We all have a space we call our own. When we move in to a home we immediately begin drawing a map. Some areas are, of course, obvious. The living room is where Sarah and I sit together, talk, tickle, glare, fawn, discuss, plan, and eat dinner. The kitchen is where I cook her lavish meals she claims have made her so "fat", though she be a tiny little thing I could carry about over my shoulder with breaks only for coffee. We struggle through with just one bathroom so it's basically who ever can fall out of bed and limp faster gets it first.
The Master Bedroom fits a king size bed, a dresser, and two night stands. You can almost open the closet door half way. Guess which closet I get for my one suit (see article, Graceless State), single pair of khakis that fit in 1989, twenty-seven pairs of paint stained jeans, and three equally decorated t-shirts? She has claimed the closets in both the other two "bedrooms". The trail around the bed averages eighteen inches. It works well keeping Clyde, the rather large "puppy", from romping too readily. Reaching the alarm clock in the morning requires an A-frame with block and tackle. Get the picture? The house was built around 1954 when a nine-by-twelve was a Master Suite.
Then came the other two bedrooms. The first time we stood in this living room looking to either side at the opposing rooms it was like lining up for the Great Oklahoma land grab. My better and far more attractive half graciously seeded me the larger of the two rooms out of pity.
Her office is still of fair size and is decorated half for function, half for aesthetics. Sarah has exceptional taste in everything but the looks of her husband, and it shows in her furnishings. The far wall sports two free standing, rolling cloths racks. One is for her work cloths, nice jeans, tasteful t-shirts, sweaters. The other is for her nice items, and she makes each and every piece look stunning (can you tell I'm partial to her?). There's a tall hardwood dresser and a neat incognito lateral file thingy. A full length mirror sits in the corner at the edge of a wonderfully delicate kidney shaped, claw foot desk. In short this little room is a direct reflection of everything about her I love. She has, however, had to pay a price. I stuck her with putting the litter box in there. The next paragraph will help you understand why (and yes, I change the cat litter).
Then there's my...office. Unlike many small business owners who deduct a chunk of rent from their taxes claiming office space I actually use mine as such. No, no velvets of poker playing dogs or moose heads straining the sheet rock, though it's far from austere. On the far wall are my framed photos of those important in my life. On the near wall hang paintings of sailing boats large and small. It's not tacky, it's my past. I grew up on an island. The furniture, when compared to her office, is strictly for function. I shopped two very fine establishments for my accoutrements. Two pieces, the glass front book case and my side table, came from a place we call F.I.V.A., or Found In Vacant Apartments (it's mind boggling what people leave). The three main pieces are a rather nice adjustable drafting table (which I actually use as such), an old metal vertical filing cabinet (VERY well organized I might add), and a massive aircraft-carrier sized desk. These three were attained with much searching at Goodwill. There is also a very comfortable ladder backed stool in front of the desk for Sarah as we like to sit and talk as I conduct one of several sorts of business.
My office is normally immaculate. We moved in here about two months ago with the knowledge we are not staying. The D.O.T. plans on widening the road. Right through the living room. There would normally be almost sixty square feet of open, clean floor space. Instead there are boxes, bags, back packs, and my old fire gear. Why pack twice? Though seeing a clean spot on the carpet would be nice. Clyde isn't quite house broken yet.
Now Sarah uses her office occasionally to work on her purchase orders for the shop or other personal work. Sometimes she reads in there. She is what I'd term the casual office inhabitant. I, on the other hand, often find myself glued to an office chair older than I am, parked at my aircraft carrier/desk. There's the obvious. I do my billing, filing, and book keeping ("cyphering" as it's called south of the Mason-Dixon line). The majority of my time, however, is spent writing. No, no need to back quietly in to the shadows. I'm not peddling anything or "suggesting" you read my work. I've been published, but that isn't why I do it. I love reaching people with my words. In the past eight months I've completed my first novel and, when not sharing my thoughts here, I'm working on the second. Needless to say I've made sure I have a very comfortable chair (a four-Goodwill drive)as I spend a whole lot of time in it. When not annoying you or working my way to a Pulitzer I have my Guilty Pleasure. I am, at the ripe old age of forty...something, an on-line gamer. When I need to clear my head I log in and steer my character of choice in to battle with big, oogey monsters often associated with your child's under-the-bed or in-the-closet bogey men. Please, no "do you live in your moms basement?" cracks either.
I guess with lesser couples mapping out a new home might be akin to the division of Berlin among Allied forces in 1945. We just walked in, looked right, looked left, and nodded. Hers is off one side of the living room, mine exactly opposite. I do a lot of important work in my office, but the most important starts when I walk out of my office, she walks out of hers, and we meet in the middle.
In neutral territory.