What Happened to Dens?

The Brady Bunch opening grid, season one

The Brady Bunch opening grid, season one (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do real people have dens anymore?  The Brady Bunch had a den.  We had a den, but not until both my brothers stopped using that room as a bedroom.  We set up two chairs facing a t.v. placed in the corner.  Behind one of the chairs sat a desk which also faced the t.v.  Behind the desk was a clothes-closet-turned-storage.  I don’t remember what was in there.  Probably papers.  Back then people used to save a lot of papers and canceled checks.

The Brady’s den belonged to Mike, the man of the house.  I think our den belonged to my mother, who paid the bills at the desk and watched t.v. until way past my bedtime.  But my father also fell asleep watching baseball in there and after school it was my favorite place to sit and watch television while eating a snack of kippers and diet soda.  No . . . that’s not a typo.

There are lion’s dens and dens of iniquity.  Basically, I guess, dens are a place to find trouble.  Mike Brady was always scheming up something in his den, and Marcia once got in trouble for using Mike’s den without permission.  That begs the obvious question, what was Mike hiding in there that the kids couldn’t be in there unsupervised?  I always knew there was more to those Brady’s than reading magazines in bed.  By the way, Marcia was forgiven once Mike realized she was secreting away to write a nomination for Father of the Year.  Man, I’ll bet he felt like a cad.

What happened to the dens?  Did they turn into family rooms?  Home offices?  What rooms will we have in our homes of the future?  How does a room just disappear like we never really had a use for it?  Are rich people the only ones with dens and formal dining rooms anymore?

We have a room in the basement that we sort of re-modeled.  We put in new tile flooring, restored the baseboards, eliminated moisture, and painted.  Bubba has a really cool desk space with all his favorite things crowded around his computer.  I put some scrapbooking things in there and packed it so full I can’t even use it.  Some decisions need to be made . . . and I’m talking dumpster duty here.  But Bubba knows better than to touch my stuff, and I wouldn’t think of rearranging any of his shit.  Because as George Carlin taught us, all his stuff is shit and all my shit is stuff.

Now all this room needs is a name.  It’s not really a home office.  It isn’t a craft room.  Bubba sometimes calls it the Bat Cave.  I called it the Situation Room for a while.  I’m thinking it might qualify as a den.  After all, I’d be pretty pissed if Marcia messed around in there . . . even if she were crafting a letter of nomination for Mother of the Year.

On Friday morning, March 21, 2003, President G...

The White House Situation Room  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our Situation Room

Clearly, Bubba has the cooler space here.  At least he can get to his.

Peace . . .

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About Jean

Trying to make sense of it all and . . . for the most part . . . doing it. View all posts by Jean

7 responses to “What Happened to Dens?

  • dragonflyzia

    I can totally relate to your space, I battle the clutter monster every day. Yours looks more organized though. 🙂

  • insearchofitall

    You tickled me here. I now have a (den). It’s a room with no closet. I was going to line it with my bookshelves but my daughter talked me into using it for the TV since we can close the doors if someone is watching later than I want to be up. So the living room is the library, sitting area. The books back up to my bedroom wall and they are quiet. I still do my writing in the den though for now. Maybe after I move in completely, I’ll write in the living room. My sewing room looks like your scrapbook station. Much weeding will go on in there as soon as the house gets put together. It’s taking so long. I don’t want to learn patience anymore. I really wanted to call the den a library. I loved the sound of it and had one in my last home with what’s his name. I lived in that room. We used to call basement activity areas, rec rooms. Most were wrecks too. Good luck with the naming and sorting. I’ll be thinking of you as I go through my shit. Still love George Carlin. He was always right on.

  • Laura

    I’m finding after looking online at homes for sale and watching HGTV, a den is known as a “bonus room.” At least, that’s my assessment. I guess people don’t know what a den is, don’t know that the room in the back of the house that isn’t a living room is a den, or that’s what they’re calling dens now. It really rubs me the wrong way when I’m watching say Flip or Flop and they say “there’s a nice bonus room,” and I want to say “Oh, you mean a den?” We had a den at our last house and the house before that one. We had a house built in 1904 that had a palor, a sitting room, and a den. Talk about extra rooms in the house! I like to refer to a den as a den, and think they’re great to have!

    Also, whatever happened to having your kitchen separate from your living room? That’s fading away. Sort of odd to me.

    • Jean

      Hahaha! I love your comments. My house was built in the 50s and my kitchen is definitely separate from the living room. Although, if I could, I would open it up to the dining room which is really a walk through bedroom. Confusing… I know.

      Sounds to me like your old house had a lot of “bonuses!” But that’s how they built them back then.

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