80% Girl

I’m beginning to wonder if I’m really a girl.

Every week I tilt my head at something I hear or read. Last week it was, “Every girl needs a pair of killer heels.” Uh-­oh. Not only do I not have or want any, I don’t actually “need” them—because I have Sperry’s. Even with my vivid imagination, I can’t fathom how killer heels would enhance my life. (All the things you’re yelling at the screen are things I don’t want.) If I could come up with even one benefit that made sense to me, then maybe I’d hit up DSW; but, as it stands, if every girl needs killer heels—and I don’t—then I guess I’m not a girl?

But wait, wait, wait. I enjoy loofahs and talking things out and doodling hearts in the margins. I also like reading into conversations, taking things out of context and perusing every aisle at Target—except the pet one—so I AM a girl, right?

Thank you, Oprah.
Thank you, Oprah.

I also heard this one recently: “Every girl deserves to go to a ball.” First of all, that’s just not true. I know a lot of girls who deserve to be grounded and strictly forbidden from going to balls. Second of all, I have to assume that ball attire requires killer heels, so thankfully, I’m out. Going to a ball appeals to me none percent. It requires shoes I oppose and a pretentiousness that pricks my baby skin. I’m also assuming the football game won’t be on anywhere at the ball, right? Do people who host balls serve anything in the buffalo-blue-cheese-slider family? I’d need to know this before I decided if I really and truly deserved to go to a ball like every girl supposedly does.

This one you’ve all heard, and I could write a dissertation on it, but I won’t. “Every girl wants to be a princess.” People, not only has that never crossed my mind—or taken up even momentary residence in the chamber of my heart where dreams reside—but I want to be a princess about as much as I want to be a lobster, in a pot of boiling water, being prepared for the main course, at a ball I don’t want to attend.

What is the appeal of being a princess? I’m asking because I genuinely want to know and understand this breed.

I can list 5 really quick things that make me not want to be a princess.
1. Their voices are annoying.
2. They wear gowns and killer heels.
3. The have to eat politely … and in small quantities.
4. Their hair is long and they wear it down. All the time.
5. Most of them are dainty, demure and seemingly helpless.

6. Some of them have flippers and act like this.
6. Some have flippers and act like this.

I don’t even want to be friends with anyone over the age of seven who wants to be a princess. I’m sorry—that’s just not a thing. In my mind, that’s just not even a thing. Wanting to be a princess is like wanting to be a figurine. That’s something every girl wants? Like, when they’re stone-cold sober? Ladies, is that true? To the readers who are out of footed pajamas and who don’t still have baby teeth, do you dream of being a princess?

I’m not asking if you want to make babies with Prince Harry. I’m for-real asking, do you really dream of being a princess? I mean, if you do, that’s fine, I guess … I dream of us going on an African safari with Roger Federer and his wife and two sets of twins, and capturing phenomenal shots of giraffes while the sun is setting, but it’s not like I go around saying and tweeting and posting, “Every girl wants to go on an African Safari with Roger Federer and his wife and two set of twins and capture phenomenal shots of giraffes while the sun is setting!”

Nope—no, I don't.
Nope—no, I don’t.

It’s no secret that I like the smell of Home Depot as much as the smell of Sephora. The ambiance of both stores makes my whole body happy. And most of my people know I’d rather watch the NFL Draft than the Oscars.

Side Note: I know something I dream of. I dream of being on the red carpet at the Oscars one day, simply so that when Mario Lopez asks me “who I’m wearing” I can clutch my locket and sigh, “Aunt Norney … I miss her so much.”

But I know I’m still a girl because I have boxes full of old cards, letters, pictures and diaries, and I’d put someone in a full nelson and snap his collarbone if he tried to throw them out. Uh-oh. Only guys do full nelsons and bone-breaking things, huh? Whatever. Still, the high sentimental factor makes me a girl—admit it.

“Every girl dreams of and plans her wedding day from the time she is five.” Really? Like, really­ really? I fully understand dreaming of and planning your marriage, but the wedding? So you’re saying, for 20 years straight, every girl plans those few hours of her life? Every girl? All of us? Dang it—there I go, not being a girl again. But it doesn’t add up, because I love to take long baths and daydream about Britney and Justin getting back together … and in time to have a baby. This is in the girl category, right?


“Every girl knows where to get the best brunch.” Sigh. Don’t get me started on brunch. It’s NOT “the best of both worlds—breakfast and lunch combined.” It’s HALF of both worlds, without being as good as either. If I have to “do brunch” to be a girl, then I’ll pass, because there are too many good places for afternoon craft beer, hot wings and Neapolitan pizza—none of which will include an egg or Hollandaise sauce.

