I live with my husband in a modest three-bedroom house.
Because we don’t have any of our children or grandchildren living with us, guest bedroom #1 is a man cave, and guest bedroom #2 is my writing/fiber art studio. We have not been fans of creating a perfectly hospitable room for potential visitors that will stay pretty and prepared for company more than it will be used by company. We want to make sure every area of our space is useful space.
There are times I invade the man cave. When my husband is not home, I stretch out on the futon there and watch some mindless television. To make a mark, just for the heck of it, I straighten the throw cover, folding it to prominently show the bright, red-white-and-black NC State Wolf mascot. I know this is a sign that I’ve been hanging out here. The devious part of me wants him to know. Sometimes, I dust, vacuum, stand up fallen photo frames, remove smashed chip crumbs from the lone speaker not connected to any stereo.
My husband questions me, laughs and moves on with his man cave life after he discovers I’ve been hanging out there. When he visits my studio, it’s just not this simple. I want him gone immediately.
He asks questions about what I’m working on at the time. I take about 30 seconds to give him a brief, but he always has more questions. His next set of questions cleverly ask me how long I’ll be writing. I never give a time. I know better. The conversation then moves to its irritating phase. He has to tell me about every play happening on the television. He wants to show me every new post on his Facebook feed. He needs to tell me what happened at work – the stuff he left out when he first got home. He flirts, gets frisky. He tells me he’s hungry and wants me to cook. He calls his family members, talks for a while and asks them, “You wanna speak with Cherryl.” Un. Be. Liev. A. Buhhhllllll.
I can’t find a way to tell him to leave me alone without hurting his feelings. He does not understand this urge in me to create or the space I need to satisfy that urge. All he knows is that he wants his wife, fully present, right now. How dare I sit in a room directly across from his man cave and get lost in something that doesn’t include him!
Because this is a pattern, I have decided to move my studio outside the house. There is a storage room just off the back porch that currently holds furniture we have no space for in the house, yard tools, a cabinet frame for a new sink and some carpet tiles. I am determined to find a small shed for all the tools, get rid of things not in use and make that space my studio.
I won’t tell him until it’s done. I will insulate the space and make sure it has a lock. Maybe place a sign on the door that says what time I will be back on Earth as his wife.
I’ll leave a hologram for him to talk to inside the house.