Sunday, July 20, 2014

Here's to the Frat Boy in All of Us!

I am a hot mess. I am such a hot mess, my husband doesn't even know what a mess I am!

We all have a different "face" we show the world, but you're supposed to feel comfortable enough to be yourself in your own home, around your closest friends, with your spouse -- right? I do. It's just that I tend to keep things to myself. By no stretch am I an introvert; I love meeting new people, and I will talk to just about anyone. I don't hold grudges; I can't waste my time on drama. I'm not some milk toast that never sticks up for herself; I tend to be somewhat opinionated (HAH!). It's just that I have this really bizarre internal dialogue that doesn't need to be released at every opportunity. I have phrases, and ideas, and metaphors that run around in my head. Sometimes they are relative to what is happening at that very moment. Sometimes they are relative to something that happened years ago. Sometimes they haven't even happened yet, but are based on what I anticipate. (Yeah, if all this doesn't get me 302'd...)

Then there's the "frat boy." And while I'm not sure the voices exist in everyone the way they exist in me, I know the frat boy does. For instance, I drink milk from the jug in the fridge. Not always, and not in front of my kids -- what kind of example would that be? -- but, I do it now and again. Cram a handful of chocolate baking chips from the freezer into my mouth until I look like a deranged squirrel? Yup, I do it. Alone, in my truck, I have liberated some belches that would rival a sonic boom. And the beauty of all this is, it's not just me!

When I was in my 20s, I met a woman at a dinner party. She was eloquent, and refined, and ridiculously worldly in her familiarity with designer clothing, art, travel, and wines -- woody or fruity, and so forth. She was pretty wealthy for a woman not much older than I, and was well versed on current investment trends. Sandwiched amid her tales of achievements and famous associates was a story about having a spitting contest from atop a parking garage. I was so jealous of who she was and what she had, I couldn't appreciate the value of such information. But I certainly do now. That frat boy lives, somewhere, in all of us.

 I have a friend I consider to be "proper." We don't have tea or practice diction, or anything like that, but she was raised in a somewhat aristocratic home, with formal living and dining rooms. Though she doesn't continue that tradition, she married "well" and entertains some important people. That is, when she isn't sniffing her shirt to see if she can wear it on her walk just one more day. The first time I saw her draw this crumpled piece of cotton from the floor of her closet, I thought she'd been dusting. My face crinkled as I saw her hold it to her nose. Lemon-scented Pledge, perhaps? "Sure, I can just throw this on. Will you excuse me?"

One of my dearest friends has taught me volumes about being a good wife and mother and woman. I've witnessed her pitching dirty diapers (just the wet ones, not the loaded ones) from across the family room, into the trash can. I would have never labeled her the athletic type, but she's a pretty good shot!

Sure we're girls. We are dainty, or not. We like flowers, or we don't. Being female does not make us one-dimensional. We sniff things we shouldn't sniff, pick things we shouldn't pick; we are competitive and classless. But we are human, and beside the "frat boy" that occasionally pays a visit, we are many other wonderful, colorful people.
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