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Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Our house is what is known in Israeli parlance as a 'cottage'.  In the US it would probably be called a 'townhouse', meaning it is one of several attached multi-story, single family homes that sit beside one another facing the street.  The layout inside is not particularly unique:

Main Level - Living-room (what Israelis call a salon), dining-room, kitchen, pantry/laundry room and half bath.

Upper Level - Three bedrooms, two full baths (Ari & Gili's bedrooms plus the guest suite)

Lower Level - Master bedroom suite (including full bath) and two smaller bedrooms (Zahava's office plus Yonah's nursery)

For the purposes of today's post let's confine ourselves to the present and future disposition of the lower level space.

In principal Zahava's office is supposed to be 'our' shared office.  But in reality her graphic design business has completely taken over the room to the extent that it has become her studio exclusively.   I didn't really make much of a fuss about this since in my mind Yonah's nursery would become my office/workshop as soon as he was old enough to move in with Gilad.  Unfortunately, two issues have conspired to keep me office-less for the foreseeable future:

1.  Zahava and I aren't quite ready to move our 'baby' up to the big kid's floor.  First of all, Yonah still requires a lot of extra 'handling' (a post for another day) before bed as well as first thing in the morning.  These are responsibilities that, in my mind, really shouldn't fall on the shoulders of the 'big kids' as they have enough on their plates just keeping their rooms neat habitable from becoming an environmental disaster zone... not to mention getting their homework done.  Also, there is the small detail that I'm not prepared to give up views like this in the 'wee' (pun intended) hours of the morning:


2.  Now that Yonah's move upstairs has become imminent rather than some theoretical future event, Zahava has started demanding dropping hints that the nursery be converted into a walk-in closet for her rather than a study/workshop for me.  Right now all of my shop tools and beekeeping equipment are stacked in the back hallway, and my computer lives on a stand next to my bed.  Don't I deserve a space of my own??? [~pout~]

So in short, while we may be conflicted over when to finally move Yonah upstairs... the future disposition of his nursery seems set to be the site of a looming conflict all its own.

Not looking for anyone to take sides here or anything, but if you feel like offering an opinion...


Posted by David Bogner on February 28, 2007 | Permalink


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Ummmm.... hate to disagree, but I have no aspirations to turn that room into a walk-in closet -- nor do I have the wardrobe to warrant such a request. I DID however, entertain fleeting dreams of setting up a sewing room.... Ariella has been hoching me nischt g'chinik (spelling?! pronunciation?)to share Savta's (z"l) craft with her....

Posted by: zahava | Feb 28, 2007 11:49:35 AM

Oh... and since you've unfairly stacked the deck....

1) The office has, in part, become my office de facto because you no longer work off a desktop computer, preferring to work off your laptop on a stand which hovers conveniently over your BED -- thus allowing you to combine your two favorite pursuits (being horizontal and surfing) simultaneously!

2)Using a room in the house to store gardening equipment compared to say... buying an outdoor storage shed... just strikes me as plain WRONG! Interior space is a premium, man!

Oh... and now that you've included several thousand of our "closest" acquaintances to weigh in on family decisions.... I wouldn't be complaining any more about what I "share" with your trempistim when I am on the diborit! :-)

Posted by: zahava | Feb 28, 2007 11:56:58 AM

Zahava... a) You were the one who brought up the walk-in closet concept, not me;
b) From a man's perspective a sewing room and a walk-in closet are essentially the same thing (wasted space with lots of clothes and material hanging around);
c)Yes, I enjoy surfing in bed, but I abandoned the office mostly because you stole my Aeron chair and began stacking your stuff on all my work surfaces;
d) All of the gardening equipment is already in our very functional outdoor shed. I only mentioned my beekeeping equipment and my shop tools;
e)if you want to continue sharing the most intimate details of Yonah's excretory exploits with a car full of strangers... feel free. :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Feb 28, 2007 12:06:11 PM

Oh man... i can't even weigh in officially on this one because 1) i'll always vote for an office (i'm a writer and a bibliophile, hello!) and 2) i must back a wife on her dispute because i'm sure she has the whole home's most practical needs at heart. But this places me in the middle, and alas, the balance is struck as neutral with me...

And naughty trep for letting your web community see your child's bum while peeing. Someday he will rue the moment you purchased a camera, let alone started a blog!

Posted by: mercurial scribe | Feb 28, 2007 1:11:54 PM


Seriously, did I mention how fantastic you two are?

I can only wonder about Yonah's reaction when he discovers these "priceless" pictures available for public viewing :-P

Posted by: tnspr569 | Feb 28, 2007 1:17:15 PM

"... and then, Ruti cancelled her Build-a-Blog account, realizing that she, too, would one day come to immortalize interesting personal details..."

So. You keep bees, huh?

Posted by: rutimizrachi | Feb 28, 2007 2:43:54 PM

Natan (the 3 year old) walked over as I was reading todays post and said 'who is that'. I reminded him that it is his friend Yonah in Israel. He studied the picture of Yonahs backside intently and pronounced 'I don't remember him'. Good thing.

Posted by: Chedva | Feb 28, 2007 3:07:32 PM

Good, sweet, merciful L-rd! This is such a rookie mistake that it's painful to watch. Just do whatever Zahava says. Hear me now. Believe me later.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Feb 28, 2007 3:46:12 PM

If Zahava is happy, you'll be happy. Really. Think about a desk and/or chair in the guest suite--you're not going to use the laptop on Shabbat, which is when you have guests, right?

Posted by: aliyah06 | Feb 28, 2007 4:04:16 PM

Never a good sign when your wife posts a response then feels the need for an addendum. I'm glad I'm not in chez Trep today.

Posted by: jersey boy | Feb 28, 2007 4:10:32 PM

I love to watch married people fight. And I love to meddle. You both make good points. However, I think beekeeping and shop tools should be in a shop. Is the nursery big enough to be a shop? Would you want to lug equipment up and down stairs? Perhaps another outbuilding would be best. But if Zahava (beautiful name BTW) doesn't end up making good use of a sewing room (I know I wouldn't) it would be quite a waste. Although sewing a lot could expand the wardrobe so that the room would be needed also for a walkin closet.
I think this warrants further discussion between you and looking at other options.
Do you use the guest room a lot?

Posted by: jeannie | Feb 28, 2007 4:29:50 PM

Mmm. Sounds like some sort of house extension (even underground) might be a great idea.....

Posted by: Judy | Feb 28, 2007 5:50:28 PM

i must back a wife on her dispute because i'm sure she has the whole home's most practical needs at heart.

Sorry, I had some very insightful advice but I am still laughing too hard at this comment.


Posted by: Jack | Feb 28, 2007 5:55:28 PM

Oh, boy! If I shared even 1/10th of the house space conflicts that I have with my husband on my blog....we'd be speaking to lawyers in the blink of an eye! (Lets just say that one of us is a saver and the other is not...)

Posted by: westbankmama | Feb 28, 2007 5:59:59 PM

yah right trepp...the minute you didn't run to lick your finger and touch all the walls, you lost...smile graciously and pretend it doesn't hurt

Posted by: marallyn | Feb 28, 2007 6:06:15 PM

Zahava's self-controlled response is TRULY masterful... man, you'd better beware walking in the house tonight! ;) Things will be swinging!!! Will you be sharing the ramifications of this???!!!

Posted by: val | Feb 28, 2007 6:22:52 PM

Whatever Zahava wants...But I hate getting in the middle of a married couple's disagreement.

Posted by: SaraK | Feb 28, 2007 6:57:07 PM

I think you are out of luck...the women ALWAYS win!

Poor Yonah...imagine when he is older how horrified he'll be to know that the jblogosphere has seen his tuchis.

Posted by: orieyenta | Feb 28, 2007 7:53:56 PM

I am relishing the fact that you've exposed yourself this way three days before Purim.

Posted by: Ben Chorin | Feb 28, 2007 10:56:28 PM

this is just too much fun.

Posted by: weese | Feb 28, 2007 10:59:35 PM

Hm, I wonder if Hubby and I disagreed across our blogs, we'd be more civil to each other? ;)

Posted by: projgen | Mar 1, 2007 2:20:16 AM

To your question: "Don't I deserve a space of my own?" Of course you do...not. Rule number 1 in any happy marraige is to give the wife what she wants. Rule number 2 is if you don't violate rule #1 she will give you what you want! Be a man and build her that "closet". Now maybe you do prefer playing with the bees and hand tools by yourself? I built out our walk in closet years ago, effectively doubling its capacity thinking I would have access to maybe 40% of it. Then reality set in...20% tops. And everyday when she walks into that "closet" she is reminded of the sacrifices I've made for our family, and then she remembers rule #2. Nuff said.

