When I Get My Way

When I get my way, things are going to be great!

There will be kegerators on each floor serving only the finest draughts money can buy. St. Pauli Girl posters will adorn at least one wall in every room. Green leather recliners will bring each room together, especially the dining room where six of them will replace the chairs of the dining room table.

Imagine a land where you can move through an entire house, from green leather recliner to green leather recliner, without ever touching the ground.

Excuse me while I get some tissue...

Instead of cleaning anything we'll just shove silica gel packs into whatever we're trying to keep fresh. Our sheets will be of the cotton jersey variety. Dirty dishes will be tossed out (after their prerequisite 2 week cool down period near the sink) and replaced with disposable containers whenever possible or brand new classy containers when the mood strikes us.

That's not even mentioning the room we'll have that has a trampoline for the floor. It'll also be tough fitting a pool table, dart board, poker table, neon bar sign, bean bag chair, four gaming systems, and my life size movie cutouts into our place but we'll make it work.


Elizabeth would have you believe I'm eager to create some sort of sports dungeon, outfitted with every possible type of collegiate male dormitory stereotype. Not true at all.

Take the green leather recliner, for instance.

We aren't talking about a chair that saw active duty in a frat house or some sort of eyesore. It's a quality (oversized to fit my gigantic frame - Hear that ladies?) chair that's built for comfort. While not the most artistically impressive chair, it is the perfect accoutrement to a man cave. No guy wants his friends squirming to find comfort in chairs from the Real World home while watching the Detroit Lions continue to set records for futility.

Plus, it shouldn't be going in any sort of main room. I get that. But in the man cave it's perfect. Not an eyesore, really comfortable, and the type of thing you need available for men to relax in.

Men who slaved all day (often putting in overtime) to bring home the bacon for their family. Rarely asking for much, we men give and give and give with little take. We just want a chair that cradles our tired and sore (muscular too, ladies!) body when we finally get home. Maybe a meal cooked for us that has the right seasoning for once and doesn't have a ratio of what we like to what we don't like of 1:9. And would it hurt to serve it in something sexy and keep the recliner's built in cooler stocked with beer?

Keeping a guy happy is pretty easy.

Vote Green Leather Recliner in 2008!

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Green Recliner, Indeed

First, let me just say that as confounding as this whole process is, and will continue to be, the reason I am willing to wade through it is because my man is adorable. That, however, does not make the green recliner and man cave ok. But I'll get to that in a moment. First I must extend thanks for the lovin we've already received here.

I think the verdict is in, by reasons of obvious overwhelming evidence, as seen here, that the girl power will overcome. I believe, that in solidarity, all women should own this symbol of artsy lofties. How great is that name? I know, pretty damn great, huh? I could, technically take credit, since the person who deserves it refuses to comment on the girly posts of this site (hmmmmph) anyway, so it's not like he'd speak up to argue, right? But anyway...back to the man cave/green recliner.

My man would like to believe that a man cave, complete with enormous tv and green lazy-boy-esque recliner, would be a great addition to the new home. Here, he would display all sort of sport related paraphernalia, including the lovely poster of the Three Stooges in golfing gear. Now, you might think that this is fair, since the majority of the design choices in the apartment will be mine. However, this would require the division of the apartment.

How is dividing this new space, meant to be shared by the two of us, a good idea? Also, it should be noted, that my design sense? It isn't about flowers and pastel colors and lace. In fact, there is nothing about my decorating style that is decidedly feminine, so he is not looking to find masculine solace in a frilly, poofy-pillowed environment. He is looking for a place to sit, surrounded by testosterone, in front of a tv displaying a game of some sort, while I clean, do laundry, etc. Not happening.

I am all about compromise, despite what he may have you believe. As an example, I present you with the solution to this particular dilemma.

He can totally sit in that much lovelier chair and watch sports, after he helps with the dishes.


I declare Shenanigans.

Yes, Shenanigans. I bet you weren't fully prepared for that, were you?

That's cool. I appreciate your naivety.

In fact, your naivety and unpreparedness are feelings I can get with. And I mean "get with" in the same way I've used it countless times while referring to sisters of friends, actresses, and the occasional fatty while drunk.

In other words, I'm going to admit that I'm completely unprepared and naive about this whole process. It's awkward. It's scary. And yet it's extremely exciting.

That being said, I'm not the hypocrite. She is. Like, totally. Way more than I am. let me explain.

So Elizabeth gives me her list. I already knew it for the most part, so I looked at places based on this criteria. I know she doesn't like the typical apartment complex thing. I'm cool with that.

So I look at old steel and cotton mills that have been turned into condos and apartments. I gather info on condo and townhome rentals. I pass by apartment complex after apartment complex. Until I get lost searching out a condo complex, and that's when I see a place that looks beautiful.

I pull in and make my way to the office. I steal a few cookies and wait to take the tour. Sure, it's an apartment complex, but it isn't typical. It's high end. It's in a really nice part of town. Lots of wide rows and new developments. Plenty of money around. The complex itself is designed like no other I've seen. I tour it and really like how it's set up when it comes to Captain Flexible's requirements.

Honestly, I looked at it solely from her point of view when it came to kitchen space and layout, closet and bathroom design, etc. I knew this wasn't perfect, but I figured it was a pretty solid option to consider in case things in the more hip communities somehow can't work out. Plus it had the benefit of location in a fancy part of town.

