I have many impressive qualities and strengths, and an even more impressive number of flaws and “areas of growth and challenge”, as I like to refer to my weaknesses. Automotive comprehension and care fall into the latter catagory. No mater how hard I try I can not muster a single iota of give-a-damn about the subject to improve myself upon it.
However, because absolutely no one else with knowledge in this area was around today, I was assigned the (to ME) daunting task of taking our van to the tire guys and purchasing new tires for it. I was assured that the tire guys were expecting me, and that the tires were already selected. All I had to do was give them the keys, relax, and then pay when it was over.
I should have anticipated (from a vast body of life experience) that things were never THAT simple, yet I found myself being called to the desk by the tire guys, and told kindly that there was an error and the tires ordered were for the “S” and not the “SE”, whatever the hell that meant, and I would need to choose different ones. The tire guys (there were several there) began asking me multiple questions and using what I am certain were made up words and abbreviations designed to confound me. They paused and looked expectantly at me as I stared back with glazed eyes and the beginnings of a major tantrum drumming in my head. Were they JOKING?!? I blinked, and opened and closed my mouth like a fish out of water as they started up again with strange terms and meaningless numbers. The room began to spin and I felt nauseous.
One look around was all it took to confirm that I was definitely NOT their target demographic. My family knows me well enough to understand that placing me in such a delicately balanced emotionally charged environment does not bode well for their evenings, and so we have worked out a deal where I handle certain stuff, and THEY handle certain stuff, and this was definitely THEIR stuff to handle.
“That sonofabitch….” I muttered as I waved the tire guys quiet and tried frantically to text my people for translations, and answers and instructions on how to proceed. My desperate attempts met only with silence. I don’t like feeling like a dumb, helpless girl. I’m very intelligent and self sufficient, and yet in these moments I feel helpless and idiotic. I cringe and seeth inwardly at being the worst stereotypical joke of a woman in a “man’s” world.
I’m panicked and pissed and did what any one (like me) would do: I ordered the expensive ones suggested, and figured that ought to be enough to ensure I wouldn’t be forced to do this again. Especially with tuition for two of our five kids due in a week. I grabbed a stack of magazines and found a place to kick my feet up while I waited. With the WIFI crawling at a slower pace than I run (and that’s really pathetic, BELIEVE me), I was forced to troll through such scintillating, edge of your seat thrillers as “Golf”, “Mens Leisure”,”ESPN”, “Automotve World” and my personal favorite “Modern Tire Dealer”.
I am willing to own the fact that I’m more than a little bit of a girlie girl. I love being slathered in a good sugary scrub, and smelling sweetly of fresh fruit. It’s just not possible to have too many lip glosses, or too much orange oil scented hair products. I ache for gorgeous sandals and have baskets and shelves filled with them in an impressive array of colors and styles. I refuse to be parted with a single pair. When I can’t sleep, I spend hours pouring over pages on line of frilly summer frocks, and vintage, curvey dresses that make me look like I just stepped from an Audrey Hepburn or Marylin Monroe film. I must be forcibly dragged past store windows filled with sparkely jewelry, and have been known to gasp and swoon at the sight of clearance racks. It’s disgusting. I both hate myself just a tiny bit for the stereotypical disgustingness of it all, and also have absolutely no desire to change.
But this is not my whole story. It’s by FAR not a complete version of me that you see when I’m all dolled up, and enchanting the crowds. Nope. I’m naturally awkward and clumsy. I’m bawdy and have a shameless vocabulary known to make dock workers blush. I love getting dirty, I mean REALLY filthy when I play. And I play HARD.
I’m a runner, not a great one, but a stubborn as hell one. I love challenges and don’t give a damn about how fast I run or how many strangers have needed to shove my ass over obstacles I couldn’t manage on my own just to cross that finish line. The Warrior Dash is an annual favorite of mine. I crawled under razor wire through a trench filled with what can only be surmised as an intensly odorous mixture of mud, sludge, and manure since the water run off at the dairy farm it was held at in Barre, Massachusetts ran directly into the troughs. I had to be hosed off before being allowed in the car to go home. I was so ridiculously proud of myself for surviving that I actually had a shit eating grin on that day. Figuratively and literally.
I am the one in our family who mows the lawn. I multitask and wear a swimsuit which makes onlookers nervous, but mamma likes a good workout, a tidy lawn, and a great tan. Voila! Three for the price of one! I shrug off injuries (like falling backwards into a fence pole hole today) while mowing around tight spaces with a careless shrug and a quick hose off.
So in THESE particular moments, when I don’t know my ass from my elbow, when I am glossed and dainty and out of my element, I want to scream and make them see the whole me. The bad ass. The girl who runs through fire and crawls through shit just to grab a medal. The woman who pushed five human beings out of her body and kept them alive long enough to push us deeper into the crippling debt of college bills and cars. But this is not that day. Nope. That day may never come and to be honest, it shouldn’t matter to me if it never does. I AM a bad ass woman. I am a whole and confusing and amazing woman. I defy definition and being pidgeon holed into only one thing. If I am the only one who ever understands this truth, then that is enough because I am more than enough. I am woman, hear me roar.