In Defense Of Boys

Why men who refuse to grow up are so attractive

Photo by Travis Yewell on Unsplash

It’s hard to break old habits. As I was bouncing around a party recently, the urge to chat up a rather cute, early-twenties boy took me over. He wasn’t hot in a manly way, but cute and fun in a way that makes your heart flutter like it did for your high school crush.

Boys have a special appeal, and although they might not all look the same or be the same age — there are boys in their sixties — they have some commonalities y’all might recognize. Their lives are full of experiences. They’ll be able to tell you about a recent trip to Thailand, their crazy new knife-juggling hobby, or how they recently overdosed on a drug you’ve never heard about at a festival you saw on the news.

If he’s a boy, he won’t have any clue about chatting girls up, you’ll need to lend him a hand. You might even find yourself — if you’re so inclined — getting mutual friends to nudge you together.

When friends talk about him, they’ll call him sweet, or kind, or cute. They’ll never talk about the strength of his character, an ethical debate they had with him or how he has recently made a huge breakthrough in his career.

The very idea of a career will be a distant one for the boy. If he has a job, it’ll be one where, when asked, he’ll say, “for now” as a prefix. As in, “for now, I work at McDonalds…” sometimes he’ll finish the sentence by telling you what he really does. Usually what he really does will be something like his involvement in a band, how he’s an actor or a part-time fire-eater. He’s not making rent from the things he really does though, and doesn’t seem to have any real interest in making real money from his current interests in the future either.

As a result of his lack of ability to hold down a grown-up job or to even be a creative entrepreneur as an actor or musician, he’ll never have any money. Usually this just means he can’t afford to take you anywhere nice, sometimes though this means you’ll have to act as his mother and buy his groceries as he spent the last of his money on weed.

Speaking of mothers, he still lives with his. This means, perhaps without any real warning, you’re going to be forced to meet her. Perhaps this will happen the morning after you stay over for the very first time. Actually, this will be for sure when it happens. It’ll be worse for you when being polite, you get stuck talking to her so she can judge you — the best chance she has of getting her son to leave home — as not good enough for her little boy.

You’ll also find yourself doing most of the important relationship conversations on your own. But never fear, he does have emotional depth and when he’s in need of a shoulder to cry on because his favorite video game doesn’t work on his X-Box anymore, you’ll be the first one he’ll call.

Back at the party, I smiled at the cute boy and remembered all the responsibilities of dating a boy, and how it ceased to be fun very quickly. I made my excuses to leave the conversation then. As adorable as he was, and as much fun as he’d be to date, I just don’t have the energy to raise other people’s children.