"She's Ridiculous!"

Interesting how doing the same thing one would do when perceived as a guy is suddenly inappropriate for a woman.... So yesterday we stopped at BJ's on our way back north with my spouse's nephew in tow.  I was in guy mode, albeit with my freshly pierced ears bearing diamond studs.  As usual, I was relating with my nephew on common terms and enjoying the day.  On the way out of the store, with our carriage laden with a plenitude of perishables, I jumped on the carriage to ride the downgrade to our car at the end of the parking lot.  With my 15 year old nephew riding shotgun on the front of the carriage, we quickly accelerated to 15 mph on the downgrade while Joanne walked behind, pretending not to know us as we barreled downhill.  Picking up speed, we passed a middle-age husband and wife walking toward the store.  As Joanne approached the couple in passing, she notice the wife staring intently at me and remarked to her husband, "Did you see that mother? She's ridiculous!"

Two interesting observations here.  One is apparently that I was being perceived as female.  This seems to be more the norm than not, with any odd stares being not that I am a guy who looks feminine but more that I seem to be a woman that happens to need a better shave perhaps... another laser zap is tomorrow and the main focus by women these days appears to be on the faint hint of a mustache I still have.

The second and more interesting observation is that if I were being perceived as a male and a father in that same situation, that couple would likely not have made comment or, if anything, would have brushed it off as simply a father and son being childish as most men are.  Being perceived as female... and the mother in this situation, my behavior was well off kilter with social normatives and what the perceptions of motherly behavior should be.

I am very much enjoying experiencing this social phenomena and role perception but also finding that being male or being female still means either adhering to social conventions within the confines of the male or female "boxes" or to otherwise endure the stigma of being... well... just a little bit *different*.

We all had a good laugh over this... including Joanne.  Life is becoming very very interesting!


  1. It's amazing watching you from the sidelines as you ride this shopping cart through the parking lot of life, Christen. Your energy and attitude and discoveries...all that motion, and you at the center of it. It's hard not to catch some of the ambient waves coming off you, and harder still not to be lifted by them.

    Love you, girl! <3

  2. Christen,
    My aunt used to ride the shopping carts with me as a kid. Plenty of women do that, at least the ones that like to have some fun.

    Love your post here hun.


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