Dear Diary

May 8, 2013

Anti: boys, school. Pro: dancing, drag queens.

Ruby

Two or three days after we broke up, I heard that my new ex was flirting with other girls at this concert. I heard rumors of more than flirting, too. Specific girls were named. I was devastated. (Seriously, did they have to tell me?)

If he was getting with girls so soon after we split, how much can the relationship have meant to him? It took him zero time to move on. Was this what he wanted all along? Had I been holding him back from living the way he wanted to live—which I guess was a hooking-up-with-girls-left-and-right lifestyle?

Maybe I was overreacting, or maybe I wasn’t. In any case, it doesn’t matter. It’s over and that’s for the best, and who cares what he does now. It’s none of my business and I shouldn’t give a shit. I knew this even then, but I was still hurt, and I still felt guilty. I literally felt guilty for not giving him enough space to cheat on me. I actually said, a few days ago, “I wish he had cheated on me, then maybe he’d be happy enough to treat me better and we could stay together forever.” Now I realize what an idiot I was for feeling that way.

I didn’t come to this realization all by myself. First there was my friend Sam. He’s my next-door neighbor and the first person I met when I moved to this tiny town. It’s the kind of place where your new neighbors immediately bring you homemade cookies and beer, and that’s exactly what his family did. He’s tall and blond and quiet, and we had honors biology together (before I dropped the class because I didn’t like the teacher). Since we’re neighbors, he’s the most accessible of all my friends and the one I’ve spent the most time with. A couple weeks ago I was out with Sam and some of our friends, including my ex before he was my ex. Summary of the night: we were cornered by a couple drunk idiots who got in my face, asked for my name, and called me a bitch, slurring and stumbling. I ended up yelling at them and storming away. I could hear them yelling behind me, calling me names: whore, bitch, ugly slut. In my peripheral vision I saw someone running after me. I assumed it was my then-boyfriend, because that is what a boyfriend would do, right? But it wasn’t him. It was Sam. He and another friend walked me home and made sure I was OK. My then-boyfriend said nothing until later that night, when he told me he thought those guys were funny.

Through all my recent the boy troubles and breakup, I’ve been at Sam’s house eating all his food, or talking to him, or sobbing through the Facebook machine to him about my feelz. Pretty much every day. And he’s listened, and he’s made me feel better, and he’s checked in with me, and he’s given me some of the best advice ever (“Go buy some mints, watch Heathers, and relax. And if you still feel like it, I’ll be around for you to rant to.”) So yeah. Best human ever. He helped me realize that I have the right to be sad but also to not be sad.

The second Mademefeelwaybetter was the local community theater’s production of La Cage aux Folles. (For those of you unfamiliar to the musical, the musical focuses on a gay couple who own a nightclub featuring exotic dancers and drag queens, and their son is about to marry a woman with ultra-conservative parents who do not yet know of his family’s background.) One of my friends had a supporting role as a German transgender dominatrix, so naturally, all my friends attended the show (my friend was fantastic, by the way). The musical’s themes were similar to the ones in Rocky Horror: getting out of your comfort zone, embracing your sexuality, being shameless about who you are, breaking gender roles completely. Getting in touch with your feminine and masculine sides.

In the past I’ve wondered if maybe I’m trans*, because I’ve never really understood what makes someone female. I never really felt especially “female,” whatever that means. What made me different from a guy? I didn’t know. But then La Cage happened and I suddenly felt empowered. The musical showed me that there’s a side of femininity that isn’t “girly,” but just pure concentrated female. It has something to do with feeling more feline than canine, and leading your stride with your hips instead of your shoulders. It had something to do with La Cage, but I don’t know exactly what. I think some sort of confidence and girl power just rolled off of the stage and unto me. It was the drag queens in particular—they were feminine but in an unconventional way, which was inspiring, because it proved that there’s more than one way to be female. I woke up the next morning and wore black eyeshadow up to my eyebrows and bright red lipstick. I looked like a drag queen. I decided I liked this. I decided that being “pretty” and looking “natural” or whatever don’t define femininity for me anymore. I have the power to give my gender whatever meaning I want to, and to decide for myself what my identity is and means.

