I just finished three laps around the house with a book on my head. That’s what proper ladies do, right? The last few days I have conducted an experiment and I have “done my hair” every morning. That may not seem monumental to most women out there, but for me, it is extraordinary. I am in the process of converting from tomboy to lady, and it has been an interesting journey so far.
I should probably tell you a little bit more about how deep-rooted my tomboy tendencies are. My flashes of childhood memories include: playing football with the boys at recess, sitting inappropriately in a dress on the bottom bleacher at a concert, being confused for a boy because my Dorothy Hamill haircut didn’t make me look much like Dorothy Hamill, playing basketball on a boys’ team through sixth grade, beating a guy friend of mine in a basketball three-point shooting contest in middle school, being the first girl to buy a guys letter jacket because I thought the girls’ jackets looked lame, choosing a soccer or basketball game over a dance or a date and choosing my hairdos based on what would be least disruptive to competition.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I did actually go to some dances and I wore dresses when I went, plus I eventually grew my hair out to be really long, but I have not had a whole lot of practice at correct make-up application, or how to dress in clothes/shoes that are both comfortable and fashionable. I seemed to be feminine enough in college to garner the attention of my husband, and a few other boys along the way, but I am NOT what you would consider a girly-girl, and I have spent quite a bit of time the last few days exploring why.
When you spend as much time as I did, “playing with and against the boys” you learn a lot about what makes guys tick, and I know that is why I am more comfortable watching sporting events with guys than I am hanging out with the women who attend. For the first time in my life, though, I want to move camps, and I am truly unsure how to do that gracefully.
I was the girl who made fun of the girly-girls (arguing that I could probably beat them up anyway), but I am starting to understand why I might have been so adamantly tomboyish…and it is time to embrace a change.
God has blessed me with arguably two of the most girly-girls in the world, and I am fascinated by how comfortable they are in their own skin. My littlest notices shoes and clothes and the combination of colors that was completely lost on me. Then she comes down to twirl for her dad, and I understand the difference between the two of us.
My dad… encouraged football, teaching me running patterns in the backyard.
My husband… sings and dances with his girls.
My dad… was only around if I was playing or he was coaching a sporting event.
My husband… goes on daddy/daughter dances, drives the girls to choir, coaches their teams and tells them all the time how cute they are….plus that he loves them just the way they are.
My dad, as he struggled with his own demons, likely didn’t realize how much I was working to get his attention, and I was unfortunately gifted to keep doing it.
Of course I am thankful for how being a tomboy has taken me so many places, but I am ready to embrace more of who I have always been.
So, yes, it is awkward to give myself permission to do my hair, and to shop for cute clothes (I am used to workout clothes and not always matching), but I want to explore that buried part of who I am. I wrote down a list of things I would like to do to adopt a more feminine image, and my husband started reading it to me on the phone yesterday when he thought it was my grocery list:
- Do my hair every day!
- Buy some colorful and fashionable clothes (I hope I know what I’m doing)
- Get a fitted bra (I own two bras that kindof fit, and otherwise I wear sportsbras)
- Invest in real make-up (with colors that actually go together)
- Walk like a girl (practicing with a book if I need to)
- Sit like a girl (remembering that I am not on a basketball bench waiting to go in)
He admitted that he would be excited if I could find all of those things at a grocery store. I looked….no luck. I’m going to have to work to break my own habits. Some habits are harder than others to shed, and this is going to be a real challenge for me, but I am up for it. Plus, as an aside, I will punch anyone who has anything mean to say about it.