I was once described as a "guy's gal."
(I took it as a compliment.)
I always got along really well with men. A sort of buddy. A girl that was easy to understand and deal with from a man's point of view. Guy's could talk to me as a friend or deal with me in a business atmosphere and know that they weren't likely to get much drama out of it. I was all business. Black and white. Not much "pink" to deal with.
My Mom and Dad had 3 girls right off the bat. I was the second child. They finally had my baby brother but until he came along I think I tried to fit the bill as the boy that my Dad had wanted.
I wasn't into sports all that much but I think as a child I would have been considered a tomboy.
I had developed a certain disdain for anything girly. I don't wear dresses at all and can't be bothered with fashion except to applaud the creation of low cut jeans. (Hey, they fit me better along the hips than all the way up at the waistline.)
When I was younger I didn't really like women all that well. I think I had more guy friends than girl friends. Now that I'm older, that's changed quite a bit. I get along really well with women now and can offer up some good drama myself from time to time. Just ask SM.
So why did it take so long for me to become a girl?
I blame Valentine's Day.
Generally speaking I think it's a silly reason to pick one day out of the year to make a fuss over someone you care about by giving them flowers, chocolates and a stupid card.
I'd rather plant the flowers, eat the chocolate when my hormones are screaming and you can stuff those overly expensive, gushy cards right up your.... Hmmm.
Well, you get the drift.
Some people have really good memories of their early childhood years. Me? Not so much.
But one of my first memories was of my excitement over Valentine's Day.
I must have been in the first or second grade. We all made "mailboxes" out of a shoe box and decorated it with everything you could think of. Oh, the magic you can create with a little bit of glue, construction paper, glitter (loved the glitter) tissue paper, the works!
Mom took me to the store so I could carefully hand-select my own package of valentines to give. I remember painstakingly going through them and selecting the best cards to give to the people I liked the most. But I remember that everybody got one. (Even the snotty nosed boys.) Mom's rule. Not mine.
Valentine's Day morning we were asked to put our cards into our "valentines" mailboxes. Later, after lunch we could go and open up our mailboxes and see what was inside.
I was a pretty shy kid, but boy was I excited. I still remember the shock of opening up my box to find maybe 4-5 cards. Out of a class of 20-25 kids, I just got a few.
I can't remember if I cried over that. I just remember seeing some of the more popular kids with boxes that were absolutely stuffed with Valentines Day cards.
That was my first lesson in the pecking order of life. Pretty and popular? The world is your oyster.
I don't remember paying much attention to Valentines Day after that. Except one other time.
My high school Valentines Day Dance. I must have been 16 or 17 by then and had developed enough artistic skill that I was usually called on to assist in decorating for the big school events. (No glitter this time...darn it)
Now you'd think by this time I'd be a popular hottie by now. Nope. Still kinda awkward, not quite a nerd. I was on the fringe. Never a cheerleader but good enough for the band's colorguard.
Yep. I twirled flags, rifles and eventually a sabre when I became Captain. (*This was my first taste of power, bossing those girls around. Evil grin ;>
Anyway, for the Valentines Day Dance I got this bright idea to create a huge walking Valentine. You know the heart shape boxes filled with candy? Ruffles? Satin? Bright red color?
I figured we could make a great big cardboard heart and decorate it and fit a person in it and they could walk around the dance. How cool is that?
Of course, being 16-17 years old we all thought that the person inside should be a girl with sexy tights and high heels on. You wouldn't be able to see the person inside, but the person could look out of the costume to move around.
Since it was my bright idea and I didn't have a boyfriend to go to the dance with, I volunteered to be the "mascot".
Now picture this. I'm 5'8". Add some heels and a huge Valentines Heart Box on top of you. I must've cleared 6'5" at least. Pretty awkward.
But you should have seen the excitement when I got into the dance. I was a hit. Everybody was talking and clapping and some of the guys wanted to dance with the Valentine. I was thrilled.
People would ask "Who's in there?" and I didn't respond at first. After a few dances though, this thing got hot and heavy pretty quick. I was tired and just wanted to wrap it up and when a group of girls asked who was inside, I let my ego over-ride my good sense. I told them who it was.
Guess they didn't like the answer.
They started shoving me and spinning me around and the next thing you know I've got bloody knees and ripped hose and a broken heel. I got help getting out of there from a few of the girls who had helped create the heart.
I was really frustrated and pissed off. Sweaty too.
"Why did they do that?" I asked my crew.
"Well, you do have really great legs and I guess they didn't like all the attention you were getting from the guys."
"Really?" (I'm now thrilled that the guys thought that I was a hottie.)
I learned my second lesson that night. If people don't know who you are than you can be just about anything you want to be.
When SM and I were dating, Valentine's Day would come up and he did his manly duty.
He got me the roses that died the next day. ("I like daisy's just fine.")
The expensive candy in the heart shaped box. ("M&M's are fine by me.")
And the cheesy Halmark card. ("Just tell me you love me.")
Yep. I'm a "guy's gal."
This guys gal.
Happy VD to all!