8 Mysteries of Womanhood

Note to Male Readers: If the title is makes you think this is going to be about “female” things, it isn’t. So don’t worry. By the same token, if you think you’re going to get some answers, you might be disappointed. But who knows. Other people might have answers. I think the truth is that women are as mysterious to other women and to themselves as they are to men.

There are quite a few things that women do that I, as an actual and long-time woman, find confounding. And when I don’t understand something I ask questions. So, I want to ask about the following:

  1. Make-up. I wear a little make-up. Slapping on a bit of colour in the morning makes me look like I’m awake and alive and not so drab. But it takes me less than 5 minutes and I’m good for the day. I don’t have a fishing tackle box full of products. I have maybe three, four products – tops. I see women in the washrooms at work several times a day with their tackle box, pulling bottles, tubes, boxes, cases and brushes and other things out of them and applying all manner of liquids and powders and colourful lines to their faces with them. Why? Why do you need to keep adding more make-up to the make-up you already have on? Where does the original make-up go? Why do you feel the need to bury your face beneath several layers of stuff? Also, I have never understood foundation and lipstick. Both of these only look good for about 9 seconds after you apply them. Foundation gets all dry and flaky and mostly makes your face look either dead or orange. What exactly is it the foundation for? It looks horrible. And lipstick? What’s that all about? It wears off instantly and leaves your mouth looking like a 6-year-old’s who’s too many eaten no-name brand Cheezies.
  2. Nails. I find it odd that so many women are obsessed with their fingernails. They get manicures regularly. The manicurists do stuff to their cuticles. They soak, buff, file, trim and paint their nails. They glue on fake nails. They put little jewels and decals on their nails. They charge them money for all this and then send them on their way. By the time the women and their fancy nails get to their cars, their nails are beginning to chip. How do you live your lives with long, colourful nails? How do enjoy a meal knowing there is all kinds of crud and bacteria crawling around under those long nails with which you are handling your food? How do you….nevermind…I don’t want to know.
  3. High Heels. So many, many women are passionately in love with high heels. I don’t, for the life of me, get it. Don’t get me wrong — I love shoes. I love shoes that are comfortable and durable, that I can walk in and that look “nice”. High heels meet none of these requirements. Sure, they make your calves look like baseballs and give you some height and men seem to think they’re sexy, but so what? They cause bunions, blisters, back problems, twisted ankles, falls, sprains and you can’t walk in them. Women in high heels hobble along, looking like they’re going fast, when they’re actually getting nowhere, slowly. Walking more than 10 feet is uncomfortable and I suspect men only think they’re sexy because they make women look like they’re vulnerable and unable to escape.
  4. Home Decorating. Many women I know drool and talk for hours over things like colour swatches, paint chips, furniture, home “accents”, window treatments, knick-knacks, seasonal décor, china patterns, stemware, flatware, pillow shams, etc., etc., etc. I can’t seem to get excited by any of this.  I’d like to, because other women have nicely put together homes with stuff that matches and “works” and I can admire that, but when it comes to the crunch, I just don’t care. As long as my home is clean and tidy and things are pushed against the wall so I don’t trip over them in the night, what more do I need?
  5. Taking pride in being overworked. So many women talk, blog and complain about how very, very many things they have to cram into their day. They don’t have a minute to themselves. They’re stretched in all directions. They have little or no help. They get only 4 hours of restless sleep every night. Why do they want to live like this? They sound fierce, yet miserable. You never hear a guy talking about all the stuff he has to do except when he says, “Ummm, nah..I can’t do that, I already have enough to do.” Men know how to say “no”. Why don’t women? Why do they cram every minute of their lives with stuff they have to do? Some people mock me for being impatient and in a hurry, but I’m only anxious to rush through the stuff I have to do so I can have more time to do nothing. I spend a lot of time doing nothing. I like it. Do other women like running around from morning ‘til night? If not, why don’t they stop? I really need to understand this.
  6. Fretting over their bodies. I could never see the point of doing strenuous, uncomfortable, exercisey things and/or not eating things you enjoy to try and shave pounds off. Or undergoing surgery to make things bigger, smaller or smoother. Who are you doing all this for? So you can look in the mirror and say, “Oh look, I now look plastic?” Or, “Oh look, I look like I’m about to gnaw off my own thigh because I’m hungry, my blood sugar is non-existent and I’m miserable?” Why not put all that energy into just being healthy? Find a way to enjoy good, real food and find a way to enjoy doing something that keeps you vertical for a good part of the day.
  7. Hormones. A lot of women are inordinately proud of their erratic hormones. They cite hormones as reasons for eating a pound of chocolate; for being extremely unpleasant and irrational; for not wanting to do stuff; and for killing their spouses. Men never get to say, “Whoa, my testosterone is way high today so hike your skirt up and bend over the kitchen table, woman or I’m gonna have to do the Starbucks barista on my way to work.” I’m probably doing a grave disservice to the sisterhood, but I think women are diminishing themselves as human beings by presenting themselves as slaves to their hormones. Don’t we still have brains and intestinal fortitude and other stuff with which we can keep our hormones under control?
  8. Weddings. Maybe I’m unnatural, but never in all the years I’ve walked this earth has it ever crossed my mind that I’d like to envelop myself in a thousand yards of white lace and spend a billion dollars on hair, make-up, food, drinks, photographs, wedding favours, cheesy bands, boutonnières, cars covered in paper flowers, candied almonds wrapped in mesh, a towering cake with plastic dolls on top and a Man of God trying to make me promise stuff. As a general, abstract concept I get the idea of partnering up with someone that you figure will generally enhance your life, but why the medieval hoopla? Women get positively rabid about getting “their special day just right.” Even women who ordinarily seem like rational human beings! I don’t care how carefully you try to explain it, I will never understand this. I’m sorry.

