And though she be but little, she is fierce.
Okay, I admit it. I wasn't going to say anything, but it seems like maybe it's time to come clean, once and for all. So I'm ready to admit it. I, velocibadgergirl, have a testosterone problem.
Specifically, I have a problem if there is a lot of manual labor to be done and I have the least testosterone among the assembled. Intellectually, I know that even a man of my own height and weight could probably out-lift, out-carry, and out-sling me, so of course a man 6 inches taller and 20 pounds heavier is going to outclass me even more. I also understand that if there are heavy things to be carried, it makes the most sense to hunt down a strapping young lad. But damn, does it piss me off a little (lot) bit all the same.
Now, when I'm with just one guy--especially one I know pretty well--I don't feel the need to go all out. I still lift and sling and carry with abandon, because I can haul a lot of weight even though I'm pretty much average-sized. But add another guy or two to the mix, or stick me with ones I don't know, and I become nearly incapable of admitting defeat. I will bust my ass, even though it would be acceptable for me to NOT by virtue of being smaller. Once, I tried to carry three huge, heavy-ass boards at once while I was working on a boardwalk project at a park, and I had to look around and make absolutely sure that no one was looking before I reluctantly (but with immense relief) put one board down and proceeded with just two.
Even when I'm staggering around with as much weight as I can bear, I'm still not carrying as much as the guys. But that should be okay, right? Because I'm not that big, you know? If I was a 5'5" out of shape guy, no 6'1" buff guy would expect me to be able to carry what he could carry, right? But in my mind, I think, carrying less reflects not on my smaller size, not on the fact that biology endowed me with less upper-body strength than my similarly-sized male peers, but on the fact that I'm a chick.
I suppose I could learn to exploit this, to wander around carrying, like, a small feather pillow, while the men carry the bedframe, the dresser, and the night table all at one time. I could lounge around reading Cosmo and sipping frou frou beverages while the work is done for me. But homie don't play that. Maybe my competitive streak is to blame. Maybe it's the tomboy streak that runs so deep that I pitched a royal hissy and halted potty training for a week in protest at the age of three when I found out that I would not, in fact, be learning to pee standing up like a boy. Maybe it's my need to prove myself. Maybe it's because I spent so many years in Taekwondo, being stronger than the average chick of my size, that even though I'm soft and wimpy now, I can't really let go of the belief that I'm stronger than I look.
It's not just the heavy lifting, either. I don't call MB to deal with bugs, because that seems so unbelievably girly. I will give myself blisters trying to open a jar or bottle before I admit defeat. I can pee in the woods, ya'll (or in an alley behind a liquor store in Canada, but that's another story for another time).
I don't really know what the deal is, but I have heard that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, so I feel good about laying it all out. I have a problem, and I probably need help. So the next time you see me in the kitchen, trying so hard to open the pickles BY MYSELF that I'm about to sprain something, just take the damn jar away. Please. I'm about to get a hernia over here.
Reading: Round Ireland With a Fridge by Tony Hawks (who is not that skateboarding guy)
Playing: discs I, III, and IV from this Led Zeppelin box set