Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I Know What Boys Like

We were driving in the car the other day, Jen and Lily and I, and Lily started talking rapidly in the back seat.

"I think I like more boy things than girl things. I'm not fancy and I like climbing and superheroes and video games and I like having band aids and jumping around."

She went on for quite a bit, adding more of the "boy things" she liked. I wish I'd been able to get it all. Jen wanted to record her, but Lily gets camera shy sometimes.

I don't think any of us in our family are particularly "fancy". It's not like we're Amish, with their creepy faceless dolls, but we're not ostentatious either. I love Jen and I think she's beautiful. On one of our first big dates, we got dressed up and went out on a boat near where she was going to school. And Jen, like her daughter, is not especially fancy, but she was that day.

Here's a picture of us. 

As you can see, I got the better deal out of the marriage.

She spent quite a while getting ready, and I remember her friend asking if my eyes popped out of my head when I saw her. And she looked nice, but I think she looks most beautiful in casual clothes with no makeup with her hair down.

I have a fair number of women friends. I was talking about the definition of "Tomboy" with some of them.  To me, it implied a high level of interest in outdoor physical activities typically associated with boys. (Also, when I imagine a Tomboy, she looks like Pippi Longstocking)  Lily likes to climb and jump and run around outside and pick up disgusting critters to show me. ("Isn't it cute, daddy?" "Ah! No! Kill it!") and she was very excited when I taught her how to throw a punch. Not that I particularly want her punching boys who aren't trying to kiss her, but her form was so terrible when she was doing it on her own that I felt compelled to correct it.

Here's how one friend answered when I asked her how she defined "Tomboy".

You have it narrowed down specifically to interest in outdoor activities typically associated with boys.  I'm defining it as an interest in any activities or interests typically associated with boys, as well as non-interest in many things typically associated with girls- Star Wars figures instead of Barbies and dolls, sci fi instead of romance, non-interest in makeup or getting my nails done, stuff like that.  It's funny- you don't think I'm outdoorsy, and I don't see myself that way, either, but I spent most of my time between the ages of 11 and 22 at barns.  It's not that I don't ever wear makeup or get dressed up, but I'd rather not devote a lot of time and mental energy to that.  I had a friend who would spend an hour putting on makeup and then another half hour deciding which of her many dresses she was going to wear before we went out.  If I'm going out, I'm ready in five minutes.  Make that ten if I'm putting on makeup.  I don't like to read chick lit or watch typical romantic comedies.  Yes, I love Jane Austen, but that's good literature, not the crap with pink covers that publishers put out today- stuff that's full of brand names and weak women.  Now, Four Weddings and a Funeral, that was funny.  The stuff that Jennifer Aniston has been in since Friends, that makes me cringe.  So that's what being a tomboy means to me.  All I wanted was Star Wars action figures and Transformers, and my parents bought me Barbies and Cabbage Patch Kids anyway.  Blah.  

My only concern with Lily liking "boy things" is that she thinks of them as "boy things", that it's unusual or somehow wrong for her to like them. The thing she's proudest of is her ability with math. No one has ever told her that girls aren't good at math. She loves practicing math facts. We were doing some addition before we left for the bus this morning and when I asked her what five plus five was, she said "Daddy. Please." (Her teacher has observed that she's reluctant to do busy work and her response to my question does nothing to disabuse me of this. However, I'm not convinced this is a bad trait.)

And finally, here's the video by the Waitresses if that's what you were expecting when you saw the title.

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