When presented with bizarre circumstances – such as radical (and radically unappealing) cosmetic surgery I will often think “that person is living in the monkey house”…. A term I learned from my dad.
What does the phrase mean, anyway? Tim Gunn has used this phrase quite a bit on Project Runway, “I have this refrain about the monkey house at the zoo. When you first enter into the monkey house at the zoo, you think, ‘Oh my G-d this place stinks!’ And then after you’re there for 20 minutes you think, ‘it’s not so bad’ and after you’re there for an hour it doesn’t smell at all. And anyone entering the monkey house freshly thinks, ‘this stinks!’ you’ve been living in the monkey house.”
The trouble with “living in a monkey house” and getting used to it is that it still stinks. We are merely used to it so the smell disappears to us. Again, anyone walking into the monkey house is going to scream, “This place stinks.”
Once we bought curtains online…they delivered the wrong color — totally wrong for the room and totally wrong for us. But we were getting company from another state (we were – well Loren was in the military at the time, in military housing) so we put them up… we thought they were pretty horrible looking, but as time went by, we grew used to them… and after a couple of weeks the curtains started to grow on us…. We began to refer to their garish color as being “unexpected”. Then a few months later, we had a different set of relatives visit us… they gasped when they saw the curtains and asked, “What possessed you to not only buy them – but hang them up?”
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm – we’d been living in the monkey house. We took them down…. And went without curtains the remainder of time Loren was stationed there…. We learned a good lesson….
How about you…. Do you live in a monkey house? Meaning…. Are all parts of your life what you want – or are you just used to them…..??????
Really – I need to answer that question for myself…. Too many parts of my life right now are just “used to it… used to the routine… used to the décor… used to pattern…. Hmmmmmmmmmmm, need, perhaps to take a look at this….
But coffee certainly doesn’t stink….. I am aware of what I am doing…. Although routine – I NEVER take it for granted…..
(Incidentally, anyone who visited us… do you remember these curtains?)