(by the way, if you're looking for the Bean Bag Chairs Behind the Couch, click here)
A few years ago, I had a student whose father bought a storefront and tried to create a living room. "Is it a store?" I asked him, a bit confused. "What is it going to sell?"
"Nothing," he told me. "It's just a living room. You can come in, hang out, watch television with other people, read the newspaper, drink a cup of coffee. Anything you want. It's a living room, except it's public. Because too many people hang out in their living room at home all alone and need a space to be with other people."
It was a great idea. Unfortunately, it was closed as a health violation. Apparently, when you have a store that brings in no money, you don't have the ability to get the space up to code. There was no money for running water hence no bathroom. But it's suffice to say that people hanging out in a living room still need to use facilities when they are consuming the cups of coffee they brought with them. It turns out that the city doesn't love the idea of a crap bucket. But I digress.
This place--this blog--is my public living room. Where I come and hang out and talk about what is happening with me emotionally and hear what is happening with you emotionally. And having this space gives me a place to go mentally when I'm stuck in the real world between two women on a sofa springing their pregnancy announcements on me. I hope you feel like you can mentally jump here too in addition to your own blog when you are in a shitty situation. It has made the journey manageable this time. It utilizes the best parts of what I heard in my student's father's idea--without the crap bucket.
And now I've taken it a step further to actually set up a space where people can meet in real time and chat. In other words...a chat room. Except that this is our chat room. And it is a public space where you don't need to have a special email program to chat and numerous people can speak at the same time. We can use it to hold virtual meetings, watch television together, or sit with you when you're doing your first injection.
This is the way it will work. At certain times, it will be "signed out": there will be a specific discussion happening in the space. Anyone can join in, but the topic on hand will be the focus (you know that I'm talking about 9 p.m. Thursdays for Grey's Anatomy). At other times, it will be open and if you see that no one has reserved it, feel free to tell others to meet you here (simply send them the url for the post) and use the space. Or simply sign in and see if anyone else is hanging around too.
If you want to sign it out for a specific time--a meeting, to watch a television show with other people, at 8 p.m. for your first injection, leave a comment in the comment section on this post and I will start compiling a list of who has called the living room. If you are reserving it, leave a date and a span of time based on Eastern Standard Time (sorry, non-East Coast/non-US people, you'll have to quickly calculate the time difference). I will place your event on the sidebar of my blog below the living room icon so people can see what is happening and I will add event information to Lost & Found.
Before you leave your comment below to sign out the space, make sure you have scrolled through the last few comments to make sure something else isn't scheduled for that time. Hence why everyone should use the comments section rather than emailing me so you can see all the "reservations."
So relax. Enjoy. Bring your own drinks. Be polite. No feet on the sofa. No cursing out others. Just your average public living room.