The beloved husband is a very accomplished musician. You know what that means! He has stuff – guitars, amplifiers, lots of boxes with switches that do things, picks, straps, sheet music and of course, stuff with Gretsch or Martin Guitar on it. This stuff needs to be handy – that means in a living part of the house and not relegated to the attic or basement.
Early in the relationship (at least the “living in the same place” part), we established a rule. The number of guitars equals the number of cats. That protects us both from the frivolities of the other. We share three guitars and three cats. Over the years, it hasn’t been the same ones of course. Cats get old and die. You mourn (while beloved husband is secretly hoping that you don’t replace it) and then you go to one of the many shelters and work really hard to bring only one home. This is really tough, I want them all. They look so pitiful and love-starved.
The guitars come and go too. New ones are purchased and old ones are sold. The timing is always tight so another cat can’t be sneaked in (but I continue to keep an eye on that).
We married later in life when we both had houses. You know what that means! We both had stuff – furniture, treasures, antiques (old furniture of no value), chipped dishes, broken-down appliances, you get the picture. It was a little tricky in the beginning because my stuff mostly trumped his stuff. His velvety brown gigantic sectional sofa hit the curb quickly, followed by a kitchen set, silverware and other stuff. He used to be a lover of brown stuff. I took him to meetings and he is now more neutral and muted. Actually, he has been relieved of the burden of picking colors and I think he is grateful. He does have a vote but since the cats all get a vote, it only represents 20% of the decision.
The peaceful solution was to build a new house. I forgot that when you build, the old furniture never fits the new place. This actually solved part of the stuff problem. As we purchased some new stuff that fit, we gave the old stuff to needy relatives or anyone who would take them. The new stuff was neither brown nor did it have cat barf stains.
There is one place that the beloved husband is king and that is in the tool department. He is an accomplished furniture maker. With the help of the designer in the family (that would be me), he has made some beautiful, intricate pieces. His workshop contains stuff that is awesome. Besides the standard power saws, there is a dust collector, exhaust fan for fumes and every size nut, bolt, screw or nail that a sane person would ever need. If you count all that, he has more stuff than I do.
Now that we have filled the house with new stuff, I find myself moving into a minimalist stage. I am no longer interested in knickknacks or whatnots. I want my house to look like something out of Pottery Barn! Sleek, plain – but what do I do with all the stuff?
All pictures courtesy of Beloved Husband