Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. They Look Like Boys…

 

My youngest daughter is a senior in high school. Tonight, she has a few friends over. There are two boys and three girls in the bonus room over my garage, playing board games. They seem like good kids. But the strangest thing just happened.

The flapper in the toilet upstairs sometimes doesn’t seal, and the toilet runs. I’ve been meaning to fix it, but I haven’t gotten around to it. Anyway, one of the kids used the toilet, and the toilet kept running and running. I heard it, and I knew immediately what was wrong. When I got up there, my daughter and another girl were standing in the bathroom looking in the open tank, jiggling things in the tank trying to fix it. The two boys were still laying on the floor in the bonus room, fiddling around with the board game. The scene was surreal, like I had unknowingly entered a parallel dimension.

I was a high school kid not that long ago. Ok, the 1980s. But whatever. If that had been a party with me and my friends while we were in high school, the boys would have been elbowing each other out of the way so they would be the one to get to fix the mechanical problem, and then hopefully impress a girl. Even if we didn’t know what we were doing, we would act like we did. Of course. Naturally. As surely as night follows day.

They’re high school boys. And high school girls. They’re not that complicated, right?

What on Earth is going on here? Are those even boys up there? They look like boys. But something is different.

I feel like I’m missing something important here.

Or maybe they are.

I suspect that our culture is going to look really strange in about 20 years…

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There are 119 comments.

  1. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    It might be that one of the girls was the one who used the bathroom and she only trusted another girl to come and help her take care of her embarrassing problem – as far as she knew, she broke it. 

    I hope. 

    Another thing that supports my theory is that males are famously oblivious and girls are insular. 

    • #1
    • November 16, 2019, at 6:39 PM PST
    • 33 likes
  2. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat Post author

    The bathroom door was open. It had been running for a while.

    Maybe you’re right, TBA. But I don’t know…

    • #2
    • November 16, 2019, at 6:44 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  3. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    I don’t know either. FWIW, the masculine ‘how does this work?’ spirit does require both nurture and outlet; shop classes, repairable objects, non-computerized accessible auto engines, knowledgeable fathers (or mothers for that matter), garages full of tools, and even home ownership are less available than they used to be. 

    Kids do tend to learn how to put together computers, so there is at least that. 

    But none of this touches your point – girls delved; boys didn’t. 

    • #3
    • November 16, 2019, at 7:27 PM PST
    • 10 likes
  4. Matt Bartle Member

    Maybe they were afraid of mansplaining, or exhibiting toxic masculinity.

    Maybe they’ve heard all their lives about how women are strong and capable and independent so they figured why bother.

    Maybe they’re used to playing games while other people take care of things for them.

    Maybe being a guy who can fix things doesn’t advance their cause with girls today.

    But, yeah, I would have been one of the guys trying to fix it and saying, “I got this, honey. Don’t you worry your pretty little head about it.”

    • #4
    • November 16, 2019, at 7:41 PM PST
    • 17 likes
  5. Matt Bartle Member

    BTW, did the girls fix it? Or did you have to step in?

     

    • #5
    • November 16, 2019, at 7:43 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  6. Gary McVey Contributor

    To be fair, this has gradually been going on for generations.

    I like old cars. The first hot rodders did all their own stuff–changing out engines, chopping frames, channeling the bodies of cheap-to-get Thirties cars. This was natural, because they grew up when men did welding and machine work before they were fifteen. Then came the postwar generation; we came of age in the Seventies and were just as quick to get under the car for an oil change, or to rewire the car for stereo. But by then, most of us were becoming “checkbook restorers”–we never learned this stuff on the farm or at the factory anymore. The generation after mine were checkbook restorers, but even more so; they had the money and the interest to pay what it took to make old cars into specimens so perfect they’d never have left the factory like that. The Amazon/Microsoft/Oracle generation had the leisure to fetishize and duplicate even the grease pencil marks that the Chevy plant left in the engine compartment in 1955. 

    And now…they don’t care much about cars at all, not about how they work, and not even about how they look. I don’t think Women’s Lib has that much to do with it. I think it’s the modern world’s growing remoteness from what it takes to make or repair things. 

