Sunday, September 10, 2006

But you are not a normal girl...

Alas it is true - I am not a girlie girl, much to my mother's dismay. She is still convinced that her child is out there somewhere. The one who loves to spend hours shopping. One who loves to go to Neiman Marcus and spend hours upon hours upon hours shopping? I remember when the first mega mall opened in our area there were 107 stores under one roof. Oh she was so excited, after shop #3 I was done. But no we had to go to every store; each and everyone. But I digress...

My father taught me how to drive the tractor when I was like 8. That meant I got to mow the lawn, pick up sticks and rocks, move wood, and do whatever else we could do with the tractor. Every weekend we went to the hardware store (pre-Home Depot) and earned about miter boxes, chain saws, axes, nuts, bolts, socket wrenches, sakcrete, Grape Nehi, and Chocolate Yoo-Hoo. When I as 10 he taught me how to drive a car, then he proceeded to vacate the premises and have a non-existent role in my life. Which I am happy to report, I am completely fine with. But I think that all of the non-girlie-girl activities set me up to be the anti-girlie-girl girl.

When other girls were playing with Barbie’s, I was teaching my dog to jump like a horse, building swing sets, hiking in the woods, playing in streams, throwing mud pies, and riding mini-bikes. When other girls were learning how to put on makeup - I was riding ponies, reading Natoinal Geographic , tried to figure out how things worked, playing Lacrosse, Soccer, Hoops, and flag football with the guys. I would rather be mucking a stall in the barn then go to the mall. Clothes shopping has historically meant a trip to the tack store, because they were having a horse blanket sale or something like that. Must have well dressed beasties!

At 14 I learned how to take an engine out of a car, do an oil change, and yes, be one of the guys. I got a glimpse of boys (they were boys then) that not many girl got to see. What they REALLY said about their Friday night date, what they loved and hated about girls, their hang-ups, and other various sundry things all while reading Car and Driver, Crutchfeild, or The Chronicle. Needless to say I never had pretty nails.

Through out my life, I have taken those lessons learned in various garages and it has served me well to this point. Even when at parties, my men friends will say something to me along the lines of, "But your are not a normal woman." and then go on to explain that I would rather be in a barn getting dirty then looking like a pretty girlie-girl.

But this weekend something hit my while watching The Little Giants. Would my life have been different if I were a girlie-girl?

I sure would not have been playing Dodgeball and Kickball at recess as a child, I sure would not have learned about cars or to stand my own with a mechanic who does not know me. I probably would have still learned how to ride; but I would have been the girl who just showed up to ride. My horse would have been groomed and tacked and then would be hot walked for me when I got done. I would have learned how to put on makeup. I may have even enjoyed shopping (I shudder to think!!) I would probably be devastated if someone called me a bitch. And probably countless other things...

One thing I do know, is that I would not have the life I have today. Jeff does not really seem to mind that I know more about tractors then he does. I am driven (which by default makes me a bitch BTW), successful, and most important, comfortable in my own skin. So I am not a girlie-girl... I am ok with that.



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