I’m not your average girl. In fact, I don’t know what kind of girl I am. I suppose at this stage, I’m more of a woman. But I ain’t no lady. 🙂
I remember a work colleague once discussing a menu for an event and lobbying hard against steak. “A lady just doesn’t want to look at that big piece of meat,” she scoffed. “I do,” I thought to myself. In fact, nothing is quite so appealing to me as a luxurious, big, juicy, medium-rare hunk of beef. I can have chicken any old day… but steak? Mmmhhmmmm. The stereotypical woman may be expected to sip white wine spritzers or strawberry daquiris, but I like exploring a bold red burgundy or kicking back to a Jack ‘n’ Coke. Most girls I know who drink beer go for Coors Light or Bud Light, whereas I laugh at the calories and grab a Smithwick’s or Newcastle… or, if I’m in the States, a nice little microbrew. Maybe two. I am way more into sports than Frank, though I’ve never quite wrapped my brain around the Irish pasttimes of Hurling or Gaelic Football. But I love a good baseball game, especially live at the park. I cried at my first professional NBA game in Indianapolis. And yes, I even got hooked on American Football when the Colts got in the playoffs. And remember fishing? I actually can’t think of many things I’d rather do on a sunny day than go fishing. Truly! So am I just a tomboy? Not exactly – I certainly was when I was a kid, but I wouldn’t be so quick to typecast myself now. And you know I can be “girly” – I like a bit of lace on a dress or a bit of ruffle on a curtain. Pink cupcakes get me just as giddy as that steak. The truth is, I’m not sure what I am, but I think it’s unique. Hee hee. To say the least. But this is really all very silly. What’s my point? I guess I’ve just been thinking about all this a lot lately. Boys and Girls and what we’re “supposed” to be. It started with The Hair – I tend to grow my hair long because, like it or not, as a girl, I’ve always equated long shiny hair with beauty. I’m OK with long hair, and I know how to make it look nice if I really go to the effort… but boy, do I ever love having it cut short again. I feel so free, and so much more capable of making it look the way I want it to, and I even feel confident enough to wear my glasses more… I feel like with short hair, I can be me. I’m not trying to be a glamorous movie star – I’m just a very content version of myself. As I’m raising my own little girl, I’m ever conscious of letting her explore who she wants to be, too. I LOVED my dolls as a kid… absolutely LOVED them… but I also spent many happy hours playing with my little brother’s race cars and dump trucks and farm animals with tractors. I’ll never forget how much fun it was to dress up in his cowboy clothes and stage a shoot-out with him from across the living room, diving behind couch cushions and imagining our brown carpet was the desert plain of the Old West. Luckily, I know quite a few moms here in Drogheda who are totally into exposing their kids to the full range of play, not just gender-specific games. One friend of ours says her son is completely attached to walking around with one of her old purses, much to her husband’s dismay. Another mom I know has a daughter who would rather dress up as Fireman Sam over Peppa Pig any day, and all her kids are in ballet lessons, not just the girls. Fair Play! 🙂 So when Evelyn reaches out to a plastic dinosaur in the shops, I’m totally apt to buy it for her, just because it’s outside “the norm.” Trouble is, I will have to make sure I don’t push her to be too different, either… I don’t want to get too excited with my own ideals and steer her away from what she really enjoys. But I do hope I’ll be open and encouraging to whatever she wants to do, and whatever any sons I may have want to do. Dancing? Cooking? Sailing? Gardening? Sewing? Cycling? Swimming? Singing? It’s all OK with me. I just hope I get invited to play along, too.