MQA on being a girl. Or, now that I’ll turn three dozen tomorrow, I guess I should start to call myself a woman. Damn it.
I have always found it frustrating to have to be defined as female. (Have you met them? They’re everywhere.) Not because I am confused about my sexual orientation or even want to be a man. On one occasion, I told a therapist “Let me make this crystal clear so we can stop wasting my one lousy hour I can’t afford in the first place; no, I am not interested in women as lovers. It is essential that a dick be present for me to want to have sex with someone. [Or if you prefer in less colorful language, I believe myself to be heterosexual without a doubt.] AND, after all these months together, is it not obvious that I’d be a dyke if that’s what I was into??”
I hate how shrinkie dinks turn off the path, end up in the area of sexuality and think they’ve cleverly switched the topic. As someone finely tuned to detect nuance, to pick up on the most subtle of body language and verbal cues, I choose to match it by saying exactly what I think and feel. Therapists do not like that, or maybe they thought I was hiding something. The few I saw in my 20s always seemed frustrated, and it felt more like we were in a chess match or, worse, like I was paying them for the pleasure of asking me what my fantasies were. Seems like I should be getting the $100 bill for that exchange.
Now that I’ve made it clear that this isn’t specifically about sex, the thing about being a girl is that guys get to goof off and have a type of fun that looks like greener grass than what my lady peers are up to. I never want to be at a shower of any sort and watch the bride or breeder open gifts for two hours and smile politely. I never want to do that.
I’m like the girl in a group of girls who is like the guy whose wife makes him wear ties that match her dress.
What fun are guys having that I watch and wish I could be included in? Well for instance, when do you see a bunch of females sitting around a park playing chess or female bike messengers standing in a circle laughing, joking and philosophizing? When was the last time you saw a man driving, bawling his eyes out to Rod Stewart’s Forever Young? This actually happened to me once. I caught myself, knowing that song is not my speed and thought “Aw man, it’s my damn period again! Son-of-a-bitch!!” as I pounded my fist on my steering wheel through my tears.
Now, about that period psychosis; that is some tricky shit. I’m left confused about the reality of my feelings at some points during each month, because I am a girl and bleed, not because I am human. I don’t think men have mood swings the way women do. Some men are more sensitive, sure. I personally love a Beta man and hope my next boyfriend is one, to obviously temper my Alpha ways. It just doesn’t seem all that fair that I have to cry listening to Rod Stewart songs once a month when most guys get to sit around unwounded and laugh at Rod Stewart songs. (BTW – I’m not dissing his whole catalog, I like the early stuff.)
Men will ultimately always have more power than women because of this. And when an accusation is made that I’m female and that it may be in the middle of “that time of the month” based on my irrational behavior, I can’t really respond, “no, it’s not” in self-assured security. It just may well be true.
Once at a Whole Foods, I became enraged at the sight of “fusion salt” and its new kiosk-type table it sat on. I hate expensive food novelty, it is like a slap in my face of just how much people avoid having any real feelings and think about food instead of humanity. I was also really sad and confused about something else and the perfect storm of a fusion salt sighting, confusion and my period made an expression appear on my face, one that made the deli guy ask “what’s wrong sweetheart?” Fearing I’d start to cry, I just shrugged my shoulders and said “I have my period.”
That being said, that I believe men will always be more powerful than women, I don’t actually like the idea of feminism. It pins men against women and what I am really saying here is that I wish the lines weren’t marked so clearly or bitterly, deservedly or not. Why can’t I be macho, pretty, tough, aggressive, sweet, tender, sensitive, goofy, a laser sharp multi-tasker who, at the end of the day, sits, watches TV with a beer (glass of dry red wine) and scratches her crotch? Why can’t we be a whole lot of both stereotypes?
I thought about all this after one of my oldest friends took me to lunch yesterday. I let him order for me and pay for lunch. We cracked vulgar, dirty jokes back and forth. We looked at women and men that passed our table and objectified them and we never talked about marriage, baby showers or what the kids did that was cute. For that hour, I didn’t feel like my tie had to match his dress. I didn’t have to play by the rules and behave. I didn’t have to make dull small-talk, and I didn’t have to listen to a conversation about cute shoes; but I also wore makeup, had a skirt on, even wore a pretty bracelet about which I didn’t care and which he didn’t notice. I was still very much a girl, even with my filthy mouth, mind and jokes.
After he and I parted ways, I bought a small black coffee at the basement Belgian waffle place. I walked two blocks in the delicate pretty rain to Rittenhouse Square to watch the bike messengers and chess players I wish I could fit in with. The boys with bikes were under the awning of Barnes and Noble and nobody was playing chess. The heavy rain from 15 minutes before had cleared the park out. As I hopped over puddles, smiled kindly at the crazy guy on the bench, and stopped to stare in holy awe at the huge plane trees’ wet bark, I decided I didn’t give a shit one way or the other. Call me whatever you want.
I know what I am and I’m not taking sides; I’m human and relate to both men and women for different reasons. Maybe turning 36 tomorrow comes with a crack of wisdom to feel that any sort of frustration over being labeled is a waste of time when there are puddles to jump over, trees to marvel at and sweet dirty jokes to make.
© Mad Question Asking – 2012 All Rights Reserved
PS – Thank you Kelly for the less colorful language hook.