I may be way off track here, and I am likely to generate a windstorm of protest with my completely unfounded, largely intuitive claims, but here goes.
As I have implied in several recent postings, I have been pondering the essential differences between males and females Meet Market Conundrum (among others). A man well known for his comic genius in often pondering this very subject, Dave Barry, seems to have done well enough on the topic to have retired early, and (I hope) he is living well in South Florida.
Much of Barry’s humour revolved around what he called “guys” as opposed to “men,” both of whom are quite different than “women.” Why did he subdivide adult males into guys and men? Simply this. It is because the old, seven-word adage that “Girls grow up quicker than boys do,” is actually four words too long. That is, “Girls grow up!” Stop there! Some, okay, ‘many,’ males are more accurately referred to as ‘guys’ rather than ‘men,’ because guys never lose touch with their inner-boy. Their inner-boy is alive and well and is just fidgeting to get out and express his amusements and inner drives.
Some women, okay, a few, women have a similar inner-girl who wants to come out and play. But female lives are vastly different than male lives once puberty creates the great separation, the great differentiation.
For guys who haven’t really taken the time to imagine it, I offer the following (imagined) scenario.
Imagine boys and girls playing together, running, jumping, imagining bogeymen, hiding, playing active games, even playing sports together. Puberty comes along and makes boys bigger and stronger in all the ways they want to be bigger and stronger. Puberty makes girls develop hips that are widening, sometimes becoming less powerful for applying mobility stresses like running, jumping, etc. The alignment of their hips is changing to allow for the carriage and delivery of babies from their wombs. Ditto for breast development. Some girls get a lot, some get a little, it doesn’t matter how much. The growth of uncontrollable fatty tissues on one’s chest is gonna slow down your 100 metre dash, your ability to negotiate tight crawl spaces, etc. Then along comes menses! Oy vey! Females get it all!
Boys just get bigger, their voices drop, they get body hair, they begin ejaculating – big deal! Big boys!
During puberty, the female undergoes a complete body and psychological transformation from girl into woman. And that’s not all! Many of them aren’t finished changing! Think of the dramatic physical and mental changes that pregnancy creates! Major transformation follows major transformation for females. Girls grow up!
Boys try to affect a maturity that frankly is often just not there. Not that much happens to them to signal any need to be different nor to act differently than they always have.
It is not like we become two different species. But separate and distinct in our ways? In the words of a woman who has given me ample evidence that she just rolled the inner-girl right into her personality, “You betcha!” And I say, “Long live the difference!”
Despite how separate and distinct we may be in our outlooks and behaviours, we can still often get along and sometimes, amazingly, we can even love each other. The desire for human connection, even for intimate human connection is a very powerful drive. It is powerful enough to overcome many differences. It even revels in certain differences. Some people call it ‘chemistry’ and with hormonal influences, no doubt they have something there. Other people refer to ‘magnetic attraction,’ opposites expressing attraction to one another. Whatever metaphors we use to describe this fundamental drive, even if we use the model of the ancient Greeks as they tried to explain why people love one another, (it works well, by the way), Single Again the desire to seek intimate connection can sometimes overwhelm and confound even the most extreme efforts to deny it.
I have been castigated by some readers who have ‘grown beyond all that,’ for writing about my romantic desires for connection. I trust that they have found happiness in their ways. But regardless of their assumptions about my need to fill an unfillable void in my life, I can only say that my strivings are but one part of my life, not my entire life. Just because I write about it doesn’t mean that I have devoted my entire life to it. Furthermore, I know that there are many people who reject my writing as obsessional if only because they miss having the romantic attachments and connections upon which I have been doting and they’d rather not read about it here.
I only wish those readers who condemn the boy in me might instead wish me well in my quest for love, a quest that includes the continuing desire for intimate connection with my sexual opposite. I am determined not to ‘grow up’ until I am darned good and ready to do so!