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Rob Taylor " Wall Space: Where a man dare not hang his hat

Rob Taylor
If Guys Could Talk

Man’s gradual migration to the great indoors has not been without its speed bumps.

For example, one wife living near C Lazy U Ranch recently told her husband to hang his taxidermy trophies above the toilet.

“Company can admire your dead beasts when they go to the bathroom,” she explained – insisting that their Rocky Mountain cabin maintain a Better Homes and

Garden feel rather than something endorsed by the NRA.

While logical minds wonder who can piddle while staring down a 5-foot-long badger, she would not back down. Her spouse was forced to barge in on houseguests relieving themselves and say, “Oh, sorry. I didn’t know you were in here. By the way, what do you think of the mounted pheasant?” Never has a conversation piece sparked so much controversy.

Isolated incident or epidemic? You decide.

In a recent, unofficial poll, four out of five Grand County husbands have been banned from hanging anything (without feminine supervision) in the living room, kitchen, the office, hallways, bathrooms or bedrooms. Two out of five – despite the accusation of being colorblind – were granted decorative liberties in the garage, and one out of five is not allowed to enter his house.

Could this be feminine chauvinism ” telling a man that his place is not in the home?

To sort through the madness, I tried contacting Dr. Phil and Oprah who both – conveniently – were unavailable for comment.

One husband copped to joining a local men’s organization – where they conduct secret vigil and don those funny little hats – under false pretenses. Civic duty? Not hardly. For him, it is an outlet for pent-up rage.

“She (my wife) won’t let me hang my cutthroat trout in the bedroom, so I joined this organization,” he confessed. “Now I decorate my head with this absurd hat. She lives in fear that her friends will see me and take pictures.”

But the fisherman is not alone; many suffering husbands have innocently attempted to hang a sentimental tool, wild game head or Broncos paraphernalia on the walls of his castle. This act is punishable with the following interrogation (or so I was told).

“What is that,” the decorating dictator demands. This is not a question. It is followed with, “You’re not putting that thing on the wall; it doesn’t match the color scheme.”

Thing? Color scheme? These guys find themselves quoting Shakespeare out of spite, crying, “Let slip the dogs of war.”

The masculine decor ban is giving law enforcement officials fits, leaving them scratching their heads at residential crime scenes. If the suspect is a married man, there usually isn’t a single household item representing his personality. These homes – for the most part – are identical: tributes to lighthouses and country picnics.

“HGTV addict. Nothing of value here,” the profiler reports to the lead detective, shaking his head.

“But wait,” you say (if you are one of the guilty), remembering that – against your better judgment – you allowed your spouse to adorn the garage or basement. You might as well say, “My love is as deep as the dungeon that I let you decorate.” These poor souls don’t want to decorate the bowels of the house; they want something real, something the public can see.

The guys I spoke with had little hope of ever be allowed to decorate: A glaring omission in the traditional wedding vows. Saying “I do” was misconstrued as verbal consent for kissing worthy decor goodbye. It was boxed up, thrown out and sentenced to garage sales.

One local Wall Scrooge (who asked to remain anonymous) took responsibility for her past sins and has begun making amends.

“I cleared a 4-foot by 4-foot section of wall in the living room and told my husband to ‘go crazy’. It’s an eyesore now, but he bought me diamond earrings for our anniversary.”

The give and take sparked something after 20 years of marriage, rekindling candlelight dinners and slow kisses. Together – for the first time – they watched “The Terminator” and “Steel Magnolias” with open minds, each finding something positive to say about their mate’s peculiar movie tastes.

The magic was back, breathing life into a tired relationship … proving that a little wall space does indeed go a long way.

” To contact Rob Taylor, e-mail ifguyscouldtalk@hotmail.com


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