Boys are like waffles
A tale of cheese dip and philosophy
Saturday was my friend’s birthday. Being the overwhelmingly srat-tastic and fun-loving individuals we are, we naturally had no choice but to make a production out of the ordeal over fruity drinks at a Mexican restaurant. We discussed only the most pressing matters: who will be the lucky guy upon whom I will bestow an invitation to my parents’ formal? Or rather, who will pretend to be unfazed when I “forget” to mention he has to rent a tux and converse with my endearingly Hispanic parents — surprise?
There also may have been a “birthday princess” crown involved. It’s safe to say this night served as the peak of my cringe-inducing femininity.
In a conversation sparked by a friend’s failed DTR story (DTR: down to relationship. It’s a technical term which refers to the inevitable conversation during which two people agree to be romantically exclusive. Are you taking notes?), we began churning out the real contemplative insight.
One of us said, “You know, someone wise once told me that boys are like waffles.”
Note: I am not embellishing here. She actually prefaced that bit of proverbial brilliance with “someone wise once told me.” Clearly the intellectual ambiance of the mariachi band and ample supply of cheese dip was fostering some profoundly folkloric discussion. She then proceeded to sit on a tree stump and stroke her long beard pensively.
Anyway, I sat there and pondered this delicious metaphor. You mean to tell me the wildly enigmatic male demographic — rife with allure and mystery as the source of my endless unanswered questions (i.e. What is a boyfriend? Where can I acquire one? Can I put them in the cage together or will they eat each other? How often do they need to be walked?) — can all be explained in a succinct, food-related metaphorical aphorism? I lied, people. This was, in fact, my peak. Tell me more, Aristotle!
Having successfully captivated our attention, my all-knowing friend went on to explain how the squares created by the waffle iron reflect boys’ ability to neatly compartmentalize their sexual and romantic endeavors. She referred to the way guys seem to say, “Okay, here’s the girl I love and sex with her is great. And over there is the girl I engage in meaningless sex with. Also great. And over here is the girl who happens to be in front of me in line at Greenberry’s every Tuesday before class. I’ve dabbled. Equally great.”
At this point, I’m left with even more unanswered questions. Can we really claim to love someone while spending the night with someone else? Can love still thrive in the presence of meaningless hookups?
What’s even more interesting to me is the way people present this differentiation between meaningless and meaningful hookups as an exclusively male capacity. While in the spirit of mealtime metaphors, let’s think of girls as pancakes. Perhaps not the most topographically flattering staple of breakfast cuisine, but bear with me here. I have a theory.
People seem to think, like the comparatively smooth surface on a pancake, women see all romantic encounters as inextricably related. That is, girls are supposed to be the ones who can’t reconcile the ideas of being in a relationship and being with someone else who “doesn’t mean anything.” Why is that?
I tend to think my extensive background in ninth grade biology has properly equipped me to answer this question from an evolutionary perspective. Again, bear with me.
Historically, guys are predisposed to want to spread their genetic material or whatever with the intention of perpetuating the human race. (How’s that for a romantic pick-up line? “Wanna head back to my apartment so I can make you an instrument in the diffusion of my seed?” Hot.)
So this male practice of serial seed-planting leaves the pancakes of society wanting a stable mate — preferably a big strong waffle who can help protect the family so as to ensure that the seed grows into a little person. Or something like that. My inner feminist is writhing uncomfortably at this.
Anyway, that’s one explanation for the disparity between male and female behaviors in this regard. As scientifically eloquent as my articulation of this idea is, I can’t help but wonder if part of the matter is attributable to the fact girls’ tendency to get attached is a learned, normative one. Do we think girls attribute meaning to the meaningless just because that’s what we’re told happens?
I’d definitely venture to question the validity of the idea — personally, I don’t think differentiating between “because I love you” and “because I think you’re hot” is so unorthodox.
Ultimately, I still don’t have the answers. Are we taught to believe girls resemble cohesive pancakes? Or are we really bred that way? Most of all, I wonder if we wouldn’t all be happier if we adopted the waffle mentality.
Victoria’s column runs biweekly Tuesdays. She can be reached at email@example.com.