I hope you’re not angry with me because I haven’t invited you to dinner lately. I’m aware that you have had us over a couple of times, and I have not reciprocated. The truth is, I would love to. But there is a major problem. I no longer have a dining table.
You see, my husband has undertaken the redecoration of our home. In contrast to my affinity for the minimalist, uncluttered look, he seems to favor a very different style. The new decor has a contemporary motif based on two design principles of his own creation.
Principle I: Nature abhors a clean surface.
Principle II: Every electrical outlet must contain at least one, if not two, charger cords.
It is the former that has prevented me from being a gracious hostess.
This aesthetic should not surprise me, however. Over time, I have visited several of the business offices that my husband has occupied and I have to say he has been very consistent in his design sense. File folders of various sizes and colors can be seen covering his desk, his conference table, and when space is at a premium, piles begin to spring up on the floor.
Since he has recently declared himself to be “semi-retired,” he is inclined to spend part of the week working from home. This calls into question what he will use for work space.
For a while, we tried sharing a room. We installed two desks and hoped for the best. Our hopes were in vain.
My need for peace and quiet directly conflicted with his need to talk on the phone. Sometimes two phones. ( I often wondered, was he a lawyer or a bookie?)
So an amicable separation was in order. I stayed downstairs; he moved upstairs. Since he still had his city office, I got custody of the larger office at home. That seemed fair. At least it did at the time.
So he was kicked upstairs with his lap top, his printer, his I-Pad, his I-Phone, a land line, a file cabinet, office supplies, and an array of colorful file folders. I helped him get organized. This solution seemed rather promising. At first.
But shortly, In an insidious progression, sheets of paper and entire file folders began sneaking out of the file cabinet and onto the dining room table with a very proprietary attitude. Noticing me noticing the potential impact this might have on our eating habits, he promised to have them all put away by the end of the day.
Which he did. For a while. And for a while, I was able to push the remainder aside, and still manage to set two places for dinner.
But did you know that file folders have this nasty way of reproducing? Sort of like rabbits? You can’t leave them unsupervised because they begin forming stacks. First they cover the table. Then they move over to the top of the buffet. Finally, when you can no longer see the wooden surfaces, they start stacking on the floor. This was starting to look way too familiar!
The files and other assorted papers have now taken up full-time residence in what used to be our dining space. It’s been months since I’ve seen my table.
Presently, I’m keeping a very watchful eye on the living room.
I turn now to Principle II, the matter of decorating the electrical outlets.
I personally never felt there was anything particularly objectionable about a naked electrical outlet. But, apparently my spouse does not share that view. Little by little, each socket in my abode is becoming the permanent home of a charger cord.
While I do not deny the ease and convenience of devices such as the Smart Phone and the tablet, they are hungry little devils and seem to require constant feeding. My husband relies on them heavily, and as a result, has determined that he needs to accommodate their hearty appetites from every room in the house.
Let me further explain that the cords are in residence even when they are not engaged in their designated purpose. This, according to my husband, minimizes the risk of misplacement.
As I write, there are two cords gracing the outlet in our entrance foyer, laying on the floor looking like dormant anorexic snakes. (One of them actually is for his GPS golf watch, which he uses only on the weekends. Nevertheless, the cord remains.)
A long white cord graces the bedroom night stand. In the living room, two more cords are artfully draped over a formerly lovely piece of sculpture that decorates a counter top.
My personal favorite happens to be the one dangling from the outlet in the bathroom.
So now that you understand the situation, I want to add that you are more than welcome to come for dinner. As long as you don’t mind sitting with a tray on your lap.
Oh, and if you need to wash your hands in the powder room, check to see that the electrical cord has not landed in the sink, preferably before you turn on the water!
1,000 Things To Say……. will be taking some time off. Taking a cue from the broadcast media, the month of August will feature two reruns — particular favorites of mine. Check them out. You might have missed them, or will perhaps enjoy reading them again. And stay tuned for new episodes in September. Hope you enjoy the rest of your summer!