I grew up in a small town. We’re talking someone actually lives in the post office small. Okay, so her house is one half of the building and the post office the other half, but you see what I’m saying. The girls in my class were always friendly, but I wasn’t very close to any of them. I actually had a habit of making friends with people who’d move within a year or two of us becoming friends. So in high school, I started hanging out with guys in my class. I’d known most of them since Kindergarten, and all of them since elementary school. Since I grew up on a cattle ranch, I was the girl who went out to their farms with them to check the cows. We listened to Alanis Morissette and played poker. They were practically my brothers, and it would’ve been weird to even think about dating them. Kind of like Hailey and Lucas in One Tree Hill, back in the beginning when it was good. (For all I know, it got good again, but I stopped watching about season 5 )
Also, like One Tree Hill, my town was OBSESSED with basketball. And I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but I was a…a…cheerleader. Kind of like how Hailey didn’t want to be, but filled in, and she just sorta hung in there. Wow, I just realized my life was totally like One Tree Hill. Except for not really at all.
Unfortunately, being a cheerleader in my town did not make me cool. But I couldn’t play basketball. I could however, drive a tractor and change my own oil—guys weren’t as attracted to that as you might think. For a while, I was pretty sure I was completely un-datable. And when my guy friends wanted to meet girls, they didn’t want me around to get in the way. (Or perhaps to witness their pick-up moves) Which gave me a lot of alone time. All that time out on the ranch gave my mind time to run free, thinking up stories in my head. It took me a lot of years to realize I should get them on paper.
Eventually cheerleading did lead me to meet some cute boys from other towns, but those are stories for a different post. If you’re looking for embarrassing, there was this one time a girl poured sunflower seeds in my hand and I tossed them all in my mouth. She looked at me horrified as I spit out shells and she daintily took them out of her mouth one by one. She asked, “Why are you eating them like that?” To which my guy friend, who was seated on the other side of me said, “It’s so you can have your hands free to drive the tractor.” I think that was the moment when I realized why most girls didn’t get me. (Soon after, I did find an awesome girl friend who is still my BFF to this day, so yay!)I like to think those experiences led me to figuring out some differences between guys and girls, as well as how to write friendships, whether they are with girls, guys, and whether or not they lead up to a romance eventually. So while a lot of people say guys and girls can’t just be friends, I have to disagree. We’re still friends to this day. We care about each other’s families. I often think back on all that drama-free fun we had, and honesty, I don’t think I would’ve made it through high school without them.
ALL THE BROKEN PIECES
What if your life wasn’t your own?
Liv comes out of a coma with no memory of her past and two distinct, warring voices inside her head. Nothing, not even her reflection, seems familiar. As she stumbles through her junior year, the voices get louder, insisting she please the popular group while simultaneously despising them. But when Liv starts hanging around with Spencer, whose own mysterious past also has him on the fringe, life feels complete for the first time in, well, as long as she can remember.
Liv knows the details of the car accident that put her in the coma, but as the voices invade her dreams, and her dreams start feeling like memories, she and Spencer seek out answers. Yet the deeper they dig, the less things make sense. Can Liv rebuild the pieces of her broken past, when it means questioning not just who she is, but what she is?
To learn more about Cindi Madsen, visit her website, or follow her on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter.
Thanks so much for visiting with us, Cindi! I loved this post. And I'm super impressed you can drive a tractor!
So what about you, trusty readers? Can you think of a "quirk" a guy friend understood or accepted more easily than a girl friend? Did you ever feel more free to be yourself around a guy than a girl? Have at it in the comment section below!