hiking without happy meals; a modern paradigm chronicling the struggles, pitfalls,
& successes of life, running, writing, urban farming,
& home schooling in these crazy modern days.
Life is our classroom.
I was standing in the middle of a swamp, well not a swamp worse than that it was the mucky edge of the Jordan River.Kids scattered among the reeds collecting a miscellany of snail shells & rocks.“…I mean really, what would you do if you were trying to woo me?” I mutter to one of my best male friends while complaining about an old boyfriend’s attempts to charm me with his net worth.He laughs takes a step through the mud towards me to hand something possibly dead & no doubt very dirty, “I’d buy you a six pack.” Good answer; oh & thanks for the beer the other night ;) But believe it or not, it hurts my feelings.
Maybe not my actually present day feelings but the old feelings of the little girl who wanted to be Hawk Eye yet believed one day she would grow up to be a Real Girl.Surely not this fake girl hauling ass down a muddy mountain ravine with two dogs in hot pursuit when I was supposed to be bra shopping.I think my fairy godmother got held up or there was a mix up somewhere ‘cause I am almost 40 for hell sakes.If I was going to magically transform it would have happened by now, right?
Okay, so I will never be a fairy princess.Not shocking to you; devastating to me.What now?I suppose I suck it up along with my a few of my other female failings: If I won the lottery I would still just want a Subaru Outback so I could drive really fast in the desert.If I could pick any vacation, it would be camping.If I had to pick between the chores of shopping or shoveling out the chicken coop, I would choose to shovel shit!
Charming, who won’t one of me around? Yeah see that’s the thing about being a girl like me.We are around but where do we belong?
I may look like a girl every now & again but I can assure you I am not one of them. I wish I were. Don’t get me wrong I have girl friends I can accompany to the powder room if need arises. I even came by some of them honestly.I don’t know how they view me; whether or not they feel the divide, but I sure do.My mom tells a little fun about me as a kid believing I could only use the ladies room (symbol woman in a triangle dress) because my mom wore the dress to get us in.I feel that way a lot about my girl friends, they sort have to vouch for me in matters of girlness.Trust me there is a whole culture & language I don’t speak or understand.But we do have common ground, miles of it; children, food, & of course men.
And what about these men?Well I’m not one of them either & that I can prove. For starters, past the obvious need to bra shop, most men actually frighten me.Not in a baseball bat & pepper spray carrying sort of a way, more in a very healthy respect as to their amazing strengths & potential damning weaknesses.
The other day one of my guy friends was talking about being able to tie a tie for someone else.“But no one would expect you to tie a tie on yourself so you could stand in front of them to tie it.” He says to me.I tell him, “You don’t understand I love men but they scare me. I wouldn’t want them to stand over me like that I would rather be behind them.”And I suppose the look on his face could have been anything but I read "So stop wrestling with them".Well yeah, but what would be the fun in that?
It is all further proof that I don’t really ‘belong’ in the boys club any more than I do in the girls. Mucking the waters further is the glaring need for safe handling rules for 'this girl who walks with the boys'.I expect them to open doors & beers, & kill spiders for me. It was once said: she is the kind of girl who asks you to hold the door open so she can take you to the parking lot & kick the shit out of you. Okay that is simply not true, I am way too smart to wrestle on asphalt.
But when we are messing around like that whether it is hiking, biking, running, soccer, or just sitting on the sofa I expect them to be gentler with me than I am with them. No matter how annoying I become.And in a crowd if I step behind one of them because something has spooked me I expect them to handle it. Yes, even if the circumstance only calls for them to make fun of my skittishness.
This doesn’t really clear things up however it helps me to appreciate the humor in my blended existence.Moments like me on the way to tea with the ladies trying so hard to act my appropriate gender but getting busted jumping the garden bed in my girl dress before I even have a chance to prove I could be lady like when required.Lol.Damn she’s sort of hopeless…
And there is yesterday…I take a running leap barreling pass a male hiker on the trail.He makes eye contact, a sheepish smile across his face at the sight of me muddy, scratched to hell, two dogs at my heels, & my shit eating grin.I hear him laugh.As I recklessly take a turn in the trail still holding full throttle I see out of the corner of my eye he has stopped to watch me.Head turning? Fuck yeah I am!Not really, unfortunate for this little Hoyden the only thing head truing about me *sigh* is the mixed up wonder of Princess Tomboy. Sure that guy is not rushing out to buy me flowers but I suspect given the chance he’d a bought me a beer.