Heavy Lifting


I was feeling a little bit discouraged over the weekend. I found myself looking at my list of goals for April and realizing that I would be coming up short this month as compared to March and February.

Sometimes this realization is enough to galvanize me into action with a sudden surge of productivity, but yesterday it just made me feel frustrated and powerless. It didn’t help that we spent part of the day rearranging furniture in The Office/My Studio which I found very stressful. There are times when my husband gets an idea between his teeth and just won’t let it go and rearranging the office was one of these times. He felt certain that my desk would do better by the window, where my drawing board had been. My drawing board could go where my desk had been. The curio cabinet from the corner could now go in the living room and the mirror from the living room could now go in the bedroom.

I suspect that this is one of those “Men Are From Mars and Women Are From Venus” moments that is really a “Extraverts Like Change and Introverts Like Security” miscommunication. If I had spoken up and said that I didn’t want my desk to be moved the conversation would have gone like this:

“No, I’d rather not move my desk.”

“Why not? You’ll have more space because your computer won’t be taking up half of it.”

“I like it where it is.”

“But you’ll be by the window where you can get all the sunlight you want.”

“I’ll spend all my time staring out the window” (Because I am compelled to stare out a window if I am given the option whether the view is nice or not: the view out our window is of dumpsters.)

“So make some curtains. It’ll give us more room in the office.”

“I just don’t like it.”

“How do you know? You haven’t tried it.”

And so on. We would have an argument and I would have no good excuse not to move the desk and would finally give in just to make the problem go away no matter what I felt about it. He wasn’t doing it to be mean: it was just moving furniture to him, but to me it was a big disruption in my thought-process in ways that I just couldn’t put in to words.

When he asked if I liked the new arrangement the best I could manage was that I would eventually get used to it. I knew even when I said it that this was damning with faint praise: the new arrangement wasn’t bad and did, at first blush, give us more space in all of the rooms in question. It wasn’t a bad idea, I just didn’t want to do it. It involved uprooting my whole work space and disrupting my routine until I figured out where everything was again and I didn’t like it- but I would eventually get used to it.

I told him, emphatically, that “We’re Not Going To Move Any More Stuff Around For A While.”

He responded with thin lips and silence and I made an effort to spend the rest of the day in another room so that I didn’t have to look at the accusatory piles of stuff waiting to be sorted and got nothing else done for the rest of the day.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on April 28, 2013.

One Response to “Heavy Lifting”

  1. AAAAAH! Why did I bother to read this?! He sounds like my mother!! How do you two…never mind.

    Here is my philosophy on living space. Each partner gets a room they design themselves with no arguments from the other. That is their sanctuary to do with as they please. [Otherwise, live in separate apartments/homes and meet in the middle/visit each other like dating couples.] If the one who isn’t the designer wishes to enter that domain, they must either accept it as it is or respect the other person enough to keep their mouth shut and ask politely to join the designer in that room. This separate room strategy could also be a benefit to the old “going to bed together angry” matter. Instead of having to duke it out late at night or feel at odds in the shared bed, you could sleep in your separate room for the night and regroup to communicate the next day. Even if it’s not a fight, this could fix the snoring problems some couples face:P

    He had no business telling you how to arrange your work space. Nor should you arrange his. Your reaction is exactly how I felt–if not less irate–when my own mother didn’t respect my privacy/personal space. I felt like a prisoner being hosed instead of a proud son. For being a good boy, I sure was not trusted with much of anything. Not even learning from her bad example.

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