One of the guys

Peggy Olson:  I know what men think of you: That you’re looking for a husband, and you’re fun. And not in that order.
Joan Holloway: Peggy, this isn’t China. There’s no money in virginity.

I’ll never be one of the guys.

Why?

Do I even want to be?

I dunno.

It’s odd though.  I hear it from my guy friends all the time.  When they think a girl, possibly a friend, or the girlfriend of one of their buddies, is super cool…they say “she’s one of the guys.”

I guess that’s not even remotely close to what I’d want to “be” to any one of them. Or is it? After all, girls who are “one of the guys” never seem to have a problem attracting guys.  But still.  Here I am, past three decades of life, and I’ve realized…I’ll never be “one of the guys.”

It might be because I don’t have brothers and don’t know how to have a completely, 100% platonic friendship with a guy.  Ok, that’s huge.  And maybe something that’s a better topic to share with a close friend or a therapist.  But I dunno.  It’s weird when every guy you ever meet is a potential boyfriend, husband, lover.  I’ve never really known any that couldn’t be.  Besides male relatives of course.  But, I haven’t hung out with them enough to perfect the art.

Though I look at Joan Holloway…Joanie to Richard [Sterling]…you know, from Mad Men?  Now, if I were into girls…she’d be my #1 crush.  She’s sexy hot, curvy, feminine, but she dishes it out…just like the men.  She’s the only girl in the boardroom.  Seriously…even Peggy only goes in when she’s making a pitch to a client.  She’s not afraid of speaking her mind.  She knows how to put people in their place…matter of factly.  Perhaps I watch a lot of Mad Men…it’s true. I’m obsessed with their 1960s’ complexities.  How women are only secretaries.  Yet even in this world, I call places and people assume I’m the secretary.  Still!

But if I could be a Joan…I’d be thrilled.  That’s not to say she’s got it all figured out. She obviously married the wrong guy.  Well, he was the first good one to ask.  She makes mistakes, falls back in to old habits, but never truly exposes her vulnerabilities.  Is that what makes her the type of guyish girl I’d want to be? Because I relate?

But Joan…she relates to Marilyn Monroe.   I mean, remember when she was laying on Roger’s couch, dabbing her eyes?  Roger had to assure her that she wouldn’t end up alone and in despair…like Marilyn had.  Yes.  Like Marilyn had.  Marilyn…one of the sexiest, most feminine, admired women of our pop culture history.  She’d ended up alone, and in despair.

Yet what did Joan want most out of life? To be a well-off housewife.  The ultimate goal of her existence.  And she was pained to think she could possibly be bored, lonely, and miserable as one. Is that the sad fate of a femme fatale? Someone sassy and bold…who never stops being a woman?  Does she end up bored, lonely…in misery?

But I’m not even close to being as strong as Joan.  Unlike her, I have a way of looking at guys, with these puppy dog eyes, a way that makes them feel like they’re more to me than they really are.  It’s not intentional.  But it’s real. A guy once told me, “Don’t look at me with those eyes…” and I thought “What eyes?” No really.  He was accusing me of flirting with my eyes.  I wasn’t.  Honestly.  I didn’t have feelings for him.  Though, I have to admit, the first time we met, I thought maybe I could.  How telling….

Let’s break it down…I read chick lit.  I smell like vanilla.  I don’t wear baseball caps.  I don’t give “thumbs ups”.  I’m scared of the dumbest things. I have a way of whining, that only girls can perfect.  I am sensitive.  Emotional.  I cry…not enough, but I do.  I like having colorful fingernails, long hair, carrying clutches and wearing cute earrings.  I don’t watch sports.  And I don’t really care about them (unless a boy I like does).

I’m educated, independent, and successful.  Yet, I’m not a feminist.

But let’s explore some more.  I’m dramatic.  “Boys” aren’t.  I try too hard.  “Guys” don’t.  I’m not elusive.  And if, for some reason, I’m hard to pin down…it’s probably cuz I’m holding out.  I don’t drink like a fish. No, seriously.  One or two drinks and I’m good.  Better than good.  I seem high maintenance…(I’m totally not…but I’m perceived that way….).  Apparently, guys don’t like that.   I seem like I’d get grossed out easily…but I don’t. I swear.

So what is it that makes a girl “one of the guys” and that makes me the girl who can’t be there “without being there”…? I stand out…as a girl? I speak up…like a girl? It also doesn’t help that have the voice of a little girl.

But it’s important to note that I lose all my wit and intelligence around boys [I like].  I get flustered.  Really.  I forget how astute, calculated, and bright I can be.  Bottom line, I stop acting like myself.  And that makes me a girl.  A girly girl.  A girl’s girl.

My bestie once told a guy I was dating that he was a girl’s man.  Ya know…the opposite of a man’s man.  Sure he smoked cigars, drank stiff cocktails, and wore suits every day.  But he opened doors, ordered for me at restaurants, served me off communal plates, walked on the traffic side of the street, didn’t care a lick about athletics, and enjoyed drama.  Maybe that’s why I liked him.  The way manly men like girls who are “one of the guys.”

And that’s ok.  Like Katy Perry said…”I wanna be one of the girls…pretty in pearls, and not one of the boys.”

 

Photo credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/19/christina-hendricks-joan-_n_879910.html

 

©2012, Leegal Deeva.  All rights reserved.

“you and me” (in parallel universes)

I read once about this philosopher from the 1800s named William James, and he came up with this theory about “the multiverse”.  Basically, in the multiverse, there’s a set of multiple universes comprising just about everything that can possibly exist at the same time.

