I grew up thinking maybe I was a little different then my other girl friends. I wasn’t into makeup, I wasn’t into guys and was in no rush to start dating, and I didn’t think guys were hunks or so fine. It just wasn’t me, and I think this might have turned off some of my female friends who were into those types of subjects.
I was more interested in rolling down hills head first, playing soccer with the guys, not changing in gym because I was more interested in sitting out or playing in my own clothes, and in general talking about manly things. When I got older I was more interested in getting rough with guys or having bottle rocket wars with guys (highly recommend this exciting ‘sport’), but I found myself being told that was a guy thing and the women sit on the sidelines and watch. Hey, I want to shoot bottle rockets, please? I honestly think it had a lot to do with the way my family raised me and included me in all the conversations when I was younger, good or bad. I was also the one holding the stuff for my father when I was younger while he worked on the car’s so I heard all the manly conversations.
It may also have something to do with my parents encouraging non-girly things. Either way, to this day I still can’t have these conversations and I find myself drifting off in my mind or unconsciously walking away from the conversations while they are happening. I just can’t do gab fests or girl conversations. It might have to do with the conversations starting off innocently enough and evolving into a bad Day Time Soap Opera story line.
But this tends to make people upset when I just get up while they are talking. And I have really tried hard but I still find myself going ‘God, if I have to hear about Andrea’s divorce one more time…‘ or ‘Great, here comes the reasons why Gabe is soooo fine, AGAIN!’ The thing that sucks for me though is I care about the people talking so much, but yet I can’t relate on their level, I’ve never worried about the clothes I need to wear to impress guys, or the right makeup to wear to catch a guy’s eye. I’ve always let the chips fall into place and let things happen naturally. I think this might be why I had so many guy friends in high school compared to girls. I was one of the guys. I wanted to drive around and play cards rather then go on dates or worry about my prom dress.
But I have found some ways to actually hold conversations with people and still get interested in the conversation at hand. I will listen to the important stuff and try to interject my opinion, briefly, on the topic at hand. If it starts turning into Way’s to have sex or I’m going to wear a tube top to the club tomorrow so you know who will notice me, I blank out the, in my opinion, unnecessary parts of the conversation. But I try to pull in enough information so that I can repeat what I heard back and give a brief opinion of it.
Conversations about certain women things I can talk at length about, like children. I don’t have any yet but I love to talk about buying baby clothes or the cute things babies do. But I have a bad habit also of interjecting parts other women probably don’t want to go into, like when my good friend had her first daughter she talked about how it was a beautiful experience and it was so wonderful, and as much as I was interested in it I ended up saying ‘Yeah, but were you doing a lot of pushing and screaming?‘ That might have been the guy in me kicking in.
Honestly I think my sister-in-law Beccie is the closest I have come to someone who knows what I am going through. I told her how I couldn’t hold a girl conversation and that when I was younger I wasn’t interested in all the girly pomp that goes with a wedding and she said to me, ‘You know Lisa, I always thought dad was going to walk Eve down the aisle so it wouldn’t matter if I ran off and got married in a black mini skirt and combat boots’. My other sister-in-law married on the spur of the moment so Beccie gave in so my father-in-law could have a aisle moment with one of his daughters. My wedding would probably have been in a white slip on in bare feet on the beach, but I got the girly wedding in the end.
A few more tips I have found helpful to me are keeping the conversations short but flowing. The information I take in I tend to elaborate on to show I did listen to the good parts but I keep the parts I wasn’t listening to out of the conversation all together. I also tend to leave out strong opinions, and if it’s a conversation about religion or politics I tune out altogether. I think I covered children before, so there are only a few things I will talk about. I hate interrupting people, especially if I am tuning out the bad parts.
Sometimes though even though I am listening to the important parts of the conversation I still get a rude response from someone who I’m guessing wanted me to hear all the juicy parts instead of the relevant parts, so I just ignore it. Or if someone interrupts me, which happens, I’ll ignore it and strike up a conversation with someone else. I also hate complaining, especially if it’s about a guy not performing well enough in bed. Yes, these are women conversations men, and they will talk about you the same way you talk about us!
Now, for those out there that know me and think they can’t include me in their conversations anymore, you’re wrong. I am more then happy to be a listener and if someone needs a shoulder to cry on then I absolutely open myself up to the whole conversation and listen to even the juicy details. I just have a tendency to not know what to say, so don’t feel like I wasn’t listening, I’m just bad at giving opinions sometimes. Either that or you might get the guy answer which might be, ‘I told you she was a psycho crazy *expletive*‘. Just know that I don’t do the juiciest gossip stuff anymore but will always be there for the juicy bits when you need a shoulder to cry on. Or the guy in me might help you plot revenge!