It's A Guy Thing

Rebecca and I have been friends forever, much too long for me to worry about how others perceive her (or us). She's what some consider a tomboy but I've never paid a whole lot of attention to that.

We're friends and that's all I care about. I'm not threatened by her. I'm not uncomfortable around her. I don't make fun of her. Why would I? She's fun, funny, smart, talented, confident, and we get along great.

Rebecca spends a lot of time at my house just as I do at hers – it's easy to do so considering we live across the street from each other.

My house has a huge walk in cellar that my father calls the "man cave" – it has his work bench, a computer station, a pool table, a refrigerator, a huge television and stereo system, several couches, a bar, and all sorts of movie and sports posters and photos. The cellar is a cool place to hang out but the old man isn't down there as much anymore so now that I'm an older teenager I sort of captured the place as my own.

Most people call her Becky but I call her Rebecca. Maybe it's because deep down I want her to be more feminine– I don't know. Maybe I just want my own favorite pet name that is special to me.

I don't see Rebecca like I do the rest of the girls at school. Not because she's a tomboy, but because she's my friend. Although I'm attracted to her, I don't want to wreck things between us because I would miss her as a friend if I did something stupid.

We've both had our dabbles in separate romantic undertakings but none of them have lasted long and we enjoy teasing each other to no end about those unsuccessful undertakings because we're comfortable being together as friends.

Rebecca doesn't care what other people think of – or say about- her either.

"What am I supposed to do, smack them up the side of the head because they call me a tomboy?" She'd ask with a shrug. "So what if I don't wear dresses a lot? So what if I like jeans and sweatshirts? What's wrong with that?"

"Nothing," I'd assure her.

"I still look okay, right?"

"Of course," I'd smile.

"Gender stereotyping is so stupid," Rebecca would complain. "I'm not gay but so what if I was?" She'd want to know. "Would that make me a bad person? Am I somehow less than because I don't get all dollied up?"

"Not at all," I'd say.

"So what if I liked football better than Barbies?"

"Nothing wrong with that," I'd tell her.

"A tomboy is a girl who does stuff a boy might," Rebecca says. "So what? Why do I have to be labeled just because I like the same stuff guys like?"

"You don't," I'd tell her.

"I like hanging out with guys but I still have plenty of girlfriends," she'd tell me. "So what if I like blue better than pink?"

"So what indeed?" I'd smirk.

"So what if I'm competitive and just as good at some stuff as guys?" She'd challenge. "Isn't that what equality is all about?"

"Yep," I'd answer.

Rebecca rides a motorcycle. She also has manicured nails. I'll see her reading a romance novel but she'll go see an action movie with me too. She's fairly balanced in my eyes so I'd never question her sexuality or mindset. I'm proud that she's a tomboy standing up for herself. It makes her a better, more confident person. She's still interested in feminine stuff. She'll get all dressed up (and look great!) for some of the formal dances. She can strut her stuff when she wants.

"There's nothing wrong with being a girl," She'd argue.

"Nothing at all," I'd grin when I saw her looking pretty.

But she was usually more comfortable in her jeans and sweatshirts.

It wasn't hard to explain, really. Rebecca was the only girl in a family with four brothers. She was always out in the yard helping her dad. She'd tag along with her brothers and partake in the various neighborhood pick-up games. Nobody argued with them when they'd say 'let her play' and it didn't take long for her to fit right in and belong

Rebecca never had trouble making friends or getting included in various sports activities. She broke the mold Freshman year when she stunned a lot of us by going out for cheerleading. She made the squad and spent a season shouting and cheering and dancing but that was it for her.

"I gave it a shot and that's what matters right?" Rebecca said after she hung up her pom-poms. "I made new friends but I'd rather play than cheer those who play."

Rebecca played field hockey, basketball and softball, reluctantly giving in to girls sports when it became obvious she wouldn't be allowed to 'cross over' to boy's football or baseball.

"I'm better than half the guys on those teams," she'd often protest to me.

Rebecca also became good at mechanics. She could fix anybody's bicycle and, later, car. She had plenty of guy friends and friends who were girls.

We hung out a lot. She didn't waste time going to the mall or worrying about fashion and make up. I think she's the most diverse person I know. I admire her passion and her perseverance. She's well rounded and grounded. She's socially involved and she's well- liked by everybody. I'm glad to be considered a friend.

I'd like to think that Rebecca confines in me more than others. We talk about the whole tomboy thing a lot. She'll tell me that she never wanted to be a boy and that she's happy she's a girl. She just like doing guy stuff.

"It's not as if I never played with dolls," she'd frequently point out. "But I liked Ken better than Barbie!"

The bottom line is that Rebecca is a good person who comes from a good family. I like her parents and her brothers. I'm welcomed whenever I'm at her house. Nobody there questions Rebecca – they let her be whoever she wants to be and they accept her friends (including me) with open arms.

Plus, I wouldn't admit this to anybody, but Rebecca can kick my ass! She's strong and tough and she never backs down.

I like that about her.