The Best Laid Plans of Monkeys and Men

If there was one thing my neighbourhood wasn’t lacking in when I was growing up it would be trees. Caulfeild is filled with them. Likewise, Caulfeild Elementary School. A lot of the trees have been cleared out now. Other haves been allowed to grow, changing trails that I once knew like the back of my hand into new labyrinths to conquer. There is one tree however, that hasn’t moved or grown much. It hasn’t changed at all. I know this is a rarity, if not impossible, in the natural world, but I think this tree remains unchanged for the mere purpose of mocking me and my gender.

Boys climb trees.

In Grade 4, that’s exactly what myself and a handful of my cohorts did: climbed this tree. We decided, as we looked down and the lunch hour games beneath us, to take a marker and write the names of the girls we liked at the top of the tree.

BOYS climb trees. Girls play with dolls. Girls collect scratch-n-sniff stickers. Girls… well… Girls don’t climb trees!

Girls do climb trees. Just because a girl doesn’t do something on a regular basis (leave the house looking like hell, not pee in a group, fart), doesn’t mean she can’t. This is the mystery of women and, to me, what makes them glorious. It’s not about Mars and Venus. Astronomy has nothing to do with it. It all about Quantum Mechanics and Chaos Theory. It’s not knowing what particular behaviour will be demonstrated (there are a handful to choose from and easily recognized with proper observation), it’s what behaviour will be demonstrated next. They say the hardest thing to do is hit a major league fastball. Bullshit. At least when that pitcher winds up, you know a baseball is coming flying at you. With women, you have no clue.

Sucks to be us but I don’t care for the alternative.

Now every time I return to Caulfeild School, the tree continues to mock me for being presumptuous about the opposite sex. I learned not to do that when I was 10, and every year thereafter.

Every guy has that tree somewhere.



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