The decision was made shortly after my husband realized I was addicted to porn. Not porn-porn. Or even food-porn. My addiction comes in the form of house-porn. Yes, nothing gets my pulse racing like photos of finished basements, walk-in closets and lot and lots of (say it with me) storage space.
So how does one get a house-porn addiction? Lots of ways, I suppose, but mine began when my family started out-growing our current home.
I was stumbling over toys cause there was no place to put them.
And losing extremely important papers because there was no place to put them.
And butting heads with my kids because there was no place to put them!
I hated making meals for my family because I knew it was gonna begin with a large pot falling on my toes when I opened the lower cabinets or a landslide of Tupperware crashing onto my head when I opened the higher cabinets.
I stopped doing crafts with my kids because whenever the craft closet was opened something, usually something glitter related, would tip over and squirt all over the carpet. Or jars of tiny buttons would get knocked over. Or, in most cases, totes of puzzles and paints and games wouldn’t be put back in the correct spot so the whole damn thing became the topsy tuvy suicide closet from hell!
I tried to explain this to my husband. I told him we were just growing out of our home. Yes, some of it was that we needed to get rid of stuff, but some of it was just…us.
He didn’t listen. Or maybe he was just in denial.
He suggested we have a garage sale. And that we make monthly donations to Goodwill.
“We just need to get organized. And get rid of some of these damn toys”, he offered.
So we headed out to the garage. Most of that stuff is crap anyways, right? It’s just stuff that we couldn’t bear to get rid of but we couldn’t stand to have in the house anymore. Certainly, getting rid of this shit would be easy enough!
So I popped an old dirty sheet into the trash.
And he popped it out.
“I think I can use that…”
I tossed an old wheel to an old toy truck into the sack.
He blocked my shot.
“Better keep this in case we come across that fire truck.”
It didn’t take too long before we were bickering at each other and I retreated to our bedroom to sulk amid totes of “skinny-clothes” and mountains of folders marked “Possible story ideas” and towers of his Mustang Monthly magazines.
And here’s where the addiction began, because I wasn’t so much sulking as using our tiff as an excuse to hide back in our room with a glass of OJ and a copy of House Beautiful.
And on another day it was a can of Coke and the latest Better Homes and Gardens.
And somehow that became a Vodka Tonic and the fastest homes-for-sale websites I could get to pull up on the desktop!
No one saw it as a problem. At least, no one said anything. It was just a hobby. I wasn’t hurting anyone. I was fine. It was fine. Everything was fine, fine, fine.
Til that fateful night in April.
I remember there was a thunderstorm. It woke me from a very deep sleep. I repositioned my pillow, but before my head could rest I heard a voice. It was a delicious James Earl Jones kind of voice.
“Get up and look at some built-in book shelves” it commanded.
And I did.
I also clicked on natural stone walls, wide plank floors, hand-hewn beams, lattice-designed sinks! It was hell and ecstasy all in one! I hated myself and yet couldn’t resist, couldn’t stop clicking, Clicking, CLICKING away through all the pretty pretty pictures.
Steven got up for work hours later. He found me sitting in the slutty glow of a listing for a cabin in Vermont for 8 million dollars. When I heard him approach, I turned and faintly smiled.
“Look at that natural wood. And those cute cubbies under the staircase.”
He finally admitted, it was time to get help. And it was time to move on.