I live with guys. My house is ripe with guy smells. And the guys don't care. In fact, I would say they revel in it. They burp loudly, often trying to incorporate speech into the act. They lift cheeks off chairs to fart with abandon. Only One has any sense of decorum, but I think that's because he finds bodily functions kind of gross, not because I've instilled in him a greater sense of mannerly behavior.
They play a game called "Door Knob," wherein the farter must yell "Safety!" after farting, before any surrounding boys yell "Door Knob", or he gets punched in the arm. Even Five knows this game. The other day it was just the two of us in the kitchen, and he yelled "Safety!" I took that opportunity to explain two things to him. One: I am his mother, and as such, I am not going to run across the room and punch him in the arm. At least not for farting. Two: I am his mother, and a GIRL, so it is bad form to fart without saying "Excuse me." He seemed to comprehend that I wouldn't punch him, but he looked doubtful about the girl part. He didn't identify me as female.
Every so often, I get dolled up to go somewhere, and the pack is practically rendered speechless by the sight of me in a dress. One time, Four literally stopped talking, as his brain struggled to assimilate the image before him with the data he had stored about his mother. I had to call his name, for voice recognition. This worries me. I am supposed to be their template of femininity, upon which they will model their behavior toward all women. Clearly, there are some "opportunities for growth" in my job performance.
The older boys seem to understand I was a girl once, WAY BACK WHEN, but can't see how that applies to their lives now. They've actually said, "Kids today aren't like when you were young." And I had to disagree, because their father is exactly the same today as when he was a teenager.
The other night, he was unpacking his hockey bag. In our dining room. The hockey bag is the pinnacle of bad smells. It should be labeled as hazardous waste, or at least contain a warning about the possible release of deadly ammonia gas. I try to avoid the hockey bag at all costs, and I will only touch the contents within if I am wearing latex. But for the Captain, it's an odoriferous treasure chest. Sure enough, he opened it up, pulled out a glove with pride, and said "Smell this!" I declined, but the dog wandered in for a sniff. He is a boy, and smells butts, so he found it appealing.
But I felt a little better. The Captain managed to land a swell girl like me without changing this aspect of his personality, so perhaps his sons will find the right women, too. I hope so, because I need some of this stink to go.