Is it me, or did it suddenly get cold in here?

I think interior design is a lot like chicken salad.

Or chili.

Many people who make chicken salad or chili think the way they make it is the way everyone else should make it.

On Monday I whipped up a chicken salad for my wife and I to have for dinner. When my wife got home, I casually mentioned that, because we happened to have some fresh chives hanging around, I decided to chop some up and toss it in the salad.

You would have thought I opened a can of beer during a wedding.

Or a baptism.

I also mentioned I added a couple of boiled eggs to the chicken salad.

“I don’t even know who you are anymore,” my wife said.

I should point out when my wife actually tried my chicken salad (with a slice of fresh tomato) she admitted she liked it.

“It’s not the way you’re supposed to make it but it’s not bad,” my wife said.

My wife tends to have strong opinions about many things while I only have strong opinions about random holding calls against the Kansas City Chiefs, or regular beer versus light beer.

You know, important things.

One of the areas my wife has her strongest opinions is in the area of interior design. Specifically, the area of interior design as it pertains to our home.

So, you can imagine my wife’s reaction Sunday morning when our 22-year-old daughter Emma, who was home for the weekend, came downstairs and said it was time “to redo our downstairs.”


When Emma told my wife it was time to redo our downstairs, I said to myself, “Oh, no she didn’t.”

And then myself said “Really? You’re going with ‘Oh, no she didn’t’.”

Myself had a point.

When Emma said she thought it was time to redo our downstairs my wife gave her a look much like the look the great George Brett gave that home-plate umpire in the pine-tar game.

My wife didn’t take Emma’s suggestion well, is what I’m saying.

My wife said slowly, and in an ominous tone, “Why? What’s wrong with our downstairs?”

When I heard that tone, I said to myself “Uh-oh.”

And myself said, “I hear you man.”

I was tempted to say to myself, “Really? You’re going with ‘I hear you man’,” but I was too interested in seeing how this whole thing between my wife and Emma would play out.

“Well, for one thing, there’s too much clutter,” Emma said.

Emma pointed to a collection of items my wife had carefully placed along the tops of the cabinets in our kitchen and our family room.

“We need to get rid of all that stuff,” Emma said.

I swear the temperature dropped at least 30 degrees in our house.

“And that counter right there,” Emma said, pointing to a counter in our family room my wife had carefully decorated with a bunch of stuff from someone named MacKenzie-Childs, “That stuff needs to go somewhere else. It’s too cluttered.”

“But I love that stuff,” my wife said.

“Doesn’t matter,” Emma said.

Emma has a degree in Architecture and Interior Design, with an emphasis in interior design. And, she currently is in graduate school studying interior design.

Emma is also interning with Tamara Day the star of the HGTV show Bargain Mansions, so I’m thinking Emma feels she might know a bit more about interior design than my wife. And she may be right.

But try telling that to my wife.

No, seriously, please try. I’m afraid to.

Trying to lighten the mood a bit I tossed out one of the few things I’ve managed to learn since I started watching “Bargain Mansions” with my wife.

“Why don’t we put in a banquette?” I said.

Until I started watching “Bargain Mansions” I didn’t know what a banquette was. I thought it was a long, skinny loaf of French bread.

But now I know that’s not the case.

When I suggested the banquette my wife and Emma gave me the same look. It was a look that said “Nobody’s talking to you.”

Eventually, after much back and forth, my wife and Emma agreed to make a few minor changes to our downstairs. Not as many changes as Emma wanted to make but more than my wife wanted to make.

It was your basic compromise.

So, now, there is peace in our house. Or there will be until the next time I decide to whip up a pot of chili.