Wednesday, August 15, 2012

One for the Boys.

On my trip home from Detroit this weekend, my friend and I exchanged a lot of “Why do women do this?” and “Yeah, well why do guys do this?” I’m not sure if he is any clearer on why girls do things, despite my efforts. And he was very patient with my most likely inappropriately probing questions.
I’m still lost.
You really can’t know what it’s like to be a girl unless you are one. If it helps you at all, sometimes we don’t really understand what our problem is half the time. But be assured, it probably has something to do with you boys.
When he turned to me and asked me a question, I could hear the exasperation in his voice. Like he’s been trying all his life to be a nice guy and he still comes off like an asshole.
Even though I don’t fully understand what I feel some of the time,  here’s some of what I do know.
Lesson 1: Girls never forget their first loves.
This is the first time that a girl experiences the complex emotions of holding a boy’s hand and the first time that you really understand a love song. Since you’re usually 15 or something, they never work.
(If you’re one of the 6 people who married their high school sweetheart, you don’t count. But you don’t count for a lot of things anyway, so this shouldn’t be new.)
Guys, if you feel like they bring them up a lot, it’s because they had a lasting impact. It doesn’t mean that they care about you any less. They’re just always going to be there in some capacity. Buy them a beer or something.
Lesson 2: If they’ve had their heart broken, it’s going to take you a bit longer
This cock-blocks a lot of guys. They like a girl, but all she can talk about is how her last guy told her that since she wasn’t attractive enough to hold his attention, he would probably cheat on her and it wouldn’t work out between them. Or something like that.
This should have nothing to do with the next guy, but without fail, it’s going to. Any one who’s ever seen the wake of a hurricane or watched a documentary on Pearl Harbor knows the devastation of tragedy. While it seems petty to compare your problems to these massive ones, to a girl, having her heart broken is going to rank up there with these.
If you really care about her, you need to be willing to push past these things. You’re going to need to put a bit of work into this one.
Lesson 3: Don’t be fast and loose with the word ‘Beautiful’
That there are so many words to objectify a woman, but really only one that will make them feel good about themselves. Beautiful.
But here’s a secret: women know when you mean it and when you really don’t.
When someone says that you’re beautiful right after you tell them something devastating that happened to you, it always sounds insincere. Like they just want to make you feel better.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice thing to say. But when you say it, it seems like what you’re really saying is “You have a beautiful soul.” or “You’re a really great friend to me.” Something like that. When I’m of the opinion that the only real difference between love and friendship is physical attraction, this kind of ‘beautiful’ is a death sentence.
Lesson 4: Listen to what we mean, not what we say
I know this is the most frustrating one.
Sometimes, even the most outspoken of us (ahem) have a hard time saying what we want to say. Read our body language, read our blogs, try to understand us more than you listen to us.
Lesson 5: All girls have a secret Princess Complex
This one is embarrassing for any feminist to admit, but we like the notion of being saved. Let me explain though.
We don’t mean that our lives aren’t complete without a man to tell us we’re pretty, but that when you fall in love, it really should enhance your life. We want to be rescuing the guy as much as they’re rescuing us. I hypothesize that men think the same thing, but don’t really have a label for it or know what they’re feeling exactly, but you guys have a Princess Complex too. We should be rescuing each other.
There’s thousands more, but that’s all I’ve got for you boys today. The bottom line is- just love us, okay? At the end of the day, that’s all we can really ask of you.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Never Say Goodbye

Goodbyes are not something anyone is good at. And if you are, you should write a book and jack up the price of publication because the world wants to know.

I am many things, spontaneous and flighty being two of them. It’s both a blessing and a curse. It’s a little hard when I can almost hear my parents sigh when they answer their phones, knowing that I probably have something new that I think I might want to do. Sometimes I think they’ve given up hope that I’ll ever find one thing to stick with.

They never know what I’m going to tell them next.

I usually don’t either.

It’s really great for people that know what they want to do and they go out and do it. They get the grades and then become surgeons. Or they see a burning bush that tells them to go help people. They have something that guides them to an end.

But to me, that idea makes me squirm. I don’t like the idea of an ending, and that’s all anyone seems to get. They know where they want to get. I’m more interested in how to get there.

Despite never having a steady answer to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I don’t mind being a wanderer, struck with a bad case of the SOTHS (Somewhere Other Than Here Syndrome. Don’t ask, it itches). Too many wonderful people have become part of my life because of wandering. I’ve seen things and I’ve been in love, and there were good and bad times in both. I can’t say my last breakup or anytime I’ve spent in Canada was the high point of my life, but living at Disney world and having more best friends than any one person needs seems to balance it out for me.

I have had to say goodbye many times. But I’ve been the luckiest person to always have Hellos again when I’m supposed to. I think that’s all a wanderer can really ask of the world.

“Never say goodbye. Because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.”
 ~Peter Pan