I was thinking this morning about how awkward I was in high school. I was closest to my brother rather than my two sisters growing up. It was not until later in life I developed such a great bond with my sisters. So, I was highly influenced by my brother as I looked up to him so much.
Sure, I played with dolls some. I had a Chatty Cathy my parents got me for Christmas, and I had some old school Barbie dolls with more homemade dresses than store-bought. I was a tomboy through and through. I never wore dresses except to church and when required to wear them to school. (Girls could not wear slacks no matter how cold it was).
My brother and I played a lot of ‘boy’ things. He pretended he was my Dad and I pretended I was his best friend, R.D. I stood beside him and pretended to to shave with his razor with cardboard blades. I played a lot with his small die cast cars, making roads and towns in the dirt. I dug nightcrawlers and baited my own hook. We climbed on the top bunkbed and fished for wire coat hangers strewn on the floor with makeshift fishing poles and hooks made of open safety pins. I was a tomboy through and through.
As I matured and developed an interest in boys, I dressed and behaved in a more feminine way. I grew my hair long but I was very much a geek. I was an art geek, a band geek, a latin geek, and eventually a Civil Air Patrol geek spending my free time learning about the history of aviators. And yes, on Civil Air Patrol Day I wore my uniform to school.
I have always supported non gender-biased roles, especially for children. This is how we discover who we are. I joined the Air Force at 18 and saw the world full of non traditional roles for women. When I made my career change into the world of what was then called data processing, women were definitely in the minority. I was fortunate to be mentored by smart professionals, both male and female, and I did very well in my career. I had more male friends than female, just because of the situation.
Years later after many downsizings and reorganizations, I went back to school. I remember my daughter’s words “look at my mom being a non-trad’. Ha. I guess I was. Going back to school as an almost 60 year-old-woman to study web design, I was definitely non-traditional but more by age than gender. 90 percent of my class consisted of women. What a change.
I still love nerdy and geeky things. I wear slacks more than dresses. In many ways, I am still that geeky tomboy. I love tools and making things from metal. All of these things are what make me my kind of woman. We are all different. We all express ourselves in different ways. I love my geeky side.