What kind of girl are you? (Disclaimer: I know I have a lot of male readers – thank you!!!!! Don’t feel like you need to tell me what kind of girl you are, fellas…that’s between you and the ladies at the cross-dressing shop ) I find this a tough question to answer about myself – which is pretty dumb, since I should probably have figured myself out by now. I think I’m a bit of a chameleon – I’ve been a lot of different girls over the years, and so much of it has depended upon where I am in my life and how things are going. I spent entirely too long being a victim of the idiots in the world who hurt me and took advantage of me, time and time again. Yes, this is mostly their fault, but I hold some blame too for letting this shit happen. People can only treat you as well – or as badly – as you let them…and I was notorious for letting people get away with way too much, figuring that I was crap and deserved more crap. How. Stupid.
I’ve tried being really serious, but the result of that was a shit-show of near-epic proportions. I’m not cut out for a life of straight faces and severe attitudes any more than I am meant to be a Victoria’s Secret model (never gonna happen, despite my splendid tatas). I’m a person who laughs way more than the average bear in a day…I make jokes, I find things to laugh at, and I spend lots of time making other people giggle as well. This is all done on purpose, because life is simply too short to be in a foul mood. Keep in mind that I’ve spent my entire adult life working in the Education industry, so if we didn’t laugh during some of our days, we’d cry. Once upon a time, I thought that being a grown up meant being serious, reading Proust and Maugham at all times, and only eating meals with a minimum of three courses and cloth napkins. What a pompous bloody douchebag I was!! Argh!!! Thankfully, I’ve realized over the years that being a grown up means taking care of the details in life, making a home for the Wee One and I, watching marathons of Beverly Hills, 90210 (the original series, of course), and eating Lucky Charms three meals a day and feeling zero guilt about it. Being a grown up means saying no as often as necessary without remorse, taking yourself out on really fabulous dates, and drinking champagne out of Tiffany glasses for an evening at home. I don’t need to pretend to be some fancyass, solemn poker face to be a grown up…it comes from within. Right?
I’m reading the AMAZING Lena Dunham’s book “Not That Kind Of Girl” at the moment…and I’m loving it. Big time. In fact, as I’m reading it, I find myself slowing down, putting the book aside to ponder what she’s written, just so that I can savor it even longer. Her writing is wonderful, of course….but it’s her honesty that moves me so much. I find myself so full of admiration for a woman who can tell the story of them and what’s happened to shape them so clearly, so matter of fact-ly….it’s humbling to read. Self-awareness is a beautiful thing.
I’m a huge fan of the show “Girls”, even though I’m at least 10 years older than their desired demographic, I’m sure. I find it an honest, awkward, real portrayal of people finding out what kind of girl they are. I wish there were more shows on TV like this…perhaps if there had been when I was in my formative years, I’d be better at speaking and living my truth. Perhaps if I’d have had better role models around, I’d be a better person. However, I’ve always forged my own path, made my own way, which is fine, but….sometimes a little help and guidance is not so bad, eh?
Here’s a review of Lena’s book from The Boston Globe:
In a time when celebrity writers proliferate as lushly as mushrooms in a cave, that Lena Dunham has just produced her first book, “Not That Kind of Girl,’’ is nothing special. Dunham herself, however, is another story. She made the successful independent feature film “Tiny Furniture” before she was 25 and created the semi-autobiographical HBO comedy, “Girls,” in which she also plays the lead character, Hannah Horvath, at 26.
Hannah’s monumental self-absorption, irreverent humor, and frequent, deliberately unglamorous nude scenes have made “Girls” a hit as well as a magnet for misogynist codswallop, while its mocking appraisal of what life is like for Brooklyn, N.Y.-based, upper middle-class graduates of liberal-arts colleges made it an object of worship among New York television critics thrilled to finally see themselves represented on television. So great is its success that Dunham, 28, reportedly received an advance of more than $3.5 million for this book.
For people who watch “Girls” — a group to which I belong and one that I assume will make up a significant portion of Dunham’s reading public — it may be difficult at first to divorce Hannah’s voice from Dunham’s written one. This collection of 21 essays, padded out with a smattering of humorous lists, e-mail exchanges, and other miscellany, is divided into sections on love and sex, the body, friendship, work, and “the big picture”; different format, familiar terrain.
Fans also will recognize some of Dunham’s signature narrative mannerisms: What propels these confessional first-person pieces is the tension between the appearance of helpless, total disclosure and observations so arch they could only come from a place of complete control. Like Hannah, Dunham is flip, recklessly goofy, and prone to saying shocking, self-deprecating things about herself in service of a joke. Unlike Hannah, Dunham is wholly in possession of her faculties and well aware of her place in the world.
Take, for instance, “Girls & Jerks,” an essay in which Dunham contemplates her inclination toward inappropriate men. In a scene that takes place during her time at Oberlin, Dunham observes how growing up in SoHo with well-heeled artist parents may have helped contribute to this preference. “I had a lucky little girlhood,” she muses. “I had a family that loved me, and we didn’t have to worry about much except what gallery to go to on Sunday and whether or not my child psychologist was helping with my sleep issues. Only when I got to college did it dawn on me that maybe my upbringing hadn’t been very ‘real.’ . . . What was it that I couldn’t understand and how could I understand it, short of moving to a war-torn nation?”
