April 01, 2002

A girlfriend of mine this weekend said to me, "I think I'm going to forget men for awhile and only have relationships with women."

First of all, this is not an unusual statement to hear in San Francisco. Secondly, I couldn't think of anything to say to change her mind.

My response:
"It's nice you have that option."

I don't think I have any straight friends. They all seem to have varying degrees of alternate sexuality. Which means I'm the abnormal one. It's like being white and finding yourself in a primarily Hispanic or Asian neighborhood, both experiences I've had. It's a peculiar position to be in, when you've been part of the ethnic majority all your life. I'm suddenly incredibly, self-consciously pale and tall.

I often wish I could join my alternately sexual friends as women do seem to be somewhat easier to deal with. Or at least, as a woman, I might have a better idea how they work. Then again, I'm often confused by how I work, so who knows.

I do think I tend to have more of a male mentality when it comes to emotions and love and such. I'm not much for marriage or children. I'm hopeless when someone puts a baby in my arms. I'm not so great with the touchy-feely talk about your feelings part of a relationship. Frankly, if it wasn't for my love of kitten heel mules and flirty skirts it would be hard to convince people I'm not really alternately sexual (in a fly to Sweden kind of a way).

However, having stereotypically male personality traits; which frankly I think just comes from my feminist upbringing, feeling I'm just as good as a man, and perhaps taking it a little too far; does not mean I'm gay. In fact, I'm coming out of a very San Francisco closet for the first time on my site--I'm straight. Hopelessly mainstream. My options are limited to less than half of the population. In fact, significantly less than half the population in SF.

Once you take out the women, gay and straight, the gay men, the married men, the stupid men, the men over 50, the men who don't bathe (mostly found on Muni buses), the men who only date blond Marina women, and the men who buy insanely expensive cars as some form of compensation...well, that doesn't leave many men. In fact, that may leave only the men I've already dated. And that's not a large number.

None of this is to say I'm actively out there looking. I'm still relishing my freedom, a year and a half after I retrieved it, and not looking to get tied down again. But my girlfriend made me think. She hops from one relationship to another, with varying degrees of commitment. Not in a fickle sort of a way, but just hopping along because when one relationship ends, it doesn't take her long to find someone else. She's beautiful, free-spirited, smart, creative, completely honest...and is just as happy with a woman as she is with a man. Her dating pool is at least twice as large as mine. It's like that old joke--marry a transvestite and double your wardrobe. Be a bi-sexual and double your dating closet. Something like that.

The bottom line is--I'm not hopping fences, learning to bat for the other side, or doubling my closet. It's beyond me. But I'm happy for those who can. I'm happy for my friend for having the option to choose women for awhile. And I'll stick it out in SF despite the shallow pool. I'm not quite ready to start wading in anyway.

Posted by Alyssa at April 01, 2002 10:01 PM
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