By Susan Hayhurst
You’ve heard of Batman’s famous underground Bat Cave, where all things batty and the Batmobile were stored. More recently, men have created Tim Allen-type man spaces where friends gather to utter Allen’s famous machismo growl, talk of days gone by and imbibe their favorite beverage.
These sanctuaries are viewed as solitary spaces reserved for all things masculine and not a trace of femininity. A fridge might contain beer, soda, bacon, hot sauce, raw meat and chip dips. The kitchen might have various bags of chips, leftover pizza boxes and a stack of dirty dishes. The walls could be covered with posters of Larry the Cable Guy, shelves of antique toy tractors, tractor seats, and various dusty taxidermic animals, including elk, deer and the “fish that almost got away.”
The retreat would sport worn-out or luxurious — depending on the man’s budget — recliners, a gaming system, a pool table and a big-screen TV. A farmer’s cave could have countless champion livestock banners, from himself back in the day and/or from his children’s recent successes. Old seed corn and equipment signs would fill in the gaps. Noisy power tools might occupy places of prominence on shelves.
Enter the “babe cave.” My friend, Beth Whitaker, created her own escape at one end of a farm shed. It houses “just her stuff” — holiday decor, exercise equipment, a TV, a small fridge and her very own power tools.
If her husband, Tim, and son, Sam, try to move in on her space, they have to ask permission and ultimately clean up their mess.
I applaud Beth’s creation and her guidelines for manly intrusion. Differences between the two caves are these: A babe’s cave would always have a vacuum, and a man’s would not allow chick flicks.
Hayhurst writes from Terre Haute.