Go Ask a Boy, Part I

ask a boy i lede
photo credit: fungal study via photopin (license)

We have this wacky-ass program at work called Slack.

The Millennials love it. Me? Not so much. It’s growing on me, a little. It’s supposed to replace email. I say, I’m old school. Send me a !@$ %^&! email. But no. These kids Slack each other. And me.

A girl on my team asked me on the Slack if boys hate it when girls talk a lot.

Heck no, I said.

“If a girl talks a lot, it helps us boys listen more – or appear to be listening,” I said. “Plus, it keeps us from talking about stuff like our mothers or Star Wars.”

You should write a column on this for your blog, she said. And so it began.

Have a question for Ask A Boy? Send it by email to bloggingeli@gmail.com. Include your question, name and hometown. When I get enough to post, I’ll post. 

*answers aren’t a consensus for all boys worldwide, but they should be.


Since we have 23 pairs of chromosomes, why are we so focused on the sex ones? Why aren’t we focused on chromosome 2 or chromosome 4? Why do nature and God seem to celebrate difference but people don’t?

Katherine, of Olympic Penninsula, Wash.

That 23rd pair is the sex chromosomes, and they’re the money makers.

Sex sells, Katherine, in the cinema, TV car ads and chromosomes. That 23rd pair, the sex chromosomes, are the money-makers. They’re the chromosomes put in the primetime slot if they were TV shows, right opposite of Little House on the Prairie.

They get attention because quarterbacks get attention.

Chromosome 2 is the second-largest, but that matters little. Texas is the nation’s second-largest state, and well, when was the last time a Texas football team was any good? Chromosome 2 contains instructions for making protein. *yawn*

Basically, that’s where peanut butter is made.

Chromosome 4 is where bad things happen, such as cancer, facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, and scripts for most Mexican soap operas. It’s a dark place, Katherine. We like to keep things light along the ol’ DNA strands.

Life’s tough enough.

We keep some people in the margins of society, because we’re mortal and flawed.

As for nature and God celebrating difference, but people do not … I think that’s why they’re nature and He’s God: It’s a characteristic of a higher order to appreciate difference. I saw this on Friday, wearing a Broncos jersey in Carolina.

Total disdain.

And it occurred to me that as uncomfortable as it might have felt, I could take of my jersey and mix in. Others marginalized by society don’t have that luxury. We keep them in the margins, because we’re mortal and flawed.

I’ve always wondered how when I ask my husband what he is thinking – because he is staring off into space which is typically my deep pondering all the things pose – and he replies “oh nothing.”

???!!! WTF? Nothing? How can there be just “nothing?” Like, not even a “I need to fart when will she leave the room?” But nope – it’s really NADA. Come on Coach, fess up: is that really possible? What’s the secret?

Les B., of Canada

There can be a nothing. It’s called meditation.We tend to not overthink things, unless it’s how our football team will do tomorrow, or how the fish will bite.

No, most of us fellows don’t meditate, even though it might feel as if we do when you’re talking to us and we zone out. It can be NADA. We tend to not overthink things, unless it’s how our football team will do tomorrow, or how the fish will bite.

Mostly, we don’t think about what something a girls said meant.

Mostly. We do, sometimes, though.

We think about what you think of us, and whether you still consider us handsome. We regret things like, not holding your hand when we had a chance, or cracking a joke, or making sure we had all the ingredients before we fixed dinner.

We want to be your hero.

We think about how well we’re taking care of you, and ourselves. What the boss thinks. Whether that was a chest pain or a burp caught sideways. There’s plenty for a guy to think about.

It’s a beautiful, necessary silence.

So sometimes, before kickoff or after lunch or even while you’re telling us a story, we put the mind in neutral.

It’s a beautiful, necessary silence. Sometimes, in the midst of it, we might not hear your voice, or understand your words. But we might just start to think again … damn, she’s pretty.

Which doesn’t help a lick with the grocery list you might have just dictated. But, it’s true. There’s no secret. It’s just how a boy operates.

boys i quote


  1. Great answers to these questions! Side note: I know all about Slack. In my previous job we used it all the time to communicate with one another throughout the office.

    1. Thanks Tiff – I look forward to answering your question in the next one. Slack is this instant-messaging-gif-generating platform of choice for the millennials. Okay, but I refuse to wear a beanie.

  2. Glad to see you didn’t give away all our secrets! Boys don’t have very many… fewer than Victoria, actually. Loved the answers. And that final quote is from one of my all time favorite books! (The Book Thief)

    1. it’s not like our secrets are socked away in a central location – are they, Eric? The only secrets we can keep is where we stash the good beer and what happens to those extra six chicken wings between the grill and the house.

      Glad you liked the answer, brother. The quote seemed perfect. I look forward to round 2.

  3. Never heard of Slack, but I love this idea os asking a boy! Your answers to all the questions of the world are always awesome.

  4. Hah. Eli, these answers were just brilliant. I especially love the one about the chromosomes. Too funny. Thanks for the info!

  5. Men are like waffles; women are like spaghetti! Men live in their boxes – they operate in one box at a time. Women operate in multiple levels are intertwined together. I heard this theory once and it works for me!

  6. Jen is spot on. Women are just more…connected to everything. Somehow, you guys are just wired more simply. It’s definitely confusing. You should just tell us we’re pretty more often. I think that would make up for a lot. 🙂

    1. You’re right about Jenn, Renee. I think women are more involved in everything. We generally color with fewer crayons, sometimes as few as eight, but I’ve found the 64-count box in my life pretty often.

      We definitely think you’re pretty, but wonder if we say it too much. We don’t want it to be a crutch. Or substitute for something better.

    1. It’s not to be confused with confusion. We really do adore you women. Our brains just need a break.

      I always worry that telling a girl she’s pretty will feel like a pacifier.

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