Now, before I left town Captain Flexible and I talked about a place she saw. A place that is admittedly in a less safe part of town, but is unbelievably cool. I saw pictures and it is. Her good friend who is in real estate in this town had told her that he believed that within a few years this area would be much better and that made it a solid investment.

She visited once, and exuded the desire to make that our place no matter what stood in our way. I spoke to my friend John, who has lived in town many years, as well as another friend K. Both told me that the area was not two years from becoming safe, and that it really wasn't a nice area to live. Living in a shit part of town is a definite veto from Uncle Bracelet.

So, keeping this in mind, I knew I owed it to her to visit the place and include it in our options, though I'll admit without reservation that I was already ranking it as a slim chance. In fact, I was probably audibly unexcited about it. From my point of view though, I wanted to make her happy by looking at her favorite place. I also know that nothing is ever concrete and you have to keep an open mind. So I knew I'd end up seeing the place during one of our future visits. Besides, we plan on renting right off the bat and these are for purchase.

I bring my materials I had gathered and show her some of the things. I pull out the folder of info from the apartment complex. She takes a look at the picture on the cover, which has a photo of part of the outside of one of the buildings, and she emphatically states, "No, this is ugly. I won't live there." And she tosses it aside.

(Or some such similar statement)

Even she'll admit it isn't ugly. But without huge windows on the outside of the building (and thinking of standard apartment complexes immediately) she wouldn't even consider it. And she wasn't willing to budge, which is the attitude which has helped me coin her Captain Flexible.

So she called me a hypocrite because I wanted her to at least check it out, while she felt I wasn't going to consider her favorite place.

Not true at all.

Double Fail.

(In your face, single Fail!)

She and I both have aspects of living which we are willing to put up with. One of my must haves is a nice area. I don't want to worry about break-ins if I don't have to. One of hers is aesthetics. I think both of us would agree about each other's opinions on living, at least for the most part.

However, I was willing to look at her place, despite mentally ranking it well behind other places, because it was important to her. She wasn't willing to even hear about my place, let alone view a floor plan or anything, yet she called ME a hypocrite!


She's lucky I sorta kinda maybe possibly really like her. Otherwise things could have gotten hairy, and I've already experienced the hairy lady thing and it wasn't cool at all.

Captain Flexible.

This, dear readers, is only the beginning. If I am to make this happen I will be risking much more than opinions on location and style. Yes, it is entirely possible that she would expect me to leave every single item of everything I own behind, maybe getting lucky enough to at least bring along 2 items of current clothing.

Coming soon? The battle of the Green Recliner and the Man Cave.


I'm going to begin this with the story of our first house hunting experience. "Our" in this case, is a very loose term, as I wasn't actually present. You see, my man gets a ton of vacation days a year, so we thought it would be wise if he used a few of them to fly down to the new city to check out some potential places to live. He was armed with a camera, a list of places I've found with the help of my sister, a friend, and various websites, and a few very specific things I'm looking for. Here's that list:

  • closet space
  • dog friendly
  • nice bathrooms, nice, open kitchen
  • in or around the artsy part of town
  • big, lofty space would be preferable to boring boxy apartment
  • windows, natural light and more windows: VERY important

Fairly simple, right? I spoke to him several times a day while he was there, hearing about how the places were. He liked some more than others, based on location or aesthetics. He found a bunch of apartments through realtors and signs as well, and he went to look at those. There were a few converted industrial loft buildings I was really excited about, he saw a couple of them, told me he liked them, and we started a short list of places we would check out when we go there together next month. All seemed to be going well.

Then he came to visit last weekend, with some literature in hand from the house hunt. I also got to see some photos he had taken. Some of the information was very exciting, though I had hoped to see more pictures. Then he pulled out a brochure that didn't seem like it fit into the rest. It was a big apartment complex, standard boxy apartment layout. Hmmm well, maybe it was in a great neighborhood, in the heart of where we'd agreed we would really like to live? Nope, not even close. Lovely neighborhood, sure, but stuck in the middle of a bunch of large, lovely homes, nowhere near where we were looking. But he liked it. He liked the wide, winding road of the neighborhood and look! Storage! For golf clubs and man cave stuff!

Let's review how it meets the list requirements:

  • closet space
  • dog friendly (marginally)
  • nice bathrooms, nice, open kitchen
    in or around the artsy part of town
    big, lofty space would be preferable to boring boxy apartment
    windows, natural light and more windows: VERY important


Needless to say, I wasn't impressed. I chucked the big, colorful pamphlet aside and he grumbled. This place, to me, was the Super Target of apartments. Sure, it may have stuff that is useful, and it may be clean and new and nice enough. But it's vanilla and boxy and there are 100 duplicates of it. I thought it was understood that we were looking for the urban boutique store of apartments. Funky and unique and quirky. There was a definite breakdown in communication. He was surprised by my "inflexibility", because I wouldn't even give it a chance, had no desire to even go see it. Did he just meet me?

To top it off, one of the places I really wanted to check out was a building I'd been to before. I didn't remember where it was (my sense of direction is awesome like that), but found out while he was there. He didn't have time to go see it, and wasn't terribly interested anyway, because a couple of people told him the neighborhood sucked. That was that. He didn't care about any other details.

I declare hypocrisy!

We will see how things go next month when we visit, but this could be more difficult than even I anticipated.