Which do I prefer: a pretty home or a happy mate?
These were the terribly deep thoughts I was pondering this week. A few months ago, I looked around our home and saw it for what it had become – a “warehome” – the residential version of a warehouse: a storage locker where indecisive people dump things that are too precious to let go of but not dear enough to actually use … which I’m sure is the hoarder’s credo.
After my mom’s move to senior housing, our home became the logistical purgatory for all kinds of treasures. It started innocently enough: “What should we do with these tables?” “Hmmm – let’s decide later. For now, let’s just stick them at Mary Suzanne’s.”
Stuck would be the operative word.
I called a dear friend who helped me get unstuck and transformed my disaster into a delight. Well, I was delighted anyway. When I asked my husband, wasn’t he thrilled, he said, “It’s great. Except there’s not a comfortable place for me to sit down.”
I looked around at my mother’s white sofas with their silk pillows, and her Victorian chintz chairs, and the elegant wingback – and I actually thought, “Does he have to sit in here?”
As though he read my mind, he said, “It’s OK, I can sit in the basement.” Uh oh.
Is that what the “man cave” movement is really about? Have we decorated our husbands out of everything but the subterranean?
The next day I asked the painters to haul up the recliner that had been demoted to the lower level when the wingback chair had arrived. I tried to keep them both in the room but it was too crowded.
Something had to go – and I realized it was my flawed priorities.
When my husband came home you would have thought it was his own personal Christmas morning. He hugged me and said, as much to himself as to me, “You love me.” He told a buddy about it the next day who responded, “My wife would never do that.”
“Greater love has no one than this; to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”