Monday, January 15, 2007

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


  1. it's not too heavy to carry; it's just too akward. that's my story and i'm sticking to it.

    honestly though, i tend to believe that if i can get it balanced so that i'm carrying it with my core instead of my upper body (like on my head), i can carry anything.

  2. Since getting knocked up, I've been forcably relieved of my carrying responsibilities. It really is a bit of a pain in the ass to have to ask The Rock Star to lift not very heavy things at all down from a shelf that I can almost reach, but if I get caught doing it, I get told off, so I've gotten lazy. Lucky we're moving house on Friday, eh? It's all about sitting on the couch like a big marshmellow and telling people what to do.

  3. Anonymous8:20 AM

    See..and being 5'10 200somethng lbs..people expect me to lift cars when honestly I like many women..have NO upper body strength at all.

    You need me to climb a mountain thighs....will kick any dude's ass...but lifting a box of copy not easy for me.

    However, I can open a jar of pickles..(most of the time) so maybe I'm doing ok.

  4. Anonymous11:37 AM

    the tony hawks skatemail link has officially made me wet myself. i loved Round Ireland With a Fridge.

    in our house, so that everyone's honour is satisifed, i let my g/f wrestle for at least 15 minutes with any unopenable recepticle (cava usually). i do not offer to help until the offending item is handed to me in a resigned manner. at which point i can be mildly patronising.

  5. See, Chris, when she hands it to you, you'd get MAJOR points if you'd open it and then say, "Well, you loosened it up for me." Trust me on this ;)

  6. I don't know about you, but this makes me think about working at ye ole ice cream shop. [NOTE: velocibadgergirl and I worked at different locations of the same local ice shop chain several years ago] I got pretty good at hauling those 3-gallon buckets around; I could put one on each shoulder. The milk was another story, though. I'm surprised I never hurt myself changing the out the milk. Well, once I sort of hurt the milk. I just barely got the crate into the cabinet, and the plastic ring that connects the tube to the sack got caught on the the edge of the shelf and popped off. In seconds there was milk EVERYWHERE.

  7. Oh, yeah, and I'm glad you're reading Round Ireland With a Fridge; I hope you're enjoying it!