Monday, May 14, 2007

Lamenting the lost 'Man Room'

The travel opportunities continue to pile up here at Household Thorne.

While we're still working on getting to Las Vegas in July for my sister's wedding, Mrs. T has added a few other travel dates to our calendar. Second, she's thinking around the Labor Day weekend we'll join her sister and some of their mutual friends on a camping trip near Yosemite, all of which sounds wonderful as long as we have access to a cabin and there are no bear sightings, lest said ursidae view our toddlers as mere appetizers.

But first, Mrs. T wants to head north to Sacramento to visit other friends with whom we exchanged wedding attendance a while back.

Now I have no beef with the Sacramento trip; indeed, the friends in question are nice folks, and given their daughter who is just a few months shy, the trip includes a built-in playmate for The Boy.

But there is one issue, and it has to do with our move here last year. You see, back in our old town our house had enough rooms that I was able to commandeer an entire room for my big-screen TV, stereo, PlayStation, library, working office and Barcolounger. Dubbed the "Man Room," it served as a true in-home getaway for me, where I could pursue relaxation and interests in the off hours, free of interruptions and interference. (ABC News even highlighted the concept a couple of weeks back in a report on Good Morning America, referring to the whole thing as the "Man Space.")

Mrs. T even endorsed the concept. We figured if she could do as she pleased with the rest of the house, I could have one room with which to do as I pleased. And even with the advent of my full-time Boy Care duties two years ago, many a pleasant hour was spent there, curling up in the recliner with Vonnegut in hand and The Jayhawks or Bruce Cockburn flowing through the headphones, or merely sipping Coronas and taking corners at the Nürburgring through the virtual pleasure of Sony's Gran Turismo 4.

But alas, when we moved here, the Man Room became one more sacrifice. With fewer rooms in our new home, my TV found its new placement in our living room, my Barcolounger was simply disposed of, and my office was relegated to a smaller back room shared with the laundry and our cats' litterbox.

What does this have to do with visiting Sacramento? Well, a few months before we moved, our friends saw the old Man Room and were so impressed they -- at the obvious insistence of the husband-half of that couple -- added one to their own home. And while I haven't seen it, the room is apparently the equal or exceeder of my own late lamented environment. Barcolounger and all.

So, while I type away here in the Laundry Center while various aromas drift not-so-gently from the nearby litterbox -- and yes, I do often wonder whether or not our felines are sneaking off occasionally for Taco Bell -- I'm wondering how I'll feel seeing someone else's execution of my own sacrificed habitat.

Yes, it's a sore spot. But maybe he'll have some Coronas or GT4 handy to kill the pain.