By Mary Lynn Bruny

It’s that cabin-fever time of year when many Colorado folks get antsy and want to shake things up at home. Many of us are tapping our toes and dreaming of spring. We’re restless and craving change.

Recently I was looking at a living room lamp we’ve had since before humans walked upright and suddenly realized I could not stand it. If I didn’t have a partner (who has actual opinions and likes this lamp), I would have immediately removed it from the room.

Instead I casually said, “We’ve had this lamp forever. Let’s replace it.” My wise husband, who knows that the research phase of my acquisition process can take years and often peters out, simply said, “Okay.” Had he said: “I don’t think we should,” then my buying process would have been drastically expedited. (Well played, sir.)

For a little home shake up, I’m all for replacing dated lamps and love getting new accent pillows (see my 7-31-20 article; link below). But since we’ve been quarantining for so long with family members, I’m wondering if some people are thinking about more dramatic changes.

For instance, how many of you are sick of your children? After years of too much pandemic togetherness, I’m sure some of you are tired of their irritating behaviors and perhaps want to trade them for other children with new and exciting annoying behaviors. This sounds good in theory but usually it is not so in reality.

For example, as a mother of two boys I used to dream of girl offspring until I actually spent time with these creatures. Did you know that some squeal a lot (very high-pitched), are extremely dramatic, and have loads of product requirements they constantly demand? I concluded girls are too complicated for me. I was happy to be stuck with my slightly smelly boys whose mitts were usually glued to game controllers while their eyeballs were affixed onto screens that contained confusing looking characters performing vaguely disturbing activities.

Another change to consider is replacing your partner whom you may also be tired of. Historically this has often been a male replacing his female partner with a younger model. Though times have changed, and now all gender partner combinations participate in this exciting old/young switcheroo. While certainly there are the immediate hormone and ego boosts to this activity, like switching children there are downsides (besides former partner broken-heartedness, angry offspring and financial woes, of course).

For instance, quickly apparent is that both older and younger partners now must spend endless mind-numbing hours explaining basic cultural references, such as music, movies, people, historic events and technology. It’s like these two people have previously lived in two different worlds because, of course, they have. Also annoying: The older partner now has to forever pretend to have energy and enthusiasm for youthful escapades they would rather not participate in, while the younger partner has to attend staid gatherings with all those “old, boring people.”

But even new partnerships of the similarly aged folks have their downside. The being-together-and-working-out-the-kinks period can take decades. For instance, my good friend is training her boyfriend (are you still a “boy” friend in your 60s?) to load the dishwasher. Not how to do so, just to actually do it: Open the dishwasher and stick the damn dishes in. I think for an old dog, learning this new trick will take about five years, give or take.

Again, this is all too complicated for me. I’m going to stick with possibly replacing the lamp. And maybe get a few new throw pillows. Those are always fun.

By Mary Lynn Bruny. Mary Lynn writes about local real estate and home-related topics for At Home Colorado. Email her at [email protected]. To read previous The Lighter Side articles, go to