I think one of the milestones of a marriage is catching your spouse in the act of doing something that they used to get away with when they were single and had some semblance of privacy. The Supreme Court can’t describe the content of pornography, but they know it when they see it. I agree that it is hard to define pornographic material by its content alone, but perhaps the more accurate measure of whether something appeals to the prurient interest is what someone does when you catch them with it…
I walked into my marital bedroom last night to just in time to see Imaginary Husband quickly hide some sort of reading material behind the bed and try to look like he had been casually watching Family Guy before I walked in.
“What, uh… whacha got there behind the bed?” I asked nonjudgmentally.
“Who? I mean, huh? Uh, nuthin,” he responded lamely.
He didn’t try to stop me from discovering his secret stash, but he should have. Magazines. Nine in total. One dedicated entirely to leather. That’s a thing? And, P.S., magazines? What is this, 1985? Isn’t all this done on the internet now? But fine, I don’t mind him looking. As long as it stops there.
“Ian,” I said, “you know these magazines don’t reflect reality, right? I mean, real people don’t live in houses like these. Real people can’t afford this stuff. Restoration Hardware warps impressionable young homeowners’ concepts of materiality. And most insidiously, they send their 9-volume tour of fetishes—unsolicited—right to your door.”
“I know,” he replied. “I just like to pretend. It’s harmless, I promise.”
So I decided to look at the furniture volume. Just to see what the fuss was all about. The centerfold just knocked my socks off. A 7-foot mahogany faux-antique armoire with wrought iron studding and hand-carved vertical inlays oh God YES mama liiiiiike! A pharmacy cabinet? I’ve never even heard of that before but now I can’t live without it! So how much does it… $5,000!?!? We could refurnish the entire house from Ikea—twice—for that much. Obscenity! I am going to burn this abomination and from now on mister you are just going to ogle degrading pictures of naked women. It’s healthier and better for our relationship.
So while Imaginary Husband measures various windows for hand-woven Persian linen curtains that we will never get, I will be gambling away our home decor budget at poker. Chris and Sarah will be hosting at [——–]. Start time 8pm. $10 buy-in (so it’s our Ikea decor budget I’ll be gambling) and bring booze or a snack to share. The first 9 people to RSVP get their choice of a 2014 Restoration Hardware catalogue.