Friday, February 01, 2008

Always the girl friend, never the girlfriend...

A friend realized recently that I'm not a girly-girl. He tried to pin me down as masculine even, saying something to the affect that I'm not good in the kitchen or at other "womanly" things. In typical Jaggy fashion, there is a unique juxtaposition happening. The odd two-sidedness puts me both at an advantage with guys and an extreme disadvantage. I'm traditional and modern, conservative and liberal, cultured and sheltered.

Take, for example, my dual abilities:
On one hand, I know where a fan belt is and how to replace it in a car. On the other hand, I make wonderful soup and stew. I know how to use power tools safely, and I am not too bad with a sewing machine. I have a great aptitude for words, but I'm pretty good with numbers too. I enjoy both technical magazines and poetry.

For myself, I try to learn as much as I can about what I'm doing. Through that, I've became well-rounded. I think this turns many guys off. They want to date a girl that they'll have to help, fix, rescue, and protect. Guys don't want a girl who is secure in her independence. They don't seem to want someone who can keep up in the shop talk or the computer programming. The guys I know want a classic ideal. I can't live up to it.

My male friends either want to date a woman with much dating experience or none at all. I'm neither. They want overt statements of morals and values before considering me, and I don't do that. I'll always be too much of something and not enough of another thing. Still, I don't think I should have to define myself for someone else. I don't think I should have to relegate myself to being the dutiful woman or the hipster or the butch princess or whatever.

It's not that I march to the beat of my own drum. I don't: I'm not secure enough to try. I walk a little out of stride with everyone else. Same beat, just a little off.

Always the girl friend, never the girlfriend...

4 comments:

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

You:

A friend realized recently that I'm not a girly-girl. He tried to pin me down as masculine even, saying something to the affect that I'm not good in the kitchen or at other "womanly" things. In typical Jaggy fashion, there is a unique juxtaposition happening. The odd two-sidedness puts me both at an advantage with guys and an extreme disadvantage. I'm traditional and modern, conservative and liberal, cultured and sheltered.

Pardon me just a moment. I'm an occaisional reader of yours who just had to delurk.

I'm married to woman who is a lot like you. As a matter of fact, I suspect I need "taking care" of more than most dudes you'll meet.

I cry a little and die a little inside whenver I overhear (like I said, I'm butting in here) people critiquing a woman as "too masculine" or "not sufficienty 'girly'". There may or may not be a time or a place to make such judgments. I think they should be made sparingly, if at all.

The idea that a woman should be 'girly' to some degree should have gone out of style by now, I would have hoped. Of course, if a woman wants to be girly, that's one thing – that's a choice. I would prefer the people around me be who they feel they are, and not feel as though they are obliged to fill someone else's mold by fiat however.

You are of course fine however you are. But you didn't need me to tell you that, as I can see.

I'm just piping up.

I like your blog. Keep it up.

pril said...

I'm the same kind of woman as you. I'm just not as well-rounded when it comes to the "girly" things. I struggle to cook. Can't sew with a machine. But I do needlepoint and repair our cars, play bass and guitar and leave a lot of the male musicians I know in the dust. I'm built like the proverbial brick outhouse, but wear T-shirts and jeans. When I was younger, and dating, I found a lot of men to be downright afraid of me. It was hard to get a second date- I refused to play girly-girl and often never heard from a date again. lol! I eventually found a guy who loved me enough as the freaky girl that I am to marry me. Rather, he found me. Don't live up to the "ideal". Stop trying to. Revel in who and what you are and the security to march to your own beat will come. Women like us are unique, but not so unique that we don't come across each other once in a while.

David said...

Personally, I like a woman I can depend on. In otherwords, someone who is comfortable with herself and consistant...someone who appreciates her own strengths and works (preferably with me) on improving any weaknesses (weaknesses she percieves herself as having...not ones I would label her). I hope that's a partial definition of growing old together. I don't think guys want someone they can rescue as much as they want someone who will stay the course during the journey with a helping hand and few complaints. Guys need some moments of that rescuing feeling just because we tend to be very insecure in relationships and WE NEED TO FEEL IMPORTANT TOO!!! Girls get their importance from accomplishing, aspiring, and interacting. Guys get their importance by feeling like they are important to someone else (and any other kind of guy just promotes selfishness in a relationship...in that case you're better off without him).

Just a few of my thoughts JAGGY...

David

missnatalieclaire said...

I think I know exactly how you feel.

Well, maybe not exactly, but I can relate.

In a lot of ways I'm the typical girl... I wear make up and straighten my hair every day. I paint my nails and I dress in clothes from Aeropostale.

Yet I've always gotten along better with guys, and been told by guys that I'm not the typical girl. I don't know about cars and I don't pay any attention to sports. I don't watch UFC. I'm not the "typical girly girl" because I am SMART, apparently. I really can't think of any other reason.

This strikes me as totally offensive but sometimes when I get cynical I just think that maybe that's just the way it is. I have yet to meet another girl I connect with intellectually the way that I've been able to with a few guys.

Obviously I realise I am not the only intelligent female in the world (this post for example was obviously written by an intelligent female) but sometimes I do wonder if more girls are just, well, stupid. In my experience that is the case but I really hope that I'm wrong.

But anyway, I digress. I've got all these guy friends who are always pursuing these moronic drama stars who are so shallow and transparent and obviously love the self inflicted drama they create for themselves everywhere they go, and I honestly think that's exactly why they're into these chicks the way that they are. They don't respect these girls and they complain about them to me, yes, but they must really love it. Why else would they eat it up the way they do? They all want the idiot damsel in distress. It's really kind of pathetic.

There's this guy, right? He's my best friend and I've kind of just loved him forever... and he tells me not too long ago that his feelings for me are so strong... BUT... he thinks that he respects me too much to see sleep with me.

What the hell is anyone supposed to make of that?

(He is of course, dating an idiot that he complains to me about every chance that he gets.)

Anyway, I know it's not just a brush off. I mean it in a confident and not a conceited way when I say that I am beautiful. I'm just too smart, I guess, and apparently love and respect don't go hand in hand.

Anyway, thanks for posting this.