For as far back as I can remember, I have always preferred hanging out with guys rather than with girls. Despite the fact that I had two younger sisters, I grew up being chased, pummeled, teased and otherwise lovingly tortured by my three male cousins. On numerous occasions, the four of us would be set free on our grandparents’ farm, running through the endless rows of maturing Christmas trees, and they would, inevitably, be chasing me with mason jars full of creepy crawlers. Being that they were all bigger and faster than I was, I would run for my life screaming bloody murder, unable to truly evade them. I firmly believe that the more I’d shriek in half-delight, the more they enjoyed the chase and — eventually, the catching and the tickle torture.
Life has pretty consistently brought me good guy friends. While most girls would be paling around with other girls, dressed in stylish clothing as they explored the exciting worlds of makeup and chasing boys; I was most likely running around with a rag-tag bunch of boys, adorned in too-short pants or basketball shorts, a hoodie, and tennis shoes while we searched for more participants for whichever rough, messy, competitive game we’d decided to play.
Being the guys’ girl throughout my school years made me much more physically tough, thickened my skin, and afforded me many wonderful adventures that I likely would not have found otherwise. Without them, it would be unlikely for me to have taken quite the number or variety of adventures that I did when the gang was together. Without them, I likely never would have had the opportunity to play the “responsible young lady” who, when purchasing a pack of toilet paper that would later be strewn along a rural road that warm summer evening, I exchanged eye-rolls with the cashier at the boys — my boys — who were in the next line over, also hoping to buy toilet paper, but who would be sent out of the store empty handed. Using the boys as a distraction only ever increased my innocence-factor, allowing me to do things I might have otherwise been questioned for. This tactic worked well for us on many occasions.
Despite having made a few amazing female friends since, I keep a Band of Merry Gentlemen and maintain that I’m much more of a guys’ girl than a girls’ girl. When more females understand the benefits of being loud, straightforward, and somewhat inappropriate, I’ll keep more of them around.