I like to start out with new friends by telling them I’m weird. Then they quickly tell me I’m not, as if to assure me. And then eventually I do something quintessentially me, like get lost or almost fall down a staircase, or get overwhelmed by noises and lights, and then suddenly I am weird to them, only in a way they didn’t expect. But it’s never cool.
Remember Winona? Like 90’s Winona who was always a bit strange and a bit fetishized by guys who were into dark girls? From Beetlejuice to Heathers to Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael and going all the way back to Lucas, Winona was kinda weird. But it was always endearing. Winona pulled those characters off well because there was something about her that was intrinsically weird.
And then everybody was surprised (and men were turned off) when grown up Winona turned out to be weird too. All those guys who fetishized her affect and then turned to Natalie Portman and Christina Ricci for their off kilter fetishes scorned Winona because she was no longer hot and also too awkward.
I don’t think I ever acted weird to get boys to like me. To this day, I couldn’t begin to woo a boy at all let alone with a fake conceit. I don’t pick up guys in person. For that, I’d have to make eye contact first. I embrace the awkwardness. But I never use it to be coquettish. I’m not calculated enough to know how to do that.
If anything, I’m so transparent I’m clear. And that is how I know that the weird that I am is intrinsic to me. Because if I knew, as a 40-year old woman, how to meet guys in person, I’d be married and living in Newport and shopping at Fashion Island with the other married twits. Instead, I am decidedly single and ridiculously awkward.