In so many ways, I have the perfect husband. He pretty much lets mine be the deciding vote on things that are important to me, I let him do the same for his stuff, and we generally agree on things that are mutually important.
When we were building the house, we mutually agreed on carpet, house design, wood flooring, paint, shingles, and siding. We agreed on fixtures and lighting with ease. The kitchen took a bit of discussion, but eventually we were both satisfied. Okay, I'll be honest. This room was the only room that we even had to discuss. It took a while for me to explain all the reasons I had for my special requirements.
You see, I'm short. And I'm in the kitchen quite a bit because I love to bake. In that vein, I wanted the island dropped lower than regular counter-top height so that I could knead bread comfortably. If you've ever kneaded bread, you'll understand my problem. A short person can't get the right motion and thrust on a standard counter-top height surface. You Amazonians may be able to, but us shorties cannot. In addition, my shortness causes problems with upper cabinets. Frankly, standard cabinet height means that I can't reach the top shelf at all, nor the back of the middle shelf. I have to get a chair. I wanted the cabinets on one side of the kitchen dropped to accomodate the fact that I was unlikely to grow another 4 inches in my thirties. He didn't want to do it, but I showed him what I meant. Did he want to spend the rest of his life coming to fetch something out of a cupboard for me? No, he did not. He thought dropping the cabinets would look funny, but I assured him that nobody would even notice.
And you know what? I was right. More than that, our kitchen was a big selling point when we thought we were going to move. All the realtors we interviewed loved the customizaton done in the room. The island is perfect for kneading dough or working with kids to bake cookies. You can't tell that the cabinets are low on one side, either, and I can reach the front of the top shelf.
All in all, it is perfection.
But, that isn't what this post is about. This post is about the poor suffering bastard act that my husband puts on when people come over. He complains that when he married me he had to get rid of all of his stuff. This is patently untrue.
He did not have to get rid of anything. It just so happens that he chose to do so. I didn't make him give up his ratty old couch that survived the flood of '93. I didn't make him get rid of the waterbed and the circa 1982 sheets where the flat sheet was sewn to the bottom of the fitted sheet in an annoying fashion. He complains that I have too much stuff.
My stuff, which I refer to as our stuff, and he refers to as mine. I had two couches, two chairs, and an ottoman, plus a slew of tables for a large living room. I have a cherry Queen Anne 4-poster canopy queen-sized bed and two doubles. I have antiques. I have several old steamer-type chests that I love. I can't help it! My parents give me stuff and I've inherited other things. He ought to think of it in terms of household items, but he doesn't.
Instead, he likes to remind me that we don't even have possession of all of my stuff. I have a grandfather clock coming from my mother and a couch and antique bedroom set coming from my grandmother. I also have stuff still at my Dad's house.
No, we don't need it all right now, but it is going to come in mighty handy when we finish the basement.
But, he doesn't like to hear that. The way that Prince Charming tells it, the basement is his space. The rest of the house is mine, he claims, so the basement is his.
Except...the rest of the house isn't mine. He didn't decorate it, that much is true. But I would put forth that he isn't likely to decorate anything. Yes, I choose the furnishings, but I choose them for his comfort.
Even so, he has claimed the basement as his. And I'm okay with that. We haven't finished the space yet because we are waiting for him to come up with a plan. Does he want a bar? A home theater? A scale re-creation of Camp Randall stadium? He can't decide. He does know, however, that he wants a urinal.
I keep refusing, but he says it is his space and his decision. Whereupon I keep asking if he is going to clean the thing or if he expects me to. Insert deafening silence. "If I can't have a urinal, I'll put in some gutters along the wall and route it that way.
You can imagine, I hope, what I had to say to that.
So now that the Princess is with us the basement plan has changed again. Maybe we need a family room or a playroom.
If he'd just leave it to me I could get it done. I envision a wet bar with a spare small oven, a tasteful half-bath, a cozy theater room, and a spare bedroom. But, as he likes to remind me, it isn't up to me. That's his space.
If only he could decide what to do with it! Perhaps it is more fun for him to think about it than actually do it. It is his cave. He cleans his guns down there, surrounded by baby gear we've outgrown and holiday decorations. It is a bizarre cave, but it is his personal space.
Consider this your Diva post for the week.