Tag Archives: girls vs. boys

Left Behind: After Your Only Daughter Goes Off to College…

…It’s not so easy to get used to the new gender balance.  Before, we were just that: balanced.  Dad and Junior plus me and SuzyQ.  While she and I don’t have perfectly matching tastes in everything, in general we appreciate similar TV shows, music, hobbies, etc.  Now that SuzyQ lives away from home, things look a lot different here:

  • All sports, all the time.  When I walk into a room with a TV these days, I am guaranteed to find a sports event shouting at me.  Baseball, football, NASCAR, golf.  Oh yes, there is yelling in golf!  Sometimes, one game will occupy the TV, while Darling Husband keeps track of another on the iPad.  We own 3 TVs.  It shouldn’t be that hard for me to carve out a time and place to watch my few meager shows.  Unfortunately, the 2 men in the house can’t seem to watch TV together.  They each have their own channel flipping habits that are incompatible.  My only option appears to be recording my shows, in non-HD, and watching them in bed.  No, wait.  That won’t work because Darling Husband will want to “just check the score” before he goes to sleep.
  • Stimulating conversation.  This is the follow on to the point above.  Suddenly the vast majority of conversation at the dinner table and elsewhere revolves around sports.  When SuzyQ was with us, we would sometimes talk about music or politics or other cultural things.  It’s not that Junior and Husband are not well-informed or culturally literate.  They just prefer to talk about bad officiating, recent trades, which players are injured, or the next big game.  Yawn.
  • “What are we doing this weekend?”  That’s easy: playing golf, going fishing, or watching  fill-in-the-blank sports event.  I’m on my own if I want to go to a craft show, head to the mall, or check out the parade of homes.  Don’t get me wrong.  Sometimes it’s nice to have time alone.  But it’s also fun to “ooh” and “aahh” with a companion.
  • “What’s for supper?”  Even the menu has shifted these days.  Hot dogs, burgers, and buffalo chicken wings make recurring appearances.
  • Music, anyone?  There is no more music in the house.   SuzyQ is the only one of us who plays an instrument.  Now there is no one at home practicing piano or harp at random times during the day.  For years, we always had that background music as she prepared pieces for the next concert or recital.  Even the dog would hang out in the music room and listen.  It’s awfully quiet these days.  Once, I put my iPod on the speakers to have some background music during dinner.  Junior heard it and asked, “Is there someone coming over?  What’s up with the music?”

Moms of all-boy families likely would say things are like this all the time in their homes, so there’s no big deal.  That’s probably true.  But shifting to that predominantly male atmosphere all of a sudden is a lot like moving from Florida to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Gentlemen, act a little more girlie, if you please!

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