Every day, since we moved downtown about 6 years ago I have come home from work and dropped my keys on the wall unit that has stood steadfastly against the wall in the living room. Imagine my surprise when, after dropping my keys, I heard them hit the floor. Something wasn’t right. I turned to retrieve the keys, and noticed, to my shock and dismay, that the wall unit was gone. Gone! Fear swelled up inside of me, and I was consumed by an overwhelming sense of dread. “Oh, hell.”, I was to myself, “she’s at it again .”
It happens every few months. My wife decides that she needs to move things. To change things. It starts off slowly, but then, as if possessed by some ancient deity of organization, she goes through the house from top to botto, moving and removing things. This has been going on for years.
“Honey,”, I ask, “where’s then walk unit?”
“I gave it to the kid next door.” , she replied.
“And where is the television and stereo that were on the wall unit?”, I continue.
“Oh, don’t worry”, she advises, “they’re safe”.
It is little comfort to me that things are safe and not where I left them. I anticipate a ransom letter which includes pictures of my stuff in good shape.
“Where is my stuff?”, I ask again.
She must notice that I am becoming agitated in this game we regularly play, and concerned that my stuff is gone. ” You have to stop doing this.”, I tell her. “It’s driving me crazy.”
“I’m sorry.”, she tells me. “But I just get so anxious, so overwhelmed by all of the stuff, by the clutter. I just can’t help it.”
And then it hits me. “Where are the albums and CDs?”, I ask her. “You have to stop moving my stuff around. You should at least talk to me about it, first.”
So, it seems that she moved all of my stuff to the storage room, and left the living room , which had always doubled as the music room, as a shrine to nothingness and emptiness. “Very existential”, I commented.
“No”, she replied, “Minimalist”.
“I want my stuff back.”, I said.
“Tomorrow.”, she replied.
“Tomorrow.”, she repeated. “I ordered a new wall unit. It will be here tomorrow. I also got a new TV that mounts on the wall, and your albums and CDs will fill the wall unit. If you want it. If not, I can cancel the order, get the old wall unit back, and life will be just as it was.”
“It has to stop.”, I told her. “I understand and appreciate what’s going on here, but please, no more surprises.”
” Okay”, she said.
“If you really feel compelled to get rid of things”, I advised, “there are still 2 of our kids here. See what you can do with them.”
The next day, I came home from work, and dropped my keys on the wall unit. The familiar sound not the keys hitting the wooden frame, was like music to my ears. I turned to look at it, and this was one hell of a set up. Big screen TV, mounted on the wall, CDs and albums filling almost all of the space of this walll long unit. Nice.
I turned to hang up my jacket. “Oh, hell.”, I said. “Not again!”
“Honey.”, I called out to my wife, “Where’s the couch?”