A Case Study on the Behavior and Character of the Male Species
What you have to understand is that I study in an all-girls’ private Catholic school. This is usually viewed as an impediment for girls when it comes to fraternizing with the male species since girls like me are being deprived of the cornucopia of men from the fertile ground of coeducation. To make it worse, I am part of a very conservative Catholic family. My parents are uptight mossbacks believing that a girl should not have any interaction with the opposite sex whatsoever until she is in college. This would provide her enough time to emotionally prepare herself for the courtship process, the surge of passion, the temptations (usually in the form of an irresistible sexual urge), and the emotional distraught caused by heartache. So I guess it’s safe to say that I know nothing about the world of flirting, dating and romancing. Nought. Nil. Nada.
Speaking of being Catholics, part of the job description is being family oriented. Meaning: not only do we keep in touch with our cousins but we maintain close relationships with them. So it wouldn’t be surprising that one of my cousins just calls us up on a random day to check on us and inquire how we are doing. But during one of those random days, I was surprised by the nature of a particular call from a cousin.
I happened to be on the right place at the right time. I was reading in our sun room and my artist mother was in her studio when the call came. Since she was painting, she put my cousin on speaker. Lucky for me, the doors of the sun room and my mother’s studio are opposite each other such that when both doors are open, you can hear everything transpiring in the studio from the sun room and vice versa. I was at a strategic location to listen in.
After the pleasantries, my cousin went straight to business. He asked if we would receive them in our house during the semestral break for a night. And by ‘them’, he meant him and two of his friends who will be going on a road trip to the beach and since our house is conveniently located on their route, they wondered if we’d allow them to have a stopover in our home to save on motel expenses and add money to their party funds.
And because Jesus told us to open our arms to those in need, my mother was more than happy to say yes.
As soon as I heard this, I shut the door in the sun room and dialed my best friend’s number in my mobile. All I could think about was that she must hear of this wonderful news as soon as possible! Wonderful! Just wonderful!
Imagine a naïve and cloistered young girl, due to a twist of fate, is given the opportunity to observe the opposite sex in all its glory first hand!
God is correcting the injustice my parents have done unto me. He knows that man and woman must interact and get to know one another as persons so one day we may go forth and procreate. He created us so and since He knows that I cannot come to the opposite sex, He has brought the opposite sex to me. Alleluia!
When my best friend found out, she was as excited as I am for we were pretty much raised in the same setup. Our parents have been having Sunday afternoon tea with each other and exchanging parenting tips ever since they became neighbors. They date back to the time my best friend and I were babies.
This setup in which we grew up in led to our unanimous decision to install hidden cameras in the room my cousin and his friends will be using. Patterned after most anthropological studies, we wanted to make sure we observe them without affecting or disrupting any of their natural behavior.
Semestral break was still a week away so we had ample time to prepare. It was basically easy. We just had to buy nanny cams that will give us a live feed of whatever is happening in the room and install them. This task, we accomplished the same day the call came.
Even though it was quite hard to buy the ones that record audio because they’re illegal, we were still able to find them in a novelty store. What can I say? Our enthusiasm in this fieldwork was too much to contain. The only thing left to do was to put them in the room, one wall clock and one desk clock. To do this, we’d have to wait until the day before the men arrive because I have no idea which among the three guest rooms they will occupy (they politely declined the other two saying they wanted to stay in one bedroom only, probably to bond, I wouldn’t know) and I will only find out when our maid cleans that room as preparation for their arrival.
What we did not perceive, though, was the incoming adversity: waiting. During that seven-day wait, I felt like one of those men in solitary prison cells counting every day that goes by in picket fences scratched on the wall. The anticipation kept building and I literally wanted to bang my head against a wall to fall into a deep sleep and only wake up on that much awaited day.
There was nothing else we could think about and no other topic interested us except that day. We talked about it during class, while we walked the corridors of the school, when we rode home from school, when we visited each other in one’s house, when we texted, chatted, or gave each other a ring.
