Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Matt Cave

The Matt Cave, aka the basement, is getting a face-lift.

Nothing major -- some fresh paint, new baseboard, and best of all,the fireplace is getting a stacked-stone surface. Hello, 21st century! Meet the new and improved Matt Cave.

About "The Matt Cave" moniker. Let me explain. Sometime when he was in high school, that would be about 5 or 6 years ago, our youngest son Matt sort of decamped to the basement, choosing it as his primary mode of abode. Maybe it was a hot summer night when his upstairs bedroom was too stuffy -- or a late, late night of movies and video games. But at some point, Matt took up residence in the basement and it became The Matt Cave. It all seemed to make sense at the time. It usually does with teenagers.

It's a man pad, all right -- TV, DVD player, foosball table, laundry room (with a shower!) all just steps away. Bathroom and kitchen right at the top of the stairs. Room to spread out for entertaining. (I can't tell you the number of mornings I've tiptoed down to the basement to grab some clean underwear or new can of coffee only to find a jumble of arms and legs belonging to an indeterminate number of Matt's buddies that seemed to sprout up from the basement floor sometime in the middle of the night.)And a comfy futon that nicely accommodates an afternoon snooze -- or long winter night's slumber.

Now that Matt's in college and is only home for holidays, we venture down into The Matt Cave every now and then to host a Gonzaga basketball game or escape a particularly gnarly thunderstorm with dog Ben. It's at these times when The Matt Cave loses a bit of its exotic allure and you see it for what it is -- a somewhat beat-up basement family room that is finally getting a little bit of love.

Somehow, you just don't see that when Matt's home. It's amazing what layer of DVDs, video games, XBox cables, cell phone chargers, sketch pads, textbooks, dirty socks, rumpled sleeping bags and empty Gatorade bottles can do for a room. It's these special accessories that make it The Matt Cave. Every household should have one.

So, with this in mind, I am approaching the basement makeover with some bemusement. It will look awesome when it's done, trust me.

But it won't be The Cave till Matt comes home. HGTV, take note.

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