Looking back, with this newfound confidence, at what had happened with my ex, I realized that worrying about someone who doesn’t seem to care about me is not worthy of my time. Go kiss all the other girls in the whole world. I won’t take it personally. You’re the one missing out. Meanwhile, I’m busy embracing my independence. I am listening to so much Bikini Kill, I am hanging out with Sam, I am listening to La Cage on vinyl while I think about things that matter. ♦

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27 Comments

  • FreeksandTwinPeaks May 8th, 2013 7:30 PM

    THIS MAKES ME SO HAPPY AND I FEEL LIKE PRANCING AROUND I LOVE THIS ARTICLE FOREVER <3333 Thank you!!!!!

  • FreeksandTwinPeaks May 8th, 2013 7:36 PM

    I can relate sooooooo much like that’s why I’m so happy!!!

    http://spookyteen.tumblr.com/

  • loonylizzy May 8th, 2013 7:46 PM

    so relating to these posts right now… stress, anxiety, stupid ex-boyfriends, i have it all. hopefully i’ll discover a peace of mind like naomi or start having magical epiphanies about my humanity like katherine. that way my mind can quit being a constant stream of pandemonium and discord :P

    http://www.theflightoftheflamingo.blogspot.com

  • maddieT May 8th, 2013 7:49 PM

    BRITNEY girl i feel you romeo and juliet might be a good play but in school it’s just a nightmare on wheels.

    ladieslovescience.tumblr.com

  • Kaetlebugg May 8th, 2013 7:51 PM

    Gooo Ruby!!! ALSO to Britney: I PROMISE IT GETS BETTER! YOU DON’T HAVE EIGHT MORE YEARS OF THIS! I hated 8th grade and freshman year and I was so stressed and I was like “how on earth is this going to be my whole life???” but I promise it won’t. I’m not saying high school is going to be a picnic, but once you get to start classes you actually like (probably around 11th grade, but certainly in college) you won’t end the day drained. Instead you will end the day perhaps somewhat tired but also intellectually stimulated!! Also I promise it is totally possible to just get better equipped to handle the stress. I don’t mean to sound condescending at all because I can totally relate, but one word of advice: touch. I remember one week freshman year was the most stressful week of my life at that point and I was literally about to cry/starting to weep one day when I wordlessly hugged my friend and she hugged me back, and I immediately started to calm down. Hugs can be mighty.

  • GlitterKitty May 8th, 2013 7:59 PM

    Ugh Britney I feel you girl. End of school is soooo stressful and exams are just ewwww. I’m so stressed out with school and have so much to do (so the obvious decision was to go on Rookie).

    And Ruby’s friend Sam sounds lovely.

  • Moxx May 8th, 2013 8:03 PM

    yessss, j’aime trooooop La Cage Aux Folles!

    the film is great, too. (the original, not the american version)

  • ColoredSoft May 8th, 2013 8:06 PM

    Katherine, you’re worrying me.

  • Kourtney May 8th, 2013 8:15 PM

    Ruby, I am rooting for you. And I’m glad you have Sam! He sounds like a pretty awesome dude. Britney, I feeeel you. At the beginning of the year I told myself that I’d actually work hard this year and get good grades, and I did. We’re in May now, though, and every essay/homework assignment/test just seems unnecessary. I can’t wait until school is over.

  • Julia May 8th, 2013 9:11 PM

    i’m really happy for your newfound confidence, ruby! please keep in mind, though, that “female” and “woman” and “feminine” are not synonymous. you made the distinction between your gender and expression- femininity/masculinity- but, reminder, female refers to the sex. so femininity is not limited to women, and neither are limited to females.

    awesome discoveries, though!

  • sabrinalee May 8th, 2013 9:18 PM

    oh, Ruby. I worry about you. Your life seems to mimic my former years too closely. I recently found out my ex-fiancee has gotten his 18 year old girlfriend pregnant, which just devastated me for so many reasons. I digress.
    But I came to the conclusion: you know what you had was real. It was true. The truth can change from moment to moment, but just because it changed doesn’t mean that what you had wasn’t true.

