Updated: Dec 7, 2020
By Brian Hale
I’ve always dreamed of having my own Man Cave (my wife will roll her eyes here) – somewhere I can just be a dude and do dude things. But any plans to carve out my own space for watching the game, playing video games, eating crappy food and talking guy stuff have gone by the wayside for “the better good” of our family.
And, I honestly don’t mind it. Would I like my own Man Cave? Of course, I would – what guy wouldn’t? But when I enter the spaces throughout our home that I previously staked claim on for my future sports escape, I see my children and wife playing with bright smiles and infectious giggles and realize that I already have my Man Cave. They ARE my Man Cave (insert every guy’s eye roll here).
But, hold on a sec. Hear me out. Why do us guys crave a Man Cave? What drives us to need that space that is our sacred own?
We want to feel at ease. Relaxed. Only responsible for ourselves.
If you’re anything like me, we absorb the stresses of the day like a sponge soaking up a recurring puddle of water: Slugging though the nine-to-five, coordinating time to work out, finding the funds to pay bills, figuring out dinner, playing with the kids, putting off household chores and overdue yard work, dedicating quality time to your spouse... the mental list goes on and on.
Then we get up the next day and do it all over again. Wring out the sponge, begin reabsorption. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Being a Dad and husband is hard. It’s stressful. We self-inflict a lot of stress and pressure on ourselves to provide for our family and make sure the wheels keep turning. (And, God bless my wife – she does 102947 times more than I do, so I don’t know how she does it). At the end of the day, retreating to that craved sacred space of solidarity feels like something we’d give just about anything for in order to let the sponge dry out a bit before being thrown back into the puddle of reality.
But, why? Why a Man Cave?
A Man Cave is an escape. Pure and simple. It allows us to put off the realities of our daily life and seclude ourselves from everything we’ve worked so hard for and from what has made us who we are.
And, honestly? I don’t want to be secluded from all of that. I want as much of that as possible.
So, when I venture into a space previously occupied in my dreams as a serene manly escape and I see innocent faces full of genuine joy and wonderment, and when I hear their silly giggles and playful screams, my heart becomes fuller than any solitary escape could ever provide. They ARE my Man Cave.
So, when it’s time to wring out the sponge at the end of the day and let it dry for tomorrow, I think of the Man Cave I already have – the one I’ve worked so hard to build with my wife. And, I’m excited and proud that she and my children are part of my sacred space. The pride and humbleness I’m consumed with fill my cup more than any Man Cave beer ever could.
But, let’s be honest. If we had the space and the funds to build a Man Cave – I don’t think I’d be fooling anyone (or myself) if I said I didn’t want one. But, for now – I’m more than OK basking in the hard work that has paved the way for the Man Cave I already have.
Who needs the real thing?
Man cave, shman cave.