Saturday, 29 November 2008

It's a Man's World, but the Bedroom Don't Mean Nothin' Without a Woman or a Girl

So I spent last weekend in Atlanta. The conversation about gendered spaces came up again, although this time I got feedback from my boyfriend Chris, whose corner of his bedroom I had taken over. He scored points with me saying that the bedroom should be a shared space. Really?, I thought, as I reorganized my oversized suitcase blocking the master bathroom.

Ideally, a home, especially the bedroom, should feel as though it is a shared space for those who live there. Most men will take a back seat to decorating, protesting the occasional stuffed bird or pink walls (or curtains, in my case.) Chris's house, on the other hand, is distinctly his own, which is something I can appreciate. He has a plethora prints, a series of monochrome paintings that line his hallway, and a large abstract drawing that forms the focal point (though it competes with his "tiny" television) of his living room. There are leather couches, ample lighting throughout, and a pairs of glass doors that open to a porch (where both male and female smokers congregate.)

Where we were great at sharing space, aside from the obvious, was in the kitchen. Ordinarily, I am territorial in this space, but with the right person I move in tandem with my partner. The kitchen, I was told, was more or less an eyesore before Chris has his way with it. Now replete with slate and granite, and all new appliances, including a gas range, it's a cozy space, and probably the place where we spent a good amount of my visit. We cooked several meals together for ourselves and friends. There was his chicken, pasta carbonara, and chicken salad, paired with my risotto, steak, and grits.

Back in my tiny Oxford home, I crave the company I had in Atlanta. People complain about sharing a home, but I've realized how much we miss out on when we stir a pot of risotto together. A bed even seems more inviting when it becomes a place to disappear to together.

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