Thursday, June 5, 2008
Boys will be boys, girls will be girls
Based on the fact that he has had his hiking boots for a decade of heavy use, Ryan decided that it was time for a new pair. I learned through hard experience the woes of his searching for footwear, but went along for the ride nonetheless and discovered an interesting quirk of my own in the process.
Ok, ladies, who's gonna back me up? Who wanted to be twins with their best friend in elementary school? Come on, you know you did. I myself tried on occasion to select friends with long blonde hair like mine and coordinate such that we would have our hair "permed" (the overnight wet braids? 'Member those?) on the same day. Sleepovers were particularly appealing in that they afforded the opportunity to coordinate outfits and hairstyles to the minutia. I, being a highly uptight child, was very invested in maximizing twinliness in all of my friendships as frequently as possible.
However, I didn't realize that this impulse still smoldered within until Ryan and I were sitting in the shoe section at REI.
Me: "Honey, look! Those are the same as my boots, but for men! I love mine, you should get those!"
Ryan, looking perplexed, asks for the boots in a size One Million.
Ryan, to salesperson: "Nope, these aren't the ones. Can I try on those others in a size One Million?"
Me [beginning to panic]: "Are you sure you didn't like those? They sure looked nice. I really liked them. They are expensive, they have to be good. Maybe you should try them on again?"
Ryan: "Naw, they rubbed my big toe. I'm going to try on those others."
Me [relinquishing dignity with every passing second]: "But, um, we could be twins! You know? Twins?"
He left with the others. I'm still not quite over it.
Once we arrived home, he, naturally, took the boots out of the box, put in the new insoles, etc. He tried them on, he pranced around.
And then he held up the box, said "Hey! Watch this!" and punched a hole through it.
I could scarcely believe my eyes. He exuded precisely the same energy as a small boy who has gleefully knocked down a lovingly constructed, perfectly even tower of blocks. He fairly shined.
Of course, I giggled. What could I do? He didn't see what was so funny. The impulse was unavoidable; who wouldn't want to punch through that big pristine piece of cardboard?
I asked him to let me take a picture of him with his arm through the hole he created, but he said I was strange for thinking it was so funny and so, to show me what, in fact, would be funny, he stuck his head through. The better to blog you with, my dear.
I am the least inclined person I know to dress up little girls like cupcakes and call male toddlers "soldier", but I did think that this incident shined a little light on male and female, innate or instructed, and I kind of think it's pretty cute either way.