When Alpha Hubby and I were in our newlywed stage, we were adapting to combined households – furniture, gadgets, etc. Sometimes our old house looked like moving boxes exploded in it. He set a precedent in our marriage back then – he asked, “Give me at least one room to call my own, that is always neat and clean, peaceful.”
At that time, it became the living room because his only other choice would have been the bathroom or the carport. I always made sure that room was peaceful – no clutter, no mess, dust, dirty dishes (not that that ever happened with Mr. Anal-About-It in the house); it was a place he could relax, unwind and just “be”.
Since that time, Man Caves came into existence. I don’t think Alpha Hubby understands the use most men put Man Caves to as evidenced by our recent conversation after I bought him a gag-sign for the living room here in this house – since that is still considered “his” room even in this house.
I was telling him about a book I was reading, “Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris” by Jennifer L. Scott. In the book, the author talks about things she learned while living with a Parisian family as a foreign exchange student. She states, “Madame Chic took the casual California teenager under her wing, revealing the secrets of how the French elevate the little things in life to the art of living; to embrace the classically French aesthetic of quality over quantity…”
This delightful book fits right in with the Zen life Alpha Hubby and I are working toward. We are clearing out clutter, getting rid of excess (especially things we haven’t used in years), going through items and only keeping those with heart-meaning or what we consider beautiful.
The author of the book talked about something I grew up with, how the family always sits down to the evening (and breakfast) meal, in courses, sharing delicious rich foods and conversation. They would never dream of eating while standing over the kitchen sink or mindlessly stuffing their faces while watching television. One never ate anything while walking down the street (a rule I also grew up with; it was considered gauche). That rule went along with the “No white after Labor Day” rule (although the original rule only applied to white dress shoes and pumps).
Back to Alpha Hubby. I was telling him some of the changes I wanted to make – or some of the things I wanted to get back to that we used to do (such as not eating while watching television). Our typical Alpha conversation:
Alpha Hubby: “I think that is a good idea. When we sit here in the kitchen, we graze. I want to eat at the table rather than the counter. I made that beautiful table. I want to use it. I don’t want to sit in the kitchen at the counter after work because I do graze and don’t want to.”
Me: “I so agree. The book was talking about how the evening meal was always eaten on good china, cloth napkins, and such. Remember when I had the epiphany about the good china? How people save their good china for company and there is no one more important than you, so why save it for people who only pop in once in awhile?”
Alpha Hubby: “Yeah, it goes along with women who put on makeup and dress up to go to town but never do it for their husbands. Who in town is more important than me?”
Me: “Okaaaay (minor eye roll), you’re right. I remember we talked about that years ago. Anyway, I bet those Parisians living in hose aristocratic apartments never heard of a Man Cave!”
Alpha Hubby: “I like my Man Cave. Don’t touch my Man Cave.”
Me: “I’m not touching your Man Cave although it really isn’t a real Man Cave like I think they mean Man Caves to be. You know, they have a place where they can be all manly, smoke stinky cigars, drink beer and burp the alphabet, watch sports, fart, and just be away from the women in their lives.”
Alpha Hubby: “That’s not a Man Cave. Stupid men.”
Me: “No? What is your definition of a Man Cave because that’s what everyone else uses it for.”
Alpha Hubby: “A Man Cave is where you reach out and grab your woman, drag her into your Man Cave, ravage her, then toss her back out and go on with your business.”
Me: “Oh. Well alrighty then. OK. Hmmm.”
Alpha Hubby: ”Wanna go into my Man Cave now?”
We interrupt this post for a short intermission.
(Heard in background: “Whatta ya mean short?!?”)