A Rootin’ Tootin’ Time

Castlegar News bi-weekly columnist Karen Haviland finds a charming meeting of the past and present

Karen Haviland

Karen Haviland

 

Warning: this column is for women only.

 

Ladies, does it seem to you that sometimes, the more things change the more they stay the same?

Take men, for example.

Some of my earliest memories include those of my three brothers. Saturday mornings were all about sitting around watching cartoons. My younger brother, Jerry, as I recall, loved cartoons, but he also loved westerns. I can picture him now, almost a half a century later (did I really just type that half century thing?) sitting around in his cowboy pajamas which were decorated with pictures of lassos, bucking broncos and cowboys watching those westerns.

Slung around his little boy hips was the toy gun and holster set which he wore everywhere, even to bed if mom didn’t catch him beforehand. His eyes were fixated on the television screen as he surely envisioned himself as whichever cowboy hero he was currently watching. Sometimes, he would skip the pajamas altogether and sit there in all his glory wearing only underwear and his loaded holster. Even now I smile at those remembered moments.

But, eventually, all boys grow up and outgrow their childhood heroes and fantasies. Or do they?

Last week I was in the computer room working on something or another. Hubby was in the living room watching TV. All was good in our life as the sounds and comfort of everyday living drifted throughout our home. It was a beautiful fall day, the kind which remains etched in your mind for years to come. The sun was shining and we had just, the day prior, returned home from camping.

The day stretched out in front of us, offering all the comforts of home and the promise of utter relaxation. We were in our haven, and, as most women know, that haven (when there aren’t children or other family members running around) sometimes includes the good old luxury of sitting around in your underwear, scratching when you want to scratch (in the case of men) and feeling completely at ease with each other.

That day, it was the hubby sitting around in his boxer shorts. The world was his oyster. He had the remote control in one hand, a cold beer in the other, and he was channel surfing. Well, not exactly surfing. It seems he struck gold – he had found a channel which was featuring all day rootin’, tootin’ Westerns, and another channel which featured the old-time yuk-yuk type of cartoons.

Every once in a while I would hear him laughing hilariously at the cartoons, and then, when he switched over to the Westerns I could hear little whoops and hollers as one cowboy shot up another.

The antics made me smile and, when I walked into the living room to ask him something or another, something became crystal clear. When I looked at him sitting in his recliner in his boxer shorts, watching his childhood replay on the television screen it occurred to me that what I was looking at was not the take-charge adult man I had married, but rather the echo of the boy he once was.

It struck me at that moment that men really don’t grow up. Sure, they man up, and mine has manned up quite nicely, thank you, but in the end, men are still little boys in many ways.

I’m sure there are ladies out there right now who are rolling their eyes, having known all along what I just discovered.

What I had discovered, at that moment, is that men are a wonderful study in contrast and depth. They are a beautiful blend of part adult and part child and just because they are required to grow up, doesn’t mean that they are required to grow old.