The ridiculously named ‘man cave’ is rather ubiquitous in today’s society. You know that place; the private, inner sanctum of men, where they can—alone—do whatever they damn well please.
But what exactly transpires in this troglodytic chamber of testosterone? Why is there a need for this grotto strictly for guys? What do they do in there?
I am a man. But I find the term rather hilarious and unnecessary. Is there an equivalent ‘woman cave’? No, of course not. Women are too smart. After all, they have the rest of the entire house.
“Sure, honey. Whatever. You want a little room where you can hang out with a bunch of other guys? You got it.”
Women don’t need such things. It remains in the realm of the under-developed Y chromosome kind of thing.
“I need my space.”
“Uh… I need somewhere to unwind.”
“I need a place where I can hang with my bros!”
Jesus. Nauseating, to say the least.
Which brings me to the ‘man barn.’ I suppose, though, in a way, it is a man cave.
In a way.
But it doubles—no, triples—in function. It is my weight room, my studio, and a place to write during the summer months, where I can slide the heavy barn door wide open and let shafts of sunlight penetrate the dark interior. There I can paint, write, lift weights while Boo, our 20 pound cat, rolls around on the dusty cement entrance.
The ‘man barn’ has none of the amenities of a ‘proper’ man cave. There is no Gerard pool table in sight, no kegerator, wine bar, nor foosball or video games, and no 80” plasma TV to be seen.
It’s a barn.
And as such, it remains that way.
But it does provide a sense of calm, a place where I can retreat and indulge in my various pursuits. The amenities remain spare, and I prefer it that way.
Standing before my easel, I welcome a spring breeze that freshens the musty interior. Sometimes, I simply sit on one of the numerous chairs or stools and marvel at the beams of ancient dust that filter through a sunbeam. Other times I nurse a beer and allow the full brunt of a summer sun to embrace me.
It’s during the brutal winter months that remain a challenge. Donning arctic apparel, I swing wide the heavy door off the laundry room and enter the penetrating gloomy, ice cold interior.
Streaks of frozen breaths lead me on. I sit on a rickety, old weight bench, and pause before picking up frigid dumbbells. (Dumb man in his numbing man barn?)
After a few sets I sit, and stare, at the intricate ice patterns on the 200 year-old windows. They are quite fascinating, the ice formations, etched like intricate wallpaper designs by Morris.
Before hypothermia sets in, I deign to ‘pick things up and put them down.’
Despite the constant chill, the barn does provide a sense of respite; from our assorted menagerie, from the hum and hubbub of the TV, from the oft times strange and last minute requests of our 12 year-old son.
Okay, so my man barn is—slightly—the equivalent of a man cave. Slightly, mind you.
No one but me enters this dark and ancient interior. It remains my domain.
And my Beloved, my XY compatriot, has no qualms whatsoever.
“You need to vent in private, honey? You need to work out? Go ahead. I’ll stay here, where it’s warm, cozy—and normal.”
Such does the Australopithecus mindset reside.
Copyright, Paul Grignon, 2014 – All Rights Reserved.