Thursday, March 29, 2007

Story 5: Reflections On Girl-Crushes

I wrote in Story 1 about being so consumed by ambitions and a music obsession that I didn't really notice guys or girls. I also mentioned that I had more boy friends and preferred to hang out with boys. But there was this one year or two, when I was in junior high, that I did hang out with some girls, also. In 7th grade, I actually hung out with quite a bit of my class.

And I must clarify that, for me, "hanging out" basically ended when school let out--I was friends with people in school but not outside of it, for the most part. I would talk to kids on the phone (I had way too much for a kid my age, including my own telephone line), but that was it. My mother is anti-social and anti-people (and, yes, that has kind of rubbed off on me), and by 6th grade I was defeated...I knew that she didn't want to deal with kids at our house or with taking me to another kid's house. My mother was also overprotective, so she wasn't going to let me walk to another kid's house.

So I had three groups of kids to hang with, as far as I can remember. Naturally, I had the most fun with the boys. There were these two white boys who were really good friends, and they would always talk about--ding, ding, ding--music. During that time, we had just gotten the best radio station my hometown has ever known and will ever know. Alternative rock music was just blowing up, but I had been kind of into it even beforehand by watching some of the shows MTV had dedicated to that genre. So, we got that station, and it was playing The Cranberries, 10000 Maniacs, Belly, Hole, Soundgarden, Nirvana, Soul Asylum, Smashing Pumpkins...just stuff like that.

At this time, I was attending a school that was very mixed both black and white, so there were plenty of black people around to think I was crazy for liking that music. But the two white boys and I would just talk about music all the time, and they would bring CDs to school and let me make copies. And our teacher was cool, too--he loved that music, as well, so he would talk to us about some of these artists. I loved to read, too, and he noticed that because I read all the time during class, even when I was supposed to be listening to the teacher (it's kind of crazy to get yelled at for reading in class). I remember he mentioned this one book to me by my favorite author at that time and said I could read it someday when I get older...because it was a more sexual book...and I was like.......because I had already read it. ;)

Hey, it was my favorite author! I wanted to read everything by her!

I think when two people are really close, sometimes people don't understand that. So, even though I was kind of like their third, the two white boys got a little teasing about being gay and liking each other. I really don't think they were gay. But in this same class, I got just a tad of the same thing with this girl who was kind of my friend--I'll just call her Lynn.

This leads me to the second group, which was a group of black girls. Oh, wow...a group of black girls. I just took a big sigh. They were ruthless. I tend to block bad experiences out, so I don't remember as many details about my "friendship" with them as I do about my friendship with the white boys, or even with the white girls who consist of the third group of friends I had. I just remember these were the kind of girls who pretend to be friends with you, but they say bad things about you behind your back and pit you against other girls in the group by telling them lies. People would always try to tell me it's about jealousy. I was smart, I had "nice hair," teachers liked me, I was light-skinned. I don't know, and I don't care what it was about--these little girls were bitches.

There was always this battle between these girls and me over Lynn. I think they didn't like or want Lynn and me being good friends. So they would lie and act possessive over Lynn, and it essentially worked, or so it seemed. So I focused more on the white boys and the white girls. I didn't want to be friends with the other black girls, necessarily, but I did want to be friends with Lynn. I could tell that she wasn't the typical, trouble-making black girl. And when I think about it now, I realize that Lynn was probably my first interest in a girl...but that's something that took so long to realize. Back then, I used to think about her as I laid in bed trying to get to sleep.

So, for some reason, this group of white girls in the class embraced me as their friend and accepted me into their group. I think they were the kind of kids who really wanted to have, like, a babysitter's club/TV kind of group friendship, so a lot of the time that's how they acted. It was really cool, because I'd never had anything like that. And, to look at them, these weren't the kind of girls who would have a good black friend. They were just very blonde, blue eyes, thin, except for one who was known for looking like a little blue-eyed Julia Roberts. They discussed country music songs quite a bit, and so I started listening to the country radio stations. And so, for years, my favorite music was alternative rock and country. How opposite. I remember telling the white girls I liked country music and their not believing me. They quizzed me and asked me what my favorite country station was and what country artists/songs I liked. But I was prepared for the quiz and passed.

A couple of the girls really seemed to like me, so I got closer to some of them than others. Michelle and I used to talk all through class and get yelled at. Winter and I used to sit in class and just write notes back and forth to each other, and she started calling me all the time. Julia Jr. invited me to a slumber party at her house. But Winter tried really hard to be my friend and even started considering me her best friend, and so I tried hard to replace Lynn with Winter. But something just wasn't the same. I still tried to be friends with Lynn, but it was hard because she acted kind of icy towards me. I thought maybe it was because I was close to white girls, or maybe because of some of the things the black girls were telling her, or both.

Where I'm from, people move in waves to the same few areas. Generally, white people start running first. Then the black people follow. So a couple of the girls in my white group started moving away. Winter moved during the school year, and Julia Jr. moved during the summer, I believe. Winter didn't move to one of the hotspot places at that time, though, but Julia did. I was one of the relatively few blacks who moved with the whites. I went from being one of the richest kids at my school to being one of the "poorest" kids at my white high school a year after I moved, because we moved to a rich white suburb. I tried to keep in touch with Lynn, but she acted like she didn't want to talk to me and as if she was upset that I moved. I gave up.

