The Guy’s Girl Dilema

Awhile ago, on a typical Friday at work around 6 pm, I was taking 2 minutes to quickly do my nails because I was going out after. From the time I was 8 I’ve loved nail polish and have perfected the two minute manicure. I could put polish on my nails in my sleep. Franz has witnessed this as I quickly put a coat on while a cab is waiting downstairs. As I was putting on my vibrant red, chugging a beer (office beer Fridays…) and cursing about some issue I was complaining about, a female co-worker starred at me in awe and said “Julia, you’re like the most girliest guy I know”.

To me there is a big difference between being a “guy’s girl” and “friends with guys”. I am a girl who hangs with dudes, but definitely not a guy’s girl. People tend to lump any girl who has dudes as her best friends in the “guy’s girl” category.┬áThis also means they stereotype other things if you’re the only girl in a group of guys. You don’t like girly drinks. You like watching sports. You like one night stands. You don’t want a relationship. You’re gonna hate any girls that said dude friends date. I’ve had these plagued on me ever since I was 12 and suddenly found myself hanging out with a group of 3 boys that became my best friends all throughout high school and now are pretty much a part of my family to the point where we have matching tattoos.

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And to this day, my circle of friends consists mostly of dudes with the exception of my two female friends Alexis and Caely-Ann. But I am not a “guy’s girl”. Sure, I like whiskey over white wine and participating in beer chugging contests, but that’s as far as my male behaviour goes. I do not parade around in sweats and baseball caps, I like make-up and doing my hair and spending days at the spa. I like fancy clothes and pink martinis. I can sing along to Celine Dion songs and walk perfectly in heels all day with swagger. The only sport I like watching is soccer. Correction – I like watching figure skating and diving as well. But you will rarely see me at a live sporting event unless you promise me beer and oversized pretzels. Then I’m fucking there. I might curse like a sailor, drink you under the table and school you in music knowledge, but all these traits are just who I am, not things I do because I hang out with dudes.

My crew of dude BFF's in Vancouver

So how is it that I get along so well with the opposite sex instead of having a giggling group of gals as my BFF’s? Simple, my personality is more compatible with them. And here is where the big difference is – a girl can think she’s a “guy’s girl” because she loves hockey and only drinks beer but underneath she’s completely different and actually way more compatible with girls. She says she hates romantic comedies but secretly stashes them under her bed as to not get razzed by her dudes. She’ll say she doesn’t care, when she really, really does. I hate seeing this, and it’s very easy to spot a girl who thinks that acting like a dude means she loves hanging out with dudes. Doesn’t work like that. The main reason I started hanging with boys as a kid is because they made me laugh, and made me do things I regularly wouldn’t do. Whether it’s trying to skateboard or go explore the swamp by my house that I was always afraid to on my own. As I grew up, I realized my laid-back and extreme low maintenance personality clashed with a lot of girls, especially in the uber hormonal puberty stage. When most girls wanted to gossip about boys 24/7, go shopping and go on awkward group dates, I wanted to make money and party. Wow, I think that’s the first time I admitted that to myself after all these years. I was such a bum in high school, yikes. Who else had these priorities? My dude friends. So we worked, hung out and partied. The times my girl need to talk boys did come through, my boy BFF’s would put me straight in one sentence “well if you like him, just ask him”, or “fuck that guy”. Plain and simple. And they were right 99% of the time. Cause they were dudes telling me about other dudes. I think this was the most valuable lesson in my upbringing. Opposed to spending hours upon hours SPECULATING what I thought my crush was doing/felt with other girls, I’d go straight to the source. “Pretty sure he just wants to fuck you Julia”. Yup. Once I got to my late teen years to my twenties, I attempted some female relationships and realized they weren’t for me.

a 2008 gem right here....

Obviously there have been some exceptions and I’ve made some wonderful, amazing female friends, but if I find myself in a group situation with women I get easily overwhelmed. The drama. The gossip. The constant “WHAT DO YOU THINK IT MEANS?”. Girls like to be heard. Guys can sit back in mutual silence for hours. My kind of hang out. Ladies, I’m not saying we are all like this, but we know how we can get when we’re all together. I like shooting the shit with my male friends and getting their no bullshit advice. If I’m being an idiot, they’ll tell me. This has also made me stronger overall. I don’t play games. If I’m in the wrong I apologize right away so we can move on. I’m sometimes pretty oblivious to reading people because of this. If you are simmering quietly because you are upset at me, I will not pick up on it. At all. You gotta be upfront with me. This fact alone is why me and guys get along. My gal Alexis will sometimes remind me of this when dealing with a girl I am having issues with, or if she is talking about boy issues and I’ll do the old “well why don’t you just talk to him?”. She will then remind me “Julia, it’s not that easy, you just think like a guy” and it will instantly make me realize that I need to step back and make an effort to see it from the other person’s point of view because yeah, I think like a guy. I don’t act like a guy, I just tend to mentally connect on a guy level more then a girl level. And this is why my friendships with guys are always so strong. They don’t call me out and make fun of girly Julia, they’ll make fun of Julia (whether it’s my clumsiness or awkward flirting skills) cause they know they can. Cause I’ll sincerely laugh about it and not care, cause well, it’s true. I hang out with guys cause I can be myself 100%, whether that’s dressed to the nines for the club, or in my worst sweater and jean shorts at the bar on a monday. My male friends know I ain’t out to prove anything, I’m just a hybrid of female that shares a similar brain like them and feels more comfortable in their circle. I’ve adopted much male behaviour over the years but I’ve never ever picked going to the ball game over the spa to prove I can hang with boys. My friends are guys, but I’ve always rocked the pink nail polish.

