Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cecily vs. Girl World

My Dear Reader,

Most girls don't like me.

Mind you, this is not an emotional conclusion; it's a logical one. I have always struggled to have friends of my own gender, but as a kid, being friends with girls means playing Barbies, and Barbies were boring. Climbing on top of the roof and reading the most recent Baby Sitters Club book was, in my young opinion, a much better way to spend an afternoon.

Oh, right. Most girls don't like me because I'm really weird. Darn.

But when you're seven years old, climbing on the roof was the most exciting thing that you could do, so I did it regularly. I also liked climbing really tall trees. Trees were better, actually, because the roof gets really hot in the summer Sacramento sun. Just so you know.

And I liked doing other exciting things, like riding my bike down the steep hill as fast as I could. Or catching bugs.* Or pretending to be a super hero. And while I was occasionally able to find girls who would come with me on my adventures, they usually didn't stick around for very long. So I had a lot of guy friends, and I got labeled a nerd and a tomboy, and it really didn't bother me much. I figured that the girly girls were just missing out.

As an adult, I know that I missed out on things, too. I still know hardly anything about makeup, clothes, or flirting, and I'm just starting to realize how that affects my (lack of) romantic life. Instead of seducing men with feminine wiles(?), I try to be comfortable and honest with them, which is apparently the worst dating strategy there is. There's also the part where I am super awkward and treat the guys I like as if they don't exist. I'm sure that's not helpful. My guy friends definitely failed to prepare me for that aspect of my life.

And while you would think that a life-long study of several prominent areas of geekdom and a long association with male geeks would come handy in the dating department, it does not. Geeky guys, in my experience, do not like geeky girls unless a) the geek girl is so deep in the geek closet that only he knows her level of geekery, or b) there are no other alternatives.** And there comes a point where if they don't want to date you, they don't really care to be friends with you, either.

So yeah. There were some drawbacks there.

It took a long time for me to develop friendships with women that were actually healthy. Like, where I didn't feel like some charity case. I was in my twenties before I was able to find other girls who were as interested in deep conversations and grand adventures as I am. And sure, I'm still weird. I'm the strangest person I know, really. But it turns out that when you grow up, you're able to find people who actually appreciate that. It turns out that every once in a while, you're not on the outside looking in.

And, believe it or not, the older I get, the more I start to think that certain feminine traits aren't really so bad.

Don't get me wrong; I still skip the boring stuff. I've never been the kind of girl who fits easily into any kind of box. And sure, that means that a lot of girls still don't like me. But some of them do, and I am so grateful for that. I'm grateful for the women in my life who understand that I do my own thing. And I'm grateful that I'm able to understand that they do theirs.

Understanding can be its own kind of adventure.

Regards, best wishes, and sappiness,

-Cecily Jane

*I was one of the best bug catchers the second grade has ever seen. Believe it.

**It's a sad reality. All of my fantasies about Star Trek date nights have been dashed to pieces. All of the time I spent watching every single episode and movie has apparently been a huge waste of time.

Wait, no it's not. Star Trek is awesome.