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A New Year's Day Special: The Melroy House Gets a Makeover

 How Do You Solve a Problem Like Glenn?

After Thanksgiving, things get kind of hairy with Glenn. He takes up residence on the couch, and his favorite pastimes become slothing, mooching, and eating people's leftovers out of the fridge. 

Eager to Please

Marie, desperate for her perceived relationship to be a success, loses herself in bringing Glenn snacks and generally trying to please him. The light goes out behind her eyes. 

Meryl realizes that if she doesn't intervene, Marie may fall down a dark rabbit hole of dysfunction. Not to mention, she might never get this grifter out of her house. So Meryl comes up with a project. 


Meryl employs Marie, compensating her with actual money, to redecorate the house room by room, removing all the stale old wallpaper that Meryl's grandmother originally put up. This will take a very long time. Meryl gives herself a pat on the back for being so clever. 

Marie tears down the wallpaper with her bare hands, which doesn't surprise anyone because she's a hard worker, a real die-hard. Meryl hopes that Glenn will soon be a thing of the past, but who's to say what Marie is thinking about as she claws that paper off the walls? 

One thing is for certain, Marie finds something intensely satisfying about ripping the paper off the walls, sheet by sheet.

When she's finished, Marie is filled with accomplishment, mingled with aches and pains in her hands, neck, legs, and back. But what's next to come is the best yet. It's time to redecorate. The house is a blank palate. 

Interior Dreaming

The new decor comes solely from Marie's imagination and deepest inspirations. Meryl has generously allowed her to select the colors and art work herself and to go ahead and set up the house anew. 

Eclectic is the best way to describe this style as a whole, but the Southwestern influences in the living room are not to be overlooked.  

The Purple Parlor

The new living room offers Gene a lofty place to dream and surf the internet, while providing ample comfort for the cats.

Wild Horses Could Drag You Away

The foyer is inspired by a recurring dream Marie has where she's dragged by wild horses to her untimely demise. When she wakes up in a cold sweat, she finds the best way to calm herself is with a midnight snack, including, but not limited to cereal, pastries, wine coolers, tacos, or anything she can find in the fridge. To use an image of the horses in the very space where she self-soothes brings an element of healing to the design.

Kitchen Tiles That Shine

The kitchen tile shines in the sunlight, and it should. Marie laid the tile herself, square by square, and polished it with a rag and club soda and sometimes her tears as she thought of how Glenn was likely a fixture on some new girl's couch by now, being fed snacks by said her, eating her roommates' leftovers. 

The Reading Room

The upstairs hall has become a quirky place to pop a squat and read the daily newspaper, if you're into nostalgia. 

Whispering Wallpaper

Meryl's room, of course, is a grand affair. Marie has selected maps for Meryl's bedroom wallpaper in order to inspire her to wander. Marie notices how attached Meryl is to the house. Live a little, she wants the maps to whisper... explore!
A vanity is a very personal space, so Meryl goes ahead and sets this up herself. This week she's honoring Gregory Peck, her model for what a man should be. It's her one-photo vision board. Meryl doesn't want to wander, unless it's into the past. She longs for the landscapes of old movies and dreams of love affairs with men wearing ascots, . 

Here, on her new lime green sateen vintage couch, Meryl can kick off her slippers and read, or she can go to her altar and put her studies to practical use. The dogs often like to lounge in Meryl's room. Some say it's a portal to another dimension. 

Gene's Den of Slack

Gene's room has become an even more extravagant den of slack, to borrow a phrase from one of her favorite films

Now, thanks to Marie, Gene can listen to her records, puff Purple Haze, sip corn whiskey, or partake in any number of her favorite activities in a plush psychedelic atmosphere. 

It's worth taking note that Gene has graduated from a bare mattress on the floor and now sleeps in a slightly rickety four poster bed someone was giving away on Craigslist. It's a big hit with the dogs. 

The TV Room

The third floor hallway is a place where one can listen to the old phonograph or watch a little TV —and by a little TV, I do mean a "little" TV, a small vintage television set that once belonged to Marie's dear old parents. 

A Room of One's Own/The Computer Room

Then there's Marie's room/the computer room. Gene was also able to find three pieces of a five-piece sectional someone was giving away to serve as Marie's new bed/the computer room couch.

When she's not putting the finishing touches on the house, Marie has been stealing away to her newly decorated digs to read romance novels.

Welcome to the New Loo

And finally, the most important room in the house, the loo. Those who enjoy long baths will be pleased to meet the new shell-lined, candle-studded tub. God knows, Yippy is a fan. 

All's Well That Ends Well

All in all, Meryl feels pretty innovative for getting Marie involved in something other than an unhealthy relationship and getting the house redecorated at the same time. "How do you do it?" she sometimes says to herself in the mirror, a rhetorical question of course. 

It's a new year, and a new era of the Melroy House. Although Meryl feels accomplished and refreshed, she can't help but wonder what her grandma , Cleo, will say about all the changes. She didn't exactly run things by her first. Sure, a few of grandma's belongings got put out to the curb, but all in all, improvements were made. She'll be okay with it. She's got to be. After all, change is inevitable.  Grandma surely knows this by now!