Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Why Boys Are Just Cool

If you were to look on my Facebook page, you would find a recent quiz determined I was 0% girly -- yes, 0%. However, an even more recent quiz determined that of all the characters on Gilligan's Island, I most closely resemble Ginger. A seeming contradiction? At first glance. I even took immediate offense to my latest test results -- "Ginger!" I shrieked. "You've got to be kidding me!" But, here's the thing, I am 0% girly. There's no argument. I don't like gossipping, particularly on the phone; I don't do "nights out with the girls." I don't giggle or twirl my hair or act like a bubble brain. I don't "shop with the girls" or do mani/ pedi days or anything like that. However, I am feminine, and like Ginger, love being coy and seductive. I love to laugh -- hard -- out loud -- like I mean it! I enjoy sitting with my feet up -- sometimes in the sun -- and doing an evil crossword, or reading a good book. I like to talk and share, I like nights out with my husband, I love to shop, and I love the feeling after a good home pedicure. All this to say, I've never quite fit in with the female community. Even as a child, my size and my disinterest in cheerleading and eyelash curlers put me at odds with the "fairer sex" in school. While the rest of the female population was listening to The Backstreet Boys, I had Metallica cranked as I drove like an angry Ashley Force (For those of you girly-girls, she is a funny car drag racer, and if you don't know what that is, there's always Wikipedia). Anyhow, it wasn't always easy growing up a Cartman in a Barbie world, but I've learned that rumors like names can only hurt you if you let them.
Nevertheless, in my younger years, it was more comfortable for me to "hang out" with boys. They were always doing interesting things like building forts or climbing trees. As boys got older they still had the better toys -- cars, motorcycles -- and the better entertainment -- football games, drag races. I never saw any of those girly-girls pumping their fists to a great hairdo.

Boys watched better movies. I have two or three "chick-flicks" in my list of favorites; everything else has bullets, cars or ancient tombs-- or Vin Diesel, gotta love Vin! Boys are even different in the way they watch movies. I can't help but gape in amazement as Scott, our friend Tommy, even our eleven-year-old Joe recite entire passages, replete with sound effects, from movies they've seen twice, maybe! And, the sound effects! I don't care if we were playing war with G.I. Joe or track with Hot Wheels, my bombs sounded like a Yiddish grandmother biting into jarred gefilte, and my "tire screech" sounded like a cat caught under the hood of a car with auto-start. But the boys -- they sounded like something straight out of a foley studio.

No disrespect to Elle Woods, I know she solved that big case based on some sophisticated "perm" data, but boys know cool stuff. They know about due west, horsepower, and alternating current. Back in the days of "less than a half dozen major car manufacturers," an old boyfriend schooled me in identifying the make of the car by the headlights approaching in the rear view mirror at night. (This is a skill I have all but lost amidst library book due dates and how to get vomit out of your car upholstery).

I'm not a big fan of the "war of the sexes" mentality, nor do I think "unisex" is a term that should have ever been coined. I respect women more than I do "girls", I suppose; I am, in fact, thrilled to be a woman. I can't ignore the fact that men and boys have unique qualities about them that I find admirable and interesting, and I'm sure if I asked my husband, he'd say the same about girls as well as women. I'm even pretty sure he'd say I was not 0% girly. But then I'd have to give him a shot to the arm!

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