“Every girl deserves to be treated like a princess.” Again I say, “Not true.” Have you met every girl? This is patently false, because a lot of girls deserve to be treated like the wicked witch of the West. And besides, gross. Why is this so gross to me? I’m fully down with being treated well and being respected and even waited on—for special occasions—but the notion of being treated like a princess gives me the shakes.

I saw a pin on Pinterest the other day and it was an image of a dress and shoes and accessories laying on a bed … with a note on top of it all that said, “Wear this and be ready at 7:00.” Then the caption on the pin said, “Every guy should do this for his girl at least once in his life.”


I’m not on the market, but if I was, and a guy did that, I would fracture my eyeballs rolling them. Please don’t dress me. The “be ready at 7:00” part is kind of sexy and bossy, but please leave the clothes and accessories purchase out of the mix. That’s not cute.

One thing that makes me feel A-OK about my supposed partial-girl status is The Bachelor. I can’t watch it or even listen to people discuss it, because of the way the girls act on the show. It makes me happy to separate myself from their ilk. I’d rather watch a 10-part A&E series on Houdini’s cousin than two minutes of The Bachelor. But bear in mind, I can watch HGTV until my legs go numb. So who’s the girl now?

I wish society would just stop trying to convince me I’m not a girl, because minus the brunching and killer heels and dressy galas and pukey princess and Bachelor stuff, I’m 100% girl. Or at least 75%—maybe 80% if my obsession with wanting Beyonce and Jay-Z to stay together counts.

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0 thoughts on “80% Girl

  1. I know you’re a REAL girl because you secretly yearn for Cybll Sheppard and Bruce Willis to get back together. Also no one could be anything but real girl and have the tiny delicate baby hands and feet that you have. You’re perfect. Princess or not.

  2. Thank goodness not every girl wants to be a princess. That would be a whole lot of work for me and I just don’t have the time or the ambition. Besides, I have a king at home impersonating a 6 year son of mine. With the “hey can you get me some cereal and pour the milk and spoon the cereal in my mouth” to the “I want that toy, and that toy and that toy” at Target, I’m already taking care of a king.

    1. You’ve got your bitter hands full. That is obvious. I’m glad you don’t have to deal with any princesses. No need to give you more reasons to be be bitter. Silver lining.

  3. Well, regardless of the verdict, I don’t want to hang out with any princesses, but you know I would love to have a beer and giant amounts of food with you. I do like heels, but I prefer mine to be peaceable and non-violent. And mostly they just make me feel tall, not more like a girl…because I have a vagina to do that for me.

    P.S. That African safari tweet needs to happen. For reals.

    P.P.S. Those girls on The Bachelor aren’t real. They are 76% plastic and 24% alcohol.

  4. The wedding planning thing cracks me up. My husband and I eloped so we (I) could avoid having a wedding. I dreaded the whole idea of planning one, I was having nightmares about it after we got engaged. Guess that makes me a guy despite my love of pedicures and sundresses (well, when Im not doing something too active to allow dress wearing). And I definitely do not want to be treated like a princess, thanks but no thanks.

  5. Cube-mates within close proximity definitely heard me laughing about all of THIS. “I want to be a princess about as much as I want to be a lobster, in a pot of boiling water, being prepared for the main course, at a ball I don’t want to attend.” AND THIS ” The “be ready at 7:00″ part is kind of sexy and bossy, but please leave the clothes and accessories purchase out of the mix. That’s not cute.” Hilariousness.

    And while I realize I fall well within the girl category when it comes to apparel, I certainly do not expect or insist that those items are a necessity for other girls. In fact, I’d like to take away some “killer heels” from several girls who would do much better without them:)

  6. This is why I love your blog…when you wrote about going on a safari with RF, his wife and two (!) sets of twins, it spoke to the chamber in my heart where my secret dreams reside. Thanks for that.

  7. Anna Lee West, you are my kind of girl! I’m totally with you on all of this—especially the football part (YAY it’s started back). Now I have been known to enjoy getting spiffy every now and then but if this computer had eyes you’d be seeing me in a ball cap, no makeup, sports bra and jogging shorts—and for the record, no I haven’t been jogging—I don’t “do” heels. I taught high school for 31 years–ever watched a teacher trying to run in order to break up a fight in heels? It ain’t happening.
    And I could write the great American classic on how our media and television industry is doing a grave disservice to young girls everywhere—a very unhealthy disservice. As I have written, at length, about this sick obsession our society has against aging at all costs and what it means to be a “woman”—the obsession is enough to us shooting a lethal poison into our faces and other places in order to “freeze” the wrinkles into submission, the boat load of $ spent on cutting, sucking, nipping and tucking—and for what—in order to look like Bruce Jenner???
    Oh dear—I fear I’ve gotten started—may I step down from my soap box and thank you for a great as well as funny post–and that I couldn’t agree with you more—GO DAWGS!!

