Hubs, who cannot bear to be in the house without the TV blaring at him, was home on Saturday with the endless prattle of HGTV in the background.
I was getting ready in the bathroom.
Some sort of house hunting show was on. You know the drill.
And I heard the guy on the show exclaim in his best Beavis voice: “Huh-huh. This room would be perfect for my man cave.”
I’ve watched shows that have mentioned the man cave a million times before.
But this time, I had a visceral, primal, blurt-it-out-without-thinking reaction to it:
SCREW THE MAN CAVE.
I stalked into the bedroom – which, incidentally, is also my husband’s weekend office, den of sloth, makeshift mancave and poker room.
I looked at my husband.
These are the times in our marriage where we take on certain roles.
I play the role of ex-bad ass Prosecutor.
“Um…screw the MAN cave! Why do men deserve a MAN cave, exactly?”
My husband plays the role of Duly Appointed Representative of All Men.
This role requires that he lay still on the bed, remote frozen mid-click, heaving a big sigh.
“Well, women usually sort of get to, you know, decorate the rest of the house. We used to have the garage as our sanctuary. But now it’s become the man cave. We get one room of the house to make our own.”
Bad Ass Prosecutor moves quickly from direct examination to closing argument.
“Yes, many women get to take the lead on decorating their home.
They also have to pick up Legos, embedded in the floor. They have to figure out how to stop sour milk, spilled out of a sippy cup from stinking up the couch. They scrape hardened toothpaste off bathroom counters. They have to disassemble baby bottles into 37 pieces and wash each individually in boiling hot water.
They have to ensure that dust doesn’t accumulate on bookshelves. They vacuum up smashed Goldfish crackers off of the floor.
It’s lovely to decorate rooms.
It’s not so lovely to have the responsibility of cleaning the whole house.
Including, I submit, THE MAN CAVE.”
I pause for dramatic effect.
The Duly Appointed Representative of All Men yawns. He clicks on the remote, desperately looking for a rerun of The Matrix.
Bad Ass Prosecutor continues.
“I think it’s time for this injustice to end.
It is time for the tyranny in the family home to be overthrown. A new world order will emerge: one in which men and women both have their sanctuaries.
In all homes where a man has been enjoying his personal temple of gut-expanding, football-watching, junk-food-inhaling Lazy-boyed, big-screened sloth, a woman, too, shall have her own room.
It shall be called the She-Spa.”
I pause again for dramatic effect.
I continue in a louder voice, startling The Duly Appointed Representative of All Men back from catatonic television watching, which now involves a sneak peek into the Playboy Mansion grotto.
“The She-Spa shall be a room in the home dedicated exclusively to women.
It shall include a mani/pedi station. It shall include a batphone by which a woman will get immediate consults with Rachel Zoe or Chaz Dean. It shall be equipped with a massage table. It shall smell not like Fritos corn chips, but lemon and verbena. Aromatherapy shall be subtly issued through pipes in the wall. Soft music shall play. The decor shall be minimalist – modern, yet soothing.
Expensive beauty products shall line the shelves. Access to the She-Spa will be by electronic fingerprint access only. All shall be beautiful, quiet and calm.
I ask for what is fair. Just. Right. Thank you.”
I wait for a reaction.
The Duly Appointed Representative of All Men has his head tipped back on his pillow. His nose is pointed up to the ceiling, mouth wide open in a droning snore.
I go back into the bathroom and start scraping toothpaste off the counter.