(insert pithy rejoinder here)

Top Ten Reasons Why Even People Who Know Me Think I’m A Man

It’s somewhat of a mystery to me as to why most people in the blog world assume I’m a man even though I’m not. Don’t worry if you are one of them; we’re still pals. Recently I made the mistake of mentioning this to my oldest son who replied, “Why are you surprised? Even people who know you think you’re a man.”

Yeah.

So because I’m some sort of masochist I asked my kids to elaborate. Here’s the conclusion they’ve drawn for why people who know me think I’m a man:

*** 10. I KNOW MY ENGINE’S FIRING ORDER.

I argued that there are plenty of female mechanics out there who know more about motors than I do but they stood their ground, insisting that the fact that I’m not a mechanic makes knowing this specific information about my car’s engine something only a man would “traditionally” know. I’m betting their insistence on using the word “traditionally” was to spare them a feminist slap upside the head.

*** 9. “SOLDIER UP” or “WALK IT OFF”

Apparently these are the only two statements I give anyone when they are faced with a “crisis” and make the mistake of whining to me about it. I’m careful not to use these phrases at moments when they are dealing with real emotional issues, I’m talking about the day-to-day nonsense that for some reason teen boys and young girls need to add unnecessary drama to. (God help you if you’re an adult coming to me with nonsense). I like to think of it as my own personal advice on “fight” or “flight.” Either way, make a choice already. I got shit to do.

*** 8. I REFER TO OTHER MEN AS “BUDDY, “PAL” OR “DUDE.”

My boys are right, but what I didn’t have the courage to tell them is that when I speak to a man this way, it’s to remind him that he is firmly planted in the “friend zone,” so there’s no chance of mixed signals. And to spare my boys therapy, I didn’t bother to elaborate.

*** 7. I TAUGHT MYSELF TO USE MY NON-DOMINANT HAND IN ORDER TO GAIN AN ADVANTAGE IN SPORTS.

Alright, this I one did. Although I’m not sure how this makes me a man, and my argument about being/coaching cheerleading didn’t sway their opinion in the least.

Now technically I’m left-handed, but there ARE certain situations in the sports world where using one hand instead of the other gains you an advantage. For instance:

BATTING – I switch hit. I prefer to bat right-handed, as my dominant left arm has more power on the pull through, but on occasion I do switch hit. It’s a technique Mickey Mantle perfected. Now I know what you’re thinking, “But wait…wasn’t Mickey Mantle a YANKEE?” Yes, he was. But even I can’t deny the fact that the man could swing.

PITCHING – Left. Most pitchers are right-handed, so most batters are used to having a pitch come at them from the right. ADVANTAGE!

BASKETBALL – Dribble left, shoot right. I actually make a point of switching from hand to hand before I shoot to disorient defense. If you want to see a master of this technique, type the name STEVE NASH anywhere. I’m NOWHERE near as good as him, though.

BOWLING – Left. Ten pin lanes have a thin coating of oil layered over the lane, so unless the guy who bowled before you was “Earl Anthony good” your ball is going to naturally follow the path his ball made in the oil. For all you know that dude could have been a total spaz. Left-handers have the advantage of sending their ball down a less traveled path.

FOOTBALL – Left. I’m too small to play but I throw a mean spiral.

TENNIS – Left. It’s just easier for me. Not really sure if there’s an advantage in it.

GOLF – Right. Left-handed clubs are just too damn expensive.

TRACK – I just wanted to see if you were paying attention.

*** 6. I’M COMPETITIVE.

Let me explain. I’m very competitive. Insanely competitive. I’m so off the wall competitive it’s almost embarrassing. I ALWAYS have to win. Even if I lose I will find some shred of success within the loss to hang my hat on. Again, not sure what makes this a man trait, but my boys were pretty emphatic on this one.

*** 5. I DON’T CRY. EVER.

Not really sure what to say about this other than I just don’t cry. I also think my sons have been spending too much time with teenage girls, most of whom will cry at the drop of a hat. I’m thinking it skews their judgment.

*** 4. MY FAVORITE POET ISN’T SYLVIA PLATH, BUT CHARLES BUKOWSKI.

What can I say? Chuck gets me.

