Friday, August 20, 2010

Desk Job

Poor me.

That’s all I could think, as I watched Hubby and a man I had never met carry my desk out of my house and into the strange man’s car.

Poor me.

Sure, it had been my idea to sell one of our desks on Craigslist – along with an office chair, a bookcase and a sleeper sofa (still available - $300 OBO!).  But seeing my (great condition!) Crate & Barrel Drake Desk go made me pout involuntarily at the man who bought it.

Unlike the bookcase (rustic and charming!), the office chair (commanding without taking up too much space!) or the sleeper sofa (again, still available, make an offer!), I had a deeply personal relationship with my dearly departed desk.

For three years after Zev was born, I worked my tush off at that desk, pounding away features for the New York Times, stories for the L.A. Times, various blog posts, fashion columns and pithy comments for TV personalities to utter on the Red Carpet.

Some of the dark veneer had worn off a bit on the edge where I had rested my wrists all these years (I know, I know, terribly un-ergonomic). I can’t tell you how many foot itches were relieved by stretching my legs forward and rubbing my dogs against the thin metal cords that served as the desk’s cross support beams.

It was a good little desk. Sigh. Poor me.

When I took a part-time job outside the home last year, I pretty much traded time at my desk for time at a cubicle ... and my desk suffered for it. Papers that I had only intended to lay on the desk For Just A Moment became Stacks of Papers I Will Never Look At Again. With the advent of the iPhone, it became apparent that I’d only really ever use my desk for the occasional freelance piece (like the one you’re reading now!).

There is a joke that the Jewish custom of breaking the glass at a wedding signifies the last time a man will ever put his foot down in the relationship, but my desk’s fate was finally sealed by Hubby when we bought our new house.  Our new home office ain’t big enough for two desks. Hubby hated my desk; I had no hard feelings toward his, and, so bye-bye desk. Poor me.

I know that I no longer need my desk as much as I used to, but I still want a place to write occasionally. I need a place to store my little stapler, the one I always forget I have, the one (come to think of it) I stole from Hubby years ago. Where will I put my stolen, forgotten stapler?

Not to worry, said my magnanimous Hubby. We’ll share my desk.

When we stood together under the chupah, Hubby and I vowed to share our lives together. We vowed to share our home together. But I don’t remember the ketubah spelling out any details about a desk. Two writers, one desk? Will this work?

Yes, Hubby reassured. We’ve shared a bathroom for almost two decades. We can share a desk. (I hoped this wasn’t a commentary on what I produce at the keyboard.) So, I sit at our now-communal desk, writing my very first dispatch from the uncharted waters of shared deskdom.

Hubby walks in and asks what I’m writing about.

“About how I’ll miss having my own desk.”

He stares at me. My massive computer is plopped in the center of the wide plank tabletop, while Hubby’s puny laptop cowers off to the side, dwarfed by my monitor’s shadow. I’ve adjusted the chair to my liking. I slid a phonebook on the floor to act as a footrest. My water glass sits to the left of the keyboard. And I’ve laid a few pieces of paper down For Just a Moment over by the desk light.

He blinks.

I can feel the look of realization cross over my face.

“Oh,” I say.

Poor Hubby.


  1. I can related. We had to turn our two-desk office into an office/guest room when mother-in-law moved in with us briefly. So, I lost my desk. I've not been organized since. I truly miss having a space to keep all my paper-stuff and feel like a gypsy in my own house, moving my laptop from place to place.

    1. I can so relate. It's funny though, when we got new computer desks, I suddenly miss having to fight for space.