A Stumped Summer

Well, I can’t say as I mind cool weather…but it’s still shaping up to be a bizarre summer. If we’re going to get really severe heat, it usually happens from about mid-June to mid-July because the damn sun is out until after 9 p.m. This still seems freakish to someone to a lower-latitude person like myself.

Note the sick yellow Brandywine on the front right. The Ohme thyme looks decent, though (the stuff that's growing around the stepping stones).

Things #1 and #2 are upstairs eating potato chips and watching cartoons. I can’t think of anything fun to go do today yet, but I’ve got to get them doing something. Yesterday I finally got them outside to pull weeds out in the gravel in front of our house (which the city should’ve sprayed, but I don’t like them spraying around my trees anyway). After about ten minutes pulling weeds, they fetched saws and shovels in order to remove an Oregon grape and a Chinese elm that I happened to mention I hated. (I ended up pulling the weeds while they hacked away and fought with each other every thirty seconds about what they were doing.)

Anyway. It’s still freaking me out that they can do the work of men now. Men with absolutely no sense, that is. Me: “Perhaps you should switch your thongs for a pair of sneakers…” Thing #2: “Mom, how many times do we have to tell you…they’re not thongs, they’re flip-flops.” Me: “Why do I have this feeling that you totally just missed my point?” Thing #2 (hollering at his brother and paying absolutely no attention to me): “You’re never going to get it out like that, you idiot. Use the saw.” (If you’d like to read an excellent article about identical male twin behavior, check out this article that Sports Illustrated recently did on the Bryan brothers, who play doubles tennis.)

Then they had to light a stump on fire in one corner of the yard because they found a nest of red and black ants in it (Me: “That’s enough gas. THAT’S ENOUGH GAS…!” ) FOOMPF!  Then they had to spend five minutes laughing about how they’d almost set themselves on fire.

Big article in the Atlantic this month titled “The End of Men” about how women are taking over all the jobs, and men are sort of viewed as the disposable sex. It’s an interesting theory…especially since (according to the article) 75% of the jobs lost during the Recession belonged to guys. Our culture needs workers to be more sensitive now and have the ability to sit still and focus–abilities that the author claims women are far better at than men.

I of course was completely unsurprised about how the twins instantly opted for the challenging and dangerous chore (as opposed to the weeding). I remember catching the two of them a few years ago sitting on the second story of our house–barefoot–feet dangling over the edge of the roof–and getting their jollies spitting on the unsuspecting cats below.

It’s a good thing the cats don’t hold grudges.

Otto and Thing #1 rooting for the Celtics

But if anyone wonders what the biggest problem is for young men this day and age, I wouldn’t say it’s because girls outnumber them at college or because girls have more opportunities right now in the job market. I think the problem can be summed up in two words: video games. Anyone who suggests girls “focus better” hasn’t watched four or five teenaged boys playing a FPS game for very long.

Yeah. Gotta think of something for them to do that doesn’t involve flames or video games. Wish me luck.


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