I think this was my favorite chapter in the book.
Here are the highlights, I'll try not to type the whole chapter.
"Martha Beck wrote a fabulous article a few years ago about how our homes affect us and demonstrate our selves back to us. She asked the reader to picture the room you love best in your home, and three words to describe it, and then to picture the room you hate the most, and three words to describe it. She said that the words you choose for the room you love are three things that you would like to be, and the three words for the one you hate are the things you're afraid you really are, and really don't want anyone to know. Clever, that Martha Beck.
My basement is all the things that I don't want you to know, that I want to keep covered and out of your sight. I want you to see my living room and my dining room, my best shelves, my most charming and evolved selves. But down there, down in the musty, smelly basement are the parts of me that make me embarrassed and sad. Down there are my easily hurt feelings, my adolescent heartbreaks, my public faliures, the times I've tried to tell a joke and no one laughed. Down there are the unrequited loves, the left-one out feelings, the times when I heard other girls talking about me in the bathroom, both in high school and at church not that long ago. The basement is where all the hidden parts are."
"... if I allow them to help me, they would see my basement. They would see my basement and then they would leave, scared and disapproving, shaking their heads and clucking their tongues, knowing that there was always something off about me, cometo think of it."
"I'm quite certain she doesn't have cabinets like that. But then again maybe she does. Maybe we all do, somewhere. Maybe it's not your cabinets or your basement or your butt. But I think it's something, and I think you probably spend a lot of time covering it up and thinking about it in he middle of the night. And I think when you let someone into your life far enough to get a glimpse of it, at first you think you're going to pass out, and that that person is going to ruin your reputation as a good person by blabbering about your butt or your cabinets to everyone you know. But a second after that, I think you're going to realize that that person is your friend. Like really and truly, from Jesus, your friend."
"Her basement doesn't bother me one bit. It's messy and dirty and you have to wind your way through it like a corn maze, and it doesn't even put a dent in how much I love her and respect her and think she's smart. And apparently, against all odds, that's how Lori feels about me, even though she's dealt with my dishwasher. That makes me feel both honest, like she's seen the very worst and there's nothing else to be exposed; and safe, like she's not going to leave or make fun of me. When you find those things coexisting peacefully in one friendship, I think you've got a good thing going there, and you should let them see your basement."
This chapter made me reflect on my friendship. Thank you to my friends that have seen my basement and are still my friends. Thank you for being there through the ugly. Friends like that don't come by the bushel. You are very special to me and thank you for loving me. I love you!