Porch by day
Porch by night
For me? It used to be...drumroll...the mancave bathroom. Yuck, right? But listen, crystallized urine and way too many used Kleenex in the trash (no comment) aside, that room has THE best lighting and the best mirror ever. I spent countless hours down there, with my contacts out and tweezers in hand. Only women of a certain age and hirsute ethnicity will understand why I loved that room.
But not anymore.
When I first took the tour of this house, given by my angel landlord Dan, the porch didn't even register a blip on my radar. Having never had one, I didn't realize what a fabulous little room a porch could be. I was more excited about the mancave. And that mirror....
But I digress. When we first moved in, the porch became one of those "catch all" spaces. You know, the spot you put the t.v. that's no longer being used, or the boxes that need to be taken apart for recycling. Every once in a while, I'd think that it would be a nice little space for a treadmill, or for summer sleepovers, but at that time, I had bigger, stinkier fish to fry.
I had no idea what that room was going to become in just a few short months.
At one of my winter hen parties, a friend of mine approached me with a sort of business arrangement. At that time I was still the unproud owner of the beastly Ford Excursion that was too big to fit inside the garage. So this friend, who owns a vintage/retro furniture business, asked if I would be open to her storing furniture in there for a while. Of course I said yes, and didn't think anything of it...until one day she showed up in my driveway with a little gift.
It was a patio furniture set, kind of beautifully hideous...there was a couch, two chairs, an ottoman and an end table. The wood was blond and heavily shellacked. And the cushions..oh the cushions. They were clad with a print that I can only describe as the bastard love child of Laura Ashley and Tommy Bahama. At first, I looked at it and thought, "Holy Hell."
Something happened to it, though, something magical and transforming, when I dragged it into the porch. It seemed to mesh with the old-school wood paneled walls and the indoor/outdoor astroturf carpet. Seemed to not only mesh, but also became...inviting. I sat down on the couch, put my feet up on the ottoman and for the first time felt the porch magic.
I invited some hens over, and as we were sitting there, soaking up both wine and atmosphere, we bandied about some names for this new gathering place. We decided that the furniture had a very "Golden Girls" vibe to it, and so the porch was christened: THE GOLDEN GIRLS PORCH OF LOVE. The love part was probably due to the wine, but whatever. Even without wine it's a love-filled space.
Eventually it became my favorite room. I start most of my mornings out here (I'm clickety clacking on the laptop there, right now!), enjoying my iced coffee and the quiet with my life partner/Walter. The kids and I sit out here during thunderstorms, safe from the rain and lightning but still able to watch Mother Nature's fireworks.
It's where I go when I actually have time to sit and read, all three Hunger Games books were devoured while I sat on the couch and ignored my kids. It's where the kids know to look for me when their frantic calls of "MOM? MOOOM?" are not answered immediately. It's also a wonderful napping spot, if it happens to be a day when my anal-retentive neighbor isn't running his god-forsaken leaf blower.
It's where an old beau and I reconnected a few weeks ago (reconnected by talking, again I ask, what were you thinking, dirty birds?). Did I mention that the Golden Girls Porch of Love lighting is super flattering at night? It is.
And the hens...oh yes. It's been the backdrop to so many hen gatherings I've now lost count. At one point, I think we crammed about 11 of us on the porch all at once. If these walls could talk, I'm sure they'd say, "OMG" or maybe "Have you no shame, ladies?" or more likely, "Why so long between showers, Jenny?". I've had weepfests on the porch, had celebratory cheers, comforted friends and likewise, have been comforted within the confines of these paneled walls. These cheesy cushions have enveloped the derrieres of the best friends a girl could ask for.
I think everyone should have their own little happy place, don't you? I'm so grateful that I have this one.