From Mike McCurry’s “Talk of the Town” column in The Clarendon Courier, June 23, 2016
The Man Cave
Chicago Bears receiver, Zach Miller made a brilliant one-handed catch thrown from Jay Cutler with just over 3 minutes to go in the game. The touchdown sent a frenzy of cheers that could be heard all along Walker Ave. This late fall game turned out to be a real nail-biter and drew over 100 men to the backyard of our former home.
The men certainly enjoyed the victory but most came to say goodbye to the Man Cave.
HGTV actually filmed it for the show called mainland. The show was designed to find a friction point between the men and ladies and why the men desire to have a place of their own.
They filmed Amy and me at the beginning of the show, standing with our backs together, with armed crossed, and with no smiles. They dug around until they exposed all the things inside of our house that Amy loves, like flowers, pictures of flowers, floral bedspreads, and ballet shoes hanging from our bedroom wall.
The end result was that a case was made that I need a place to get away from all of that is girly.
I built my man cave because I had a lot of music (mostly vinyl and compact discs), sports memorabilia, and odds and ins that didn’t really fit the decor inside of our home. My old football helmet just did not look good with Pottery Barn.
The stuff men put into these man caves would otherwise be shoved to the crawl space, garage or basement. It houses the belongings that are not allowed inside the home anymore now that we’re all grown up.
As an example, my father-in-law brought his old reel-to-reel player along with all of the tapes he recorded while being an Army officer stationed in Vietnam. These relics were stranded in his crawl space for years. Once set up, he would stop by the man cave, listen to some tapes and leave 20 years younger, and with a fresh new step.
These spaces are made for us to relax and be youthful.
We had a lot of big events in my man cave, like the Bears games – but mostly it was mainly used for small intimate gatherings.
What the HGTV host, George Grey realized after interviewing some of my friends was that the man cave actually helped men get closer to their wives. I know it sounds crazy, but besides a place to blow off steam, we hosted a lot of men’s Christian small groups where guys could talk about real issues.
George kept saying “how do you get closer to your wives being 70 feet away from your house?” I think he finally got it.
It’s interesting to me how many men around the area have a getaway spot built-in or outside of their homes. Guys really do need to burn off steam.
One of my neighbors to our new home has a place in his backyard where he can watch a multitude of NFL games – all at once.
Another friend built his own brewery in his basement bringing a whole new understanding to tinkering and sampling!
Now that we’ve sold our old home, I’m working on my next man space.
We have a pool in the backyard, so this one will need to be subterranean – in my basement. I won’t be able to host 100 guys like I use to but hopefully, we will watch a few touchdown passes by Cutler and experience what it is like being real men.
As far as my stuff, it will be the perfect place for the trophies, helmets, and even a sign that says mainland.
Mike is a Clarendon Hills
resident; husband; Indian prince; Indian Guide Dad; a Coach; an “old” football player and a real estate broker. Mike’s columns are usually crafted about the buzz in and around the area. It sometimes has a spin on real estate or cultural information, highlights a new business or announces school happenings. He might include a “get-to-know” about some of our interesting residents and even a little about history
. Whatever it is, it is sure to be about the “Talk of the Town”.