In Her Shell
Thursday, April 30, 2009
  Missed The Memo
1. A friend at work just bought a house and casually said to another friend, "Well, we'll have to finish the basement because it just has a living room, no family room, for the TV and stuff." Forgive me, I love the idea of keeping one's TV hidden away, but I absolutely missed the memo about houses needing to have a "family room" or "den." I did have a friend growing up whose house had one, and I thought it was a cool extra feature, but could not for the life of me figure out what they did with the "living room," since for all the years I hung out there no one ever used it. My house growing up had a tiny living room where we hung out, laid around, watched TV and entertained guests, and it was good enough for us, dagnabit!

2. Not using the front door. What? Twice in my formative years I was dropped off at a friend's house only to stand forlornly, knocking on the freaking door, only to have the friend finally figure out I was there, and let me in, the whole family laughing their heads off because I went to the front door. Definitely missed the memo there; why the hell did they have a nice walkway up to it with scrubby suburban bushes on the side if no one is supposed to use it? And how was I supposed to know that? Jerks.
There's a trend now too to call what I think should be the living room 'the great room' as in big mf room to show off those high ceilings you can't afford to heat.

I hope you know about the necessity of cubby holes and rumpus rooms?
Heh heh. My parents' tiny house has both of those. We never used the living room either. And the front door was this big, old fashioned door that was a pain to open, so we'd just use the side door. But they both opened on to the porch so they weren't so far apart that we couldn't hear someone knocking at the front door.
Well, #2 was stupid because duh, the front door is exactly for that - GUESTS. I can see the family not using it though.

As for #1, I kind of get that one, however. Our houses were always like that - the living room was for civilized pursuits (e.g. Christmas or company) but the everyday stuff including TV was in the "family room" or aptly called "TV room." Snobby as it sounds, to me it still feels unsettling not to have a proper living room without a TV.

It's been over 20 years now that I have not lived in an apartment big enough to have both. And now that PG and I do have the space, we're still deciding which room will be the "family room" - or maybe since we don't have kids, we'll call it the "den." Yeah, that's it. And we'll smoke cigars! Want to come over?
We never had the television in the living room. We had it in the family room, which was really only used for television because it was small and dark, and kind of damp.

The living room was where we read books and hung out and talked. I don't understand the point of a living room you don't use, but I do like the idea that the living room is about living, rather than about passively watching someone else live.

I never used the kitchen door, but I did climb through the window a couple times when I locked myself out.
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