    Remember that when we talk here about immigration. I’m a borders guy, like almost all of Ricochet. But I’m also honest enough to admit that Chicano sons are far more likely than my son to know how to do construction, aluminum ductwork, auto repair, or machine maintenance. This is one factor in why California, like much of the southwest, has become dependent on imported labor. It ain’t all political correctness. 

    • #6
    • November 16, 2019, at 8:05 PM PST
    • 30 likes
  7. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member

    I think they were just being lazy. I don’t know…I might have busted on them a little bit. “What? You’re letting the girls solve this problem by themselves? Who’s going to man up first and come in here and learn some plumbing skills? Gimme a break, dudes….”

    I do agree about what things will be like in 20 years.

    • #7
    • November 16, 2019, at 8:14 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  8. Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler Member

    Dr. Bastiat:

    What on Earth is going on here? Are those even boys up there? They look like boys. But something is different.

    I feel like I’m missing something important here.

    Or maybe they are.

    I suspect that our culture is going to look really strange in about 20 years…

    They are signaling to potential mates that they have (or intend to have) the wealth to hire a plumber. 

    • #8
    • November 16, 2019, at 8:45 PM PST
    • 17 likes
  9. Henry Castaigne Member

    Dr. Bastiat: I suspect that our culture is going to look really strange in about 20 years…

    Nope. After being miserable for a decade everyone will go back to Christianity and family. There is nothing but despair in the illusion that males are the females. As there is in most leftist lies.

    • #9
    • November 16, 2019, at 9:07 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  10. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    To be fair, this has gradually been going on for generations.

    I like old cars. The first hot rodders did all their own stuff–changing out engines, chopping frames, channeling the bodies of cheap-to-get Thirties cars. This was natural, because they grew up when men did welding and machine work before they were fifteen. Then came the postwar generation; we came of age in the Seventies and were just as quick to get under the car for an oil change, or to rewire the car for stereo. But by then, most of us were becoming “checkbook restorers”–we never learned this stuff on the farm or at the factory anymore. The generation after mine were checkbook restorers, but even more so; they had the money and the interest to pay what it took to make old cars into specimens so perfect they’d never have left the factory like that. The Amazon/Microsoft/Oracle generation had the leisure to fetishize and duplicate even the grease pencil marks that the Chevy plant left in the engine compartment in 1955.

    And now…they don’t care much about cars at all, not about how they work, and not even about how they look. I don’t think Women’s Lib has that much to do with it. I think it’s the modern world’s growing remoteness from what it takes to make or repair things.

    Remember that when we talk here about immigration. I’m a borders guy, like almost all of Ricochet. But I’m also honest enough to admit that Chicano sons are far more likely than my son to know how to do construction, aluminum ductwork, auto repair, or machine maintenance. This is one factor in why California, like much of the southwest, has become dependent on imported labor. It ain’t all political correctness.

    I’m with you in general but the other part of that is that modern cars are not as easy to mess around with as older cars due to modern tech. I’ve had that issue with my dad showing me stuff.

    • #10
    • November 16, 2019, at 9:11 PM PST
    • 10 likes
  11. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    TBA (View Comment):
    Another thing that supports my theory is that males are famously oblivious

    Being a data point in favor I’d be hard pressed to argue.

    • #11
    • November 16, 2019, at 9:14 PM PST
    • 12 likes
  12. Gary McVey Contributor

    Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    To be fair, this has gradually been going on for generations.

    I like old cars. The first hot rodders did all their own stuff–changing out engines, chopping frames, channeling the bodies of cheap-to-get Thirties cars. This was natural, because they grew up when men did welding and machine work before they were fifteen. Then came the postwar generation; we came of age in the Seventies and were just as quick to get under the car for an oil change, or to rewire the car for stereo. But by then, most of us were becoming “checkbook restorers”–we never learned this stuff on the farm or at the factory anymore. The generation after mine were checkbook restorers, but even more so; they had the money and the interest to pay what it took to make old cars into specimens so perfect they’d never have left the factory like that. The Amazon/Microsoft/Oracle generation had the leisure to fetishize and duplicate even the grease pencil marks that the Chevy plant left in the engine compartment in 1955.

