Men and Their Caves

I've only seen one man request a zen room, but plenty who want a game room, a gym, or a movie room.  Those I get.  A room with a purpose.  But what is the deal with men and their man caves?  Every other House Hunters features a man who wants a space of his own where he can relax and escape. What exactly is it that these men need escaping from? From the nagging wife with her honey do list that keeps the household running?  Do I talk too much?  Probably.  The way I see it if anyone needs an escape it's probably us and double that if kids are in the mix, so I am perplexed that the whole Woman Cave thing hasn't taken off.  Oh, I know why.  It's not really an option.

"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.


Jackie @ A Better Me said...

I think we often think of a home as a women's place, so I can totally understand a man wanting his own place.

Faith said...

Hehe, I love this! We have a family room downstairs where the television is and Sean has decided to take a portion of that room and turn it into his bar. You should see him when he has his friends over and he is giving them shots and drinks. I like that he feels like he has his own space to do as he chooses. Besides he doesn't understand my "sitting room" so it's OK if I don't understand this need for his space to have a bar.

Lauren said...

As I was reading the first few sentences, I was thinking that men totally need man caves for their decor that doesn't match anywhere else! My husband doesn't have one and therefore gets no football decor. If he wants something offbeat, I still have to approve it, but if I want something, I just buy it. It's kind of unfair but ehhh....

Tomes Edition said...

Most men like their own 'secret' space for some reason so they can decorate and do whatever without us questioning their taste or style. I cackled at you secretly enjoying the bean bag.

Law_Fal said...

Too funny! But I have heard it's easier to have a place in your home to keep your man out of your hair hahaha serves a double purpose

Pegster said...

Man caves are so in, my husband wanted the whole basement as his man cave. So greedy. I did let him because then the rest of the house is mine (insert evil laugh here :)).

Tia @ HoPo said...

So....the sign is stupid. Sorry. You are great for tolerating it but it's just stupid. I think the best part is you know a woman made that sign because there is no way in hell a guy would ever do it!
I get that guys want an area that we don't decorate and coordinate and all that. My husband has the entire garage because, like you, we don't really have a basement. He has all his beer lights and video games and foosball table and the guys can all testosterone out to the cars, or whatever it is they do. They are so weird!

Kate said...

My husband works from home, so I just let his office also be his man cave. I was also a little particular about the mess at first, but since he also works there he keeps it relatively neat! He gets lots of tacky sports decor through his work, and it can all stay there!

Ashley @ A Cute Angle said...

Hahaha! Love this. Nick has a "Bat Cave." I don't mind him having it. It's our walk out completely finished basement, Its a good place where he can listen to his music loud and watch movies on the big tv! He actually keeps it really tidy. It's so cold I never go down there so he decorated the way he wanted.

~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

Kari @ Oh, For The Love Of Stories said...

I've always seen man caves as a bit unnecessary and like and indication that something is amidst. Like you mentioned, "what exactly are you running away from?" However you do bring up a good point in this post. There is something to the fact that a man cave allows your hubby to decorate how he sees fit and that it's a place where he doesn't have to clean and follow house rules. So although I'm not sure I'd be okay with a man cave in my marital home, I'm definitely a lot less closed off to it then I was before!

A Life Less Traveled said...

My husband had a man cave at our old house. For him it was a place to house his comic book collection and stuff, which I understand.