So…the entirety of space, time, matter and energy is all happening at once in different timelines.  Parallel universes.  Sorta like the final season of LOST.

Get it?

Ok! So, let’s pretend the multiverse is real.

Well then, maybe somewhere in those infinite universes is one, or several, where you love me.  Maybe I’m not just your friend.  Maybe we hold hands when we walk out in public.  And maybe, we still say “I love you” before we hang up the phone.

Maybe in one of these universes, we’ve been married for 10 years.  We have a daughter, she’s 5.  And a son who’s 2.  Maybe I cook dinner for you every night.  I pick up your dry cleaning.  You wear a suit, and you go to work.  We send people Christmas cards that have our pictures on them.  We smile.  We introduce one another to people as “my husband” and “my wife”…we go to bed together every night, in our house.  The one I decorated.  I think it’s too traditional.  You are upset with me because you think that it’s too contemporary.  But as I look over at you, laying there, looking at me, we share a small peck on the lips and “good night.” Maybe that’s us.

Or maybe, in another universe, we have a torrid love affair.  You spend the night in my bed almost every night.  We spend entire days together, entire nights, our fingers are intertwined, our legs are tangled up, and there is no space between us when we lay beside each other.  We are so consumed by one another that it’s like a thirst that can’t be quenched, a fire that can’t be quelled.  We live with and in each other.  Endlessly.  And no one knows us.   At least not the real us.  We don’t know how we survive.  No one does.  All that matters is you and me, together. Maybe that’s us, too.

Maybe in another universe, I’m living in Japan.  I’m a corporate attorney for the Lexus division of the Toyota Motor Corp.  Maybe I wear a skirt suit every day, and stilettos.  Maybe my hair dries straight, and I’m skinny.  I speak Japanese fluently and I see you twice a year when I visit “home.”  Maybe you live in Los Angeles.  Maybe you aimlessly date.  You haven’t found the “one”.  You’re discontent.  Maybe I am, too.  But I don’t admit it.  Maybe I call you when I get off the bullet train.  Or maybe I sit on my pallet bed and we Skype, as I hold a cup of green tea in my hands.  We laugh.  We never flirt.  We’re friends.  We encourage each other.  Listen to frustrations.  Give advice.  You visit me.  You try to convince me to move back home.  I laugh it off knowing I’d never be happy in LA.  You miss having me as a friend in the same city.  But I know it would never make a difference where I was.  We’d still be the same. Hey, maybe that’s really us.

Or…maybe in another universe, we’re 25.  We take a vacation to Europe.  We pose for pictures on the beach.  I’m in a neon bathing suit, you’re wearing swim trunks.  We’re so tan.  There’s sand–glistening like gold–on my shoulders and my hair is dripping wet.  We kiss as you hold up the camera to capture it.  Our friends think we’re great together.  But we realize we’re better apart.  And maybe we break up, maybe we stay friends, and maybe we attend one another’s weddings.  Or maybe we just pretend we are acquaintances.  And that’s ok.  Because we aren’t co-dependent.  We don’t talk every day.  We don’t ever admit that we miss each other. Sure, we remember the past…but we don’t live in it.  And maybe that’s cool, cuz it’s healthy.  Maybe, that could be us.

Or maybe, I’m 37.  And we make a mistake.  One crazy, random, strange hookup and I find myself having your baby.   You’re shocked.  We’re confused.  We don’t know what to do.  But still, you manage to be there…in that room, as I scream in pain.  Bittersweet.  ‘Cuz I had to do this.  I mean, maybe I’ll never have another chance to be a “Mom”.  And though you don’t want to be my husband, maybe you’ll be her Dad, anyway.  You bring a teddy bear, a giant one.  There are flowers.  Impeccable flower arrangements.  You hold my hand. You kiss my forehead.  I cry.   I’ve always wanted her.  But not like this.  And there you are.  With me.  But we’re not together.  Is that us?

Image

Maybe I’m 19 and you’re 20.  You love me.  You do nice things for me.  You send me care packages at school.  You fly out to see me.  We kiss.  We cuddle.  We go to fancy dinners.  You buy me gifts.  I am undecided about you.  You’re too nice.  And frankly, I’m not sure if you’re the type of guy I want to spend the rest of my life with.  I begin to resent you.   You’re too sweet.  You’re too good to me.  And, I’m just not used to it.  I begin to think I really don’t deserve you.  It’s so sad.  I know.  I break up with you.  You never really recover.  Although I can’t do better than you, I’m relieved to be single, to be on the search for someone else.  Someone who’ll roughen me up a little.  And maybe he and I won’t have as many things in common; maybe he won’t know my heart like you do. Maybe he and I will never talk like you and I did.  But maybe that’s what I need.  And so I break your heart.  Maybe that’s me (and you).

Or maybe we’re 70.  And we have five grandchildren.  We sit on our swing and have tea in the mornings.  I enjoy gardening.  You read newspapers and invest in the stock market.  We wear walking shoes and go to farmers’ markets.  We’ve had a happy life.  We never run out of things to say to each other.  You’re my best friend and I’m yours.  I put my head on your shoulder as we watch the sunset together.  Though you hold my wrinkled hand, it’s still beautiful to you because you’ve held it for 50 years.  And there’s nothing more that we could ever want.  The thought that one of us could ever live in this universe without the other is unimaginable. That’s us.

Maybe in another universe, you really loved me the way I wished you would.  Just not in this one.

 

©2012, Leegal Deeva.  All rights reserved.