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:

"Surferboy"
"Prettyboy"
"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.




11 comments:

bionictrout said...

Where did you find that picture of me yawning?

Hailey said...

I'm not sure, but it's just a darn shame that you never wear that outfit any more.

What is it about turning 30 and becoming super-conservative all of a sudden?

Shawn said...

Oooohhhhh, I remember naming all the guys that I dated in college, also. There was Mike the potter, Mike the dancer, Dave the guitar guy,(I married him unfortunately..
..but that's another story)and Dave the mountain man.

Like mother, like daughter?

Hailey said...

Whoa, there, I never said I dated all those guys. In fact, I didn't date any guys freshman year, just befriended them or admired from afar.

And uh, Mom, you do know that Dave the guitar guy (my father) reads this, don't you?

Kristen said...

What was Ben's name? Ben the...?? Don't worry, maybe you can IM me it.

Jenni Smith said...

That's so funny because my best friend in high school was a guy--actually two of them. However, nothing can replace the girly friendships. The boys are just a lot easier to deal with-less drama!

Brinna said...

Well it certainly runs in the family... I've only ever had one REAL girlfriend, and we hung out with a group of rather eclectic boys that we neither dated OR had crushes on.

In fact the guys we "liked" were all (big surprise) given fake names as well... (I also have a list somewhere)!

But about the other thing... Maybe my fear of men in bathing suits come from that darn Tarzan movie the babysitter once let us watch...

Not to mention Hailey always making me play Tarzan because I had short hair and was tan, therefore I was more suited to being the tree-swinging-dirt-eating-raised-by-gorillas type man.

Thanks.

Shawn said...

Just a general comment...

When does MY blog site get to be on your list of IMPORTANT blogs to check out?

I'm still waiting for that...

I want ALL your cool friends to be my friends, too.

Do I sound needy?...

Catherine Elizabeth said...

I STILL like to give people nicknames and then never remember their name, just their assigned nickname (most of which aren't entirely complimentary). For instance, I call my home teachers The Preacher and The Philosopher. No idea what their real names are...

matt said...

This thread seems to lack male perspective. I feel like some righteous indignation should be expressed at being a member of a gender so wrongfully abused... But I can think of nothing pithy or clever to provide merit for this retort... But come on Kiki, at least remember their real names.

becky baird said...

Unibrain, I met you after you were married so I don't know if you were one of "those girls" (the ones I have to beat up), but you're a great girlfriend! Even to freakishly tall bald women!