Thursday, June 5, 2008

Culture . . . and man boobs

While flipping the channels the other night I landed upon a PBS special on a group of traditional Hawaiian dancers. It was mesmerizing. They didn’t perform for tourist luau’s, they performed simply for the ritual of it and instead of flamboyant flowered lei’s and cheap grass skirts, they donned handmade traditional costumes; broad palm leaf skirts hung low on the waist to accentuate their hip movements and simple dyed scarves wrapped around their chests. The men were bare chested with a short palm leaf skirt around their waist. It was truly beautiful.

They were dancing in the foreground of a volcano and, seeing this as an educational experience I started talking to Aaron about it. We discussed the volcano and we found Hawaii on the big map in his room and as I was silently praising myself for offering up such a cultural and educational experience for my son, he turned to me and said;

“Why is that man naked?”

I assured him that he wasn’t naked; he just didn’t have a shirt on.

“But I can see his boobs.” was his reply.

True, he was a larger man and I couldn’t quite argue with the kid’s logic, but I said “Men don’t have boobs, honey.”

With a serious and resolute look Aaron then informed me, “Yes, Momma they do! They’re just smaller.”

He was so confident that I knew it wouldn't be easy to convince him otherwise. Plus, the visual evidence was almost overwhelming in Aaron's favor and I really didn’t have the energy for a full on discussion of pectoral muscles vs. mammaries.

When the subject comes up again I’ll be sure to address it properly. Until then I just hope he doesn’t ask the next man he sees to show him his boobies.

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