Sunday, June 28, 2009

You're a Y Chromosome-challenged Guy

In Dave Barry’s Complete Guide to Guys he writes, “To understand guys, it is essential to remember that, deep down inside they are biological creatures, like jellyfish or trees, only less likely to clean the bathroom.” Too true. But in our simplicity we can be efficient. There’s less to clean by leaving the toilet seat up.

New York Times superstar scriber, Maureen Dowd, doesn’t mince words, titling a recent book, Are Men Necessary? Her mother suggested her title be “Why Men Are Necessary” saying, “Men are necessary for breeding and heavy lifting.” Later Dowd debunks the breeding part with an exchange with Brian Sykes, a leading British researcher on sex chromosomes.
“Are men necesssary? I asked Dr. Sykes
‘Clearly not,’ he replied
Are men necessary? I asked British geneticist Steve Jones.
‘You don’t even need the sex slaves,’ Dr. Jones assured me.
‘You only need their cells in a freezer. You’d have to have a very good electricity supply.’ “

I have a one word response to this - British.

Dowd goes on to write, “The latest research on the Y chromosome shows that my jittery male friends are not paranoid. They are in an evolutionary pratfall…The Y chromosome has been shedding genes willy-nilly for millions of years and is now a fraction of the size of its partner, the X chromosome…Size matters, and experts are suggesting that, in the next one hundred thousand to ten million years, men could disappear, taking Maxim, March Madness and cold pizza in the morning with them.” Great, guys got jobbed from the get-go with one each of the Y and X chromosome. Women were gifted two of the X factor. Plus, the X chromosome has 1098 genes to the Y’s paltry 78. Making matters worse, the Y chromosome is smaller and still shrinking. That alone explains viagra.

What, me worry? My faith in evolution fortifies me. It took this long for our Y chromosome to dwindle to dwarf-like, what’s another one hundred thousand to ten million years of devolution? Besides, if women were born into gene wealth, what’s taking them so long to dominate? (About now, I’m heading for cover to avoid the incoming.)

Leave it to an American to stand up for us Y-types. Dr. David Page of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts calls himself “the defender of the rotting Y chromosome,” saying “I prefer to think of the Y as persevering and noble…not as the Rodney Dangerfield of the human genome.” Dr. Page later concludes, “The Y married up. The X married down.” That pretty much describes my marriage.

We Y-types are “persevering and noble.” When you consider our starter kit, we have made the most of it. Our Y is wimpier, but when comes to the Olympics, professional sports and heavy lifting, who ya gonna call? Regular Y-guys counter their wimpy Y with Smith & Wessons, Harleys, monster trucks, Hummers, triathlons, and when 40-something is in the rearview mirror, viagra.

Infinite changes notwithstanding, I say why fight osmosis? Let’s take our gene-shedding Y chromosome and fight back, chromosome-boosting in the kitchen. Where else can you dice, mince, chop, grate, pound, whip, peel, boil, broil, roast, flame, fry, crush, mash, toss, stuff, shake and bake? Legally. Bring out your inner-chef and come out of the closest. Just remember to bring an apron.

And women need men for more than sperm and heavy lifting. According to Jill Connor Browne’s The Sweet Potato Queens’ Book of Love women want five things from guys:
Someone to talk to
Someone to fix things
Someone to pay for things
Someone to dance with
Someone to have sex with

Or, in my case, I have engineered a blockbuster trade - cooking in lieu of paying for things.

We have to work with the Y’s and wherefores we were given. Compensating by buying a Hummer doesn’t change anything, other than your tank account.

While I’m at it, let me debunk another myth. Men cannot multi-task. Bull. Any male cook worth his Harley-powered Kitchenaid mixer, multi-tasks every meal. Consider - the cocktails are being sipped, the appetizers are being plated, the wine is breathing, the pie is in the oven, the entrée is rubbed and ready for grilling, the sauce is soon to be assembled, the conversation is two-way, the CDs are mood-setting, the muted football game is in the sight-line, and he’s fantasizing about the post-dessert festivities.

That said, I bow down to my sister-in-law who can process three laundry loads, and prepare a five-course meal for 16, all while talking to three friends on the phone.