Remember when Mr. Lucky found a computer work center at the side of the road and brought it home? Initially he thought it would be ideal for me, but it wouldn’t fit in my office--formerly the Crown Prince’s bedchamber located just off the family room. (For all the gory and literally soaking wet details on how that became my office, click here.) So Mr. Lucky installed it in his own office--a somewhat more secluded room located in the same hallway as Baby Bear’s lair and private waterpark aka the bathroom—and gave me the table he’d been using for his desktop.
This arrangement worked well for a while, until several months later when Mr. Lucky treated himself to a brand new flat screen TV for Christmas. The phone company was here all day installing gadgets and wiring to make the acquisition worthwhile, and when Mr. Lucky said their package came with free HBO and a zillion other channels that played the same two-star movies ad nauseam while saving the good stuff for their occasional promotional weekends, I knew wild horses couldn’t drag him into his office again. No force in heaven or on earth can fight the power of free HBO over my husband.
Sure enough, he took his laptop and has since built himself a formidable nest at the best end of the sofa. Papers pile up on the end table in the corner between sofa and love seat. While I haven’t actually seen him do it, I am quite sure that when he runs out of space on the end table, he takes his arm and slides it part way across the table, sending a pile of junk on the far side over the edge and giving himself a few inches of new space to fill up.
From the nest, he had a straight shot of less than half a dozen paces to the door of my office. Even with the door closed while I worked, I had this eerie sense of him camping right outside with an ice chest, sleeping bag and oversized umbrella, as if he were waiting for Hannah Montana tickets to go on sale.
My writing suffered. I started agitating to take over his office. Doing so would give me better insulation from the constant drivel of 10 Ways to Break Up in 30 Days with a 40 Year Old Virgin droning right outside my door 24/7; plus I’d be right across the hall from Baby Bear’s lair and better able to monitor him.
“I wouldn’t always be running in front of the TV and blocking your view to stop the kid from flooding the house again,” I argued. (I could always hear Bear turning on the tub from my office, while Mr. Lucky would remain in his nest with water sloshing up to his chin before he finally noticed something amiss—usually when sparks flew out of the back of the waterlogged TV and blew it out.)
But Mr. Lucky’s answer was always, “No!” He had every intention of going back in there . . . someday. After the holidays . . . then it was after he got his W-2’s . . . then Baby Bear got a cold and had to stay home from school on the very day Mr. Lucky said he planned to do the taxes . . . after Baby Bear goes back to school . . . oops, now Mr. Lucky caught Baby Bear’s cold, but as soon as he recovered, he’d go back . . . now spring break was coming and Baby Bear would be home for a whole week, so now Mr. Lucky had to wait until after spring break to go back to his office.
That's when I yelled, “No!” I wanted that office, and I wanted it before spring break, even if I had to move his stuff out of there myself. When he bellowed I would do no such thing, I challenged him to try and peel himself off that sofa and stop me.
In the end, I did indeed do such a thing, and he didn’t try to stop me. I now have triple the workspace with plenty of drawers. I’m only two steps away from Baby Bear Country, and when the door is open, I can see the kitchen and catch unauthorized foraging. I’m writing more, submitting more (it helps to be in the same room as the printer, even with a wireless remote hookup), and am feeling much happier and more productive.
Most amazing of all, I even moved all my books and bookcases (to his credit, Mr. Lucky did help with the bookcases)—and after I declared on this blog that no force in heaven or on earth—save an act of God or Baby Bear—would ever make me do it again.
Obviously, that was before I learned the power of free HBO can have its own effects on me, too.