The Mom Cave

Do you remember Tim "The Toolman" Taylor from that 90's show "Home Improvement"? Believe it or not, I actually loved that show. I thought the concept of the neighbor who you never actually saw (just his eyes and baseball cap over the fence) was hilarious. I loved the blatantly neanderthal "Argh, argh, argh" sound that Tim would make whenever he was in a particularly manly-man mood.

But my favorite part of the show? The man cave.

Many sitcoms and movies feature them. Even The Little Rascals had the "He-Man Woman Haters Club" (wow - am I dating myself or what?).  Most follow the same formula:  the remodeled garage, tool shed or den where dad can go to do his manly stuff without being bothered by wives or children. A place to hang out with other guys, or just spend time with his football game or baseball card collection.

I think it's high time to invent The Mom Cave.

While we might feature a bit different decor (or not - to each his own!), the basic premise remains the same. A place for mom to take refuge from the deluge of responsibilities, general hassles and to-do lists of her day and just chill. No kids, no husbands and no blackberries allowed.

Over the past several months, my laundry room has become somewhat of a mom cave for me. Yes, I know that's pathetic but stick with me for a minute. I used to lay out the laundry flat in the laundry basket - still hot from the dryer so everything doesn't end up a wrinkled mess that I have to wash all over again (because heaven forbid I actually pull out an iron...). I would lug the whole thing upstairs to fold in front of the TV - ostensibly to "relax" and catch up on some quality DVR time during my folding, but inevitably I would simply be annoyed that I had to fold clothes rather than simply enjoy The Closer or Burn Notice.

One day, I can't quite remember why, I decided to fold the clothes in the laundry room. The boys were upstairs screaming or playing or something (at a certain point, it's just all loud...), and I'd had enough. So staying in the basement seemed like a good idea. The room was quiet and still. The folding methodical, almost soothing. Zen-like. While I was down there, I decided to call a girlfriend who I hadn't spoken with in a while. I folded and we talked. Before I knew it, the laundry was done but the conversation was not, so I moved from the laundry room to the bathroom (since there's nowhere to sit in the laundry room and a perfectly good toilet in the bathroom...). Another 20 minutes or so passed, and we said our good-byes. I then took the laundry basket upstairs, put the clothes away and rejoined the real world. A bit more relaxed, refreshed even from my time in the Mom Cave.

I found myself looking forward to my time in the basement each week. Each load would be accompanied by a phone call to a dear friend which would inevitably linger well past the folding of the last sock. Sometimes I would just fold in silence, soaking in the white noise of the dehumidifier and enjoying the incredible sound proof-ness of our basement walls.

Reading back over the last few paragraphs, I realize that it may seem pathetic and oddly anti-feminist for me to extol the relaxing virtues of folding clothes in the basement (take THAT Gloria Steinem!). But the details don't matter. The point is, I found a place to escape the noise of my life on a regular basis. If I had my druthers, I would have a pleasant and finely appointed room of my own - something with a sage green and chocolate color palette, with a refrigerator for wine and snacks and a place to warm green tea. A comfy couch with a table to store my favorite books and a window to look out onto the world and relax.

I don't know about you, but my house isn't that big and my kids' shit is everywhere, so that's not gonna happen any time soon.

But for now, I have my basement and the flow of folding laundry in peace - alone, or with the company of a girlfriend on the other line.

I'll take it...
Susan said...

We just moved into a rental into the Atlanta area. And said rental has a chicken coop in the back yard. And one in the cellar. You know, for winter chickens. I guess.

As no one wants to go near these coops, nor can we figure out how you would even get in one or stuff chickens in there - I see a Mom Cave in my future.

Or. I could just make a lovely room in the cellar and spy on the fam.

Jen said...

Found you through twitter. Just had to say this post had me giggling! Can't wait to cruise around and read some more. I just followed you as well.

Stop in and visit me!

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