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.
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.