Leave it to the Dutch to conduct a study stating the obvious – men suffer a mental decline (or a lack of common sense) when around or even just thinking about women. Uh, my eight-year-old friends and I discovered that back in grade school geniuses!
I could have save these people all the money spent on that study with this synopsis: When a young male (human or otherwise) figures out that there are obvious differences between a man and a woman the brain does funny things that triggers more funny things to happen throughout the body. This is called ‘human nature’. This is a typical response from a typical, living, breathing male with blood pumping in his system. If this is not the response experienced by a boy (or a boy in an adult body) than we are probably talking about another topic of which I have very little knowledge or practical experience. Also I’m struggling to be politically correct which always gets me in trouble.
I think I was probably ten years old (memory fails me now…conveniently) when I had my first crush. I don’t remember much from those bygone days (at least not much that I will admit) but I do remember this – any time a girl asked me a question, struck up a conversation or stood next to me in the cafeteria line wondering what was on the menu, my brain somehow disconnected from the rest of my body, causing me to lose all control of my senses and motor functions. It was a frustrating experience for a boy, especially when it seemed like my friends were unaffected or afflicted by this particular brain disorder.
I recall that I nearly fell into a primate enclosure at the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City on a class field trip because my ‘crush’ started talking to me and asking me questions. At some point I must have sounded like one of the monkeys because even I couldn’t understand what I was babbling. That bit of nonsense was embarrassing but it is an essential part of growing up for a boy. Understanding who we are around women (and vice-versa) is part of our ‘awakening’.
As a teenager I think I got just slightly more comfortable around girls – but only marginally and just enough to the point where I could actually make sense and I could string together a half coherent sentence. But it still did not conquer the cold sweats and clammy hands whenever I had to actually engage a girl in conversation let alone ask a girl for a dance. Thanks goodness for those school and church dances! My mom would make me dance with her, my sisters and my female cousins to get over my anxiety (and to get over myself) before I felt uninhibited enough to ask a girl to dance. Some guys need alcohol (not an endorsement and not recommended); I just needed the female members of my family to tell me that I was being dumb.
Finally, when you become an adult and you have a significant other or in my case, a lovely wife, the angst and trepidation does not end. On the contrary; now you actually have to talk, you have to be engaged in conversation and you have to make sense all at the same time you’re being cute and cuddly! Is there a man on earth (besides Pulitzer Prize winners, scientists and surgeons of course) who can be focused and pay attention to anything for more than thirty minutes?
Super Mom gets me all tongue-tied when she asks me questions like:
1) Do you know what time Number 1’s doctor appointment is?
2) Is that a picture of Kim Kardashian in your wallet?
2) When was the last time you said ‘I love you’ without wanting something first?
3) Are you planning on shaving your back?
4) Should I wear this one…or this one? Ugh!
It just never ends. I can’t explain it but I know that I can immediately recognize the signs of ‘Man-Dumb-Ness’ whenever a man is struggling with himself in the presence of a woman.
The study even implies that men are at their worst ‘Man-Dumb-Ness’ if “the woman is attractive and men are trying to impress her.” Uh, no comment.
The really, truly entertaining aspect of this phenomenon is watching my sons as they grow up, having the same worries and unease around girls. Super Mom loves it because she does not want to lose her boys to another woman – at least not yet. I love it because it’s fun to see them squirm and giggle whenever we tease them about it. Yes, I am cruel; I am a monster and I am loving it!
So how do we conquer the ‘Man-Dumb-Ness’ virus? Maybe these ideas can give you a good start:
For single men:
- Hold your breath until you pass out. You don’t have to talk if you’re unconscious
- Ignore all women at all times. Nothing is more pleasing to a woman than a man who does not listen or look at them
- Don’t shower. She may be easy on the eyes, but you’re saving tons of money on water, bath soap and laundry detergent. Chicks dig that stuff.
For married (or attached) men:
- Love your spouse/significant other. You’re most comfortable around other women when you are in love with the one you’re with.
- Refer back to Number 1
I learned a few things from this study and from writing this post
a) I’m not the only dude that is afflicted by ‘Man-Dumb-Ness’
b) This was a stupid study
c) They have a lot of money to spend on random studies the Netherlands
d) Super Mom enjoys my ‘Man-Dumb-Ness’ … most of the time