March 5, 2008
Through My Window #12, The Picture Window
I hate picture windows, especially retro-fitted picture windows in pre-war character homes like mine. They're like a big scar on a house's face, and they always remind me of the soulless suburban dystopias from stories by Raymond Carver or John Cheever.
They're awkward on the inside, too. I can't help feeling that I'm living in a fishbowl and that all the commuters stuck in traffic in front of the house can see us stumbling about with messy hair and puffy eyes, before we've even had our first cup of coffee. And when the mailman comes to the door, I know she can see me milling about in my pajamas, although it's long past noon. So I have to pretend I can't see her, and so far she pretends she can't see me. (This tactic doesn't work so well when the Jehovah's Witnesses come calling.)
I'm sure I would hate my picture window less if it had nice window treatments, instead of the institutional window blinds provided by our landlord. Curtains are the first thing on my list once we get a little money together -- after we buy a couch, that is.
Nonetheless, I find I spend much of everyday in front of my hideous picture window, watching the birds in the hedgerow with Fanny or sitting on the daybed reading a book. It's by far the sunniest spot in the house, and on long dark winter days, one needs all the sunshine one can get. I guess this is why picture windows are so popular. And despite their inherent ugliness, they do have their rare moments of strange beauty, in the blue glow of an early winter's morning...