Men Will Never Act ‘Mature’ – And They Shouldn’t Have To [Half a Man]
According to a recent study, the average man doesn’t reach a level of maturity until the age of 43. Women reach maturity at the age of 32.
The list of immature acts, according to the researchers, is asinine at face value. If given a test to make assumptions about a person based on a combination of these traits, very few would lead to the end conclusion of a man being ‘immature.’ For example, if I said I knew of a guy who “ate fast food at 2am and stayed up all night to play video games “ most would envision a college student, unemployed actor or unemployed recent college student. A constant hankering for chicken nuggets after midnight doesn’t make a man immature, it just makes him a fat ass.
If analyzed point by point the list is even more absurd. Dick Cheney is probably one of the most serious and “mature” human beings walking the planet. I’ll bet every cent of future earnings that he’s laughed, at least once in his life, at a fart. It’s fine, because farts are hysterical, if only because of the reaction to anyone and everyone involved in the (funny name for a fart).
(Side note about farts — This past weekend, in mile number five of a 10K race, the guy running a few feet in front of me did a quick side glance over his shoulder and, seconds later, I realized from the stench he’d let out an anal exhale in the middle of race. Did I get angry? Did I rip off his headphones and berate him from acting so immature in the middle of an organized event to raise money for sick children? Nope. I laughed at getting crop-dusted and sprinted past him, not with the will to win, but because of the stink. It was as if he was digesting a small child who’d just rolled around in hot garbage.
Men will never be mature. Let’s all get comfortable with the idea. Here are five of the probably hundreds of reasons why.
Because We Don’t Want to Turn Into Our Old Man (Even Though It Will Happen)
There are countless traits and talents we’d kill to inherit from dad – like his ability to fix anything or his super power of making it appear as if he’s listening when he’s mentally a million miles away – but there are hundreds of habits and character traits of his we hope never to inherit. These traits aren’t bad, just frustrating, and those traits cause men to make the private vow to “never be like my father” but as much as we concentrate pushing those traits deep into our core, others still pop up from time to time and there is little a man can do to suppress those traits.
Men forget that, at one point, their father was in exactly the same situation. Hence their attitude now about drinking until the sun rises, living in a house three pizza boxes away from being condemned and jumping from one bad relationship to the next. These acts of “immaturity” are also the rites of growing up.
Because Society Won’t Allow It
A quick search of the Internet, popular media and even an email inbox will brings results that make a man want to act – and be – young again. A stackable Tetris desk lamp, R2D2 lawn chairs and the actual Batmobile (not a replica THE Batmobile) are all available for purchase. The items men daydreamed about as children can be delivered to their doorstep moments after typing the credit card security code into an online purchase form. It’s hard to be “mature” when you’re driving to work in the same bucket seat once inhabited by Adam West.
Because Defining Maturity is as Impossible as Defining Obscene
Take any photo of a naked body, amateur or professional, and show it to a random group. Everyone will have a different opinion. One person will call it beautiful while the next christens it obscene. Take any of the acts listed and ask the same random group if the behavior is mature or immature. The answers will vary. There will never be a consensus as to what’s mature or immature so long as people have an opinion and — if you’ve been on the Internet lately — everyone has an opinion on everything.
Because Immaturity is a Coping Mechanism
In my junior year of high school, a very close friend died in car accident. At his church service, a moment in our friendship came to mind, and I began to giggle uncontrollably. I cupped my hands over my retainer-ed teeth to control the laughter, or at the very least, trick people into thinking I was crying. The memory that had me chuckling at the funeral of a 17-year-old involved accidentally getting mud on his mother’s new bath linens, him seeing the stain, and asking with a straight face “Dude, did you poop on my bath towels?”
It usually takes one monumental life event – usually between the ages of 17-22 – for humans to realize life blows. There are good moments, but overall, life will beat down even the most optimistic of our species. These acts of immaturity help men cope with some incredibly tragic moments. Sometimes they just cut the tension.
Because Every Man Fears Death
In the end, there is only the end, and every human adopts a personal way to deal with the idea that this ride one day comes to a stop. There are many ways to deal internally with mortality – religion or drugs are two popular coping mechanisms – but for those unwilling to accept Christ or Jack Daniels as their personal savior there is always the notion that “as long as I don’t act old, I’ll never get old.”
Acting immature, doing all the things above, make a man feel the way he did back when disease and dying only happened to old people and secondary characters on TV sitcoms.
Men will continue to do all of the “immature” things listed. Good. Life is too short, and its biggest moments usually too heavy, to take completely serious. We might as well face it all wearing ‘Star Trek’ underwear.
Chris Illuminati is the editor-in-chief of GuySpeed. He’s written three humor books, ruined many personal relationships and still cries during thunderstorms. His “Half a Man” column appears (almost) every week. You can read more of his work here or follow him on Twitter.