Friday, June 5, 2009

Patrick or Patricia? I enjoy being a girl, dammit!

I took Wed off from work. It was a dreary day filled with mundane errands, and by 9am I at was at the Toyota dealership for an oil change. The hour spent in the waiting room felt much longer, thanks to a TV blaring Live with Regis and Kelly in one corner, and a whiny kid and her oblivious mom in the other corner. At last the Toyota guy appeared -- he stepped in the room, checked his clip board, and announced to the crowded room...

"Richard Swensen and Stacey Kimmel, your cars are ready."

I raised my hand and stood up, but no one else responded. The young man looked at the clipboard, and then at me.

"Which one are you?"

Now wait a doggone minute...

I mentally review my attire -- teal blue capris, tennis shoes, and an FEI WEG t shirt (pictured left). Admittedly my hair was blown dry but not styled.

So, what about me says something other than FEMALE? Since when could I pass for a Richard?

Well. It's happened before.
As a freshmen in college, I often went running. One bright afternoon, as I ran down the street some townies drove up behind me. A young guy leaned out the window and made cat calls. As they passed me, he look startled. Ducking back in the car I overheard him say, "Oh, I thought it was a girl." This kind of thing has happened to me, off and on, since I was in high school.

Thoughts on the matter
A partial explanation for the gender confusion (theirs, not mine!) may be that people seldom take the time to really look at one another in a typical day. And a New Jersey housewife I'm not. I don't wear makeup. I'm not classically curvaceous. But I love pink! And I do have a few girly-girly outfits. Apparently, though, I'm more guylike than I realize. Does it bother me? Well, yes, momentarily. I actually marvel that it doesn't bother me MORE.

The whole thing is more palatable when I put it in a dressage dressage context -- I'd be the first to admit I lean more toward the practical than the feminine -- on the continuum women dressage riders I'm definitely more toward the left...

Ulla Salzberger -------------------------------------------------------------------Lisa Wilcox/Katie Price

Oh, and the capris had ruffles along the bottom. Go figure!


  1. LOL, you know I've had it happen to me, and I'm athletic-curvy. Never ceases to amaze me. It doesn't bother me quite as much now that I'm married (at least HE knows I'm a woman, lol), but it is still weird.

    ....and I have long hair!

  2. I have had that happen a few times to. I just let it go, but one of my friends chew a lady out for calling me sir, twice. And I was wearing pink that day, too.

  3. Oh, my super short hair has caused the same thing to me. Doesn't help to dress in pink either. Have you seen some of those pro golfers?

    (Not recently, though as many dressed in pink to honor Phil Mickelson's wife who has breast cancer.)

  4. All my life people who knew my Dad have exclaimed how much I look like him. As a kid my Mum would put my hair in a bow on top of my head, sticking straight up, like a fountain, to stop people from addressing me as "little boy". My baby sister has always looked like a very feminine pixie. You play with the cards you are dealt, I suppose. Sigh!

  5. We walk through life anymore, not really 'seeing' anyone. I think we all have a story like that. I'm 6 feet tall, and people look startled, when they 'realize' that I'm not a guy. Hey! Chicks can be tall too!

    FWIW- your profile pic says "girl standing next to horse" to me... :)

  6. Happens to me on a regular basis! I have really short hair and I think that's what gets everyone.
    The comical times are when I'm out with my boyfriend and it happens!

  7. I can't say I have ever had that happen to me, but I can say working in a school that many of my girls have guys names, including a female richard (who likes to be called richie). The guy working also just night not be the smartest star in the sky if you know what I mean. Who knows. As long as you are good with your body I wouldn't worry about it.

  8. Can't say it's happened to me. But I've always been closer to the "Tom Boy" end of the spectrum myself. I don't really look like one; but I dress and act like one. I enjoy getting dirty and am competitive and practical. My husband laments the only time he's seen me in a dress was our wedding. We've been together almost 9 years. It was probably the last time I did my hair, wore make-up, and shaved my legs too. Hey, I'm blonde and I only wear long pants. Why fuss?


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