Semantics are the basis of a lot of my pet peeves.
Don’t call yourself a vegetarian and follow it up with, “but I eat chicken.” That’s called being a picky eater; I know, I did it myself for a few years before deciding on actual vegetarianism, which I have since abandoned for eating fish and poultry again, but I don’t use the v word, it’s just silly. Well, and a lie.
Don’t assume when I say I’m in marketing that means I’m in sales. Don’t tell me you’re in marketing if you’re actually in sales. They’re very different.
Don’t. Call. Me. A. Girl.
Now, I’m not perfect. I actually told No-Name how I disliked being called a girl and about 30 minutes later he pointed out that I had indeed asked if his brother would be interested in “a girl like me.” Yes, I’m now hitting up past potentials for set ups. Dontjudgeme.
There are times it just fits in conversation. “I’m an Arizona girl.” “Damn straight I run like a girl.”
But there are many more times when I want to be appreciated as a woman. I’ve been struggling for the distinction probably since graduating college, more so recently. I wasn’t completely unfortunate as a teen, but I’ve definitely grown into myself – personality and looks – as an adult.
I got my own house, my own car, two jobs, work hard, I’m a bad broad. Okay, I rent an apartment and just have the one job, but I’m I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T do you know what that means?*
I’m not married, no kids. Not too haggard looking. Are those the things I have to wait for to be called a woman? I get called ma’am in stores sometimes. Does that count?
My boss recently made the discovery that when he was a junior in high school, I was gracing the world with my arrival. To this, he said, “you’re, like, 12!” Which is funny because that’s the age I give all men. I said, “no, I’m like 26!” Anyway, that doesn’t change a conversation we had a while ago in which – intense debate on the logistics of voting on DWTS story later – he said, “but you’re not a girl, you’re a woman.” FINALLY!
I read an online dating profile in which the guy said no fewer than five times what he was looking for in a girl, what his perfect girl looked like and what kind of activities he would like to enjoy with a girl. Um, go try a playground?
Note that I said guy. This is where it’s unfair because males have “guy” and we have no in between. I make an effort to call men, well men, as well. I made an effort to call TGISWOTSD a man and he immediately corrected me that he was a boy because he was still quite immature. How did I miss THAT red flag?
And now getting to the original point of this post…I sent a text to Non-Mush. Did I mention he’s going halfway around the world for a business trip of still-undetermined length? I wished him well and told him I wouldn’t be upset if it turned out to be a better time, better place when he eventually makes it back – for his sake because I’m awesome and he’s missing out. No, really. I have no shame (and sometimes border on conceit).
Anyway, he responded with a thanks and a vague agreement that we don’t know where we might find ourselves by mid-summer and that I’m a “great girl.”
Perhaps this is one of those occasions where girl fits, but “great woman,” “amazing woman,” even “great catch,” “wonderful person,” “something to lose.” ANYTHING besides a pat on the head and a [insert talking-to-a-puppy voice] “who’s a good girl?”
Over it (as I said, mostly). Time and space and an active social calendar helps too.
*If you are confused by this gansta paragraph tossed in here, summertime brings about my love for rap songs from my younger days. Please enjoy: