The other day my son, Clyde, burst through the front door, panting heavily.
“Hey,” he said, nonchalantly. Well, as nonchalantly as someone can be while they are gasping for breath.
“What’s the matter?” I asked, looking out the front window behind him for the zombie horde that must have been chasing him.
“Nothing,” he replied, walking past me on his way to eat the entire kitchen. “I just thought I’d run home.”
“Why?” I asked, now thoroughly confused.
And then he looked at me like I was the strange one. “Because.”
And that’s when I remembered that I was dealing with an other.
It’s got nothing to do with the generation gap: even when I was Clyde’s age it would have taken at least a zombie horde to get me moving at more than a brisk walk, and who knows how long I would have kept even that up. (Actually, who am I trying to kid? I know exactly how long I would have kept that up: about two minutes. And then I would have turned around and tried to debate my way out of being eaten.)
I also know that it’s not a generational thing because my other child is exactly like me in this regard: she would probably go through a zombie horde if it made it easier for her to get to her car on the other side. Unfortunately, my other child is also out of the country for the semester, leaving me at the mercy of these people who seem to think that sweating isn’t something that only happens after you have had your fourth shot of espresso. And by these people, I mean, of course, men. Or boys. Or whatever: I’m talking about those people who are estrogen-challenged.
I guess I never realized before how balancing it was to have another female in the house, how much the combined weight of our mutual disapproval helped to keep the male hijinks and shenanigans in check. How her disapproval radiating out from behind her closed bedroom door and mine laser-beaming its way out from the kitchen somehow combined into some sort of Ghostbuster-like proton ray to drive the worst aspects of guyville out the door and into the yard where it belonged.
Now, however, I realize that it must have been the only thing keeping my house from going Full Frontal Frat House. Look, I’m not saying that the females of the house are any neater than the males, or any less aggressive, or even any less aggravating. It’s just that I’d much rather find a pile of empty Starbucks cups on the coffee table than empty 2 liter bottles of Mountain Dew Red. Much rather have to tell someone to get off Tumblr and go to bed than tell them it’s time to say goodnight to all their lovely Call of Duty friends for the evening. (Tumblr, at least, does not involve a headset and shouting at people for accidentally shooting you in the face. Although there is probably a gif that gets the same point across.)
The worst part of it is that I know that this is all just a preview for when my daughter leaves for good and I am left with a house full of boys for years and years. What am I going to to when it is just me and the boys? I suppose I could try and fill the house up with some nonhuman females. It’s not ideal, of course, but it’s better than nothing.
And that, my friends, is where crazy cat ladies must come from.