Lauren Mayer: Politics and Teenage Boys

I often tell people I have 3 boys, ages 17, 20, and 47 – like many men, my husband is an overgrown teenage boy when it comes to some things, particularly his sense of humor when he’s around my actual offspring.  They share a love of sophomoric and off-color jokes, ranging from flatulence to ‘that’s what she said,’ and none of them miss an opportunity to point out when an object or a name has any sort of phallic connection.  And it’s not just the obvious – e.g. Anthony Weiner jokes.  For example, in one recent morning paper I saw a reference to the short-lived Cory Booker scandal – apparently the Newark Mayor and Senate candidate had engaged in some harmless but flirtatious texting with a woman who worked in a vegan strip club.  I thought that was funny and read it out loud to my husband and 17-year-old, and after they exchanged a series of lines about what kinds of meat were off-limits, my son chimed in, “So are people who go there vagitarians?”  (When my boys were younger, Husband 2.0, who is not their dad, decided he had a novel way to cure them of inappropriate language.  One night when I went off to a gig, he informed us all that they would have ‘swearing night’ over dinner, so they could get it all out of their systems.  As you may suspect, not only did it not stop the swearing, it actually enhanced their vocabularies.   But I digress . . . . )

I don’t have many ways of distancing myself from the frat house atmosphere in which I reside, so when I find one I take advantage of it.  I painted my office a distinctly feminine lavender, I listen to classical music in the kitchen, and up til now I refrained from humor about the Speaker of the House, with his teenage-boys-find-hysterical last name.  However, his role in the government shut down provides too much inspiration for me to ignore any longer.  (That, and I’m probably worn down by the endless Family Guy quotes exchanged at my dinner table . . . )


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