A Guy's Guide to
by Dan H. Woods
It came as a
bit of surprise to me when I got married and my
wife and I moved in our first home together that
my opinions on arranging the furniture were not
needed. Or desired, to be quite frank. Up until
that point, I had never doubted my furniture
arranging skills -- skills I had honed to a keen
edge as a bachelor.
moving into my first apartment. Standing in the
living room surrounded by my possessions, I gave
the furniture placement due consideration --
nearly a full minute. Following time-tested guy
tradition, I set up the TV first, carefully
positioning it for maximum viewing performance (i.e.,
anywhere within the cord's reach of an outlet).
Then I carefully put the couch against the wall
across from the TV. The coffee table -- an up-ended
cable spool made of plywood that had been "acquired"
from the phone company and was the source of
great bachelor pride -- went in front of the
couch. This classic set up is, of course, in
strict accordance with "guy feng shui"
and maximizes the guy-harmony in the room.
went next to the TV on what I like to think of as
style shelving: cement blocks and a sawed-off
plank. My speakers, which were another source of
great pride and were each roughly the size of a
Shetland pony, went in the corners of the room
precisely 2.5 feet from each wall for maximum
sonic presence. I'll admit that "technically"
they got in the way because they stuck out so far,
but a guy has to be willing to accept some
sacrifices for the sake of ultimate stereophonic
I didn't have
enough speaker wire to follow the floorboards so
I just ran the wires across the floor, but I duct
taped them down for safety. A guy should always
think ahead and I knew at some point it was
inevitable that I'd be stumbling around
intoxicated -- probably within the next hour or
After that, I
filled in the rest of the room with whatever
furniture that was left over. The milk crate book
shelves were pretty heavy so I just shoved them
against the wall closest to wherever they had
been set down. Occasionally, I had to draw upon
my innate guy ingenuity to complete the furniture
arrangement: Hmm. No reading light near the chair?
I'll move the fish tank over a bit -- it's got a
light built into it!
So given the
amount of expertise I had displayed in the past,
it seemed odd to me that my wife didn't call upon
my extraordinary furniture deployment skills in
our new home. Especially because she'd been in my
old apartment and had seen what I could do first
hand. And it's clear that arranging furniture isn't
her strong suit, either. She told me that no
matter how hard she tried, there just wasn't
enough room in the living room for my cable-spool