naughty girls eschew love too

Last night I had a dream I made out with someone – not Ralph. And I’m not telling who. OK, it was Farm Boy Justin. I always liked Farm Boy Justin and I’ve made no attempt to hide it. I don’t know why I liked him except he was a nice person, he had a big booming laugh, he had a nice body, and there was something clumsy and earnest about him. Let me be clear: I have never been close to risking my marriage on another man. But in years past – ah, the days of single life – I did make out with boys. And boys like this one.

The whole dream experience, upon waking, took me back to my days as a bachelorette. I remember being so cruel to cute boys (I’m not sure if Justin qualifies as “cute boy” or “nice boy”, really – still mulling that one over). It wasn’t that I deliberately played games or tortured them to keep their interest – quite the opposite, in fact. I think my friends and I literally believed cute boys could not experience pain or disappointment, had less of a soul, than your more typical average guy. My girlfriends and I had a culture of absolutely torturing these boys because it was easier than being invested in them. I spent years and years making out with boys and assuming it meant nothing to them. Some of them, God bless them, were articulate and mature enough to tell me they didn’t like it that I didn’t call. Most just accepted what I threw to them and either went happily or miserably on their way when nothing else evolved. I will never know.

I do know that despite being relatively amoral in my past – uniformed, really – I have always been drawn to these boys and mostly just wanted to flirt, to tangle up on the couch together, to experience the excitement of connection. I want to say I’m very sorry to the boys I was insensitive to or those I misread. Thanks for the memories. And I’m very sorry I molested you, Justin, in my own mind. It was a surprise to me, too. P.S. you seemed to like it just fine if that’s any consolation.

I’ve been meaning to include an excerpt from The Pleasure of My Company, a novel by Steve Martin (yes, the comedian), that I read recently. I guess I don’t want to say too much about the book for risk of spoiling some of it – but I found it not only funny but very sweet and human. These are a couple paragraphs that made me laugh:

Santa Monica, California, where I live, is a perfect town for invalids, homosexuals, show people, and all other formerly peripheral members of society. Average is not the norm here. Here, if you’re visiting from Omaha, you stick out like a senorita’s ass at the Puerto Rican day parade. That’s why, when I saw a contest at the Rite Aid drugstore (eight blocks from my house, takes me forty-seven minutes to get there) asking for a two-page essay on why I am the most average American, I marveled that the promoters actually thought that they might find an average American at this nuthouse by the beach. This cardboard stand carried an ad by its sponsor, Tepperton’s Frozen Apple Pies. I grabbed an entry form, and as I hurried home (thirty-five minutes: a record), began composing the essay in my head.

The challenge was not how to present myself as average, but how to make myself likable without lying. I think I’m pretty appealing, but likability in an essay is very different from likability in life. See, I tend to grow on people, and five hundred words is just not enough to tget someone to like me. I need several years and a ream or two of paper. I knew I had to flatter, overdo, and lay it on thick in order to speed up my likability time frame. So I would not like the sniveling, patriotic me who wrote my five hundred words. I would like a girl with dark roots peeking out through the peroxide who was laughing so hard that Coca-Cola was coming out of her nose. And I guess you would too. But Miss Coca-Cola Nose wouldn’t be writing this essay in her Coca-Cola persona. She would straighten up, fix her hair, snap her panties out of her ass, and start typing.

I wanna say something. I’m gonna put it out there; if you like it, you can take it, if you don’t, send it right back.

My family and I just got back from visiting a friend’s new (and completely adorable) pad – incidentally only a couple blocks away, which is great news for my social life. At this point after mounting incidents it’s time for me to publically admit I am finding myself envious of my single Mama friends. They party, they hang out, they drink, they smoke, they buy new clothes and furniture, they cavort with boys (seriously, dating, or entirely platonically) with no repurcussions, and they GET RID OF THEIR KIDS FOR HOURS, DAYS, WEEKS AT A TIME while seemingly enjoying their grownup time entirely. And as far as I can tell they are just as happy and fufilled as I am in most every way.

There, I said it. May Sweet Jesus not strike my ass for admitting it. P.S. Please don’t divorce your harpy queen. My sweet, sweet manboy husband.

