From a post last year-
When I was a twenty-something, single person I used to imagine building designs that would make communal living affordable and tolerable. Now that I’m older, married, and sometimes mutinous, I often wonder if the marital duplex is an architectural solution whose time has come. I sometimes make a random public service announcement to the other occupant of this dwelling, “The duplex saved the marriage!” The response, from the sofa, is typically crinkled blue eyes and dimpled grins.
You all know I love my husband more than air. Some of you have been around long enough to know that he can make me absolutely insane. A jury would most definitely acquit; ruling quick, painless, murder a justifiable homicide. Oh yeah, CRAZY and not the good kind either.
My husband is a wonderful person. We are very different. I am tidy and quiet. I do not worry about things that are unlikely to transpire. I hate talking on the phone. My husband is the antithesis of the domestic me. I have heard him referred to as the Domestic Dictator. My ears couldn’t believe my mouth said that.
He made dinner tonight as he does 5 nights out of 7. Really, there’s nothing to hinder him from cooking, especially if he’s so hungry he can’t wait for me to stop living my life and make dinner. Big deal, he cooks. He doesn’t do the dishes. Back to me and my pain.
He is always in a big rush to do nothing. I’m serious. Who rushes to get to the grocery store? Who prefaces every visit to the post office with the word hurry? At this stage of the game, with less time in front and most of it behind, who hurries to get through it? What is all of this hurrying about? Are we rushing around in the world so we can hustle right back home, quick, before someone steals the place on the couch? What? What necessitates the haste?
There’s more. He is messy. All those orderly years on boats with a place for everything and everything in its place did not come ashore. You can tell where he’s been because everything is amiss. Rest assured, the business equipment and the fishing tackle are not kept in such disarray. I never sit down because it takes a village to pick up after him. Yes, I suppose you have a point. I am sitting now but that’s because I’m busy living my life while my husband is in a static ice cream euphoria on the couch.
If we lived in a duplex, my side could be a vision of pristine loveliness, a television free zone. There would be music. No one would suggest that I ought to answer the phone when my relatives called or, for that matter, when their relatives called. The telephone would never ring because I wouldn’t have one. There would be no conversation about work. No one would expect me to stop living my life to aid and abet them in their pursuits. I would be able to relax in peace.
The duplex is the perfect solution; if everyone would agree to remain in their own domain. One of us would be on the wrong side of the duplex all the time, making a big mess where once there was blissful tidiness. One of us would do some ordinary endearing thing, the same kind of thing that happens nearly every day, that would demolish the resolve of the other. Therein lies the dilemma.