Grossing Out the Boys

Today’s self-indulgent blog entry comes to you courtesy of Lindy West, from an essay entitled “You’re So Brave for Wearing Clothes and Not Hating Yourself!”, published in a book titled Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman:

I was the girl kids would point to on the playground and say, “She’s your girlfriend,” to gross out the boys. No one had ever sent me flowers, or asked me on a date, or written me a love letter (Beth literally had “a box” where she “kept them”), or professed their shallow, impetuous love for me, or flirted with me, or held my hand, or bought me a drink, or kissed me (except for that dude at the party freshman year who was basically an indiscriminate roving tongue), or invited me to participate in any of the myriad romantic rites of passage that I’d always been told were part of normal teenaged development. No one had ever picked me. Literally no one. The cumulative result was worse than loneliness. I felt unnatural. Broken. It wasn’t fair.

This was also my teenagerhood, except in my case it was entirely fair, and I did not go to any parties in my freshman year. Outside of a brief interlude in my early twenties (when I pursued a woman and was pretty terrible to her) it has remained the same since. Either my gaydar (or more precisely, romantic-dar) is so broken that I don’t pick up on these signals, or — more likely — I have never been the target of them.

The book is worth reading, by the way.

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18 thoughts on “Grossing Out the Boys

  1. Aww, that’s so sad, and you with that personality of yours! Skinny, Minnie me, was oblivious to any kind of attention from my peers. Kept me out of a lot of trouble, until Balder Half showed an interest.

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    1. With that personality of mine it is no surprise I was (and am) shunned.

      How did Balder Half break the obliviousness?

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      1. He talked to me like I was a person instead of a quiet weird (but pretty) thing. He was fascinated at my ability to walk from class to class totally oblivious to all of the chaos around me, not to mention the fact that I walked over a mile to get home while reading a book. He was the class clown and hard to ignore. He also wasn’t a self absorbed pretty boy. We became friends and took it from there when he asked me to the prom as a joke. The rest, as they say, is history 🙂

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  2. I was the school brainiac and similarly excluded by my peers during my teen years. But I didn’t let it get me down because I knew perfectly well that (fuck ’em all) high school does not last forever and my real life would begin when I went to university. And it did! You have to play the long game in this world and I did so successfully, I’m pleased to say.

    The book sounds good — I’ll add it to my ever-increasing “to read” list, which is now approximately 1.87 miles in length.

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    1. Somehow it does not surprise me that you were a brainiac.

      Remember: A journey of 1.87 miles begins with reading seven books this year.

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  3. While I was out in school. I never dated or did parties either. Some of the cool boys befriended me, but I think it was because they thought I would give them oral. I was good and behaved then. Years later I ran into a classmate who was also gay and he was popular, told me he blew several guys. No wonder I didn’t get invite to the parties anymore.

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  4. Ahhhh we’re doing nostalgia.
    I was ok in high school. Kinda kept to myself. Read and listened to music. Outwardly was a ‘good’ boy. Was kinda slutty, to tell the truth. Got into older boys rather early so I never paid attention to boys my age, even though I did participate in some of their rituals. Kissed a girl and didn’t give me the thrill kissing a man gave me so that was that. Was ‘popular’ cause I was doing some guys -and their dads- but it was all very hush-hush. Ha! Some of them did learn later I was really into their family.
    Still would rather read a good book or listen to music than date a dick. So yeah. You were not missing much.

    XoXo

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    1. Yes, apparently it is Nostalgia Week on the blogosphere.

      Doing some guys and their dads?! Now there’s a taboo. I thought such shenanigans were reserved for “educational films” on the Internet.

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      1. Now that is taboo!!!!! That reminds me of a flashback. After I was out on the club scene. I met a guy one night and hooked up, It was good sex. We met up several times. About a year later I met another guy and we hooked up several times, but then transitioned into good friends. One day when we were luncheon together, his son saw us and came over. Turns out it was the previous piece from the year before. Can you say awkward.?

        Those were the days. I wouldn’t have been turned off if they suggested a three way. A fantasy of mine would be to have a threesome with a father and son. Or two brothers.

        I can be such a whore.

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  5. At school I was the arty geek as opposed to the sporty god. There was a teen girl there called Ursula who had enormous breasts. All the other boys used to fantasise about her. Bizarrely she rather took a shine to me.
    JP

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