Instead of taking the first flight out to Iraq, Dunham, like so many before her, turns to men who treat her badly. This goes about as well as one might expect. “[L]earning about the ‘world’ is not pretending you’re a hooker while a guy from the part of New Jersey that’s near Pennsylvania decides which Steely Dan record to put on at 4:00 a.m,” she reflects.
One-liners like that are what make the book a worthwhile read, as is Dunham’s observational humor. She falls for a chap at freshman orientation because of his “anime eyes, his flared women’s jeans, his thick helmet of Prince Valiant hair . . . If I’d been alone, I would have slid down the back of a door and sighed like Natalie Wood in ‘Splendor in the Grass.’ ”
Dunham is at her best when she writes about her younger self — a strange focus for someone not yet 30. Her deadpan observations about the ridiculous mores and folkways of small colleges are exactly right and as funny and incisive as those of Gary Shteyngart or Sam Lipsyte, two much older and far more experienced chroniclers of that milieu.
The book is less successful in portions where Dunham tries to impart the wisdom of her limited years, such as when she suggests avoiding sleeping next to anyone “who doesn’t make you feel like sharing a bed is the coziest and most sensual activity they could possibly be undertaking.”
“I think that I may be the voice of my generation. Or at least a voice,” utters her character, Hannah, in the show’s most famous line. “Not That Kind of Girl” answers the promise of that proclamation, whatever it means.
Before I go, I was noticing something the other day – I generally refer to myself as a ‘girl’ for some reason, when in reality, I am light years beyond my girl days. Sometimes people will refer to me as a ‘woman’, which I know logically is the correct term….but it still feels kind of weird, as if I’m playing dress up in my grandmother’s pearls. Dumb, I know. I came across this article recently – The 11 Differences Between Dating a Girl vs a Woman – which sheds some light on the differences. Let’s look at it, shall we?
A boy is attracted to girls. A man is attracted to women. Now, this has nothing to do with the actual age of a person. I’m referring to maturity, life vision and stage of life. In fact, some people regardless of their age, will never really grow up. Also, this isn’t to say that a woman won’t ever have “girlish” or immature tendencies or vice versa. This post refers to one’s maturity and most points would also apply if you switch the genders as well.
If you are a boy, then expect that you will attract only girls. However, if you are a man (independent, knows your worth and value, has a strong moral compass, is considerate and an able communicator and doesn’t let insecurity dominate your psyche), then you should be dating a woman. And if you can’t spot the difference just yet, here are some pointers.
1. A girl throws tantrums. When displeased, upset or angry, she reacts just as she did as a child when she didn’t get her way with her parents. This often consists of screaming, pouting, giving the silent treatment, being passive aggressive and/or punishing. A woman still feels the emotions of being upset/displeased, but has cultivated the skill of responding versus reacting. She comes to the table as an adult, and communicates clearly what is bothering her.
2. A girl perceives herself as a princess and believes people should treat her like so. She is entitled and feels that she is owed and therefore expects more than she appreciates. A woman, has standards (what she holds herself to) not expectations (what she projects on to others).
3. A girl uses her physical beauty as her currency and basis of value. A girl may be so used to feeling validated through her looks and sexuality, that she uses this as her primary tool to get what she wants in life. A woman, knows her worth is beyond her physicality. A woman bases her value on her intelligence, her strength, her integrity, her values, her contributions, her humanity.
4. A girl banks on a man to be her financial strategy. A woman plans to be financially independent – she banks on… herself. And if she so happens to enter a relationship dynamic where it makes sense for her partner to be the primary breadwinner, it’s considered a bonus, not the expected life line.
5. A girl sees the world from a place of lack and scarcity. She competes and will even tear down another in order to secure resources or a mate. A woman helps other women. She knows that there’s plenty enough to go around and takes the high road of integrity to get what she wants.
6. A girl cannot be bothered with anything domestic and is proud of the fact that she cannot cook or clean. A woman understands that being domestic is not a duty, but understands that it is one way of taking care of herself and others. She also understands that in the event she wants to create a family, having a person in the household who can contribute domestically is important.
7. “A girl wants attention, a woman wants respect. A girl wants to be adored by many. A woman wants to be adored by one.” -anonymous
8. A girl does not respect her body. She has not yet understood that her body and heart are sacred, and that it’s important to be mindful of how she treats it and who she shares it with. “A girl cherishes handbags, diamonds and her shoe collection as her prize possessions. A woman cherishes her health, her sense of self, and her talents as her greatest assets.” – N. Mah
9. A woman takes the time to reflect on the type of human she wants to be, the example she wants to leave and the vision for her life. She has put thought into her values and what she stands for. A girl has not established her moral compass or values and consequently, is often inconsistent. “After spending time with a girl, you feel exhausted because she takes more than she gives. After spending time with a woman, you feel invigorated, because she empowers you with possibility, and a passion for life.” – N. Mah
10. A girl has a checklist that prioritizes superficial qualities above anything else. Here is an example of how this checklist may look: Hot, popular, wears skinny jeans, over 6 feet tall, rich.. This is the checklist of what a woman may look for: High integrity, intelligent, kind, good communicator, emotionally available…
Now, a lot of these differences require taking the time to know someone to figure out if the apple of your eye is indeed a mature woman, or someone with an immature mindset. However, one of the quickest filters that you can notice from the beginning is this:
11. A girl plays games. A woman doesn’t.
Good news – I guess I’m a woman after all.