Musings of a Chicago-Born New Yorker

Hyde Park Confessional

There is a confession coming, I promise. There’s just some back story first.

The other night, the husband and I were having a heart to heart of sorts. We were sitting on our comfy couch in our cluttered apartment on a not-so-quiet street in Hyde Park. We’re very close, but with our schedules, we don’t always have time to just sit down and share what’s in our hearts. Me being the emotiphobe that I am, those moments are even fewer than they could be.

While we sat down and chatted over a bowl of chicken noodle soup, we discussed several things. We talked about the husband’s music career and where we saw it going and what we could do to make it happen. That may not seem like an emotional conversation, but it is. He’s so passionate about his music and I’m so passionate about supporting his dreams. So it was quite emotional.

The husband also got emotional about our apartment. He seemed like a cartoon character at wit’s end. If he didn’t have a shaved head, his hair would’ve been standing on end. It was starting to bother him that we still weren’t unpacked and we still hadn’t managed to de-wedding our house. In general, the clutter and the stuff-just-everywhere was becoming overwhelming and making him unhappy.

The husband is dramatic and if you can imagine a Southern Belle dramatic spell, but a masculine dude who expresses himself by burying his face in my cleavage, you might be able to see what happened in your mind’s eye. After he poured out and begged me to help make it better, I made a confession.

I told him that I’d been dying to get our house organized and clutter-free, but I noticed that it wasn’t going well. He doesn’t see the importance of having a specific place to put his things. He abhors spending money. And when I organize things, it takes him forever to remember the organization because he never really invests in them.

Every apartment I’ve lived in before this one (6 different ones) have been laid out well. Everything had a spot. It was organized and well-arranged. Even when things got cluttered, it was because I was busy and didn’t take the time to straighten up. But when I did, it went smoothly because everything had a location other than “the floor where I stopped walking”.

I’d been waiting for him to get sick of the place looking like we were slowly being buried under a pile of shoes, clothes, and stacks of paper and tulle and instruments. Starting Project UnPack didn’t do it. But letting him get overwhelmed did. The husband was not happy. He wasn’t angry, he was just stressed. And he wasn’t a fan of the idea that I’d purposely let the house get that bad.

But it worked! Monday after choir rehearsal at one of his schools (I help out with the kinderfolk) we’re going to The Container Store. We’re starting with the living room and getting things organized. I’m hoping to put together custom stacked shelves for all his instruments. If a shelf only fits one instrument, he’ll actually keep it where it goes.

I figure I’ve only got 2-3 more of these left in our marriage before it doesn’t work anymore. But shameless long-term manipulation works. When used wisely. And whilst still a newlywed. Ask me in 20 years if it still works. But for now, I’m actually getting help from the husband on Project UnPack!

4 responses

  1. free penny press

    I like that title..”Project Unpack”.. have fun!!

    March 10, 2012 at 11:42

  2. silverneurotic

    Haha, sounds like an idea to me. I’ll have to try it…as long as living half way unpacked doesn’t drive ME up the wall first.

    March 11, 2012 at 09:18

    • That’s the key, will it make you crazy? Spousonomics would tell me that manipulating my spouse like that is all kinds of wrong, but whatev

      March 16, 2012 at 19:13