So? Now you know. I’m maybe not a bona fide woman. I have no answers for any of this, just a lot of questions. Does anyone out there have answers to any of these questions? Does anyone have any more questions? I know I do.

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49 responses to “8 Mysteries of Womanhood

  1. I agree with a lot that you say. I do wear some makeup but not much. I do go to an exercise club as I want to be healthy as I age-it’s the only way I can keep my weight down. I’m not into decorating or handcrafts or scrapebooks, not fashion either and I’m clueless about decorating. I had my one white wedding but, what can I say, I was young.

  2. This will be fun. I can only speak for myself though.
    1. Make-up. I wear a light foundation in the winter because I have very blotchy Irishy skin. Mine does not look orange or immediately disappear and I never add to it. In the summer, a little sun evens me out just fine. I just started wearing lipstick and found a real stay on one that’s more like a dye. It’s a low key, light, very natural color and the reason I wear it is because I have a white spot and a dark freckle on my bottom lip and I do not want people to be distracted by them when they are talking to me.

    2. Nails. Yeah I don’t get that either. I keep mine relatively short, clean and rounded. I hate those nails that are squared off. I would injure myself with those and they look terribly unnatural.

    3. Oh, high heels were fun when I was in my early 20’s. I didn’t wear them after that.

    4. Home decorating. I like a cozy warm house, but I do not have most of those things. I do not have real dishes like fancy china and real silver flatware or any of that and I think curtains generally are gross dust-catchers. A simple mini-blind works just fine. 98% of the decorative things in my house have an actual meaning or sentimental value, I do not go out and buy stuff that matches or just to put somewhere. I would tire you out if you visited my house explaining the story behind every little thing. I do like to paint, though. I think it’s because I like change and I like the smell.

    5. The overworked thing. I don’t get that either although I had a short phase in my life, maybe 20 years ago that was insanely overscheduled. I have no idea how I did that. Today, like you, I spend a lot of time doing nothing and I love it.

    6. Body fretting. Well I’ve explained my plastic surgery several times on the internet but in a nutshell, my upper eyepart between the eye and eyebrow was drooping over so much I could see it. It was very distracting. I got the boobs for several reasons and no particular reason, but I’ve enjoyed having them. Clothes fit a lot better. I’m a little overweight but I don’t care and am too lazy to exercise although I actually enjoy it when I do move around.

