By Stacy Johnson
I grew up riding my bike all over the neighborhood. My best friend was Mark and he had a red dirt bike with awesome shocks. Sometimes he would trade me for my white and yellow banana seat girl bike so I could feel awesome too.
We could walk over to Pioneer Park in downtown Mesa and spy on our teenage neighbor as he made out with his girlfriend and then we’d go play tag on the old train. Spinning on the old merry go round until one of us would get thrown off was the best.
I played soccer, softball, four square and dodgeball with my friends at the elementary school behind my house. The annual track and field day in the spring was my favorite and I usually came home with several blue ribbons for my efforts.
On Sunday, my mom would dress me up in frilly dresses and make me wear nylons to church. I always felt so awkward. She would say that someday I would be so happy to “dress like a girl.” I wondered then how long that would take.
My mom made me take a bath on Saturday night whether I needed it or not. That changed in junior high school when the girl who was sitting next to me in science class announced as I sat down for class one morning, “you seriously need to wear more deodorant, you are totally gagging me with your smell.” Her hair was piled into a high ponytail, her glossy lips accentuating a disgusting look on her face while her dozens of bangle bracelets made a tinkling noise as she pulled her hand up to plug her nose. I heeded her advice.
I wore a skirt to school the first few days of 7th grade at the insistence of my mother until the one time I fell down playing catch while diving for a football during our lunch period and everyone saw my underwear. I went back to my jeans and t-shirt wardrobe the next day and from then on.
Now I’m a mom. My kids play football, basketball, run cross country and track and I even have a few cheerleaders. I spend my days washing dishes, folding laundry, and making dinner until it is time to dash over to the school to watch their activities. There have been several times in my marriage when my hair was shorter than my husband’s and I rarely wear makeup. I love to exercise and am most comfortable in my wardrobe full of spandex (with long enough shirts to cover my rear), tennis shoes and sweatshirts.
Weirdly enough, I always felt feminine when I was pregnant. I loved my huge belly and was a huge fan of the maternity clothes that allowed me to show it off rather than hiding me under a tent dress. I wore frilly shirts and cute leggings. Sometimes I would put on makeup if I was having a good day. I was sexy and proud of what my amazing body could do.
My baby making days are over and while there are times when I miss my sexy baby belly, what I miss most is the feeling of being feminine. I have had several friends try to make me over by taking me shopping and helping me pick out cuter and more feminine attire but in the end, I always end up returning most of them. Give me a cute pair of jeans with a little lycra stretch, a t-shirt that says “Coyote Pride” or “Cheer Mom”, and a matching pair of WalMart flip flops and I’m good to go.
I got a set of fake nails the other day and I love the clicking noise they make on my keyboard. They are an awesome shade of Waitress Red and ever since I saw a quote on pinterest that said, “Maxi skirts are just yoga pants with no crotch” I have been a huge fan. Yesterday at church, someone mentioned how pretty my hands looked and last week I wore a delicately embroidered sweater instead of a t-shirt with a pair of jeans and two separate people told me I looked fabulous. I’ll admit it was a little embarrassing because that jut never happens to me.
I suppose I have always had a little bit of feminine inside of me and that’s why I was pregnant so much of my adult life, ha ha. Maybe it is deep inside of me and I need to try a little harder because I’m lazy. I suppose it could be a combination of both. I wonder how I’ll be 40 years from now if it took me just over 40 years to get here?