On summer days I used to play tag with the boys and on summer nights I would play video games with my three older brothers. One day I noticed that something was off. On a hot summer day during a game of tag I realized that I was being chased.
I know it sounds normal seeing as I was playing tag after all, but I wasn’t it! So why was everyone chasing me? Me, who wore the baggiest pants? Flat-chested, ponytail-wearing, NOT-IT me? It was the first time that being a girl stopped me from doing something I enjoy. I had all these boys chasing me to ask me out when all I wanted was to play tag. That was the last day I ever played tag. That day is ingrained in my memory as the day I was forced to make a decision; I either change the way I am or I find a way around it. I decided to do a little bit of both.
The next summer I secluded myself in my home. When asked by my teachers what I did that summer, all I had was a list of books I read and zombie games I completed. I was not allowed to go outside with the older guys (brothers included), because my mother believed playing with them was too dangerous and boys my age thought play time was a fitting time to ask a girl out.
(That never happened, my parents never took us on vacations. Lucky Me?!)
My only opportunity to be around people that I could be myself with was to date them. From an early age I became a serial dater. Like most teenagers, I didn’t truly know why I did the things I did. All I knew was what I wanted and how badly I wanted it. And much like any other teenager, all I wanted was to have friends.
( Name of the game: Hot concrete )
My first kiss was with a boy who is now one of my best friends. Our hand holding was just a way to mask our strong friendship. I just wanted to be around the guys. Having a boyfriend in the group was a magical shield that kept others from looking at me as uncharted territory.
(“Please, don’t! Your homeboy is my boyfriend”)
In my younger teenage years I found myself being hated by some of the guy friends due to a lack of maturity and understanding that a girl can simply “hang” with the boys. However, years later I would see them again and in our eyes it was all sibling rivalry and even if I would grow apart from the ex that introduced me, his friends and I would keep in touch.
Although I have worked extremely hard to find a balance, I am still not able to have as many guy friends as I would like. Being in a relationship and having friends of the opposite sex is not so easy. My bond with males is a brotherly bond. It is a strong part of who I am. It is the only thing I knew and when in doubt it is the only thing I know.
The reason I write is to understand my actions and values on a deeper level. The reason I write is to understand. Although I am no longer player one: The serial dater, I would like to keep my teammates around (Those who I have met along the way, not those who I’ve dated, as some relationships will never be the same). I would like to connect with those alongside whom I have played the game of life with…I want my brothers back.