I remember riding bikes a lot with my friend Allison in junior high. On one particular bike ride, I noticed her new "I Love Boys" shoelaces. Horrors! I'm pretty sure those shoelaces made me blush. Besides the fact that such a proclamation is throwing the net pretty wide, I would NEVER wear such shoelaces for all the world to see.
I like to think that I've always been understated. Non-desperate. Reserved. (Truthfully, I've long been unsure what to think of boys.) To this day, I'm not exactly a confident, self-assured woman of the world, relating equally to men and women.
Take the other day. I was sitting innocently in the vestibule at church. Bethanie's soccer coach, who happens to attend our parish, came walking in to drop off his daughter at CCD. Here is what I COULD have said: "Hey, Coach. How's it going?"
Here is what I DID say: "I've never seen you in pants!"
I'm quite sure that Allison in her boy-confident shoe laces would NEVER say such a thing.
I heard myself saying it and recoiled in embarrassment. Luckily, he only looked at me a tiny bit funny and kept walking.
It was a true enough statement. I've only ever seen him in shorts. And it was unique to see him at church and in work clothes. But why verbalize that? Sheesh.
The whole issue of "grown married woman relating to men" is a tricky one for me. And I'm not sure it will (or is even supposed to get better). What am I getting at? Well, I think I am bugged by the fact that I am now forty years old, and I still feel kinda like the bashful kid I was in seventh grade, to the point of blithering like a goofball around a soccer coach. I don't need to be able to impress anyone, or flirt, or captivate. I'd settle for maintaining a non-dork status.