*** 3. I WIN EVERY KNIFE THROWING CONTEST I ENTER.

Wait, wait, before you click away in fear let me explain. It’s not like I wander the countryside with a sling full of knives, randomly entering contests. New England in the fall is a wonderland of town fairs, and every one of them has some sort of knife throwing contest. I’m not sure why or how I can do this, but I’m awesome at it. I think the fact that so far only men have entered the contests I’ve won leads my boys to believe this is something only men do. If there’s a woman out there who can throw knives, please let me know. I’d love to prove my boys wrong.

*** 2. I’M FREAKISHLY GOOD AT ARM WRESTLING.

Don’t get me wrong, I can’t take down a grown man but I can give him a run for his money, despite the fact that I’m not terribly strong. I think because the length of my arm from shoulder to fingertips is only something like 28 inches long (71 cm for you fans of the metric system). I’m guessing it gives me some kind of advantage.

***** IF YOU ARE AT ALL SQUEAMISH I SUGGEST YOU CLICK AWAY NOW *****

The number one reason why people who know me think I’m a man is:

*** 1. I’VE GIVEN MYSELF MY OWN STITCHES.

I’m telling you people, stitches don’t hurt anywhere near as bad as you think they do. Even if you’ve already gotten them and you thought they hurt, I’ll bet it had more to do with being freaked out over the fact that you needed them at all. Seriously, burning yourself taking a pan out of the oven hurts more than giving yourself stitches. But you’re probably used to that particular pain sensation so you’ve grown accustomed to it. I, on the other hand, am a lousy cook but a very good Roller Derby Girl, so I’ve grown accustomed to the pain of giving myself stitches instead.

I’m not talking about stitching up a huge gash or anything, I’m talking five or six stitches at most. Since my ex is a Paramedic/Firefighter I have access to the actual equipment needed to stitch myself up, so it’s not like I run my arm under the sewing machine. All you need is a field medic’s needle and some medium weight fishing line (heavy duty’s too thick and the thin stuff tears). A bottle of cheap tequila doesn’t hurt either. Taking them out is even easier. It feels something like taking earrings out. I’m not suggesting that people go out and start giving themselves stitches, I’m just saying if I made a trip to the ER every time I needed them nothing else in my life would get done.

So there you have it: The top ten reasons why people who know me think I’m a man. And on that note I will leave you all with some “manly” parting advice:

Duct tape fixes EVERYTHING.

52 responses

  1. I wrote a post similar to this a few weeks ago. It’s OK. We are just the Elite Few Who Are Completely Awesome. :) Although you like playing sports, where I utterly despise anything physical. Well, almost….

    September 29, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    • Now I HAVE to check yours out.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:28 pm

  2. Finally…somebody else who does Top Ten LIsts. AND..I just want to document that I have never thought you were a man or manly…until now.

    September 29, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    • Yeah, I didn’t realize it myself until I reread this post.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:33 pm

  3. I’m telling you, LISTS are the rage!

    Reason #11: You know about Earl Anthony.

    Great post, dude!

    September 29, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    • I am, or at least used to be, an insanely good bowler. Honestly, I didn’t think anyone would get that one. I’m impressed!

      September 29, 2011 at 4:34 pm

  4. I am one of them – who thought you were a man when I first read your blog – you kinda remind me of that Jack Nicholson quote, when asked how he thinks like a woman in his books .. he replies something like “I just remove all logic and rational thoughts..” You remind me of this because you aren’t “one of them”..

    Great list / Post.

    If you were a man I’d ask you out on a date.. or at least for an arm wrestle? ;)

    September 29, 2011 at 2:18 pm

  5. Its OK because I think your amazing and knew you were a women!

    so its all cool, I decided me and your children would have an epic time together, I shall be called nanny form now on :P

    I prefer the term …”NUT UP OR SHUT UP” instead of “SOLDIER UP” or “WALK IT OFF” :P I say dude a lot :P

    “teenage girls, most of whom will cry at the drop of a hat” I am sorry … I will try better to grow some balls ;)

    I could give myself stitches through fear of throwing up or fainting or having a panic attack!

