I thought marrying Greg was the best decision I ever made – until I heard what he calls the den.
Two months into living together as a married couple, things couldn’t have been better. Sure, he spent his Sundays watching football, drinking beer with his friends and even made the occasional trip to the local Hooters, but Greg was a true feminist. Why else would he allow me to be the main breadwinner while he stays home all day with our two dogs?
It took a while for us to settle into our new home, but we were both excited about planning every room together, especially the finished basement. “This could make a great family room,” I said. “We could put a big TV down here, games, maybe a bar.” He nodded in agreement and we looked at each other and smiled … Until he said those two fateful words.
“This’ll make a great … man cave.”
Man? Cave? Does that make him a cave … man? I was floored. Was the love of my life really designating a part of our home to be a den of misogyny? Surely he knew that Neanderthal men clubbed and dragged women into submission. He knows that oppressive rhetoric such as “Man Cave” is nothing but destructive, and definitely doesn’t belong in our home.
This was not the man I married.
Now, don’t think I’m just some nagging wife. I tried to compromise. When he put up a neon beer sign, I put up an Audre Lorde quote. When he decked the walls with sports memorabilia, I put a bowl of fair-trade potpourri made by women in Africa on the coffee table. When he suggested we put in a new sound system, I suggested we put in mood lighting. But it was no use. He had tainted the space by dubbing it a “man cave” and there was no going back.
Before long, there were poker nights, a malodorous La-Z-Boy chair and a lewd calendar staring me in the face every time I came downstairs. One night, I even smelled cigars! But when I saw the Big Mouth Billy Bass on the wall, I thought, this was the last straw. I took the dogs out, cooked him dinner and finally put my foot down.
I knew I had to confront this head-on. I called in a marriage counselor to do an in-home visit to assess the severity of the “Man Cave.” Her diagnosis was worse than I thought. It was a full-blown Macho Grotto. How could I have let this happen?
After a costly redesign, a lot of therapy, and recording an apology to our hypothetical future daughter, the healing has only started to begin. Greg and I vowed we’d be together ‘til death do us part, and no amount of Breaking Bad DVDs, beer pong sets or humidors is going to change that.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to retire to my Pussy Nook.