In December, my boyfriend took me to the Art Institute in Chicago to see a series of miniature rooms, many of which were decorated for the holidays. It's probably as weird as it sounds, but I had been looking forward to seeing the exhibit for weeks. We marveled at the miniature stockings on the miniature mantelpieces, mocked the ugly miniature portraits on the miniature walls, cooed at the miniature grand staircases, realized in joint horror that we'd probably be very good at making and maintaining miniature rooms, started planning a series of miniature rooms from the '90s with teeny tiny boy band posters on the walls and teeny tiny glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling. (There is a slight possibility that I flapped my arms up and down in excitement when I saw the room with the itty bitty tea set and then a very small doll who had her own even ittier bittier tea set.)
Halfway through the exhibit, he stopped and said, "Nearly every one of these rooms has an enormous rug covering the floor. Do you know how expensive those things are? I've done some research . . ." The monologue was cut short as I turned to look at him. His expression was the very chick-lit definition of earnest and sincere—brow slightly furrowed, eyes narrowed and focused, jaw set and determined—and I erupted in laughter. It was one of those moments when I couldn't help but love him, this man who could stand against a backdrop of absurd domesticity and still somehow discuss floor coverings with any level of intensity.