Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Tomboy No More

I used to be a Tomboy.

I grew up with brothers, no sisters, and most of my cousins were boys. My Pa-paw used to say that he had seven grandkids, and they were all girls except six. In order to be accepted by the boys, I couldn't be a girly-girl (I didn't really want to be one, anyway), so I was a tomboy. I wore the designation like a badge of honor. I loved it; I saw myself as a Rough-and-Tumble Girl(I don't know where I heard that phrase, but I adopted it as the perfect description of myself). I had smudges on my face and freckles and knocked around with the boys. I was strong. I refused to wear pink or "flowerdy" clothes, much to my mother's dismay. I didn't mind getting dirty or sweaty or playing with bugs and lizards and frogs or climbing trees and exploring in the woods. I had dolls and dresses, and they were fine, but they didn't define me, not in my mind. And even though I liked jewelry and sewing and babies, I always described myself as a tomboy, even into college. Sure, I wore makeup and would curl my hair sometimes, but my best friends were my brothers and cousins. I wanted nothing more than to be a part of their group.

I always felt like a tomboy despite the girlier aspects of my childhood that I'm beginning to realize were pretty prevalent. I played with my brothers and cousins, but would abandon them if a new girl moved in nearby, like the time the new family moved to my grandparent's road. I coveted Jessica's Barbie collection and Kylie's Cabbage Patch family and Dannette's long, thick, blond hair. I wanted to have a crush on some one, like Jessica had a crush on Elvis. I really enjoyed wearing dresses and looking pretty as long as I didn't have to wear pink or flowers to do so. I loved balet and flowers that weren't on clothes and pretty bedrooms. I relished in the attention I received as the ONLY girl. But, none of that seemed to conflict with my perception of myself as a tomboy.

Of course, now there is no way any one would think of me as a tomboy. I wear makeup almost everyday. My hair is usually styled and my nails (fingers and toes) are always done. I even wear pink and flowers. I'm still not afraid of dirt or bugs or amphibians or even rodents, but I dare not face the world without lip gloss. I wonder if the girl I was at age eight would be disappointed to know that I have four sets of curlers. I don't really feel like a tomboy anymore, either. I love being girly, but I believe that I still have a little of that Rough-and-Tumble Girl spirit. I still have freckles, and I am still strong.

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