Do you remember that time when girls would play with girls and boys with boys? That primary school class where little girls, with pink ribbons, would sit all together in a corner, already gossiping and exchanging clothing tips and bragging about the latest Barbie? Well, I do. I do remember it vividly. Probably because I never had the coolest Barbie or the trendiest outfit. I was already a stranger. The end of childhood marked a moment of enormous relief. Closed in a girls’ world I had few chances to succeed, too much pressure to bear. In a teenage world, where boys first entered the picture, I could reach a larger audience, and one that wasn’t necessarily interested in conforming to the Kelly Taylor (of Beverly Hills 90210, FIRST edition) ideal. Well, to my greatest surprise, I am back in that primary school class. I have been to more than a dozen birthday parties in the past year and a half and the girls (in their 30s) always decide to have a girls-only party. So I’ve been to manucure parties, cooking class parties, pole dance class parties, cocktail making parties…and yet there were only girls. Why is it? Is it because twenties are the mating years, when we have to find the love of our life and settle so that in our 30s (and beyond, unless life puts us on the market again) we can go back to the joys of sisterhood? I haven’t still figured it out but I have to admit that in spite of my rocky primary school past I do prefer to celebrate – anything – with other girls. Past the partying-as-crazy years, we don’t have time anymore for girly talk: we live very short days and weeks and years trying to figure out who we are, and taking care of pets, partners and children. No more time to brag on the newest Barbie. Once settled the “Finding the Love of My Life” thing, which occupied a big part of my thoughts during my early 20s, I frankly have a much better time having a drink with a girlfriend, toasting on what we have become compared to who we wanted to be some years ago and exchanging opinions on our multiple lives. it’s liberating, it’s easier and normally funnier then sitting next to the regular guy at the dinner table discussing what we do and where we live and how many children we have and feeling the distress – on both sides – to have a polite conversation with a stranger.
I had always thought that humans were so evolute and smart and intellectually sophisticated and then the question unsettles me: is the innate human reproductive urge the only reason why men and women enjoy a conversation? Would we have parties and beach resorts and New Year’s Eves and cocktails if there was no mating instinct?