    7. Hormones. I only know one person that does that. She’s a blogger and talks about her hormones 60% of the time. I didn’ know other people did that. I certainly don’t talk about hormones. I don’t even think I have any.

    8. Weddings. I’ve never gotten that either. I’ve been married 3 times and they were simple tiny casual gatherings. The only time I ever wore a wedding dress was for Halloween. I was supposed to be Cinderella but everyone thought I was Bridal Barbie. I’ve never even been IN a wedding. One “friend” asked me to be in her wedding to be “in charge of the guestbook” and I said “No thanks!” and then didn’t even get an invitation. I think big formal weddings are an insane waste of money. Think of the honeymoon you could have!

    So that’s my take on it. I hope I didn’t just raise more questions.

  3. I’m afraid/glad to be right with you on every one of these mysteries. I think that the majority of woman are with us, but NOT being these things isn’t as noticeable or newsworthy. Most of the women I know are like me and you. A few are not. I can think of two or three women I know that do all the things you mentioned. I’m related to them, which I guess explains how I know them at all since I must unconsciously avoid relations with women that do those things.

    But these relations are lovely people in the end. I only find this out after a forced conversation or two. Only after I forget about what they are wearing, the boob job, the nails, the two year engagements, heels and all the other crap. When I actually get a chance to talk to them, they’re really just beautiful women.

    So mystery unsolved… I don’t see a need for all these things at all. Just makes it harder to see the beautiful person within.

  4. Jay – Okay. Let’s have lunch some time soon.

    Linda – I guess the white wedding is expected. It’s so interesting that people who would never think would want something like that suddenly go all out and do the traditional church, big dress, lots of bridesmaids in peculiar outfits.

    Geewits – Yes, I suppose there were a few answers of sorts in there. Interesting about the lipstick. Maybe if I could find one that didn’t wear off I’d give it a whirl. They do at a bit of youthful colour, if you find the ride shade. And I don’t think I knew that about your eye surgery. I do remember about the boobs. I’m glad you’re enjoying them.

    Lebowski – Um…gee… I don’t know what to say. Is that supposed to be a compliment?

    Christine – Oh ya, I’m not saying for a minute that these women aren’t good and interesting people – not at all. Nor am I saying that there is anything wrong with any of this. I’m just saying I don’t understand how or why this is important to so many people. It’s more of a comment on myself than on them. And not every woman does all these things, but almost every woman I know is into at least one or two of these things.

  5. You know, it’s really refreshing to hear a woman admit these things. Because we men often wonder these same things about the fairer sex, but if we openly wrote about it, we’d be burned at the stake.

    Maybe you’re just missing a few “Girl” chromosomes or something.

    But that’s okay. Some of us males are missing some “Guy” chromosomes.

    I, for example, don’t give a flying fox fart about:

    (1) Which tribe of millionaire jocks manage to win the latest sports pissing contest

    (2) Getting a supercharged, over-priced testosterone sports car and obsessing about keeping it in immaculate condition.

    (3) Strutting my manhood in bars to try to “get laid”.

    I actually had a post brewing in my head about not acting like our gender stereotype…but it seems you’ve beaten me to the punch!

  6. we seem to be two peas, maybe not in the same pod, but in very close proximity. i put make up on if i am going out for a nice dinner or something, which means maybe 2-3 times a year.

    i discovered heels a couple of years ago. let me qualify this: they are not spiky 4″ heels that pinch your toes and make it impossible to walk any farther than to the bathroom. i discovered heels that are very comfortable and do make feel more powerful when i walk around the office. weird, isn’t. it’s the only “girly” thing i do.

    i totally don’t understand manicures and pedicures. there are so many other things i can think of doing with 60-80$!

    my wedding was outside, my mom made the dress, we played music on our ipod, and it was secular. only problem being i tore my acl 9 days before the wedding and could barely move. still, it was a good party, or so everyone has me convinced!

  7. Um, what? I don’t get it.

    I’m married now so none of this is relevant. Do it, don’t do it. Stand on your head. I don’t care. I’m done.

    Eyeteaguy

  8. I’m guilty of so many items in your list. I completely acknowledge their absurdity, but feel compelled to keep doing them anyhow!

