I’ve never categorized myself as a girl.
In fact, I’ve never even felt like a girl.
I recognize myself as a “woman” and as “Lauren”, but not a “girl”.
I’ll even take “lady”, but no “girl”.
“Girl” conjures up images of monthly hair, manicure and tanning appointments. Weekly shopping trips with girlfriends, yoga classes every other day and nightly wine drinking. All these activities are buoyed by one topic, men, and the ritual of peacocking is an important daily priority.
I know a group of girls who do everything together. Not a day goes by where they don’t see or talk to one another. Their week is filled with exercise classes, lunches and slumber parties enjoyed together. The topic of conversation is typically boys, but often flecked with diet, health and current events. From the outside, I often look at their narrative and want in. I’ve never had what they had. A part of me is wistful, maybe even a little jealous. Here is a sisterhood of girls who will
Yesterday I took a big chance. I wrote an article about my boyfriend on CultureMap- which gets way more traffic than my blog does. I often find it difficult to write long posts, but I found myself able to nearly write a book about my boyfriend. The post, titled “Do You Believe in All the Cliches? A Sappy Relationship Story”, is about how I used to date douchebags and then one day I stopped. I met the most wonderful person and it made me believe that all those cheesy cliches about love might be true. I nervously watched as my boyfriend read the piece once it was posted. The more he read the more my stomach twisted in knots. He loved the piece and when he was done reading I went and gave him a tear-filled hug.
Enjoy the sap…
I used to date douchebags, then one day I stopped.
I’m not sure what made me stop acting this way. Maybe I finally grew up. Maybe I became more confident in who I was. Maybe I met the right person.
Or maybe it was all of those things combined.
“Girls are crazy until they reach 26,” I heard uttered from the office adjacent to mine last week.
This was coming from a conversation a cluster of female co-workers were having about relationships. The statement above was something a man said to one of them in regards to dating.
None of them disagreed with the statement. I thought about it for a second and shook my head, “Yep, whomever this wise man is, he’s right. We’re all bat shit-crazy when it comes to relationships until we turn 26.”
This sentence stuck with me long enough to write a post Monday declaring the end of my quarter-life crisis. It would be negligent to not admit that the quarter-life crisis and the bat-shit cray-cray are synonymous with one another. Men have their own challenges to deal with at this age, but instead of lunacy they usually have to deal with being selfish and confused dickwads. Or rather, we women have to deal with it.
Selfishness & Confusion mixed with Craziness & Insecurity does not usually bode well, so dating in your early 20’s typically creates drama fit for a telenovela.
I sort of went through this as an early twenty-something in a morally-questionable city (Los Angeles) and I’ve seen younger friends and acquaintances go through the same thing: you meet a dude, he seems into you, you kind of dig him so you give in to his advances, he plays it cool, so you play it cool in return, you guys hook up for a month, he tells you that he’s not looking for anything serious, you think you’re cool with that, he’s clueless to the fact that you’re not cool with it, after awhile you start to call him for emotional support, he starts pulling away, you ask him what’s up, he doesn’t return your calls, you drunk text him, he responds that he’s too busy to date, you drunk call him, he doesn’t pick up, you try calling 43 more times, he doesn’t pick up, you pass out from drinking a half a bottle of cheap vodka underneath your bed, he goes on with life, you don’t, he is already eying another gal, you are proud of yourself for letting 4 days go by without contacting him, he has forgotten about you, you text him after day 5 to see if he wants to meet up for coffee, he responds an hour later, that hour seemed like an eternity to you, he agrees, you start devising a plan to win him back, he wonders why the hell he’s getting coffee with you, you show up to coffee drunk and in your best American Apparel side-boob dress, he’s more interested in the barista working behind your right shoulder, you ask him how he’s doing, he says “great!”, you start crying because you are not doing great, you’re doing terrible and you miss him and his semi-indifferent embrace even though he only called you at 2AM on Saturdays when you happened to both be drunk.
During moments similar to this in my life, I wondered what the hell was going on with me. I came from a sweet and supportive family, I was confident, I was smart, I was not ugly, but yet I was acting kind of desperate. The more a guy didn’t want me, the more interested I was in him. It was like the teenager that was so sure of herself was replaced by a drooling insecure young woman who had no idea what she was doing. I felt very alone with my dilemma for I did not hang out with enough girls to realize that this was somewhat common behavior in your early 20’s. It wasn’t until I came across a Rolling Stone article about the hook-up culture at Duke University (which has since been deleted from Rolling Stone archives) that I realized young women had some seriously f’ed up views on relationships, casual sex, and how women should be treated and behave. Smart, beautiful, and intelligent women were deluding themselves into lowering their standards and it still comes as no surprise to me today when I hear of a woman that fits that bill who has difficultly with men. My male friends tell me all the time, “She’s wonderful, but she texts me 20 times a day/thinks I’m seeing other girls/reads my emails/gets drunk and yells at me/wants to move in after sleeping together once/held me hostage at her house.”
