Boys Fart and So Do I: A Tomboy’s Guide to Dating. Kind of

The other night at dinner, my seven-year-old son got out of his chair and knelt on the floor as though in prayer. We’d already blessed the food, but if he had more to be thankful for, who was I to tell him to get back in his seat. Pray on, I thought. He then proceeded to fart for the next 15 seconds. While I had to bury my face in my elbow to keep from laughing aloud, my husband looked at him with an almost serene expression. My son got back in his seat and took a bite of his food.

“Feel better?” my husband asked.

My boy nodded his head and continued to chew.

“Maybe next time you need to fart like that, don’t do it at the dinner table. Good job, though.”
My husband resumed his dinner with the corner of his mouth turned up while I shook the water glasses on the table with my hysterics. The event reminded me of another delicious difference between my husband and me. Where I am grossly inappropriate, he is gentlemanly and reserved in the most uncouth of moments. When we started dating, I wondered why he was interested in a girl like me. He seemed much better suited for a genteel, southern girl with lady-like qualities. I was not that girl.

I was a major tomboy, thanks in large part to my brother, who is only a year younger than I am. Sure, we fought, but it was nice to have someone my age to play with. As a result, I did more boy type play things than girl things. I was not interested in Barbies and did not like wearing dresses. I’d rather someone give me play clothes and let me catch frogs by the creek. I knew how to play with boys, talk to them, shoot, even spit like them, but when it came to dating, I needed a little finesse. It took some serious trial and error (and then more trial and error) to get it right. So, for all the tomboys out there approaching their coming of age, here’s a little advice about what NOT to do.

When he farts for the first time in front of you, don’t laugh. He’s probably embarrassed. If he does laugh go ahead and giggle.

If you begin to play-wrestle, don’t take it seriously. He’ll feel like a girl if you actually dominate him. If you do lose control and end up the victor, don’t sit on his face and taunt him.
Don’t beat him in sports. Just don’t.

When you’re the new girl at school, and a nice young man walks you to the soda machine to ask you to the homecoming dance, do not point out that his fly is down after you accept. He has friends that are more than happy to tell him this. Common sense, ladies.

If he has difficulty hot-wiring the moped you plan on commandeering, do not roll your eyes, push him aside, and get it started quicker than you ever have before. Don’t smile smugly afterward, gloat as you get on, and expect him to hop on the back. On second thought, don’t even try to hot-wire a moped to begin with. What’s a moped?

Don’t take his face in your hands, move your lips close to his, gaze into his eyes and say, “You’ve got an eye booger.”

If things are going well and you’re full on making out, do not extract yourself from the situation, and exclaim, “I’ve really got to pick this wedgie.” (Honestly, no self-respecting young lady should ever be in this type of position. I certainly wasn’t. Cough.)

Hopefully you can learn from a few things from these completely fictional and made up events. The road from awkward tomboy to dating aficionado is a long and bumpy one, but with practice and a great set of….mopeds, you will get there.

The tomboy in me is still alive and well, (I still keep my sling shot in my underwear drawer) just curbed to a healthy level. To clarify, I do not think you should change who you are for a guy. Not at all. If a man wants you to change for him, then he is no man at all. When you do meet the love of your life, he’ll be far from perfect, no man is (except Jesus), but he will love you for you. This does not give you freedom to boast of your burping expertise, ladies.

Lastly, do not be frightened of makeup, purple pens, skirts, and other girly things. Who knows? You might learn to like them. I can say this from experience as I now have an unnatural love of stilettos. Marry tall, ladies. Marry tall.

Harley May enjoys jogging and eating Nutella. Often at the same time.


  1. I think we may be twins. (shhh.. don't tell Melanie)

    However, I didn't get this nifty 'Tomboy Guide' when I was dating. Farting was a way of finding out if he'd stick around or not. ;)

  2. It is my opinion that all tomboys should have sons. I would never survive a child in dance class.

    My 5 year old son was complaining of a stomachache the other day. He did the kneel on the floor and fart thing, and I said, "Feel better?"


    Five minutes later, he was complaining again. I said, "Maybe you need to fart again."

    "I can't. I don't have any more bubbles in my butt."

  3. Good thing I'm already married, 'cause that advice for ladies to marry tall would probably bugger my chances for good. What the hell, Harley? On behalf of compact men everywhere, I call for a retraction.

    But stilettos are awfully nice.

  4. My wife absolutely refused to wear high-heeled shoes when we got married. She enjoyed being shorter than me too much to want to make our heights relatively equal (and neither of us are short people).

    I would add this to your tomboy list, Harley: Don't worry if you play video games -- some intelligent gamer boy will recognize this for the cool thing it is (wife and I spend a lot of our time together in front of the Xbox or the PS3).