  • Chloe22 May 8th, 2013 9:27 PM

    Ah, all the stress the end of the school year brings…;p
    http://rhinestonemoon.blogspot.com/

  • indigosunday May 8th, 2013 10:14 PM

    it’s weird for me that I know exactly what Katherine is talking about and I’ve been in that place and sometimes I think I’m slipping into it too often

  • elliecp May 9th, 2013 1:29 AM

    Ahh britney I totally get how you feel…love this post, thankyou guys <3

    http://roseandvintage.blogspot.com/

  • eremiomania May 9th, 2013 1:42 AM

    Ruby your article empowered me like La Cage aux Folles empowered you. I am so happy for you! I’m also completely jealous of your friend Sam, he seems really great and I’m so glad you have such a supportive friend.

  • Eileen May 9th, 2013 10:54 AM

    I loved Katherine’s! I feel like the only thing you CAN do in those peculiar states is just write about it; put it out unto the universe, that way it doesn’t feel like it’s your problem anymore.. Like it now becomes a thought floating around to all who will listen, and it becomes less of a tumor growing inside of your throat. I love that you can take a step back and observe all of that, maybe watch a Disney movie…? that usually gives me some perspective. I recommend The Little Mermaid.
    http://waitingforeuro.blogspot.com/

  • Yayo May 9th, 2013 11:16 AM

    ”Then these weird moments started happening, these abrupt shifts in consciousness that take over my brain without warning. It happens like this: I’m doing some banal task—sitting in class, starting my car, or about to fall asleep—and then suddenly everything feels different. I become completely aware that I’m a human and of what that means. I’m aware of every part of my anatomy and can feel mortality in the front balls of my feet. The objects around me become outlined in light. This lasts about 30 seconds before I return to my former state, but with a residual hyperconsciousness that fades after about a minute”

    Oh MY GOSH KATHERINE.
    I have a wall in my bedroom that I write down quotes books or poems or songs that I think are just literary genius. I just added your paragraph.

    You’re up there with Wilfred Owens, Lana Del Rey, Harper Lee.

    I relate to it so much I started to cry.

  • I W May 9th, 2013 11:35 AM

    Katherine- I get those moments! I’ve never heard anyone else talk about them, but they must happen to most people, right?
    Also, that sucks about the Cheeto-dust thing, but I’m glad you’re feeling better.
    http://doxographies.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Saana V May 9th, 2013 12:41 PM

    Britney, are we the same person? I’m so fed up with school this moment and i’m having five important tests next week and for some reason they define my future (every test we have does. ha no pressure there) soooo yeah.

  • Clara Barnes May 9th, 2013 2:38 PM

    Caitlin, why did you delete your blog? I loved it so much!

  • junebug May 9th, 2013 4:46 PM

    Ruby, I don’t understand how you can be so much younger than me but deal with/write about my emotions so much better than me. Love this one. Screw the ex–you have better things to think about.

  • jill May 9th, 2013 5:34 PM

    SAM IS BRIAN KRAKOW!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ally_O May 9th, 2013 6:22 PM

    RUBY YOU ARE SO AWESOME!! Reading the first part of your entry broke my heart because I’ve gone through the exact same thing as you and I know how much it hurts. Clearly, though, your ex-boyfriend is a major jerk, not only because he’s already hooking up with new girls but because he thought those guys calling you names were funny. I’m glad you have someone like Sam in your life, and I’m glad you’ve come to that realization about your gender!

  • abby111039 May 9th, 2013 8:34 PM

    I can relate to all of these…stress, atheism, stupid boys…I love reading these posts ’cause it reminds me that I’m not isolated on an island of problems because other people are dealing with the same stuff. So thanks. <3

  • Maude May 9th, 2013 8:35 PM

    Omg! Caitlyn, where’d your blog go? I always check after reading the diaries, and now I’m so sad.

    • Caitlin H. May 10th, 2013 3:03 PM

      Awwwww Maude, I’m hiding out on the internet for a bit, you may be able to find me.

  • retrogirl23 May 18th, 2013 11:09 PM

    I’m reading Romeo and Juliet too Britney! Are you going to watch the movie with your class?