A Space Odyssey: Why Men Can’t Share the Garage

Alright, alright. I know what you are thinking. I don’t take up that much room.  I need more room, he’s not using that space anyway!

Why can’t he share the garage?!

This competition for space and dividing the necessary room for more things has been an ongoing battle between men and women for a very long time. Regardless of what time period you are from, men have always settled for less space.  (Arguing the fact that men are responsible for zoning issues and spreading humanity over the face of the planet is not this topic’s point and should not be considered when discussing space issues.) 

Women, who tend to have an incredible bounty of belongings that defy the laws of reason, continue to spread themselves throughout their homes and find more reason to fill space. Men are more reserved. The amount of space a man may need does not depend on the amount of stuff he has. The space a man needs is for a more distinctive purpose. 

So why do women need more and men don’t need much?

Let’s face it. Women have an incredible amount of stuff. (If you would like a lesson in stuff, I suggest that whoever reads this blog post listen to George Carlin’s skit on stuff.) To store all the stuff that a woman accumulates, a woman needs space. From closet space to shelf space, a woman’s belongings hold a significant precedence over a man’s belongings.

Women have nick knacks. They have art supplies. They have clothes. They have shoes! They need more space for all this stuff! The stuff that belongs to a man tends to be dirty, messy or just unnecessary so of course a woman would feel compelled to remove their dirty belongings and replace it with a clean throw pillow or an organized display of Christmas villages.

Women have to stretch.

Women need a large amount of space so as to not feel claustrophobic. Women who feel trapped within their own homes feel that they must stretch their legs and move things around. Women need change in their lives and need their homes to reflect the mood that they are feeling each and every day.

A woman has a strong need for a comfortable space. The space a woman will consume must have pillows that compliment the room’s paint configuration and bring warmth to their household. Matching is key in a woman’s space. If it doesn’t belong it has to go! The guests who enter a woman’s space must feel welcomed. A welcoming environment is a popular place in which the woman can brag about.

A woman’s space is her identity. 

Enough about the women’s needs for a moment, after all, this blog is an instruction guide for understanding men. So why is it that men do not need the amount of space that a woman would need? Do men not have the same amount of stuff as women? Do men not have an interest in being comfortable? Do men like feeling cramped?

What is the real reason for my man to not share his space with me when I have so much more stuff than him?

Men are not complicated creatures. When it comes to space, Men do not consider the need of space to connect with the quantity of belongings he has. Men are fine with living in a mess.  A man’s messy space is his clay to mould. They can reconstruct their space into an organized piece of art and destroy it into shattered pieces all in the same day. Men do not need space simply for their stuff. So what is the secret to their need for space?

Men need solitude.

Yes. Man Cave, Bachelor Pad, Watering Hole or the Bat Cave, whatever the name it is, the place that men need to escape to is a special place. Men need a private space to disappear to. What most women don’t know or understand is that men need to reflect in their space. The thirty minutes of silence can be practiced here if a man should desire to do so.  Space to most men is not merely a void to fill. Space is valued. Space is vital to a man’s mental survival. 

Though most men do not try to tackle the problems of the world, they still need a place to reflect on the problems that immediately affect their lives. A man’s problems, whether they range from ‘what to eat for lunch’ to ‘delivering the sex conversation to their son,’ can carry an incredible impact on a man’s mind. Space and time are key to handling these problems and the garage is an ideal location for this reflection process. 

Men also like to have a place to enjoy some free time. Whether a man is a father or just wants to mess around with the new tools he bought, he needs a place to tinker. Men love to spend some free time just being a man. In the space distributed to him, your man can scratch, fart, curse or break things without being judged or criticized excessively. This is important to the preservation of a man’s ego.

My man doesn’t want to spend time with me?

Absolutely not! Your man enjoys having you around all the time. Like most people, we need space from others, simply to avoid arguments. Men do not want to argue with their wives. Like the armies of a losing force, men need a place to retreat. A man knows instinctively when the war is lost as an argument begins to ensue between him and his wife.