Posted by: Ethan Barnett | Mar 1, 2007 3:33:26 AM

I do agree with most people.. keep the wife happy! However in this case I think an office would be prudent. David, I remember you mentioning a while back you had trouble sleeping... Surfing the net in bed, not a great idea... Many of my patients with insomnia found it helped to stop surfing, Tv watching etc. in bed.. better "sleep hygeine"

Posted by: David | Mar 1, 2007 3:36:13 AM

Ooooh that was hard to watch/read but even as I read the post I totally saw that coming. Zahava totally schooled you on your own blog. That's like being pants-ed in the cafeteria!

Sorry man!

Posted by: Shifra | Mar 1, 2007 3:39:05 AM

Agree with "Just do whatever Zahava says. Hear me now. Believe me later."

She seems to like you a lot, though. She might just try to help you out on this, once you've conceded the point ;) LOL

Posted by: Seattle | Mar 1, 2007 7:22:19 AM

Yeah; we're ALL going to say "keep the wife happy" when posting on a blog...

Me, too!

Now that we've dispensed with that--

Trep: I think the bee-keeping equipment is the key here. Subtly imply that the use of the room as a walk-in closet (or sewing room) would inevitably necessitate the keeping of at least one hive of bees in the kitchen and perhaps another in the master bath.

Between you and me, I'm sure a "logical" chain of reason could be trumped up to support the cause and effect.

P.S. in OUR dream house of he future, I've designed -- all for myself -- a "Luddite" room, which will have no electrical outlets in it. Just books and legal pads and maybe a typewriter. And a cot.

Oh, and no cats in there, either.

A man can dream...

Posted by: wrymouth | Mar 1, 2007 9:23:31 AM

mercurial scribe... Hmmm, I'll leave alone your assumptions about my wife's intentions, but as to 'exposing' my kids here on the blog... let's just say that since they'll all be in therapy for years, they might as well get their money's worth. :-)

tnspr569... The word 'patricide' comes to mind. :-)

rutimizrachi... Yeah right, like the damage hasn't already been done. :-)

Chedva... Well there's a relief! :-)

Doctor Bean... There's a reason our couch has a big David-shaped indentation on it. :-)

aliyah06... "If Zahava is happy you'll be happy". That sounds suspiciously like extortion, no?

jersey boy... Surprisingly little bruising.

jeannie... "Do you use the guest room a lot?" Only after posts like this one. :-)

Judy... See, I don't get that. Why extend the house. Zahava has a nice big office that with an extra working surface could double as a sewing room. But did anyone suggest that? Noooooo.

Jack... Be nice!

westbankmama... What's the problem? You might need that broken flashlight for something someday. Really! :-)

marallyn... Oh, is that like the house equivalent of calling shotgun? How come I didn't know that???

Val... no.

SaraK... Oh yeah... way to stay neutral! Your loyalty is touching. ;-)

orieyenta... Like I always say; He'll probably be in therapy anyway due to our bad parenting... so he might as well get his money's worth. :-)

Ben Chorin... Could be worse... it could be three days before Pesach.

weese... You mean to tell me I've cultivated your friendship all this time and you're going to side with my wife too?! Sheesh!

projgen... I wouldn't recommend it as a substitute for counseling. :-)

Ethan Barnett... Why am I starting to think that whoever wrote those rules lacked a Y Chromosome?

David... THANK YOU! See that people? A little loyalty is all I'm saying!

Shifra... Maybe so, but she still needs me to open jars and lift heavy stuff.

Seattle... Uh huh... and the Palestinians will suddenly become the best of neighbors if we only give in to all their demands. Good strategy!

wrymouth... Um, I said I wanted a study, not a divorce. Zahava is terrified of bees! BTW, the Luddite room sounds interesting, but where do you plug in the vacuum cleaner?

Posted by: treppenwitz | Mar 1, 2007 11:02:51 AM

Since I'm way too smart to take sides between Zahava and you (it's just not worth risking my coffee supply when in Israel), I just wanted to clarify one insignificant point:

By "guest suite", what you really meant was "Cara's room". I'm just letting you loan it to other people while I'm across the Atlantic.

Posted by: Cara | Mar 1, 2007 6:28:12 PM

ouch! I thought you knew better than to write a post like this, Mr. Bogner! ;-). Zahava went easy on you, IMO!

