Thursday, September 09, 2010


Staging. Have you heard of it? Real estate agents bring in fake decorator details, and polish a home's look, in hopes of increasing its visual appeal, and value. It can get overboard, and a bit too Gary and Elaine Living, too fake, too polished to be believed. I am very well versed in the seductive evils of this dark craft. I have been to an I've-lost-count number of open houses, seen plenty of model homes, and logged an hour or twenty watching HGTV. Honestly, I can appreciate staging on some level... after all, it feels good to show our best side, to accentuate the merits and nicest qualities of whatever we are sharing. I just get nauseated when the "best side" being shown is hiding ugly truths, or when the nicer qualities are not real, not genuine, not part of the package.

So... it occurs to me that staging is not limited to the realm of realtors, and sales floor smoothies.

It occurs to me that on some level... I am guilty too. A little bit.

See the lovely garden pumpkins, sun ripened tomatoes, a quaint basket... and
a huge lunch bag, probably with a half eaten and stale sandwich,
some dirty dishes stacked on a chipped and dingy thrift shop table?

School papers,
fake, organic dairy spread,
an egg,
and tools, parts, gizmos, a coffee cup, glasses, an old dinner roll, crayons, and a slab of granite.

Blogging is interesting stuff... a balance between sharing, and staging, between recording life's details, and sweeping some things under a rug. I have to remind myself of this sometimes, because I can get both inspired and discouraged by all the beautiful lives I see in other blogs.

I must remember that some pictures and stories, do not complete the tale. I do not talk about every hardship, every obstacle, and I do not linger too long in our dirty laundry. My favorite blogs are open, honest, able to share the ups and downs of real life. The honesty is what makes me feel connected, and like less of a failure when trying to cope with our own issues. I really love to read that someone else has messy pets, or burned a dinner... not because I enjoy other people's setbacks, but because I recognize the truth... even a messy truth is more appealing and satisfying than staged and fabricated catalog living. And yes, sometimes I really just want to zero in on a pretty bowl, clean and shiny, keep the focus bright.


nikkipolani said...

I know what you mean about staging. And I'm guilty of hiding the mess behind carefully framed closeups. But there's enough mess in the rest of my life -- here's one place I'd like to focus on the pretty things. Thanks for sharing yourself as-is :-)

Tracy said...

I feel similar, Natalie...that blogging is a bit of sharing and staging. I like to think of photos as stories--whether they are staged or spontaneous... there is a store--and that can be shared. :o) Lovely thought today... Happy Weekend ((HUGS))

Alison said...

Blogland is like a party--of course you clean up the old magazines and dog hair so your guests don't see it. They don't want to know about your husband's bad housekeeping habits or your delayed vacuuming schedule. They get enough of that at home.

Here is where we can relax, laugh and maybe have a sangria, while we temporarily forget about our own piles of dirty laundry.

Laura Jane said...

I hear ya.


DId I ever tell you about my image of people sweeping things under the carpet?

I feel you can do it for only so long, and then the carpet starts to get wrinkled and too lumpy to walk on, and you trip over bits of it. So, it becomes necessary to lift the edge and sweep it out a bit, to level out the bumps, if not clean it completely, but thats a LOT of effort to do. Sometimes a sweep under the edge is fine, but sometimes you need to vacuum under there!!!!

I've been too busy to stage lately, and even to share much, have you noticed? I bet we're engaged in similar things......friend.


mtnchild said...

Ah yes, staging. I don't mind posting about some of the "dirt", but my pictures will either be close-ups so you can't see it all, or from quite a distance so you can't make out all the extra stuff.

I find that the more flat surfaces I have the more stuff gets piled on there. I've given up trying to clear every surface but a central, visual item - the cats will move it or push it to the floor ...

I seem to collect clutter. I think we all have a collection of clutter somewhere in our house.

warren said...

HA! I so get your thoughts on staging life vs real life...gosh, sometimes I wish I had more nerve to show some of the chaos that happens around us. What I do show is only the tip of the iceberg!