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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’m sorry. What was I saying…