"Let us not be ashamed to speak what we shame not to think."
-Michel de Montaigne
-Michel de Montaigne
Sunday, November 7, 2010
A Girl's Girl
Surely you've heard of the expression, "He's a man's man." This implies that a man has certain qualities that makes him lovable by other men.
Usually this involves some sort of hard cowboy stoicism, a certain sense of humor, a notable knowledge of "man things" like sports statistics or vintage cars. He holds his liquor well, is good with the ladies, he's respected by other men, has a sense of fashionable edginess without looking like an overly-coifed metrosexual. You know, he's a dude the other dude's want to be, or at least be friends with.
So what's the woman's equivalent? What qualifies someone as a 'girl's girl' or a 'woman's woman?'
From my experience, a girl's girl is someone who:
1) Is attractive without being threatening or overly sexy. In other words, she escapes the skank factor. This is a big one. Because most women want to better themselves with friends who will propel them into the next category, without constantly worrying if their spouses secretly lust over their gal pals.
2) Her house is just so. Do I even need to explain this one? No.
3) She wants babies, lots of babies. Or at least, she publicly pines over all things motherhood in a way that rivals only her husband's rabid love of SEC football. Because this, apparently, is the fruition of womanhood. And of course one child is never enough. One child forces her to ask the question, "So when are you going to have another one?"
4) She is smiley. In fact, the probability of being a girl's-girl increases with the size of and the frequency by which you flash your pearly whites. Think Julia Roberts toothiness. She played a prostitute in "Pretty Woman" and still audiences perceived her as wholesome as granny's apple pie every time she bared those mega-watt chompers.
5) She does not have a past. Or if she has an unsavory history, it is one that makes her look enduring in a June Carter, Lifetime movie sort of way.
6) She is good with correspondences: think thank you cards, holiday cards, birthday cards, scrapbook pages, etc...
7) She has a well-stocked purse. Need a tissue/nail file/safety pin/tampon/ironing board/tire iron/vintage off-white cameo pin? This girl has it all in her Kate Spade. Eat your heart out Mary Poppins.
8) She is better than all of your friends in at least one hobby. Bonus points if she is a) a militant jogger or triathlete, b) insane coupon-clipper, c) yoga instructor, d) culinary queen, or e) a combination of two of the above.
9) She looks effortless in ridiculous trends. Somehow she manages to be the one person on earth who doesn't look like bloated roadkill while wearing jeggings and faux-fur wrap.
10) Other girls like her, and she likes other girls. The majority of her friends are other women (mostly) like her. Because girl's-girls tend to attract one another.
I've brought a good deal of suffering down on myself wanting to be a girl's-girl. I've always known that I wasn't one. My throw pillows are not perfectly fluffed, or even necessarily matching. My nail polish chips almost instantly. Sometimes I go a little overboard on cleavage or eyeliner or high heels, or all of the above at once. I loathe baby showers. I am terribly uncomfortable in groups of women. I've got a past that may land me a movie deal with HBO, not Lifetime. I'd rather fish than go on a girl's getaway. But that's okay. The strange thing is, I've recently made a few girlfriends because of church, and they are ALL girl's-girls, and they're...wonderful. I've learned at least that there is room for us all. The girl's-girls and the...well, others, like me.
NOTE Celebrity girl's-girls include: Reese Witherspoon, Gwenyth Paltrow, Julie Roberts, Kristin Chenoweth, Meg Ryan (before the Russell Crow affair), Natalie Portman, and anyone who is stylish, but not classically beautiful i.e. Sarah Jessica Parker.