So why is it that we girls are “crazy until we reach the age of 26?” (I’d like to add that though I say “we”, I’ve never done any of that Courtney Love shit listed above).
If you weren’t one of the “lucky” ones who has known exactly what they wanted out of a career and relationships since birth (and by “lucky” I mean, just wait until the day comes that you wake up at 40 and realize that you hate your job, hate your spouse, and have an aching desire to become a bartender at a gay resort in Bermuda), you mostly likely spent your late teens and early 20’s trying to desperately figure out your path in life and who you wanted to take along for the journey. But the truth is, you really have no idea, so you make poorly devised decisions based off a hodge podge of what you think you maybe want, what you think your family wants, what you think yours peers or partners want and what you think society expects. This combination creates a constant internal pull that makes you unsteady with your actions- i.e certifiably looney tunes. Chances are yo momma didn’t go through this because she was married in her 20’s, dudes were more respectful, people didn’t sex it up as casually, boobies didn’t exist on TV, and people grew up in more religious households.
Gosh, I sound like an old lady.
Maybe it’s because now that I’m past 26, I cringe when I think of the young lady who had zero understanding of modern youthful courting. If you know a female in her early 20’s, do her a favor, slap her upside the head when she starts getting all weird about a dude she’s casually hooking up with and tell her that she’s better than all that. Let’s hope we can change the idea that “girls are crazy until they reach the age of 26″ to “damn, girls are so not crazy!”
Do you think I’m crazy for saying that many girls under 26 are crazy, or do you agree?
I don’t write about my social or romantic life on my blog very often, if at all. This blog is not the platform for that- it’s supposed to be a blog about being a fuckin’ hipster, dammit- and in some areas of my life, I’m actually a somewhat private person. I also realize that saying roughly, “Oh hey, I just wrote about you on a public forum for anyone to read!” may or may not have the ability to freak someone out. In addition, it’s rare for me to feel compelled to write about someone- a truth that I’ve commented on before- but I guess, in this instance, that is finally not applicable. I’m writing this tonight because, honestly, it’s what is on my mind lately and being a writer, it would be silly to ignore.
And though I plead with you on a daily basis not to read my blog, you will anyways.
So, here you go.
To He Who Should Not Read My Blog,
I haven’t known you for very long.
This is a fact we discussed last night. However, with all that has taken place within that time it feels like I’ve known you forever.
It is not just that though. Something about you is reminiscent and comforting- an observation I made the first night I met you, the night our mutual friend finally got us in the same space.
The night you were wearing a light tan leather jacket from the 70’s and I was wearing a petticoat with tuxedo jacket. I was trying my best to look like Blair from Less Than Zero and you were just being you. A man who has a closet full of clothing from your youth that you still fit into and hand sewn costumes.
You know how to sew. I don’t.
The night we realized that our creative influence both comes from the same man- David Byrne. You started reciting dialogue from your favorite movie, True Stories, and once in awhile you and I will sing songs from the movie, though we may not always remember the words.
The night we realized we could probably talk to each other until we’re exhausted.
Which is something that hasn’t seemed to happen yet.
And I doubt will.
In the short time we’ve known each other, we survived: being shot at by punk kids while sitting in my car talking, and though the kids were really really upset that you and I were not making out- enough to shoot a gun at us- you were a gentleman and didn’t kiss me until after we thought our lives were in danger; my car being broken into the night I went to see your film, which I was nervous about- the screening, not the window- and where I met roughly 100 of your friends and you later constructed a Muppets cardboard window for my glass-filled car; SXSW, a void where life as we know it stands still, where we saw movies and walked for miles and waded through a sea of drunk people and stayed up late; carrying around a drunk celebrity we had to babysit and who tried to unsuccessfully convince me to sleep with him; you jet-setting to Europe twice, where you wrote to me every day about your adventures; me having E. Coli; my illogical fear that someone is breaking into my house every evening and you coming to my rescue.
In other words, there has never been a dull moment.
And though we could probably do without more guns and broken car windows and drunk celebs and deadly infections, I’m looking forward to many more adventures with you.
It makes me nervous to post this, but I know you will probably like it and you will probably bring it up later today and I will probably try to change the subject and I will probably scold you for reading my blog…even though I’m secretly excited that you care enough to.