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My hubby Chase and I had a discussion the other day about “office space.” In particular, we discussed, “garage office space,” meaning “man-cave space,” the place he goes to indulge his chainsaw masculine proclivities. The conversation went something like this:

“Hey babe, I need a space in the garage so I can put together my uber-cool, found-object frames for the uber-cool art show I’m having in March where I’ll hopefully bring in some bacon for the family. Bacon, baby bacon!


“I don’t need a big space, just a table. And a place to store all the random metal stuff I’ve found.”

Deep, discernable pause.

Now, let me say that the garage is cinder-block. It’s small, with a sketchy roof and grease stains that run the length of the cement floor. This is not a pretty man-cave. It’s a cold, stark, stuffed to the brim with detritus kind of man-cave. And Chase loves it. Mostly. It has some stuff he’d rather not contend with: the chair with the painted bear wearing a straw hat that we can’t get rid of or a grandma in the vicinity will be filled with anguish; the Red Ryder BB gun he bought me for Christmas that busted the first time we tried to shoot a beer can out of the almond tree; boxes of stuff that we’re afraid to look through, and a huge, cedar amoire that holds all the plastic water toys that the little ones go gonzo over in the summer. That stuff stays. To his dismay.

But he has his workbench and his inversion table. He has shelves and shelves of boxes filled with PVC piping and assorted adhesives, chainsaws, bikes, and a toolbox as big as our two-year old.

“I don’t really want you using the garage.”

“Huh? Why not?”

“Well, it’s a mess and I don’t really want to clean it. I don’t have time. And it’s really, really cold in there. Colder than it is outside.

Why don’t you use the carport?” he says, with a modicum of enthusiasm.

So there it is. My office, my art space is a carport. And really, this is the way it is…this is an American cultural experience, right here in my home. Arts funding has been cut and cut and cut. We love what you’re doing really, but we don’t have much space for this kind of thing. There’s a broom closet at the end of the hall.  Awkward, stilted smiley face.

So we discuss, Chase and I, and the discussion goes round a bit and I agree to the carport. Because, honestly, once I’m doing my happy artist thing, I’m a sucker. I’ll do it anywhere. And this is both true and not true. I’m a sucker but I’m also pissed. I want a room of my own and because my particular passion has not yet learned a great business model for bringing in the bacon, I get a carport.

Hours later:

Chase and I discuss my sad state. I try not to sit and eat my pity cake. It’s cold outside. We agree to move things around in the garage and get a propane heater. I get the garage. I’m moving up.