I think it needs to be said that I was basically a boy for the better part of my youth. I was a young tomboy, and not in the way Joey Potter from Dawson’s Creek or P.J. from My Boys were. I was not a lithe and graceful low-maintenance beauty who could prance around in t-shirts, jeans, and no make up and look like I belonged on a magazine cover. I was not fresh-faced and good to go with just a berry lipstick trotted out on special occasions. I was awkward and frizzy-haired with hips and breasts at a young age, taller than everyone, routinely putting on 20 pounds before a growth spurt in which I sprouted up 4 inches. My guy friends weren’t attracted to me, didn’t harbor secret crushes on me, and didn’t end up as my friends-with-benefits (aside from those one or two sloppy, drunken bad ideas).
This was so much the case that I actually had one of my friends say, “Yeah, you’re a girl, but I don’t really think of you as one. So you don’t count.” (Cha-ching. That was like 6 years’ worth of therapy right there. Dude, you owe me one big fat check. Or a massive cocktail.) But the cool thing about it – besides having wonderful friends and pressure-free escorts to any last minute events – was that I eventually got to experience how guys talk to each other when all the girls leave the room. Most of you girls think you know what that sounds like, but trust me -you don’t. I heard the shocking, the ugly, the depressing, the infuriating, and even the surprisingly poignant. It was… educational. Sort of. It certainly was ethnographic, at the very least.