[Hubby Diaries Note: I have received quite a few emails from people who have shared their own theories to help explain “Male Behavior”. As elusive as the answer may be, there seem to be many men, regardless of age or relationship status that share common traits. Below, you’ll find a guest post from 2 women who share their explanation of “Boy Brain”.]
Boy Brain Julie Jeffs & Mendi Davis
We feel extremely fortunate to have found The Hubby Diaries through She Writes. We are so glad we did. However, we thought since we have a few more years in the trenches trying to understand the men in our lives that we might be able to help. We have a theory about what it really is:
We call it Boy Brain. Yes you can quote me on that.
We call it that because it seems to be something they are born with.
We first thought, is it just us, the men we know? But no, we haven’t yet met a woman who has not dealt with boy brain in the men she knows.
So let me give you a few examples of boy brain:
- He tells you he is your very best friend but doesn’t really like to have to answer his phone so if you call he may or may not answer or return your call, until he feels like it. Then he just doesn’t get why you are annoyed. He doesn’t do it maliciously, it is boy brain.
- You send him text messages, which he ignores. When you ask why he explains that he was busy. When he sends you text messages and you don’t answer them immediately he gets annoyed that you are ignoring him. He forgot that sometimes you are busy too.
- You have been friends/lovers/spouses/acquaintances for several years. You always remember and appropriately recognize his birthday, his mother’s birthday, his siblings’ birthdays and anniversaries, and the anniversary of the winning homecoming touchdown from high school fifteen years ago. Why? Because those things are important to him. Every year he forgets your birthday but he does recall, when chatting with his buddies, what the gap measurement is on the spark plugs for that 1972 Chevy Nova he owned all throughout high school. It is boy brain and the 72 Nova is a classic.
Now I’m certain the man in question doesn’t want to hurt your feelings, and truly thinks he’s your best friend, it just doesn’t dawn on him that your needs might actually come before his. Boy brains cannot multi-task, not just doing more than one activity at a time, keeping more than one thought at a time is often difficult.
After several attempts to understand the logic I finally had to realize, it is just boy brain. They really don’t get it, at all; their brain does not allow them to get it. Moreover, as it turns out, unless it is about them or a conversation they have initiated, there is little chance they will become male version of your best girlfriend which is what you keep hoping for.
Boy brain appears to be caused by a specific gene in their DNA strand. (No one has actually found the gene but I am sure there is a woman who will one day win the Nobel Prize for isolating it.) It causes them, if at all possible, to make the conversation all about them, because to them that is more interesting. They have no idea why you are frustrated when they forget something you have told them 14 times — in the past two days — but they also will let you know that your reminder the 15th time is becoming nagging and not helpful.
If you look carefully you will see the beginnings of boy brain when they turn about 10, no longer their mommy’s little boy, they exert their independence by promptly forgetting anything you told them before the day they turned 10.
The only cure for boy brain? Well there isn’t a cure but what you really have to do is change your expectations; and make them believe your birthday is really all about them.
If you watch girls, except for that really awful time between the ages of 10 and 15 when some evil incarnation of your daughter/sister/niece/friend takes over, they will be there for you when they say they will, and if they aren’t there for you they won’t tell you they will be. Their friendships can last an entire lifetime. They can have friends that they made in grammar school that they don’t see again until a mutual friend’s passing and you will still see the bonds of true friendship. You know those friends, the ones who will quietly sit and listen and revel in the accomplishments of her friend’s children, cry at the sadness in their failures, and laugh at the folly of ever trying to truly understand the males in their lives.
[Hubby Diaries Note: the truth truly lies in this last sentence…. As hard as we try… we may never truly understand the mind of a man!]
Julie Jeffs is a 51 year old divorced mother of two adult children. She is retired after a 20 year career in law enforcement and is currently writing a memoir. She gets along with her ex-husband and her former boyfriends, she has lowered her expectations. Julie’s blog is: Beginning a Life at 50 www.juliejeffs.blogspot.com
Mendi Davis is a married mother of two children and a 1st grade teacher. She is trying to become the first mother to cure her 11 year old son of boy brain, and she is still enjoying the sweetness of her 9 year old daughter. Mendi’s blog is: 1st Grade Tales www.1stgradetales.blogspot.com