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No man is an island -- but some women are

Posted Tuesday, February 3, 2009, at 5:39 PM

It was one of those things that I didn't notice at first; it just crept up on me. But now I realize it has taken over my life. It's everywhere -- in my house, on our farm, in my car. I can't get away from it.

I'm floating on a sea of testosterone.

Yes, one lone and sinking lifeboat of estrogen drowning in the daily flow of testosterone from my home.

In other words, I'm living in a fraternity house of sorts, surrounded by men -- three of them, ages 15, 20 and well ... let's say over 30!

When I was carrying my children, especially my second, I knew I wanted all boys -- I thought it would be wonderful having two little farm boys. I remembered my brother as being mellow and easy going, my mother's joyful child. And he was.

What I didn't realize is that my little brother had to be mellow, he was raised in a houseful of women -- he was outnumbered.

When my boys were little, they didn't know they would be men someday. They were just my little boys, sweet and loving. Back then they even had the false notion that I was the greatest woman ever born.

They were good shoppers too! They would go everywhere with me, sitting in a shopping cart or riding in their stroller, always smiling at passers-by! (Or maybe they just didn't realize they had a choice.)

Then something happened. (I knew I shouldn't have ever sent them to school.) Someone told them they were boys, soon to be men. They were supposed to dislike shopping. So they did.

When I would take them with me to Kansas City to see my mother, hoping to stop at a shopping mall on the way home, I would immediately hear protests.

"You're not going to try anything on, are you?" So of course, I didn't.

Who wants to be the mother who tortures her boys by making them watch me try on 80 outfits?

As a result, I have a closet full of clothes that looked great on the hanger, but not so great on me. I would have known that, of course, had I tried them on before I bought them...on the "all sales final" mark down rack.

Now I realize I should have just been happy they went with me at all -- even though visiting Grandma was a big reason they did. After awhile, if I wasn't going to a John Deere dealer or taking them to a school function, they said they had to stay home and "work for Dad." (They were ages 4 and 8!)

Then as they got older they started using that language I didn't really care for, or understand.

Numbers and letters like: 4520; 9300T, 9760, 18.4X46, 480/80 R50, P22456RR, and words like camshaft, piston and heavy springer. And then came the initials: AI, RTK, P and K, GPS and HP?

I tried to get along -- I really did. I planned vacations around their interests -- no shopping. Just tours of toy tractor factories and toy museums. I learned about farming, even letting them decorate our living room with "special tractors."

I denied the "inner girl," no longer making them wear shorts and bowties for their Easter outfits. I refereed their wrestling matches, realizing that's how they show love to each other. ("Mom, brother bit me!")

I watched and learned to enjoy football, basketball, tractor pulls, "Dirty Jobs" and "Ice Road Truckers." I stopped hugging (and especially kissing) them in front of their friends.

And I learned that the best way to get their attention was to feed them ... a lot.

But despite all my efforts, I knew someday they would figure me out. No matter how low maintenance I tried to be, how much I tried to downplay it, they would realize I was different. I was -- gasp -- a girl!

Now I'm reminded of it daily.

"How come you have to wear all that stinky, perfume stuff?" they ask.

"It's called deodorant," I answer.

"How come you put that stuff all over your face?"

"It's called makeup," I protest. (I wear so much it takes me all of three minutes to put on!)

"How come you can't get ready faster?" they ask. "Thirty minutes isn't a long time," I say, secretly praying they become the father of all girls.

"You're not going to make us watch that chick-flick are you?" they ask, horrified. (Please note: A "chick flick" is any movie that doesn't have a car-chase or nine-person murder scene in the first five minutes.)

I may be complaining, but the truth is it's not all bad.

They are good boys ... er, men. And I did manage to miss the girl drama my friends who have teenage girls complain about. Thankfully, boys don't hold grudges.

They can hit each other one day and be back to best friends the next.

