Bob had to work over the weekend, so he was home today, which meant I had to share my office with him. He was busy writing an essay. At the end of this week, he will be done with his chaplaincy and will be working on writing more essays he needs to compose in order to be ordained (word of warning here: if you’re considering going into the ministry, choose something other than the Presbyterian denomination.You practically have to earn a special Ph.D. in order to be ordained as a Presbyterian), and then he’ll be setting up shop for all his environmental interests, as well as looking for a job that pays money.
After today, I’m suddenly discovering I’ve become very stingy when it comes to sharing my office. I used to have all these lovely visions (back in my office days/his pre-school days when this was nothing but a mere fantasy) of the two of us both figuring out ways to work from home together. We’d work, take mid-morning coffee breaks, walk Lady at lunch. I’d throw ideas off him, ask him "Is it just me, or is this particular paragraph in these sample pages impossible to understand?" I’d help him edit what he had to write for work. We’d knock off work just before 6:00, when he’d prepare one of his delicious margaritas for each of us, and we’d sit out on the back deck on swelteringly hot days like today and talk about how wonderful our lives were.
Well, I’m sure you can see where this is going. I still don’t know why I let this runaway imagination have so much power. Doesn’t that fantasy remind you of some fourteen-year-old-who’s-just-seen-An-Officer-and-a-Gentleman-for-the-first-time’s vision of love and romance? You’d think I’d have long-ago learned how to squash these ridiculous little hallucinations of mine.
First of all, let’s translate “my office” as “my whole house.” My telecommuting habits are still such that I move around the house all day. We happen to live in New England, which means we own the requisite colonial-style home. It should take days for two people to be able to find each other in all this space. So why is it that this intruder is everywhere in my work space? When I want to be upstairs, he’s up there. When I reluctantly leave him sitting in the study to go downstairs, I suddenly find either he’s grown to huge proportions or the house has shrunk to tiny ones, because he’s crowding out every last corner of all the first-floor rooms. I’m ready to pick up the phone and call Alice and the White Rabbit for advice on what to do.
Meanwhile, my back turned as I search for the phone number, he’s become Goldilocks, eating things in my kitchen I didn’t say he could have. And he’s sitting in my chair and adjusting it to levels that don’t work for me. He suggests we take a coffee break together, and I growl at him, in true Mama Bear fashion. I certainly don’t have time for a coffee break. He’s screwed up my whole morning schedule. What does he think? That I’m just living a life of leisure here and have absolutely no work that I have to get done? And he’s got another think coming if he thinks I’m going to edit that essay for him, unless he’s willing to pay me what I get paid to do such things.
This is never going to work. He’s got to get a job immediately, one with a two-hour-long-one-way commute. Either that, or I’m going to have to quit this dream job of mine and go become a dentist's receptionist, which is probably the only other job within the vicinity of where we live for which I'd be qualified. Wait a minute. What’s that I hear? The sound of the blender making margaritas? Ahhh, my husband’s home. I think I’ll go join him on the back deck to talk about how wonderful our lives are.
Everyone needs a little personal space. I don't think people realize how often their work day actually provides some of that for them.
To Love, Honor and Dismay
I'm hugely protective of my space -- I completely sympathize!
yeah, yeah, yeah on the workspace...a presbyterian minister who drinks margaritas??? Can I come to his church? I'm presbyterian and let me tell you, the ministers I have known look at cocktails like they are satan personified. I want to come to your hubby's church.
Incidentally, did you know you have the same name as the author featured on Poets and Writers most recent issue? Just an interesting tidbit...
Dorothy, hope you're happily sharing your space with The Hobgoblin today, though, as you celebrate year number 8. Happy Anniversary!
Ahh, yes, Courtney, in the Midwest and the South, "old-school" Presbyterians tend to be very suspicious of cocktails. Luckily, here in the Northeast, they can't get away with it (although, we're not allowed to have alcohol on church premises, ostensibly in sympathy with those who are alcoholics and can't drink, but I think it's really that old Puritan traditions die hard). Yes, I have to read Emily Barton (sometimes I think I ought to put somewhere on my blog “I am not THE Emily Barton,” since people seem to find me while searching for her), to see if she lives up to her name. From what I gather and have read about her, it’s more likely that I’m going to be sent into the depths of despair over the fact that someone with the same name writes better than I could ever dream of writing.
My husband and I always fight over space so we ended up coverting another bedroom into a second study. And guess what, I'm in it now typing this!! It's just something about marriage, I think; it cannot be anything other than invasive and married people can't be anything other than ambivalent about that. And now I'd better get out of here before I'm thrown out...
If only all the fairy tales had ended, "And they were married and spent the rest of their lives trying to find some space and time to themselves" instead of "...lived happily ever after," we would have all been a little more prepared for it, wouldn't we?
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