Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Kind of Girl I Am

I’m the kind of girl who didn’t have girl friends as a little kid. All of my friends were boys and I was having coed sleepovers from the time I was 3 through college. I enjoyed spending time with my father more than my mother and loved to play and watch sports and get dirty. As I got older I realized a lot of girls were tomboys and I wasn’t that unique. But event though I got more girl friends I never became as comfortable with women as I am with men.

I am also the kind of girl who likes to wear cute clothes and pretty dresses and have people tell me how fabulous I look. I have an extensive jewelry and accessory collection to coordinate with all my outfits and love to shop (alone of course or maybe just with my husband early in the morning before the mall is crowded). When I was younger, I felt like I had to be either the tomboy or the girly girl. Depending on which friends I was with, I only exposed them to one part of my personality.

Somewhere along the way I started to separate other items that were unrelated to being feminine or masculine into each column. The problem with being a straight woman and having all of your closest friends being male is that you end up falling for them. And depending on which you they got to know, you can spend years in a relationship and not have that person know important details about your life. I remember that my boyfriend in college didn’t know that I did volunteer work. I participated in an all-night volleyball tournament at a local high school to raise money for a local charity and I actually lied to him about where I’d been that night. In my silly little 21-year old brain volunteer work was feminine. My boyfriend and I played on the same intramural sports team and spent a lot of time hiking and doing outdoor activities. He made jokes when I wore dresses to class; there was no way I could let the feminine me out.

Another problem with dating someone after being their best friend for years is that they say things to you that they would never say to their girlfriend but have no problem saying to their best friend. So they talk about how hot other girls are and forgot to treat you like a girl. They stomp on your self esteem on a daily basis and then wonder why you’re moody. They don’t remember your birthday or buy you romantic gifts because you’re still one of the guys even though they have sex with you and sleep next to you every night.

Or worse yet, they fall for you and you don’t return the feelings. So you lose your friendship to this horrible awkwardness and you can never get back what you had. And by no fault of your own you are the bad guy and all of your friends feel bad for him because you broke his heart. Some of your other friendships also suffer because they side with your friend. They never think that maybe you are hurting from the position that you were put in. And when you fall for one of your friends and he doesn’t return your feelings the same thing doesn’t happen. It’s a total double standard.

Five years ago, and four years after my last relationship, I was lucky enough to meet my husband. I feel in love with him the moment I met him and we became best friends and a couple all at once. He knows all sides of me and helps me to feel more confident in myself than I ever have before. When I met him I left behind a lot of the baggage that I had collected over the years. Unfortunately, Facebook has brought a lot that baggage back.

All of these people that I haven’t talked to in years, and truly, I didn’t think I would ever talk to them again and I was okay with that, are back in my life. Old boyfriends, high school friends, distant relatives…everyone. I love Facebook because it helps me to connect with people that I care about that live far away but while I’m sharing with them all of these other people are peering into my life and learning things about me that I would never have shared with them.

So I get defensive when they make ignorant comments because I feel like I have defend myself but then I get mad at myself for letting them get to me. If I go off on them about why they’re wrong, years of pent up emotions and grudges from 15 years ago will also come up and I’ll look like a complete ass that has been holding onto all of those feelings for years. But that’s not completely true. I had buried those feelings and those incidents years ago and moved on to other things. But because there was no closure, there was no incident where I got to stand up for myself and set them straight, I automatically go back to that time and the feelings that I had at that time.

Alas, I love Facebook and am addicted to it so I must deal. I have to remind myself that their dumb comments on my page are not important because in the grand scheme of things they aren’t important. My true friends, the people that I love and who know me aren’t the ones who are saying those things. And if they are, then I get to tell them off because I’m going to have to deal with them for years to come and I will not let another minute of my life go by without being my true self or letting others make me feel insecure. Grr.

1 comment: