The Male Reptilian Brain

One thing that is unique to living with a group of men is the astounding capacity for memory. As a woman, I often get noted for remembering all sorts of things that should be dubbed as “to-be-forgotten”. Things like; who broke my favorite crystal candy dish, or the location of socks and baseball jerseys to the chronological order of the required steps to prepare boxed macaroni and cheese are all but useless bits of information to the male mind. What I have actually discovered is that male memory has everything to do with the reptilian brain.

We remember learning about the reptilian brain right? It’s the flight or fight core of the mind where human instinct comes from.

It’s what gives each and every human being the capacity to survive by creating a response we gravitate to. Much like how birds fly south when the weather gets cold, our reptilian brain gives humans a basic ability to survive and endure a longer life through gravitating to basic human necessities. This was pointed out to me just yesterday.

Currently my husband and I are enjoying some much needed time alone, out of state, under the guise of celebrating a wedding of a family friend’s daughter. The five boys are under the skillful care of my long suffering mother in law, who also happens to live with us. Each night we have talked through the schedule of events with grandma and the boys to make sure all the bases are covered.

My 16 year old requested to go to a college night with his girlfriend at the local community college. He assured everyone that he had transportation covered with the girlfriend’s family and would be gone from 6pm until about 8:30pm. I enjoyed a lengthy discussion with said 16 year old son about coming home right after school to check in with grandma, eat and get some homework done before venturing out for the evening. So, imagine my surprise when my husband makes the daily call home around 8pm and grandma informs him that she has not seen hide nor hair of her blessed 16 year old grandson since she dropped him off for school.

Now, here’s the difference between men and women: I assume my son has met some terrible circumstance of dire consequences that detain him from meeting the requirements of coming home after school. My mind immediately goes into panic mode and plays through a million scenarios; some that include broken limbs and natural disasters. My husband however, cups his hand over the phone as says to me “Get that kid on the cell phone now and let him know I am pretty ticked off!”. I oblige. The call goes like this:

Son: “Hello?”

Me: “Hey, where the heck are you?”

Son: “Ummmm, I’m at Dairy Queen, we decided to stop on our way back from college night.”

Me: “Really? What happened to coming home after school? Grandma was expecting you.”

Son: “No she wasn’t, I told her I would be late.”

Me: “No….I told YOU to come home after school, remember?”

Son: “Oh”……long pause…..”I forgot about that.”

Now here is what my husband instinctively understands due to his identical chromosomal alignment with our son. Once a 16 year old boy has a cute girl that requests ANYTHING of him, the reptilian brain kicks in and obeys. Just the mere mention of going to her house after school means HE MUST GO. The reptilian brain says so. There are no rules, no consequences and no perceived disadvantages. Like lemmings falling off a cliff, bears hibernating in a cave and the swallows return to Capistrano, the teenage male must oblige the reptilian brain.

This conditioned basic-need response falls into play in more than just situations with the opposite sex. For example, if there is a game on television, it must be watched. If the grass needs to be cut, and nap must be taken. If a soccer sock smells so bad it causes you to gag, it must be thrown back into the sports bag to cultivate. These are the given responses to the male brain.

Once I begin to understand this, then I can plan accordingly. I know better than to request a substantial household project during the NCAA final four tournaments, I always empty out the sports bag while holding my breath, and if there is a girl involved,…..someone is going to be grounded for an entire weekend until he understands how to override the reptilian response.

Table Manners

Table manners are important.  This was something that was impressed upon me at a very young age. viagra from canada

  Behavior at the table speaks volumes about you, especially in a public place.  I remember being strongly reprimanded by my parents for poor dinner table etiquette.  At one point, we even had a bank with a list of rules and corresponding fines on the center of the table.  No doubt this was placed here by my frustrated parents that never seemed to enjoy a meal in peace with their five children.  The rules included things like “Don’t feed the dog under the table.”, “Ask to have something passed to you instead of reaching across.”, “Don’t eat with your elbows on the table.”, and the ever important “No swearing.”.

I reflect back on my childhood dinner experiences and remember the worst things done at the table were verbal.  Those would be the things that tried the patience of my long suffering parents.  Yelling at a brother or sister or complaining that the food was subpar was probably some of the worst offenses.  But, never; I mean NEVER, would any of us have dreamed of doing what my family does at the table.

I’m not talking an accidental slip of some gas followed by blushed cheeks and an apology.  I’m talking about full-out, earth shaking belches that the neighbors could hear.  Usually followed by a fist pump or a high five, those burps are highly entertaining for everyone around the table except me.  Not to be outdone by someone else, the next guy around the table tries to burp louder and longer than the last gas-infused kid.

The first time, even the second or third time, I can laugh along.  Sure, one burp can be funny and spark a chain reaction.  I’m not a complete stick in the mud.  But it is as if they have just uncovered the body’s ability to release gastric build up; a new discovery each and every meal…..possibly in the name of science. And science is a frontier that must be explored. But after about the forth replay of this belching game, I’m done.

Come on!”, I say, “Give me a break!  Don’t burp at the table.  It’s disgusting and I’m eating here.” Just as the apology is about to leave the lips of my 5 little angels and calm and decorum is reinstated at the family meal, the gentleman sitting to my right leans over, looks at me right in the eye while his entire chair reverberates with a sound similar to the truck slamming on the Jake Brake.


Let me clarify who the person sitting to my right is.  I’ll give you a hint; he’s bald, over the age of 50 and once told me that I smelled like roses.  In other words; MY HUSBAND JUST FARTED IN MY GENERAL DIRECTION!!!!

Et tu Brutus?

Of course, this brilliant development on my attempt to have a protocol lesson on table manners has just been trumped.  As if there was not enough entertainment value happening before the head-table-flatulence, now this entire meal has credits worthy of a Comedy Central show in my boy’s eyes.

Dad farted.  Therefore a burp is a mere misdemeanor.

At this point everyone is laughing hysterically.  Everyone but me.  I am completely grossed out.  I fantasize and immediately play out scenarios in my mind that next time (and yes, there will be a next time), I will get up from the table, grab my keys, and go to a nice quiet restaurant where classical music is played in the background and abnormally large plates serve surprisingly small amounts of food.  These are plates I will not wash and food I did not cook, and I will enjoy every minute of it.

A girl can dream right?