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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fire pits are NOCD

 If you understand that acronym, you'll see where I'm going with this post.

Summer is almost upon us (unless you inhabit in the frosty swampland of Denver, Colorado) and homeowners' thoughts are on outdoor living.  Time to pull out the patio set and start prepping the pool for warm weather parties.  And one questionable piece of outdoor furniture will begin to pop up in the backyards of my neighbors and yours - the fire pit.

 Like they don't have enough fire.

Despite my being a Heeb, a deep-seated WASP-iness runs through me.  Certain things just rub me the wrong way like hair color not found in nature, thumb rings and Escalades.  My inner Buffy's upper lip curls at the thought.  And so it is with fire pits.  Unless you live a climate where the summer evening temperature regularly drops below 40 degrees, why would you want one these?  And don't tell me "s'mores" - I'll throw my vodka tonic in your face.


These hideous spawns of Satan and The Home Depot garden department are not only aesthetically offensive, they are terrible for the environment.  Not that that argument has ever stopped a McMansion owner, the foremost aficionados of garish garden decor.  And Escalades.

This is about the only appropriate setting for a fire pit - deep in nature and designed to be considerate of its surroundings.  I do wonder about the lack of seating though.

To conclude, the only flames I want to see in my backyard are named David and Dan, fix a mean cocktail and love to talk about light fixtures.


Peeke said...

I never thought of firepits for the summer. Everywhere I have ever partaken in them it was during the winter:

Apres skiing (the firepit at the Incline Village Hyatt in Lake Tahoe is to die for - 20 feet away from the shore with the most amazing waterfront view in the world)

Desert Cocktailing (perfect at night in the desert in the winter when the sunset is gorgeous, but its a bit too nippy to be outside to watch it). Full disclosure - we are building a house in Phoenix and have every intention of putting a firepit in the backyard for this very purpose.

Don't understand needing them in the summer anywhere.

I totally understand about the inner WASP thing. I am still a bit ashamed that I live in a house with garage doors on the front of the house XD......Now I have to add my firepit to my decor skeleton closet.

Maria said...

WOW!! I love those fire pits! I want the 1st one. Where's it from?

x0x0 Maria

Jimmy The Undercover Designer said...

Well I guess maria does not share your point of view !
I stand neutral I have seen some I like, some do look like they belong in satan's living room though.
So if you ever see one in my garden do try to keep your vodka in hand :)

Alcira Molina-Ali said...

Ha! Agreed!

These just scream danger to me and not in a good way, especially in homes with young 'uns.


sanctuaryhome said...

Hmm, I am conflicted. I like a good firepit, but then again I grew up in a rural small town that regularly dropped below 40 degrees every evening. Back then, bonfires were a regular occurrence, to keep warm, provide lighting and, most importantly, to keep the bugs away. Firepits are kind of nostalgic to me for that reason, but I wouldn't subject my suburban neighbors to it. Someday when I have an acre or 2 of my own, I will proudly find myself the coolest firepit on the market.

DaniBP said...

Yes I agree they are hideous!
They are becoming more popular up here in Canada as they are truly sold everywhere.
I say if you want an outdoor fire go camping!

Alexandra Rae said...

Oh, the catalogue fire pit fixture. I totally agree. On the bourgeois design meter, it ranks somewhere between its Oakie ancestor, the molded fiberglass above ground "spa" and those bad "paintings" designed to hide the flat screen. Okay, so I do have one (built-in). But like embarrassing relatives, I didn't pick it; it came with the house. (Yes, I even have s'mores fixings in the pantry.)

eileen said...

We all have our pet peeves. Thankfully, yours are hysterical!

P.S. S'mores are overrated.

ModernSauce said...

I like to keep all my primitive forces of nature in easily manageable containers - fire in a pit with a lid, rain only from a shower head, caveman on a leash. Ahahahaha! I'm kidding, I hate those rain shower heads.

I also had to google NOCD... still friends?!

drollgirl said...

i am getting a decidedly hostile vibe from this post! lol!

i do not have a firepit. i do, however, have a tiny bbq, and i hope that is ok! lol

Nita {ModVintageLife} said...

I'm not into firepits at all. I have a friend that just built a fantastic outdoor fireplace and a few of my neighbors have them. I love the look of those and would like to have one but I am to paranoid to ever light a fire in it. I MIGHT fill it with candles...but most likely I'd put a fern in it or something else. Maybe I would light it in the dead of winter if there was snow everywhere.

I have a chiminea that a friend gave me. It will never be lit. I'm too much of a fraidy cat. But you are acquaintances that live in McMansions...have them.

David said...

What about outdoor fireplaces? Not a pit, but vertical, like an inside fireplace, only outside. I kind of think I'd like to have one when we redo the patio.

And since you brought up cocktails, my new loves Simply Lemonade, Simply Limeade, and Simply Grapefruit are BEGGING us to turn them into adult beverages. I'ma start thinking.

Raina Cox said...

