Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum.

- Graycie Harmon

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Epic Fail

In order for you to understand the Epic Fail I experienced last night, I'm going to have fill you in with some back story.

I was never a girly girl. In fact, I hated being a girl when I was younger. All the girls I knew seemed to be the wrong type. You know, more interested in nail polish than their friendships, more concerned about the size of their breasts and flirting with boys than with their present grades or future careers. They were social-climbers more intent on backstabbing and hurtful gossip than on making secure and true connections. I knew so many girls of that nature (though, to be fair, in my later teens, I started meeting awesome girls who weren't like that at all), I assumed that being a girl meant being like that, and I despised that. So, I deliberately shunned all the girly stuff my entire childhood. I shunned it the way a medieval noble would shun a leper.

Let's face it, I just wasn't interested in flirting with boys. They were morons and treated me funny ('cause I was a girl). I didn't watch pointless cartoons. I watched the cool stuff, like old-school Gen 1 Transformers (Optimus Prime is still my favourite autobot), He-Man, The Incredible Hulk and the Amazing Spiderman, and so on and so forth.

I wasn't interested in make-up or dresses, really. Sure, I'd occasionally like to dress up, but my appearance was never a top priority for me. I'd run around barefoot as often as not (how I never got bitten by a snake while I was running feral through the scrub is beyond me), as I despised shoes. Still do. When my sister was pouring over the latest edition of 'Cosmo' or some other piece of rubbish, I was in the backyard, up in the mango tree dreaming of other worlds, and other people.

I often found myself wishing that I were, in fact, a boy. Sure, I would have been gay (presenting a whole other series of issues), but my interests were much more boyish than other girls I knew. Action movies were the bomb, and movies like Titanic really irritated me. I cheered when Jack died. They sometimes still do, but I've gotten used to the whole tear-jerker genre. I still cannot stand Romantic Comedies, though (except for Wimbledon and for two reasons only: Paul Bettany and Tennis).

I loved swords (and still do) and swordplay. While other girls were painting their nails and brushing their hair, I be in the yard playing imaginary games where I was a warrior, and I was defending the homestead against attacking Orcs, or some such evil creature. I would make bows out of flexible branches, and use the dried, leafless spokes of an Umbrella Tree as the arrows. They never flew straight, if they flew at all. But that was beside the point. I was an archer, damn it!

I remember once at the town fair buying one of those loot bags they sell. My little brother made off with a spy kit one. I wanted the Robin Hood one. It had a bow in it, with arrows that had suction cups at the end of it. How cool was that? When the vendor handed it to me, he unthinkingly said, "aaaaand here you go little boy." And then he looked to whom he was speaking and gave a start. A memory that gives me a good chuckle every now and again.

I did, rather girlishly, develop an obsession with horses, but not the dainty breeds. I liked big horses. Horses that were thick of limb and broad of back. Sure, they weren't very fast, and sometimes not very pretty, but they could carry an knight in full armour, and were therefore the coolest horses to be found anywhere. Ever. I still prefer stockier horses. Arabs don't do it for me. Belgian Blacks (Freisians) do. Clydesdales do. Big horses. Love 'em.

As I got older and looked more and more like a girl, as girls are wont to do as they grow, people started treating me more and more like a girl, and it really, really irked me. Another memory I have is that during a rehearsal for the stage production 'Oliver,' they were casting some of the girls as the orphan boys. I dearly wanted to be one too, but I developed early, and for obvious reasons, I couldn't play a boy. I didn't understand it at the time, and spent some time sulking about it, as I recall.

My sister used to read a fair amount of Mills & Boons (the Australian version of Harlequin) romance novels. I read one once, and was unimpressed. It felt as if my brain had shrunk several sizes. There are so many heaving bosoms one can take, you know. I never read one again. My reading repertoire was almost exclusively Fantasy and Sci Fi. Now, not many girls my age were reading that, they preferring less adventurous stories. I was reading Lord of the Rings and Dune and (when I needed something light) Xanth. The Xanth series always gave me a good giggle. I think that was when I decided to start writing little stories of my own.

My mother had mentioned to the director of the afore-mentioned 'Oliver' musical that I was writing. He looked at me with my really long wavy hair ('cause I couldn't be bothered to go get it cut), and said 'Romance.' I had never been so insulted in my life. I think he knew he had insulted me by the way I simultaneously narrowed my eyes and raised my brow. And probably by the tone of voice I used when I replied, 'Fantasy.'

I never did, and still do not like, clothes shopping. UGH! Shopping for clothes is a long, tedious process and I hate it, yet I could spend twice as much time in a book store and feel perfectly at home. Moreover, I'm much more comfortable spending $100 on books than I am shelling out the same kind of money for clothes. A quirk of mine, I suppose.

So, when it came to be experimenting with all the things girls do in order to get through life as women, I, well, I just didn't do it.

I have been in a long process of reconciling myself to the fact that I am, in fact, a girl, and I am allowing myself to enjoy some girly things. Like... spa treatments. I'm starting to like those. I even gave myself a pedicure and painted my toenails. Not a bad job either, once all the mess had peeled off the skin around my toes.... I've even started to wear pink (gasp!), though, truth be told, I'm not overly fond of the colour. I have realised, in growing up and meeting other young women, that not all girls are the wrong sort. In fact, the wrong sort seem to be a minority, and so, in order to be a girl, I don't have to be all the things I hated most about the girls I knew growing up.

Of course, that means I have some catching up to do when it comes to things that most women learn before they turn 18. Things like how to shave without nicking yourself and bleeding all over the place, how much plucking is too much plucking when it comes to eyebrows, AND the most difficult of all, what to do around boys. I don't think I'll ever get that one.

In any case, I decided, in one of my girlier moments to experiment with hair removal cream last night. It's got to be easier and less painful than waxing, right? Right, this is my Epic Fail moment.

I did not realise that my skin is as sensitive as it is... and following the directions on the bottle to a tee, I still managed to give myself a very painful chemical burn. Yep. I am special. And here's the thing I didn't realise, the sensitive skin thing, it's patchy. Some areas are much more sensitive than others. Thus, my burn is, well, patchy. It only started burning as I was washing the cream off. Then it grew into an excruciating fire. As soon as I had dried my legs I covered them in polysporan. It gave me relief until my inflamed skin touched the blankets into which I crawled, cursing and whimpering.

Epic. Fail.

It's still a bit sore this morning, so I rubbed on more polysporan before heading out. With luck, it ought to calm down before training tonight. I'm such a loser!

Oh, and more on the loser front, two more rejections today. But, I'm much too burnt to give a damn about that right now. Silver lining?

Right, have a great Thursday everyone. I'm off to make a nice hot cuppa. Tea fixes everything.


KuietKelticGirl said...

Thank you. I'm glad I am not the only grown-up tomboy to realize that it would be damn useful now to have learned makeup application as a teen. Sales counter staff just look funny at me when I explain I don't know how to apply makeup... As for chemical burns, I've had those before (different product and usage, but same result!). They can sting badly! Hope it clears up soon!

S.M. Carrière said...

You're welcome! This story was just to stupid-hilarious not to share, and hopefully other young women who are girlishly stunted will take heart that they are not alone!

As for the chemical burn, oh boy does it sting! But it is clearing up. The worst one is on the back of my right knee. It's still bright red and throbbing, but polysporan twice daily keeps it all under control!

I'm such a dolt!