Occasionally I write about my forays into the world of girlie girlness. It took me a while to get here, having been a pants-preferring feminist for a long time. I used to equate girlie girlness with weakness, which is really the opposite of feminism, but I was young, passionate, and convinced I was right. How adorably clueless is that? Lately I’ve come to the conclusion that I can be a strong woman in a cute dress; leaving any of my talents on the table is not what living my fullest life is all about. So when my brains and brawn need a little help, I’m learning to not be afraid of bringing in the girlie girl.
Which is what I was practicing on a recent walk around Jamaica Pond in Boston. I was feeling full of vim and vigor and decided to power walk around the pond. I went right from work, and in my cute, black dress, tall black boots, and well-chosen accessories, I was a vision of girlie power. I walked fast and sure, not unlike Carrie Bradshaw in the opening credits of Sex and the City. She’s walking in NYC, in her weird, yet fetching girlie outfit, flirtatiously raising her eyebrows and smirking confidently. That was me, smirking at strangers and swinging my arms. I was killing it. Up ahead I saw I guy casting his fishing rod, so I slowed a bit. When the rod pointed in the direction of the water, I sped up and surged confidently past him. When I was directly behind him, I felt a gentle thwack on the front of my thigh. With my kickass boots thumping, all my brain had time to formulate was that the fisherman had thwacked me accidentally with the tip of his fishing pole. That had to be true because I was walking confidently in a cute dress like Carrie Bradshaw.
On I walked, once, twice around the pond, going strong. Because I was busy looking outward and facing the world with my amazing girlie girl self-possession, I dismissed the shiny thing near the bottom of my dress as being the zipper of my open coat. You know, as one does.
I would have been better off remembering Carrie’s bus splash.
As I started to slow down, I got a good look at the “zipper.” Lo, I had been walking around the pond with a shiny, flashing fishing lure hooked to my dress. My brain was flooded with endorphins from all that walking, so I laughed at myself and sat down to pull it out. I had a vague notion that these lures could be expensive, plus, how cute and flirty would it be to hand it back to him with a little toss of my head and witty remark about being the one who got away?
And then I noticed the sucker had three hooks, and they were all embedded in my dress. What the hell did this guy think he was going to catch in this little pond? Jaws? I worked at it for a bit, but the damn thing was like a fishing hook Rubik’s cube. I’d get one hook free, but as I triumphantly released the second one, the first one would dig back into the dress. The third one was just permanently attached and laughing at me.
The sun was starting to set and I was hungry and needed to get home. Sadly, there wasn’t going to be any flirty exchange or little toss of the head. Of course, I was also clear across the pond from my car. But I scraped together my brains, brawn, and girlie girlness and power walked back, acting for all the world like I’d invented a new dress accessory: the triple hooked shiner.
Back at my house, I started the Rubik’s cube game in earnest. But since I was only ever able to solve one side of that thing, I wasn’t really getting anyhere. Brawn wanted to rip the hooks out and sew up the holes, but the tears would be right on the front of my favorite dress and girlie girl was having none of that. Brain finally realized that the fabric was stretchy, so, at least in theory, I might be able to use braun to strategically stretch the fabric over the nasty hooks with out ripping anything. It took most of the evening, considerable patience, and the phone support of a friend who actually had solved Rubik’s cube, but I did it. And that is the true power of not letting any of your talents get away.