When I close my eyes and think of all the women I’ve ever loved – sometimes for years, sometimes for mere minutes – an odd, frothy mixture of euphoria and melancholic yearning seeps into the lining of my gut. Candy floss and blood-stained shards of broken glass.
Over the years, I’ve experienced a plethora of WLW crushes of fluctuating degrees – which usually range from sugary-sweet and ecstatic to mind-numbingly painful. Upon introspection, I’ve been able to pinpoint 6 crushes that almost all WLW experience at some point in their queer journey.
The Gay Awakening
Sigh. You know this one. She knows this one. The closeted gay man who lives down the street knows this one. The flirtatious girl you met at the bar last night knows this one. We all know this one.
Every WLW encounters their gay awakening, usually at an age when they self-identify as heterosexual. It’s typically a brief moment. An ephemeral flash of bright colour that blinds you for the slightest second – and as you pause to catch your breath, it assaults your senses a second time, as if to prove a point. Notice me, it screams. You don’t.
Not until years later, anyway, when you think back to all the women you “admired” as a child.
Spoiler Alert: You didn’t want to be that cute girl in the bookstore, you wanted to do her.
The Virar-se-Churchgate-jaane-wali-local Crush
You remember that pretty girl on the train, who you fell in deep, passionate love with for the entirety of 8 minutes? Whose delicate features you swore you would remember forever? Who you didn’t end up sparing a single, sperm-sized thought to after exiting Bandra station?
Every so often, I find myself (subtly) gawking at pretty girls I happen to notice in unexpected places: railway stations, supermarkets, clothing stores, libraries – any place you don’t expect to find The One.
The process is brisk. Fleeting. Ephemeral.
You see her. You admire her. You wonder if her hair is as soft as it looks. You wish you knew her name. You start to weave a story in your head, one where she notices you and asks you for your number. Just as you’re nearing the climax of your daydream: a passionate make-out session with this girl you’ve just met – your colony wali aunty waddles over towards you, and spends an elaborate 20 minutes enquiring about “Mom’s health” and “Is she eating kishmish soaked overnight in warm water like I told her to? Excellent for clean bowel movement!” she announces triumphantly. When she finally staggers away after half an hour, the girl is gone. You sigh dejectedly, and go about your day.
And just as soon as it arrived, the memory of the pretty girl is forgotten; stowed away at the back of a closet, like a pile of dirty laundry.
The Straight Girl™
Every so often, WLW come across, what is commonly referred to as a Straight Girl™. (No, I don’t mean “straight girl”, I mean: Straight Girl™)
The Straight Girl™ is usually drop dead gorgeous, funny, flirtatious, coy; and often takes great pleasure in hitting on WLW and making them writhe in homosexual angst. She watches smugly, as they fall all over themselves to pay for her drinks – and carefully rewards them with kisses and compliments that are just enough to keep their interest, but not enough to hint commitment. She merely enjoys the attention- the feeling of being wanted, of being needed,the titillation of being unattainable…
But don’t fool yourself, even for a second, into thinking that she harbours the slightest interest in any of these women she flirts with. For her breath reeks of heterosexuality – a pungent odour that saturates the air and intoxicates all those who inhale it.
Falling in love with a Straight Girl™ shares a metaphorical semblance to entering a black hole – a void, filled with fragile, spaghettified justifications. “Oh, I’m so sorry I kissed you that night, I was just so drunk.” “I’m sorry, I just don’t like women… you know, like that.” “I’m sorry, that kiss was just practise… for the real thing. For kissing boys.”
I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry – empty excuses and fragile apologies.
That’s all this crush leaves you with. Along with a dull ache that lingers in your bones.
As a child, I was often fascinated by heterosexual relationships in movies, and wondered why my friends swooned over the male protagonist, whilst I usually found his female love interest more desirable. 10 years later, I know why.
You’re lying if you claim that there is a single WLW on this planet who hasn’t developed a crippling crush on a female protagonist in a lacklustre movie or TV series, and continued to watch the movie for the sole purpose of getting an eyeful of said celebrity.
Notwithstanding, I recently realized that the reason for our generation’s dangerous infatuation with celebrities and stardom, is the sense of anonymity and detachment that comes along with having a crush on an unattainable entity, whose authentic self is concealed behind layers and layers of cosmetics, photoshop, and PR diplomacy And whilst this detachment can be reassuring, it can also serve as an escape from the investment and confrontation that is required for an actual relationship – which often results in unhealthy coping mechanisms and non-committal behaviour
To put it simply, celebrity crushes are fun, but they aren’t a replacement for attraction and relationships in real time. Fin.
You know that woman you can’t endure for a single millisecond? She’s arrogant, rude, obstinate, and downright insufferable. And yet, you want to passionately make out with her each time you glance at her godforsaken face.
Science can’t explain why we experience attraction to people we detest, although I’m sure Wattpad can. Could it, perhaps, be attributed to the sexual tension that accompanies hatred? Or is it because we feel less pressure to appear desirable to people we dislike, which might result in greater levels of complacence and comfort around them?
Well, all I know is that hormones are perplexing. Who even decided that attraction should be influenced by something as arbitrary and fickle as a chemical? Gah!