At a party once, Jesus was asked if he were a leg man or a tit man. The answer is neither. He's a LEGO man. Well, to be honest, he's all three, but rather like faith, hope and charity, the greatest of my husband's loves is LEGO. I'm not bitter. The colorful, benippled bricks have just been around rather longer than I have. That's not to say LEGO has never caused problems in our relationship. When it did, though, I came up with the following 10-point solution to cope.
To tell the truth, I was once as bewitched by the bricks as he is. We had a massive box at home, a hangover from when my brother, older than me by 11 years, was the snot-nosed kid of the house. (Well, I say massive, but it was barely Yoda-sized compared to J's Millennium Falcon box of LucasTricks.) When I inherited the snot-nosed kid mantle, my brother having moved on to smoking dope and listening to Pink Floyd, I also inherited the LEGO.
And I loved it, back in the days when I was too small to see my father's eyes roll when I begged him to help me make a LEGO pony. How fickle I was back then, however, and eventually lost interest—after all, there are only so many minimalist box-shaped houses you can make with a handful of hereditary LEGO. (I abandoned it for an Eagle-Eye Action Man I'd found, but even that obsession only lasted a few months, once I realized I couldn't get his plastic shorts off with my teeth, a knife or even the help of the dog.)
Point is, I was not fully unaware of the issues when I married a LEGO maniac. I wouldn't go as far as Lady Di did when she said there were three people in her marriage, but there was a point over Christmas when the whole LEGO thing became a bit of a nightmare. (It might have had something to do with the fact that we had become obsessive 24 watchers, and so, unconsciously, every time we saw the Millennium Falcon box, we could hear that bloody clock ticking down.) The pressure was unspeakable, from colleagues and commenters alike. Reader, I must confess that I threw one of the boxes on the floor, mixing up piles of bricks that he had spent hours sorting out.
The look in Jesus' eyes. You may say baleful, but I see your baleful and I raise you pure, unadulterated, naked hurt. A lot of humble pie was eaten that night. I vowed to change, so I came up with a ten-point plan with which to sink my irrational plastic jealousy. Here it is:
1. Have a Spare Room
A man needs a shed—a place his tools can call home, and where he can potter about in undisturbed for hours and hours. Since we're still waiting for LEGO to bring out its life-sized LEGO Shed kit (estimated completion time 4-6 weeks), J keeps the bricks to his Millennium Falcon in the spare room. If we have friends to stay, the boxes are placed reverently on the floor of the office, until the room is vacant again. Blam can attest to this, as he found some LEGO under his pillow when he came to stay in February.
2. Keep the Dog in Plastic Chew Toys
I haven't yet noticed primary colored bricks in the dog's poop, but when I do, I know that we need to go to the pet store again. And if Jesus notices, it'll be time to get a new dog. Joke.
3. Never Hoover
Now, this rule I absolutely love. I have also glued LEGO bricks and mini-figs to the ironing board, the washing-up gloves and the family silver.
4. Always Wear Shoes In the House
Have you ever stepped on a LEGO brick? I know a guy who had to go to hospital to have one of those little one-row brickettes removed from the ball of his foot after he stood on it by mistake. I think you know him too—he writes for Gizmodo.
5. Vote Denmark During Eurovision
I believe there is a trip to the LEGO factory in Denmark coming up in June. Did I want to accompany him, he asked me tenderly months ago? What, and stand in the way of a man and his first love? Feel like a gooseberry as he fingers and fondles the bricks in the factory? No, no, no, no, nonononononononono. No. NO. But do I tell him I don't want to go and get nipple marks on my fingers from obsessive brickplay? Of course not. Anyway, someone has to look after the dog.
6. Regular Visits to the Local Toy Shop
"Have you got that one? Thought so. And that one. Oh look! It's a singing Freddie Mercury doll. Now why don't they do a Freddie Mercury LEGO? Or Bowie? Yeah, come on then, let's go inside."
7. Never Write a LEGO Post for Giz
I value my marriage above all things.
8. Laugh Every Time He Makes You Watch the "Death By Tray" LEGO Skit
This is not exactly a hardship, as Eddie Izzard is funny as fuck. Jesus did actually manage to recite the whole skit when he was drunk in a taxi a few weeks ago. The long, 4am journey home was, believe it or not, alleviated by a slurred version of "Jeff Vader? Runs the Death Star?"
9. Agree That the World Would Be Better If Totally Made of LEGO
How simple life would be. A couple of tiles came off your roof? Buy them from the LEGO store, then go up a ladder and clip them back on again. Kids, we're going to build a swimming pool this weekend. A leaky one, but still, a swimming pool. No, honestly. Imagine, if the world was made out of LEGO you would just be able to unclip rogue states from the globe and dismantle them before putting them back in the cupboard, and then the world would just be a safer place. And what if everyone's hands were shaped like those of the LEGO figures? Well, you wouldn't get any work done, for a start.
10. Try to Relate and Even Join In
Just after his Millennium Falcon arrived, J bought a TIE Fighter LEGO set. "It's for you," he said. "You can do that while I assemble the Falcon." A month later, I had to go back to Britain for a long weekend, and when I came back, I found the TIE Fighter sitting, assembled on his desk. "Oy, I was meant to do that," I said. Jesus shrugged. "I missed you. And I was bored," he replied.
So, there you have it. While it may not be as life-changing as AA or NA's 12-Point Plan, my LEGO-acceptance program keeps us on the straight and narrow. And I know you're all wondering when Jesus is going to present his newly-clicked Millennium Falcon to the world, well, hell, so am I. However, I think he needs an incentive. Any ideas?