    Aha once again your amazing even if people think your a dude!

    September 29, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    • I think my kids would have a blast with you too! But I’m sure Junior would follow you around doing a horrible impression of your accent.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:36 pm

      • Awww well I think Junior and I would get on very well :P

        September 29, 2011 at 5:11 pm

  6. Not the Broth

    Once again, does this make me your bitch? Yes. Oh, and you forgot one major point: you take after your Italian side of the family, so your balls are really, REALLY hairy… (you’re sorry you ever invited me to comment here now, aren’t you?)

    September 29, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    • :O

      September 29, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    • Fuck you “Broth.” I can also bait my own hook, catch my own fish, kill it scale it and cook it. Or don’t you remember?

      Come to think of it, you probably don’t. That whole weekend is a blur.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:39 pm

  7. Where to begin on this… I didn’t care what gender you were when I found your site because you were funny as hell. Now I think I have a crush on you.

    September 29, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    • Really?!

      Well did you also know that the way I deal with my yearly heinous reaction to poison ivy is to stick my arm in the sink, pour bleach down it and scrub it to death with steel wool? That hurts wayyy more than stitches. Also…damn I know there’s more. Man I was on a roll, too.

      September 29, 2011 at 4:43 pm

      • You think you’re the only one who knows the bleach fix for poison ivy?

        September 29, 2011 at 4:55 pm

  8. WHY AM I ALWAYS THE LAST ONE TO KNOW ANYTHING? And I thought I was so smart for inventing that. To tell you the truth I just got desperate to get rid of it. I figured if they used bleach to get rid of toxins in hospitals then it would probably work on me too. Which it did.

    I think I finally need to “soldier up” and go to college or something.

    September 29, 2011 at 5:05 pm

  9. Not the Broth

    Psst… The scrubbing also works equally well if you use Dawn. Scrub the shit out it with Dawn dish soap, it removes the oil oozing from the rash and dries it out within hours. (I’m whispering because I honestly have only flashbulb memories of that weekend, but they all involve you threatening me with hooks and worms, so the last thing I want to do is upset you again…)

    September 29, 2011 at 5:52 pm

  10. I thought you were a man the first time you commented, but then remembered “J.K.” Rowling and realized that you were one of those chicks who is easy to get along with and is very low maintenance. Also, I’d never do my own stitches, because I don’t want to ruin my man-pretty face. I’ll take them out, though. You forgot one:

    11. People think I’m a man because it takes a lot of strength to carry this huge motherfucking chip on my shoulder.

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! I’m kidding. By the way, the thing for poison ivy to do is smear it all over with Vaseline, because that makes it easier to shove your arm up in the horse’s… no, wait, I’m thinking of something else. Never mind.

    September 29, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    • Yeah, I think I’d swallow my pride and go to the ER if I ever needed stitches on my face. Just arms and legs so far. There was one on the inside of my left thumb and that one hurt really bad.

      And if given the option of living with poison ivy or sticking my arm up a horse’s ass I’d pick…yeah, let me get back to you on that. I’m seriously allergic.

      September 29, 2011 at 6:16 pm

  11. TheIdiotSpeaketh

    I’m with brainrants…. If I ever branch out into Polygamy….. I comin and knockin on your door….

    September 29, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    • I’ll answer, just as long as BrainRants comes along to do the cooking. Trust me, you don’t want me anywhere near an oven.

      September 29, 2011 at 6:38 pm

      • If polygamy ever became acceptable, I’d not only come and knock on your door, I’d take a step that is new. But it won’t! Unless something strange happens, like alien invasion or Take An Extra Spouse Month!

        October 9, 2011 at 10:49 am

        • I small so I’m sure I could squeeze in someplace your wife wouldn’t notice.

          October 9, 2011 at 10:55 am

  12. I’ve had stitches, and I almost set fire to my arm while cooking dinner once (it smelled kinda nice, like freshly-cooked chicken, but I digress), and I can tell you that the stitches hurt worse. The thought of someone doing their own stitches conjures up that image of Arnie operating on his own arm in The Terminator. The inference here being, I respect you, but I’m also slightly scared!