    1. Makeup: I don’t wear it around the house or to run errands, but to go to work – yes. Especially in the winter. Otherwise, I’ll face the day with a hundred “are you feeling okay? you look so pale. are you sure you’re alright?” I like to think that I do a decent job with it and don’t like like the women you’ve described!

    2. Nails: mine are embarrassing. I pick at them for some reason and they are so short and terrible-looking. I’ve had the fake ones before and they looked fantastic! But I could never keep up with the maintenance of them. So now I just have ugly nails.

    3. High heels: I almost always have a small heel on my shoes. My standard work wear is a short black boot with small heel that I wear with pants. I don’t know … I just feel better with them on — taller, thinner, more confident. It’s ridiculous, I know!

    Okay … just realized, it will take forever for me to go through the whole list. But you get the picture!

  9. I’m with you on most of your list. I wear minimal makeup, mascara, lipbalm, bronzing powder in the winter.

    Nails, I like clean and tidy looking nails and while mine are clean, they def look like hands of a stay at home mom who doesn’t wear rubber gloves (I wash my hands ALOT so they are usually dry and ‘old’ looking). If I could justify it I would get regular manicures just to keep my hands looking nice, but no fake nails or polish here. Feet are a different story, I wear polish year round on my feet and get regular pedicures.

    High heels have never been my thing. I don’t love my body but I like it enough not to get any plastic surgery. I wish I exercised more but I certainly don’t diet, I induldge when I want to and watch what I eat (for health reasons) when I can.

    As for decorating? Well I do like it but since having kids I spend less time and money on our house. I do decorate the outside seasonally, and I try to do what I can to incorporate lots of toys and children’s art work! I LOVE papercrafting (scrapbooking and cardmaking etc) and I am one of ‘those’ women when it comes to that stuff. I collect paper, rubber stamps, ink pads, tools, and I am always making things for my kids to hand out at school. I enjoy it and it’s my hobby.

  10. I would just like to add to this that I personally have met hundreds, maybe even thousands, of women very capable of saying no.

    Even when I beg and cry a lot.

  11. Oh, XUP, there is a reason we’re friends. I put make-up on rarely, like if I’m going out for lunch or to a party. Otherwise my face is naked. I kind of like the way I look. I’m 5’10” already, so heels are a waste of time. Etc., etc.

    I’m glad I’m not a Starbucks barista. (Great line, btw.)

    @Dave1949 – Tea. Nose. Stain on shirt. Damn.

  12. As a man who is married to a woman and whose first two kids were also female, and who has a Mom and a litle sister, I was happy to see a penis on my third child’s ultrasound image.
    Nothing against y’all, but I have NEVER been able to understand ANY of the points you make above.
    And now that my eldest is entering her mid-teens (aka, the “Madness Years”), I am more and more in the dark with every passing day.
    Woman-ness is as a big of a mystery to me as honesty must be to Stephen Harper!

  13. Ok, let’s see…

    Makeup – Lipstick (oh XUP, I do love my lipstick) and a touch of pinkish eyeshadow, like you it makes me look almost human in the morning.

    Nails – short. Period. I never did get that.

    Heels – I’ll wear mediumish heels with skirts, but the whole high heel thing, not so much

    Decorating – it took me five years to decide what colour to put on the walls, I can only imagine the hell my life would be if I decided actually decorate.

    Overworked – Just say no already and shut the hell up about it. If you can’t say no, see a therapist… and shut the hell up about it.

    Body – Meh, it does what I want it to do, when I want it to do it and has held up remarkably well over the years with no major overhaul. I’m comfortable in it so if others don’t like it, whatever.

    Hormones – The only reason to talk about being “hormonal” is to write an entertaining blog post about it.

    Weddings – 100% with you. I just don’t see the point of going into debt for something so ridiculous. My wedding cost me a grand total of $250. I rest my case.

  14. Friar – Oh, go ahead and do your post. I’m sure it’s totally different. I’d like to see what you have to say on the subject.

    SmotherM – There seem to be a lot more of us in this pod than I suspected. I always feel like I walk weird in even low heels – but I get the “power” thing because you kind of have to stomp to propel yourself forward. I think people walk a lot harder in heels than in flat shoes.

