The Porn House

by Katy McCaffrey on August 23, 2013

in COLUMNS

Things have been really calm and easy at our house lately. Summer took us in like a mother waiting with open arms and then she gently rocked us while we lazed around and had our hair patted.

Uncomfortable with this type of ease and general happiness, we immediately decided it was time to move.

Moving is the most horrible thing you can do to a family. For one thing you have to clean up your house, something I try to avoid doing at all costs – which would explain why I found a petrified sunbutter and jelly sandwich behind the bookcase. For another, you have to find someplace to move to. That involves open houses.

OpenHouse 3

Now open houses enjoyed from the comfort of your living room couch on such iconically-awesome shows like House Hunters and House Hunters International, are great. Who doesn’t like watching fools pick the totally wrong house for themselves, all the while knowing you could do so much better because you understand it’s all about location, location, location, and not about stupid things like the color of the granite counter-tops?! But open houses every Sunday for three months with a 4 and three-quarters and an 11 month old are no fun. No fun at all.

At this point we’ve easily seen 60 houses and the kid has started to take on the vernacular: “Mom, did you see the shower in the master at Janey’s house?” “A giggles and Huggs is going in there? This neighborhood is up and coming.” “We need more land!” (Only one of those is an exaggeration).

And she definitely has her favorites. Usually the ones that already have a swing set in the yard or butterflies hanging from the ceiling, she is ready to make an offer on. Never mind the homeless person pissing in the pool, she says we can just have him painted over. There is one house in particular that she’s obsessed with. She calls it “daddy’s place” because, in fact, her father once loved there.

It was close to 15 years ago that I was invited to a “Bolt & Screw” party, where when I entered, I was given a bolt and then was privy to a myriad of men who wanted to see if the screw they were given upon entering, fit my bolt. The place was a traditional two story Tudor with a grand front entrance, eat-in kitchen, spacious backyard with a pool and was filled to the rim with questionably sweaty singles looking for “the right screw.” My future husband and father to my children was throwing this classy soiree.

Closeup view of screw bolt with nut over white background

At least 4 Mudslides in, the aforementioned future husband was actually holed up in his bedroom with the only other person I knew at the party so that is where we spent the remainder of the evening. It may sound dull, but after the 3rd person attempted my bolt and I embraced a “your screw looks too small/thin to interest me so don’t bother” campaign, relative anonymity in the back room was a choice pretty much everyone supported.

It was here, away from the masses, that I heard about this house. The future husband was actually just renting this room from the people who lived here. They rented out rooms to a lot of people and then they all just shared the common spaces like the kitchen or the back patio. Occasionally they would rent those spaces too. To movies. Special movies.

Just that week, the future husband had emerged from his room ready to grab a little light breakfast before heading into the office, only to find a naked lady sitting on the granite center island. She was nice enough, he remarked, and they talked weather while he ate his microwaved Jimmy Dean and she nibbled on some fresh fruit picked from the property’s many mature fruit trees. Later in the day, when he returned home for lunch – something he almost never did, but found he had time for this day – he had an opportunity to watch this woman work. Outside, on the custom-tiled pool deck, which surrounded the unique kidney-shaped black-bottom pool, she acted her part apparently with great enthusiasm and commitment. Once again, she had fruit. It was not for nibbling.

Single banana isolated on a white background

This would not be an isolated brush with the adult-movie elite for my future husband. In subsequent weeks the property would be rented out again and again. Eventually the experience became more of a hassle than anything else – he couldn’t enjoy Playstation in the home’s formal living room because two ladies were already using the joy-sticks in there. He couldn’t get his car out of the three car garage and through the circular drive because the craft services truck was filled with fluffers. The hot tub was off limits because Ron Jeremy was in there (and that’s just not sanitary).

Being as these were the early days of our relationship, I heard quite a bit about the trials and tribulations of living in a porn house (not like now after nearly 14 years together where we have nothing interesting to say to one another anymore and porn being shot in our living room would barley garner a glance up). And as the weeks wore on it became clear that despite this home’s amazing location, incredible amenities, and custom finishes, the future husband was going to have to move.

He dragged his feet, because moving is the worst thing you can do in this world, but when he finally discovered, via police enforcement, that the couple renting him his room did not actually own this house but were actually squatters themselves, he found the proper motivation and got himself a nice little studio apartment by the freeway.

Elements wrought fence

These days we live all of three blocks from that house. We pass it often on our family walks to the Farmer’s Market or to get Fro Yo, and that’s when the kid wants to stop and peer past the wrought iron gates, upon it’s brick facade, and ask Daddy about life in this big beautiful house. She won’t know it’s sordid history until she’s old enough to read and be embarrassed by this blog, and so she loves it. If she had her pick, this would be the place we move to. I’m not sure there are enough Clorox wipes in the world to make me comfortable with cooking a family meal in that kitchen but I do like the idea of a home with rental income potential so if it comes on the market we’ll definitely hit up the open house.

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Katy McCaffrey (Contributing Editor, Los Angeles)

Katy is a mother, a wife, and a TV producer, mostly in that order. Once she wrote some sarcastic things next to some pictures a guy took with her stolen iPhone. She was then semi-well known for three days afterwards. If You Must Know is what’s happened to her since then.

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