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?