Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Girls Are From Hither; Boys Are From Yon

You have probably heard of the work of John Gray, PhD., famous for his book Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.  In it and its various offshoots, Gray contends that--guess what--men and women are very different.  For example, based on his observations, Gray concludes that, to be their happiest and most fulfilled, men must feel "needed," while women prefer to feel "cherished."

Apparently, Gray has amassed a great deal of money drawing profound conclusions like this one, so who am I to poke fun?  I shouldn't fluff off the man's research just because he annoyingly leaves a comma-splice error in his book title and still makes millions (You will notice that my own title correctly uses the semi-colon between the two independent clauses.).  This leads me to think that my own observations about gender differences--learned from my kids and grandkids--are just as valid as his.  Let me give it a try.

Although I may have suspected it beforehand, I saw for sure that girls and boys are different when taking first my daughter and then my son to their 15-month developmental screenings.  Given a small, skinny bottle containing a lone raisin, my daughter just could not figure out how to get the raisin out.  Never mind that she hated raisins, she screwed her little index finger into the mouth of the bottle again and again, trying to extract the little dried-up morsel resting smugly and tauntingly there.  Surprisingly, every time she tried, her finger was still too short to reach the raisin.  Unfortunately, we did not have time to stay there and wait for it to grow.   Four years later, my son took one look at the bottle, turned it upside down, and shook the raisin right into his mouth.  The obvious conclusion:  Girls find food very frustrating.  Boys eat in a hurry so they can have more.  There.  Take that, Dr. Gray.

Now that I am on a roll, let me share with you several incidents involving Sooby and Pooh that occurred over Valentine's weekend.  First, while icing and decorating our heart-shaped sugar cookies, the two kids approached the task very differently.  Sooby spread her frosting on her cookies very artfully, with  only an occasional, very delicate lick of the knife.  Pooh, on the other hand, devoured his icing right out of the bowl.  In the end, he had more frosting in his eyebrows that on his cookies.  Conclusion:  Girls want to have their icing and eat it too.  Boys are pigs.

Next was the Great Coloring Book Study.  I gave each grandkid a big Valentine-themed coloring book that came with three fat round crayons sharpened on both ends.  Sooby opened her book to a kitty picture and promptly began to color the kitty red.  I swear I was only in the bathroom for a minute and returned to find a big red "H" printed quite nicely on the bedroom wall.  Pooh, however, never opened his book.  Instead, he propped it like a ramp against a pillow and watched the crayons roll down.  Conclusion:  Girls demonstrate a knack for interior decorating.  Boys understand how gravity works.

My final insight came during our Play-Doh session.  The ever-artful Sooby crafted herself a pair of curvy, luscious-looking red lips and affixed them to her own mouth with great aplomb.  Not to be outdone, Pooh took a whole can of pink Play-Doh and smashed it onto the lower half of his face.  Eventually, we had to pry it off so he could breathe.  Conclusion:  Girls have an innate desire for pretty lips.  Boys sometimes have a problem with their body parts.

This exhaustive and highly scientific Valentine's Day experiment should prove my hypothesis that girls are from hither and boys are from yon.  Except, of course, for those occasions when boys are from hither and girls are from yon.  In which case, there are kids all over the place, and that is when a Googie has the most fun.

Move over, Dr. Gray.  A Googie in a lab jacket is about to make your research obsolete.  And since you will soon be out of work, you will have plenty of time to take a grammar course.


  1. Hilarious! And it's always nice to meet someone who knows what a comma splice is. There aren't many of us any more!

    I have a couple of articles about gender differences that you might be interested in:
    Gender Differences in Babies and Toddlers
    Gender Differences in School Age Children
    My pieces are not as entertaining as yours are, but they are informative. I bet you'll learn something you didn't know!

  2. How funny and how true! While I have no male grandchild to make these comparisons with I do have Grampy. And I am pretty darned sure he is from Yon.

  3. Like KC I only have granddaughters so far, but they couldn't be more different if they were of different genders. Hither and yon would be a good way to describe them.

    I concur, John Gray needs a grammar class and so does his editor.