Womanifest Destiny


Were it not for the gaudy Guinness poster on the living room wall or the pair of balled up socks I invariably leave on the floor by the couch, you could walk into my apartment on any given day and have no idea that I even live there. In fact, should I ever go on the lam, all the missus need do is seal off my closet door after throwing out my razor and the boys from CSI would basically have nothing to work with.
In other parts of the world, men have garages, dens, studies, offices or “man caves” where they are allowed to proudly display all their wares. In dense urban areas such as Hoboken, where space is at a premium, men stand by and helplessly watch as their female partners slowly ferry all their crap to the curb, leaving said men to run and find a corner bar where they adopt a stool and pretend like everything hanging on the wall is theirs.
This explains why there are bars on every corner in dense urban areas. These men could always stand their ground at home, but having to live in such close quarters they find it wise to pick their battles carefully – like when they want to go down to the bar, for instance.
Personally I had never really had a problem with this arrangement. I wear one outfit per season and I’m hardly a technophile with loads of gadgets, so it’s no skin off my backside whether or not she needs our entire bedroom closet, a massive dresser taking up 30 percent of our bedroom, the majority of the hamper, all of the dryer and various piles accumulating through the house – each full of clothes that seemingly “don’t fit” her. But as the saying goes, give an inch and they take a mile (or 800 sq. ft. in Hoboken terms), and there’s one theater of battle where my passive stance is seeing me overrun – the bathroom.
We have three shelves behind our bathroom mirror where my darling wife leaves just enough room for my razor, a can of shaving cream, a stick of deodorant and some aftershave. The rest of the shelves are spring-loaded with the contents of the entire L’Oreal kiosk from Macy’s – to the point that whenever I open the mirror I have to duck away from whatever’s being sprayed in my face. Should I err to graze the object wedged in next to my deodorant, the entire structure comes down like a game of Jenga, signaling my audacious breech as it all clatters in the sink.
Worse yet is the ongoing turf war in the bath itself. Here she has the distinct advantage considering her arsenal of various cleaning agents are all held in rigid plastic containers, whereas mine is mere bar of soap that just so happens to melt in water. Should I fail to reinforce my steadfast yet withering sentry, its spot is immediately usurped by one of the 27 empty yet obviously meaningful bottles of shampoo my wife feels the need to keep on hand.
It’s to the point now where I’m actually considering a reversion to college days and investing in a shower caddy, if only I had room for it in my closet. See, I now share that little Danzig Corridor with my 15-month-old son. Stuck between that growing pressure on the eastern front and my wife’s insatiable quest for lebensraum on the west, I know how Poland felt in the 1930s… like it’s in the way.
Of course I could always ask them to put in a shower at the bar. But then I’d hate to have to wonder whose hair that was on my soap…

Christopher M. Halleron, freelance writer/bitter bartender, writes a biweekly humor column for The Midweek Reporter. He spends a lot of his time either in front of or behind the bar in Hoboken, New Jersey where his tolerance for liquor grows stronger as his tolerance for society is eroded on a daily basis. Feel free to drop him a line at editorial@hudsonreporter.com.


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