I’ve been living in my new apartment for a little over two months now. It’s bigger than my old one, and we’re paying less for it. That’s great. I had some apprehension when we initially moved in because it was a ground unit, and I had always lived 2+ floors up. Honestly, there are a few snags with the place. There’s no air conditioning. The floors are incredibly warped. We don’t have screens on our windows so whenever we open them up, we’re inviting hundreds of bugs inside. There was an ant situation at one point. My room is roughly the size of a jail cell.
Okay, so on paper, there’s a lot wrong with the place. But you know what makes up for it? The fact that we have a god damn, mother fucking patio. And not just a big slab of cement out back that we can put a grill and some lawn chairs on; I’m talking about a laid brick front yard encased by giant bushes that provide a canopy over bistro furniture set (that was left there by the previous tenants). Day Lilies that burst open every morning to show their intense purple pedals. Every morning when I leave for work, I’m blasted in the face by a scene that should be covered in cartoon smiley faces, singing some upbeat tune like I just dropped acid.
Aside from being serene as fuck, the classic patio is incredibly useful. The fact is, everyone likes drinking outside. That’s part of the reason why everyone loves the summer—you can drink on rooftops and beaches with reckless abandon. Even if you say you don’t, we all know you’re just upset because you’ve never done it and you feel like you’re missing out (you are). If the inside of your apartment kind of sucks/doesn’t have air conditioning, you can easily impress people simply by inviting them to drink outside.
Think about it. That girl you invited back to your place last night who isn’t thrilled about waking up with no air conditioning? Mimosas outside. That pregame you said you would have before the concert feeling a little crowded? Bring some cold ones out to the patio and flip the hell out of those cups. Even better, if you’re trying to impress your parents and show them that you’re a real grown up who definitely washes their sheets every week, the patio is a great place to have dinner.
Even if you aren’t entertaining someone, patios are fucking great for just kicking back. Leave for the day with some serenity, and leave everything at the office once you come back. I’ve never been to Hawaii before, but I get the impression that this is how the people there feel all the time. Matter of fact, I’m writing this thing right now from my patio on a Saturday afternoon drinking a Bell’s Oberon because I don’t have a social life, and I honestly couldn’t care less about anything at all.
So I lucked out with the semi-tropical oasis surrounding my apartment in the middle of a very densely populated area. Not everyone has this, and I understand that. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t make friends with someone who does. I’ll be the first person to say that I hate being used for things, but the second that someone texts me and asks to have beers on the patio before going out on Friday night, I’ll accept and even run to the liquor store to supply the booze.
Picture this: You roll up to your buddy’s place and are greeted by a mixed group of friends and strangers spilling outside of the apartment and onto a patio. You brought a six/twelve pack of some mid-level beer as a courtesy to the host and crack one open after spending a few minutes playing Tetris finding space for it in the fridge. You join the group out on the patio as the sun starts setting. A laid back indie beat flows out the window as you smile and strike up a conversation with the guy or girl you’ve had a crush on for a while. At this point, you may as well be in a Corona commercial.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that even if the inside of your living space might not be top shelf, a good patio will make it exponentially more awesome. So if you or someone you know has a patio, don’t beat around the bush about how awesome it is. Celebrate it. Drink copious amounts of alcohol on it. Show it some love. And when patio season is over, stare longingly at it through the front window, eagerly awaiting its return..