The Doilyfication of Man-World

Actual, basically unretouched photo of my oil-change place.

I went to get my oil changed a couple of weeks ago.  The waiting room décor was vintage man-world: utilitarian, plastic stacking chairs, cracked linoleum floor, boxes and bins of oily parts, and posters of spark-plugs and other vehicle- related stuff. 

There was one jarring note to this man-symphony: pastel cutouts of bunnies, duckies, eggies and other soft and fuzzy “ies” covered half the grimy surfaces.

The oil-jockey who came in to tell me my car was ready was about 35, with those ear-hole expander things and a tear tattooed next to his eye.  He didn’t strike me as the chickie type.  When asked if he was responsible for all the Easter decorations, a faint look of distaste crossed his face as he mumbled something about “the owner’s wife.”

I knew it. 

We women cannot help ourselves.  We carry an estrogen-activated nesting gene on our extra X chromosome.  The Doily Gene compels us to decorate our environments, and that naturally includes the work world.  

This gene really comes to the fore when the holidays roll around.

Everybody decorates for Christmas.   But in my office, that’s just the tip of the doily iceberg.   No sooner do the snowmen come down, then the cupids go up.  In the fall, sparkly, polyester autumn leaves are whisked off the counter to make room for the witch’s cauldron.  We have window clings, plastic flowers and polyresin figurines that are changed out for every season and holiday, major or minor.  I’m sure we’re not alone.

The only place that is safe from our decorating frenzy is the Men’s restroom, ever since the incident with the leprechaun and the pot ‘o gold honeycomb centerpiece.   I don’t want to talk about that.

It’s gotten so bad there’s no room in the storeroom closet for toilet paper anymore.  I had to put my foot down.  We’re cutting way back on the number and scope of our decorations.   After all, this is a business office, and we don’t want the men to feel out of place. 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to get my hot-glue gun going for the maple leaf and lace wreath I’m working on.  Victoria Day is right around the corner!

About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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28 Responses to The Doilyfication of Man-World

  1. Seasweetie says:

    Ugh. I think they skipped me when they were doling out that gene – and I don’t mind a bit.


  2. bigsheepcommunications says:

    I don’t have the gene either and my home is doily-free at all times. I tolerate minimal Christmas decorations for as short a period of time as possible and am infinitely relieved when they are packed up and gone for the next 11 months. As for the other holidays, bah humbug.


  3. egills says:

    Yup, I was missed with that gene also. I put a tree up at Christmas and that’s it and as for the office I actually get moaned at by the guys here for NOT putting decorations up.
    ( Maybe the wife does it as a form of mental torture for getting oil / grease over her home? )


  4. Jane says:

    Holy Cow! I am soooooo happy! I am NOT the freak to the extent I thought I was! Seasweetie, Bigsheep, Egills – you have no idea how much it means to me that you have come forward to say that you are not all that into holiday decorating. I really thought I was alone in this. You girls made my day! (you are girls, right?)


  5. Al says:

    Good news. There’s a doily and lace support group. Check online at holidaysareapainin


  6. Crystal says:

    It just energy, needing a place to express. If you men don’t want your offices decorated by the wives, assist them to locate a good place to “express” all the creative expression. Why does it feel the need to express, I wonder.

    I would have to agree with you, “little chickies” and such in your business environment is really not beneficial, nor does it display a professional face. It does say “love” or it could say, “taken”.

    Maybe a small business that produces something beneficial, and supports the shops, will bring in a more desirable relationship and mutual respect… just a thought. C*


    • pegoleg says:

      I think you’re right about creative energy needing an outlet. It just seemed that chickies weren’t quite the right expression to go along with the spark plugs.


  7. Ells says:

    In some ways it’s not just a woman thing. Men will add their own little embellishments too, when left to their own devices – I know a pub where the men’s toilet is highly ‘decorated’ with racy material (I am reliably informed)… Not that I mind; secretly I’ve always been a bit disappointed that the ladies’ loo is totally plain and boring.

    I guess that kind of decorating is frowned upon in public workplaces though (and probably rightly so!). But maybe, just maybe, doilification should be regarded in the same way -those chickies are definitely pushing at the realms of indecency. 😉


  8. I love the photo, Peg!

    The “Doily Gene” missed me too, although I do like making them…I’m just not into decorating! Jim and the kids are responsible for all that stuff at our house…I have strung lights on a Christmas tree or two, and maybe hung a couple of ornaments, but that’s the extent of my involvement!

    I used to laugh at a woman I know who actually buys colour-coordinated garbage can liners for her bathroom (I use plastic grocery bags for liners…white goes with everything!).



  9. I think God gives some people thirty-six hours a day instead of the meager twenty-four that I get. It takes me an entire day to get the Christmas decorations up and an entire day to get them down and packed back up again. If I decorated for every holiday like a lot of my friends do, I would never get anything else done. It’s just Christmas for me, and I’ve been cutting back on it. I wonder if there is anywhere that I can get a nice poster of a Christmas tree. That and a vase full of candy canes should be festive enough….


  10. pegoleg says:

    You need to do something to get that extra 12 hours – you’re being robbed!

    I think you’re on to something with the Christmas tree poster. I always liked the cartoon trees that folded up like an umbrella, fully decorated.


  11. The good thing is that the decorating for Victoria Day is really simple — and just right for your oil changing place. Cases of beer and food for the cottage. But as holidays go it pales beside my favorite one here – Civic Holiday, which exists solely because who doesn’t want a long weekend in August? Nothing to decorate. Just relax by the lake.


    • pegoleg says:

      Are you telling me that Canadian women don’t have all sorts of stuff ready and waiting to go up for both holidays? Because I got the maple leaf and lace wreath idea from a Canadian lady’s craft website.


  12. Oh my. In some businesses, I think the decorations are appropriate –but not at the car service station. Maybe the wife wanted the place to seem more female-friendly to the female customers?
    I don’t understand Easter as a a decoration holiday. Eggs don’t make good decorations, and unless you are running a “country” breakfast diner, chickens will seem out of place.
    I think a nice flowering plant on the counter of most businesses should be seasonal enough. I would hate to think that prices are higher because someone high up broke the budget on doilies!


  13. Hilarious. This post reminded me that there have been other places I’ve gone where I think, “Oh, the owner’s wife decorated.” I didn’t get that gene. It’s saved me a lot of money at Michaels.


  14. J. Jackson says:

    Great story, interesting perspective on the doily gene. There was a woman at my job who also had the gene, decorating furiously on the rising special occasions. The decorations were bright and cheerful at first, but eventually it did get a little tiring.


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