Did you hear about the latest research that says women like me die sooner than women not like me? And by “like me” I mean women who have only sons?
That’s right. Hey, thanks for the happy 411, Samuli Helle of the University of Turku in Finland!
Helle and his team of crack research assistants posit several theories to explain their recent discovery. One of them involves testosterone. Apparently women who are pregnant with boys have more of it floating around in their systems than women who are pregnant with girls. And, as we all know, testosterone can kill you. For example:
Testosterone makes you ride a long board from the top to the bottom of First South. In the middle of the night.
Testosterone makes you flip off the guy in the pickup with a gun rack who just cut in front of you.
Testosterone makes you call out the opposing team’s fan, even though the dude is twice as big as you are.
Testosterone makes you bury the needle on an open stretch of road. Like, from here to Wendover, for example.
Testosterone makes you test the combustibility of various household cleaning products in the downstairs bathroom.
Testosterone makes you and your friends construct “jumps” — ski jumps, bicycle jumps, skateboard jumps.
Testosterone makes you and your friends go off those jumps.
Testosterone makes you attempt to elude the cops on your dirt bike in the River Bottoms.
Testosterone makes you see how far you can push your older brother until he hauls off and slugs you in the head.
And, as our friend Robert Kirby has said, testosterone makes you provoke large animals by sitting on them.
And if it doesn’t actually kill you, the Big “T” can certainly bring its fair share of the Big Crazy into your life. Especially if you have a lot of boys living under the same roof. (My boys’ elementary school principal was fond of saying that one boy equals one brain. Two boys equals half a brain. A crowd of boys equals no brains at all.)
Maybe girls do stuff like punch holes in drywall or get their heads jammed in the choir seats at church or provide you with an opportunity to visit juvenile court. More than once! Maybe girls forget to wear underwear when you go to the pediatrician’s office or comb their hair with a fork at the dinner table just to get a rise out of the mom or pile on top of each other like puppies whenever they get the chance.
Maybe girls do all of those things. I wouldn’t know, however. I was too busy trying to die prematurely by giving birth to sons.
But guess what? Living with all those boys was fun. (Sometimes.) And even when it wasn’t fun, it was interesting. Instructive, even. It’s true! Boys can teach you a lot. Hang around boys and you’ll learn how to reel off dialogue from “Futurama.” Or how to fight with a friend and get over it fast. Or how to be straightforward about what you want. Or how to push back. Or how to stay quiet when quiet makes sense. Even Meryl Streep has said most of what she knows about comic timing, she learned from the boys who sat on the back row in high school.
Here’s what else I’ve learned about boys. Other parents sometimes tell me I’m lucky because boys are easier than girls, and maybe they’re right. Again, I wouldn’t know. But when they say that boys are easier than girls because boys aren’t emotional, I can only shake my head and wonder. What kind of boys do they know? Because the boys I know feel. Deeply.
Anyway. It’s been a ride. And you know what? I’d buckle my seat belt and sign up for that ride all over again.
Hell, yeah, I would.
Ann Cannon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or facebook.com/anncannontrib.