Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Combining courtship and marriage, Ol’ Robbo has been manacled to Mrs. R for over thirty years, so you’d think I’d have learned a thing or two about her methods by now. Apparently not.

The ground floor of Port Swiller Manor is the standard colonial layout: dining room and kitchen/breakfast room on one side of the hall, “front” room and library on the other.

For reasons entirely too complicated (and boring) to go into here, apart from Ol’ Robbo’s piano-bashing and setting up the Christmas Tree each year, we almost never use the front room. It’s basically been a dead space for the twenty years we’ve lived here.

Recently, I found myself musing that we really ought to do something about this, i.e., make the space more comfortable and liveable. The room faces southwest and in the winter gets a lot of light. How nice it would be, I thought, to be able to relax there with a good book and a cuppa kawfee. As fond as I am of my library (which faces northeast), even I am bound to admit that in the winter it gets a bit Stygian.

My mistake, especially grievous considering my above-mentioned veteran status, was to carry on these musings aloud and within earshot of Mrs. R. Before I even knew where I was, she had already started – in the words of the mainstream media these days – pouncing and seizing. First, she discovered a great big leather sectional sofa being offered at a fire-sale price by some nearby people moving to the West Coast. Then she collared the son of some friends of ours who owns a pickup truck to haul the thing over. He and I then had to remove the existing furniture (a couple of more formal – and rayther stiff – sofas) and manhandle the new one (in two large, bulky pieces) into the house.

Mrs. R doesn’t want to let go of the old sofas, but instead to save them for eventual use when she someday converts one of the Gels’ bedrooms into “a little sitting room” for herself. So Ol’ Robbo has to find a place, somehow, to store them. Also, the leather of the new sofa clashes egregiously with the front room paint, so I have to repaint the walls in a more complimentary color. In addition, Mrs. R has decided that I need to move my desk up out of the basement and establish my indoor office in one corner of the room “so [I] can get more light while [I’m] working.” And she’s been sending an almost constant stream of text messages about this or that lamp, end-table, and desk chair.

It almost exhausts me just to write about it. Mind you, it’s all to the good, but it’s quite a long step between idle conception and the mechanics of actual implementation, and I strongly suspect that with this – and every other – “project”, Mrs. R never really bothers with that part of the math. (Whether this is an individual quirk of hers or more representative in general of her half of the species, I am unable to say. Wimminz. What are you going to do?)

But then, as I say, I really only have myself to blame.