Our Daddy-O colum­nist picks his house­hold bat­tles

It is a quiet threat, but the bat­tle­lines need to be drawn else­where

Life & Style Weekend - - WELCOME // INSIDE TODAY - BY Owen Jac­ques Fol­low Owen Jac­ques on Twit­ter @owen­jay.

THERE is a creep­ing threat in my house­hold. The sit­u­a­tion, if left unchecked, could see the vul­ner­a­ble over­run by the foren­si­cally timed ac­tions of a neigh­bour. It be­gan when my wife and I bought and built some new draw­ers from IKEA.

Our bed­room stor­age ex­ploded – no more would our crum­pled piles of clothes be stuffed into over­flow­ing cup­boards. Three cab­i­nets, nine draw­ers in to­tal.

My wife im­me­di­ately oc­cu­pied five. I would be left with three or four. (She has more gear, y’know).

So in a ges­ture of peace and good­will I of­fered to sac­ri­fice and de­liver her most of an ex­tra drawer.

She has roughly six, I have roughly three. We are agreed. Peace in our time, right? But this cease­fire is un­easy.

“I prom­ise I won’t en­croach on any of your space,” she tells me. But it’s a vow I can’t take at face value.

My wife is a lov­ing part­ner. She is also strate­gic and de­ter­mined and knows I will never be both­ered enough to chal­lenge an oc­cu­pa­tion.

In com­ing months and years, the spread of her cloth­ing, jack­ets, un­der­wear and all man­ner of bits and bobs will start in­vad­ing my space. It will be­gin in­no­cently.

“I just need a bit more room un­til we clean it all out, and you’re not us­ing it any­way,” she’ll say.

Then like so many stolen chips and sips of tea, she’ll even­tu­ally take what she wants.

Any empty space will be up for grabs as the an­nex­a­tion be­gins then spreads. Shall I fight her on the cab­i­nets? Shall I fight her over the draw­ers? Shall I never sur­ren­der? No. Be­cause un­like Win­ston Churchill’s un­end­ing deter­mi­na­tion to fight the for­eign threat, this is not the hill that I’ll die on.

I must live to fight other, more vi­o­lent and vi­cious bat­tles that are on the hori­zon. Like, “What do you want to do for din­ner?’’

I just need a bit more room un­til we clean it all out, and you’re not us­ing it any­way.


It is not worth draw­ing a bat­tle­line over a wardrobe when you could save it for big­ger fight, like what is on the menu for din­ner.

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