    Eyeteaguy – Okay. Thanks.

    Julie – No need to feel guilty! Like I said to Christine, I wasn’t implying there was anything wrong with any of this, just that I didn’t really understand it. Whatever rocks your boat, baby!

    Betsy Mae – Cute! Craft away my friend. It’s funny about your feet. What’s that all about? Do you feel like you have a sexy little secret in your shoes by keeping your feet beautiful?

    Ellie – Ya, me too apparently and according to Lebowski. Oh well.

    Dave – I’d like to be able to say, “you’re not alone”, but in reality I think this is a very rare phenomena. You should volunteer for a study.

    Alison – Oh come on! You’re such a glamour puss. When you’re tall and blond you don’t really need a lot of enhancement anyway. And, that was sweet of you to take Dave under your wing like that.

    Trashy – Ya, but you sort of like women, don’t you? There’s a difference between finding them/us mysterious and wanting to stamp us off the face of the earth and just sitting back and enjoying the mystery.

    Glen – Some of us don’t even smell good, but I like your attitude!

    Jazz – Pink eyeshadow? Okay there’s a new mystery. Harumph. But I obviously agree about everything else. And yes, your hormone posts are pretty funny.

  15. I’ll tackle hormones. Abuse messes up your hormones. So a rough estimate would give you 20-25% of women have more to deal with hormonally each month than the general population. 60% of women who suffer the most extreme kind of premenstrual syndrome (can be suicidal, have symptoms akin to being bipolar) were sexually or physically abused as children or adolescents. Its also linked to ovarian cysts, it isn’t all in the mind. Stress messes with the endocrine systems in the body. Mind Body connection, powerful stuff. Maybe talking about out of control hormones is easier than looking deeper and dealing with what is underneath. Not maybe, it is easier to discuss pms than sexual abuse.

  16. Oh yeah – gotta love ’em… been married to two of ’em… cuddled with many more… and I have two lovely daughters…but I’ll tell ya, it’s a nice change of pace dealing with a boy-child than a girl-child for a change.

  17. “Don’t we still have brains and intestinal fortitude and other stuff with which we can keep our hormones under control?”

    Yes, but hormonal changes are harder for women. And if we’re at home, why should we repress how we feel? I’m not saying we should allow ourselves to go psychotic, but its not good to keep emotions bottled up! (Plus, combine hormones with all the uncomfortable PHYSICAL things we have to go through. Hell! We deserve that extra bit of chocolate or moodiness) Also-Its good if we explain why we’re being irrational, so other people don’t take it personally.

    Three “chick things” I don’t get: Chick flicks, chick lit and the obsession with musicals. Ech!

  18. You’re right about the title of this post scaring off potential male readers, though.

    I’m just relieved to see this wasn’t an open-forum about Diva Cups, or something. 🙂

  19. Oh my goodness, SING IT, sistah. I often wonder if I am actually a woman, as I feel the same on all these issues as you do. Maybe we can start a secret society of atypical women? No makeup or heels allowed?

  20. Mudmama – Okay, I do realize there are real issues that are hormonally driven. Hormones are incredibly powerful and can totally mess with your mind. I wasn’t trying to downplay that. The whole post was a bit of a joke anyway, but I was referring more to women who spend way too much time talking about their cycle to all and sundry and making excuses for why they can’t work or why they absolutely have to have 9 slices of pizza or why they’ve been so incredibly rude to you. I really, really cringe when a woman goes off on a rage and the guys all say something like “Uh oh, must be THAT time of the month”. It’s ignorant. But then women propagate that and that really ticks me off.

