A few summers ago, a boy in my neighborhood hit me up on Grindr.
He was pretty, in a generic kind of way. You know the deal: there was nothing captivating about his appearance, but there was no denying he was attractive.
He asked me to come over and hang out after I finished work the next day, and I didn’t have any other plans, so I obliged.
I showed up around 5:30PM, tossing my Fossil leather doctor’s bag next to his bed. He stood awkwardly in the corner of his room a moment before finally saying “They let you wear that to work?”
I looked down: I was wearing a cardigan that cable-knitted down to my knees, a tight blue deep v-neck from American Apparel, and a pair of Super Skinny Abercrombie jeans. “Uhm. Yeah, I guess so? …What are we talking about?”
Generic Boy sat down at the edge of his bed. “I don’t know. Nevermind. So what’s up?”
I tried making small talk. He mostly talked about attending Columbia in the fall, as well as his waspy upbringing. I was already planning an excuse to leave when he said, out of nowhere, “To be honest, you’re a lot more feminine than I thought you’d be.”
I wasn’t sure what to say. My Grindr profile picture was me biting my lip; I sent him a picture of me wearing a pair of exposed-seam Chanel shorts; I told him my favorite show growing up was Dawson’s Creek. What was he expecting? Furthermore, was a tote bag and oversized cardigan really all it took to be “too feminine”?
So I asked him, “What exactly were you expecting?”
“I dunno,” he said nonchalantly. “Something else, I guess. Like, when I see you, I imagine you’re wearing a thong or something.” I was, a hot pink thong by Andrew Christian.
Heat rushed to my face. “Feminine” isn’t an offensive word, per se, but it definitely was the way Generic Boy was saying it. I wanted to tell him off, say ‘Fuck you,’ but I was flustered so I just said “I’m not feminine!” and grabbed my bag.
I took out my phone, but the headphones were stuck on something and ripped out of the jack. iTunes started blasting Katy Perry’s “Roar” out of my phone speaker.
I walked my Andrew-Christian-wedgied ass out of there So fast, wondering why the fuck it had to be “Roar” playing. After looking through the rest of my music, I realized there was really no song that could have made the moment less embarrassing… But “I Kissed a Girl” would have at least been ironic.