When I was three, I told my pregnant mother that I wanted a sister and she’d better deliver on her promise to make so because girls rule and boys drool or something to that nature.

A month later, my mom delivered a healthy baby boy and shattered all of my dreams.

Don’t get me wrong — I love my kid brother and he’s a great person. But he’s not a girl and I couldn’t talk to him about my period or how all I wanted to do was kiss this boy I liked but was too afraid to make the first move. And I mean, I couldn’t play Barbies with him, which was really my main objective as a three year old!

Looking back, I’d never trade Brian in for a sister. I mean, I’m sure having a sister is great fun and whatnot, but having a sibling who is a polar opposite of me in every sense of the word has really molded the kind of person I am and I like the person I am! That being said, being able to relate more to the male species meant I was not so great when it came to relate to my female peers. Like, sure, I wanted someone to play Barbie and Ken with me or paint nails, bake, play dress up, etc. But I didn’t want to hear about how Ashley said Jessica’s hair was ugly just because she was mad that Jessica wouldn’t let her be the motherly figure while playing house! I was one hundred percent concerned in having fun all of the time and showing the boys that I could do everything that they could do — better.

In fact, I knew I was boy crazy when I was five. Which seems early, but I assure you it’s most likely normal (please don’t bother me if it’s not).

There was this boy when I was five, you see; I swore I loved Kyle the first time I laid eyes on him while sitting on the carpet of my kindergarten class on the first day of school, waiting for my name to called. I think he loved me too for a while! He would sit on the carpet next to me during reading time, we’d play tether ball at recess, when my mom brought cupcakes for my entire class because I was turning six and it was a great day, he held my hand while singing Happy Birthday to me with the class! It was true six year old love, obviously! We were so made for each other it was undeniable that, someday, we’d get married and have the cutest little life together! We were adorable and every girl in class was jealous of the fact that he gave me the only pick Power Rangers valentine card that came in the box of Power Rangers valentines that his mom had probably gotten at KMart on BlueLight Special.

However, all good things must come to an end and in the first grade, a new girl was transferred to our school from Western Germany. She was taller than me, she had better Barbie dolls than me, her clothes were all hand picked from Baby Gap and Dillard’s, she was a world traveler a la the Army, and she had shiny blond hair that she could sit on if her butt got cold at recess! I was completely pushed to the side as Kyle saw her as ideal and began giving her all of the pink Power Rangers Valentines. Anyway, the point of all of this is that it was on this day that Nicole swooped in and stole the love of my kindergarten life and I first uttered the words, “Girl’s suck.”

In fact, I think I was so convinced that girls were awful — for so so many more reasons than nearly stealing your kindergarten one true love, blowing out the birthday cake candles at your birthday, stretching out/shrinking your favorite t-shirts, lying, talking behind your back, etc.—for so long that I didn’t allow myself to have meaningful relationships with women because I was too freaked out at how bat shit insane they seemed. I kept close company with the greatest guys I could find—the ones who’d let you watch football with them and call them at two in the morning when you just wanted to talk about how you watched Scream at a sleepover and was too afraid to go to sleep because what if you were murdered? My best friends were predominantly males throughout the course of my life because I held such a strong stance against my fellow [wo]man, simply out of annoyance and misunderstanding.

Don’t get me wrong — I had girl friends. We’d have sleepovers and I’d get invited over to their houses for birthday parties, etc. But there were really only a few girls who I could call up and be like “Can we talk about how much this small town sucks and I hate being on my period, so wanna eat pizza and ice cream while watching Dawson’s Creek?!” For those girls, I am forever grateful because, even though you didn’t know it at the time, you were definitely helping me figure out that, when everything is said and done at the end of the day, I am a girl’s girl through and through.

Even though I constantly told myself that I couldn’t relate to my effeminate peers and that I just wanted to have fun and for guys to like me because I was easy going, fun, athletic, and pretty, the women who have come in and out of my life helped me realize that I can be all of that and still not care about the silly things that girls constantly obsess over when we’re young, naive and impressionable.

And listen, say what you want, but as a twenty-three year old serial dater, I feel as though I can safely say a few things about women now that I no longer have a chip on my shoulder:

  1. Women do not suck! At all. Women are amazing, strong, compassionate, smart, genuine, super funny and so so much more!
  2. No man will ever love you if you can’t learn to love your fellow woman (and yourself, duh), because there’s no man who wants to be with a woman who can’t respect her own damn species.
  3. As much as you think your best guy friend gets everything you’re going through—he really only understands about 25% of it. Your girlfriends are always going to understand what you’re going through, how you’re feeling, etc. And they’re going to be brutally honest with you (if you’ve picked the right gal pals)!

I’d like to think this first stretch of my twenties has been all about finding myself, figuring out what kind of men I do/don’t like, finding out who my true friends are, and realizing that it’s okay be boy crazy 100% and still have love for all of the ladies out there who are, really, just trying to figure out the same exact things at this point in the game.

To all the women who currently inhabit my life (and that I plan on keeping around for the rest of forever), thank you for showing me how to behave like a normal human being. That includes you, mom — I suppose I can forgive you for never giving me the sister I always wanted because I’ve got friends in all the right places who replace that want.

I’ll never give up being boy crazy, though. You can’t make me!

You can read more from Alex Martin on her blog.

Image via ShutterStock.