One time I had a knife held to my throat. Another time I stuffed throw pillows in my shirt while running like a raging ram into brothers yelling our war cry “SUMO!”

And occasionally, or very frequently, depending if you are talking to my parents or not, house decorations were broken by playing ball in the house close to a thousand times.

This is all because I come from a household of five men and one very brave lady.

God bless my mother.

Growing up as the youngest of four boys, life has always been exciting. And loud.

To be honest, I’m not sure what was more typical in my house, brothers yelling at each other about to throw punches or my mom screaming “I’m not the maid of the house!” as she cleaned up after us.

Having lived with guys my entire life, I’ve learned that there are three traits about being the youngest boy that ultimately defines who I am today.

The youngest always knows how to make the older brothers tick. I don’t know why, but I have an unbelievable knack for saying just the right words and then running away faster than a deer after hearing a gun shot.

If I can’t get my older brother’s infuriated in less than three minutes, I’m as much as a failure as the fourteenth president.  Who’s the fourteenth president? Exactly.

While being a pest has its joys, another benefit is that being the youngest boy has prepared me for is dorm life.

My whole life has been surrounded by noise and rambunctious tomfoolery. In fact, since my brothers have moved out, my house has been too quiet and boring for me.

I feel much more comfortable in the body odor scented and video game-worshiped place I call the dorms.

As for seeing half-naked men— I’m just glad that I am not being sat on by them. Nothing is worse than that. Nothing. Except for maybe the constant teasing I’ve had to face after all my terrible interactions with women.

They say having sisters prepares you to be a better husband. I wouldn’t know; I’ve never seen a sister.

As the youngest son I do not understand women and have trouble communicating with them. Most of this is attributed to the fact that if I ever talked to a girl, I got teased. Eventually, I gave up.

I’m insensitive and oblivious to the personality of a girl. To me, nothing is more confusing than a crying girl. And I’ve even taken Calculus.

When it comes to crying girls, I would rather walk from Aramark to the gym four times and back. What am I supposed to do? I don’t understand what you are saying, there is no stop to the small creek running down your face, and you keep looking for me to somehow fix your problem.

I’m sorry girl, but the best I can do for you is pat you on the head.

It doesn’t just stop there, it gets worse.

I have absolutely no idea how to talk to a girl romantically.

Once I asked a girl to the homecoming dance in high school and didn’t have the courage to slow-dance with her. Thankfully for her, another guy stepped in and I awkwardly watched from the sidelines.

Things didn’t work out between us.

However, for some reason I’m still expected to watch romantic comedies with girls I’m interested in. At first I thought it was a joke.

Ben Maison with his three brothers Jeff, Mark, and Tim and one of their wives.

Ben Maison with his three brothers Jeff, Mark, and Tim and one of their wives.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen romantic comedies, but I don’t enjoy them.  I’m also not a good person to watch female movies with either.

Back in my younger days, my brothers and I felt bad for all of my mom’s constant encounters with the Y chromosome so we watched A Walk to Remember with her. It seemed like an okay movie, until my mom started crying and we started laughing at her.

Trust me, Mama did not like that!

Now she insists that we don’t watch chick flicks with her anymore.

Zombie violence with excessive explosions: 1. Predictable movies where the perfect man does stuff and then falls in love with the leading lady: 0.

At the end of the day I’m glad that I’ve grown up in my living situation. I can handle noise and I’ve learned what not to say to upset a guy—but then choose to say it anyway.

Most of all, I’ve learned how to enjoy hanging out with guys, which is good, because I will be chilling with the bros until I can remotely understand women, which will probably be never.