When I began writing seriously a couple of years ago, I was taking my laptop to the couch, to my bed or to a coffee shop that offered free WiFi. Then I started accumulating papers and business cards, so I filed them in my bedroom closet next to that string bikini I couldn’t fit my National Geographic boobs in, but refused to get rid of. My filing system was very methodical and included Ziploc bags with chicken scratch marker titles like “People from my first writing conference” and “Email these people”. The last bag was misplaced under some hoodies from last season, so I apologize if I begged you for a business card and then never contacted you. I have boxes of my own business cards next to my bed and piles of manuscript papers in a dusty corner next to our bedroom door. When I was interviewed a couple of months back as part of a blog series about being a mom and creating art, the woman asked for photos of my work space and I was mortified. I sent her pictures of my dirty couch, a pile of papers, and my computer which was propped up against a wall in our hallway. It was then that I realized this whole writing thing would be a lot easier if I had a space I could call my own. With a door. There would also need to be a sign that threatened an ass whooping to anyone who knocked unless they were on fire or choking on a giant marble.
My office project began in earnest. Initially I had planned to create an office space in our basement, in a tiny windowless room next to the water heater. It would have worked, but I hated being that far away from my front porch. It would also take substantial exercise to get to the fridge 20 times an hour and no one needs to deal with that kind of bullshit. I pitched my husband on the idea of using our sitting room as my office. It’s one of those front rooms that I always saw at my friend’s house as a kid and thought “One day I will have a sitting room where there is white furniture, vacuum lines, and I won’t let anyone sit in it.” Because it makes perfect sense to have a room in your house that no one can use. It’s one of those stupid fucking sitting rooms. We have used it for Christmas trees, ugly furniture, games we never play, and most recently it became a warehouse for my thrift store purchases of wood projects that I was going to refinish when I had time. Which would be in about 28 years. We never sat in the sitting room and it sure as fuck never had vacuum lines. Who vacuums a room no one uses? The hubs was open to the idea and so my office project began.
When beginning a remodeling project, I like to get the ball rolling by sitting on my ass and looking through Pinterest pages devoted to decorating, painting, and craft projects that I would never in a million years be able to create. This part of the process takes about 79 hours and it’s a complete fucking waste of my time. Next I like to go down the path less traveled and obsess about repainting the room, although it had been painted two years ago and looked perfectly fine. To most people. I bought some oops paint from the Home Depot, thereby saving myself about $32 and then spent that plus a shit load more on a room separating screen that would serve as a door. Putting in a door would have negated the entire project due to cost, so it was the next best option. At this point, I have done absolutely nothing to the actual room because I’m clearly a professional who knows exactly how to create an office space. Next on the list is to spend my entire paycheck at IKEA on items that may or may not work in an office, shit I can’t possibly put together, and a flat bed truck full of cinnamon rolls for when the work actually begins. I hope you are taking notes.
At this point of the remodel, I’m working at my sister’s cleaning company and I’m exhausted. This seems like the perfect time for me to stay up until 1:00 AM painting my new office. After guzzling a few beers. The fact that I didn’t cover the carpet in gray paint or dump the entire can on my yoga pants is nothing short of a miracle. Drunk painting is just how I roll. (Roll, paint…you see what I did there?) Mr. 8 took a break from his Friday night TV marathon to help with one corner of the room and that corner turned out better than all the painting I did the entire night. He was sober so it makes sense. The room is now painted, I have piles of IKEA shit in there, a free dining table that will serve as my desk, and it’s time to put it all together. In true form, I let it all sit that way for a week. Avoidance seems to work really well when you are trying to accomplish a project. My hope was that at some point a decorating fairy, who looked like Nate Berkus, would show up and put this whole shit show together for me. He never showed.
Yesterday I finally began unpacking, hanging shelves, and dusting a bunch of crap from other areas of the house that would now make their home in my office. During this unpacking and organizing process, I found two items that seemed out of the ordinary for most home offices. Once upon a time I had a desk that I filled it with random crap and then never used. Miss 12 took over that desk, I packed all that shit in a box, and now I found myself unpacking pens, notepads, and sex toys. Yes, sex toys. In the midst of my office set up, I came across a mini vibrator and edible wax that I apparently had kept in my desk years earlier. I don’t remember using them, but I suppose if I ever needed to have a quickie with myself while dripping wax on my ass, the best spot for that to happen would be my office. ‘What the fuck’ doesn’t even begin to describe my thoughts as I held that little blue vibrator in my hand. It’s possible that I am the only writer on the planet who keeps wax and a vibrator in her desk.
The office is mostly finished. I have one Pinterest project that I’m going to attempt, but it will most likely end in tragedy, so don’t hold out hope for pictures of that. Those Pinterest crafters make it sound really easy to glue scrapbook paper to clipboards and hang them on your wall, but they have never dealt with someone who is as craft challenged as I am. In my high school sewing class, I couldn’t even sew a square bag with a handle. That atrocity ended up being crooked and had one strap that was longer than the other. That experience confirmed my complete lack of crafting ability at an early age. My clipboard project will most likely end up looking like a preschool macaroni project where the glue is dripping to the bottom and the noodles are stuck to my forehead. I’ll be forced to hide it in some Rubbermaid tote for my kids to find later in my life, at which point they can lovingly remember what a shit show their mom really was. Maybe I’ll hide that mini vibrator in there, too.