We’re prepping our five-year-old daughter Prop for the move into the big bedroom to share with her sister Prop. That means that the eldest of the girlie Props is getting the non-smoking single with a western facing window and her own closet so she can transmorgraphy, Mr.Hyde-like into the self loathing, parent doubting, mood turnstile, hateful gauntlet of puberty she must run to blossom into the flower of womanhood that will change the world for the better.
In the strategic air attack that we launched to soften the five-year-old target before the ground invasion I realized that I have never had my own room. When I say never I discount the few weeks or months here or there that began with the few months in the “nursery” before my brother was born to the week and a half before I got married and I stayed in our apartment to be, sans furniture like some cold feeted squatter.
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus warns women that men need their space, “cave,” den. This isn’t just a warning to new brides that their husbands are going to make noises that sound like bears and smell like a college Neanderthal’s dorm. I don’t know about other men, but my house isn’t MY house, it’s OUR house. My bedroom is OUR bedroom. Even my traditional Fortress of Solitude, the place teenage boys can trot our their well hidden, sticky “literature” and get just a little closer to going blind, is not mine, it’s OURS.
I don’t know if women need it too, but us guys need a place we would urinate on to mark, if we really did that sort of thing. We’re trying to give that to my daughter and don’t worry Mrs. Prop, you won’t have shampoo the carpet.