Monthly Archives: March 2011

A Failed Experiment in Femininity

I did a very uncharacteristic thing yesterday. Well, I suppose it started two days ago, really. I was sitting in class daydreaming about the-booskie-and-I’s upcoming trip to Broadway, trying to put an outfit together in my head, and I got the random desire to paint my nails for the trip. Then, instead of stepping back and asking myself wtf was happening to me, like I did when I thought a frilly floral nightgown was cute, I actually went to CVS and bought not only nail polish, but clippers and a file too. Then I sat down for over half an hour yesterday morning and painted my nails, trying very hard to get them just right, and feeling more and more frustrated the longer I spent attempting perfection. Eventually I had to leave for class, so I blew on my nails like I’ve seen my sister do and headed out the door. 
My fingers looked…foreign as I typed notes in class. I couldn’t decide whether it was good or bad, it was just very very different. I kept inspecting my hands, as if trying to make sure they were still mine, during lunch, and K noticed and asked me what I was doing. I told him I’d painted my nails, and J commented about how I was trying to impress my man, or something to that effect. K grabbed my hand to inspect my nails, and chuckled at my apparent inability to do this simple feminine task. Even J said we were going to have to work on my nail painting skills. K said they were “uneven”, and scoffed when I tried to describe how difficult it was. Dab and make a line. Repeat. It sounded so simple when he said it.
So I went back to my room and took it off (well, most of it. Some got stuck in like, the crevices of my fingernails and wouldn’t come out no matter how much nail polish remover I used…) and began to try again. Dab and make a line. Repeat. But how to deal with the giant glob that comes out on the first dab? Remove. Try shaking excess off before making the first line. Now it looks streaky. Remove. *Gives up*
This painting my nails business just seemed like a crazy new trying-to-be-a-girl endeavor that I shouldn’t have been embarking on. I kind of liked the way it looked, while simultaneously recognizing that painted nails did not seem like Maya in any way. I don’t understand where these new stereotypically feminine desires are springing from; does simply having a boyfriend inspire some inherent need to be overwhelmingly girly? I’m practicing emphasized femininity, to use a fancy term I learned in class. He obviously didn’t initially like me for my particularly feminine ways…this is coming from inside me somewhere, and I don’t know how I feel about it.

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Numbers are powerful.

It’s crazy how a simple date on the calendar can have such strong associations with it, no matter how much time has passed since the occurrences you’re remembering. It’s funny how much people and relationships and circumstances can change in just a few years. 

It’s Pi Day! In high school, this was a day I spent weeks and weeks planning for. I had pi day t-shirts and fell asleep listening to recordings of myself reading the digits to help me learn as many as possible. I designed a two-man three-legged pi race, that I like to believe is still being used today. I was the freaking President of the Math Club. People laugh so hard when I tell them that here, because I’ve run far far away from math and the natural/physical sciences. 

It’s also my friend T’s birthday. He eats pie on his birthday instead of cake; he doesn’t actually like cake, which seems appropriate. We’re not as close as we used to be, but today opens this little floodgate of memories of when we were best friends. We were part of this big group of people that used to be my whole world, and it’s crazy that now they’re people I see a few times a year at best. It’s a little sad. 

So today I’ll watch funny videos of Pi Days of yesteryear, and contemplate getting to know my friends again.

I really don’t want my whole blog to start revolving around him, but

he asked me the other day when I realized I liked him, and I rushed my answer a little then. I want to explain it better. 

Dear You,
I won’t lie; pipe-cleaner heart was a bit of a shock. But it was one of the most pleasant shocks of my entire life, and above that it was incredibly intriguing. I instantly popped into my room and fell back on my bed and twirled it around in my hand and contemplated how incredibly different receiving this felt from receiving another Valentine earlier in the day. This was full of giddy excitement; this required concocting a plan to get to know you better. 

