Well, the new windows are in, but most of our stuff is still stacked up in big piles, as they're still patching/plastering over the holes and the re-cast concrete. I made a HUGE mistake of asking The Wife if she'd like to go to a different paint color than the "Navaho White" that we'd always gone with. This dislodged a whole avalanche of "projects", MOST of which involve throwing out stuff that I've had forever, and turning my office/library into a playroom for The Girls.
Now, from MY perspective I see this CLEARLY being about The Wife wanting the living room to be "tidy" and realizing that if The Girls have any claim to the living room, it will be chaotic. So, when she gets started on all the various justifications on why my office should be the place for the playroom all I hear is "I don't like having the living room messy", with everything else being made-up crap to try to make this sound important enough to trash my stuff.
The OTHER thing that's making me crazy is her total disregard of my having a LIBRARY. The concept of living in an environment without a decent library (or library/office/den/storage as the case may be) makes me feel like I'd be living in the recurring "hillbilly sketch" from the Amanda show (go ahead, hit me with a fish!). The Wife launches into "Oh, like you're always reading all those books!", obviously not "getting" the point of a library ... who has a library so that they are constantly going back and re-reading the books there? Nobody? The library is there to allow you to reference stuff you might be recaling, but it is primarily a history of one's intellectual journey, which, by it's very presence around one, gives on-going CONTEXT for one's current reading. Typically, she suggests that I could move it into a closet area ... somehow mentally shrinking 25 running feet of wall coverage down to 8-10 feet of possible space. When I point out that this would be IMPOSSIBLE, she then says, "why not put it in storage?". This, firstly and most obviously, defeats the whole purpose of A LIBRARY ... turning a 10-minute "look over the titles, flip through some books, find the reference/passage" efort of refreshing one's mind on something (which I pretty much do weekly), to a "go to storage locker, dig through 60# boxes, find book, find passage, hand-copy needed info, re-file book, re-file boxes, return from storage area" 3-hour excursion! Not to mention that to STORE my current library would require at least SIXTY 15x10x24" storage boxes, creating a filng nightmare (gee ... do I really want to move four 60# boxes to get to one on the lower tier?
I just wish I could make The Wife see that this whole "apartment make-over" comes from HER neuroses, and not from any practical concerns. I have NO PROBLEM letting The Girls "have the livingroom" for when they have fiends over. The Wife, however, has one of those "neat freak" obsessions, where destroying what you have is the first option (the joke about her before we got married was that she'd "move when the windows got dirty", being that it was easier for her to MOVE than to clean the windows ... same thing for clothes, she'll throw out a shirt that's lost a button rather than "being bothered" to sew it back on!). Because she's so humiliated by the mess The Girls generate, if ever the parents of one of their friends actually appear in our place, she'll go HIDE in the back and pretend she's not here (assuming, of course, that I'm here to greet them).
Now, to put this in context, we have NO "friends" aside from the parents of The Girls' friends, and these are folks that we typically only see in passing. I used to have a LOT of friends, but one by one they got "exiled" by The Wife to the point that the ONLY person I could get to help me with all the moving stuff was my old college buddy Bob who came down three times from Madison last month to lend a hand. The Wife has come to try to avoid all her old firends (except for one back in Columbus), and gets into a panic whenever they call ... I'll talk to them, but she's standing there frantically miming that she's not in. As such, the ONLY people who ever see our place with any frequency are the delivery guys from the grocery store. As 90% of the "importance" of having the living room made tidy (which involves banishing The Girls to a "playroom" which would be created by getting rid of ALL MY STUFF, etc.) is her not wanting to be identiied with the mess, it seems to me like this is something that she should be discussing with her SHRINK.
I resent the suggestion that I should eradicate a lifetime's worth of my things simply because she's afraid that the grocery delivery guys might think she keeps a messy home ... and, frankly, that's what this all boils down to. It was bad enough when her meds made her 100% dis-interested in sex, but taking away my one little corner where I can be ME, and know who I AM, is too damn much. I hope she realizes how "erasing all traces of Brendan" from the house (which is pretty much what she's trying to achieve) might succeed in total!