Friday, June 23, 2006

Wisconsin...a maratial property state,
Self Expression

In Wisconsin, half of everything you own belongs to your spouse and half of their stuff is yours. Anyway, that's the take of this non-lawyer. Perhaps one day, when I have lots more time or want to write a book, I will go into this further and point out the realities of some of the finer points of this law. For now, however, we need only address the issue of garages.
This all came up for me when I recalled that one of the photography journals I read had a photo (what a surpise) contest. This particular and unique competition was to see who could submit a photo of the messiest darkroom. (I didn't enter because I assumed it was for amateurs, and I am a pro at messyology). This may seem off the point (here is where I elegantly bring it back to the point at hand), but it came up for me yesterday as I walked into our conjugal garage and noticed the inane blandness of Lady Linda's half.

Neat, isn't it? Even the garbage cans near the bottom of the shot appear to be at attention (do I see a cover askew on the right one? tsk, tsk). All is in order and, I can assure you, this pattern can be seen in her half of our bedroom closet. Sweaters together, shoes in a row, summer stuff on these hangers, etc..

Now, as you might expect, this neatness neurosis extends throughout her half of the house. The problem is that by my calculations her half of the house takes up about 88% of our living space (she is younger and probably studied new math. not to be ignored is the fact that her brother is a divorce attorney...but I digress...again). This results in the oft repeated phrases...that doesn't belong there...close the the drawer...where would you like this put...are you just going to leave this here...etc..

I know you can appreciate how a free spirit, like me, is made to suffer under such harsh conditions. And how, I wondered, do I take my stand, show my stuff, get my way and show my creative individuality? Pondering this, I realized that I have spent years messing up my darkroom and that these efforts have gone uncelebrated and not to forwarding the cause. Why do I say that? Because the damn thing is in the basement, and all Lady Linda has to do is close its door. Door closes, and I lose my entire persona. But wait, creativeness need not be confined to the basement. Besides, the photographer in me need not carry this burden of self expression alone.

The kayaker to the rescue, and an entirely new arena of expression is born: MY HALF OF OUR GARAGE. AHA!

And, as serendipity would have it, the work had already been done and has been waiting to be discovered. (Just now I heard a vacumn cleaner go on...good karma...I am penetrating her defenses)

I ask you, does this not say aloud, here lives a kayaker? Does it not scream to the world here lives a man not shackled by the norms of the masses?

Here is a man who claims his space and fills it, a man too above it all to be concerned with appearances. And, what a brave soul he must be to go boldly where no married man has gone before.

So, there you have it. It's my house too. It's my garage, too. And I will do with it as I please. This is where I take my stand and plant my flag (read crap). And...yes, dear, I won't go over the line onto your side. Paddle safe



derrick said...

oh just shut up and clean your damn garage will you?! LOL!!!

very funny dick!

JohnB said...

He's too busy, writing, blogging, photographing, paddling, teaching, etc. to clean his garage. And, when he's not doing those things, he's "researching", sometimes at the computer, or reading, or carrying on discussions about all the above at one of the finer coffee shops around -- frequently with me.

And, if he ever did clean his garage, he wouldn't be able to find anything as it would be all hidden away in a drawn, a box, behind a door.

Now, we have a full basement in our house, and it, like the den/office, is mine. It's a lot worse than your garage!

Silbs said...

What you said John. If I can't see it, I can't find it. Don't no body mess with my mess.

JohnB said...

I passed this on to some guys at the office, one called you a rookie--you can still see concrete on the floor.

leslie said...

I have heard that neatness counts, but what it counts for has never been explained.