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Juveniles and Males: Is There a Difference?

Dear Jon shares his wisdom in a special article.

by Dear Jon
July 30, 2001

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Juveniles and Males: Is There a Difference?_Dear Jon-Dear Jon shares his wisdom in a special article. An Actual Letter from an actual woman recently crossed Dear Jon's desk, seeking advice regarding her "juvenile" boyfriend, a man who is 31 years old.

While I satisfied her question with my usual disarming wit and rigorous reasoning, I also promised an extra article devoted to discussing the difference between being "juvenile" and being "male."

Of course, as per my caveat, if there are no "Actual Letters," there is no advice column. But a promise is a promise.

Most males pass through a stage in which they are "juvenile." This typically occurs during adolescence. During that stage, human beings develop some behaviors that are not appropriately carried forward into adulthood, and some behaviors which are carried forward.

What confuses many women, is their assumption that any behavior fashioned during adolescence which is carried forward into adulthood, and which women find unappetizing, must, by virtue of its unappetizing nature, be a carry-over of juvenile behaviors. Yet this is not the case.

Dressing in team colors and cheering raucously at the scoring of points, is not a "juvenile" behavior. It is male behavior. Sometimes, this involves wearing on one's head a styrofoam hat in the shape and color of a wedge of cheese. Or, it might involve removing one's shirt and painting a grotesque mosaic on one's abdomen, in team colors of course.

"Juvenile" behavior, on the other hand, involves contests in who can consume the greatest volume of beer in the briefest amount of time, who can be the most obnoxious, swearing jerk, and who can get into the most drunken brawls. This constitutes "juvenile" behavior, no matter the age of the person.

To really learn the distinction between juveniles, and mature males with unappetizing behaviors, one must get inside the head of a man. Being a man, I am qualified to do that.

The distinction boils down to this: The juvenile believes he is entitled to anything he wants, when he wants, at his convenience, because he was born. Girl-friends are essentially given the same priority as pizza; the priorities shift depending on the appetite. If the juvenile is hungry, the only person he cares about is the one who feeds him. Once he has his food, the only thing the juvenile cares about is his food.

When the girl-friend recognizes that her juvenile boy-friend is wanting to, for the sake of this family friendly publication, satisfy other appetites, she will frequently get very mad.

"You're just using me. You don't care about me!"

Something to understand about the juvenile male, is that he really does not know why his girfriend is so upset. Because at that moment, his appetite has triggered responses which make his girl-friend the absolute center of his universe. She will be the center of his universe until the appetite is satisfied, or they have to go home, or he gets hungry again. When he claims that she is all he really cares about, he MEANS it!

Mature males, however, realize that unless they are reasonably attentive to the needs of others, their appetites will go deprived. They will not be able to get close. In some instances, they might not even be able to eat. This is because they have been trained to respect boundaries by women in their past who set them.

Thus the mature male realizes that everyone needs to eat sometimes, not just himself. The occasion of food can actually be an occasion for conversation as well, which the woman really seems to appreciate.

The mature male also realizes that women bring certain unappetiting behaviors into the relationship. One such unappetizing behavior is the "shoe addiction." This surfaces when, on a trip to Home Depot for 2X4's and braces, they have to pass by the store in the strip mall that sells women's shoes. Suddenly a five minute errand that needed two pairs of hands, becomes a two hour errand requiring three trips to the car.

Another unappetizing behavior, is the "fingertip lint brush." This is when the male, having risked dressing himself and cutting, he thinks, a fine figure, is subjected to a fingertip inspection all over his shoulders, chest, and back, from which invisible fibers of molecular lint are removed with all the romantic impulse of being frisked for drugs by a cop.

Mature males know that they must tolerate these unappetizing behavior if they hope to have other needs satisfied later that week-end.

Mature males also know that they are warriors in their tribe. Their tribe might be the "Boston Red Sox" or the "Dallas Cowboys," but that is their tribe, and it is their duty, as good warriors, to perform the necessary medicines, which include dress, paint, inarticulate whoops, touchdown dances around television sets, high-fives slapped with other warriors, and advice shouted from living rooms through the screen to stadiums 200 miles away, which will bring their tribe victory over their enemies. It does no good to tell warriors that their tribal rituals are "childish." They are not childish behaviors. Women need to get over that.

I hope this has clarified for everyone the important distinctions between what is "juvenile" and what is "male." As my readers know, I have devoted this past year to doing all I can to improve relations between men and women. It all begins by understanding where we are coming from. Now, if you will excuse me, I have to take my wife to the shoe store. It seems her three pairs of black shoes are not the right shade of black. Hopefully we will get back before the Cubs game begins.

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