What it’s really like being “one of the guys”…

Jay: “Now shut-up and go make me a sandwich.”
Me: suggestively “How about you both make me a sandwich.”
Ken: “Ew?”

I started this entry on my phone at a Buffalo Wild Wings table (about three months ago) with my best guy friends, who have been near and dear to me for a little over two years now. Because of my inability to filter my jokes and comments, or pick up basic conversational cues, I lack the stereotypical Sex and the City troupe of mismatched gals. However, what I lack in disease-ridden chick pals, I make up for in good ol’ boy, XBOX playing muscle. [Go ahead and assume I made a more up-to-date reference than such classic HBO.] To my left was Jay, the kind-hearted but endlessly teasing boy who taught me to shoot a gun. To my right, Chad, his lovable older brother, who let me cry on him during my divorce… at 2:00 a.m… in the freezing cold. Across from me was Ken, the unicyclist with Peter Pan syndrome who rushed over at 10:30 one night to help me with a PowerPoint. Missing, was Ward, the closest I’ll ever have to a tantrum-throwing baby brother who gave me a bag of buttons and pink yarn for my birthday this year, becuse he knows pink is my favorite color and I’m going through a crochet phase. See. You can keep your talk of unicorns, puppies, and menstrual blood (that’s what women talk about, yes?), because I have about 800 pounds of pure heart in my guys.

All of the aforementioned attributes are essentially a disclaimer, however, because here’s what it’s really like to be “one of the guys.”

Gender is No More/Boys are Disgusting
I’ve met a lot of women who say “Ugh. I can’t stand girls. I only hang out with guys.” What they often mean, though, is that they treat their female friends like crap and like to date from the same general pool of men. That’s not so much being “one of the guys” as it is being “kind of easy.” In my case, I met my guys working at the local community center before getting a job in my field. It was here, that Ken once announced:

“We need to get rid of all the girls… except for hot chicks and Belle.”
His defense for this was:
“What? You’re not a girl. You’re Belle.”

Now, at the time of this comment, I weighed about 90 pounds more than I do now.  This was before my transformation to adult, when I was still wearing a t-shirt and pigtails to weddings. But even now, significantly slimmer, wearing cute little dresses, and :gasp: eyeliner, I have the sex appeal of a floor lamp as far as these guys are concerned.


… not even the grown-up kind.

To say they don’t care what I look like would imply that they notice whether I’m in yoga pants or a prom dress. While it’s amazing that they loved me just as I was at 250 and feel the same at 160, this means the boundaries that might exist for anyone they consider female, do not apply to me. While I claim to lack any disgusting bodily functions when I’m with them, I can guaran-damn-tee you they don’t do the same. Were Ken interested in me, I’d never have watched him eat his own vomit in a cereal challenge or pull down his pants so Jay could shoot him in the bare ass with an airsoft gun. This also means I get rough-housed with in the exact same manner as a 215 pound boy. I can’t count the times I’ve been unable say where I got that bruise, exactly. The closest they will ever come to hitting on me, no matter how hot I get, is in jest. Two years ago, Ken was fooling around with an 18-year-old who was a shit-ton of crazy packed in a teeny tiny little package. Left alone in Jay’s truck one night, Ken pretended to feel me up over the leggings I wore under my skirt.

Ken: “Does this make you uncomfortable?”
Me: “Honestly, the only thing I can think about is how you have your hand on my thigh and you once had it on Rochelle’s.”
Ken: Spans his hand out and moves it back and forth over my thigh “Is this still ONE?!?”

All of their disgusting boy jokes aside, the guys who taught me the definition of “duck butter” simply cannot handle it if I mention that I am actually a girl.

Jay: “You took a massive shit in Ken’s bathroom the other night.”
Me: “No. I didn’t. Stop saying that.”
Jay: “Then what took you so long?”
Me: “I was changing my tampon!”
complete silence fell over the table of men –
Jay: “Ew.”

You are Never Allowed to Be Mad
I think one of the main reasons I don’t get along with women is because I don’t do catty. I’m not going to scratch your eyes out with my overly manicured talons and I’ve never said “Oh, no she dit-int.”  Okay. Maybe I’m basing too much of this off YouTube skits, because I really don’t spend time with women, but my point remains valid. Gail is my best friend and when she pisses me off, I don’t respond to her texts for a bit until I calm down… and vice-versa. We both know this and we’re both cool with it. We’ll address it quietly and quickly later. “That was just a bit too much for me.” “I’m sorry. I wasn’t trying to be hurtful.” The. End.

Because of the aforementioned catty gals, however, men are used to this silence meaning more. It’s not a chance to cool down. It’s… drumroll please… The Silent Treatment. I’ve been told that if I’m mad, I should just say so. But why? If they get that I’m mad, then it’s not necessary to have a confrontation. Clearly, he doesn’t think he’s being an ass or he’d have apologized. Clearly, I think he is or I would wouldn’t have stopped talking ten minutes ago. We’re not going to come to a compromise, so it’s just redundant and more dramatic than they’re complaining I’m being by not talking. Furthermore, complaining that I’m mad or saying “She is so mad right now. Look how much we’re pissing her off” (Jay) over and over again is not helping.

