There are some basic facts about me which will never change. My inability to expose my neck, a near-constant desire for diet coke, how I get excited to eat pizza I didn't make myself, you know. One of the strongest of these inexplicably odd personality traits is my overall preference for the company of males over females. Don't get me wrong, I have four sisters who I love and many dear female friends and it isn't that individual relationships with women are difficult. But throw me in a room full of women and I won't know what to do with all the estrogen floating around. Throw me in a room with boys and that I can handle. You all remember that time I was the only girl in the boys dressing room and Caleb Jones told me I was "one of the guys"? For better or worse, he was kinda right. The vast majority of all my best friends have been boys. Whether this tendency was the result or the catalyst, my time spent in these friendships have resulted in lots of bug smashing, furniture building, set lifting, and power tool using, among other activities which are generally acknowledged to be testosterone driven.*I was even given a "man card" over the summer. Which I kept consistently by eating a really huge hamburger, roofing a house, and "rubbing some dirt in it," among other things. I've even been known to chronically overtake the male role in potential dating relationships when the boy decides to be whiny and needy and use manipulative communication styles. (Another epiphany in the middle of the night, this time with my siblings during a laughing fit. We're cool. Anyways....)
But when I came to North Carolina, something weird happened. Maybe it is living in a house that is overwhelmingly female, or maybe it's that I somehow project this innocent little white girl image at work and it is sticking, or a thousand other things. Maybe I'm just not as cool as I thought. But I have lately been reacting in uncharacteristically female ways.
Yesterday, Libby was brushing her teeth and discovered a roach in the bathroom. (Good old south!) I was immediately called upon to "smush it!", which thing I fully intended to do. That was the ugliest bug I've ever seen, and I fished up the first shoe I could find and went after the thing. Once there, however, I realized that I wasn't sure which kind of roach this was and Erin would inevitably want to know. Accordingly, I cornered the thing and told Libby to go get Dad, who was closer than Mom. That's right. I was confronted with a bug, and I sent for a boy. ( Sound of a thousand heart breaking, right Brogan?) I did this with no intention of pawning off my bug smushing duties, and yet, we see here a fine example of giving an inch and taking a mile. Ben came, saw, and declared it a wood roach. He then seized my shoe and went after it, stealing my job like the chivalrous man he is. And that's not even the worst part! The big ugly sucker came running away from the shoe-wielding man and straight at my bare feet, and I instinctively jumped on a nearby footstool and let my brother do the dirty work. The shame I feel whilst typing this is of great magnitude, I assure you.
It gets better, or worse, or whatever. More extreme. Ongoing.
Today, I was mowing the lawn. ( Redeeming factor? euhhh...) I have yet to get used to the fact that spiders wind thick webs, strung with a surprising strength between adjoining trees and fences. This happens in my backyard. I also tend to mow straight between them, an action which consistently brings huge spiderwebs into direct contact with my body. So there I was, mowing along minding my own dang business when I suddenly thwapped a spider web with my EYE. BALL.
Thus commenced a dance of desperation, an odd mixture of repeatedly slapping myself in the face and trying really hard to keep a hold of the lawnmower. I eventually calmed myself, at which point I glanced ashamedly at the living room window I happened to be standing beside, hoping really hard that no one saw that.
And then it happened again. Only this time, the spider web was wispily and yet somehow fixed firmly around MY. NECK. That's right. The thing in life I am most unreasonable about. Somebody's face in direct contact with my neck is intolerable, but I didn't know until today that foreign substances, especially the sticky and determined substances kind such as spiderwebs, are even more so. The dance of desperation commenced once more. You know in the Hunger Games when the one girl dies whilst flapping desperately around trying to ward off the tracker jackers? That image. I think, I think I looked like that.
Guys. I'm being a girl.
Something must be done.
Solutions? Causes? Too much relief society, not enough apartments full of boys across the way to buffer all the estrogen? Should I start a subscription to Car and Driver? I just don't know.
*Once, we were redoing my Grandpa's bathroom, and dad handed me a sledgehammer and told me to knock out a wall. That hour of my life definitely makes the top five list. So maybe there's hope?