SHE SAID: Navigating and Directions

May 13, 2010

Gentlemen.  Jeremy.  Let’s talk.

do you have any idea where you're going?

What is it with directions?  And not just directions, but navigating in general.  Not to be too specific as I get too specific, but I went on a trip once with a friend in college, a male friend who had not only gotten into a great school, but completed the necessary requirements and was about to graduate, and he thought the towns were located where the name was written on a map, not where the convenient little black dots littering the map were placed.  I wish a recording of this trip existed.  Because while I was confused and progressively more frustrated at the time, I think I would laugh hysterically were I to hear it played back now.

All stupidity of this specimen aside, his example does demonstrate the refusal to ask for help.  He knew, as we circled around for the second time, that the town we were looking for wasn’t where he thought it was.  It wasn’t, like Hogwarts, visible for a select few.  But still, he refused to say anything, and continued to lead me around for a third time all the while declaring his amazement at our inability to find it.  Yes, at this point you can point out my own idiocy for not grabbing the map and hitting him over the head with it, but I was trying to be patient and a good team player … for once.  Plus, I was driving.  Two hands on the wheel.  Ten and two.

Another time, quite recently while driving in a city, I was given no indication whatsoever where I should steer the car until about twenty seconds after I had passed through an intersection by the gentleman holding the map (it was actually a smart phone with a mapping application, but it’s easier to say map).

I realize these are two specific occasions both bordering on the ridiculous … but the stereotype of a man refusing to stop to ask for directions as he steers his vehicle into the great unknown stems from somewhere and I would love to hear your side having experienced it more than enough.

Yes, we women might take forever to get ready and we might have to ask you a few times what you think of the outfit we’ve chosen and then ask you to carry seven items in your pockets because we cannot fit our license, debit card, extra hair tie, tampon, phone, lipstick and keys into our minuscule/non-existent pockets … but once we get our act together and open that door, we know where we are going and how to get there.  Maybe, while you’re waiting by the door, tapping your foot and reminding us what time the get together started, you could use that time constructively and figure out the route to said destination.  And no, I do not have someone waiting by the door and tapping his foot, he is far more patient and supportive than that, which is why we’re still together and he is still sane.

So what is it?  It must be something more interesting than not wanting to admit you don’t know something.  Is each trip a rite of passage in which you, equipped with a steering wheel, pedal and the sun, are to prove your competence to your tribe?  Do you say nothing and ask no questions because you want us sitting next to you, badgering you about whether or not you know where you’re going so you can crack a beer with your teeth and tell all your BBQing buddies about how your old ball and chain nagged the heck out of you on the way over because she didn’t think you knew where you were going?  Boy did you show her!  Seems like a lot to go through for a remedial story.  Is it some territorial thing?  Would you prefer to be peeing out the window and marking territory periodically while we’re moving along and that’s what’s distracting you?  Is it that you lose interest in the task at hand and move on to figuring out what athletes you should drop or shift on your fantasy team roster instead?  Because, while I get that other topics might distract you (ooh, she’s hot; I’m hungry; oh, I love this song), I’m able to both consider my next nail polish color and figure out how to get from point A to B, and I would expect you to as well.  Or is it that you want to deliver us helpless females, unharmed, to a destination needing no help at all from map, or navigator or smart phone?  Am I missing out on a competitive conversation that happens regularly between men about who had the easiest time arriving somewhere with the least amount of information?

I know we don’t tackle too many of the obvious male and female stuff on here, odd given the name of our blog, but this time let’s dive in.

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SHE SAID: Women’s Gear

November 18, 2009

I have a bone to pick with whoever is designing women’s active clothing.  Actually, scratch that.  I have a bone to pick with whoever is designing anything specifically marketed towards women.

Flowers are pretty.  I like flowers.  I like to grow them, smell them, look at them.  I have nothing against flowers, but I don’t need them plastered all over my clothing, skis, bike, etc.  I don’t feel the need to advertise or defend the fact that I’m female while I’m getting some exercise or getting outside with friends.

I don’t even mind the whole, (fill-in-the-blank) like a girl, campaign.   I don’t have the sticker on my car, mind you, but I think it’s cool.  And after years of being told to emulate the guys, I think it’s great that my nieces are growing up proud of what their female influences are capable of doing and what they themselves are capable of doing.

This is not an anti-female rant or an anti-female-specific-gear rant. Although, I do think that a lot of companies realized a way to make an extra buck and started making lines that were geared towards women.  But, I also realize that despite how strong I like to think I am, I know most of my guy friends could pin me if I were to challenge them to a wrestling match.  Thus, I am aware that men and women have different needs apparel and equipment wise.

And while I think the occasional detailing is cool, I’m okay without little flowers, swirls, hearts and whatever else is so incredibly stereo-typical female oriented printed all over my stuff. While I like fur detailing on some of my hoods, I don’t need it on them all.  And, please, designers, we don’t necessarily want all pastel colored clothes either.  I can still ski like a girl without a fur-lined pink coat covered in flowers.  You’re not putting hammers and horns all over the products geared towards men.  So why the double standard?  Is it so hard to refrain?

At this point, I feel like it’s crossing the line from cute to mildly offensive.


SHE SAID: Walk of Shame

August 21, 2009

Always more embarrassing for a women.  I don’t care how dressed up you were the night before, even stumbling home in the morning fog wearing a disheveled tux with stubble is more distinguished than stumbling home in heels with a wrinkled dress and your hair only slightly reminiscent of its previous night’s splendor.  And most times, let’s figure the couple in question was at a bar, the guy is wearing something he could arguably wear in the morning … while the girl is in something that is clearly evening attire.  Eyeliner, mascara … it can get ridiculously messy.  We women give away WAY more when trying to ease our way home the next morning whether or not you snuggled, snogged, or slept with the person you spent the night with, it is assumed you spent the night grappling with the double backed beast when caught slinking home.

walk-of-shameIn college, these walks were more prevalent for most people.  Myself, I was saying my prayers at nine thirty and in bed by ten with all my homework done, but some of those ruffians I hung around with would come home the next morning.

One made it home in a shower curtain liner after leaving his fair lass’s room to use the lavatory and not remembering which room he had left once he exited the bathroom.  This necessitated some quick thinking.

One friend never found her other shoe despite panicked rummaging and her prince never sought her out.

Another was relieving himself of last night’s ingestion in a bush on his way back to his room while a prospective student tour happened upon him.

In hind sight, I wish I had planted myself somewhere on a Sunday morning where I could have taken in some of the walks of shame.  I’m a little bummed when I think of the people watching I missed out on that would have been so easy to witness.  Head down, eyes focused on the sidewalk, pace quickened…heels clicking.

And therein lies the fun.  Not getting caught.  There’s something victorious about making it back to your room without getting seen.  Not that you won’t laugh about the story with friends or brag to your buddies, but there is some key part in getting back to your room before someone sees you.

As an adult, it gets less exciting, a little more pathetic.  Getting spotted driving home early, your car seen in someone’s driveway, your parent’s drinking coffee at the breakfast table while you’re sneaking in the back door.  And no, that never happened to me.

But one time, having thought I snuck in unnoticed at an ungodly hour, I went to join my father for breakfast after grabbing a few hours of sleep.  He put the paper down as I sat to eat and said, “You looked really beautiful last night.”  Thinking this was one of those touching father-daughter moments that Hallmark attempts to construct, I thanked him.  Then he picked the paper back up and as he cracked it to make sure it wasn’t folding over and hampering his reading, he followed with, “Maybe that’s why you didn’t come home last night.”

Busted.