Jay: “She’s just being a girl.”

NO. I am not being a girl. You are being an asshole.

Men, however, are completely allowed to be pissed off and handle it any way they like. If that means they just go silent for a bit, that’s alright, because they brought their penises to the party. They get to be mad and I get to have a vagina.

Me: “How come you get to be mad and I get to have a vagina?”
Jay: “You don’t have a vagina.”

… and we’re back to gender.

Everything Ever is Funny for Always
Me: “Hey, over 50% of women own vibrators.”
Ken: “Do you?”
Me: “I am not answering that.”
This took place in Jay’s truck, which required his door being opened for me to exit. They refused to let me out until I not only told them I had one, but what color it was, and if it had a name. This was about a year and a half ago. To this day, I am subjected to endless Fluffy jokes… usually in public, where no one knows what they’re discussing.

As I’ve said, I swear to my guys that I don’t poop. So, one night, we had a really heavy dinner before going to Ken’s house, where they’d know exactly how long I was in the bathroom. I texted Gail:
– Eating barbeque with the boys. I am so going to have to shit later. –
For the first time ever that night, Jay stole my phone and read my messages aloud… well over a year ago. I still cannot mention barbeque sauce or restaurants, ever, without comments about how I get “the barbeque shits.”

About a year and half ago, I was driving in town and missed my turn in for the post office. In a hurry, I turned at the next place I could, which happened to be the exit to a church. No one was coming or anything, but Chad and Jay just happened to be passing by and witnessed this. To this day, “Belle always drives in exits” and that’s hilarious.

When I got my hair cut super short in March, I didn’t want to pay for another cut for awhile, so I went a little too far.
text conversation
Me: Is my hair too short?
Chad: Why? Did someone say it was?
Me: Lol. That’s not a no.
Chad: It’s only too short if you think it is.
Me: Haha. Definitely not a no.

The next day, Shay, Chad and Jay’s little sister went to the car show with us.
Shay: “Oh, you cut your hair. It’s cute.”
Me: “Thanks! Chad said I look like Justin Bieber.”
Chad: “I did not!”
For four fucking months I was called Justin Bieber.

On the way to a concert, I didn’t hear the guys talking about the gay bar we passed. In line, I had to pee.
Me: “I’m going to go use the bathroom at that Mexican restaurant.”
They let me walk (with a limp from a back injury) all the way to Little Dick’s Halfway Inn, only to pee behind the building, because they weren’t open yet and spent the rest of the night periodically mentioning “that Mexican restaurant” and giggling like little girls.

There is just nothing off limits with my guys, when it comes to humor. That word I messed up in a sentence or the time I laughed weirdly, they’re going to catch it and they’re going to make fun of me for it. That is precisely why I get along with them. Girls are too over-senstive about that stuff and I make just as many insensitive comments as they do.

Me: arguing with Jay about how many times he’d said something “No. It’s five! You can’t even count. No wonder you’re failing chemistry.”

I’m the only one who’s tried marijuana and was intensely embarrassed when they found out.
Guy we know: “Are they high or something?”
Jay: “I don’t know. Ask Belle. She’s the expert.”

Arguing with Ward about how difficult it is to find a teaching job with Alternative Certification after he changed his major… again
Ward: “You don’t know everything you know!”
Me: “I have a degree in education. I know this! Whatever, Ward. Next week you’re just going to want to be a Space Cowboy anyway!”

Me: “I don’t know what to get Gail for her birthday.”
Jay: “Get her a baby doll. Just tell her not to kill this one.”

Ken: “You’re wearing zebra striped panties? That must have taken, like, five zebras.”

Jay: “Gosh. No wonder your mom beat you.”

Chad: “Why’s your car shaking? Have you got Fluffy under the hood?”

The Things They Say
Ken: “So, I was banging this chick, you see…”
Chad: laughs, knowing Ken’s a virgin
Ken: “I was knee deep in her…”
Jay: “He was gunny sack racing her.”

Ken: “She’s thick, but cute, right?”
Jay: “Yeah.” to me “How is that an insult?”

During a viewing of Two Girls One Cup
Chad: “I didn’t know girls could shit that much.”

Ken: “Man, if she had a dick, I’d let her rape me.”

Chad: “I’m not going in. I have shit all over my shirt.”
Jay: “That’s what you get for shitting on your shirt.”
Chad: “I have ranch all over my shirt.”
Ken: “You shit ranch?”

Jay: “I need some ideas for the Senior Center.”
Ken: “Mammogram Mondays!”

