While a lot of things have changed through the years, some remain the same only with different names.
I don’t recall hearing the phrase “Man Cave” when I was a kid, but a man still had a place he claimed as his own back then. Some men had a workshop that filled that need. My father just had a chair, which my sister and I knew we had to give up when dad wanted to sit down after a hard day at work.
Today we know the “Man Cave” as a place for a big screen TV, and all of dad’s sports stuff, and other memorabilia. About 10 years ago I decided I needed a “Man Cave”, so with a lot of help from a brother-in-law, sons., grandsons, and a nephew I added an addition to the back of my house big enough for a 20-by-20 open room, and added some kitchen space per my wife’s (strong) suggestion.
The walls of my cave are lined with shelves, which hold collections of model trains, ships, cars, and other items that were either gifts, or in many cases rummage sales purchases. My big screen TV is set up with satellite TV so I can watch my favorite sports, or other things appropriate for a “Man Cave.”
There is only one — or maybe I should say several small problems — with my “Man Cave,” and I would bet it is something a lot of men found when their little piece of seclusion was finished. As I sit here in my ”Man Cave” my floor is littered with toys suited for the staircase ages of my grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
The takeover of my space began slowly with a toy truck here and a doll there, and then escalated to a pink and blue child’s kitchen set in the corner, a child’s table and four chairs in front of the TV, and a large tub of assorted toys that now litter my floor. I do have control of the room between visits, but it is hard to call it a “Man Cave” with all the toys around.
As I think back on my father’s chair, which he probably thought of as his “Man Cave,” I can remember he had company a lot of times when sis and I would sit with him there. We wanted to be close to him. Hopefully that is part of the reason my grandchildren and great-grandchildren like playing in grandpa’s “Man Cave.”
One thing for sure however, when I bought the big screen TV I didn’t think it would have Sponge Bob Square Pants on it more than the Kansas City Chiefs. It is not likely to change at my house in the foreseeable future, because one of the newer items in my “Man Cave” is a “Johnny Jump-up” for my newest granddaughter Carricka.
It’s a good thing I can record my sports games, otherwise I might have to make me a new “Man Cave.” I would never do that because then I would miss out on something much better than any sports program — the chorus of little voices calling me grandpa, or pah-pah, as they climb upon my lap to watch a little yellow sponge dance across my big-screen TV.
Jack Miller is a longtime Sedalia resident whose column runs in the Weekend edition of the Democrat.