The Girl Club

I have an older brother that I idolized when I was growing up. He was born six years prior to me, in 1969, so had a knowledge of all things denim, Led Zeppelin, and Ford Mustangs. My Dad was the man in my little world. A carpenter who firmly believed that a fancy gym was a ridiculous notion, suggesting instead that one should curl a five gallon bucket of joint compound to get into shape — a man who abhorred makeup and who married a woman who preferred not to wear it. This is not a knock on my family. They’re wonderful. But cool clothes (read: mall clothes) and lessons in femininity were not high priority on the parenting agenda. I didn’t care about bruises and scratches on my legs from spending most of my life outside. And between you and I, I still don’t. I think obstacle courses / mud runs are fun and I enjoy a good hike in the woods.

Work it, girl. Photo Credit:
Work it, girl.
Photo Credit:

This was the perfect storm for what became my lack of: fashion sense, makeup application skills, and cool hairstyles.

My teen years and twenties followed the same formula. And with age, I made more attempts at being girly, yet it never really felt natural. I was forever viewing other girls as though I was on the outside looking in on some “girl club” that I didn’t belong to. I’m only now, at 38, starting to become more comfortable with heels and attempts to do my hair. I’m always nervous to go to events where there will be other women (I’m aware that this is all events, by the way) who completely have their shit together. I never feel quite grown up; I never feel mature. This is usually because I forgot to put on lotion, do something with my nails, sweat at the idea of having to put on makeup, and/or am wearing an elastic hair tie with a dress.

Enter: MOTHERHOOD. I had a daughter. Which pleased me beyond belief! I loved buying her little clothes and shoes. And then the pink started to trickle in. And I embraced it. And lots of dresses. And the obsession with princesses. Whaaaaaa? I never exposed her to princesses. How on Earth did that happen? And the DANCING! I can explain that. She may or may not have witnessed some solo dance sessions in this house. And, oh lawd. THE TUTU.

A true princess ... thank you Vivian!
A true princess … thank you Vivian!

The me of 20 years ago may have been terrified at the thought of having to raise this little girl for fear of not being capable of teaching her the ropes so that she wouldn’t have to struggle with the angst and awkwardness of being a girl among other girls that know what’s what. Surprising to me, I’ve had a blast with learning how to raise a little lady.

She insisted on wearing a tutu to bed tonight over her footie pajamas — something I may have normally not understood and thought to be not very sensible. Instead, I told her that she absolutely could and that it would also allow her to dance in her dreams. And she thinks I’m cool. (Don’t rain on my parade — I’m totally aware that this is not going to last forever.) She likes to put on my jewelry and walk around in my work shoes. Since I have someone to really girl it up with, I’ve really gotten into stepping up my game. And I’m learning to find the balance between tomboy and lady.

5 thoughts on “The Girl Club

  1. I am SO with you on this!!! I was such a tomboy as a kid – hated all things frilly. Everything I buy for my twins that they need to “share” is always pretty boyish – trucks, trains, cars, boy-themed legos, neutral colors. I just am not a girly girl at all. But yet, my daughter is such a frilly girl…I have NO idea where it comes from, and I think that in some ways, maybe I am living vicariously through her to experience the frillyness that I never had the patience for as a kid. I just love watching her prance in her frilly tutus at ballet class, and get such a thrill out of having her hair put up into all sorts of weird sparkly accessories.

    LOVE the pic!!!! 🙂

  2. Loved this! I actually feel the same way but about boys. When I was pregnant with my daughter I was worried she might be a boy and I have no idea what to do with boys. I have two sisters and a brother but when I was a kid I mostly hung out with my younger sister. Raising a boy, yeah, I have no idea about that!

  3. T- having known you for what feels like a lifetime in a matter of years, including a 5K while both of us were quite pregnant, i’ll be looking to you for more girlie advice as i navigate the new world of a tiny new baby girl!! I’m pretty used to dinosaurs, pirates, and john deere tractors, so unless all three of those things come in pink, i’m taking my girlie cues from you!

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