Off the Line: Mysteries of the male gender

Sometimes I think the blissful ignorance of children is a gift that I would like.

Karen Haviland

Sometimes I think the blissful ignorance of children is a gift that I would like. I remember being a child and chomping at the bit to grow up. Life was simple, and most days my biggest concern was what was for supper. But I wanted to be older, like my sister, who is a whole two years older (and wiser?).

I would watch time after time when she was granted privileges which I could only dream about. Forget that she had earned them and proved her trustworthiness and forget what a huge world of difference two years can make when it accounts for 20 per cent of your life at that time. I wanted what I wanted and I wanted it now.

The mysteries of the world seemed at my reach but attainable only if I was older. The ongoing riddles in life when one is only 10 seem solvable if there was only two (or three or four …) more years under the belt.

I knew that all of those riddles would become crystal clear to me if only I was older. Take boys, for example. They would walk by me and elbow check me, or tell me I smelled, or pull my hair. At first my feelings were sorely bruised from that, but my mother explained that when boys did that, that really meant that they liked me.

So, with that reassurance, I knew it was only a matter of time before I understood what boys were really about. Certainly when I turned 12 or 14 at the latest, I would know what made those mischievous creatures tick. Wrong. I was dead wrong and when I turned 15 or so I reconciled myself to the fact that the mysteries of the masculine gender wouldn’t be that easily revealed to me, at least not until I was maybe 20.

Well, 20 came and went (three times over) and I realize now that the wonderful puzzle that makes up the other gender will likely never be solved — at least not by me.

The other night I was watching a new show called Legend of the Superstition Mountains. It is a fascinating show and because we basically wintered at the base of those mountains, the series holds a special appeal to me.

The Superstitions are rumoured to have a lost gold mine somewhere in their vast reaches. The show profiles a group of men determined to find that mine. If one knows anything about the Superstitions, one would know that there have been many good (and not so good) men who have died there under curious circumstances while on their quest.

In fact, some 250 people died looking for the lost gold on that mountain. For the Native Americans who resided there, and for some of today’s Native Americans, the Superstitions are considered sacred ground.

Whatever the case might be, as I was watching the show, I turned to glance at my husband, who was avidly watching it. It was as if he had one of those thought bubbles above his head saying, “Treasure! Let’s find that treasure. Wait! Let me get my toy gun and holster and my broom horse.”

I realized at that moment that boys never grow up. Yes, they mature and for the most part the opposite gender appreciates them and all they bring to the world. But I think that the fairer sex understands that boys will be boys.

Those grown men chasing the Lost Dutchman Mine are simply older versions of their younger selves. Like their younger counterparts they still have dreams and they still have a sense of hope and adventure.

Somehow, I find that oddly appealing. No one, no matter what their age or gender should ever lose the gift of hope and adventure.

I will sheepishly admit I wish mom and dad would have bought me a toy gun and holster when I was a kid. Maybe, if I ask nicely, my husband will let me borrow his and we can then go look for that lost gold mine together.

 

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