Mostly, what we talked about was what we will see through the lenses of the nanny cam. Our assumptions include, three boys masturbating to jazz music (because jazz music always sounds sexy), punching holes in the wall and comparing the sizes of the holes, comparing the sizes of their genitalia, wrestling au naturel, having a showdown on who has the best girlfriend with phrases like “my girlfriend’s so awesome she can beat anyone in Call of Duty except me because she lets me win”, watching soap operas and punching the first guy that shows signs of a stifled sob, watching adult films and saying things like “have you tried that?” which is usually followed by “how does it feel?”, and the list goes on.
Now, before you laugh at how naïve and clueless our hypotheses are, especially if you are male, please go back to the first paragraph and read through it again.
Finally, after resisting the urge to bang my head against a wall, the day came. Everything was set. The cameras were in place, the laptop and earphones we will be using to watch were geared up, and the popcorn and root beer were ready as well. My best friend and I were in our pyjamas, cozy in my bedroom, lights dimmed for a theatrical experience.
The clock struck 9pm. I overheard my mother informing our maid that they will be arriving at 9pm. Where are they? 9:01pm. We were starting to get mad at the boys for being late. 9:05pm. We were getting angrier at them for keeping us in suspense. 9:10pm. Don’t they know that they’re not supposed to make girls wait? 9:30pm. Maybe something happened to them on the way? 9:45pm. They’re not coming anymore! Might as well give up and accept the fact that all our efforts will go to waste. 11:00pm. I have drifted off to sleep and that was what the time read at my task bar when my best friend woke me up with five words, “I think I heard something.”
There were footsteps and muffled conversations from the corridor outside. A few minutes later, the monitors showed us movement in the guest room. Light pierced the darkness as the door was pushed open. My mother came in first and she turned on the lights. She led three boys inside who were in the same age as ours. They were followed by the maids carrying their bags.
My mother told them to make themselves comfortable and they expressed their gratitude. After that, they wished each other good night and the boys were left alone in the room. They were definitely striking and handsome, full of the youthful vigor teenagers possess.
I don’t want to sound cliché but there are no other ways of putting it, my heart skipped a beat when I saw them and when I looked at my best friend, her smile showed that our sentiments were mutual. I couldn’t really elucidate on it properly. I don’t think it’s possible to give a proper exposition about such phenomena that root deep within a teenager’s mind but either way, I would say that out of all my attempts, the best explanation I came up with was this: the impact of a boy that can be considered as a possible date is very different from that of a boy who’s your relative, an aged man, or a little kid probably because you don’t care what your relative, a little kid, or the like think about you as much as that of a prospective crush, date, boyfriend, and such.
We turned back to the monitor and glued our eyes to it. This was it. We were going to see what boys were really like. They have been an alien in our world for far too long, a distant reality we could not grasp until now.
“Finally, mahn. A bed!” The first friend exclaimed. He threw himself face down to one of the beds in the room. As soon as he hit the cushion, he groaned in relief. He didn’t even take his shoes off.
The second friend groggily walked to the other bed and did the exact same thing the first friend did. “You get the couch, dude.” He addressed my cousin.
“Whatever. I don’t care anymore.” My cousin managed to reply and plopped down on the couch.
Nothing. That was my initial reaction. My best friend and I just stared at the monitor of my laptop for a few minutes, nothing registered. Then came the first sound resembling a snore and it was followed by a rhythmic grumble from all of them.
We couldn’t even form words. All we were capable of were grunts of anger and disappointment. My best friend stood up and started pacing in the room while muttering more incomprehensible sounds. Finally, she drew a deep breath as if to collect herself. “That’s it?” She asked outraged but her eyes looked like she was pleading for a ‘no’. “That cannot be it.” She said with conviction but still having a hard time believing it.
“Oh God! Please wake them up! Someone wake them up!” Finally, I was able to speak properly again. This was wrong. This was not how it was supposed to happen. This was too far away from what we had expected. This was a study on how the male species acted and carried themselves not how they slept!
A few seconds of silence passed and we exchanged a glance. The kind that said a great deal more than words. She knew I was thinking of the same thing for best friends think alike but she still said it anyways. “Let’s mount surveillance cameras in their car.”