    Trashy – “Cuddled”…you slay me. I’m happy for you that you finally got a son to whom you can teach all the manly arts. But you know what? I think, growing up a girl needs her dad more than she needs her mom a lot of the time. Her relationship with her father is going to inform all her male relationships. While it’s exciting to have another male family member in your life, he is going to be bonded much closer to his mom than to you. Not to get too Freudian, but you’re going to be the rival. You know how at loggerheads your teenaged daughter is with her mother? Well, that’s going to be you and your son in a few years. So, enjoy your boy, but don’t forget that to your girls you are the most important person in their world/

    Pauline – I thought musicals was a gay male thing? I’m not obsessed with musicals, are you? I know we have the shitty end of the stick vis a vis that menstrual thing…but men have hormones, too. Which is all I was saying. But they’re pretty much obligated to keep them in check. Every teenaged boy is a raging mass of hormones, popping erections every 3 seconds. Even adult males are easily “stimulated” but they just have to suck it up for the most part (so to speak). But hey, if you’re with an understanding partner…at home…go ahead and emote. Some guys enjoy that sort of thing. However if you expect to be treated as an equal in the rest of the world, you have to behave like one, is all I’m saying.

    Friar – I’m incredibly impressed that you know what Diva Cups are… you’ve been reading Elizabeth/Liza/Panther too much, I think

    Lynn – Do I have to sing? If not, I’m on board.

  21. I’m with you on all this stuff. I’m what you’d call “low maintenance” (although it doesn’t always feel that way INSIDE myself).

    I think a lot of women (me included) can get sucked into the trap of these things not being OPTIONS for womanhood but EXPECTATIONS. Meaning that to be a beautiful woman you must wear lipstick (it…it just feels so greasy!) or high heels, etc. etc. I mean, it’s good to have options, but good gravy, can we please keep them as optional?

  22. Have you ever seen Katie – kaboom? She’s a teen cartoon character who turns into a monster whenever things don’t go well. Her mother calmly explains she’s overreacting and talks to the father – “its hormonal, she can’t help it,” and Katie – a towering inferno screams “Leave my hormones out of it!”

    But I do think women who talk about their hormones ruling them have real issues, why don’t they feel they’re allowed to eat a whole pizza once in awhile? Or be pissed off with people? I think the hormonal excuse is because they don’t feel they have permission the rest of the time.

  23. I am half and half on your list. I spend too much time on my hair, though you would never know it to look at me…..but you should see if I just leave it alone….yikes.
    My question is who do we do all of this for? Is it for men, other women (the judgy kind) or for ourselves? For me I think it’s a combination of the three.

  24. Kim – I think I can be all smug and carefree about all this because I’m past all that fretting. I’m pretty sure I used to spend too much time worrying about my make-up and stuff at some point in my life. One thing I didn’t mention though was body hair. It never used to be much of an issue, but these days apparantly women aren’t allowed to have any — anywhere. What’s up with that?

    Mudmama – I think you’re exactly right. Maybe woment need to have that excuse to roar and say “piss off” and eat something without getting the stink eye from a bunch of people. Sheesh.

    Finola – If you’re spending that much time on your hair then you need to see a really good stylist who can recommend something for you that doesn’t require hours of maintenance. And ya, I guess we put ourselves together every day for all sorts of people – men, other women, our kids, our employers, ourselves…

  25. I like a little make-up during the day, and love to experiment when I have a big night on the town.

    I like my heels – but I’m verrrryy picky. Most days find me in motorcycle boots.

    Home decorating consumes me – I think about it constantly, always have a project on the go.

    Nails. Ewww. When I see long nails I always think about all the germs trapped under there.
    Hormones – don’t think about them much.

    My body – I do fret. I try not to, because I am a role model to two little girls. I do try to emphasis that excercise is healthy, and not that I’m trying to burn calories. I also don’t talk about it. It’s boring.

    Overworked thing – I’ll never be that girl. Over-social? Sometimes I spread myself thin.

    Weddings? Ouch, this one hurts. We did it all wrong when we got married (dress, church, a kajillion guests). Just got pressured into it. The Meanie of today would not have gone through all that hoopla.

    This was fun XUP. And your hair looks awesome.

  26. Meanie – Home decorating consumes you, eh? Why? This is what interests me. There are women at work who can talk for hours about this stuff. I always feel so inadequate when I listen to them, so serious about getting a colour or fabric just right for that certain nook. I’m missing some sort of nesting gene I think. I guess I have no desire for a “home”. I have no attachment to where I live or any of my stuff.

    Mas Martine – Welcome to the blog. Maybe we could maintain a long-distance relationship. I’d visit you in Holland some time.

