What’s with children these days? It appears that no matter how much stuff you give or buy them; parental efforts are never fully appreciated! My husband and I thought taking our oldest daughter on a five-day carnival cruise to celebrate her 13th birthday would totally blow her away…Yep, Hello! We were obviously wrong! Did she hold her horses until we’ve at least had a chance to cross the Georgia state line from Jacksonville Ports Authority, before bombarding me with, “Mom, can I have a sleepover party to celebrate my birthday with my friends?” Heck, No!
“Maybe next year” I replied. “I think we’ve spent enough money already,” added my husband-John. She pouted. She pleaded. Our answer was still a stern NO!Then she tried to negotiate. “I’ll do more chores…you don’t even have to pay me for babysitting for the next six months!” My eyes widened. My lips curled into a roguish grin. I flashed John a look and he understood the signal. I had to cave in. After all, it was going to be one hell of a win-win-win arrangement for all of us. Half a year of babysitting services was worth several sleepovers in my opinion. But, there was one teeny weenie problem. She was hell bent on inviting every 7th grader in her homeroom and I had to put my real foot down. Raising my right palm, I asked, “how many fingers do you see?” She gave me a puzzling look and said, “Five.” “Good, there’s your magic number,” I blurted.
I figured I could handle about a handful of a bunch of girlie girls!
“But Mom, that’s not even half of my friends,” she protested.
“Houston, we have a problem.” “What?” she retorted, as she gave me that infamous “whatcha talkin’ ’bout willis” stare. I chuckled silently. I love tossing my children a curve ball every now and then. Each chance I get to irritate one of those rug rats is a chance that’ll never slip through my tiny fingers. It’s my God given right. One of the simple pleasures of parenthood!
“Look,” I began ” it sounds like you have way too many friends and that’s a B.I.G problem right now.”
“You’re just jealous, Mom. I have lots of friends, and you don’t.” She teased.
“Whatever.” I snapped back, and walked away.
Ultimately, we settled at lucky number 8. And as we addressed the invitation cards, she asked, “Mom, how come you don’t have any friends?” “I have friends” I replied.”Some of them just happen to live in other states or out of the country. “Okay, why don’t you ever hang out with other women?” Hmmmmmmmm. Good one, I thought. And the more I chewed on it, the more it dawned on me that she might be right…but why? Is it me or is it them?
As far back as I could remember I was absolutely never a “girlie” sort of girl to begin with. Perhaps being surrounded by boys-my cousins, my nephews, my next-door neighbors (mostly boys) had something to do with it…but then, maybe not. There were girls in my neighborhood; but for the life of me, it seemed I could never quite make that “girl power” connection. On occasion, while some waited at a local salon for a hair perm or plaits, my buddies and I baited sardines and baby shrimps with our bare hands and metal buckets at a nearby river. Bonding with girls was not my cup of palm wine. It just felt weird! In contrast, I had a natural affinity with boys and preferred their hassle free, low maintenance company. Come to think of it, some of my closest friends and playmates were boys and I liked it that way. Don’t get me wrong…there was no sexual healing hanky panky thingy going on back then. Truth be told, my favorite colors were simply, far from all shades of pink, light blue or bright yellow…and that has not changed much till this day. Looking back, I can now solve that elusive puzzle; piece by piece…
BOYS TO MEN…
Men are easier to hang out with; they are rarely nit-picky about what they wear. Most men don’t give a rat’s *ss about what others think of their appearance. Men are not natural whiners. Men are not stereotyped as fragile creatures. Neither do they boo hoo at the sight of a cracked fingernail.Majority of the men I know have no patience for pointless chitchats or small talks. Neither do I. Some folks find me blunt. My response, ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies (My loved ones would probably love to toss me to a pack of wolves at times, if they could get away with it.)I’ve been described as easy to get along with, but difficult to know. I’ve been labeled “insensitive jerk” and “emotionally distant.” Who says I have to wear my heart on my sleeve anyway? Have you ever been around a group of “girlie” type of women? If you’re a Fella, you know what I’m talking about. Those women can drive anyone to drink …yep, including me. And when it comes to jibber jabbering till the cows come home, some would give you a decent run for your money. No pun intended, Ladies!
Anyhow, on the evening of the party, I went downstairs to check up on my daughter and her friends just to ensure that no one had suddenly decided to give our “ungirlie” looking basement a makeover, out of boredom. Several were busy getting their toes and nails manicured. Others yapped about their latest shopping rendezvous at Victoria’s Secret, Hollister’s, and Abercrombie and Fitch. A couple bopped around, lip-synching to Fergie’s “Fergalicious,” while they sampled perfumed lotions and eye shadows. Some things never change, I mumbled as I headed back upstairs. I’ll never be a “girlie” girl and here’s why…
My hair does not have to be perfect before I head out the front door. I could care less whether the color of my nail polish matches the color of my lipstick (I don’t even wear nail polish.) Under no circumstances should you ever ask me out to blockbuster to check out movies starring Lindsay Lohan or the Olsen Twins. The answer would be a NO, and another No!When it comes to music, give me U2 or give me Keith Urban. Give me Shawn Mullins, Switchfoot and Coldplay. Give me Dave Matthews band, give me John Mellencamp; let’s not forget to toss in the BOSS! Give me anything except Hilary Duff, Britney Spears or the Backstreet Boys.I do swear and curse occasionally…okay, maybe more than I reeeeeeeeeellly should.But what am I supposed to do when some pinhead cuts me off in traffic? Don’t you think he or she deserves a proper salutation from my third finger, followed by some sort of verbal outburst? Do I think Ladybugs are sooooooooo cute? No! They are annoying little critters! Do I think Butterflies are pretty? They are okay…all right, nice…whatever. I like jokes. All types of jokes. I like “sick- funny” jokes. I like “clean-witty” jokes. I don’t even mind “potty-humor” or “cheesy” jokes. Just keep the flirty ones to yourself.
Each night as I tuck my youngest two in bed next to their Barbie dolls, and snuggle buddies, in their strawberry shortcake adorned pink room, I’m thinking, God must really have a great sense of humor.Why else would he bless me with… not one, or two, but three daughters who love to wear fluffy flip flops, satin hair ribbons and Pink hats?
So, why don’t I mingle with other women? I don’t know. Maybe I don’t want to. Maybe I’m just an introverted loner. Maybe I don’t like excessive drama. Maybe I’m really a guy trapped in a woman’s body. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe. Will I ever become a “girlie” girl anytime soon? Don’t bet on it; your chances are more favorable at a poker table in Vegas. I am who I am and that will never change.