Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Playing Risk in Real Life

A while ago Ken started taking over the downstairs.  This was before the "For Sale" sign went up.  I think it's a way for men to feel that "world domination" feeling.  He claimed the bathroom as his.  This pleased me.  No more shaving stubble in the sink, no more pee on the toilet seat, toilet bowl, and floor.  No more stinky clothes balled up in the corner.  He had his own bathroom to make his own mess.  Nice.  Plus, the downstairs bathroom has always been scary to me for some reason.  I have always thought there were a lot of spiders in it.  Even though i have never seen spiders down there.  I just figure basement bathrooms = big, hairy, venomous spiders.  So I was fine with him using that bathroom as his own.  Have at it your majesty!  Then he moved all his clothes and shoes out of our room and into the laundry room.  We have a really over sized laundry room.  With a ton of closets and cupboards for storage.  He put his ever growing clothing collection in there.  He moved a wardrobe in and hung some racks to put additional shirts on.  This also pleased me.  I had more closet space and Ken had a feeling of independence and property.  Win.  Win.  Win.
For awhile. 
I started feeling like he was taking over the entire house.  He was claiming all this territory.  If our home was a Risk board it would be mostly his color.  I mean the kitchen is basically his- sure we share the dishes and what not -but I don't cook.  Ever.  So Ken has all his spices and contraptions and hoo ha where he wants it and I just don't touch it.  The living room is beautiful but decorated 100% by Ken.  It's gorgeous but masculine.  The more I looked around the house the more I realized ken had control of the whole game board house!  He said he was simply taking undesirable areas of the house and making them more desirable.  I couldn't exactly argue with that now could I.   He was only using space I deemed unwanted and scary.  (Spiders made the laundry room scary too.  Well the possibility of a spider invasion.)  AND!  Ken has a lot of confidence and skill when it comes to home decorating.  Yes, it's also very symmetrical - but he's better at it than me.  But it was just bugging that I lived here in this house- with nothing of my own on display. 
This summer, right before The Koley Canoe arrived we finished remodeling our basement.  We put a guest bed in one of the downstairs bedrooms for all of our frequent visitors.  If you know me and Ken you should have just laughed.  We rarely have over night guests.  I could have a seep over every night.  Ken could never have one. I think it is how we were raised.  I remember lots of people staying at our house.  We had a woman live with us for over a year.  She just slept over one night and then stayed on a mattress on the floor in Krissy's room.  She was part of our family and we love Barb.  Ken says they never had a lot of company.  We tend to lean more his way.  Sad.  Anyway- we have one guest room (that we use mostly for naps) and the other bedroom has been vacant.  We thought since we were showing the house a lot occasionally it would be nice just to keep it neat and empty.  This empty room bothered me.
For a long time.
Then, last week I was through with it.
It started on a Monday night.  I was at my mom's.  She has a little office downstairs that is my old bedroom.  It has her computer and file cabinet and treadmill and then the decorations are just her things.  The theme to the room is "Things Ginger Likes."  They don't necessarily match but they aren't totally clashing either.  It just feels peaceful in there.  Homey.  Comfy.  Loved.  It has some art work that Julie has done.  There are pictures of us (her kids), and her mom, and her grand kids, and my dad.  She has a school calendar.  There are some quote magnets on the file cabinet.  One says "There is no such thing a small act of kindness."  There is a mailing rack with the monthly bills.  She has like 12 index cads stapled together and all her usernames and passwords are on it.  What I like so much about that room is you can go in, and learn all about my mom without meeting her- just by looking around the room.  (Not by logging on using all her passwords.)  It's kinda like a non-trashy-non-teen version of Room Raiders.  I told my mom I loved being down in that office.  She said she really liked having all her things in there. 
Light.  Bulb.
"Operation West Wing Takeover" in full swing.
Buckle up.
I moved a desk we had in the garage down into the sad empty room.  Washed the spiderwebs, oil, birdseed, and dust off of it.  I got my computer and set it on the desk along with all the Internet wires, photo up loaders, and printer.  A start.  Looking around it still needed.... a light.  Looked in the closet and there were two desk lamps.  Surely I could sneak one of them.  Then the fire was lit.  I went to the garage and got my box of things.  My box has old school papers in it, yearbooks, pictures, knick knacks from my old room, you know- stuff like that.  I opened my treasure chest and picked through all my stuff and found my absolute favorites.  Things that reminded me of places I have been, people I have changed and who have changed me.  I filled about half of a laundry basket.  On my way back in the house I spotted a bookshelf that was also collecting garage junk.  That came down too!  We have all of our books up in a closet on one of those shelves that are meant for folded clothes.  I rummaged through them and picked out my books.  None of Ken's learning (*cough* boring *cough*) books.  And you know?  I have more than I thought.  I proudly displayed my collection on my bookshelf.  Some flowers.  A picture of Koley. 
A couple hours later and I had it....

It feels good in here.  Loving.  Healthy.  Kind.  Warm. 
Reminds me of someone....
I want to get a big funky chair to sit in and read.  Then get some curtains.  And maybe one of those fish tanks that take up a whole wall.


DoublClik said...

And a mini fridge! ahhahah

Chris loves Julia said...

And an endless stack of O magazines.

Karlenn said...

I want to see it! I actually haven't even seen your finished basement yet. Weird of me. I should have asked. I still cannot get over how good Ken is at decorating, though. I really do love that Japanese cherry blossoms painting you have up now. I love the idea of seperate bookshelves. I hate Ben's books. And Ben hates mine.

Lyner said...

Way to get your own little area. I like that idea.

spoonTRex said...

How fun!! I wish we had enough room for me to have my own space. I have a desk downstairs that has TONS of junk all over. I guess that counts for now:)