For some reason I hate it when women use the word “boy” to refer to their current, past, or potential love interests. I hate it compulsively. I hate it even more when the word is capitalized (The Boy and I went to the museum today…) or else modified for cutesy characterization purposes (Bookstore Boy left me a voice mail!). I know: people do this a lot. Maybe you do this. That’s fine, but please know that when you say boy it makes me want to shove you until you lose a shoe or else drop your purse or some other accessory that I could then pick up and use to smack you.
And don’t go telling me it’s okay to say “boy” because guys call us “girls.” Yes, it’s annoying and patronizing; no, it’s not the same thing. When guys say girls instead of women it’s a pain in the ass, but it’s somehow a democratic one: girls are everywhere, girls are in songs; girls, girls, girls are the crazy sexy army guys are up against, and that’s a whole other war game I won’t get into here, but it’s one I grew up dealing with, and I can sort of see the truth of it all, even from my side of things. But boys are something else; you rarely hear them spoken of in the plural form. It’s always The Boy; the one; the boy band, even, where three to six guys become sublimated into the one idea, the single entity, the He Who Only Exists In Relation To You–every boy is that, you see; which is to say, every guy that you decide to call boy, one at a time, whenever you try to tell the story of yourself. I get sick of hearing it, that’s all.
But go on, say it. Say “Boy.” Say “I am Pretty Princess Protagonist and the whole world is my very own fucking pony party.” And then grow up.