When He Called Me ‘Not A Girl You Bring Home To Your Parents’



brookeekelund

I dyed my hair pink. And then blue. And then grey. And then teal. And then bleached it so blonde it was practically translucent.

Did you know that a polar bear isn’t actually white? They’re not. But their hair is translucent so it reflects the snow, the air, the never-ending Arctic, and everything around them so it makes them seem white. It makes them look one way, appear one way, come across one way, even if that “one way” isn’t the entire truth.

So when he said I wasn’t the kind of girl you bring home to meet the parents, I decided to become someone else entirely.

Someone untouchable. Someone who parents don’t know what to do with. Someone unshakeable. Someone with goals that exceeded “girlfriend” or “significant other” or even “person”. Someone who didn’t care who the fuck you thought she was.

I decided to turn myself into someone who might look one way, but really you have absolutely no idea what she’s up to. I decided to shoot for unpredictable, unreadable. I decided to shoot for someone who he wouldn’t know how to describe.

This metaphor is getting lost.

“You’re not really one of those girls you can ‘bring home to meet the parents.’”

I didn’t know what to say. I was speechless.

Because even if that’s not something you say with any intent behind it, it feels like a slap in the face. It feels like something you’re supposed to be ashamed of. It felt like telling me, “I don’t want anyone to know about this. About us. About you.”

I tried looking up an animal metaphor to smack right here and ended up reading all about hermit crabs which are really interesting because they shed their shells and find new ones as they continue to grow but as interesting as that is I didn’t really find an applicable metaphor that properly said, “I really wish he hadn’t said that about me because now it’s something that is in the back of my mind whenever someone shows interest.”

“You’re not really one of those girls you can ‘bring home to meet the parents.’”

So what kind of girl am I?

Honestly, I still don’t really know.

Did you know that in the late 1980s, a whale was discovered who had a call that sat at 52-Hz? It’s the only whale to be discovered omitting a call at that frequency. Because of the frequency of where the call sits, it’s possible that the whale isn’t detectable by other whales which is why a lot of people know the 52-hertz whale as “the loneliest whale in the world.”

I think I identify a little too closely with this whale that nobody’s actually ever seen. This whale is just out there, somewhere in the North Pacific, trying to be understood and no one else seems to get it. To get her.

So maybe the reason why it’d stung so much when he told me that I wasn’t the kind of girl he could bring home to meet his parents was really because it meant that once again, he didn’t get me. And he didn’t want to.

And when he decided he didn’t get me, and didn’t want to, I decided to be someone who gave off that vibe the minute you saw her. I got rid of the brown, I got rid of the blending in, I made a commitment to standing out. Even if no one “got it.”

“You’re not really one of those girls you can ‘bring home to meet the parents.’”

For a long time, scientists believed that the brightly colored markings of certain species of beetles were warnings to potential predators that they were poisonous or to stay away. Later, scientists deduced that the bright colors were actually a form of camouflage because the beetles lived among outlandish plants. So they were actually protecting themselves with their loud markings.

When he called me the kind of girl you can’t bring home to meet your parents, I decided that maybe that was okay. That maybe, really, deep down, I wasn’t. Maybe we would’ve had different political ideologies, maybe his mom would’ve thought my voice was too shrill. Maybe I just wasn’t their kind of girl.

And maybe, for me and my blue hair, that’s okay. TC mark



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