David - I'm totally fine with outdoor fireplaces.

nanne said...

i moved from southeast alabama to central indiana two years ago.

i don't have a fire pit, but i do have one of those moveable outdoor fireplace things and i LOVE it!

it is freakin' cold here in the fall, winter & part of the spring & i am used to spending cocktail hour outside. when football season rolls around, back in alabama (when we were not in tuscaloosa for games) we had the t.v. set up outside to watch football--everyone down there has this does this. i guess it's a southern thing.

my ugly, little red-headed step child of a fire pit has helped me keep some sense of normalcy (and outdoor drinking) in my life.

i love it. when it's nasty cold here, i have big dreams of turning my entire backyard into a huge fire pit.

nanne in columbus, indiana

Carolann said...

ahahaha!! Your post cracked me up, Raina. "Garish garden decor" is a pet peeve of mine. I'm def of the less is more camp, especially for yards. One of my neighbors has a HUGE metal iguana thing in their front yard. Seriously, it's way bigger than my german shepherd mix dog. ...While not a fan of the fire pit, I'd take that over a hand-painted resin meerkat any day!

Arne Salvesen said...

Hey! What's wrong with S'mores?

Back when I was a kid we used to have backyard fires all the time ... in a pit. Granted we didn't spend $250 on some metal monstrosity from Home Depot. We dig a hole.

Which is to say, I like 'em because I like s'mores.

Raina Cox said...

Carolann - Hello and welcome to this deliciousness! Also, in my head I pronounce your name like Zelda Rubenstein in "Poltergeist."

Arne Salvesen - I love s'mores! But they are no justification for tacky garden decorating.

The Zhush said...

Confession: last year I bought a firepit, with visions of backyard smores with the family in mind. Fast forward all summer, we never used it, rain water collected, became a breeding ground for west nile, (husband smirking all along, never wanted it in first place!) finally I call Goodwill to please take the damn thing away! So, now tell me...what does NOCD mean!

Raina Cox said...

The Zhush - It's snobby secret WASP code - "Not our class, Darling."

Also "NOKD" - "Not our kind, Darling."

Wendy J. St. Christopher said...

I've experimented with many, many hair colors that don't exist in nature . . . and I wear a thumb ring. (Sometimes two!)

To add insult to injury :-) I'll admit to loving fire pits.

Fire, in general, is alluring and compelling, but (except for cooking) fire belongs outdoors. I'd much rather enjoy an outdoor fire pit than an indoor fireplace.

Your dislike of them made for a very enjoyable read, though!

Now, how can I get my hands on a shiny, black Escalade . . . ;-)

Modern Country Lady said...

Either I don't know enough people with McMansions ( guess I don't ! ) or this hideous habit has not spread to the UK.Keep it in the US and ERADICATE!! As completely pointless as one of those hideous outside heaters - Hello ! if you're cold- go INDOORS, Yes ?

alison@MyLittleHappyPlace said...

Word to the muthaaaaah!

Anonymous said...

Microscopic soot from wood burning is among the biggest air-pollution threats to the public. The specks, known as PM-2.5, can evade body defenses, lodge in the lungs, trigger many illnesses and result in premature death.

Fortunately, the city of Los Angeles enacted pollution rules. Builders are prohibited from installing wood-burning fireplaces in new houses, and it's illegal to install one when remodeling. Gas-burning fireplaces are allowed.

"To get to clean air in Southern California, we all have to individually take greater responsibility for the air pollution we cause," said South Coast Air Quality Management District Executive Director Barry Wallerstein.

For more info, see:

Pollution rules will put a damper on fireplace use

Wood Burning Ban Saves Lives

The same issue applies to tree burning "biomass" incinerators, the proposals for which are popping up like mushrooms on a wet day due to dirty energy subsidies.

The Florida League of Conservation Voters has summary documentation on adverse effects of "biomass" incinerators - includes documentation on effects of particulates-PM10 & PM2.5

Even dirtier than coal


ModFruGal said...

In-ground firepit defender here! We have a wooded lot on acreage and love having it..Winter, Spring, and Fall use only. Plus it keeps the kids from nagging about camping so much!

Sharon @ Real Estate Resuscitation said...

Darn it! I just typed a long comment and Blogger went AWOL on me! Two things that are funny:
1) "thumb rings and Escalades" comment
2) "CarolAnn" being said in the Poltergeist woman's voice

I had more to say about firepits, but don't feel like typing it now.

Dave Marciniak said...

I'd still rather my homeowners go with a cheap metal firebowl from Target than build a permanent stone donut that never functions as well as they think it will. Treadmills become clothes racks and firepits become mosquito brothels...

Acanthus and Acorn said...

Got one 2 years ago for the teenagers. They used it twice. I shoved the ugly beast under the deck and plan to make my son haul it to the dump!

Raina Cox said...

Dave Marciniak - Gold Star Comment of the Day.

Also, hello and welcome!

Julia said...

I love firepits. I live in Minnesota, where even in the summer it can get quite chilly at night. My parents have a large wooded lot and I've always enjoyed our summer evening fires, making hot dogs and s'mores with all the neighbors. I would never get one in the city though.

Jane Kilpatrick Schott said...

I think we will find them a few years from now in the Fondue Pot pile.

I am so with you on the "hair color, thumb rings and Escalades"!!!