Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Birth Of A Man-Cave


For the better part of a month now, we have been in the process of remaking the upstairs of our house. I say “we”, when it would be more accurate to say “Pam”. It’s not that I am uninterested in the project or that I disapprove of anything that has been done; rather, I am more like a willful participant in Pam’s vision. My contribution so far has been to respond, ”I love it”, when asked, “What do you think of this?” This system has worked beautifully, producing as it has, a complete remake of the kids’ wing of the house. The new paint and decorating touches make that end of the house nearly unrecognizable, leaving barely any evidence that we ever actually had kids. That’s not entirely fair, of course. Kaitlin and Patrick will always own their end of the house. It’s just that everything over there looks so…clean, a marked contrast to the years when they ran the place.

Now I’m told that I need to take the lead in redecorating my little office from where I am typing this blog. I have been given the liberty to create a “man-cave” out of the place, which sounds wonderful, but from the size of it, I think that the word “cave” is a bit too grand. But a “man-closet” sounds terrible, even effeminate, so Man-Cave, with capital letters, it shall be.

First order of business will be to clean out the mountain of official marriage paperwork. These are the documents, photographs, paper memorabilia and assorted debris which 29 years of a happy life produce. On the shelf above me are 9 picture albums. On the cloth board in front of me are no less than 22 pictures pinned up with thumbtacks, the unfortunate ones who never made it into frames, but if thrown away by yours truly might insure that year thirty never comes. To my right hangs evidence of our 13 free resort vacations courtesy of Life of Virginia from 1989 to 2001. To my left is a shelf dominated by as random a collection of “Pam stuff” as can be imagined. This particular shelf is so precarious, so filled with danger, so fraught with peril; no amount of money could induce me to touch it. But this particular shelf is a garden of delight compared to what lies behind the doors directly behind me in the left corner of my office. Here lies that space that shall not be named. It is the “closet of doom”, containing as it does, Pam’s filing cabinet from hell. In this ordinary looking tan metal cabinet there are four drawers. On the doors of the top three are affixed aqua colored sticky notes. Drawer number one, “KIDS church”, drawer number two, “Scrapping Pics”, and door number three, ”Travel”.  Door number four has no label, making its contents too terrible to contemplate. The chances of me touching this filing cabinet are about as high as the chances that I will win the gold medal in the decathlon in the 2016 Olympics.

Once proper care has been taken in organizing this minefield, I will then move on to the business of painting, buying furniture and all the accompanying nick-nackery so essential to modern decorating. When completed, I will publish a photograph of the results. I am told that the room should reflect my tastes and sensitivities. Hmmm. Maybe a Blazing Saddles theme with a Fathead of Cleavon Little, or perhaps a baseball theme with a simulated pitcher’s mound in the corner with real dirt!

I’m going to drive Pam crazy.