Brian’s Birthday!


They say it’s all about timing. And, as fate would have it, my husband’s 32nd birthday arrived twelve days after I started this project. Of course, I did not consider this fact during my December 31st final shopping spree, and found myself without a proper gift to give him.

I entertained the idea of going to Goodwill or making a trip to City Books (a great used book store located in Pittsburgh’s South Side), but I just couldn’t bring myself to give him a secondhand item for his birthday.

So, I got creative.

Actually, I got down and dirty and I decided to clean and organize Brian’s videogame room in our basement. We jokingly refer to this area of the house as “The Man Cave”, because when a new videogame is released, Brian disappears, and for all intensive purposes “hibernates”, in the basement for hours at a time.

Over the four years we’ve lived in this house, I’ve let his sanctuary be. Only venturing downstairs to do the laundry or fetch the Christmas decorations. But left alone, the situation spun out-of-control. Slowly, pop cans, beer bottles, empty boxes, and other unidentified objects, began to litter the floor and the couch became a graveyard for long replaced gaming consoles and controllers. It got so bad that Brian even commented on the mess:

“I really need to clean The Cave. Maybe this Saturday.”

Well, six months of Saturdays came and went, but the basement just got worse. That’s how I decided this would be the perfect gift.

Call it practical, call it desperate, call it… selfish even, but I call it priceless. A birthday gift that money can’t buy.

It took 4 hours, 2 garbage bags, 1 vacuum, countless cleaning products, and a good playlist… but The Cave was clean. I was pleased with the results… and so was Brian.

Happy Birthday, Kid!

~Stacey

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