Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Cave or Den

 When I was growing up I watched shows like Leave it to Beaver and My Three Sons. Their fathers each had a den. It was a room just for him with a large desk and book lined shelves. It was from this room that they directed the affairs of the family. It was a sort of " oval office " for the man of the house. I was impressed with that. I asked my own father why he didn't have a study and he said that was only for rich folks. On My Three Sons the father was a aeronautical engineer and Beavers Dad was an accountant or an insurance agent, I'm not sure which. Both were white collar workers though so it made sense they would be wealthy. All the rich folks wore a suit and tie to work.
 I've always wanted a study of my own. Right now I've got a roll top desk in the corner of my bedroom. I do have a small shelf with a few books. I was looking at my books and I noticed something about them. They are either old books concerning " local " ( my hometown ) history or books written by folks I know. That led me to thinking how many folks would even have a home library anymore ? That is what Ward and Steve had libraries didn't they ? That is what I thought all those books represented anyway. Ward was always smoking a pipe and reading some book. I suppose if you had that today it would only be for show, we really don't need to buy books anymore do we. Just google what you want to read about.
 In the last few years I hear a lot about making a man cave. And just what is the purpose of a man cave ? Are they acting like men in those spaces ? From my understanding of their purpose I would have to say, no. Big screen television, gaming systems and drinking beer is what is associated with those " caves. " Even the name implies a rather " uncivilized " atmosphere. Hmm, quite the difference in perception from the old days. I'm certain I'm not the only one who aspired to having a den one day. Now the young boys are aspiring to what ? A cave in their home where they can act inappropriately while everyone laughs about it. Is this really an advance in civilization ? I'm not so certain about that. Of course I realize I'm old. In my day we went out. We had the neighborhood bar where we hung out and acted like " men. " Shooting pool and playing the jukebox was our entertainment. That had its' drawbacks though, mostly getting back home without getting arrested or killing somebody. I'm thinking that is part of the reason we decided to build our own cave at home. It is a better alternative I guess.
 What is different is that man caves are not the aspiration of the white collar crowd. No, they are made by the working class. I see it as further proof that little changes in the world. The white collar guys now may have a home office instead of that den. The man cave is the " local " bar. That home office doesn't require volumes of books anymore, just a computer. It really is nothing more than an office. It's purpose is to work at home. It is used to facilitate the accumulation of wealth. A den wasn't used for that. A den was a place of study. A place where the man could relax and not be bothered with the minutia of life. He was in there conducting important business ! Knock and request permission to enter. It certainly wasn't a party.
 I would still like to have a den. A big desk and the walls lined with books. I no longer smoke but would definitely have an ashtray on that desk and an ink well. Pocket doors are best on a den, preferably two. There is just something about sliding one open and stepping inside. And I've always wanted one of those big checkbooks. You know the kind, you open then like a book. Just seems like you would have to have a lot of money to have one of those. The wife or your children stand before you at that desk while you write a check out. Now that's power. I expect that is why it is called a den. Going into a cave isn't intimidating at all, nor is going to the office. But stepping into a den, now that conjures up a different image altogether. Stepping into the " Lions " den ! I'm the master of this house, I'm the lion here.
 All this is great but it has to approved by the department of domestic tranquility. I also call her my wife. Even a lion has to eat you know. I have heard that some ladies are now building " craft " rooms. That's new to me and I don't see the need for that. The woman always did have control over the whole house. That is why the rich guys started building those Dens in the first place, a refuge really. Well, as I said things don't change all that much.