI, I’m still firmly in the Bargaining phase and not ready to move on to Depression or Acceptance yet.]

Alrighty, I think you just got a very generous peek into my crazy Type A mind.  It’s a fun (and well-lit) place to live — there’s really never a dull moment.   

I do realize that my fixation is not really about the sconces themselves (I’m quick like that).  Like I said, sometimes it’s easier to focus on the unimportant.  Not the three year-old with the croup, or the 18 month-old with the ear infection.  Or the distinct possibility that our temporary fill-in nanny stole beer from us last week — and drank it — while caring for our kids.  More on that another time.  Or the pile of other pretty important things I really should be doing right now. 

Nah, I’ll stick with the sconces.  Because crazy lives on a sliding scale.

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  1. Lisa says:

    How about replacing them with a large mirror?? Or do you need light in the entryway?

    • fordeville says:

      Not a bad idea. The thing is that, once you remove them, you have to have all of the electrical components properly removed from the wall (or at least, you’re supposed to). And that’s doable. I guess I just didn’t want to admit defeat in getting a better looking light there.

  2. I suffer from this same syndrome. When the world is caving in around me, I roll towels and arrange soaps in my linen closet. Better than rolling joints and arranging hits, right? I jest.

    Seriously, if you are a bit of a control freak, you’ll obviously feel uncomfortable when things you can’t control (croup, ear infections, and thieving nannies) come your way, and so, sconce replacement it is. Unfortunately, this now seems to be something you can’t control either.

    Before you enter into a steep, golden-hued spiral, let me say your sconces are not as bad as that one in the other photo you posted. That one looks like something the Munsters would have at their place. The fake, dripping candle effect leaves me cold.

    Since you hate your sconces, why not do something totally creative to them? You can probably sand them down and resurface them with paint or fabric or decoupage. They sell all kinds and sizes of replacement shades, or you could make your own. There are plenty of tutorials on line I’m sure. The good part is it would be difficult to end up with something worse, right? So no worries if you’re not one of those talented crafters who turn my blue eyes green. 🙂 And they might just become conversation pieces.

    Just one piece of advice: when you retrofit your refrigerator with the perma-mounted padlock, please consider the possible tastes of the future buyers of your home.

    • fordeville says:

      Control freak, you say? Where? Who? 😉
      I have to truly thank you for indulging my fixation. You’re a trooper. Great insight, great suggestions. You have done your good deed for humanity this week.
      But I have a question. If I match the fridge padlock in a stylish stainless finish and leave the combination behind after I move — then that’s OK, right?

  3. I was just going to suggest the same as Margaret. Paint the sconces and replace the shades.

  4. jesswords10 says:

    Try the college student approach, throw a nice scarf, sheer wall cover over them! And if you’re familiar with midwestern house decor, know it could always be worse. Someone could gift you one of those wooden geese that sits on your doorstep and comes with an outfit for each holiday. That’s an eyesore!

  5. Reb says:

    Ok can we tAlk more about the nanny and the beer? Helloooooooo? In terms of the sconces, I’ll see your neuroticism and raise you my fixation on a new seasonal duvet cover for my bedroom which i just sent a small fortune on bc I could not look at a summer white linen one more day with 20 feet of white snow outside my front door. I live in crazyville so welcome to the club. Check out bellacor.com xo reb

  6. Val Erde says:

    It’s known as ‘procrastination married to displacement activity’. I get it – all the time.

    Here’s an idea: find a non-flammable paint, and paint them.

  7. Val Erde says:

    Whoops – Margaret beat me to it with the paint idea! But that’s okay, ‘cos I came over via her blog, via the Style award….

  8. After looking at that brown one I have a new appreciation for sunlight and daylight savings time.

  9. Any retina-scalding eyesore can be taken care of by a sledgehammer, some drywall, spackle, and paint. Believe me, it did wonders for my ex. JUST KIDDING.

    • fordeville says:

      We’ll just keep that between us 🙂
      Thanks for stopping by. I’m off to check out your blog. As the owner of a snoring pug and a huge Boston Terrier fan, I’m sure I’ll like what I find.

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