Sunday, December 28, 2008

... and here is my most recent column that ran in Austin Monthly Home.

Just in case you missed it. :)

“I’m sorry honey, I completely underestimated the purpose of your closet and I will do everything within my power to respect your space, your things and the overall sacredness that is YOUR closet.”

My wife would be thrilled if I wrote that statement 100 times on a giant chalkboard, but the problem is… it’s not going to happen. I hate to further perpetuate the obvious differences between men and women, but the way we think of our closets is a big one. It’s hard for me to get our brains around how women feel about their closets. The key word is “feel”. It’s complicated

To men, there is no attachment to a closet. It’s a space where we shove our stuff. I literally mean, shove our stuff in there. It starts when we are kids. Mom says to clean up your room or you can’t watch Monday Night Football. So, we scoop everything up into our arms and shove it into the closet. As soon as you open it, baseballs, basketballs, skateboards and race car sets come tumbling down. We never really outgrow this. Our closet is eternally a hidden space to hide things for a surprise inspection.

I have talked to several adult women about their relationships with their closets. They were all very passionate about the things they love and hate. I found them all very interesting.

I was shocked at the number of married couples that don’t share a closet. Some because they are well off and have the his/hers setup, just off the master bedroom. More often they have the setup that means she got the master closet and he gets dressed somewhere else. I don’t think she really cares where. The men that are not in the master closet are typically newlyweds that are so fresh, excited and willing to please their new bride they make this move right off the bat. Bad idea guys. You will spend years trying to fight your way back into the master, especially when you find yourself sharing space with your toddler. It doesn’t really make a man feel like a power executive when he accidentally tries on his three year olds Spiderman undies. I was in the guest room as a newlywed, didn’t want to wake up my new bride with my early hours. I still love her, don’t get me wrong, but she’s the first person I’m waking up if I can’t find my keys.

Women love to be able to see every single pair of shoes they own at a glance. This takes a lot of space. This problem has arisen from the shoe boutiques that display their items in what I call “shoe condo’s”. Little private residences for your footwear. Women want this same sort of glam treatment for their shoes at home. For most, this is not very realistic, so we go to The Container Store on mission to organize our closets. I have a theory on those shelving systems they sell. The only one’s that have ever been built and actually exist as a complete setup are the ones on display in the store. When you attempt to replicate this in your home closet, the boxes you buy that are supposed to mimick these systems are just misc spare parts that are not intended to go together whatsoever. How many of us have fallen for the Elf system, only to be left on our closet floor in the fetal position wimpering?

Women like to break down their closet into specific sections, casual, dresses, t-shirts, jeans, etc…
They are way off base with their labeling. If they were being honest their sections would be more like this; fat clothes, skinny clothes, out of style, too fancy, not fancy enough, not mine, shows too much cleavage, don’t know why I still have this, all of my friends have seen me in the recently, and let’s not forget the stained/ripped/torn needs attention section.

All women love the concept of having something new in their closet that they have NEVER worn, preferably still with the tag on it. It makes them feel special. I’ve found an easy, affordable remedy for this situation. I make the rounds to all the finer boutiques in town with some fresh cupcakes. I offer the cakes in exchange for some high priced tags which I take home and attach to my wife’s old clothing. Women will either fall for this or think they are going crazy. Either way, it’s entertaining.

I’ve always been fascinated with the number of purses women will keep. They typically take up all the upper shelf space in their closets. They hang on to them forever knowing full well that they are never going to go back to an older purse. Why won’t they part with these things? Have you ever given any thought to the amount of money women will drop on designer purses? I’ve always been perplexed by the fact that women will spend far more on a container for their money than the amount of money they posses. That’s completely illogical and unreasonable. Of course, if I wanted logic and reason, I could just marry my computer. The day they design a computer with breasts, women are in trouble.

I know there are a lot of other things my wife would like for our closet, besides me moving outside into a Rubbermaid shed. Just to name a few, I think she would like twice the size, a full length mirror with rotating stage, a balance bar on the wall, matching hangers throughout (a chick thing and completely ridiculous), a lock on the door to keep me and the kid out, a tv, a pedicurist, a chocolate fountain, a hot tub, a young shirtless towel boy for when she steps out of the hot tub, and live performances from latin boy bands on the weekend and/or Oprah. Other than that, I think she loves our closet.

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