When I was in my first year of college, I got a phone call on my parents' phone line. I was home for Christmas break, I believe, but I still had my own phone line in my bedroom. It was Lynn. I think I was 18, so, at this time, I liked a girl and understood that I liked her in a "lesbian" way. But I still wasn't far removed enough from how I grew up to really understand lesbianism, bisexuality or anything like that. I still didn't know whether or not my liking a girl meant I was bisexual or a lesbian, because she was the first one whom I liked and understood that I liked at the same time, unlike with Lynn.

It's hard to explain. But there were these white girls at college who would flirt with me, and I still didn't really "get" it, maybe because I wasn't thinking of girls sexually at that time, for the most part. I think any other queer woman would have reacted to a cute girl undressing in front of you on purpose, throwing her clothes at you, placing herself in your lap, kissing you on the forehead. Alas, you're talking about me, a woman who is about as dense as most men are. I just wasn't very "gay" back then, and I do like women more now than I used to...which is probably disadvantageous. Other than the fact that more people are partnered up now, I think people--particularly women--like you better when you're harder to get. I also got hit on more, by both guys and girls, when I was wearing my hair in its naturally curly form rather than straightening it like I do now. Hmmm...ideas...

So when Lynn started going on and on over the phone about being harassed at her college because of her friendship with another girl we grew up with in the early years, being called a lesbian, etc, and telling me she's not a lesbian...again, I missed the boat. Even more of an alert should have been how she mentioned her and her friend having arguments that were related to me...

We went to the movies, and I did notice she was a little on the more masculine side. She's not butch. She's not feminine, and she never has been. But she was in this big SUV, blasting rap music, one hand on the steering wheel and kind of laid-back "chillin"...and just the way she dressed and talked...I should have been thinking about it. The whole thing was awkward to me, because I was essentially with someone I didn't really know and who had a different personality than mine...a kind I didn't really deal with since I was used to white people at that time. And I think back then, I was more feminine, so the contrast was greater.

So she called me a couple times after that and e-mailed me, as well. One time when she called, my father wanted me to get off their phone because I think he was waiting for a phone call. I told her I'd call her back, but I didn't. And she called a couple days later and, with a bit of an attitude, pointed out that I didn't call her back and asked why not. Remember, I'm still clueless here. So I think I went back to school, and she sent this weird e-mail apologizing. I remember responding something to the effect of not knowing why she was apologizing, because I really didn't. I just knew it wasn't over the phone thing, because she wasn't over-the-top or anything when she asked why I didn't call back. And after that, we didn't really communicate anymore.

A bit later...maybe a year or two...I started thinking about whether or not she was a lesbian. I got online to the site where her e-mail account was and pulled up her profile. Boom--she had it all over her profile that she was, in fact, a lesbian. What can I say--I'm a dumbass.

Here's what I think--and given that I'm so stupid, I could be totally wrong:

I think that when we were kids, she let the other girls pull her away from me and/or pulled herself away because she was more clued in than I was and was probably kind of freaked out by it. We probably liked each other back then. But it seems like she didn't get over it, and I did. Knowing that she didn't get over it, Lynn and her "friend"--who probably really was her girlfriend or, at least, playmate--probably argued about it. Lynn called, trying to get a feel for whether or not I was into girls. Being as duh as I was back then, I wasn't giving off any of those signs. So she gave up.

Even had I known or if she contacted me today, I could never date her. I'm kind of bitter about what happened in the past--I don't care what the reasons why were. I don't like the way I was treated by her, and I would probably want to spit in all the other black girls' faces if I saw them again. When she called me during college, I was so...whatever about the whole thing. If we hung out, that was fine. If we didn't, that was fine. I really didn't care anymore, and I wasn't excited to hear from her. I'm sure she picked up on that, too, not that I'm a person who ever acts excited about anything...I don't. But things definitely weren't working out however she wanted them to.

She's also just not my type. As mentioned several times on this blog, I like really feminine women, for some reason. As far as other's so hard to explain. You know, in the environments I've been in since leaving home, it's as if year after year the people sound dorkier and dorkier. I'm just around nerds all the time. And as irritating as sounding overly-intellectual is to me, it's better than sounding under-intellectual. Now, Lynn is smart and has always been smart. But her speech is just not the best.

And I hate to say it, but people where I'm from just tend not to stack up against the rest of the nation intellectually. The college I attended and the law school I attend are a big deal to a lot of people from there, because most people from there just don't go to schools like these...they can't. I would almost argue the need for affirmative action on the basis of geography. White people whine about blacks getting into schools with low test scores, as if we're just dumber than everyone else. But where I'm from, almost everyone made low scores...even many of the privileged white kids. And my LSAT score is not only in the top percentiles period and the top 10 percentile for blacks across the country, but I would bet it's in the top percentiles for everyone taking the LSAT from my area. Compared to the rest of the country, we're not that privileged. I've had the opportunity to see that there are so many people from other regions who got a vastly better education than I did, had and knew about more resources than I did and were in environments where it was understood that they were to attend a really good school.

I know Lynn was pre-med, so I hope she stuck with it and went on to medical school...though I can't imagine her being a doctor, especially with the way she speaks. I really shouldn't be talking about it, because I know I am nowhere near as nerdy-sounding as people around my current school are. I also don't like when people speak with vulgarity and curse words. I curse a bit, but it makes me uncomfortable in general and I try not to do it too much. I know she has been kind of vulgar in the past. I wish her well, but I'm completely over the crush I had on her.