My husband built our house a few years before we had gotten together. It’s a beautiful home with a cathedral ceiling and a walkaround brick fireplace located between the living and dining room areas. Near the front door, he constructed a half wall which essentially created an 8-foot wide walkway from that door into the living room. That was something I’d never seen before. This half wall was 15 feet long and stood at about waist level. Imagine, if you were to come in our front door, the half wall is on your left, you can walk with your hand gliding along its top, and to the right is the wall which includes the door our bedroom. A really long living room couch backed up against this half wall and there were end tables with lamps on either end. Can you picture it?
Now, over time (not that much time, mind you), this half wall, the great wall of clutter, became a very irritating, anxiety-provoking, excrutiatingly painful eye sore to me. I swear its primary evil purpose was to attract clutter. You know, crap like mail, newspapers, or anything else that could not find its way back to its proper home. My compulsive desire, er need, to keep it cleaned off at all times was repeatedly met with epic, catastrophic failure. Over time, my irritation bubbled into an intense loathing. I hated that damn wall and I’m convinced it could feel it, too!
One evening, my eldest daughter came to our house, opened the storm door and was knocking on the decorative, beveled glass windows of our front door. She would normaly just come on in, but on this visit the door was locked. At any other time, I would rise up from my seat, walk all the way around the half wall, then walk all the way down the little hallway to the front door and unlock it. However, this time, not wanting to miss too much of whatever we’d been watching on TV, or perhaps I was simply too tired, I decided to take a little shortcut. I thought I’d save some time and effort by reaching the lock from the end of the couch nearest that front door.
I immediately discovered that reaching the door lock from the couch was a complete impossibility. Plan B ensues. I climb up on the couch and commence to straddling my body across the great wall of clutter. I’m strategically balancing my weight over it while successfully avoiding the lamp on the end table right beside me. Such grace and coordination I possessed. My rendition of the famous Dirty Dancing lift was done to perfection. Ha! Acually, it looked more like I was trying to give myself the Heimlich manuever.
Now, reaching the door lock from this angle and position was not as simple as I had envisioned. I couldn’t reach it enough to sufficiently grip the lock knob with my fingers. I can do this. The great wall of clutter will not beat me! I scooted my belly a tiny bit more across this wall and stretched my body toward the door as far as it would allow. Just as the sharp wood edges of the evil half wall are about to rupture my spleen, I achieved a firm grasp on the door lock. Yay! With the anticipation that my daughter will be able to enter our house in mere seconds, I begin turning the door lock. At this same moment, however, I am also feeling my balance wavering and I knew, without a doubt, I would be tumbling over the wall onto the floor. A bit of panic washed over me and I’m thinking, OMG! I‘m going to fall over this wall and hit the floor! This is going to hurt! I swear to you, this all happened in super-slow motion, yet I was completely unable to stop the momentum already in full swing. My face was getting closer and closer to the floor (Gee, I should really vaccuum over here…), I was doing the best I could to brace myself for the all-over body pain I was expecting upon my impact with the floor and my feet effectively knocked the lamp to the living room floor as I’m doing a sloppy somersault to the other side.
My husband, who had witnessed the entire saga from his favorite seat in the living room, immediately jumped up to see if I was okay. He finds me lying there, my knees bent up towards my chest, barely breathing and laughing without emitting any sound. My daughter’s raucous laughter could be heard from the other side of the still locked front door. The half wall was giggling and whispering to me, “How do you like me now?” Evil wall! It’s been more than ten years since this happened and I have yet to see my husband laugh as hard as he did that day! And, he laughed for quite a long time, too.
Coincidently, after we’d been married for a few years, I convinced my husband to tear down the wall in order to “open up the space into the living room.” While he pounded holes into that half wall with a hammer, I stood there witnessing the painful demise of the great wall of clutter, wringing my hands with a contented evil grin on my face.
Mwah ha ha, how do you like ME now?!