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Man caves? Mantuaries? The antidote to the fuzzy toilet seat? | Manolo for the Home

Man caves? Mantuaries? The antidote to the fuzzy toilet seat?

Where dudes can be dudes in a dudeish fashion

I feel like what I’m going to talk about today is more than a little related to yesterday’s post at Manolo for the Brides. Single ladies, MSN said, should eat their ice cream and have a cat while they still can. Now I found out, compliments of CNN, that married lads better learn to like skulking about in basements and garages.

For Brian, it’s not just about holding onto the ratty futon and the “Fletch” movie poster from his bachelor days. It’s about having a “mantuary,” or “man cave” — a space just for him where he can watch sports uninterrupted or play Xbox games with his buddies.

I’m kidding about the skulking. The Beard and I have our separate offices, and that’s good! I prefer complete silence when writing because I’m so easily distracted. He likes listening to music non-stop. When we shared an office back in the day this caused more than a few tiffs.


But the closest thing we have to a proper CNN-approved mantuary–a word that sounds a tad too much like mortuary for my tastes–is the finished basement, which houses the video game consoles; our books, CDs, and movies; and the weight bench…all things we both enjoy. It’s decorated with road signs and rock show posters. My glow-in-the-dark football lives down there. Perhaps our interests are simply less polarized than those of other couples?

I’d say more, but an Internet friend of mine put it so hilariously when he wrote:

Last week they did a series of stories on what they call “Man Caves,” special rooms that dudes (who have wives/girlfriends) have set up in their houses full of things that “dudes” enjoy, like beer, pool tables, posters, video games and crying softly to themselves behind the water heater clutching a pez dispenser wondering what the fuck happened to their lives. You know, guy stuff – no women allowed! A place to pretend that people who ride motorcycles are cool and not old, fat and sad. GUY STUFF. Lets play cards!

As far as I can tell, Man Caves are akin to what Indian Reservations are to the United States. The large powerful entity who actually controls things throws you a bone and tells you that you are permitted to do whatever you want on this sucky patch of land that nobody else wants. Hey, go crazy! What a great deal! Step outside that land though, and you are subject to the real and actual laws of the United States and you must also use a coaster and remove your shoes before walking on the good carpet.

That makes man caves sound so sad. Ah, well. The funny thing is that having our separate spaces just means that The Beard and I spend a lot of time “visiting.” We typically watch Doctor Who (old and new) on his computer in his office. Just yesterday, we spent the afternoon in my office taking turns sewing cases for our mp3 players.

If a mantuary is at its heart just one’s personal space in a larger shared space, I can’t say I see what the big deal is. As it happens, I’m typing this in my…what…womantuary? Chick cave?

6 Responses to “Man caves? Mantuaries? The antidote to the fuzzy toilet seat?”

  1. Little Red May 6, 2008 at 2:20 pm #

    Does a “man cave” have to be so dumpy though? It is possible to be both stylish and masculine.

  2. Never teh Bride May 6, 2008 at 2:29 pm #

    I’ve never understood that, Little Red. Even if a man cave is full of novelty type stuff or sports memorabilia, there’s no reason it has to look like crap!

  3. Danielle May 6, 2008 at 5:17 pm #

    My father has recently been developing his “man apartment” in the garage, complete with the old recliner my mom forced him to get rid of, a TV/VCR, a fully-stocked frig, a decent stereo system and a wood stove. It has thus far worked out well, as he has a few project cars going right now, so it’s easier for him to spend hours on end out there. My friends think it ridiculous that my mom & dad would do such a thing – have such separate spaces – but I really think their relationship has improved, as they both feel they have their own space to which they can retreat.

  4. Twistie May 6, 2008 at 6:08 pm #

    I’m the one who needs a sanctuary in my house. It would, of course, be fabulously gorgeous when I got through with it.

    But Mr. Twistie has quite literally turned half our house into a recording studio and I all to often find myself relegated to a tiny corner of the dining room where my trusty eMac sits right next to the television which I can’t have on when there’s a session happening. And I really can’t howl along to Melissa Etheridge at those times, either.

    Sigh.

    Maybe we can turn the garage into my office/sanctuary.

  5. Jennie May 6, 2008 at 8:53 pm #

    Let’s see. He had the only office in the house, he also had the spare bedroom. He claims I had the rest. The office (I worked out of the house, he didn’t) had Garfields, about 75, coaster collection, plastic dinosaurs, knife, gun, buttons and old Playboy collections. It was impossible to dust so was matted with the gray stuff. The spare “gueat” room was full of sleeping bags, fishing poles,boxed up trains (he didn’t had room for them to be properly displayed) and unusual lengths of esoteric woods that “I liked the look, grain, etc… and will make something one day. “My” rooms were our bedroom, our living room, and our kitchen. We are now divorced…

  6. sam August 23, 2008 at 3:33 pm #

    The best man-cave site I have come across has to be The Mantuary. Do check it out sometime.