Girl Crushes: Part 2
Updated: Apr 11, 2019
My next story doesn’t happen until my last year of high school. I’d had a few casual boyfriends. Fell head over heels for a Mormon boy that I never had a chance with. Never even kissed him!
I made out with a few cute boys but never wanted to do anything further than that. The thought that people our age were having sex – it totally disgusted me. I had absolutely no interest. Then one of my friends in choir class told me that this Tumblr-famous girl at our school posted one of my songs onto her page. (I had been putting every ounce of my energy into becoming a professional musician, among many other goals).
I didn’t know her, but I was interested in meeting this Tumblr-famous girl. I followed her on Twitter to try to see who she was. She followed me back. We chatted. And there it was. I had made the connection. I was excited to meet a new friend. Her name was Sam.
After that I started noticing her around campus and realized she was really quiet and shy, but insanely beautiful in her short velvet skirts and straight blonde hair. One night, she texted me inviting me over to hang out and have ice cream. She said she was babysitting her little brother and was bored. I remember that night so well. I had reached a depressive peak over how much I hated living in the Cove. I was at home hanging out with my mom and I had just turned in an application to spend a month in Cambodia as soon as I graduated. It was always a goal to move away as soon as I could. That’s when I got the text. It was like a shift in the Universe.
I was so excited and nervous to hang out with someone outside the Cove. She lived just below the boulevard in Holladay. Her family wasn’t Mormon. I didn’t know very many non-Mormons. I had strayed from my tight-knit group of friends at that point and, I laugh at young self when I remember the nervous excitement of going over to her house after dark, trying so hard to be cool.
I got there and she was watching TV, cleaning up. I sat on the couch trying to act comfortable. She asked me what kind of ice cream I liked, shouting flavors from the kitchen fridge. I was so nervous I didn’t want to eat anything at all, but I took whatever she was having.
As she made two bowls of ice cream, I realized she was not shy at all. She was hilariously cute and had a lot to say. She told me about parties she went to and all the kinds of trouble she and her friends would get into. I didn’t even know there were parties we could go to. I can still see her body language and how open she was to me. She was wearing black jeans and a dark blue t-shirt. I could tell that she was really comfortable with me and I liked that. I wondered if she had intentions with me beyond friendship. But quickly stuffed that thought down, telling myself what a freak I am for thinking that. Girls are just meant to be friends with each other. She just wants to be your friend.
After that night, our friendship just blossomed. Her group of friends totally welcomed me in. We spent all of our time together. I started going to parties with them, drinking and smoking pot. On Halloween she offered me one of her cigarettes. I thought she looked so sexy smoking one that I wanted to try it. I was hooked pretty quickly. As we started spending more and more intoxicated time together, sharing secrets and sleepovers, I was totally falling in love with her. I didn’t know it at the time, but damn, I was crazy about her.
It wasn’t long before she started dating one of our guy friends and I became the constant third wheel in their world. I didn’t care, I loved them both a lot.
But then suddenly I did care. That summer, ironically at the Pride Parade (probably the fifth one I’d been to as an avid supporter of the gay community), we were talking to my cousin who had recently come out, he was drunk, shirtless, covered in glitter. And during that conversation, Sam just looked at me and said, “so I had sex last night.”
What. will never forget that feeling.
I wanted to vomit. It felt like an elephant sat on my chest.
I wanted to tell my cousin Mitchell how much pain I was in from what she had just said but he was all happy for her and I was spiraling. Why wasn’t I happy for her? Aren’t we supposed to be excited for our friends when this stuff happens? What is wrong with me? What's this pain in my chest about?
I just wanted to go home and go to bed. I was so mad at her. And I couldn’t tell her I was mad at her.
Because I felt like she was ashamed. I felt like maybe she didn’t want to have sex with him. I felt like, what if maybe, she feels the same way about me as I do her? No, no, no, no, there is no way. You are a freak Jane. You don’t just fall in love with girls like that, you need to stop this right now and find yourself a boyfriend.
And that’s exactly what I did. By the end of that summer, right before I left for college, I met the sweetest man. He would be my committed long-distance boyfriend for the next four years. But that is another story that I need to work through separately.
If there’s anything I learned from these reflections it’s that sexual freedom isn’t just for LGBTQ people. Systematic oppression of sexual expression, the female form and positive masculinity hurt everyone. I can ask the closest cis, hetero girl to me right now and she would definitely say that growing up in this society has held her back sexually. And we are still working through that shit.
As I explored this part of my past life, I felt a lot of grief. I wished I would have told that girl I liked her. I wish I could have experienced having a girlfriend in high school instead of such uncomfortable relationships with boys. I wish I had asked a girl to the senior prom. I wish I hadn’t only kissed girls when I was drinking. I wish I could have been out and proud.
… But then I remember the bully in seventh grade math class. And I remember why that wasn’t my reality. Missed part one? Here it is. *Names were changed.
** This post was taken from my original blog site DeepThoughtsSLC.blogspot.com