In sixth grade, I transferred to a new middle school. My classmate, Kyle, was the only other person who transferred from elementary school with me, and while we got along, we didn’t have a ton in common. At recess the first day, Kyle left with a group of boys to play football and I sat down on a bench and stared at the dirt.
After about five minutes, a girl from my class sat down next to me. “I’m Alissa!” she said.
“I’m Stephanie,” I said. We both stared at the dirt.
“Can you see those ants?” she asked. “Sometimes I feel like I have some kind of super bug vision because I can zero in on them no matter where I’m looking.”
“I see a lot of bugs, too!” I said, and suddenly we were friends. We had sleepovers and played foursquare during recess, and when I moved to Hawaii at the end of the semester, she wrote me letters at my new address.
I want it to be clear that no one rocks the X chromosomes like I do, but there are some stereotypically female things that leave me confused. I obsess about my hair and squeal over shoes as much as the next cliche, but things like “applying lipliner” and “understanding emotions” are sort of beyond me. Because I missed some important female lesson at some point, I get all my relationship advice from Google.
Tuesday, I was asking Google how to flirt and every result was from Cosmopolitan, the magazine for fun, fearless females. If you’ve walked past a magazine rack in a grocery store and you have eyeballs, you know that Cosmo’s advice can be crazy. Not fun, you-never-know-what-your-girlfriend-will-do-next crazy. The your-girlfriend-is-going-to-stab-you-in-the-face-in-your-sleep kind of crazy. Nevertheless, there are girls out there who live and breathe Cosmo. If sex sells, a thousand different euphemisms for it plastered on a pink cover must sell a thousand times as well.