Last week was Drew and Meghan’s baby shower. Whole families were invited to attend and this was the post script on the invitations, “Gentlemen: You are welcome to bring a Daddy Survival Gift.” Not surprisingly, Drew received assorted libations, several books like 50 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Children to Do and The Dangerous Book for Boys and even a coveted set of vintage Lawn Jarts with the original metal tips! BOYS! It seems like whenever they… meaning men and BOYS… get together, they find new ways to flirt with danger, and the larger the “pack” the more perilous their feats become! The photos above were taken at a backyard barbecue last year, when the boys decided it would be great fun to deconstructed part of the play structure to caber toss??? Now, this doesn’t mean women and girls are incapable of behaving in a reckless manner, I’m just saying… Anyway, all of this reminded me of a post on One Generation to Another, first published June 24, 2008. Enjoy!
Is it just me or as a girl is it sometimes hard to totally get BOYS? I should. I didn’t have sisters. I was raised with 3 brothers, so by association, I probably did more boy things than many girls. And I had 2 boys of my own. But there’s this line…let’s call it, hmmm…common sense…that most girls won’t cross. I don’t mean to be sexist, but in my vast years, it has been my experience that boys will often do things that most girls wouldn’t consider. Before anyone says anything, yes, I know, many of us were “Tom Boys”, loved to run and play sports, weren’t afraid of spiders, and could spit with the best of them. What I’m talking about here is that unexplainable willingness to put your body at risk and do unimaginably gross things for, for, see, there’s my point, I really don’t get why they do some of the things they do! BOYS!!!
Take the movie Jack *ss. Now, this is a movie you couldn’t have dragged me bound and gagged to the theater to view. But, while visiting my son in South Carolina, he was flipping through stations and stumbled upon it. I sat there for about 20 minutes watching this movie with Adam and Tim and saw one man put a leech on his eyeball, another strap a rocket to his back and allow himself to be shot out into the middle of a lake, and another drink an unmentionable animal excretion. While watching this I groaned, but Tim and Adam chortled, and used words like “Sweet” and seemed to be cheering the men on from the couch. I found myself asking “Who in their right mind would do something like that?” and the apparent answer…BOYS!
Sure, you say… but that’s just a movie. Those guys get paid a ton of money to do stuff like that. Again, referring to my vast years, it has been my experience that most men and boys don’t need an incentive beyond a dare to do something totally moronic! For example, one of my brothers’ favorite pastimes was playing a variation of dodge ball. In their version, they’d turn off all the lights in the basement, stealth around the room, and throw darts at one another. They encouraged me to join in the fun, but I was disinclined to acquiesce to their request! Common sense and a healthy fear of pain wouldn’t allow me. Our daughter Liz’s boyfriend, Kyle was relating a story about when his family was putting a pool in his parent’s backyard. They were unearthing tons of worms. At one point his dad held one up to his sister and said, “I’ll give you $20.00 right here, right now if you eat this.” She grimaced and shook her head. “No way,” she said. Kyle then offered to eat one for $20.00. When his dad refused, he shrugged his shoulders, and let one slide down his throat anyway. BOYS!
Boys dare each other to put their tongues on batteries, jump off anything that is high, and sneak into any place they are forbidden to go. They also possess, what can only be a throw back from Neanderthal days, a fascination with fire. Every man I have every known has some horrific story involving fire. And if you think they outgrow this, look no farther than your backyard barbecue. It might be hard to get your hubby in the kitchen to throw together Mac N’ Cheese, but give him a slab of meat and a healthy fire, and wah-lah…dinner! (Of course any real man will make the distinction between cooking and grilling!) Add their incomprehensible fascination with blowing up things, and it’s no wonder they have to fight the urge to cut across 3 lanes of traffic whenever they pass a roadside fireworks stand! BOYS!!!
As a young girl I did not question the adage “BOYS will be BOYS” I just had no idea that the average 65 year old man still possess a healthy dose of BOY. When traveling in a pack, grown up men still do idiotic things. Go to a chicken wings bar with a group of men. You’ll still hear comments like, “I dare you to put 10 drops of Diablo Hot Sauce on your tongue.” I can guarantee you there will be at least one taker, if not the whole table, that will do it. A couple of years ago, at a family backyard picnic, the men decided it would be great fun to take turns running across the backyard as the group on the sidelines tried to shoot bottle rockets at them. The women watched, occasionally putting out a smoking shirt, and plotted the quickest route to urgent care. There is no doubt that men can be mature. They are doctors and lawyers; factory workers and mailmen; pilots and priests. They do their jobs…we count on them. But every once in a while, the 10 year old resurfaces, and they are invincible…able to leap tall buildings, jump through burning hoops, or eat a garden worm on a dare. BOYS!!!
You might wonder what inspired the theme for this week’s blog. Well, with summer upon us, I’m sitting here listening to fireworks going off in our neighborhood. Besides trying to encourage our gun shy border collie to stop shaking, I have this unexplainable desire to keep our fire extinguisher at arms reach. Let’s face it, with boys around you can never be too careful!
So, what’s the craziest BOY thing your dad, brother, son, boyfriend, husband, or other significant male has done that made you shake your head and say, “BOYS!”?