    And now…they don’t care much about cars at all, not about how they work, and not even about how they look. I don’t think Women’s Lib has that much to do with it. I think it’s the modern world’s growing remoteness from what it takes to make or repair things.

    Remember that when we talk here about immigration. I’m a borders guy, like almost all of Ricochet. But I’m also honest enough to admit that Chicano sons are far more likely than my son to know how to do construction, aluminum ductwork, auto repair, or machine maintenance. This is one factor in why California, like much of the southwest, has become dependent on imported labor. It ain’t all political correctness.

    I’m with you in general but the other part of that is that modern cars are not as easy to mess around with as older cars due to modern tech. I’ve had that issue with my dad showing me stuff.

    You’re right. It’s a lot easier–I didn’t say easy–to machine a brass collar for a 1930 Franklin sleeve valve engine than it would be to program and flash a PROM chip for a 1988 Riviera, when they aren’t made anymore, the pin configuration is different, and above all it’s tougher writing the code fix in the unknown variant of C they were using at the time. 

    • #12
    • November 16, 2019, at 9:17 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  13. Matt Balzer, Imperialist Claw Member

    If it had been me in high school I would probably argue that I was too invested in the game to realize that a toilet was running.

    Then again if it had been me in high school there wouldn’t have been any girls there either.

    And on the gripping hand if that problem did occur during that time no one else would’ve wanted to go in there.

    • #13
    • November 16, 2019, at 9:18 PM PST
    • 18 likes
  14. Arahant Member

    Dr. Bastiat: I suspect that our culture is going to look really strange in about 20 years…

    Do you mean it doesn’t already?

    • #14
    • November 17, 2019, at 1:12 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  15. OkieSailor Member

    Dr. Bastiat: When I got up there, my daughter and another girl were standing in the bathroom looking in the open tank, jiggling things in the tank trying to fix it. The two boys were still laying on the floor in the bonus room, fiddling around with the board game. The scene was surreal, like I had unknowingly entered a parallel dimension.

    I get it and I hope this is atypical, however . . . we birthed two boys and one girl. The girl took after me as to mechanical aptitude and was the only one to ever learn to drive a stick shift. She loved it. The boys took after Mrs. OS and earned full ride academic scholarships to OU. The girl paid half of her college expenses by being the best babysitter in OKC, the same way she paid me back for her first car. The boys never had cars until after college. She can change a flat tire. Ten years after college one of the boys called me when he had a flat tire on the highway. I bought each of them a basic toolbox with tools when they moved out. Only the girl still has hers.
    Is this unusual? I think so, very much so. But still, they each are making their own ways using their own strengths. I see the girl as having common sense and the boys as lacking it, but they can do without it pretty well.
    So, my bottom line is, don’t make too much of this incident. Also there is more than one way to impress a girl ;>)

    • #15
    • November 17, 2019, at 2:51 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  16. The Dowager Jojo Member

    There are benign-ish possible explanations for the specific scene you encountered, but it could also be part of the trend of ambitious girls vs. aimless boys that seems to be everywhere.

    My favorite story related to the boys’ planning to be rich enough to afford plumbers: I visited the home of two busy Yale professors, who had “out of order” signs on two of their three toilets (and it was not a recent situation.) Neither could spare the time to schedule and meet a plumber. Once again I appreciated my life of ease in which all such problems are soooo easily solved by my, ahem, in-house staff.

    • #16
    • November 17, 2019, at 4:04 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  17. Hang On Member

    Missing from the flowing toilet were 2 boys AND one girl. Maybe both boys were much more interested in the one girl than a toilet.

    • #17
    • November 17, 2019, at 4:39 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  18. Guruforhire Member

    Dr. Bastiat: I feel like I’m missing something important here.

    economics

    knowing how to fix toilets wont get them laid, so….. not worth the effort.

