For those of you who are fairly new around these parts, my husband MTM is an architect. This means a girl has to live with a lot of quirks the uninitiated may not understand. For instance, I can’t just go out and buy stuff to decorate our house. The architect has an opinion about every minute detail, things normal people don’t even notice.

Like whether the tip of the hook that I want to hang on the back of the door is appropriately sleek or too bulbous. (It is going on the BACK OF THE DOOR. I am going to hang stuff on it, rendering this whole issue irrelevant – unless one is an architect. Just knowing an out-of-proportion thing-a-ma-jig is anywhere in the house causes him to lose sleep. And fidget. And draw too much.)

Or, how about this one? I wanted to buy some scrapbook albums to store useless crap, I mean MEMORIES, from trips we’ve taken. Cards from restaurants. Programs from tours. You get the idea. I bought a cheap one at Target and shuttled it home. “I think the outer cover is too fat. The proportions are off. Can you take it back and exchange it for something else?” (This thing was going on a bottom shelf, stuffed in a cranny behind – yes, I KNOW, DEAR – overstuffed, not-architecturally-approved chairs that I retained from my single days. He started twitching when I suggested that, really, it’s just a dumb scrapbook and he will forget all about it in a few hours. I lost that one, dragging the thing back to Target for a more, ahem, appropriate model.)

These preposterous rules, I mean DESIGN STANDARDS, follow us wherever we go. When we travel, MTM has to stay in sleek, mod design hotels. They are uncluttered, a haven of happy where he sleeps like a babe.

Only, a lot of places are too podunk, I mean SMALL, to have a refuge for the hip-and-cool set, leaving poor MTM scrounging around online for something – anything – that will not assault his tender design sensibilities. This weekend, he is SOL. We are going to meet our guide son for the first time. He lives in a small town in the Hudson River Valley, a gorgeous place that contains nothing for accommodation but bed-and-breakfasts. You know those, right? Filled with Victorian antiques. And floral wallpaper. And chintz curtains that are so pouffy they’re called ‘window treatments.’ (Sort of how my house was decorated before I married an architect.)

MTM’s eyes will probably roll back in his head to keep from having to look at the place. I can see him now, sitting out in the garden, facing away from the building, cradling his sleek Moleskine computer bag and doodling alternative weekend universes on a roll of toilet paper from the bathroom while I try to fall asleep alone amidst an upchuck of flowers, a setting that is how my life used to be. Every night of every week of every month of every lonely year.

I’ll trade those floral apparitions for my well-designed architect man. Anytime.

Too Much is Just Enough: My Architect

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