Thursday, May 03, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #9

Thirteen Ways I'm Not Like "Most" Women

1. I hate to shop
I like spending money, and I like having new things. But I hate to shop, running around the mall or a bunch of different stores, trying things on, etc. I never try on stuff I don't intend to buy, and I don't enjoy browsing AT ALL. Online shopping is wonderful, but even then, I dislike the "looking around" part for the item I want or the best price. PIA all the way.

2. I don't have a thing for shoes
I never really did, though when I worked in a shoe store for a couple of years in college, I did buy a lot. They were more appealing when I saw them every day. I worked in a full-service store where they carried quality shoes and fitted them for each customer. But since I've had two kids and my already large and weird feet have gotten even larger and weirder (I used to measure 6EEE but always wore a 9B until the kids, now it's a 9.5D (wide) or a 10, depending on the shoe), I can never find anything to fit. And certainly not anything stylish. Plus, stylish hurts. I had a great-grandmother who used to make shoes (before I was born) and she was adamant about protecting feet, not wearing poor-fitting or painful shoes. So that leaves me with ugly clunkers or stuff that hurts.

3. Fashion is so not my thing
I buy clothes that are comfortable. Period. In addition to weird feet, I have a weird-shaped body and finding stuff that is stylish and comfortable is impossible. I look frumpy or overly casual most of the time (but hey! I work at home! that doesn't matter anymore!) But even if I didn't have a weird-shaped body, I wouldn't be buying trendy clothes or uncomfortable fabrics. Stretch cotton is AWESOME.

4. I don't wear much, if any, makeup anymore
The only time in my life I ever wore foundation was on the stage (yeah, I acted once!). I'm blessed with a good complexion, so all I ever wear is eye makeup, and since becoming a mom, I shun it pretty hard. No time, no caring. I wear contacts and have trouble finding mascara that enhances them enough without flaking all to hell into my eyes (suggestions welcome!). Lipstick feels and tastes weird and makes me hold my mouth funny. So in addition to frumpy clothes and clunky shoes, I adhere to the "washed out" look.

5. I never got the homemaker gene
My mom was good at sewing, haircutting, baking, all of that. I'm a decent cook and I know HOW to sew, but don't do it very well. Never liked it enough to develop the skill, I guess. Never learned how to knit, and my crocheting ability is limited to granny squares. Giant ones, usually.

6. I LOVE football
My husband loves it more long-term than I do. He played since he was a kid, and went to Cleveland Browns games, and had a family really into the sport. He'll watch an occasional college game. I grew up without a dad and with a mother who knew absolutely nothing about the sport (though she tried to learn when I was grown and so into it), so I pretty much watched the Patriots in the playoffs and whomever was in the Superbowl. Now, though, I'm a slight fanatic. I have posters and shirts and hats. I will sacrifice food for my children to keep NFL Sunday Ticket. I listen to podcasts in the off season and I paid attention to the draft. Jim had no interest in who his team acquired. I'm fully up to speed on my team.

7. After sex, I just want to sleep
Jim's the chatty one. I'm Billy Crystal: "Is 30 seconds enough?"

8. I'm not so into "girl" movies
I like romantic comedies, of course, and other "relationship" movies. But I'm not into art-house or foreign films, for the most part, and indies usually bore me to hell, though that's changing. I didn't like Garden State or Sideways, for example. But there are three indies coming up that I'm really eager to see: Waitress, Cake, andTen Inch Hero. What I really like most, though, are the full-blown blockbuster franchises. I've always loved the big action movies, but in the last several years the good ones have been as much about the relationships and emotions as about the explosions and the visual effects.

9. I don't like museums
I go, especially to ones that are appealing to kids (really enjoyed the new space museum in DC a few months ago), but art and history aren't my things. I'd much rather go to a football game or movie than a museum, and on vacation would rather do active things rather than strolling-reading-yawning things.

