Friday, September 05, 2008

Silence of the Ferrets

I love my fiancé, but he is not a quiet man. My job at the magazine factory ends in a few days, and as I sit at my desk practicing for my life as stay-at-home writer, I’m realizing exactly how much noise Dr. Fiancé makes—quite a bit more noise than a writer would like to have in her quiet, cozy upstairs writing nest.

We’ve spent months preparing the sunroom in the back upstairs corner of the house (a spacious Craftsman with views of both a sparkling lake and a jagged, majestic mountain range) to be my writing (and occasional art-making) studio—picking up paint chips from the paint store, choosing the perfect color for the walls, returning to the paint store when I change my mind about the color (the antiquey shade of green of my old chalkboard or the ever-so-slightly bluer shade of green of this long-sleeved t-shirt?), finally settling on a color I dreamt of one night (a creamy mushroom color that is no shade of green at all), moving 4,113 boxes of books from my apartment, buying a charming little shabby-chic dinner-mint-colored desk and glass-front cupboard from a garage sale at which the purveyor explained she was having the sale because she’d just gotten engaged and was moving in with her fiancé. When I told her I was, too, she asked, forlorn, “And he lets you have this kind of stuff in the house? I've had to switch to a modern-Asian aesthetic, which I don't mind, but. . .”

Ah, yes, aside from his distaste for my family's rhubarb crisp, I have the perfect fiancé. He owns a house! He's Jewish! He's a doctor! I'm engaged to a Jewish homeowning doctor!

Though did I mention the noise? Dr. Fiancé clomps and sighs and paces and slams and stomps and shouts “English!” and “Customer service!” into the phone more often than would seem necessary. It rattles my bones and grates on my nerves, and I can hear it all perfectly from my upstairs corner pocket. After decades of bachelorhood, the doctor is accustomed to having the house all to himself. And did I mention that when the house was built back in the early 1900s, they used paper for walls and cardboard for ceilings? We’re not allowed to pee in the upstairs bathroom when guests are over because from the couch, every drop that falls into the toilet sounds as if it’s falling on your head. I don’t mind so much, but the doctor has a greater sense of decorum about such things. As he is fond of saying, he was not raised by ferrets.

If he had been, he’d likely tread much more quietly on his tiny little paws.

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