Happy Table Topic Tuesday, y’all.
Here’s today’s question:
Okay. Before I go Captain Sappy on you, there is one thing that absolutely makes a house your own home: it’s the place where you don’t have to line the toilet seat or flush with your feet.
But what really makes a house a home?
In my home, it’s the travertine the boys both learned to toddle over–the floors that caught their first steps.
The walls that heard their first words and their first prayers. The pencil marks on the door frame that hold their height safe. The bedspreads that soak up stories.
It’s the kitchen sink that keeps of the tune of the lyrics I over-sing. The junk drawer that guards glue sticks, broken crayons and bits of memories. It’s always having a space in the closet where you can throw stuff if someone is coming to your home on short notice.
Home is the smell of love.
It’s knowing exactly which fire truck left that inch-long scuff mark on the baseboard.
It’s knowing yours is the third couch cushion to the left.
It’s knowing the biggest respite on earth is in the crook of his left arm.
Home is your happy place.
For me, home is a collection of hallways and rooms and roofs–all cozy inns, beds and breakfasts, until I’m really home.
Now, my friends are up.
Javi’s definition of home is just as true and a lot more funny.
One can pinpoint the exact differences between a space, a house, and a home using one simple tool. Breakaway pants. Just walk into any room of a sheltered area wearing breakaway pants. Now, stop for a second. Assess your emotions. How you feel, physically. How those around you may be feeling. Detect the mood in the air. Now, take a hard note, because your following actions will be critical to assessing the difference between a space, house and home. Next, using two hands, in one fluid motion, with some semblance of authority and a touch of grace, rip those breakaway pants off and toss them aside with the fearless recklessness of your drunk uncle trashing all the hotel pieces on the Monopoly board after owing the bank money for some “socialist garbage.” Now, feeling the breeze against your milky thighs, do another assessment of your emotions and surroundings. If you immediately feel scared, confused, embarrassed, or the cold pressure of handcuffs on your wrists, this is neither a house, nor a home – it is a space. Chances are it’s a bank, a yoga studio, or a Burger King. The mood in the air, as you may note by the screams and crashing noises taking place around you, may now have a palpable tension to it. These are all strong indicators that this is not a livable place. Nothing “homey” about it at all. You might be hard pressed to find anything “housey” about it. However, if upon breakaway-pant release, you feel an air of freedom, euphoria and titillating delight, then you, my all-shirt-no-pants, Winnie-the-Poohing friend have entered into what could very well be classified as a House. WARNING: BECAUSE IT IS A HOUSE, IT DOES NOT MEAN IT IS YOUR HOUSE (please refer to indicators of space). The mood in the air may be one of childlike wonder and endless possibility. Chances are highly probable that you are alone either in a cheap hotel, a studio apartment above a Thai restaurant, or somewhere along the Appalachian Trail. The difference between a house and a home is a subtle yet serious one. Making a home is less about area and more about acceptance. If, upon hitting the eject button on your breakaway pants you feel a sense of pride, arrogance, and all around hubris then this is a strong indication that you are indeed home. But, the special difference in this moment is that you won’t be alone. There will be a person, or perhaps persons in the room with you who will be completely accepting of your behavior. They may, in fact, even expect it. What’s more, if it truly is your home, even if said people are completely against you Donald-Ducking your way though their line of vision, they wont be able to do anything about it. Those people may ask, or even plead that you put pants on, uttering phrases like “Dad! Come on! We eat meals on that table…” but the reality is, their cries are in vain. This is your home. You hold all of the authority, and none of the pants. And that is where that transformative home charm lives. In the ether between being pantless in a place where no one is around, and a place where you’re surrounded by people that have no real choice other than to take in your Porky-Pig fashion sense and embrace it. A home takes the offensive sight of a pantsless person and turns it into a symbol of majestic beauty. It’s a feeling that can only be described as magic. I will leave you with one very important precaution when home testing. If, upon removal of your breakaway pants, you are met with cheers and applause, please take heed. This may feel like a monumental achievement and you may be lulled into a false yet amazing sense of security, but this is NOT an indicator of a home. This is a strong indicator that you are in a male burlesque show and or review. I made this exact mistake and once lived in a male strip club for three years. Looking back I am amazed that I never noticed the signs, but they were all there. I learned a lot during my time there. These were formative years indeed. It was an experience that dare I say has molded me into the learned man of science that writes to you today. But I’ll leave those regal lessons, and the hundreds of other uses for break away pants that I took with me during that time, for another time and another post.
And here is Lindsay‘s take:
I believe that a home is where you feel most comfortable. I also believe that Javier couldn’t have said it any better. You’re not home until you can safely and comfortably drop your pants.
My friend Ashlie and I share a lot of family traditions:
I have learned no matter if you live deep in the south, down in the heart of Texas, or up in the northeast, you can be at home if you are with the people you love. As sappy as it sounds, it’s true—home is where the heart is. My heart is my family. It is important for me to create memories and traditions with my family that will instill in them a sense of “home.” It’s the simple things like having Friday night family movie night, sitting down for dinner, and taking family adventures together. It’s also the annual traditions like our pumpkin carving party, frying turkeys for Thanksgiving, or opening up Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve. We try to make our daily life and the special days important and memorable. I know if we focus on spending time as a family, it won’t matter where we live, because as long as we are together, we will be home.
And this is what home looks like to Lynda:
For me, my home is my protection, my comfort zone, my place to relax and decompress from the day. But what makes it truly a home for me? My home is a Sunday night, curled up on my couch, watching the sunset turn the clouds into brilliant shades of pink and orange until eventually darkness has overshadowed it all and the twinkling lights of the city catch the corner of my eye. It’s a glass of wine in hand, a snuggly kitty on my lap, and my sweet cinnamon candle burning away as I soak in hours of Masterpiece Theater and thrilling British drama. It’s the contentment I feel at the thought that everything is right with the world as I start a new week. It’s what I look forward to every day, and when I sit there and take it all in, I know I am home.
Your turn. What makes a house a home?