On Team WestEnders, I represent a very small, exclusive subset...the lone member of the...oh, let's just call it the "Double-X-Chromosome Club". (Yeah, I know that I could just say "I'm the only girl", but what fun would that be? This makes it sound more like a...cool secret society...or something...) As such, I find the antics of the boys around me to be frequently amusing...occasionally exasperating...and even sometimes enlightening. Here are a couple of recent examples: (I'll let you decide into which category they each fall. But don't worry, there will NOT be a quiz at the end...)
On a Saturday night a few weeks ago, we were planning to try out a local restaurant for the first time, for a casual evening meal. After spending their usual amount of daylight hours outside running around, the kids both were strongly in need of some cleaning up and getting themselves to a presentable level for "eating in public". When informed of this requirement, Derek heaved a heavy sigh. Then he plodded toward his room, looking back over his shoulder and saying in an extremely aggrieved tone, "I'll be in the shower, because somebody won't let me go out to dinner with dirt all over my shirt."
Looking pointedly at me, he added, "Somebody thinks I need to be clean when I leave the house." By this point I was snickering at the dramatics, and he himself was fighting to maintain his fake-suffering tone, but he gamely continued, "When I have kids, I'm gonna let them go out filthy all the time." Now he was really on a roll, because he concluded, with an inspired flourish, "In fact, I'm gonna rub dirt all over them every time they get ready to leave!" Suddenly he stopped, as if a new thought had just occurred to him. He shook his head ruefully and threw out, "Of course, I won't have a wife." Seizing the opportunity to derail his little soliloquy--and of course poke holes in his logic--I countered with, "Well, that's interesting, How, exactly, do you plan to produce these children then?"
Without missing a beat, he retorted, "She's gonna divorce me." Oh-kay. That makes some kind of... twisted sense, I suppose...and, um...I'm glad you have your future planned out so well? However, Husband got the final word on this one, as he had been apparently monitoring the conversation from a nearby room. He called over in a cheerful voice, "Good thing you have realistic expectations!" Sighhhhh.....
And now, on a semi-related topic, we have Riley, who began a recent after-school chat with the emphatic statement, "This is the worst Health unit. All about diseases and stuff." I made appropriately sympathetic and supportive comments--about how I'm sure it wasn't fun, but was necessary information to know, nonetheless. He nodded in agreement, then plowed on, "The next one is supposedly our teacher's favorite, ICR." Before I even had a chance to express my ignorance of what this stood for, he filled me in, "Interpersonal Communication and Relationships." He paused slightly before explaining further, (while determinedly NOT meeting my gaze) "....all about...babymaking and stuff. It's the one everyone talks about."
I managed to suppress the urge to giggle, intending to focus on the fact that if all the kids are discussing it, there must be something interesting going on in there, but all I managed to get out was an enthusiastic, "Oh!" before he cut me off. "Not in a good way. In a...Middle School...'Oh no, not that' kind of way." To which I had no further response but..."Ohhhhhh. Sorry? I mean, have fun with that, sweetie!" And remember, this will only serve to reinforce the solid, scientific notion that...Girls Are Icky! (Right? Isn't that what they're instructing at the 6th-grade level? I certainly hope so...)
And finally, back to the Derek Channel, where we had the following exchange one afternoon last week: "Mom, can I go over to my friend's?" The answer to this is almost always "yes", after the answering of a few standard questions, starting with "Where does he live?" (This being a buddy whose house he's not yet visited.) Derek named a street just around the corner from us. So far, so good. Next inevitably comes, "Are his parents home?" He nodded affirmatively.
Several seconds passed as Derek put on his shoes, and during the silent delay I suddenly was hit with the impulsive urge to inquire, "So...what are you guys planning to do?" Derek was somehow ready with an immediate reply, "Oh, you know...probably play some Rated M video games...watch some R-movies...drink a whole lot of...caffeine!" Oh, for the love of...I suppose I did ask for that. Never. Mind. (And since I know darn well you're not going to do ANY of those things...have a good time...smart aleck kid...")
And there you have it. The latest installment of Tales from Adolescent Boy Brains. Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'd better go look up some of my fellow X-Chromosome Club cohorts for some...you know...chocolate....and chick flicks...and whatnot. No testosterone allowed!