No, not baby cribs. There's not all that much to say about baby cribs other than to make sure they meet federal safety standards and that a cat once crapped in my crib while I was sleeping in it. I named him Timmy. The cat, not the crap.

I am talking about Cribs, of MTV fame: homes, abodes, dwellings, shelters, where you hang your hat, etc. I just watched an episode featuring the homes of rock stars Tommy Lee and Ted Nugent. Between the dead animal heads, sex swings, horrible murals, pine paneling, gun collections, and mirrored bedrooms, I was left unimpressed. Money does not buy taste, it is said. Yet, somehow I am sort of equally-appalled at the homes of the nouveau riche I see that are utterly perfect. Tasteful, elegant, everything coordinated and designed to the last tassel on the last silk throw pillow. At least Tommy and Ted know what they like and aren't afraid to show us their hideous visions. The perfect homes worry me. I don't know that I would be comfortable in a place where the things really didn't feel like they were mine, just suggestions from someone who has ASID after their name. I get nervous when things aren't just a little askew.

I have always tried to personalize where I lived, even if I really wasn't supposed to. When I was a preschooler, my parents built a house, or rather they had a shitty carpenter build it who took off to Florida for several months in the middle of the construction. I remember endless trips with my folks to hardware stores, wallpaper stores, and especially carpet stores, where I would lie on the big books of samples and pretend the Princess and the Pea story. Anyway, my mom had her own vision of what my bedroom should be and went full-speed ahead with it. I did not have the heart to tell her that her chosen color scheme of palest pink, white, and avocado green did not appeal to me at all. I wanted hot pink and flaming orange with black light posters and a mirror ball. I wanted groovy; she wanted sweet. I said nothing.

The day we moved in my mom proudly showed me my first very own room with its tiny pale striped wallpaper, pink that was so washed out it looked white, and that green, which reminded me of vegetables, which I did not like at all. I smiled at her and told her it was beautiful, or something like that, I am sure. I remember thinking after she left and as I poked around in my little new space, that she said it was "all mine." I started to get excited. It was mine, and mine meant that I could do whatever I wanted with it, right? Four year olds got "mine" down, ohh yes. I had recently joined the Official Batman Fan Club, and in my new Batkit was a giant Batdecal. With the surety of "mine" in mind, I found the decal and promptly slapped it on the freshly-painted door to my room, feeling Batcool and Batproud.

At the moment of discovery, her shriek was unexpected, and contained an interesting mix of utter horror, fury, dashed hope, and existential frustration. No amount of work ever got that decal off the door. I never stopped being sheepish about my ruination of the door and disappointing my mom, but the me in me was still a little Batproud.

Definition of home: noun

    1. An environment offering security and happiness.
    2. A valued place regarded as a refuge or place of origin.
Tommy and Ted seemed very happy with their homes, their Cribs, their valued places. Good for them, when all is said and done. A little weird and askew, well, a lot weird and askew, but never mind. We all need our very very own Batcaves.