written by Rosa Morgan Lockwood
Lenore blushed as Archibald carried her across the threshold and into the beginning of their life together as man and wife. As soon as her feet touched the hall's bare floor, she said with unbridled passion, "Dear, we'll have to order a Brussels carpet for this area." Stepping it off with her high buttoned shoes, she announced, "I'd say that stretch is a good fifteen feet long. And we must replace this hideous hall tree, posthaste! Why it looks like a Chinese pagoda, and lacks all function whatsoever. There's not even a bench to sit upon and remove one's wet wellies."
Though Archibald had hoped, nay imagined all day, an expedient dash up the stairs to the bedchamber, he could not but, indulge his wife's wish to peruse the house. He had purposefully kept from her his radical Aesthetic beliefs, hoping to gradually influence her. "I'm happy to see your enthusiasm for your new home, and I'm not disinclined to admit I've taken much pleasure in decorating it." Lenore's nostrils flared, "Pleasure? The value in a home's arrangement is its ability to imbue morality and purpose. It is with our rational minds and scientific bent that we must approach it."
Turning away from this man she now felt a stranger, Lenore ventured into the front parlor where she was confronted by ebony and gilded furniture, Japanese fans, and blue and white vases stuffed with peacock feathers. She felt the room spin, and would have fainted if there had been a fainting couch readily at hand. "Have I unknowingly wed a Bohemian; one who believes art is for art's sake? Pray do not tell me you parrot the philosophy of that decadent Oscar Wilde?"
Archibald was feeling ill himself, and brandishing his hip pocket flask, brazenly took a swig of hard liquor. With his voice choking with emotion, he proclaimed, "Yes, my love, I adhere to Wilde's advice; his lecture, 'The House Beautiful' is unparalleled in capturing my own belief that life must be lived intensely and that interior decorating is a means of self-completion!"
The young bride could see her criticism had truly injured her husband's sensibilities. She offered, "Now that I become accustomed to my new environ, I find the peacock feathers not too daunting."
Archibald conceded, "And I can see a hall tree with a bench would be beneficial."
The two lovebirds cooed their way up the staircase. Many an argument over interior design would darken their future, but with patience and diligence, they would find domicile bliss.