Friday, August 06, 2010

A Room of One's Own

Virginia Woolf says I need a room of my own. I think a nap, a loft, a secretary, a nanny and a well-stocked bar could be more helpful.

If I had a room of my own, I'd just fill it with all those boxes of crap in my attic that I haven't taken to the thrift store. In fact, I had a room of my own. It was my sewing corner. It is now full of clothes to mend, sweaters looking for a summer home, the children's art supplies and another pile of things that I don't have the energy to throw away. I'm no longer sentimental, I'm just really damn tired.

I also had a car of my own. It looks like my children got some weird chewing disease and ground through our belongings leaving nothing but shreds, crumbs, and my blotted lipstick prints. My car has become a possum den on wheels. That is not to say that I don't sometimes get in it and drive nowhere in particular just to feel quiet and alone, as much as that is possible with Ben Nichols hollerin' at me on the hifi and that infernal honkin' sound behind me at stoplights.

My grandmother bequested a man chair to my husband which quickly became a chair of my own. Just last night I wasted some hours and sanity I can never recover on that chair watching "Sin City". Does any movie ever need that many severed heads? In addition to causing me to make questionable choices of cinematic "entertainment" that chair also gives me a neck ache and I have to fuss with the children to sit in it so it is not the throne of my calm. (Hopefully all men reading this are toasting my poor seatless husband at this point because no matter who is blogging it: that man never gets that seat.)

I gave up on the bathroom as the room of my own when the children arrived. As Mom, I am the one person everyone is allowed to interrupt in the bathroom. How did I become the least interesting naked person in the house? Sometimes I forget that I am allowed some privacy and just leave the door open so I can skip the process of screeching, banging and sudden entry most favored by my 5 year old. Today two of my buddies pulled shower shifts in there due to a power outage in Southside and the DIY renovation of a bathroom in Carytown. These are my drinking buddies so I have this dreadful feeling that when I take my shower limericks are going to appear on the mirror and walls as soon as they steam up.

There was a brief and wonderful period when the kitchen was all mine. I picked everything out for its renovation and personally rode herd on the construction crew whom I also picked. The light strip now needs replacing, the floor needs a moppin', the fridge needs a scrubbin, and I feel like Loretta Lynn every time I go in there. Plus both those dudes who used my shower today cook better than I do so I've lost my will to excel in that joint. It has become a place to put the cereal box and the dog bowls.

So I whine and pout about not having a room of my own and then I have a day like today. This morning I toured a shelter for people trying to rebuild their lives. They live in 6 by 8 foot cubicles for a year. For lunch I visited a new friend and broke the bad news that she needs to convert her lovely sitting area of her beautiful historic home to a hospital room for her mother. I then came home and joyfully played hostess to the friends needing showers and the friend coming to get his dog we've been babysitting for a week. And when they all left, I truly missed them and wished they'd all come back.

Now I sit at the dining room table trying to blog and have been interrupted countless times by phones and texts, yelling and hungry children, sneezing dogs, and various reminders of the countless undone chores. And I am gateful for a big heart with room enough for all of this and more.

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