Can I get a heat wave please + tunes of da week 07.21.2011

Wow. Worst Vancouver summer ever. The weather is just laughing at us at this point. It seems like all of Canada is going through a heat wave but us. Like we have a barrier a la Truman Show protecting us from the rest of the world. Usually this might be an okay thing but I and the 90% of other Vancouverites are sick and tired of this 18 degree cloudy grey disaster that is supposed to be our summer.

I like heat. A lot. I like that it makes us crazy and slows down time. Everything is less important and dramatic when you are melting on your couch. Your only concern is, HOW DO I KEEP COOL? It is on the top of your to do list. So your daily activities involve cold beers, pools and fans. That’s it. You don’t even eat. I mean you eat but liquids are much more important. My diet during heat waves is blended alcoholic drinks, beer, popsicles, iced coffee and fruit. Your brain becomes this gooey haze of thoughts that only processes the following:

Flawless M.S paint skills.

I for one LOVE THIS STATE. I can not describe how I love feeling only my primal instincts (beer, naps and snacks are my primal ones, straight up) and worrying about nothing else because the weight of the heat is so crushing. Strangely, the heat makes you feel invincible. Like anything is possible. Everyone is already a little cuckoo so the possibilities are endless. Ever one is a little more giving, little more vulnerable, little more stupid, little more reckless and most importantly, a little not themselves. Even though you should find shelter in an A.C environment, you don’t. You head to the patios with your friends, you drink too much, you’re late for work but no one cares. There is a moment in a heat wave, where you’re with a loved one or your best friends, starring out at the city, feeling every inch of it, and it’s so romanticized. You literally feel like anything can happen. That buzz in the air.

The great heat wave of Vancouver 2009 was a great example. After just having had my fill of insane Italy heat with my boyfriend at the time, Dan, we were looking forward to coming back to a cooler climate to regain focus. This is not how it went down. Instead we came back to Vancouver unemployed (like most of our friends, ah recession 2009) and in the midst of 40 degree weather that had everyone skipping work and heading to the beach. For 2 glorious weeks I forgot that I had no job and needed to pay rent come September. I was far too busy mixing margaritas and walking around in my bikini top 24/7. Franz hilariously went totally mental, he would reach this state where he couldn’t even process what I was talking to him about until he went for his 6th cold shower of the day. Our apartment was a stuffy hot mess, and we fashioned a makeshift A.C by putting a bowl of ice in front of our fan. I remember going to Bean Around The World every morning for 3 hours to write on my shitty iBook and drink endless amounts of iced coffees while the barista watched me from the counter, fanning herself with her own fan in the blistering coffee shop. The sweat accumulating above the hem of my shorts, knowing it was time to leave, just after this page (I completed my first feature that summer). The night that the one fan wouldn’t do in my room when Dan was sleeping over and we had to get the one from Franz’s room and position it just so to my bed to create the ultimate air circulation, even though the wind was warm (also, no couples should be sleeping in the same bed during a heat wave). And then you lie in that restless sleep, your body feeling the warm sticky air run over your skin, and even though the fans are full blast the air is STILL. It is so still you are just dying. You hear the sirens of the city, the yelling of the drunks, it’s 3:17 am and it’s still 35 degrees out. No one can sleep. We’re in this together, we’re gonna make it. And you curse, hoping for just one day of rain.

I would give anything to have a heat wave right now. I need a break from my brain.

TUNES ON A CLOUDY SUMMER DAY

Be Mine by Ellie Goulding

Cute cover. Irresistible. I like when artists take dance or hip hop songs and strip it down to it’s core.

Slow, Slow Tune by My Morning Jacket

See, this is what I WOULD be blasting in my apartment in the midst of a heat wave. This whole blog entry and what I was trying to explain is this song. “Slow. Drop the needle of today”.

Time Flies by Lykke Li

Super girly. I don’t give a fuck. Every girl likes to dream.

I’ll Run Your Hurt Away by Ruby Johnson

Sometimes you just need a soulful black woman to fucking sing to you.

You Know What I Mean by The Cults

Those close to me know that Only Have Eyes For You by The Flamingos is one of my top songs of all time, and this updated version just hits home. That haunting echo of the vocals, the distant guitar, the whole vibe is fantastic. I’m transported to prom 1965 in my too puffy dress and squinting through the hazy sparkling lights to see the boy I was too shy to ask out walk in with the Prom queen and the band is on the stage behind me wailing “Cause I am afraid of the light yeah you know what I mean”. Hopefully the punch is spiked. Nay, it better be.