Women terrify me.
Not just because I am one, and thus know first hand how twisted the female of the species can be… I’ve just never fully understood the fairer sex and, logically, myself. As a kid I spent most of my time hanging around with guys. Their company was much more interesting and uncomplicated. I was perfectly happy to swop sisterly gossip- and nail-painting sessions for midnight excursions carrying a canoe to the local dam with a bunch of gung-ho guys. (Yes, this really happened.) I wasn’t into make-up, didn’t care much for fashion if it didn’t involve a T-shirt, couldn’t defend myself against female teen bitchiness and really wasn’t interested in fighting anyone for her first-team hottie.
It wasn’t much better at varsity. The politics of maintaining a circle of close female friends drained me; I just couldn’t be bothered if there was a good book I could read instead. Besides, it was so much more fun spending time with my assorted bunch of guy friends: the geeks, the freaks, the hotties, the artists, the nice guys… I loved them all. And yes, I’m sure the constant undercurrent of sexual tension that occurs naturally (in my opinion, at least) in any boy/girl friendship just added to the fun of it all.
Not much has changed. I’m still not into tea-party conversation and the art of making a proper green salad or quiche. My mom’s horrified that my husband’s the one who buys the groceries and cooks. I still pick books over people most days. I’m not interested in running a kitchen when the braai’s the place to be, I hate getting manis and pedis, the most done-up I’ve ever been is on my wedding day and “base” isn’t make-up but a musical instrument in my head. (Yes, I know you spell it “bass”.)
But I’ve kind of come around to the idea of girls. Or women. Chicks. The fairer sex. Mostly because despite kicking against it, I’ve managed to pick up a few truly awesome female friends in my life. They’ve stuck around, too – granted, some had no choice. It’s nice to discover the warmth and fun of a bunch of women getting together. To know that this girl might look all dainty and sweet, but she’s a hellion if you harm her friends – and she has your back, too! I love how varied girls are in their thoughts and opinions, how they dress, talk, what’s important to them… I love how they hug, and how they’re not afriad to dish out some tough love when you need it. I love how they tolerate all my random bad habits and how they know that I’m not neglecting them, I’m just stuck in a typical Donnay-situation – or a book. And I love it most that they’ll hit me over the head with said book until I emerge into daylight and their companionship again.
Guys I’ve got figured out, mostly. Girls, not so much. And that’s awesome too, because it means they keep me endlessly entertained and fascinated. I’m never bored around them these days, even when we stray into typical cupcake chat… ‘Cos somewhere along the way, I’ve kind of figured out that I, too, am a girl. Or a woman. And you need your kind on your side, you know?
I’m aware of all those arguments about Women’s Day: does having a special day allocated to females just emphasise how marginalised they still are in our society? Isn’t a bit nasty to have a day for girls, but not guys? Shouldn’t everyone be celebrated equally? Perhaps, and if you catch me on another day, I’ll probably go on about how cheesy the whole idea is.
But for today, I have a few awesome women in mind who’ve stuck around… You guys rock, and you deserve a day to celebrate how awesome you are. So, in no particular order (well, except for my mom, obviously!), these are the peeps that need to get hold of a bottle of champagne and down it right now before the day’s out…
Elma aka Mom aka make-up really isn’t that important and this is why…
Meagan aka heart as big as a ten-ton truck
Margaux aka my changeling other
Mea aka littlest and cutest and most perfect girl ever
Kristia aka I know what you did the past few summers… And I love you anyway. (Read Kristia’s Women’s Day blog!)
Thea aka I knew her when she was so anti-girls… And I still stuck around.
Talita aka “Hoekom lyk jy so hartseer?”
Jennifer aka “I have a knife and I’m not afraid to use it”
Claire aka the person most likely to kick me in the head – deservedly, too
Cecile aka the gentle soul
Adrie aka the solution is just a good bottle of red wine away
Jo-Anne aka yes, we shall dance our faces off
Carla aka original air-guitar champion
Janice aka the artist within