I had no idea man caves were such a big deal.
With the pivot of a desk and a chair under our loft bed, I was able to turn storage space into a little office area. The transformation from storage to Dean’s Den, one of a few names Holly calls it, was unintentional. I just wanted a place to be alone so I could write.
When I Googled “man caves” I found a ton of websites devoted to the topic. There’s even a show on the DIY Network called “Man Caves” that I had no idea existed. The show could be called “Extreme Makeover: Dude Edition.”
That’s one reason why I’m not crazy about the “cave” part of the term man cave. The word doesn’t do justice to how huge and elaborate these space are. They’re tricked-out with all kinds of gadgets and amenities around certain themes like sports bars, wine cellars or recording studios. There are even basements turned into nightclubs, gun vaults and golf dens.
Check out some from the show “Man Caves:”
My area, though, is a workspace. I’m looking for a quiet place to work, not to play. When I read that one guy uses his man cave to watch television all day, I thought, “Nah, I’m not trying to make a man cave.” Which brings me to my second surprise in researching all this.
It seems that some guys use their space to get away from their wives and family instead of just being alone. Read this from a Buffalo News story about man caves:
“It’s a sense of territoriality,” said Donna Levin, Hilbert College psychology professor. “As men more became part of the home with child care and cooking chores, they needed to create this Neanderthal space: fun and playful, entertaining and relaxing. It sounds like a really smart idea, to have a place where you can’t be bothered.”
First: “Neanderthal”? That’s the second reason why I don’t like the term “man cave.” Why are we reduced to cave men when wanting our own space? Second: “You can’t be bothered”? I realize I’m still in the honeymoon phase of marriage, but if you’re spending thousands of dollars on an elaborate room to get away from your family so you “can’t be bothered,” you might have problems. I would think (hope!) these spaces are more about solitude than actually getting away from your family.
Being alone and getting away are two different things. I’m one of those people who needs “alone time.” It doesn’t have to be in the den. I could be running or watching TV. It doesn’t mean I want to be away from anyone. As I said, there’s a distinction between getting away from someone and being alone. It’s the difference between “I don’t want to be with you” and “I just want to be with me.”
Holly and I live in small but comfortable one bedroom apartment in city of 8 million people. So, if extra space can be made, even it’s only measured in low double-digit square footage, that’s fine by me.
Update: It’s been a while since this post went live, but it doesn’t mean I can’t show you Dean’s Den: