I'm A Great Party Trick?!I'm not sure if I should be annoyed or flattered, but my sister recently described me to someone as a great party trick. She referred to a specific instance a long time ago when I shocked my then boyfriend and his best friend, who my sister was dating. We were playing a game, girls against guys, where each team could ask the other any question they wanted, and if the opposing team didn't know the answer, they had to do whatever dare the other team decided on. The guys asked us "What's the rear end gear ratio in Eric's Jeep?" and immediately started high-fiving each other because they figured that there was no way that we would get that one right. I answered 3.55, which was correct. Their faces were priceless! But it bothers me that people are so shocked that I know a lot about cars. I've been in the automotive performance and service industry for over 13 years, and it's something that I'm interested in, so of course I have a lot of knowledge on the subject. My sister told the person that she was describing me to that I'm "a gorgeous 5'9" blonde who looks like somoene who would be laying on a beach somewhere instead of leaning underneath the hood of a car". I do appreciate the gorgeous part, but it's disheartening to me that when people look at me, they automatically put me into a category, of which I usually don't belong.
I suppose that it irritates me so much because it's something that I've been dealing with for a long time. There have been instances where men would flat out tell me that they would rather be helped by a man, or would look at me in disbelief as if I couldn't possibly know what I was talking about. Quite a few women have been just as guilty, though, making statements like "We're just women, so we don't know anything about that stuff." Excuse me?! I have always made it my mission to free the minds of those people by showing them that categorizing people by stereotypes just shows how ignorant they are. It just gets really old after a while, and although I do enjoy proving people wrong, I just feel like I shouldn't have to defend who I am so vehemently. I wish that more people would learn to accept others for who they are instead of putting them into a little box, not allowing themselves to believe that they could possibly be wrong. In this case, I am flattered that my sister thinks that it's great that I'm not what people expect me to be, but describing me as a "party trick" for some reason feels like an insult. It's no trick, it's just who I am. I also would rather mow my lawn than do laundry, played full contact football in a women's pro league (until I got tired of getting laid out flat by girls 3 times my size), bought a fixer upper house and am doing the work myself, have a raunchy sense of humor sometimes (which I blame on being around mechanics for so long), don't want children and am saving to buy a motorcycle. Those things don't make me any less of a woman, although some people would probably argue against that statement. All that I know that I can do is to do my small part to dispel lingering outdated beliefs about who women are and what they can do. We can be or do anything that our hearts' desire! It's time that everyone knows it.