I did not think being married was going to be much different than dating my wife, Vanessa. We have been together for two years and although we didn’t actually share a place, we practically lived together. Let me tell you, readers, that little word practically changes the situation quite a bit.
We bought a house together but it wasn’t ready until about a week ago. The lease was up on my-then fiancée’s place first so she moved into my apartment. For someone who always told me that I had good taste, she certainly had a lot to say about my place once she was living there! So many of her things were “just better” and my stuff was pushed to the wayside. I didn’t react well to this, although I can say now that part of the problem was that I still considered it MY place. I made more room for her stuff but it drove me crazy seeing it all over the place. A lot of her things remained in boxes because we didn’t need it yet. The boxes got to me as well. Everything just looked so cluttered and messy. My home, which was once a peaceful and serene retreat from the craziness of the outside world, looked like an overflowing warehouse. I started escaping to the gallery as often as I could. Then I was accused of being a workaholic, which I didn’t deny. I told Vanessa I was working hard to pay for the wedding and honeymoon, which was true. Then she supposed I was cheating on her, however, that claim I could unequivocally deny. The accusation didn’t sit well with me. I tried to look at the situation from her point of view and determined that she was more concerned about my absenteeism than my faithfulness.
I started meeting her at her office for lunch since it is within walking distance of the gallery. I thought this was a good compromise because I got to see her without the mess of our apartment. I was honest about the reason I was avoiding home, which she understood but did not really have a solution for. I doubled my efforts to ignore the boxes all over the apartment. When that didn’t work, I printed 8 x 10 versions of my favorite paintings and stuck them to the front of the boxes. It still looked chaotic, but it was a more beautiful chaos, one that I could function in.
Then the time came for us to move into the house. Vanessa was lucky, nearly all of her stuff was already in boxes. I’m used to packing and shipping valuable art, not every single thing I own. But she helped me get all of my stuff packed and I realized how lucky I am to have her. We moved into the new house and we’re still unpacking. Most of the remaining boxes have been put in the spare room, and we are bringing them out one at a time. When we find multiples of the same item, we decide which one is best and we’ve created a ‘donate’ pile for the rest. One day, I’m sure that I won’t remember that it is my measuring cups we’re using. One thing at a time, right? Maybe I’ll work on that once these boxes are gone.