First time I heard this word I was unsure as to exactly what it meant- "GIRL CRUSH!"
When someone said it to me I was at a 1920's costume party and having only received the invite that same evening my costume was a bit more of a nod to the 1920's rather than the whole shebang as I'd have like it to have been. H was dating a film producer and he had brought a friend with him. We'll call her 'P', (for Perfect). So there I was with H and her utterly mad fling- (German and sex mad!) And P trots in. At first I thought, "well she certainly didn't get the invite tonight!".
Vintage tea-dress, seamed stockings, 20's heels, slash of bright red lipstick and the most perfect pin waved hair you've ever seen. She was demure, sweet, polite, slightly breathless from running out of the rain, apologetic for being a tiny bit late and well- lovely!
The evening was a blast, P spoke little, listened a lot, drank moderately and was extremely funny. After an hour or so our little clan had grown somewhat, and I noticed it was all men, in their braces and spats, hanging on to P's every word. They were literally tripping over their own tongues and were blown away with each batted eyelid she threw their way. I was taken aback at how someone could so effortlessly draw a crowd, especially at such a huge party. She was so breathy, quirky and simple, yet so elegant, sexy and charming all at the same time. I too was utterly entranced. I felt like I was at a party with a real life Holly Golightly!
H and I gave up trying to get in on the conversations in the end as no one was particularly interested in what we had to say, in fact I go so far as to say the only questions we were asked were, "How do you know her?", "Is she seeing anyone?", "What does she do?", "Where is she from?".
Which only made us look more blank and plain by replying- "Not a clue- only met her tonight."
To which they would turn on their heels and head back to P...
As H and I stood at the bar, sipping our gin from floral teacups on saucers, I found myself talking about P. H listened for a short while and then just said- "Girl Crush!"
She was right, this girl was amazing. Had I been less married and more liberal I'd have taken her home with me given half the chance!
Now I KNOW men do not feel this towards other men!
Having since spoken to my trusty girlfriends about this incident, they all looked at me frankly and agreed- "Hell yes! I get Girl Crushes all the time!"
I bet you must have had one too. That girl in the office that is never late, never un-composed, always perfectly turned out, make-up perfect, nails perfect, and looks as thought she may never ever have had a bad hair day in her entire life. Her clothes all look expensive and effortlessly fashionable, no one knows if she is married, single or even straight, in fact most of the time it would seem Girl Crushes happen on women we know the very least about. She may be that stunning mummy who manages to get her make-up on every morning, who trots around with her hunky husband and three exceptionally bright and funny children. Or she may even be just a brief moment with a stranger- I had one the other night in the wine store, beautiful girl, trendy gorgeous boyfriend, she was confident, funny, just finished work, had a quirky tattoo on her shoulder and just looked so confident in her own skin it was enthralling to watch.
Are we in fact just reflecting our own ambitions into these empty shells? Are they just what we could be, but are too afraid to do? We edit the holes in what we do know about them filling the details with things we WISH we had. The cool apartment, the perfect wardrobe, the cool friends, the popular parties, the most romantic boyfriend. The list goes on, whether you long for a classic beat up old sports car, or a top of the range Range Rover, if that seemingly perfect girl drives, you IMAGINE she has it. You give her all the things you want.
Later, after the party, H was pretty drunk, and mad boyfriend was battling to get her into a cab. I didn't want to leave just yet, so P kindly offered to - "...be my date..."
This girl didn't even know me, I had no clue who she was, yet somehow, I felt flattered. The same sort of flattery you get when a guy might say something similar. She went further- I was meant to be staying at H's and so if H went home I would either have to go later and have keys, or risk her not waking up to let me in- (probable!), so P said, "stay at mine!"
Urgh! I was actually starting to feel a bit giddy, intoxicated by the floral gin and the endless waves of perfect hair and her apparent excitement over having a pyjama party! My face must have been a picture- as H giggled and waved goodbye from over mad boyfriends shoulder.
She became even MORE perfect when I actually got around to talking to her. She did exactly what I had wanted to do for a career, she directed films. She was a year younger than me. (Always a kicker!) and she was madly in love with a male model whose name escapes me, but who I immediately knew who she was talking about when she told me what underwear he posed in! I felt sick. She lived with her "gorgeous" sister (!) self-deprecating to the core, that she was the "ugly one"... And worked far too hard to ever get any time off, so had spontaneously booked and recently returned from a Kite surfing holiday in Tarifa! At this point I thought I might as well have been in the company of the Dhali Lama. She was TOO COOL for words!
This isn't the first time this had happened to me, although the other times the girls have all ended up being new friends and I've since holidayed and grown close with most of them. Should we feel less threatened than we do, and more in awe of these women? Or are they in fact little different to you and I?
I guess its in our nature as women to assess another womans appearance if we take any pride in our own. I don't think we should measure ourselves up against them though. It turned out, (in the cab ride of confessions to some achingly cool after party in Hoxton), that P had felt she had failed at most things. Her boyfriend cheated on her all the time, her work paid very little and she had wanted to be something else entirely. In fact she confessed by the time we reached said cool party, that she had thought I was the successful amazing one. Now... Was this all part of the Holly Golightly perfect plan or not?! But as a married woman, living in the country with then one child, who did exactly what she loved and whose husband was faithful and worked hard, she had interpreted my party antics very differently to how me and H would. She thought I was too cool to make an effort with my costume, and just game for a laugh. She thought I didn't care what people thought of me. I was aloof with the admirers because I was happily married (ah bless!) and that in fact we both wanted to switch places.
Girl Crushes are moments in our lives, tiny snippets of what we think our lives might have looked like if we had made different decisions. Glimmers of alternatives and fleeting pockets of time to peer into the windows of our OWN hearts and work out what it is we really want, and take stock of what we really have. I'll bet you any money if you talk to one Girl Crush and get the conversation on a level playing field, they too will envy something you have. They may be smart, you may be artistic, they may have long perfect legs, you may have pert perfect boobs, they may have manicured nails, it may be because they have no friends to hang out with all day on a saturday so spend their time in a salon! You'd be pleasantly surprised at how many of us women envy what we don't have and disregard what we do.
The only thing P had which I didn't, was the good sense to see it!