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Help! I Am Married to an Architect!

Wall at the Trapholt Museum. Kolding, Denmark.

That’s the name of my most popular pin board on Pinterest. Help! I am married to an architect!¬†Scrolling through the collection of followers reveals a posse of certified, breathing architects following my pseudo-architect board. News flash for those poor souls: What I knew about architecture before I met MTM could fit between the covers of a rag like People magazine. My preferred form of design was swirly Victorian. Gingerbread details. Luscious tassels. Explosions of flowers erupting anywhere the eye could light. (MTM doesn’t even call Victorian a form of design. It’s too hideous to deserve it.)

Here and there, I write about architecture on this blog, always with a squirmy feeling akin to the onset of a stomach bug. It isn’t that I don’t like studying finishes, roof lines, glass angles, and – most important – screw details. When a German architect asked me what brand of architecture I practiced, I knew I’d picked up enough of the dizzying lingo to fake my way through a basic conversation.

No.

The onset of squeamishness usually accompanies confusion. Ogling the built environment leaves me equal parts thunderstruck by the smorgasbord of creative possibility and rattled by the bargain basement I comprehend. I know what I like, but I don’t know WHY I like it.

Being married to an architect can endanger a girl, too. I spend time wandering around cities, craning my head to ingest the spaces suspended above me. Walking out in traffic or stepping off a curb and twisting my ankle are routine perils for a soul like me. Once, I clogged pedestrian flow on the Brooklyn Bridge, because I decided to lie prone on the walkway to take a picture of an art installation through a crack in the wooden pavers, setting off a chain reaction of face-down humanity. (Which was funny. Why didn’t I think to take a photo of THAT??)

To understand this thing my man loves, I would stop time.

All I have are words. To describe what can be seen. To relay what happens inside me. To explain the angles and contours of a very basic human need. And, because my pre-editor notes that I tell rather than show too much in my writing, spending a week recounting architectural experiences, juxtaposing them onto an unequally yoked marriage, might give me a chance to work through a tick.

I hope you’ll draw along with me, Dear Reader, that through my fingers you may see.

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