To Mancave or Not to Mancave? That is the question.
Mancave, noun: A room, space, corner or area of a dwelling that is specifically reserved for a male person to be in solitary condition, away from the rest of the household in order to work, play, involve himself in certain hobbies, activities without interruption.
- Urban Dictionary
I am also pounding on my chest but because I'm not so well versed in the art of You-Tube and I still don't know how to work my webcam (do I even HAVE a webcam?), you won't get to see it.
I'm not hairy (save for several random hairs on my big toe, what's with that?!). I regularly purchase and use deodorant. I don't club my women. Well actually, I don't club men either (I prefer my date alive thankyouverymuch). And my teeth are regularly inspected by a member of the American Dental Association. So I utter a few grunts and groans when falling out of bed each morning. And yes, I CAN apply for car insurance online. I think that this means, by last count, that I am not a caveman. Score!
*makes note on resume*
Granted, I'm not your normal guy. I don't do sports (and by don't do I mean don't do without a drink in my hand). I've never read Playboy (by read I mean read without a drink in my hand). And I've never fist-bumped three of my other buddies because a really big guy in tight pants carried a Stewie shaped ball over a white line and did a "Hand to Jesus" move. Big shocker right? Should I make a Steelers joke right now? Probably not... don't want to lose the one reader I have from Pittsburgh.
So, Mancave. Let's talk about this for a minute. The last time I checked, we'd made it past the evolutionary stages whereby we all walked as if we lived in a French bell-tower (ie: hunched over), grunted our orders, and screamed Yabba-Dabba-Do at the top of our lungs. This isn't the stone age and a great majority of us haven't eaten Dinosaur in years (Though I've heard it's quite a delicacy). Yes guys, I know the Mancave is that one space in the house that is all yours. With the "Keep Out Girls" sign on the door even though Pamela Anderson has held a place of honor on the wall since her first surgery. You know what I'm talking about.
"Everytime I hear the word Mancave I'm struck by what a giant step backward it is. Does making a room sound like it has Neanderthal-esque appeal make it more attractive?"
- Meredith Heron Meredith Heron Design
Sure. It is the one place in the house that you are free to do guy things. Like play X-Box. Or watch football. Or fart. And yes, some of these actions may seem a little caveman-esque (if I hear "There is more room on the outside" one more time...) but isn't calling your room your cave just shy of asking to be hairy and grunty again? Bears live in caves. Cavemen live(d) in caves. Trolls live in caves. Scratch that. Trolls live under bridges. But men, we have this great thing the Oxford English Dictionary calls a vocabulary. Say it with me. VOC-AB-U-LARY. I tend to think of the great TV men. Dick Van Dyke. Darren Stevens. Al Bundy. None of them had a Mancave. Van Dyke had a study (and a chair with a really dangerous ottoman). Darren had his office (which I believe was actually immune to his mother in law). Al Bundy had a toilet in his garage.
Call me old fashioned but isn't referring to our "space" as the Mancave, no matter how we say it (try it with an English accent, it's fun!) a little disrespecting? A little self-depreciating? We're men yes. Are we gentlemen? Some of us. But are we cavemen? Not unless you're in a Geico commercial. So what's the point of referring to ourselves as such?
Before you get your knickers in a bunch (another indicator that we are definitely not cavemen - we wear underwear; most of us anyway), I know that it all comes down to semantics. That Mancave is nothing more than a word. That in the end, it all comes down to one of man's most essential needs (after bourbon, football, and sex). Personal Space.
"In my vernacular, the media/theater room is a space for the entire family; whereas the Mancave is just for the men of the house to be a testosterone-filled play area. I love the idea of men and women having separate spaces to relax."
- Angel Robinson Write Robinson Couture Stationery
I totally get it. The further along you are in life, the more chance there is that people are encroaching on your personal space. Usually it's little people and they're trying to play with your toys. That's Daddy's Playstation, Junior! Steve and I are only two people with a dog and even that can be enough to drive me to drinking. As such, I can't stress enough the importance of having a room or a space or at least a futon of one's own. A domain that isn't public territory. To be the master of your own land. It is totally key and although it doesn't necessarily need a door, it should become a personal reflection of its owner.
BUT, and this is the big but, can we please open up the dictionary and call it something OTHER than a Mancave? Study. Library. Mantuary. Salle des Hommes. My personal preference? Lair.
And ladies, naming a room is like naming his ... um... tool. When he comes up with his own personalized tag (because you've tazed him every time he said Mancave) don't laugh. Especially when he calls it "Grawl's Room of Magical Delights". Just giggle under your breath and offer him another beer.