It’s funny to remember the things I was thinking last year as we were looking for a house. There was a lot of “if we have kids, this will be their room,” (or in some cases, “if we had kids, they’d have to live outside”). Not a lot of “when we get twelve people together to play Quelf, here’s the room we’ll be in,” or “this is where drunk friends can crash after one too many at Lucky 13.” And yet those last two are by far the most important uses we have for our house.
It’s a bit like wedding planning. Never having done it before, I was watching what other people did and trying to emulate it. (Luckily, Gene did not go for that, so it worked out.) And with house-shopping, the same thing: I was trying to look for what other people look for in a house, because I didn’t know how else to do it. But it turns out that for us, having a little barracks for our nuclear unit is way less important than having a giant mead hall where all our acquaintance might gather (and, occasionally, sleep it off). And fortunately for us, that is what we stumbled into.
People were baffled when we told them we’d bought this monstrosity. Several said “now you’ll have to have a boatload of kids just to fill it up.” But since we’ve been living here, we’ve found we can cram a dozen people around our dining room table to play Pandemic. We can get twenty or thirty people into the downstairs for a party and not feel crowded (especially if some of them are using the photo booth in the Harry Potter closet under the stairs). And in between the bigger events, there are so many evenings when people will come by to watch a movie or have dinner or just kind of hang around, something that happened much less often when we lived in the city.
I guess there’s more than one way to fill a house.