There’s nothing wrong with going topless on a beach when you’re older. Just know that some men like looking at boobs and whatnot – for whatever reason – and when you go topless, it’s likely that they will stop listening to what you have to say so they can focus on your toplessness.

This compulsion is not because we’re simple or stupid. I don’t know what it’s all about, I just know that it happens. 

Some men will think that your going topless is a form of peacocking for them and them alone, but don't let that stop you. If you want to do it and it's safe to do it, the ball is in your court. 

Maybe 60 thousand years ago some man was born with a real love of boobs – like he really
felt it, you know? And he passed that love down to his sons. And because his sons were born with a preternatural love of the female form – and that love was tied to sexual impulses – they were more productive than their pals who just wanted to stay home and, I don't know, watch baseball. Ergo – some men really love to look at boobs. 

Keep in mind that this is an unsubstantiated hypothesis and very real oversimplification. This doesn't explain why some men still love watching baseball. Some men love both - ogling boobs and watching baseball. It's a big world. There's room for everyone. 

This could be a sensitive topic. But it's a topic, and you need to learn about topics, sensitive or not. Right now you and I are sitting in the car in Brooklyn, waiting for your mother to get groceries. It's raining. You're clapping your hands and singing "Water! Water! Bus! Mama!"

These are the topics you're into now. I love you so terribly. Men are just awful.  

How else to explain it, except by natural selection? These things you will have are simply sacs of fat and flesh. Obviously, they have a higher literal and metaphorical meaning (feeding the world, etc), but do men on the beach think,
That woman is topless, and her breasts nourish children and, metaphorically, feed the world. I should really stare at them!

No. They just stare at them, often with their tongues hanging out of their mouths, panting like cartoon animals.

Anyway, go topless or don’t. I advise caution in all things. This, too. I love you no matter what.

Picture*My senior pictures. Peacocking.
There are these birds called peafowl, that most people just call peacocks. This isn’t totally correct – the peacock refers to the male only. The female is the peahen and the little babies are peachicks. The peacock – again, the male – is known for its extravagant, eye-spotted tail plumage, which is hard to describe in words. It’s bright and opalescent and brilliant and, well, extravagant. When the peacock sees a peahen with which it would like to have intercourse[1], it stands tall and spreads its extravagant plumage in an effort to attract the female.

“Peacocking” is the human version of this. It’s when a human man puts on airs and makes some extravagant attempt to persuade a woman (or another man) to have intercourse with him.

The Iranians – your people – are famous for their peacocking. It’s possible they invented it.

One of your uncles told me that Iranians also invented backgammon, math, etiquette, and that they were the first in flight. If I had been a woman, your uncle telling me that would have been a good example of peacocking.

Peacocking can also mean wearing a lot of cologne, or a flashy or stylish suit, or driving around in a brightly colored or large or expensive car, or showing off a lot of chest hair. This is the Iranian way.

When I was your age, assuming you’re 20 when you read this, my style of peacocking was slightly subtler. I took guitar lessons, listened to the Indigo Girls[2], and wrote a lot of poetry. I should say that peacocking is almost never successful, as you might have already concluded. Not for anyone. I don’t know why women decide to have intercourse with men, but it’s generally not because we listen to the Indigo Girls (although maybe?).

Men/boys your age wake up peacocking (so to speak) – our whole lives are dedicated to trying to persuade women to have intercourse with us. When a boy tells you about camping in Zion, that’s peacocking. When a boy brings you flowers, that’s peacocking. When a boy likes dogs, that’s peacocking.

That’s all fine.

Peafowl behave this way because their species depends on it. It’s unconscious. They don’t think to themselves, “If I display my plumage, perhaps that peahen would like to have intercourse with me.” Human’s peacocking is similarly unconscious. If men didn’t have some innate urge to have intercourse with women, there would be no offspring. In other words, our peacocking isn’t malicious. We’re not trying to own or destroy you. We’re trying to impress you.

This isn’t always the case, of course, and you should always keep that in mind.

[1] I’m not sure that sex between two birds is called intercourse. I’m taking some creative license here because I think it’s funny to say when two birds have intercourse. That’s the power of personification, which is sort of the point of this memo.

[2] The Indigo Girls were a folk/rock music duo consisting of two women. They were popular starting in the late 1980’s, and are now, in 2011 – the year you will be born – are self-releasing albums. Read more about them in the memo titled “College Lesbianism.”