No YOU Shut Up And Drive
Janis Hirsch illustration

A Man Cave Has Beer. A Woman Cave Has Wheels.

So we did what any two sensible women would do in a perfectly nice Acura with two hours to kill. We reclined our seats and napped. This was, in retrospect, the best part of the movie.

Forget the spa or the salon; your car is the ideal location for personal health and grooming. I keep a toothbrush and toothpaste in the glove box. If you’re too squeamish to open your car door a crack and spit toothpaste onto the street – beggin’ your pardon, Your Highness – then your old coffee cup makes an excellent spittoon. Although a word to the wise: put that coffee cup in the back seat after you’ve used it because you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget what you did and reach for it. Trust me, there is a very good reason why Starbucks isn’t coming out with a holiday-themed Toothpaste Latte.

I also keep tweezers in the car. I swear I can leave my house clean as a whistle and by the time I get to the first traffic light, I’ve sprouted a chin hair I could pop a balloon with.

Nail files and cuticle scissors – duh, but I’m also a big fan of keeping a stick of Tom’s deodorant up front where I can reach it. And who among us hasn’t changed clothes in her car? Blouses? Check. Jeans? Check? Bras? Check. Spanks? Check. Hell, here’s how old I am: I distinctly remember squeezing into PANTYHOSE in the parking lot of the Brentwood Post Office. Ah, the good old days.

Lest you think I’m trivializing the importance of a car of one’s own, I believe that a woman’s ability to grab her car keys at a moment’s notice has saved more marriages than counseling, religion and not wanting to give up half your money combined.

When I’ve found myself about to yell louder than our loudest yelling neighbors (and they’re really loud), I get in my car, get off our street and begin screaming on the top of my lungs as I wend my way through LA traffic. Sometimes I’m shouting random curse words, sometimes I’m just making unattractive animal noises but what I’m not doing is bitching my way into divorce court. I highly recommend Car Scream Therapy.

A distinctly female trait – crying – is tailor-made for a car of one’s own.

If you cry at work, you lose your cred. If you cry at home, you devalue just how pissed off you are, plus if you cry like me, you’ll scare the dogs. Which is why I always have Kleenex stuffed into every seat pocket of my car although I’m not above using a napkin, a sleeve or a dry cleaner coupon. Better safe than snotty.

Unlike coworkers or family, my Prius doesn’t judge. I can cry about very real and scary things or I can cry because my hormones have declared a jihad on my brain or I can cry because I just remembered that at the end of “West Side Story,” Maria’s all alone because her boyfriend AND brother are dead and I don’t trust Anita as far as I can throw her. I can let it all out because I’m safe, I’m in my car; it’s like being back in the womb only with cup holders.

One last thing about a “room of one’s own.” Who’s going to clean it? I’m guessing the same person who’s going to clean the #%@* man cave. But while there’s very little glory in cleaning your house, washing your car has ample benefits.

You’re outside which means you get the health benefits of fresh air, Vitamin D absorption, blah blah blah but best of all, everyone in the neighborhood will realize that for all your husband’s posing with a rake, you’re the one who does all the work! And if you’re lucky enough to be single or living with a woman, you’ll get extra points for being independent, self-sufficient or at least in a wet t-shirt. I’m not saying that everyone looks provocative like this: I look like I was pulled out of a storm drain when I’m washing my car but I feel sexy in a sudsy, sweaty way and that’s enough for me. Luckily.

Even better than deluding myself into thinking I’m hot is that car washing can earn me up to two Weight Watchers Activity Points, depending on if I care or not. Oh and here’s a tip for drying the roof of your car. While standing on running board or front seat, don’t just rest your breasts on the top of the car: they make excellent chamois too!

Let your shoes and your man have their caves. You have a car, a sanctuary, a retreat, and oasis without the schlepping through the desert part. And on those rare occasions when it can’t comfort you or support you or give you asylum, it can get you to the frozen yogurt place in under ten minutes. I’d like to see the room that can do that.

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3 Responses to “A Man Cave Has Beer. A Woman Cave Has Wheels.”

  1. Sherry Hooker says:

    I absolutely love this article!!!

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