  5. JLC, a Tomboy Dating Guide would have been most useful in my life as well. I still probably go too far at times. Thanks. :)

    Kari Lynn, I do have a daughter and she is the most perfect combination of girly girl and tomboy. I love it. She has brothers on either side of her and insists on wearing her ballet leotard while they play Star Wars.

    And I hope all the bubbles in your son's butt are gone.

    Simon, I merely say that for a girl to love stillettos, she might need a tall(er) man. You have the accent to make all women swoon, my dear.

    And Matt, I'm afraid I will never sign off on video games. I've never been into them. It's good you and your wife have that as a bonding experience, though. Awesome.

  6. Ha! Ha! Hahahahahaha!!

    Oh, this is good. Except--

    I would love to say that this applies to me, but alas, I was born with a purple pen in hand (though, come on, I didn't get my first stilettos until I was eleven). And I don't stand a chance at beating my toddler at sports, let alone a grown-up, taller, stiletto loving man. But, I still never get hit on and dated very little before my husband. So now, I'm left wondering what the heck is the problem with me? Do you think it has something to do with my atrocious fashion sense (well, except when it comes to my stilettos, which, I haven't decided yet if they go with capris)? What advice do you have for non-tomboys that still can't get a date?

  7. *Don't* sit on his face and taunt him? Hm. Maybe this is what I've been doing wrong all this time...

  8. ROFL! You've got it all figured out. :)

  9. Carol, indeed you ooze girly girl. I've learned to love girly girls. While I'm not big on accessories, I've learned to LOVE dresses. Those pin-up girl dresses that are so popular right now are on my radar. I drool a lot.

    Angie, my friend, my erma, my strange, strange little, freaky kindred, I know what you're thinking.

    Janna, I always like to hear when I make people roll on the floor. It is my life's ambition.

  10. "If you begin to play-wrestle, don’t take it seriously. He’ll feel like a girl if you actually dominate him. If you do lose control and end up the victor, don’t sit on his face and taunt him."

    You have shed amazing light on to why I am still single!! Ha ha. :)

    Great post, Harley!

  11. Tomboys… I like Tomboys. Always have. The Boss does, too. Frankly, they’re refreshing.

    As an eighteen-pound good-looking Brussels Griffon, I enjoy a good roll in a pile of whatever as much as the mutt next door. So when I spot a Tomboy in jeans with muddy knees, I feel an instant affinity. Most girls want to dress me up in doggy clothes and parade me around the park like a painted pony. A tomboy wants a dog to ride in her pickup’s cab without fallin’ out or barkin’ like a fool. She’ll share a three-day old sandwich found under the seat with me without breakin’ off a piece first.

    Now mind you, I enjoy a linen table cloth and a fine filet whenever the Boss conjures it up, but when I go drinkin’ and girlin’ about, I sidle up next to the next available Tomboy. Girly girls get sloppy drunk, drink that sugary sweet shit and squeal at the sight of a snake, whether reptilian or human. Me and the Tomboy order it straight up, wipe our bottom lip with the back of our hand then race one another snatchin’ the snake. She’s got dirt under her nails, like me, and will make love in the behind the first dune without a second thought. My kind of girl.

    As for datin’ advice for the Tomboy, a few words. The world’s full of pansy-assed men with fragile egos, all neutered by their mothers. You’ll have to be patient. If he’s unembarrassed and buys you a drink after his dog pisses on your ankle, he’s a keeper. I’ll make sure you’re not wearing your only pair of Ferragamos before I lift the leg. If he gives you the game of your life in tennis but loses without getting mad, marry him.


  12. But, WHAT IF HE HAS AN EYE BOOGER? I'm supposed to just IGNORE IT? This is crazy talk.

    My man would be thrilled if I was taller than him when in stilettos. Depending on the heels, I can come close... so. Let's say: marry a man taller than you, or one who's confident enough to appreciate it if you are taller than him. Who wants an insecure dude anyway?

  13. OMG, I'm CRYING laughing at this!

    One more thing to add, for the tomboys who eventually find themselves wedded to a gentleman more sensitive than themselves (not much of a stretch):

    Overreacting men do not take well to being called drama queen, crybaby, or girly-man. Not that I know from experience.


  14. I have never complained when a girl holds me down and sits on my face.

    It's the farting while sitting there that I do not enjoy.

  15. Penelope, see Patrick Alan's comment. Oh dear.

    Chewey, "make love in the behind..." didn't know dogs were into that type of thing. Wait...
    Tell the boss I said, "Hi" and I owe you a dog bone.

    Coral, good point. I don't mind being close to taller, but do not actually want to be taller. I forget some men like that amazonian thing. You're too kind to remind me.

    Tawna, that is a good addition, thanks. It is a shame for "girly man" is one of my favorite combination of words.

    Patrick, yup.

  16. LOL! I'm late to the party and was just going to say that I think we're twins, but don't tell Jen. Ha!

    It took me awhile to figure out that dates were not, in fact, impressed with burps. I still beat them in sports though. :)


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