"That poor woman," I'd think to myself. Her husband is so desperate to get away that he needed a whole room, preferably the basement or any room furthest away from the rest of the household dedicated to getting away from every other member in the household. I'm glad my husband doesn't need a man cave.
Around Christmas time last year I was fishing around for gifts for the husband when out of the blue he sent me a link to his Amazon wish list. Perfect. This will certainly make things easier. Then I saw the list. Buffalo Bills clock, Buffalo Bills blanket, Buffalo Bills Fathead. A Fat Head? Aren't those giant decals that you stick on the wall. A gigantic red bean bag. What in the world is going on? I was so confused. What was does he want with this stuff and where does he think he is putting it all? He didn't say anything so I brought it up.
"Uh, I got your Amazon wish list. I don't get it."
"It's for my man cave," he responded matter of factly as if I was supposed to know.
"What man cave? You don't have a man cave."
"I'm getting one."
Oh really. I thought. We hadn't discussed this. And why the heck does my husband need his own room? He says he wants his own space to play his video games, decorate the way he wants and keep messy without me being able to say anything about it. Okay. I get it. There was some hypothetical discussion about how we could get rid of my desk and futon; both of which I have sentimental attachments to. We negotiated. Hypothetically speaking, the desk could go in the other room but the futon would have to stay. And just like that I had consented to a man cave and there was no stopping it from there so I went ahead and got him the Buffalo Bills clock for Christmas.
How can I say no when we have two extra rooms that rarely get used? I mean, it's not like I pay the mortgage by myself or anything. We pay for all the square footage together so if he wants to start utilizing it more than we already are and it makes him happy to have his own space I'm not going to stand in his way.
We don't have basements in California so men here have to be content with an extra room. He happily took down my blue clock with the brushed nickel rim that I got from Ikea in favor of his sports themed clock. My pretty clock found a home next door along with the desk. He was none too happy when he realized that in exchange for the desk he would now have to take on the Ikea cubes but hey, this is how marriage and man caves work. Compromise.
The man cave was taking shape and it was all good, until the sign showed up. Man Cave Rules. Really, I have no problem with the sign. His room his rules and all that, but I didn't expect him to put it OUTSIDE the door. I protested but lost that battle. "It's already up," he said curtly and I decided to let it go. For now anyway.
I had reservations at first, but now it seems like a win-win for everyone. The loft area has turned into our home gym area and is always available for use. He gets to plop down in a jumbo sized bean bag and game for however long he wants without me watching him do it.
That room had became the dumping ground for his stuff has an actual use now. He rarely went in there, yet somehow it was always messy and now that it's his man cave it's still messy but at least we are making use of our square footage. When it was a guest room the mess annoyed me but now that it's the man cave I couldn't care less. It is one less room I have to concern myself with. I'll still clean the blinds but I won't be vacuuming because there is usually too much junk on the floor and that's exactly how he wants it. Turns out, I kind of like the mess. A mess anywhere else drives me insane, but in the man cave there is something very soothing about sitting in the midst of chaos. Deep down inside I want to be that messy person because I have this theory that life would be so much easier if I didn't care. It's not my mess or my space AND I'm not responsible for it so I'm at peace with the mess which is a state of being I can't achieve anywhere else in my house. That gigantic bean bag is actually pretty awesome. I kind of want to get another one. I sneak in there every now and then and flop down on it just for fun.
Almost a year later the room is still very much a work in progress. He says he can't decide what he wants do, but he can take as long as he wants. He's not getting a honey do list from me.