We all know that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, right? (And if you need further convincing, then check out this writing assignment set by an English professor that I posted back in 2006.) But the difference was brought home to me yet again while reading “He’ll Be OK; Growing Gorgeous Boys Into Good Men” by Celia Lashlie.
Ms Lashlie is the first woman prison officer in a male prison (in New Zealand), and she has a firsthand knowledge of what happens when young men make wrong choices. “He’ll Be OK” stemmed from her work on the Good Man Project, where she talked to 180 classes of boys throughout various schools in New Zealand. She describes what she discovered during franks discussions with these boys as “surprising, amusing and, in some cases, frightening”.
Here’s a brief sample:
Celia: “Do you think you’ll ever have a life plan?”
Celia: “So how will your life sort itself out?”
Student: “Oh, that’s easy. I’ll be about 25 and some gorgeous-looking chick will walk past. She’ll have a great plan, so I’ll just hook onto her.”
Celia asked a student about drugs and here was the justification for choosing alcohol over drugs: “If I go out on Saturday night and choose drugs rather than alcohol to get off my face, I’ll have a great time, but I’ll feel crook all week and I’ll probably have to miss practice.” (That is, sports practice.)
Gotta laugh or you’d cry, right? Seriously, every parent of a teen boy should read this book. I read it when my DS was in primary school and it made a lot of sense. Now he’s in his first year at high school, it’s making a whole lot MORE sense *wry grin*. And among other things I’m realizing I have to dial back some of the mothering.
But what I wanted to share today was an amusing fictional diary excerpt from the book that for me, completely sums up the difference between men and women:
Saw John in the evening and he was acting really strangely. I went shopping in the afternoon with the girls and I did turn up a bit late so I thought it might be that.
The bar was really crowded and loud so I suggested we go somewhere quieter to talk. He was still very subdued and distracted so I suggested we go somewhere nice to eat. All through dinner he just didn’t seem himself; he hardly laughed and didn’t seem to be paying attention to me or what I was saying.
I just knew that something was wrong.
He dropped me back home. I wondered if he was going to come in; he hesitated, but followed. I asked him again if there was something the matter but he just half shook his head and turned the television on.
After about 10 minutes of silence, I said I was going to bed. I put my arms around him and told him that I loved him deeply. He just gave a sigh, and a sad sort of smile. He didn’t follow me up, but later he did, and I was a bit surprised when we made love. He still seemed distant and a bit cold, and I started to think that he was going to leave me, and that he had found someone else.
I cried myself to sleep.
New Zealand lost to the Wallabies. Had sex though.
For those of you who don’t hail from Downunder, he’s referring to the All Blacks rugby team playing the Wallabies (Australian) team.
And on that note, here’s the rest of my reading list for November:
- Dark Currents (Agent of Hel) by Jacqueline Carey
- Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan
- Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan
- Tempting the Bride by Sherry Thomas
- Blood, Smoke and Mirrors by Robyn Bachar
- Honour Bound by Brenda Novak
- Heaven to Wudang by Kylie Chan
- A Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan
- He’ll Be OK; Growing Gorgeous Boys into Good Men by Celia Lashlie
- Magic Lost, Trouble Found by Lisa Shearin
- Vampire Knight 14 by Matsuri Hino
- The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
- Gift of the Goddess by Denise Rossetti
- Glass by Ellen Hopkins
- The Look of Love; The Sullivans Book 1 by Bella Andre
- I Think I Love You by Stephanie Bond
- Wild Ones 5 by Kiyo Fujiwara
- Path of Daggers by Robert Jordan