He sang George Harrison’s “Something” to me over the phone late at night. In what should have been a genuine and heartfelt romantic moment, all I can do is roll my eyes and imagine Renée Zellweger in the movie version of the scene; Nick and Nora flannel pajamas, lying belly down on a fluffy, pillow-ensconced bed, furry slippered feet waving enthusiastically. I do not have this in my DNA. Bring me Chinese and tequila, I’ll swoon. Fix the kitchen faucet that spews horizontally when turned on full force and my heart will skip a beat.
“God, he is trying so hard”, I think through cord progressions and falsetto notes, each more heart wrenching than the last, until the volume creates fuzzy distortion in my ear.
“CCCCCCCCCCoooooooooommmmmmmmmmmmeeee on. “ I think. Enough already. “Stopsingingnowstopsingingrightnow” repeats in my head. I admit, I do like a boy who plays the acoustic guitar. Kind of sweet in a barefoot, tunic-wearing, still get stoned kind of way. So why ain’t it doing it for me?
I blame my youth, the only girl in a family of boys. Not just boys, Toughskins boys, the type who broke bones and rode Huffy bikes straight down ravines. Moving often in childhood, I didn’t have consistent girl friends. My bros were my tribe. I wasn’t a tomboy so much (although I rocked the Dorothy Hamill wedge years longer than I should have), but I learned my adult social and emotional cues from them. I hate drama, don’t talk on the phone for hours (unless, oddly enough, with a man), I’m not overly weepy or emotional or gossipy and love, love the company of men. But I stall with the girly pampering. There was Lee who liked to paint my toenails (gave me the willies), Dave who took it upon himself to sit on me while lying on the floor watching TV to provide a shoulder rub (I immediately rolled away and into a cranberry and vodka). And shorter-than-me-ginger-boy-I-worked-with-whose-name-escapes-me who was absolutely sweet and lovely and took me for a drink one night who I passed over for co-worker Joel who had his hands down my pants on our first date.
I do, however, like doors opened for me. I have only a few love letters in a box in the basement, but those I adore. Walking arms linked. Having a bath run for me. Hmmm…perhaps there’s hope after all.