Parents came by to visit – and to take home my US comics for storage, which – I’m sure you will understand – was more difficult for me to allow than most people would have guessed.
Those comics are a prized possession of stories that I enjoyed as a teen and still enjoy and they have been very formative for me, personally and creatively. Over time I have whittled down my collection to about 1000 comics, give or take, that I did not wish to sell or give away, and which I knew I would re-read again and again until I leave this dimension.
Unfortunately, in a two-room apartment of 55 sq meters + one baby, every sq meter counts.
And we’ve long had the problem, after turning the living room into baby+sleeping room that the other room was not sufficient for anything. There is a guest bed in there, book shelves, the office desk, a small table for dining (very small) and … my comics.
Char has not had any place that was ‘hers’ and we have both not had a place that was ‘ours’ – like a couch, (although the guest bed has been made make-shift couch sometimes).
So, neither fowl nor fish.
And Char was feeling increasingly, well, affected that she didn’t really have somewhere else to be than the bedroom with Jay.
So, something had to give.
I decided it was the comics, although having in mind that a friend of mine remarked that it was “usually like that” when a man and a woman had to decide which possessions to keep.
I.e.: woman gets her way – every time.
He has been through a difficult divorce so I don’t blame him for that perspective. But it might be a tad … inflexible.
In fact, although I really feel this ‘loss’ it felt like the only right choice. I wasn’t getting anything good from that room either, which was mostly used by me but wasn’t really ‘my room’ anyway – more like a storage for many different things.
We might as well start over fresh and be sharp about it. Or in other words:
‘If we are going to change it, let us Change it’.
Not just chance a bit here and there. But something that makes for a better experience for the only group that should really be prioritized now … the family.
– new couch, which is a real couch and can be used as bed, too
– rearrange desk so it can be used mostly for guests and less for office
– move office work out of house almost completely
– out with comics and their shelves
– buy television, instead of using the computer flat screen
The last thing may be superfluous but … it feels again like it is right … the proverbial icing.
Do I feel I give up my masculinity by doing this? No, I make the right choice for my family, given our current financial situation – which means we cannot really move anywhere bigger if we want to stay in the city.
I can’t both have a family and an office and a man-cave in such limited space at the same time. I shouldn’t ditch the office or the man-cave. But I have to outsource the office and temporarily ditch the cave, until such time as when we can afford a larger dwelling.
It is rational, it is right, it is the only thing to do.
But I do feel the loss of these precious items, collected since I was 13 – so for 30 years. For some it might be other precious’es – books, games, jewelry, other hobby-items – items of great personal value. It doesn’t really matter. Their loss is felt, regardless.
I had given away and sold hundreds of comics and books in the 9 months leading up to Jay’s birth and still it wasn’t enough to make room enough for a family.
So I had to give away what really mattered, although it is only temporary.
But felt, even so. A lot, in fact.
I say this about comics, some from the 60s – with unforgettable stories and worth some money. You might say this about something else.
But I’d like to think you’d do the same, if you found that there really was no other priorities that made sense.