    1. Right? Bruce Jenner? Thanks Julie! I need to make sure I’m seeing all your posts! Thank you for taking the time to read/comment 🙂 Glad you’re pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down!

      1. you know, oddly lifted and stretched–distortion of what was once human 🙂 Excess in the name of beauty and youth all of which tends to back fire—overt augmentation is case in point—ie Bruce Jenner 🙂

  8. Yep, I don’t get the princess thing either. No thanks–and I’m secretly thankful I had boys. Lol great job as always, Anna!

  9. Amen, sister! I do love my heels and brunch but otherwise, I’m with you! If someone told me what to wear I’d give them nothing but a hard stare. And being a princess just looks itchy – why always so much lace? I also disliked getting dolls as gifts when I was a little girl just BECAUSE I was a little girl (my parents never did this but other people gave them to me). Dolls made me eye roll with boredom into the next time zone. And don’t even get me started on my The Bachelor refusal. The worrrrrrst. Great post!

      1. Meant to mention – I did want to be a princess as a little girl actually: Princess Leia from Star Wars lol! She was bad ass and could hang with the boys. That’s my kind of royalty.

  10. I thought I was the only one who hoarded old cards, because everyone else gives me side-eye about it. I just can’t bear the thought of throwing away something that someone took the time to buy and write in and send to me, okay?

  11. Man, you crack me up. I’m a girl who used to play cowboys with the guys and I know I’m a girl cause I didn’t want to be a cowboy – I wanted to be the tough, but pretty cowgirl the cowboys were in love with.

  12. My head just automatically takes “Every girls needs a pair of killer heels!” and turns it into “Every girls needs blisters the size of quarters all over her feet!” for me, and we call it a day with a loafers.

    1. Nodding. Yep. And btw, ONLY girls who can wear heels and walk in heels, w/o looking like an injured donkey, NEED them. Let’s be clear. So if I have the math right, very few girls NEED heels. 😉

  13. You had me laughing all the way… Love, love, love! Listing out the reasons you don’t want to be a princess… I was almost silent crying. When I was under the age of 7 and dreamed of being a princess, I really just wanted a white horse and wear a tiara whenever I wanted :-0

  14. Ok, here’s the thing … even as a “guy” I don’t get the high heels! Why would anyone want to make themself so uncomfortable? But, I can say the same for guys letting their pants hang down to their knees … walking like they have an unpleasant anal condition and holding their pants up with one hand. What if the buffet line at the brunch requires both hands? How are they going to carry the sauteed mushroom sauce with sour cream back to the table? All things I can live without.
    Nope, my dear, you are a girl and I am a guy and we don’t live by the asinine rules set up by the fashion POlice. (Notice the accent on the 1st syllable)
    Funny, funny, funny.

    1. Maybe next time we’re together, we should work on our respective roles. We can walk somewhere—anywhere—and I’ll wear some of Jeni’s killer heels and you can sag your pants and walk like a duck. It could be fun. At least think about it. We don’t want to POlice on us. 😉

  15. Great post! I’m right there with you! Though in many ways I’m a card-carrying girly-girl and get weak-kneed when I walk by a designer handbag department, there is nothing I love more than digging in the warm soil of my garden, loving my fur-babies until I’m covered in hair, hiking Red River Gorge, or driving a tractor through a field. I love cars more than shoes, and I’d much rather have a lazy picnic than go out to a posh restaurant. I’d say I’m 82.5% girl.

    1. 82.5% … perfect! Wait, did you say you’ve driven a tractor? Oh swoooon. You know how this moves me. And I knew you must’ve, based on how you grew up, but hearing it again makes me long for the fields! One day … one day. 80% and 82.5% chicks can hang. This is good 🙂

  16. Thank you Anna for reminding me I’m not alone. I don’t wear heels or makeup, but have some uncontrollable crushes on male movie stars, so I guess I’m a girl. I let my mother plan my wedding, but I did have three children so I guess I’m a girl. I think being told what to wear and when to be ready smacks of a man with control issues, which means I am definitely a girl with some functioning radar. But then I filled out one of those fb quizzes about my true age, and it came back that I am a bald headed man in my 40s. Do you think it’s bc I don’t use moisturizer?