I’ve always been a guy’s girl. Not the alphabet-belching, screaming-at-televised-quarterbacks, Dutch-oven-ing kind; I love looking and feeling feminine, and my periodic “high-volume coaching” of televised boxers and childish inability to walk away from an arm-wrestling challenge remain purely coincidental.
By guy’s girl, I mean the girl whose social circle heavily skews toward the peen. With few exceptions, men are just so breathtakingly simple: words generally mean what they say, actions typically speak for themselves, and game-playing requires actual equipment.
Which is really just another way of saying I’M that simple. A few of my extremely basic tenets:
- Compliments should be liberally spread, but flattery is transparent bullshit.
- “Silent treatments” should be the sole purvey of mimes.
- Sincerity is worlds less exhausting than phoniness, but total honesty frequently requires shuttin’ yer yap. (Or in my case, my entire face, because apparently there’s an LED ticker on it streaming every asinine thought.)
- Nuance, allusion and symbolism, while literary gold, have no place in human interactions. No amount of sloppily executed chores, half-hearted thanks or late arrivals will ever add up to grand interpersonal truths about Respect, Appreciation or Commitment.
- What NASCAR is to culture, WWE is to sport, and “Dancing With the Stars” is to art? That’s what Valentine’s Day is to romance.
- Actually, I DON’T want to talk about the relationship. Talking about the relationship is antithetical to having the relationship. You know how occasionally you find me on the bathroom floor, scrubbing that crud at the base of the toilet with a little toothbrush? I would rather use that brush in a self-administered Pap smear than talk about the relationship.
Now while such beliefs aren’t purely of the XY persuasion, finding a woman who shared them and a riotous sense of humor was proving increasingly elusive. In truth, I’d effectively given up on ever having a serious lady friend until one fateful morning, Amanda walked into the Five Point Cafe.
For the uninitiated, the Five Point is a 24-hour joint in the shadow of the Space Needle that, on a good day, aspires to dive-bar status. The location, menu and vibe consistently ensure the strangest confluence of customers (bikers, hipsters, hardcore drunks and hungry-but-horrified tourists), and the after-hours crowd is invariably more of a crush. So Daron and I stuck to daylight hours there, getting dressed every Sunday morning like faithful observers for services at the Five Point, where the jukebox was stellar and the drinks so strong your tab should’ve come with an 800-number for Poison Control.
And one Sunday morning, Lars walked in with Amanda and Emily, who were visiting for a few days from Salt Lake and Minneapolis respectively, and before the end of the first round it was TOTAL GIRL-CRUSH LOVE. Mandy and Emily were razor-smart, rapier-tongued, snarky and sweet, and why Daron hadn’t gotten us all together before was a loudly debated mystery. That day many years back, we bonded over self-deprecating humor, music and pop culture, and the talents of our bartender Gene.
By which I mean holding each other upright each time the blood flow to our ladybits made us swoon AT THE MERE SIGHT OF GENE.
Ahem (composing self). Simply put, Amanda and Emily were my first indisputable assurances that adult women need not be categorically frivolous, petty, man-slagging machines. These chicks were cocky, wise, and wildly self-confident, and as we walked out of the Five Point together that day, all I could think was, “Finally, women with BALLS!”
So every opportunity to spend time with both or either Mandy or Em has been an unmitigated (and unexpected) joy, a feeling that years of distance and change has only served to reinforce. And now that Amanda and I are both moms, the solidarity is exponentially fierce, if only because we’ve already spent a lifetime trying to reason with ill-behaved mental midgets, and now it’s OUR JOB.
Also, thanks to Mike and a mess of frozen organic pizza, we got a swell night out at the BalMar, sipping grown-up cocktails and solving all our friends’ problems and hammering out a stopgap Israel-Palestine solution. And talking in the shorthand that I share with too few women.
“What’s his story?”
“He needs a kick in the pussy.”
“What’s her story?”
Or about a mutual friend with Dickensian dental issues: “Do you think kissing him is like getting too close to a Komodo dragon?” Then, in unison, “It’s not the bite that kills you, IT’S THE BACTERIA…!”
Love you, Mandy. And to all the women who can only aspire to your awesomeness I say, “Ladies, grow a set.”