As I took apart the drain to my shower and started plunging into the pond-like scum that has been accumulating since the dawn of man down there in my bathroom this morning, I got angry. I was pulling buckets of nasty black filth covered hair from down there, while simultaneously blasting The Gorillaz and having an A-ok time. This was something I had been meaning to do for a week and I was now doing it. Now why did I then grow angry??? Because this is not something a girly girl does and I hate being considered one…It plagues me.
It all started in high school gym class. I was about to serve the volleyball to the opposing team and one of the boys yelled out, “Ow! I broke a nail!” I laughed with him and proceeded to rocket the ball their way, just as well-aimed and fast as a boy. I don’t paint my nails, I don’t care about nail care, and nothing much has changed since then. Because I am 5’10”, 135 lbs and skinny, people often think I’m weak. I have played almost every sport growing up and am very good at most. I can also run like nobody’s business. I used to be able to about 8 pull-ups when I lifted weights at the time of the nail comment even though my spaghetti noodle arms looked incapable of holding a fork let alone a 50 lbs benchpress bar.
I grew up driving a tractor, a giant duel-wheel diesel truck, a backhoe, and even once stalled my dads blue vintage dumptruck while going down a hill backwards and managed not to kill anyone nor myself. I hate the stigma of being a female and having a specific body type and thus being considered a certain way. I’m not afraid of the dark either. I’ve been inches from snakes, I’ve camped alone, built furniture, shot guns, driven stickshift, can drive like a stunt driver, can lift heavy things, been attacked by a doberman, ridden horses, shoveled horseshit for a winter and liked it, installed laminate flooring in my studio space by myself, singing the whole way through. My landlord came by to help, a sturdy Italian 40-something and he kept complaining about how hard it was. The pieces he put in did not meet the wall, when mine did. I know a lot of ladies who have really grown resentful of the antiquated mindset that women cannot yield a hammer or shovel or dispose of a dead mouse or do anything deemed “manly”.
At 16, after my dad and I bought a totaled sedan for my first car, I was right there with him in the garage installing new routers, brakes, etc. I and a lot of ladies, including my sister who dresses like Doris Day, are braver, tougher, and more wirey than most of the computer-glued dudes of our generation. Next time you need something fixed in your apartment, call a girlfriend and see if she could fix it.