Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Now, I Get it

Over the past fifteen, or 20 years, some parts of the male population has actually been returning to the cave.   I don't know why this is happening, but more importantly, why it is being allowed to happen.

The "Man Cave" has become an essential place for men to look for when buying a home, or  build into an existing home.  The Man Cave is a room  that some men feel is as important as a kitchen in a home.  It is their refuge.  Hiding place.  The Castle Keep.  A place that men will withdrawn to, and if they are available, take their friends with them.

The family is left on the outside of the cave walls.  The spouse becomes the defender of the mans cave time by restricting the children from entering, fielding phone calls, doing everything else the man is not doing while he is putting calluses on his thumbs playing Warcraft 3 with his posse.

What's up with this picture?

Since when has one half of a relationship been given a "Get Out Of The Family" free card?

We all grew up playing in secret forts we built in the woods when we got to big for the blanket over the chair in the dining room.  Some of us built tree forts that were our escape pods from little sisters, lawn mowing, and the pressures of elementary school.  Our forts were our havens.  We felt safe, secure, and masters of our world when we were in them.

Then, we grew up.

We found other ways to zone out, escape, and get away from the stresses of everyday life. A weekend away, working out at the gym, going for a run, or building a picnic table.  Anything to take our minds to a place that is free from stress, allows us to decompress, and relax is a "fort", or a cave.  This is something one does not need to do alone.  On the contrary, if one is in a relationship, then it would be a good thing to "decompress" together.  Having a designated place, behind closed doors that is solely for one person in the relationship is not a good thing, or healthy thing for the relationship.

Now, not all men that have a pool room in the basement, or a bar in the family room, are cave dwellers, but those that go to their rooms without being sent, and staying there for hours with little or no contact with the other creatures that they live are most definitely cave dwellers, and they are doing nothing more than hiding.

Hiding from being a grownup, and all that comes with it, and leaving the responsibilities of living, and coping with life to their partner is not the way most of us grew up.

Yes, the dad's of my generation played cards with the boys, had a few drinks doing it, and went away on fishing weekends with the guys, but for the most part, the hammock was the furthest they ever go to real alone time.

I wonder what would be the response if women looked for a room just for themselves.  A room beyond the typical "craft / sewing room" they are often saddled with by Realtors showing off a property.

"Oh, this little room at the end of the hall? That would make a great craft room for mom, doncha think?"

What if woman had a room solely for them that was for workouts, yoga, doing shots with the girls after work, or a book club to discuss works such as "Fifty Shades of Grey"?  What if that room was on the must have list when searching for a home just as the cave has become as necessary as air to some?

I know that not all men demand a cave, however when watching those House Hunter shows on HGTV, it seems that most of the men on those shows have their cave right up there on the list beside running water, and electricity.

Are they kidding?  And, the female part of the partnership doesn't flinch...

Wait a minute..., the women don't react negatively to this cave quest, in fact, they encourage it, and the further the room is away form the main part of the house, and in its own place, the more it is encouraged.

It's not so much a place for men to run away to get away from it all as I had thought, it is   ultimate "everything has a place, and everything in its place" dictum stealthily encouraged by women.  The man is led to believe it's all his idea!

Would having a house to themselves without the TV blaring, video games rumbling, or MP3's shaking the plaster off the wall be a good thing?

Ah, yes.  Yes, it would be.

Women are brilliant.  A bit scary when you think it through, but still, brilliant.

For those men, or women that don't have space in their home for that needed retreat, or time out room, depending on your perspective, you can have one built, and delivered to your yard.  This may save a lot of relationships. --ed.

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