Who Said Design Is a Glamorous Career?

By looking at the glossy covers of interior magazines, it’s easy to get the impression that design is a glamorous profession.  I’m here to set the record straight.  It’s not. Yes, it has its moments, however, when you take into account the furniture-moving grunt work and the job-site visits which offer a daily dose of plumber’s crack, it’s easy to state my case.

I can honestly say, it’s not just plumbers. Framers, trim carpenters, and other various tradesmen aren’t immune to showing hairy ass. Surprisingly, after twenty-five years of designing for new-construction, the butt cleavage no longer garners more attention than splotchy paint or crooked 2x4s. That doesn’t mean there still aren’t things that make me wish I could UNSEE. Case in point, the red thong below. 

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And if those visual treats weren’t enough, I’ve witnessed my share of “Dude, I really didn’t need to know you’re going commando!”  Like the episode of Friends where Phoebe’s new boyfriend unknowingly hangs out of his shorts, I’ve seen my share of full-frontal nut sac. I’ve learned that when electricians are up on ladders, it’s best NOT to look up.  

Whether a designer is creating elegant Edwardian interiors, like you see on Downton Abbey, or luxury digs for a modern Malibu beach house, there comes a time during lengthy job site meetings when crossing our legs isn’t enough. Unlike those who work in cozy cubicles with a twelve-stall bathroom down the hall, job sites rarely have running water.  The closest thing to a clean stall is the dreaded porta potty, which is used by every dude before and after he’s eaten a bean burrito from the roach-coach. Let me tell you, the plop johns don’t look like below.  And, they most surely don’t smell as good as the potpourri in that little glass bowl.  

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Other unglamorous aspects of spending time on job sites are the wardrobe issues. Transitioning from office meetings, where business attire and heels are appropriate, to a quick stop at a job site can easily ruin an expensive pair of heels. Sloppy conditions and drywall mud most certainly aren’t career perks. 

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I quickly learned that in Florida’s sweltering August heat, it’s not a good idea to wear a white silk blouse when the humidity is ninety percent. Whereas I try to avoid workers’ exposed parts, they viewed my wardrobe malfunction as if I was a female Mark Darcy. Okay, who am I kidding? They stared at me like I was in a wet-t-shirt contest, even though my lace bra and sweaty boobs were no match for Colin Firth in Pride and Prejudice

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In any case, if design was a glamorous profession, Benedict Cumberbatch wouldn’t be recreating Mr. Darcy’s famous wet-shirt scene while raising money for the Give-Up-Clothes-For-Good charity, he’d be swinging a hammer in front of me. 

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I’m sorry.  What was I saying…

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