Monday, November 07, 2005

Me: Jane, You: Whoever the heck I want you to be

The other day I was reminded of something strange about my childhood when I was reading one of those e-mail questionnaires that I get from time to time. The question was, "Did you have any imaginary friends?" Whoa. Talk about opening a can of repressed worms. I thought back to my childhood and recalled (and my mother is my witness) that I had not one imaginary friend, but approximately eight. Even more strange, all of MY friends were male. I believe three of them were named Peter, Michael, and John. Two of those may have been twins. According to my mom, those guys were some of the first to come along and by all accounts, they were sweet, normal little boys.

At least three of my friends were adult men. They were Tarzan, Ropeman, and Swingman. Yes, those are three separate people. (Note to self: do not allow impressionable young four-year olds to repeatedly watch Tarzan. Especially the Bo Derek version...) So apparently, in addition to surrounding myself with boys, I also enjoyed the company of scantily clad, well-built men. I don't see any reason why my parents should have been concerned AT ALL. (They weren't.) My mom also informs me that I hung out with this motley crew until I was at least six!

The more I think about this odd childhood inclination, however, the more I realize how it fits in with the rest of my life. I have never been boy crazy per se, but I think that instead, I rather viewed the opposite sex as amusing playthings to surround myself with. Not at all surprising, considering the crowd I "ran" with as a pre-schooler. In high school, most of my best friends were guys. I always enjoyed their laidback style. The fact that they may or may not have been slightly attracted to me probably helped as well. My friend Juan (a real person, though not his real name) says that he doesn't think he can be friends with anyone that is not somehow attracted to him. I definitely think there's some merit in that.

My well-meaning objectification of men carried on into my freshman year of college. My roommate and I gave nicknames to all of the guys we met. Luckily, I wrote them all down. Here is a short list:

"Vampire boy"
"Drummer boy"
"Intriguing boy"
"Little Dave boy"
"Arcadia boy"

Do you sense a trend? Of course, we didn't call them these names to their faces. At least, I hope not. It was simply a handy way of identifying someone quickly. And just for the record, I have never done anything like this with other girls or women. So I really think it goes back to that strange behavior as a child. (I also tend to think that perhaps an intense fear of emotional commitment influenced me to push people away, but that's not very interesting, funny, or fun.)

Luckily, I eventually met a guy who seemed as odd and unpredictable to me as I was. I married him, and we have a couple of odd kids. (Refer to previous blogs)

You might think that the end of this story would somehow involve me, now reformed, surrounding myself by sweet sisters from the Relief Society. But no, I hang out at Comedysportz with twenty goofy guys. I guess that old saying about teaching an old dog new tricks is truer than true.