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Penkava: Science justifies male immaturity

OK guys, this column is about to turn into the greatest thing you ever read. Sorry, ladies. I would say, “read it and weep,” but I’m too busy snickering. 

Let’s begin with some questions for you wives: Do you feel that your husband is a bit on the immature side? Are you getting tired of waiting for him to finally grow up? At times do you feel you have another child rather than a spouse?

Well, if you answered “yes” to any of those questions, you are not alone. And if you answered “yes” to all of them, you are not only not alone, you are not alone in spades. In fact, if you wish there were more questions about male immaturity that you’d like to answer “yes” to, then welcome to the “International Wives of Immature Silly Husbands,” or “I WISH” for short.

It used to be that we husbands would cringe at the word “immature.” We’d wince at the term “childish.” We’d flinch at hearing our spouses say, “Honey, I don’t find that sound the least bit funny.” But alas, sweet wives, there will be no more cringing or wincing or flinching on our part. That’s because science finally has justified male immaturity.

I don’t need to go into the graphic details, but some British scientists have discovered that wives reach emotional maturity way before men. Women get it all together at age 32. But us men? We have to wait until a whopping 11 years later, until age 43, before we have a chance at any semblance of maturity. 

The implications of this study are quite profound. First of all, it’s obvious that women have a definite maturity advantage. I’m thinking that they have some unique female hereditary gene, like the one that gives them the ability to have babies, which blesses them with a special natural ability that we men can only dream we had. Yep, they get to be mature right away, and we must suffer what I call “Delayed Underdeveloped Maturational Behavior.” (Nevermind the acronym.)

And speaking about delay, we have to wait 11 years for any hope of catching up with our wives. Have you ever waited 11 years for anything? It’s like, forever. I once waited a decade for the chance to be in the audience on Bozo’s Circus, but I was 18 before my name finally came up … forget Bozo … I wanted to be a member of the Partridge Family. 

So while we men are waiting and dreaming of becoming mature, it’s easy to become discouraged. And when the 11 years are finally up, you can’t blame us for missing our big chance. Besides, if you women have waited 43 years for us to grow up, you’re probably used to us the way we are. After all, you married us in our disadvantaged hereditary immature state, right?

But there’s more, and to me this is the best part. According to the study, 80 percent of the women believe their husbands would never stop being childish. That means eight out of every 10 women accept us as we are and still love us. Add to that the 40 percent who felt male immaturity was important in their relationship because it “ensures the partnership stays fun and keeps things fresh.” That makes 120 percent positive in favor of us giggling at the passing of gas, spontaneously doing crazy dance moves, not eating our vegetables and wearing superhero pajamas.

So, ladies, you cannot argue with science. You cannot dispute natural laws. As much as we men would love to grow up, it would appear that the odds are stacked against us. We’re victims of nature. And, since you married us, it appears so are you. So now can we go to Toys R Us and check out their new skateboards? 

• Michael Penkava is a retired teacher who taught for 35 years at West Elementary School in Crystal Lake. He is currently drinking milk out of the gallon jug while he watches reruns of “Mister Ed” and snacks on a large bowl of refried beans. He can be reached at

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