I think there is such a thing as girl skills. Some women just seem to exude these skills the moment you meet them; cute clothes, perfect hair and makeup. Their nails are manicured, and they have nice purses. They have girl skills.
I don’t have girl skills.
I’ve never been a very good shopper. I get tired of looking after about an hour, I won’t wear certain colors, and my wardrobe is rather basic. It’s a normal trip to a clothing store for me when a friend leaves with several bags of clothing, and I carry my one bag containing a plain black t-shirt. It’s not that I don’t try to look, but it doesn’t interest me. And that floral printed hoodie? You can forget it. I’d rather take that plain baseball tee, thank you very much.
And I’ve never had my nails done. For one, I play bass, so having claws is out of the question for me. Aside from that, it seems like a big waste of time and money to me. I finally had my first pedicure four months ago, at the tender age of 26. One of my best friends was very pregnant at the time, and all she wanted for her baby shower was a pedicure with the girls, and dinner afterward. I was lured by promises of beer at the restaurant.
Sure, for work I’ll straighten my unruly hair and put on a little make up. I’ve learned a few tricks to looking like I possess girl skills in public. I use the sacred trio of looking awake: mascara, blush on the cheeks, and lip gloss. I feel intimidating when I wear it. It’s like I’m denying my true inner nerd, presenting a fake shell of girlyness. Please don’t believe what you see, mumbling boy that wants to buy Mario Kart – I really am like you.
I don’t think my mom ever really accepted my lack of girl skills. She herself was a bonafide hippy; she never shaved her legs, she didn’t wear make up, and for awhile she spelled the word woman as “womyn”. But I was always encouraged to play with dolls instead of read comics. She bought me a hair curler when I was fourteen. I never used it. She would throw away my Tesla shirts, and black jeans held together with duct tape. Maybe it’s something that a mom wants for her daughter, to have girl skills, ready to be used when called upon. I never figured out how to even mimic them until after I moved out of her house.
Before I got married, all my guy friends used to talk about how lucky my future spouse would be. What more could you ask for then a girl who loves relaxing on the couch with a beer in one hand and a video game controller in the other? And it’s true while my husband isn’t nearly as into video games, comics, and other assorted nerd activities as I am, he likes me for who I am. It’s ok with him that I don’t need a set of summer and winter makeup, that I can fit all my stuff into a small duffel bag when we go on a trip, and that I’d rather rent a funny movie and stay home then go out dancing. It doesn’t take me long to get ready to go anywhere, and if he wants to just go hang out with his friends for the night, it’s fine by me.
I don’t have girl skills. I fail at being a girl. But at this point, I think I’m ok with just being me.