Overbite

Sight line From the living room through the dining room to the back door of the kitchen.

“What do you think about moving the door over a little?” He asked the question very gently. I guess I’d been pretty adamant about leaving things as built. Perhaps a notch or two above adamant. I think that’s why he just barely poked the bear.

I don’t know much about the history of architectural trends. I don’t know how homes were designed in 1915, what the fashion dictated. I do know that the window placement on the two sides of the center hall mirror each other. There are bays in the front rooms and twin trios of windows surrounded by the impressive frames in the middle rooms. The rooms themselves are not identical with an array of fireplaces, closets and some room transitions being archways versus doors.

I never noticed that the door between the dining room and kitchen was off center. I mean I knew, because of furniture placement, but I didn’t notice. The fact that there are non-standard nooks, bends or placements is part of the charm. Like the gap in Michael Strahan’s smile or Eva Mendes’ overbite, imperfections that are unique and memorable.

I’m obviously not a designer, trained in the beauty of symmetry. I’m not a mathematician seeking the beauty in a balanced equation. I’m not a quilter like my mother-in-law who made a coverlet that matched perfectly when folded. Although I can spy a double space in a sea of words, I sometimes forget how many scoops of coffee I put in the pot. I still add water and drink it. I’m okay with a little slop.

I had a very delightful colleague who would place four pens on her desk each morning. A red pen, a black pen, a green pen and a blue pen perfectly aligned, parallel to the edge of her desk, just above her blotter. She would remove the caps and carefully snap them to the top of the pens. Sometimes when I was meeting in her office, I would nonchalantly use one and return it haphazardly. She would reset it within about 45 seconds–even after she realized I was teasing her. She’d look up at me from above her glasses and underneath her curly bangs when she caught herself. We’d both laugh.

I don’t know where my pens are, and I have a lot of colors. I hang my kitchen utensils on any old empty hook. They don’t have a specific place to go. Sometimes I wear two different socks. My right eye is shaped a little different from my left eye. I’m randomly random.

I like things a little unbalanced–to have to solve a puzzle that may not have a neat solution.

The door stays off center. We won’t have a clear line to the back porch. I like that. That’s how the house was built. I’m centered by being a bit off-center, by imperfection.

So what makes an overbite a little cute?

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