Uh oh. I'm about one jock-strap away from becoming a boy. I've crossed into some dangerous territory. I spent all day - arguably, all weekend - in the company of men. Submersed in their weird little culture. Eating their local foods, trying their local customs, picking up their language, and diving right in to their whole way of life. Today, for instance, I followed around Geo, Perek, Chad, and Mitch (a.k.a. The Good Guys to Know) videoing their attempt to brew their own beer. It couldn't have been more, uh, male.
For starters, we were all a little hungover from a crazy night of debauchery last night, so the various smells they emitted at any given moment was nearly suffocating. At one point on the car ride to the Brewery store, I started gagging. Ga-ross. Some foreign terrain can be an assault to the senses.
Then they sat around doing some brainstorming. Their way of shorthanding words and sentences without interrupting one another was impressive. And when one of the guys would offer up a suggestion, and the others thought it was a bad idea, they'd say, "Nah, I think that's a bad idea." Then the one who made the suggestion would shrug his shoulders and move on. No tears, no passive-aggressive put downs, no hurt feelings. Despite the fact that men never understand a thing woman says, guys are exceptional at communicating with each other. I was actually a little jealous. But then I realized what a girlie reaction that was.
Then we engaged in some culinary traditions. We had a nice, healthy lunch (read: McDonald's), dropped our garbage wherever we happened to be, and complimented the chef by letting out huge burps. Then they got started brewing. The guys had this meticulous way of adding everything, timing everything, sterilizing everything, but every area they used was left messy and wet and sticky. It was like they set off little Mess Bombs everywhere they went. But their methods were exact - to the T. I actually have nothing but faith in the quality of that beer.
Finally, after my video duties were over, and the beer was sitting in the bucket fermenting for the next week, we crashed on the couches. We were at Perek's house, which has central a.c. (which, again, mine does not have and it was like a disgusting 108 degrees outside) so honestly, we weren't in any hurry to leave.
So I laid on the couch and observed some cultural entertainment. I watched Geo and Perek play Call of Duty for FOUR HOURS. Granted for 2 of those hours I was asleep, but still. Not many chicks would have done that. I don't know, it was quite relaxing actually. And since they are hilarious together, I really enjoyed the downtime (and, mostly, the a.c.). When we got hungry again, we prepared a delicious home-cooked meal (read: Ordered Dominoes). My stomach (and thighs and butt) hated me. All it wanted for me was some vegetables and possibly fresh fruit. But those items are not on the Man Menu. And visitors should not complain about culinary norms of a foreign society.
Overall, the day (and weekend) was incredibly fun. I feel more like a boy than ever, though. From the beer-drinking nights to the beer-making days, I really pushed the limits of exactly how far I could sink into Man-dom without converting all together. I almost feel bad for Geo. He didn't know if he was hanging out with his girlfriend or some dude in a dress all weekend (at least I had the dress on). I've got, like, dual citizenship or something.
Back at home in the sweltering heat, though, things are evening out. I've complained about my tummy hurting, and Geo has held doors open for me, and I've lost my TV remote privileges because I insisted on flipping between Teen Mom and some rom-com chick flick. If there's anything to be learned from today, it's that I love hanging out with guys. However, unless I want to gain a zillion pounds and start smelling like a petting zoo, I'd better keep my submersion in the World of the Males to a minimum. I mean, it's a great place to visit, but I definitely couldn't live there.