Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Feminine Machismo?

I was in Walmart today picking up two large cartons of bottled water. While lifting the 2nd carton, I got my finger caught in the thick plastic covering at the end where you insert your hand to carry it. The carton was in the air, and thanks to gravity vs. my noodle arm muscles, was rapidly spiraling into the cart with my finger still stuck. I felt like I had pretzel twisted my finger.

At the same time my brain registered, "MORTAL PERIL!!!" a woman and her child rounded the corner into my aisle.

She was just an average mom like me, with an average kid, who probably wouldn't have given me more than a passing glance had she known I was hurt.

But here's where my latent machismo kicked in: For some reason, I did not want her to know I was trapped in my water carton or that I was in an incredible amount of scary pain.

Later, when analyzing my reaction to her, I remembered that men do not want people to know they're sick, or heaven forbid, hurt.

I had reacted like a man.

I cannot explain why I held in the noises I should have made to express my pain. I cannot explain why I refused to grimace. I cannot explain why I faked a smile at her. I just know I did not want to appear ... weak.

What a tough load to bear--fully human and yet wanting to portray imperviousness to pain, without even understanding why.

So I believe I got in touch with my masculine side today. If I weren't on a vegetarian kick right now, I'd say, "Pass the beef jerky" or something manly like that. But thank goodness I've returned to normal, and I can cry and enjoy a brand new shade of lipstick with much oohing and ahhing. No shame!

Do you ever have random expressions of guy-ness?


Mocha with Linda said...

Now see what your're missing out on by going veggie?! Guess you'll just have to scratch and burp.

I apparently had too much guy-ness in college. I had lots of guys for friends but none who wanted to date me. I don't know if they saw me as a sister, or as one of the guys. And I sure don't care to know which, 30 years later!

And you could have pretended you were Helen Reddy and said "I am woman hear me ROAR!"

susan said...

Ha! Love this! Yep, every so often I grow a pair and startle myself with machismo!

"Just Me - NC Beth" said...

I think you said it when you commented we do not want to appear "weak"...

Yep! Been there, done that! And as my hubby would say, being "stupified"!

Hope your finger is not too sore!


Melanie said...

For me that scenario would not have so much about "maleness" but about not wanting to engage and explain. I probably would just not have felt up to it. So hide it all and keep going.

Kelly Combs said...

When I kill bugs I feel very manly-man. Even though I have psychotic fear of bugs, I don't want my children to fear bugs. So when one gets in the house, I bravely announce, "it's just a bug!" and kill it, (while sweating and screaming on the inside). I am woman - hear me roar!

samurai said...

All the time Linda, all the time. 8)

~ john

P.S. - thank you for the chuckle... such prideful reactions are indeed typically male in origin. Glad to know i am not alone. 8)

janet1229 said...

yes I have...when I slid under my ca door on the ice in the driveway. I got up and kicked the door like it was at fault....looked to see if anyone was looking...went inside closed my front door and cried. So not only did I end up with a sore back, bump on my head and skinned shin....I had a sore foot too.

Laura said...

Four years ago I caught my heel on the curb and went down on the sidewalk right in front of my office building. I scrambled to get up, hopefully, before any of my coworkers saw me. Unfortunately, I had broken my hip and left the scene of the crime in an ambulance. But at least, I didn't cry when the EMT guys loaded me in the back of it.