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. This 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.
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.
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.
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.