 In order for a man to avoid saying anything that would ultimately put him in a bad situation, a man should have a place to consider his position in the argument and come to a logical and fair conclusion. If your man can come to this conclusion through the reflection process it will provide healthy compromise to the relationship.

My man does not have a ‘man cave’ where does he go?

If your man does not have a space to retreat or tinker, allow him space to breath.  Time in front of the television with his favorite program can work wonders for your man’s reflection process.  Refer to the ’30 minutes of silence’ blog post for additional information.

Men need space too. A man’s space is an essential component to his reflection process in order to handle a complicated query adequately and efficently. When considering putting your extra stuff in the garage remember to consider your man’s needs as well.


30 minutes of silence

I’m not mad at you. I didn’t change. I just need some peace and quiet if I’m to be pleasant for the remainder of the day. Give me a half hour, preferably in the morning, to quietly organize my thoughts and prepare for whatever ridiculous questions your are going to ask at 10am.

To better understand this need, let’s go back to the beginning. I wasn’t there, but based on my limited understanding of the subject, I think it went something like this:

In the beginning God made Adam. Adam was a cool dude, a real outdoorsman who spent his days relaxing, eating, drinking and fishing, but it wasn’t perfect. He got bored with no problems to solve in the world, so God sent him Eve to give him direction, motivation and challenge him out of complacency. Now he spent his days organizing and reorganizing the landscape, harvesting food far in advance of when he needed it and accumulating the wealth of the land in an effort to please Eve. Adam was more productive and his life was enriched, but he was growing weary and would occasionally lose his patience and question Eves judgement, which would result in less rational demands of the following week.

Recognizing the issue, Adam sought a solution. He started sending Eve out on small tasks (like picking out fruit), so he could take time to reflect on the day ahead. He found that this calmed him, but resulted in the unintended consequence of wild interpretation. Because she was so amazing, Eve couldn’t understand why Adam needed time away from her and began to question him incessantly about it:

“Are you mad at me?” (at this point anger hadn’t yet been invented)
“What’s bothering you?” ( the concept of frustration had only come about with Eve’s arrival)
“Who is she?” ( Other women hadn’t yet been invented either)

Adam never did figure out how to combat the side effects, and dealt with the frustration until the day he died.

We can’t say what questions you might ask your man, but we have worked out a solution: positive reinforcement. Communicate with your man to help him set aside this half an hour a day, either before you are up, after you go to sleep, or while you are out running errands, and notice the change in his demeanor for the remainder of the day. You don’t have to understand it, but you do need to understand its importance. Remember, we’re just trying to make you happy.


No questions before 10AM

This was the first rule I ever instituted, and still my favorite. No questions before 10 am keeps my household running smoothly, and prevents 80% of arguments. The rule is simple, I will not answer any questions before 10am. The reasoning is simple, I am not a morning person and know that I’m not in the frame of mind to make binding decisions before 10 AM. As any of you with a significant other know, all decisions can potentially become binding decisions, so thus, no questions may be answered.


Is this just for questions from spouses or for all questions?

Primarily spouses, but with enough determination, it could be rolled out to family and friends. Implementation with coworkers is difficult.

What if I have something important to ask?

You don’t

But it’s an emergency!

If its a true emergency, you shouldn’t be asking questions, you should be calling 911 or following my lead through the zombie fields.

What about phone calls?

Put the phone down. I won’t answer them before 10 am.


Sign out of AOL, then read the 4 hour work week. I don’t answer emails until 10am, not even invitations to astronaut camp.

are there an circumstances under which you will answer questions before 10am?

So far I’ve found few reasons to make exception. Those that made the list include:

Would you like me to make you waffles and bacon? (because waffles and bacon)
Do you have any cash in your wallet? (because of the financial implications of non-action)
Do you realize it’s Saturday? (because of the additional sleep implications)

Do you have more questions you think should make the exception list? Leave them in the comments field.