is a tough one for me to sort out for myself, so I’m turning to
you for some wisdom. (Yeah… I know… but I promised myself I wouldn’t
lash out at you with jokes about being desperate. Let’s just run
with it. Ok? Cool.)
are the questions… for those of you in a live-together relationship…
you arrive at decisions, involving sacrificing something, that
is founded on the idea of handing something over to your significant
other? And, if so, why the heck are you doing it?
years ago, I began making jokes about the decision-making process
that Terry and I used for things. And… ha ha, this was great stuff…
the punchline was always based on my not having to make decisions.
You get the idea, depending on how many years it was from when
Terry and I began dating or got married and the audience involved,
I would say something like this: “Marriage has been wonderful.
I haven’t had to make a decision in ten years.”
course, I also have been known for being an extraordinary smartass,
and often offer up brilliant quips like this: “We’ve been married
for ten years, and they have been three of the happiest years
in my life.”
the humor there? Great, great stuff. Terry got herself a keeper.)
on a serious note, the past few days have brought upon a realization
that I may have created a rough scenario for myself. There may
be no going back at this point. And the best way to let you in
on it might just be to wade all the way back to when we moved
into our current home.
house was for us. Kids had moved out, with no indications they
would be moving back in. (They are always welcome, but the moves
have been made and they are settling in.) A guest room was organized
and quality inflatable mattresses were purchased. (We love hosting
guests.) But, when considering what room would be used for different
things, including the idea of organizing closets and so on, the
main theme to keep in mind is that this was a house providing
a home for two people. Which brought on…
approaches such as what we call the ready room. It’s not a walk-in
closet by any stretch. It is what normally would have been the
third bedroom. We arranged it with furniture that included one
of those lower dressers that have a mirror on the back along with
an armoire that has a full-length mirror for a door. The ironing
board was set up in this room, and the sewing machine is stored
here. It is, as the name might have tipped you off, the room to
use when getting ready.
interesting idea began when I placed things in only one of the
three bedroom closets. Terry really did have more stuff to worry
about, and a need for more room to hang things up. Made sense.
ready room? Primarily for her? Two of the three large closets?
There was much rejoicing.
a year after we moved in, Terry was in a bit of a confused state,
with glazed over eyes and sighs of frustration. She was out of
room. Needed more storage space. Work clothes and so on.
amazing guy that I am… I moved my stuff out of that third closet
and told her to take it. I didn’t need it. Just give me a bit
of space at the bottom of one for some shoes and I would be fine.
was more much rejoicing.
then a year after that I moved some things out of one of the dressers
and insisted that she start using it.
you got it… additional more much rejoicing.
making sense so far? A peaceful set of agreements, based on mutual
needs and comfort, that absolutely could be viewed as a steady
retreat by my side. That would sum it up nicely.
I think at least one person in any committed relationship would
be smiling and nodding about such activity. I think it happens
in all of them. (I think. There is also a really strong
possibility the other person in any committed relationship would
say I’m being played like a grand piano in a concert hall.) But
days ago, Terry came home from work and started complaining about
the closets. She was absolutely right in the complaints she made…
the closets have a bit of a weird design where the framing for
the door is actually several inches narrower on each side than
the full width of the closet. Plus, the closets are not as deep
as what one might consider a standard closet depth. End result?
Fill a closet with clothes and it becomes next to impossible to
get the garments from either far end out.
began talking about a dresser in the guest bedroom. We do have
visitors on occasion, but they honestly never used the empty drawers
in the dresser that were there for them over the course of their
stay. And this led to that led to other things, and…
morning we shifted things around in our bedroom, moved that dresser
in, and she has spent most of today sorting and organizing and…
time around, the reality is I didn’t give up any ground. Not really.
None of my things moved at all. About the only concession was
perhaps three inches of walking width between my side of the bed
and a wall. Not too bad when you consider the dresser is just
shy of two-feet deep and she lost pretty much all of that space
on her side of the bed. Still…
had been asking me what I thought of moving a portable clothing
rack we have in the basement into the ready room. There were some
other options presented. Plus, there is not much else for me to
give up unless I want to head downstairs any time I need a pair
I really don’t care much about any of this in the grand scheme
of things. In the glorious debate of winning and losing in a marriage,
I choose peace and quiet. But there is a thing, isn’t there? There’s
always a thing.
of us have heard the story of the frog and the boiling water.
The important idea here not being the actual frog story, which
is widely criticized as factually inaccurate, but the more general
foundation that gradual change is often accepted virtually without
question. And that is where we find the thing.
I looked at the dresser after we moved it, and then as I was bringing
the drawers to it, I was wandering around in one of those light
bulb moments. It occurred to me that the moving of this furniture
had a bit the sacrifices found for peace and quiet.
the end… it’s furniture. Not a big deal. Chances are good though
that next time there’s a decision to be made, I might be a bit
more aware of the water temperature. Because there always is a