They like to use me as an armrest, because I am so much shorter than they are. They still hug me, even, though most of those end with a "noogie" or a wrestling move.

They never like it when I'm sad and would do most anything to keep me from being mad.

Another good thing is that I know someday, they'll get married to -- gasp -- a girl.

They'll learn 30 minutes isn't a long time to get ready and my deodorant doesn't smell near as much as hairspray or nail polish remover.

But the very best thing is that I suspect eventually they'll turn to her and say: "Hey, why don't you learn to drive a semi-truck like my mother?"


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

MARCIA KEEP THE GREAT ARTICLES COMING!! AS A MOTHER OF 2 BOYS, I DON'T AGONIZE OVER HAVING NO GIRLS, I TOO WATCHED MY FRIENDS GO THROUGH ALL THAT DRAMA! TOO MUCH ESTROGEN!

THESE DAYS I HAVE TO LOOK WAY, WAY UP TO EVEN SAY HELLO TO THESE GREAT MEN I CREATED, I LISTEN TO THEM TALK LIKE CIVILIZED PEOPLE AND WONDER WHERE THE KICKING, SCREAMING, BITING BOYS I CREATED WENT TO. GUESS WE'RE LUCKY!

AS TO THE AMOUNT OF FOOD THEY CAN ACCUMULATE, MASS QUANTITIES.

JUST LOVED THE ARTICLE!!!

-- Posted by captaingbb on Tue, Feb 3, 2009, at 9:59 PM

Dear NanaDot and captaingbb,

Thank you so much for the compliments.

Like I said in the article, is not all bad. It's just those times I feel like the odd man...er...woman out!

I do enjoy spending time with my friends and their girls, but I am always glad to go back to my (relatively) uncomplicated, what you see is what you get, boys.

Marcia

-- Posted by Marcia Gorrell on Wed, Feb 4, 2009, at 7:16 AM

Great article, Marcia. I remember when your boys were little and I would see them at church. I even got to hold one of them a time or two. I can't believe they're grown up now. I have raised three sons. I used to say God gave them to me so I could make a difference and I really thought I was doing that until they turned 13. Then everything changed. They became little men in training. They are grown now and I enjoy them thoroughly. Their significant others get tired of hearing how they don't do things the way I did. As a side note, I have two beautiful granddaughters that I am enjoying thoroughly - but, girls have a tendency to have a very shrill scream that the boys didn't have. They hit each other and went on. Anyway - thanks for the article. It brought a smile to my face.

-- Posted by Bambi on Wed, Feb 4, 2009, at 1:50 PM

Your boys are the best -- even if they are guys and have no answers beyond "yup" and "nope". I look forward to their late 20s when they're ready to carry on a conversation again!

Love, Aunt Connie

-- Posted by Marcia's sis on Wed, Feb 4, 2009, at 9:58 PM

I very much enjoyed the article. It reminded me of this past summer when I had all the kids home. Normally, it's just me, my husband and my son. This summer my older kids (three girls) and my grandkids (three more girls and one boy) all were home for one glorious weekend.

Friday 4 pm came and the house was spotless. The youngest arrived at 5 with two suitcases. She took her old room.

The oldest arrived at 6 with her two blode haired babies 3 and 1. When she unloaded there were 5 suitcases a walker a highchair and a dog. By 6:30 when the third arrived with her 4 year old and one year old there were so many suitcases we all lost count, another walker, high chair and more screaming than I had heard in years.

By early Saturday morning you had to make an appointment to use the restroom. The hair care product covered the counter top. There were curling irons, straightening irons, blow dryers, and more makeup than I had ever seen in one spot.

Wading though the livingroom there were shoes, toys, jeans, shoes, purses, shoes, socks and did I mention the shoes.

By Sunday when they left I had a smile plastered across my face and sat quietly on the couch. My youngest son said it best when he said "girls sure are loud"!

-- Posted by litlmissme on Mon, Feb 9, 2009, at 6:47 PM


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MARCIA GORRELL
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