I didn’t kiss a boy in front of my best friend until I was 22 years old. This is partly because I’d only started kissing boys four years earlier and hadn’t done much kissing in the time since. But it was mostly because she and I are, respectively, the CEO, chairwoman, and long time members of the He-Woman, Boy Haters Club.
Why? Because boys have cooties. Obviously. And boys posing as grown-ass men are especially gross. But mostly, it’s because we’ve heard (and experienced) countless stories of “ain't shit” husbands and boyfriends making decent gals like us completely miserable. So we choose to be independent women who don’t need no man. Besides, who needs some smelly boyfriend when you’ve got the bestest bestie of all time?
So “sistas before mistas” is our interminable battle cry. In the immortal words of Sir Snoop Doggth Dog, “We don’t love them hoes.”
Except for the fact that we totally do. We are both completely butt crazy in love with these hoes. The “hoes” being, more specifically, whatever boyfriend or semi-quasi-boyfriend-in-theory are occupying our hearts and propensity for good decision making at any given time.
Take the semi-quasi-boyfriend-in-theory I had when I was 22, for example. I was so nauseously enamored with that man that when he went to kiss me in the backseat of my car one hot summer night, I didn’t give a damn that the Bestie was watching us from behind the wheel.
But what’s the problem? I was kind of a woman by that point. Sucking face was well within my constitutional rights. Besides, she’d seen me chug a lukewarm 40 ounce of Old English just the night before and wasn’t fazed. Seeing me kiss a man she knows I like couldn't possibly be that big of a deal.
Yeah right. I knew that was crap seven years ago when I tried to convince myself the first time. The microsecond our lips made contact, the Bestie ran screaming out of the car and into the night.
And rightly so. Affection has no business in the emotional arsenal of super bad asses such as ourselves. Drunken rage? Yes. Tender love and care? Nah, son.
But alas, yours truly is nothing but a big fat fucking fraud. Because when I’m in love, I’m a TLC connoisseur. I’m talking cuddling, pet names, baby talk and warm and fuzzy mid day text messages straight from the stupid heart.
And then there’s the Bestie, who manages to look different when she’s on the phone with her beau. Like she’s enlightened or something. She smiles through the entire call and delivers this girly little giggle where her usual raspy cackle is supposed to be. The only thing that would make that laugh more sickening is if she twirled a lock of virgin Brazilian Remy around her finger while she did it.
The worst part is, I know she’s not trying to sound like a wuss on purpose. Her boyfriend elicits that giggle and that awful lovey dovey noise gives me a glimpse of the wimp she must be when she’s alone with him.
It’s just that being in love brings out completely different sides of ourselves, sides that are completely opposite from the selves we are when we are around one another.
See, as a duo, the Bestie and I have created a safe space in each other’s company where we can be most comfortable. It’s where we fart, scratch, look a hella hot mess, and in general, are most like ourselves.
With the boyfriends, the Bestie and I are soft, sensitive, and vulnerable. We wear real clothes, keep our hair (somewhat) in place and suppress our bodily functions. We kiss, and giggle, and coo, and cook, and clean and do all the things that make us completely unrecognizable from the most comfortable and most honest selves that we are when we are with each other.
But what the Bestie and I don’t openly acknowledge, is that, this nurturing, sweet, ladylike charade we put on in front of our boyfriends, really isn’t a charade at all. Yes, silly and obnoxious is who we are, but now, the women we are when we are in love is who we are, too.
And it’s taken awhile, but I’m finally starting to be okay with that. Just don’t tell the Bestie I said so.