10. I LOVE gadgets
Supposed to be a guy thing, but if I had plenty of discretionary income, that's what I'd be spending my money on (in addition to books, of course). Even more, I love gadgets for my gadgets: retractable USB cable for my Neo, jump drives, iPod accessories...

11. I am a "fixer" more than a "listener"
"They" (you know, the people who like to generalize this stuff and define men and women by harsh division) say that if you tell a man a problem, he will want to fix it for you, and if you tell a woman a problem, she will commiserate and support you. My friends will tell you, you CANNOT complain to me, or express a dilemma, or relate a situation, without me immediately offering solutions. It drives them insane.

12. Motherhood doesn't fulfill me
I know, that sounds terrible. I love my kids. And I'm a good mother, if the evidence of such a thing is that my kids are happy and healthy, do well in school, choose good kids to be friends with, and are praised by all adults who come in contact with them for their manners and maturity. (Of course, Jim gets credit for all that, too.) And I do find that fulfilling in and of itself. But it does not define me AT ALL, and I don't mind admitting it's as much burden as pleasure, if not more so. Before you ask why I bothered to have children, let me say I didn't know how I'd feel about being a mother until I was one.

13. I'm highly unsentimental
I'm passionate and emotional at times, but I keep a lot of stuff because I "should" and not because I want to. I handled my mother's death a lot easier, IMO, than most people would. I look forward to the day my kids are all grown up and out of the house. I'm so much more about practicality than emotion, and for a long time, that weakened my fiction. I hope that's not the case anymore, as I've been working on it with every book I write. But "not emotionally compelling" was often a reason for rejection, and my old critique partner used to say, "but what is she feeling here?"

So there you go. I'm like an emotional hermaphrodite. :)

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Starla said...

I can agree with some of them like #4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 & 12. Especially numbers 5 & 12. I can cook okay, but I was never interested in learning how to do it. I do it more or less out of necessity. And forget about sewing! Even my buttons fall off. That's why there are alteration and taylor businesses. And though I'm currently not a parent, I know that I would not be fulfilled by just having kids. I'm going to school to be a doctor for a reason. Kids would be a great bonus in my life, but they would not be the end all be all for me.

Daisy Dexter Dobbs said...

I'm definitely not into shoes. The fabulously comfy $10 pair of plastic Target clogs I'm wearing as I write this proves it. And, yes, I wear them outside of the house too. LOL

Great list, Natalie.

Natalie Damschroder said...

Good to know I'm not alone, Starla! :) And good for you, for knowing ahead of time what suits you.

Are those like Crocs, Daisy? I might have to check them out... :)

kristin said...

I think we're long lost sisters! I could say the exact things about myself.

The only thing I haven't bought yet is Sunday Ticket, but I will be getting Sirius Satellite Radio this year so that I can listen to the radio broadcasts of my team. I love the radio broadcasters for the Colts, and could really do without the national TV broadcasters.

My T13 is about athletes who died before it was their time!

Natalie Damschroder said...

I was going to say "I like you already, Kristin!" but then you had to say you're a Colts fan... ;)

(For those who don't know, the Patriots and Colts have become mortal enemies over the last five or so years.)

Terra said...

Are you my mother?

LOL, you sound just like my mom!

Oh and me if you take out, liking football, being a fixer, and the mother part! :)

Glad to know we all have our quirks...

OH, and I own 3 pairs of shoes, one for cleaning the yard, one for dress up (worn once in the last 5 years), and one tennis shoe...

Rashenbo said...

Hehehe, I'm with you on some of them. I'm not a girlie girl and I can't stand chick flicks... although, I definitely have a thing for shoes. :)

Natalie Damschroder said...

LOL, Terra, I don't think so! Unless I'm living a double life and don't know it. :)

Thanks for posting, Rashenbo! I'll leave the shoes allll to you. :)

Annalee Blysse said...

I'm like you on quite a few of those. I'm not a shopper. I hate to shop with the same passion some people love it. I'm always shopping online.

Natalie Damschroder said...

Yes, thank goodness for the Internet!