    September 29, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    • It’s funny, because to me a burn hurts wayyy more than stiches do. Even a small burn. You’re tougher than you know.

      September 29, 2011 at 9:14 pm

  13. Wow! Knife throwing! We don’t do that down here but we DO sell gators-on-a-stick at all the festivals and I think that makes us sound pretty tough.

    September 29, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    • Gators on a stick is pretty tough. So are frogs on a gig pole.

      September 29, 2011 at 9:15 pm

  14. I dig. But to truly confuse the whole thing you gotta be able to do the bro hug. You know, hug each other lightly but at the same time slapping your buddy on the back. That way, it’s got an air of violence attached to it.

    September 29, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    • God I wish women would do this. For some reason they don’t just hug, they SQUEEZE. Honestly, I don’t know how you guys put up with it. I realize you’re getting something out of it that I’m not, but still. Blech.

      September 29, 2011 at 9:18 pm

  15. woah woah woah….you were a chick this whole time? Cool.

    September 30, 2011 at 12:32 am

    • It’s so awesome that you didn’t know. Now, if I only had the same power in the real world I could work it so that I wouldn’t have to wait in public restroom lines. Although the jig would be up once I got in.

      September 30, 2011 at 9:13 am

  16. JC

    Could it also be that your first two initials aer “HE”?

    September 30, 2011 at 8:43 am

    • All part of my master plan.

      September 30, 2011 at 9:11 am

  17. sharon

    Tell me are you ever a girl?

    September 30, 2011 at 9:27 am

  18. Sonova…… it’s decided , I’m a 15 year old japanese schoolgirl. :-/

    September 30, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    • Congratulations! Are you holding a ceremony?

      September 30, 2011 at 6:56 pm

      • *sigh* yes, I’ll trade in my cargoes for a skirt of smthing….

        October 1, 2011 at 9:57 am

  19. No question about it. You are definitely more of a man than me. You sound like an effing commando compared to me. The only area in which I can even slightly compare to you is that I have had oral surgery without anesthetic. But that speaks more for masochism than masculinity.

    Maybe the fact your first two initials spell “he” causes blog readers to think your a man. That and thinking that going to a testosteronal Prince Charming for fitness advice is a good idea. LOL.

    October 2, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    • Oral surgery sans meds? That trumps ANYTHING I’ve ever done. And Prince Charming works for free so he’s my go to guy.

      October 2, 2011 at 1:17 pm

  20. Fu*k people love lists! I could write one about my balls and people would read it. But you, with only theoretical ones of brass or something harder, actually made an actual list. Hats off.
    Les

    October 3, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    • Thanks. Up until this post I never knew people were so into them! I’ve actually started a list of all the things that have bitten my kid. I’m into the fifties at this point…

      October 3, 2011 at 5:30 pm

  21. I will have to read more of your stuff later. For now, it’s Saturday night and I’m “between girlfriends” and I want to be alone with the phrases “non-dominant hand” and “stitching up a huge gash.” Thanks for those. If I’d known about the bleach and steel wool cure for poison ivy 25 years ago, I think I would have done it rather than have blistering boils (boiling blisters?) on my feet, legs and arms for a week. Thank goodness it stopped there.

    October 9, 2011 at 1:46 am

  22. Wow – I love this! I am now inspired to learn my engine’s firing order. I am also left handed and trained myself to write with my right hand (you know, in case I lose my left arm in a freakish turkey chase accident). I also play hockey right and am a switch hitter.

    January 20, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    • And…now I’m off to the Google to find out what in the hell a “Turkey Chase” is.

      January 20, 2012 at 1:37 pm

  23. Le Clown

    H.E. Ellis,
    -> MY FAVORITE POET ISN’T SYLVIA PLATH, BUT CHARLES BUKOWSKI.
    Dude, you’re my kind of woman.
    Le Clown

    September 22, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    • I shovel snow, too. I bet if I tried hard enough I could get my own reality show.

      September 22, 2012 at 7:01 pm

      • Le Clown

        H.E. Ellis,
        Just like Honey Boo Boo.
        Le Clown

        September 22, 2012 at 7:02 pm

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