Do you ever wonder how we survived childhood? I mean, really, can there be a more hostile environment on this planet than the gym locker room in a junior high school? Maybe that’s why the educational masterminds decided to change “junior high” to “middle” school. Maybe it sounded less treacherous. Kind of like changing the name of Sudan to…say…Happystan. They should try that. I’m sure it would work as well as it did for the junior high schools.
I don’t know about you ladies, but for the boys, the years between 12 and 18 are what we affectionately refer to as the “Time of Humiliation.” While most survive the Time of Humiliation, or TH as you’ll often see it referred to, it serves its purpose in turning us from confident, happy children into the quivering lumps of flesh that you would someday marry. A transitional period is necessary, otherwise we go from happy straight down to the pit of despair in a single day. This does happen to some of us, and our mothers immediately take us to the doctor, who feeds us mind-altering medication until we think we’re happy again.
This is a mistake. Better to get on with it. After all, the worst part of the journey is just ahead…
Now, I don’t intend to lay blame here. But a recent study performed by a well-known Michigan Women’s magazine writer among his facebook friends produced shocking results:
Boys who attended an all-male military academy were 96% more likely to have a positive outlook on life by the time they were 16.
Boys who dated in high-school were more likely to drink heavily by the time they reached 21 (these were all Lion’s fans as well, so there may be a correlation).
Boys who were Lion’s fans and dated in high-school were more likely to move to San Francisco and choose an alternative lifestyle. That’s right, they became 49ers fans.
Boys who were Lion’s fans, dated in high-school, and watched The Dukes of Hazzard were more likely to move to San Francisco and listen to country music.
I think you can see the implications here.
You may point towards Ford Field and say, “but maybe it’s the Lions…”
Perhaps. But as a scientist who has participated in countless facebook surveys, I must point out that even boys in San Francisco suffer many of the same issues as the Michigan-raised lads.
I’m not saying that girls are totally responsible for our downfall. In fact, it was Daisy Duke who provided our Friday night reason to live once per week. No coincidence there. Weekends, while welcome, always provided too much time to dwell on our social outcast status. I have little doubt that Daisy was carefully planned by a U.S. government endowment secretly organized to battle against teenage boy depression. My careful research has uncovered memos dated during the Reagan administration that referred to something called the National Endowment for the Reduction of Depressed Students. I have no doubt that Daisy was a direct product of that activity.
The image of Daisy Duke in cut-off jeans and sitting in a doorless Jeep only carried us through Monday, though. We would then return to battle.
Now, it wasn’t just the girls who were behind the conspiracy to strip young males of our souls. Other young males joined in this activity as well. These traitors fell into four categories: the Jock, the Comic, the Babe Magnet, and the Guy with Facial Hair.
The Jock, of course, we all know. This was the guy who, at the age of three, had the foresight to know that his romantic success in high school was pre-determined by his ability to throw a football. So he began practicing. Jocks often have Jock parents. It’s difficult to break into the Jock family from the outside. The rest of us play right field.
The Comic was the most tolerable. We all liked to laugh. But afterwards we hated that we couldn’t come up with great one-liners that even made the teachers laugh, which most of us thought was an impossibility. And any attempt on our part to make the teacher laugh only landed us in detention. Girls loved the Comic. Therefore we loathed him after we laughed.
The Babe Magnet was the worst. Here was a kid with no athletic ability and wasn’t funny. Yet the girls clung to him like he was the last Gucci handbag at a 90% off sale. We hated the Babe Magnet most of all. He never had to shop at The Gap.
And, of course, there was Guy with Facial Hair. He wasn’t necessarily attractive to the girls, but we loathed him anyway. Another scientific survey showed that facial hair on a teenage boy gave him an 87% higher probability of finding a career outside of accounting.
Now, I have always had a theory. It’s odd that I’ve never met a grown man who enjoyed his high-school years. While the list of popular boys mentioned above only made up about 2% of the high-school population, odds are I would have run into one by now.
So here is my theory: they were aliens.
Honestly, is there any explanation for such happy boys in junior-high and high school? And this was before PS3. No way did Atari and Intellivision bring such joy. I mean, seriously, those little colored blocks were supposed to represent people?
I digress. Despite my efforts, I doubt that the President will respond to my petition to keep all males separated from non-relative female contact until they reach the age of thirty. By that time, we should have developed into fully functional and confident members of society. At the very least, we’ll have figured out which aisle contains the toilet paper.
As it stands, we’ll no doubt continue this cycle of irrational adolescent behavior brought about by early exposure to apple-flavored lip gloss and perfume that comes in quart-sized bottles.
But if suffering must come, then suffer we must. I have endured it as I am sure my son shall endure it. There is little to do but face the enemy head on. In the words of the legendary Sir Galahad, “Oh, let me have just a little bit of peril!”
Be kind to the boys. And when you look your gallant man in the eye, look hard to see the warrior within. Embrace him and assure him that his battle has not been in vain, for he has, in the end, emerged victorious with his princess at his side. Let’s break out the lip gloss and celebrate.