Saturday, October 13, 2007

Functional versus Aesthetic Workspaces - Which Do You Prefer?

Husband: We should get rid of this rickety, old desk in your office and get something nicer. Like this. (Shows me photos from an online business furniture store - deep cherry wood, shiny surfaces, modern designs).

Me: My desk is fine. I never really think about it. Besides, that price tag is pretty steep (I like to save, remember?).

Husband: But how can you work in here?

We had this conversation about two weeks ago and we both discovered something about ourselves that night.

My husband prefers an aesthetic workspace. Walk in his office at work - you'll see modern black frames with crisp black-and-white photos that he took and developed himself and diplomas that showcase his undergraduate and graduate degrees in pristine and artistic frames. Even at home, he's bothered by pictures that are crooked, rooms that are cluttered, and colors that don't quite match.

I, on the other hand, prefer a functional workspace. Don't misunderstand me here. My space is organized and clean, but it's also rather practical and plain. That's partially because we don't have unlimited finances and partially because I'm not particularly tied up by "prettiness." I want to have a working laptop, a wireless Internet connection, an organized filing system, steno pads within reach, and pens with nice, dark ink (I'm finicky when it comes to pens). Candles? Paintings of scenic landscapes? Flowers? Unnecessary.

These same "leanings" affect our home too. For example, about a month ago, my husband suggested that we give away our TV and DVD player. My response was immediate: "Okay." After all, we haven't turned on our TV for over six months so it's not very functional.

You've probably guessed that I'm not very sentimental when it comes to my belongings - unless they are useful. I give things away often. Our wedding guest book? Toss it! That little crayon drawing that I created when I was five? Gone! The bridesmaid dress that I wore to my sister's wedding? Sayonara! You get the idea.

This is an ideal place to interject and send out a memo to family and friends - If you give me something nostalgic and don't specifically say that you want me to keep it, there's a good chance I won't. Not because I don't love you or cherish the memory. I just am not fond of keeping things around that aren't useful.

So there you have it. Two different preferences for workspaces. Which category do you fall in to?


Melissa Garrett said...

OMG!! I think we may have been separated at birth - LOL! I get quite antsy with all the extraneous "stuff" lying about. Unfortunately, with three kids, there's a lot. Oh, how I wish my husband would suggest getting rid of the TV and DVD player, as I see it as the root of so many of our (as a family) downfalls. Unfortunately, that is the one area of our marriage we just don't see eye to eye. I do tend to hold onto my kids' things - knitted hospital caps, first drawings, letters to Santa . . . but I cannot stand knick-knacks. Can't. Stand. Them.

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