However, because I agree with her that indoor space is primo, I can't see the justification of making a room just for sewing when it isn't something she is passionate about, but rather something she is being strongly encouraged to try 'get into'. Chances are good that the hobby may not take off and then you have a space that isn't used nearly as much as an office would be for someone who spends as much time as you seem to at a computer...THAT is a waste of primo space.

Bee equipment...build a shed. Sounds like wanting to put your gardening equipment and lawn mower in the guest room. It's outside stuff!

Ok, that was my 2 kroner's worth!

Posted by: nrg | Mar 1, 2007 6:31:08 PM

Jack... Be nice!

Sox fans are so sensitive.

Posted by: Jack | Mar 1, 2007 6:59:39 PM

Mmmmm.... sorry NRG -- I wasn't clear. I DO sew -- it isn't a hobby that might not take off. Have been sewing for over 30 years! Used to make all of Ariella's Shabbat dresses. Ariella teach her, but I lack a Yonah-proof place to set stuff up. The pins, the needles, and the pieces of fabric, pattern and instructions would be more than his curiosity would bear.

Posted by: zahava | Mar 1, 2007 7:48:16 PM

Wow, Zahava - you do not even look like you´re thirty years old!

Needless to say - I think you should have a Yonah-proof place !

Bee-stuff is better off in a shed.

Posted by: medbrain | Mar 1, 2007 9:24:41 PM

ah, I was confused by the Hebrew that I have no chance of understanding! I thought your lovely daughter was nudging you to join in someone else's love of sewing (I made the assumption a grandmother or aunt)... amazing the conclusions we jump to when we don't understand all the words we read...
my apologies.
Well, then it is up to the two of you to decide whether each of you get your own office, or you make Yonah's room into a room that can also be Ariella's and can serve as a 'safe' ('is anything really safe with boys around the age of three?', she asks knowingly) space where mother and daughter can share in a bonding activity...
I would love to be able to sew. My mother made me a dress once... I am forever thankful that she never attempted to share that knowledge (or lack thereof) with me... it was not her strong point! :-).

My son is almost three... I still have him in a crib...I tell others that it's for containment purposes. He has never tried to climb out and he likes to wake at 5:30 on saturday mornings, so the crib is convenient. But, really, I just want him to stay my baby a wee bit longer...I've made myself set a deadline of his third birthday, but it just isn't easy to let the last one leave the 'baby' stage, is it?

Good luck, you two!
and sorry for the assumptions. I should know better! :-)

Posted by: nrg | Mar 1, 2007 11:19:17 PM

Since you have shop tools, perhaps you're handy with carpentry? You could build and paint a closet organizer for your wife's existing closet. She'd be happy with something new, well-designed closet organizers create an amazing amount of space, and then the nursery would be all yours. It could be a good compromise!
Whatever you decide, good luck!!

Posted by: Shosh | Mar 2, 2007 5:41:19 AM

David, I hope your doghouse is air conditioned. If it's not, then you might want to install a window unit and use it as an office....before you have to move in. :)

Save that pic, it'll come in handy when Yonah is a teenager.

"Boy, you had better behave yourself or I'll show your friends *that* picture."

"NOOOoooo, please don't!"

My Dad had one of me that was very similar, except that one was taken through a car door on the side of the road. The good news is that the pic is now safely in my possession.

Posted by: K Newman | Mar 2, 2007 6:09:40 AM

Hi! Please grab anti-Olmert's Purim buttons from http://samsonblinded.org/blog/purim_banners.htm
The buttons are free and could be hotlinked. Let's make some fun of Olmert!

Posted by: Eugene Gershin | Mar 2, 2007 1:58:04 PM

How 'bout a walk-in closet with a toilet? You'd never have to leave.

Posted by: Elisson | Mar 2, 2007 6:25:38 PM

Cara... OF course, my mistake for not having made that clear.

nrg... Well, Zahava corrected the part partaining to her... but it is worth pointing out that some of my bee stuff is indoor work (assembling frames, etc.) and needs a workspace to accomplish (not to mention to store materials).

Shosh.... If by 'handy' you mean that I still have both my hands, then yes... I'm handy. Beyond that I can't say much for my skills.

K Newman... And the negative? ;-)

Eugene Gershin... Thanks for advertising in my comments section. Pure class.

Elisson... Throw in WiFi and I'd REALLY never leave. :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Mar 3, 2007 9:12:09 PM

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