Editors note: I'm still sick and trying to find a good use for all my snot. While I'm doing that, I decided to be lazy and post a column I wrote when I used to be at the newspaper, before I left, and then came back again (confused yet?). I chose this one after an e-mail conversation with Helena in which we discovered we were kindred spirits because we weren't very "girlie" and didn't go into spasms of joy when we went to the mall. So this one, Helena, is for you.
It's not that I'm growing a beard, or have the urge to scratch my butt in public. But I have definitely found that in some areas of my life, I have more in common with the smellier sex than the fairer sex.
What's scary is that I'm not ashamed of this. In fact, I like my "inner guy."
For example, I don't like wimpy or mushy movies, like "The English Patient" or "The Notebook." I don't want to sit on the couch and blubber like an idiot, or be upset, when I'm supposed to be entertained. Life is upsetting enough.
When I'm trying to relax, I want mindless entertainment. I don't want to be forced to get in touch with my "feelings" or to "think" about how life can suck, does suck or will suck. Give me some action, a good cops-and-robbers flick, or something that makes me laugh. And if I get to see Brad Pitt's naked tush in the process, all the better!
I also don't shop like your typical girl. Instead, I shop like most guys shop - only when I need something, and only where I feel comfortable.
Don't get me wrong, I love to buy stuff. I just don't understand the concept of spending all day at the mall, wandering from shop to shop to see what strikes my fancy. I don't have time and I don't have the patience for it. I also don't like being that close to humanity for any extended length of time.
I'm a purposeful shopper. I love new clothes, but I don't like trying them on or paying a lot of money for them. I've learned to like two or three stores, ones I know have stuff that fits me. So I go to those stores only, buy what I need, and sign up to receive their mailers that announce when they have their big sales, so I know when to get the best deal.
There are other typical "girly" things that I try to avoid. Going to the bathroom in groups. Sharing my most intimate secrets with my hair dresser. Crying in public.
On the other hand, I've been known to cancel plans because I'd rather watch sports, lay on the couch and drink beer. I've eaten chili out of a can, not called a guy back for more than a week, and smelled my clothes to see if they were still clean enough to wear.
I think these traits have a lot to do with why most of my close friends are guys. I tend to understand guys better. Guys are much more straightforward than women, who tend to be conniving and competitive, especially in groups. You don't have to wonder what a guy is "really" feeling, or if he may be mad at you. Buy him a pizza, and he pretty much is your best friend. This I can relate to. When you buy a girl a pizza, you risk her being upset because you forgot she was on a diet.
At least it used to be that simple. The problem is, today's "guys" are a lot more "girly" than they used to be.
I've noticed a lot of my guy friends call up to talk about their relationships these days, or to share their feelings. And they seem miffed when I try to change the subject to the Kings-Lakers game. They're even going to the salon now, and sharing their secrets with their hair dresser or manicurist. One of my more macho friends was even watching "Beaches" when I called him the other night. It might have been my imagination, but I think he was crying.
Even my husband has fallen victim to this trend. When I come home from work now, he wants us to talk about our day. I appreciate his interest, but sometimes I just want to watch "The Simpsons" and eat my dinner.
Don't get me wrong - I'm happy we've finally evolved as a society to the point where women are more independent and men are more in touch with their feelings. It's just a little confusing sometimes.
Maybe I'll go get a six-pack and lay around in my underwear to think about it. After all, I hear there's a Rambo marathon on the tube tonight.