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View from Venus: A man's home is his cave

Sunday - 1/27/2013, 11:28am  ET

man_cave_5.jpg
Randi Martin's husband has his own Man Cave with bobbleheads, sports memorabilia, trophies and treasures. (WTOP/Randi Martin)
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Randi Martin, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - "Man Cave" -- even the word makes one want to pull out the Lysol.

House hunting families are adding this new buzz word to their list of wants and must haves. Not having the basement, or garage or spare room for a man and his stuff have shut down many a home search.

"It's a man space," says Jason Cameron, co-host of DIY network's "Man Caves." "Normally, the wife would not let him put the deer head up, or that favorite leather chair, or some of the trophies or the memorabilia - - some of the sports stuff -- so this is the one space that he can have those things and enjoy them."

Wow, a whole show dedicated to Man Caves! Really! This growing phenomenon is indeed a reality in most households.

In my house, my husband's Man Cave has a sports and childhood nostalgia theme. Tiger Woods cereal boxes and decades old Redskin banners are surrounded by high school trophies and sand from the Dead Sea. There are also enough baseball caps to open a retail store, every possible souvenir from The Masters gift shop, local team bobbleheads, books and treasured autographs.

Cameron nails it in his explanation.

"We're simple creatures," he says. "We want our one flat screen, we want our comfortable chair and we want our kegerator."

While doors are made to be closed, I have a growing need to clean that cave, and that is an ongoing battle. Not wanting the next bubonic plague to start out of my basement, I enter with cleaning products and rubber gloves, only to be turned away.

My husband says the room is clean enough, and if that is supposed to make me feel better, it doesn't. Leftover food on the floor, empty bottles of beverages, dirty clothes and towels all contribute, I know, to a toxic wasteland festering in my basement. Who knows what's growing down there or living down there -- is that grounds for divorce?

"For men, if it looks clean, it's good for most of us," Cameron says.

Man Caves don't have to be sports themed, although that is the most popular decor. Cameron says he was surprised at the request of one man who asked for a Star Trek-themed cave on his show.

"It was interesting to build a Captain's chair that actually worked," he says.

The chair had a built-in program that would respond to the Captain's commands to turn the TV and lights on or off.

And how old was this man?

"He was in his later thirties," Cameron says.

Editor's Note: View from Venus is a blog by Randi Martin, who shares her thoughts on lifestyles and relationships.

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