Another essay I wrote for the seminar I go to. Supposed to be funny but ended up being just tedious.
The term, “girl talk,” has a certain mystique and glamour about it. It is the quintessential girliness, the exclusive world of (presumably) young and attractive women.1 The term evokes sugar and spice and all things nice. That’s what girls are made of. When we say we are having girl talk, it means that we perceive ourselves as this epitome of all things nice. That we are girls.
It is safe to say, then, that “just having girl talk” does not imply that we have been talking about the recent change in petrol’s price or the most effective way to remove wine stain. The most common topic of girl talk, though it is highly arguable, may be said to be about men.
I do strongly question that “girl talk” should be effectually “men talk”; yet the alternatives are rather grim. Career, or the absence thereof, is a topic that we are also preoccupied with. This, however, tends to end in simple affirmation of our faith in each other, in response to either’s whining. Whining, of course, is a worthy and mutually enjoyable pastime, yet it requires caution in case its overdose should lead to exasperation and sheer misery. Success in one’s career is hardly talked about, either from humility or from lack of it. Furthermore, when it does occur, it does not offer much in the way of topic of conversation, as congratulations, no matter how sincerely uttered, unfortunately only take a few sentences. Career talk, then, is simply not as enjoyable as dissecting and discussing each other’s perceived crises and advances in romance.
This presents a problem when two women, who consider themselves as “girls,” gather for a good old chat, since it unearths the question that they may not, in actuality, qualify as girls any longer.2 For instance, the last time I saw my old friend, our “girl talk” degenerated into “which of us has more grey hair” competition. The middle-aged man at the next table must have been rather disturbed to see us showing the grey to each other, over a dinner table too, in a strange fit of passion to prove that one, indeed, had more grey than the other.3 While this was oddly engrossing, it cannot be denied that some other superior form of entertainment is desirable. It may well be that the ability to conduct girl talk is what distinguishes girls from non-girls, whose ingredients clearly include grey hair.
1 Currently or recently pregnant women are not included here. This is because talks about pregnancy, labour, and child-bearing should be more conveniently named “mummy talk” and discussed separately.
2 It should be noted here that there are various theories as to what constitutes the criterion of girls. Age is an obvious answer, yet I would argue that it is too simplistic for something as complicated and subjective as the girl question.
3 Incidentally, this has nearly happened with my brother too, who was very eager to see my grey; no doubt to prove that he has more. Grey hair seems to stir up competitive nature in us.