If you don't get that reference, watch this, and then watch more classic Simpsons episodes. Upgrade your life. Speaking of which, I just did that! As of this week, my wife and I are now proud owners of a real, actual, genuine garage. What a thrill. What a stunt on all you poor, lesser, garage-less fools. I am now a member of a superior race of beings, the garage-havers. Our main distinguishing characteristic is that we have garages.
My garage is a 2.5 car, which is a genuinely astounding size. It has concrete floors, it has unfinished walls, it has siding on the outside, it has some weird kind of metal thing on the front up by the cornice that's low-key rusting on the siding, it has a recently-new roof, it is, in a single word, monumental. Because something dawned on me as my wife and I prepared to do the final walkthrough of the garage and the other thing nearby and "yard": I've never had an indoor place to regularly park my car. As has been regularly chronicled here on the website and on the podcast, I've been driving for nearly 15 years, and I've never had the opportunity to park my car under something even so humble as an awning. It's just been straight-up parking lots, driveways, and streets the whole time. Yes, there were the rare times where I'd get to park in a garage at a parent's home, the slightly more common occasions where I'd bring my car into the garage to do an oil change or brake work, but that was it. When I moved into the apartment phase of my life, there were garages near to where I parked my car, but they all had years-long waitlists, and I never even sniffed a chance of getting one. So through rain and snow and hail, through falling leaves, branches, and those little clumps of brown shit that drop from that one kind of tree all spring, my car has sat outside.
I guess I got used to my car being outside at some point, because I really was very struck by the realization that owning a garage has improved the basic quality of my life, though I've never been obsessed with garages, not even during our house hunt. Or at least I wasn't obsessed with garages until I noticed a tiny dent in the roof of my new car, then having a garage became a top-5 priority! All joking aside...it is just better to park in a garage, isn't it? Sure, there's the safety aspect, being inside keeps the weather away from your car. There's the security aspect too, one more door between the robbers and your car. But a garage is really more than those two basic things. A garage is also potential. All those little car repairs, the oil changes and tire rotations and brake jobs, a garage makes those possible. Tools, pegboard, assorted hardware and that little jar of screws I'll never find a use for, the garage is the natural home for all of those things. It's the home of the workbench, the sawhorse, and the circular saw and after I build my new workbench inside my garage using the circular saw and the sawhorses, I'll put that workbench in that garage, then store the saw underneath it, and the sawhorses next to it.
The garage has become a space of its own in recent years. No longer are epoxy floors and finished walls hung with art just for the premiere car collectors. That's a dream everybody can realize for themselves with a bit of money and a good bit of work. I already have the epoxy mix ready to roll, and I'm hoping to use the garage as a classroom in home remodeling. In theory I know how to insulate, drywall, and finish a wall. I've helped my dad and others do it a few times, but I've never done it for myself. I know the general concepts behind installing recessed lighting, but now it's time to do it for real, and I honestly can't wait to do the work. A great garage honors the things that are kept inside it by creating a regular, dependable, and above all accessible space for everything that needs to be stored. That's what I want for my life, and that's what I'm going to create in my garage. Because I own one of those now.
I mean, that's pretty much it, folks. I now own a garage, and I'm going to make it awesome. I don't really have any words of encouragement for you garage-less paupers, but I do need to reiterate how much better I feel about life in general now that I have a garage. It's a weird thing to be proud of, I suppose, but that's where I'm at. I think my main desire is to appreciate the space back for all that it's already given me, and all the opportunity it offers for the future. Obviously, that kind of personal pride is typically reserved for the main house, but as a first time garage owner I gotta say, if you're lucky enough to have one, show your car hold some love. It's been there for you and your cars, so return the favor.