Thursday, August 12, 2010

Boys Will Be Boys

I spend an inordinate amount of time in and around parking lots in my daily life, and it's given me the opportunity to observe people and what they do.

A few weeks ago, there was a family gathered outside one of the doors of a building I was at. They may have been waiting for someone who was still inside, but one little boy about age 3 had separated himself from the rest. He had found a tiny puddle in the parking lot, the only spot of water in the dry, barren reaches of inland Southern California, and he was playing in it.

There must be something in the DNA of the Y chromosome, a gene that homes in on standing water and mud and compels the male to approach it, stick his hands in it and then stomp around in it until his mother lets out a horrified shriek and comes over to whisk said miscreant away. Being a girl, I don't completely understand.

There's another male gene that I see on display the parking lots, and this one afflicts older males, those of driving age. It's the Backing Into Parking Spaces gene. Although I'm willing to consider that this one may be an effect of the prenatal washing of the brain by testosterone that occurs early in the development of males and some rare females. By my estimation (not just at work but everywhere), about 90% of the vehicles that are parked for easy exit were parked by men. I think it's the modern manifestation of the same thing that caused Wild West men to sit in saloons with their backs to the wall. A lady doesn't normally think about that unless her man has drummed it into her over the years.

The other day I was looking out a window, and I noticed motion out in the parking lot, and I looked to see what it was. A pickup truck was starting to back into a spot. Naturally, my brain registered: Pickup = male; reverse parking = male. But then the truck pulled forward because the driver had miscalculated the proper trajectory. (My brain: Lack of awareness of surroundings and vehicle direction = potential female driver.) I watched more closely and saw that the driver didn't turn the wheels the right way to allow for a better approach, so he or she ended up in about the same position as the first time. Attempt number 3 was slightly improved, just enough to allow for full access to the parking space, but the driver wasn't sure how far back to go, so the truck moved forward a little then backwards again, and then it stopped.

I watched for confirmation of my conclusion that the truck was being driven by a rogue female, one who probably had to borrow hubby's truck because her little, maneuverable car was in the shop. The driver's door opened, and a man got out.

Hmmm. He parks like a girl when he's parking like a man. I'm not quite sure what to make of that.


Tsofah said...

Skye! I laughed so hard as I read this! Only we who live or have lived with males can totally identify with this article! Thanks!

CG said...

Hilarious! You hit the nail on the head! Another male compulsion that starts in infancy: throwing rocks, especially throwing rocks into water. Maybe it's the same as the compulsion to jump in puddles.