Everything Is Last Minute
So, I don’t know if this is guys, or my guys, but they never plan ANYTHING. The figure that, if they have plans, they won’t be free for the family outing or to help an elderly neighbor move a bed like the loveable fucking boyscouts they are. So they just make no plans. When they do, it’s unreasonably last minute for anyone with boobs.
9:00 movie. Be at the Center in 15.
What?!? I can’t be there in 15 minutes! I’m not even cute yet! In fact, I just took a shower and look like a mangy cat.
Then I get a message when I’m 3 minutes late.
Ugh. Never mind. We’re picking you up. Hurry.
But if I’m on the dot, a good 50% of the time, they are at least 10 minutes late and say things like “Well, if Belle hadn’t taken so long…” just to be pains in my ass. And that’s IF I can get a definitive time out of them. Often, it’s
1:30-1:45
At 1:42
Never mind. We’re picking you up. Hurry.

Furthermore, none of them ever wants to be the one to decide.
I don’t know. Ask the guys.
What’d the guys say?
Have you asked the guys?
I am asking the guys RIGHT THE FUCK now! You are one of the guys!

We have, literally, sat in Ken’s car for 30 minutes dicussing where to eat, because no one wants to pick something.
Me: “Fine. Let’s do Chili’s”
Ken: “Well. I guess it’s Chili’s…”
Chad: “Since Belle just has to have Chili’s.”
Jay: “It’s always up to Belle.”

Just to be a pain in my ass.

They Aren’t Girls… Not Even a Little
At the wildlife refuge, I repeatedly had to pee in the woods, because they didn’t have to go. I swear, they each have buffalo bladders.

Me: “It’s pretty.”
Chad: “It’s not pretty. It’s a truck.”
Me: “Trucks can be pretty.”
Chad: “No. Trucks are badass.”

Me: “Look! I got my Christmas tree up!”
Jay: “That’s disgusting.”
Me: “You’re just jealous because you don’t have a hot pink Christmas tree.”
Chad: “No. He’s just jealous, because he doesn’t get to set it on fire.”

Jay: “She’s busy watching vampire porn.”
Me: “There’s not even that much sex in it. It’s just HBO.”
Jay: “Where guys have sex with women and rip their heads off.”
Me: “That is the only part you’ve even seen and I only sent it to you to freak you out.”

Me: “I get to get my hair cut tomorrow! I’m going to chop it all off and get low-lights in it.”
Chad: “Low-lights?”
Me: “That’s what they’re called when you make it darker.”
Chad: “That’s called dying your hair.”
Me: “No, it’s not. It’s called low-lights.”
Chad: “Well… congratulations?”

Jay: “What kind of car was it?”
Me: “Red.”

Me: “See a picture of my new gun?!?”
Ken: “It’s PINK.”

They are Stubborn Asses
It has been over a year that Chad and I have been arguing over whether Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter is nerdier.

Jay and I still argue over whether a Reese tree has more calories than a Big Mac, which is stupid, because I’ve freaking Googled it and he is wrong.

Jay refuses to tell his ex-girlfriend from 5 years ago that it’s over, because he doesn’t want to look like an asshole. He tells me that girls are stupid if we think that a guy is interested when he responds to our texts.

Chad is the only one who has been in a car with me while I’ve driven, but every single one of them insists I’m a terrible driver.

Ward has no idea why he hates Obama, but he will somehow still argue about it until he is blue in the face. Saying absolutely nothing.

Ken once grabbed my flip flop and threated to break it if I didn’t tell him his worst personality trait. To this day, he claims I said he was an arrogant jerk when I told him he was a little bit full of himself.

Jay once wrote a paper with the sentence “The snow was so deep and ripe for avalanche you could practically swim in it” and still insists it was brilliant and I was just nitpicking, when he asked me to proofread it.

They piss me off, embarrass me, don’t compliment my hair, and make smells that shouldn’t come from people. They also taught me to shoot a gun when they found out what my ex-husband was doing. They drove around aimlessly when I didn’t want to go home. They made sure I was okay when I drunk dialed them. They moved every peice of furniture from one upstairs apartment to another and wouldn’t take a dime for it. They came to help when my battery died in the middle of the night. They all rearranged their schedules when I was too badly hurt to request time off for the car show, so I wouldn’t miss it. They’ve been late for class to help me with a flat tire, hung curtain rods, towel racks, changed oil, and even lightbulbs. In return, I do what I can. I make them candy and pies and buy them thoughful Christmas presents. I proofread resumes and cover letters and give job references. I’ll never sit through enough shoot-em-up boy movies to repay them for what they’ve been to me, though, so I’ll just have to pass on the chick flicks, glitter lipgloss, and Teen Beat magazine (seriously, have no basis for comparison anymore.)

Ward asked if I was a “big ol’ 5”, not realizing that his Big Bang Theory reference implied he was curious about my sex drive. I had feigned offense.

I finally told my guys about the graduation delay… and Chad was a sweetie, like always. Note that this conversation began with “talk to the guys”, when I said we needed to do something soon. Eye roll.

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