A successful marriage is all about compromise. In the interest of marital harmony, I learned early on that I needed to let my wife win a few negotiations now and then.
In just a few weeks we will be moving to our dream house, by which I mean her dream house. Don’t get me wrong. I am sure I will love it, because that’s what she tells me. Of course, no guy’s dream house would be complete without a MAN CAVE.
I had visions of the perfect man cave. I wanted to go beyond the ordinary items that every man includes in his private oasis – your know, basic things like a regulation-sized beer pong table, a dart board that curses in Spanish whenever a dart hits it, or a TV larger than the wall it is attached to. Those essentials are givens, of course.
No, I was looking for something a little more exotic. Something that made a manly statement about me, Tim Jones, as a man! So I came up with my list of Tim’s Top 10 Must-Haves for His Man Cave:
- A jumbo-sized wall chart showing the proper operation of power tools – as demonstrated by hot girls in bikinis.
- A combination billiard / air hockey / foosball table that with the press of a button recedes into the floor.
- A Batman-style utility belt equipped with a potato chip dispenser, cheese-wiz canisters in six artificial flavors, and a holster for my burrito-firing bazooka.
- A beer tap in the shape of an elephant trunk – pull on left tusk for guacamole; right tusk for salsa.
- A bear rug – with grizzly in full roar – wearing a Seattle Seahawks helmet (for a touch of class).
- A life-size wooden mermaid, salvaged from the prow of a pirate ship, just like the one that Blackbeard used to pry the cork from his rum by wedging the neck of the bottle in between her cleavage and twisting his wrist in a starboard direction.
- An oversized phone shaped like a football that makes a deafening crowd roar for thirty seconds whenever it rings.
- A giant aquarium – on the ceiling – that you can stare up at during commercial breaks in the game to watch manta rays swimming overhead.
- A wall-mounted animal head – anything with antlers. I’m thinking moose but am open to suggestions.
- A lava lamp. (I’ve always wanted one ever since 7th grade.)
Turns out my wife had other plans for the extra room. Something about her quilting projects. But I was not about to “man cave in” to her demands.
I was all set to order the mermaid on eBay, when my wife said there was no way in hell she would agree to a man cave. To be honest, after the first five seconds, I really had no idea what she was yammering on about. Something about having better things to spend $15K on than a mechanical bull and an indoor batting cage … blah, blah, blah. Not really sure what her point was, to be honest.
As you know – unless you’re a regular reader of this blog – I’m no pushover. An ordinary man might have argued futilely, which would have consisted of trying to insert “yeah, but – …“ whenever she paused long enough to take a breath. But I took a very different, more manly, approach.
I agreed with her.
You see, I had already anticipated her objections. I was fully prepared, and offered her a mock-romise (mock compromise). She fell right into my trap and accepted what she thought was my surrender, when it was really a personal victory not just for me, but for all men.
There was just one slight concession to be made on my part. I agreed to accept a slightly smaller version. For as my wife has assured me on many occasions, size doesn’t matter.
And so, gentlemen, I now have my own private oasis. A place I can truly call my own. A place where a man never has to make an apology for being… a man. And it didn’t even require me to clear the junk out of the garage, because my man cave is conveniently located in the kitchen. It’s the third drawer down from the spatulas. Okay, so technically it’s not so much of a man cave as a man drawer. But it is a one-of-a-kind man drawer. I’m already thinking about what to put in it. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
- A dart
- A mini can of Pringles potato chips
- A remote control for my 13” black & white TV
- A flashlight with the Seattle Seahawks logo on it
- A Little Mermaid bottle opener
- A pen and paper set, to write down items on my honey-do list
I could keep going, but actually, that’s about all the room I have in my man drawer. But it’s MY Man drawer. All mine. And the best part of all? My wife is not allowed to organize it. And I better not catch her trying to sprinkle any of her “rain forest” potpourri fragrance anywhere near it.
I was thinking of demanding a second drawer for even more of my manly stuff. But then I thought I’d better not push my luck. After all, she also was willing to let me have the right half of the bottom shelf of the medicine cabinet for my manly toiletries. Like I said, I’m no pushover.
That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.
[Author’s note: This week’s post was a collaboration with fellow writer and longtime member of the Tim club, Tim Fletcher, who actually came up with the idea for this week’s post. Having now published this missive, his lifetime ambition has been fulfilled, and there remains only one more item on his bucket list: his own man drawer.]
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© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2014
Great ideas!! 2, 5, & 7 are my favs. But just a drawer?? Couldn’t you even upgrade to a “man-closet”? But the big question is – since the girls are away at college, are you going to let them know the new address or just cut and run?
Tim, I feel awful about your drawer. You need a real man cave. My spouse (man) of 63 years has one. Actually, his is a crow’s nest because it’s upstairs, but I couldn’t live without it!!! I mean, he’s gone for L-O-N-G stretches of time, during which I can tune in alpha or read a good book or think ponderous thoughts without being constantly bombarded with questions like, “Where’s my ___?”, or “Have you seen my____?” Tell your wife a man cave can be a wife’s salvation. . . .
It is possible, contrary to received wisdom, for a unisex cave to exist, based primarily on tbe feminine model. I know because my wife told me. Oops, there’s the signal to put another wash load into the dryer!
Tim, you are a man’s man, and I mean that in a manly sort of way. Even your soft, feminine side is manly in an Alice (of Brady Bunch fame) sort of way. After reading this, you have cemented your place as my hero (in a manly sort of way). I am striving to emulate you, but I still have a long way to go. I have currently managed to work my way up to a man-mug, but I’m aiming for a man-carafe. Perhaps next year.
Just remember, don’t drip any of your excess testosterone on the carpet, because it stains and looks like a beloved family pet is not quite house-broken.