Jazz at the Pizza Express here is free (unlike at the Soho, London branch of Pizza Express) so I met with some friends for alcoholic refreshments served with dough balls and fresh pesto last night at the restaurant.
"Have you ever had a lesbian affair?" M., the glamourous wife of R., asked me.
"Mmm. Cough. Cough." I reached for my glass of Shiraz.
"See, she has. I want to have a try at it, too," M. declared to R.
"Uh, you do realise, technically speaking, you'd be cheating," I said.
"Not if I get to watch," said R.
I wonder if any of my peers at high school ever really did 'it'. Certainly the way girls hang out with each other, to the extent of using the same toilet cubicle together, did make me wonder. My homeroom teacher had no doubts about it, and he told us so, one drunken evening on a school trip.
"You girls, you lot, the way you behave.... Frankly, I think you're all lesbians," he said, slurring his speech. The girls all screamed their disapproval and protested their innocence at this. But the man was not to be stopped.
"If you had been boys, you'd have all been seen as homosexuals. Just because you're girls doesn't mean you get to escape that label so easily," he continued. I wanted to cheer him on but that would have meant being ambushed by fifty other girls so I didn't say anything.
But it's true, I felt really uncomfortable being at an all-girls' school because the girls were so 'weird'. I don't keep in touch with any of my peers any more.
In my first year, the girl who was my 'best' friend told me she found it frustrating talking to me because I didn't 'open up' to her.
"It's as if I'm talking to a brick wall," she complained. I was astounded. We lived in the same neighbourhood (so took the school bus together), were in the same classes (and sat next to each other) and had all our meals together (our school was a sadistic one, we started at 8am and finished at 9.30pm). What more could she want? But I agreed to try to 'do better'. So I had to spend some nights talking to her over the phone for hours. It was zapping the life force out of me. It was probably worse than being married. So I gave it all up and stopped speaking to her. At least I never had to hold hands with her, like all the other girls did with each other.
I tried not to have a 'best' friend after that. But for some reason it never worked out that way. Girls don't do 'group' bonding except on a superficial level. I had two more 'best' friends and they were all the same - obssessive and extremely emotionally dependent. I hated it when they started crying on me - aaargh! That was the pits. Ever tried comforting someone over the phone for two hours after a long day at work? It's that kind of tiring experience. Looking back on it, I think they were substituting me for a boyfriend. Or were they actually lesbians? I don't know. I didn't feel any sexual frisson
with any of them, but that was probably because they were suffocating me to near-death with their emotional demands.
What's funny is that most of these girls are now married with children. They proudly post photographs of themselves with their significant other on to the high school discussion board. Maybe the true lesbians out there form underground circles to deal with their frustration. Or did I hang out with the three real lesbians at my school? None of them are married yet. Or is it that I'm denying something here myself (tee hee, I'm only joking, M., darling)....