That plan started with inviting you to drink and chill with some fellow Dranglers and I on Valentine’s Day night, but inviting you late enough that it didn’t seem like I’d put too much forethought into it. K said taking the initiative like that might be bad, but I don’t like being told I can’t, so I did. And you came, and I stopped cuddling with my gay boys to sit next to you. And then a day or two later you came to Quad to study, and I did something for you that I’ve never done for anyone other than K before–I left my desk for you, just like I left my snuggles for you, because I wanted to be close to you more than I wanted to lay claim to the things that were mine. And you stayed with me til we were tired, and then you walked me home again, and at my door I hugged you and began to wonder. 

When we basically did a rinse and repeat a few days later, I knew something was officially up. And we were walking back to my building, I was wondering whether three walks home warranted a kiss on the cheek, but I chickened out when we actually reached my front step. The same thing happened at four. Confession: You may not realize this, because it hasn’t really happened with you, but I am notorious for being a scared little bitch when it comes to guys. I can hold my own in almost any other situation, but my heart is usually too terrified of breaking to even step out on the ledge, let alone take the fall. I had to fight my heart out onto the ledge for you. I did it because this is…different. But I’m getting ahead of myself now.

But somewhere around that fourth time, the Social Chairs sent out an email saying we were going to have this members only event before the party on Saturday: 80s Prom Date Night. We’d be paired off and compete against other pairs for the title of prom king and queen. And while dates would mostly be random, if we emailed N we could rig the system. And as soon as I read that, I knew I wanted to be paired with you. That’s the answer I gave you, the moment I realized I liked you. But it’s more complicated than that.

Realizing that I want to do something cute like rig the system is one thing. Actually emailing N to ask her to sign me up with you was another entirely, but I wouldn’t let myself chicken out of it, because more than just thinking this would be cute, I couldn’t stand the idea of being paired with some random soph and seeing you with someone else. I wanted to be your 80s prom date. So I emailed her, and then I started pretty intensely researching 80s fashion, because despite actually hating the 80s, I wanted to show you that I cared about this. And seeing you walk in with that wig to rival my fro, I knew that being my date meant as much to you as it did to me, and a small part of me was honored. I didn’t care that we didn’t win any of our events; I was on your team and that was all that mattered. When the party actually started, you reminded me that dancing with you makes me feel beautiful. And when you suggested we slow dance like this was middle school, I almost melted. When I felt your lips meet my collarbone, my knees nearly gave out. 


This was different. And that’s a long story, but I’m not done yet. You don’t know how much of a mess I was in the 14-ish hours between our two conversations that Tuesday. We’ll talk about it someday, maybe. Being a mess isn’t the part I want to talk about now. The fact that I pushed through being a mess and retreating to calling boys stupid and blaming myself to talk to you again–that I, miss hides-and-cries-under-the-covers-until-the-world-gets-less-scary when it comes to guys, sought out a potentially crushing experience–that I couldn’t be right with myself until I had talked to you again, and figured out what had gone wrong and why, that’s how I knew I really liked you. That’s how I know this is different, because I avoid conflict with guys like THE PLAGUE. But not with you, even though I was terrified…because depending on when you started counting, it had been somewhere between three days and two weeks, but I already knew that I wanted this to work. It took every ounce of strength and willpower I have, but I pushed myself and fought myself for you. That’s how I knew I liked you in a different way that I’ve ever liked anyone else. 


Moral of the untold story:

A) John Mayer may be a terrible terrible human being, but he’s right about one thing: 

Talk it out. Get your thoughts off your chest, or you’ll never feel…right. Don’t lose the moment before you can fix things.

B) On a related note, don’t assume the worst when something bad happens. It might not be as bad as you think.
C) I have fantastic friends. They give great advice, even especially when I don’t want to take it (well, about most aspects of situations, at least), and I should listen to them more often.
D) I need to stop being a little bitch about the things that are important to my personal life. I’ll raise my voice and scream and yell about like, injustices in the world, or academic problems, or problems in my friends’ lives, but I’m usually too chicken to deal with issues in my own personal life with anything but ridiculous levels of (defensive) anger or semi-sincere apology. Now that I’ve seen firsthand what can happen when I have the balls to be honest about how I feel and what I want, that has to end. 
E) Life is full of surprises, man. 


That is all.