Published 12:00 am Monday, January 25, 1999

By Deborah Corrao / L’Observateur / January 25, 1999

Not long ago my colleague Lenny Gray wrote a column about his penchant for collecting what I consider useless paper and stacking it up around his room at home.

I’m asking for rebuttal time. So here goes our little version of “Point-Counterpoint.”First of all, Lenny admits to having a study at home so stacked with magazines and old comic books that he can hardly open the door.

I would challenge Lenny to give me 20 minutes in that room.

Study? What study? At my house my husband and I occupy one room, my son another, and my granddaughter the other bedroom. We had one additional room that at onetime housed my husband’s collections that were about as meaningful and useful as Lenny’s.

Last year we remodeled, opening a wall, turning that room that once housed piles and piles of yellowing posters and pictures of football players into a dining room. My husband laments the relocation of the dustmagnets to boxes stacked in storage.

I say to Lenny and to all men out there that while a man’s home may be his castle, the queen can’t stand the clutter.

Even if the door is closed, Lenny, we know it’s there.

A well-known author who counsels men and women in marriage relationships says the male partner in the marriage needs what he refers to as a “cave”-a place where he can be surrounded by his mess and spend time alone.

My response: When I get a cave (or what I would prefer to refer to as “sacred space”), he can have a cave.”Sometimes I feel like a sparrow released over the ocean looking for a tiny bit of driftwood to roost.

I walk around my own home and can’t find a comfortable corner to call my own.

If I go into the den, my husband is reclined in front of the wide-screen TV exercising the male prerogative of channel-surfing (something that’s been scientifically proven to drive women mad).

The sitting room (aka old dining room) has no furniture. The remodelingzapped my budget.

The kitchen is, well, the kitchen.

We do have a small room off the laundry room, but because we don’t have adequate attic space, we must use it for storage.

Even my bathroom is not sacred even though I’ve managed to keep the male members of the species out of it most of the time.

And my husband insists, for some strange reason, that we actually use our double carport to park cars.

One day I’m going to just blow a gasket.

So, Lenny, when your wife asks you to vacuum-just vacuum.

Deborah Corrao is a reporter for L’Observateur

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