    • #18
    • November 17, 2019, at 4:41 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  19. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat Post author

    Matt Bartle (View Comment):

    BTW, did the girls fix it? Or did you have to step in?

     

    I fixed it. But my daughter asked me to show her how I did it.

    • #19
    • November 17, 2019, at 5:09 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  20. Jules PA Member

    Successful Girls Who Code, Robotics, or other STEM initiatives in your school? 😳😜😂

    In other news kudos to board games, not phones. 💞

    • #20
    • November 17, 2019, at 5:17 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  21. Stad Thatcher

    Dr. Bastiat: There are two boys and three girls in the bonus room over my garage, playing board games.

    Do kids even know what a board game is these days?

    • #21
    • November 17, 2019, at 5:32 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  22. Paul Erickson Member

    Are you sure it wasn’t a union thing?

    • #22
    • November 17, 2019, at 5:34 AM PST
    • 18 likes
  23. OkieSailor Member

    The Dowager Jojo (View Comment):

    There are benign-ish possible explanations for the specific scene you encountered, but it could also be part of the trend of ambitious girls vs. aimless boys that seems to be everywhere.

    My favorite story related to the boys’ planning to be rich enough to afford plumbers: I visited the home of two busy Yale professors, who had “out of order” signs on two of their three toilets (and it was not a recent situation.) Neither could spare the time to schedule and meet a plumber. Once again I appreciated my life of ease in which all such problems are soooo easily solved by my, ahem, in-house staff.

    When we moved to KY for retirement I took the opportunity to design and build our new home, a two year process for me through design and completion. I contracted out the heavy work doing only the parts I wanted to do. Those included installing all the plumbing and electrical fixtures myself, something I’ve done through the years as things needed replacing. So I think I’m well situated to handle common repair problems for the foreseeable future which is just how I like it.

    • #23
    • November 17, 2019, at 5:52 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  24. OkieSailor Member

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Matt Bartle (View Comment):

    BTW, did the girls fix it? Or did you have to step in?

     

    I fixed it. But my daughter asked me to show her how I did it.

    She’s definitely a keeper ;>)

    • #24
    • November 17, 2019, at 5:53 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  25. Arahant Member

    OkieSailor (View Comment):
    Those included installing all the plumbing and electrical fixtures myself

    Just as long as you don’t connect the electrical to the plumbing.

    • #25
    • November 17, 2019, at 5:56 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  26. OkieSailor Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    OkieSailor (View Comment):
    Those included installing all the plumbing and electrical fixtures myself

    Just as long as you don’t connect the electrical to the plumbing.

    I don’t drrriinnnkkk :>)

    • #26
    • November 17, 2019, at 5:58 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  27. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat Post author

    Arahant (View Comment):

    OkieSailor (View Comment):
    Those included installing all the plumbing and electrical fixtures myself

    Just as long as you don’t connect the electrical to the plumbing.

    A lot of old houses use the iron sewer pipe in the basement as a ground for the entire electric system. Always gave me pause. 

    • #27
    • November 17, 2019, at 6:04 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  28. The Reticulator Member

    They’re not interested in fixing toilets for the same reason their fathers are not interested in fixing corporate welfare: Not enough toxic masculinity.

    • #28
    • November 17, 2019, at 6:08 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  29. Amy Schley Moderator

    Stad (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: There are two boys and three girls in the bonus room over my garage, playing board games.

    Do kids even know what a board game is these days?

    Dude, we are living in the golden age of board games. 

    • #29
    • November 17, 2019, at 6:17 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  30. Phil Turmel Coolidge

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    OkieSailor (View Comment):
    Those included installing all the plumbing and electrical fixtures myself

    Just as long as you don’t connect the electrical to the plumbing.

    A lot of old houses use the iron sewer pipe in the basement as a ground for the entire electric system. Always gave me pause.

    Shouldn’t give you pause. It’s got the most surface in contact with ground than any other conductive component around. You should appreciate the competence of the installer.

    { Actual ground is not very conductive — more surface area in contact really matters. }

    • #30
    • November 17, 2019, at 6:26 AM PST
    • 8 likes