A couple of weeks ago I read Buster Blonde’s article, Girl Haters I am on to You, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head.
She did an excellent job of breaking down the idea that all girls are jealous of each other, but I think there’s more to the story. I didn’t have a lot of girl friends until I was close to 30, but I would never, in a million years, say it was because they were all jealous of me. I had the opposite problem. Girls scared the crap out of me.
I am, by nature, a shy person. I have learned how to pretend that I am not so I can fake it around new people until I am comfortable, though there are still some social situations that bring me out in cold sweats. I am also kind of a tomboy. I am more comfortable holding a hammer than a hairdryer and probably always will be. Add to this a few “well-intentioned” remarks from popular girls in middle school like “You know, you’d be really pretty if you wore some make-up.” Mix it all up and you get a bad case of girlophobia and the belief that you just don’t know how to talk to other girls.
I always had a girl friend or two, there is a sort of socially-awkward gravitational field that attracts like to like, but I never had a group of friends I could hang out with and be girly. One of my best memories from college is the night I went to my friend Michelle’s house where a group of us tried out blue mud face masks, ate ice cream and heckled Miss America contestants on TV. I treasure that night because I had never done anything like that before. Sadly, by then my walls had been in place for so long that I still couldn’t let go of the idea that I didn’t know how to have girl friends.
So what changed? I met my husband. He can make friends with anyone and he has a few close female friends from high school. It was really important to him that I like them, and that they like me. So I did my very best to get to know them and I discovered something amazing. You can talk to girls the same way you talk to boys. Even better, you can talk to girls about boys. It was like a whole new world.
These days the only time my girlophobia creeps up is when I have to meet the parents of my children’s friends. I fear Betty Crocker moms. However, I have found that if you take the time to talk to to them, they aren’t so scary. The most flawless facade can conceal a sense of humor that would make a sailor blush.
I think my train of thought got derailed. The point I wanted to make was that not all “girl-haters” are crazy bitches. Some of us are just shy. If you think you can’t make friends with a girl, just give it a try. It’s not as hard as you think. Girl friends are an essential part of life. If nothing else, they will stop you from leaving the house with spinach in your teeth and they’ll tell you you’re not really crazy when PMS has left you feeling like a raving lunatic.