  27. i just love my surroundings to feel good. the colours, patterns, textures. i’m also crafty and work on a lot of stuff for the home (i should take pictures one day – i’m pretty proud of certain items). it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, that’s for sure, and i talk to very few people about it – its mostly in my head.

  28. I Like Your Point of View !
    You sound like a very sensible person.
    I could write more, but I think I am over my allocated time to be sitting in front of the computer screen. Maybe I will write more later.

  29. Meanie – I never knew. I’m always interested to LOOK at other people’s homes, I’m just not that interested in hearing about the process of getting it to look that way. You should definitely post some photos. And even talk about it on your blog, because it’s a huge thing of interest to a lot of people.

    OC – Okee-doh-kee

  30. >>Even women who ordinarily seem like rational human beings! I don’t care how carefully you try to explain it, I will never understand this. I’m sorry.

    I’m with you on that one. I’ve never understood it.

    Why, for example, would a couple want to start their official, government-sanctioned life together either thousands of dollars in debt (from paying for some gawdawful big wedding) or beholden to one or both sets of parents for a like amount? I can’t imagine a worse way of starting life together.

    My wedding was small. I made a simple rule that was reasonably well followed. It was one of the only two requests I made: That nobody be invited to the wedding who has not actually, physically seen either of us in the last 5 years. That kept the guest list small 🙂

    The other request was that no deities be mentioned – we were being married by a minister (Squidette’s uncle), who, it seemed, had encountered this before. So we had a godless wedding performed by a priest.

  31. Squid – I’m not sure if you’re morally married if god wasn’t involved or invited to the wedding. But oh well. And how did Squidette feel about all these rules you lay down about her wedding?

  32. I disagree with Lebowski. I’m sure he/she ment no harm, but not getting girly stuff does not make you a guy with tits. No. Like you, I don’t get ANY OF IT EITHER, except for the decorating, cause I’m a designer. I actually don’t decorate but I would like to. But I HATE it when people say things like “plum is in this year”. Color trending? It’s all just so stupid.

  33. i agree with everything you’ve written. i often tell people i’m not a “real” girl b/c i don’t enjoy those things that other women do.

    if i decorate the house, it’s when i’m moved to do so. if i am inspired by something i see or want to change.

    the funny thing is that when you don’t follow the norm, people aren’t sure what to do with you. that’s always kind of funny to me.

  34. Chica – I think because I know Lebowski in real life he was referring to more than just this blog post. Also he enjoys playing the fool.

    Leah – Sometimes it freaks me out a little, too. When ALL the women in the office are discussing their Christmas decorating plans and I have absolutely nothing to contribute and no idea what they’re talking about and zero interest in the whole thing, I stop and think “Gee, what’s wrong with all these people?” Ha ha — you thought I was going to wonder what was wrong with me, didn’t you?

  35. I agree with much of what you’ve said.
    I don’t bother with make up – too lazy, really. My nails get cut/filed when they break – other than that, I leave them alone. (I do like pedicures, though, but nail polish lasts weeks on the toes.) I like heels on occasion but they have to be as comfortable as possible. Usually, I’m in comfortable flats.
    I worry about home decorating only when I need something specific – although 10 years after I moved in to this place, I’m thinking about changing the mat by the front door. It has never matched the rest of the room. Every six months or so, I notice and consider changing it.
    My mom & sister are into complaining about how busy they are. I’ve gotten pretty good at shutting them down – usually by saying something like “say no next time”.
    I like exercise – I lift weights and do boxing training, mostly – but it’s because I like feeling strong and it helps me cope with stress, not because I’m trying to change my weight.
    As far as hormones, I’ve had days when I’ve been a lot more moody than usual, but there are a lot of factors that go into that – including how much sleep I’ve had and whether I’ve eaten properly.
    And I don’t get the wedding insanity either.

  36. As you know, I am a long-lost relative of yours, accidentally deposited on the wrong side of the Atlantic so I can’t provide any answers (I don’t wear make-up at all, for example so am no help.) I do however have a question: shopping as a pastime: why? I hate shopping (except food shopping). I especially hate shopping for clothes and shoes. Why do so many women love shopping for those exact items, or, even worse, going out looking at them and trying them on but NOT BUYING ANYTHING. I am befuddled.

