From caveman to man cave

Castlegar News bi-weekly columnist looks at the popular new male refuge

Karen Haviland

Man can grow old, but never grow up.

I had to laugh when I read that quote at http://www.oddee.com/item_97008.aspx.

Let me explain a bit and you will see what I mean.

The other day my husband and I decided to take a Sunday drive. We really had nowhere in mind, but the day was beautiful and it was nice to spend the time together without the television, computer or phone.

Eventually we found ourselves driving through adjoining communities admiring the beautifully kept yards and the abundance of flowers that late spring offers.

While slowly driving through Blueberry, we spied a house with a garage. The door to the garage was open and I could see a couch and various other items in there. Turning to my husband, I jokingly said, “Hey! I bet that’s a man cave!”

It turns out that it was. Because we had driven down a dead end street we had to pass by that house again and this time when I took a better look, I could see that a TV was mounted on the wall along with other various man cave things.

Which got me thinking – wouldn’t it be nice if my husband had his own little man cave?

It’s the Stanley Cup playoffs. I’m already sick of hockey (yes, I know it’s heresy to think that, let alone put it in print). A man cave would be the perfect solution! His shop already has a fridge and the shop is certainly big enough to plop in a couch, a few manly decorations and….

Well, being a woman, I wasn’t sure what else goes in a man cave and so I turned to my friend Google and did a bit of research. I’m not sure I will share the results of that search with my husband, and I most certainly won’t be sharing this column with him because what I discovered in the search was a real eye opener.

While many men would likely be happy with a couch, fridge, TV and remote, there are those who have taken the concept of a man cave to the far edge of reality.

One of the man caves had its very own stripper pole, while another is a virtual shrine to the University of Florida. Another has three (yes, three!) “32-inch televisions, a 110-inch Stewart film screen fixed display, a Sharp 1080p DLP projector, 7.2-channel surround sound, a PlayStation 3, Lutron lighting and Crestron touch panel control.” Toss in a full wet bar, an icemaker and two beverage centres and you have the ultimate man cave.

Seriously?

Quit salivating guys.

I guess in a perverse kind of way man caves make sense. After all, we women usually have sizable authority when it comes to decorating a home. Men just usually shrug and bite their tongues when we decide to decorate it in girly frou-frou style.

For the most part, men who have man caves are asserting themselves in a very masculine way. It’s kind of like a boys’ club. Remember when you were younger and it was boys only, no stinky girls allowed?

Some things never change.

Through my research I learned that man caves might be extremely beneficial to men. According to some psychologists, man caves can provide stress relief and might even be beneficial to marriages. No nagging wife. No girly things hung on the wall.

I’ll bet those psychologists are men themselves. But to this hockey-tired wife, I can see the allure in it.

Yup, hours upon hours of me, stretched out in my recliner, remote in my hand, flicking through all my favourite shows, belching at will and scratching without a care in the world. Meanwhile all of my most girly things would surround me and all I would smell would be estrogen.

Of course, I’m dreaming and that would only happen if he was in his man cave. But, I would miss him. I would miss our conversations and I would miss his company.

So I guess that man cave will have to wait just a bit longer, and that means he still keeps control of the remote.

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