The man cave

Posted on July 12th, 2011

A few years ago, when we were house hunting, Harry mentioned to me that he wanted a man cave. Now I’m a bit hard of hearing in my left ear, which is a blessing if you’re a parent. You can say things like “Do you want hearing like mine? For pete’s sake, turn that rap music down.” Anyway, because of that I thought Harry said, “bat cave.”

How cool would that be? A big old tunnel under the house and all those neat gadgets and cars and airplanes and—best of all—maybe Harry would wear that batman suit. And as a bonus, doesn’t Alfred come standard with all bat caves? Okay, maybe he’s not dressed in a bat suit, but what could be better than some guy who washes clothes, fixes dinner and fills the bat mobile with gas?

And then reality hit. Who can afford a bat cave? It’s pretty fancy with all the computers and spy equipment and everything. Plus, I started to stress out when I realized that if I expected Harry to dress in a batman suit, he might expect me to dress in a bat woman suit. Honestly, just the thought of me squeezing into all that leather is enough to blind anyone. And to be frank, there are chafing issues.

So I said, “Honey, don’t you think a bat cave is out of our price range?” And Harry turned to me with a look on his face that clearly stated I had just said something really stupid like, “Honey, don’t you think a bat cave is out of our price range?” Then he answered, “Man cave. Not bat cave.”

Well. That was better. No chafing. No butler. No batman suit. Just a simple room where, according to Harry, a man can be himself. Now I suspect all this “be himself” stuff has a lot to do with sitting around in his underwear playing computer games, but I could be wrong. I also suspect that “be himself” may have something to do with gas passing, burping and other stuff that I have forbidden in our home—but again, I could be wrong.

Anyway, I decided to be supportive, mainly because I had no other choice. I mean, if Harry wanted a man cave he should get a man cave. So when we moved into our house, I let him pick any room he wanted for his man cave as long as it was the garage. Or the extra bathroom. Which frankly, was a bit of a sacrifice on my part since that would require extra cleaning.

Turns out Harry didn’t want the garage or the extra bathroom for his man cave. Instead he wanted the extra bedroom, which I had planned to use as a craft/sewing/scrap booking room. Yes, those are all hobbies I don’t have, but I planned to learn them in the next decade. But I let him have the room. After all, the man wasn’t making me wear a bat woman suit, so what better way to say “thanks?” I gave up my dreams of becoming a world-class scrap booker and allowed him to have a place to sit around in his underwear without anyone asking when the heck he was planning to get dressed.  I’m telling you, this marriage business requires deep sacrifices in order to work.

And then I realized that I could have fun decorating the man cave. I mean, man cave is really just a 21st century term for “den” or “study,” right? I pictured big leather recliners, dark wood paneling, maybe some golf prints on the walls or even those poker playing dogs. Or a pool table, which would be cool. Oh, it was fun just thinking of shopping for all that stuff.  Unfortunately, it turns out that man caves do not have décor. In fact, according to Harry, the man cave did not need fancy leather reclining chairs and matching smoking jackets. Nope. All the man cave needs is an old desk, a chair held together with duct tape, a computer, a video game console, and the biggest TV on earth.

Which is perfectly fine, if that’s what he wants. Although I must say, a bat cave probably has much better decor. Not to mention that Alfred is allowed in there to dust once in a while. But you now, the next time Harry works late, I just might sneak into the man cave and replace the chair. Even a man cave has to have some standards.

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2 Responses to “The man cave”

  1. Pattie Seery Says:

    Hey! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but following checking through a few of the post I recognized it’s new to me. Anyway, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and looking at back frequently!

  2. Mike Says:

    Great post about a room of growing importance to men the world over. Many thanks for writing this.

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