  37. Leah – Phew!

    Colette – I like your style, woman!

    Loth – Oh ya, I totally forgot about the shopping thing. I would never go to a store if I had no intention of buying anything. Window shopping and just trying stuff on for “fun”. No way. The only non-food shopping I enjoy is rummaging in the big second-hand/thrift shops for “finds’. I could do that every weekend.

  38. I have the same bemusement as you do about your list — did you put fancy hair dos with lots of gel and/or teasing and/or multi colours in there? Cause that bewilders me as much as the others.
    I do colour my eyebrows. Otherwise I would look as if I didn’t have any. Beyond that, no primping. No heels (I would just fall down). And as for window shopping – let me out of there.

  39. Mary – What’s really interesting is when there is an incongruity. Like this woman I see on the bus every day who could easily be mistaken for a man. She wears a man’s hat and very shapeless, unstylish and mannish clothes and shoes. No make up. Her hair is just a dry, grey rat’s nest (self-cut apparently). She even has some whiskers growing out of her chin. But her nails? They are always perfectly manicured and painted in the most vibrant hues. I don’t get that at all.

  40. 1. Makeup – Been there, done that. Got tired of having to be vigilant, so I don’t own a single piece of makeup now. I look blotchier, but I’m much happier.
    2. Nails – I’m a nail biter. The few times I’ve tried to let them grow, they drove me nuts. I don’t know how women put up with them, but decorating them seems like any other body adornment thing (tattoos, piercings, etc.).It’s all about the plumage.
    3. High heels – I wore pretty much only high heels when I was in my twenties. I actually had fewer falls when I was wearing them (partly because I was more conscious of how I was walking), and I had fewer back problems (high heels made my lower legs the length they really should have been to be in proper proportion to the rest of my legs and so I walked much better). I haven’t worn them since the late 90s, but I miss them. And trust me, you can get bunions, blisters, twisted ankles, and everything else from flats just as easily as from high heels.)
    4. Home decorating – I used to care, back when I had pillow shams and all the rest. But I don’t really any more.
    5. Overwork – I think sometimes women are addicted to the feeling of being stressed. It’s similar to people procrastinating and then scrambling to get everything done at the last minute. I know a couple of women who aren’t happy unless they’re stretched so thin they’re transparent. I spend too much time doing nothing, then I spend the rest of the time scrambling to do the stuff I’d put off.
    6. Body image – Sometimes having surgery to make things smaller is a health issue. (Breast reduction, for example, is frequently done to relieve back problems.) For many, though, it’s actually a mental illness. (Who can look at what Heidi Montag recently had done and not think that.) It’s easy to say “just do this” or “why not just do that” — it’s harder to recognize the truth in it when you’re stuck in the middle of it. My sister has a runner’s strong athletic legs, because she runs (strangely enough), but she still looks in a mirror at herself and sees thunder thighs.
    7. Hormones – Unfortunately, hormones are at the root of a lot of problems. (Not just “female” hormones, but stress hormones like cortisol, etc.) Wonky hormones are never a valid excuse for anything, but sometimes they can be an explanation. A woman killing her spouse because of hormonal mood swings should still be held accountable for the action. Likewise, a woman who gets btichy or eats a mound of chocolate under the sway of her hormones is still accountable for the results of her actions. Knowing when and how you’re likely to be affected by your hormones helps you — and perhaps others — to deal with them. And the more we talk about it, the more we all learn. If men experience similar hormonal issues, then perhaps they should be talking about them more.
    8. Weddings – I was one of those girly girls who dreamed of having a huge wedding. (I think we’re conditioned for it from the time we’re small.) After helping several friends arrange their very expensive weddings (one of whom was still paying off the bills when she got divorced), I realized I’m far too stingy to have a big wedding myself. (I mean, I’ve been known to throw away money on useless things before, but not that kind of money for that much uselessness.)

  41. I don’t get women. I have questions but I’m afraid I won’t understand the answers. Now for something completely different… all the best on this special day for you!