Actually, what this is really telling me is that it’s time to pack my kids’ shit up in two suitcases and drop them off at the logical halfway point – not quite halfway, but what the heck – for my parents to come pick them up. One week sounds about right. Then I myself can cavort, hang out with, smoke, drink, shop, whatever – and cavort with my own boy of choice who happens to share my house and bed.

so, I was at a party last night, and I’ve discovered…

… in the world of womankind, the gossip quotient is staggering.

I’m not just talking about the, “Oh my God, did you hear that Betsy…” full-on reporting and back-talking that happens immediately after the poor woman in question is out of sight. I’m talking about the constant realigning and discernment of friends, foes, bitches, and ho’s (is that how you spell “ho” in the plural?”). I’m referring to the morbid interest women show when there is in-fighting amongst girls, especially former friends who used to be tight.

At the party in question I quickly self-segregated into the handful who were intermittently heading upstairs to the pool hall (read: smoking area – hey, I was a Designated Driver and needed some fun). Even though I didn’t make the rounds to everyone there, and had a relatively small number of interactions with different women, I was surprised at how many times attempts were made to seduce me into making or decrying particular alliances. A couple women bitched about a woman not present. One woman threw out a subtle barb referring to a perceived insult I had experienced from a third woman there (I didn’t take the bait, though). A couple women commented on my tank top (not revealing, but tight and busty) in a way that seemed not-altogether-nice. It was sort of like a bunch of cats all sniffing one another. Except everyone was drinking, so a little like cats in heat. Or something.

Now, for the exactly three fellows who read my blog, this isn’t to say I prefer the company of men, or that I believe an all-male get-together to be a more honest, open, and fun event. Hardly. First of all, the incidents where men get together – and do all the organizing themselves – are about once a year. If a man doesn’t enjoy the pasttimes of either A. killing things, or B. golfing, this number is even more drastically reduced. Also, on the flip side of the female’s more vicious inner workings exists a camaraderie, fierce love, and emotional openness that I can’t honestly see a group of men exhibiting (I could be wrong, having no experience there). Part of the package of the intuitive and maternal Goddess is the murderous Kali-bitch who has a string of heads hanging around her neck.

And for the record: no, I’m not interested in back-biting, no matter how tempting; and yeah, I was fine with how tight my shirt was and the resultant boobage and soft-middle that was displayed.

that homecoming crown, still so elusive

What is that feeling I’m having again? It’s so familiar. Not a good thing, either. Why am I acting so awkwardly? Why am I not talking? What’s wrong?

Oh yeah. I’m the odd one out.

It happens every once in a while. Very rarely, really. In this case, it’s me and a small group of ladies I would call acquaintances (as opposed to friends). They’re friendly. They’re nice. In their presence, I feel like a dork. I’m not telling the right stories. I’m not keeping my crayon between the lines of the coloring book we’re using. Maybe I have an intensity about issues I shouldn’t. Maybe it’s how I wave my middle finger in the air to punctuate a story (never at somebody, more like to make a point). Maybe I should have smaller boobs and stop wearing tribal earrings (I swear, the only remotely “edgy” thing I have going!).

It’s times like this I am grateful I (generally) like myself, and that I know people who like me for the person I am. Most of these people are women who are – to use my friend Steph’s descriptive of yours truly – “brassy”, irreverent, and outspoken, like me.

But sometimes – like now – I feel an elusive cliquishness that distresses me. I don’t know how to break the code and play by the rules. I want to. I don’t have a problem playing by different rules. So I stop saying anything snarky, or the word “crotch”, or talking about my husband’s ass. Still, I can tell I’m not fitting in. It isn’t working! Last resort? Be quiet. Be a wallflower. Go home to those who like you. Call best friend up and share an amusing sexual harassment story.

These days I know enough about people to know that exclusivity is often not deliberate – it’s a miscommunication between species. In this case, the vanilla-wafer jock / cheerleader girl with the overly-friendly, foul-mouthed trollop who takes smoke breaks behind the gym (guess which one I am?). It doesn’t even hurt, exactly.

And then I wonder – do I do the same to other girls? Who are they, and what’s their story? And why are they silent?

If that’s me, I’m truly sorry, sisters.