“She thinks I’m trying to incite something between you two,” a friend informed me.
Biting back the [completely inappropriate] urge to ask where the kiddie pool filled with KY was, I looked at my friend perplexed. “She” in this case was said friend’s fiancee that I had met for the second time the previous night. We had exchanged hellos, spoken briefly, and I had done the obligatory ogling of the engagement ring. And yet somehow it seemed as if I had sort of fucked up.
Busy debating if that KY comment was still inappropriate, I missed my chance to ask all the important questions like “why does she think that?,” “should I fear for my life?,” or “does she think I’m the asshole or just that you’re one?” before the conversation got derailed. Sort of weirded out by the whole thing, I promptly forgot about it. Until,
“She thinks he’s trying to incite something between you guys.”
Okay, yeah, got it. And, um, no [pleasedon’tkillme].
Fear for my life aside, I can see why I might make an easy target. I rarely see another woman badgering bike mechanics and shop employees as much as I do, much less bombarding them with questions and listening to the responses with the kind of open-mouthed fascination usually only reserved for 5 year olds. I actually have yet to meet another girl who will shun bar-hopping and/or girls’ nights out to hang out with a bunch of dudes who like to talk about bikes. It probably doesn’t help that I have a decidedly inappropriate sense of humor that tends to offend the sensibilities of the fairer sex, either.
It’s a weird situation to be in if you buy into the philosophy that you never want to be “that girl.” You know, the one who only hangs out with guys, brings six-packs of beer to parties, won’t wear a dress, and for the most part avoids traveling in herds. I remember the first time I encountered the presumed collective disdain for the lone female. And even before I found myself in - gasp! - jeans, enlisting a male best friend to drag a keg out of the back of a truck, I thought that everything about that philosophy was sort of...retarded.
To me, it honestly smacked of fear of the unfamiliar. It’s 2010, but women aren’t supposed to be capable of operating in male-saturated environments with any degree of comfort. We’re taught to seek each other out and stick together in the face of unfamiliar situations. Backstabbing might be involved, but apparently that’s a small price to pay if you don’t want to be left to the wolves [i.e., men]. Of course, choosing the path rarely taken in which most of your friends consist of members of the opposite sex flies in the face of all those unwritten yet established rules. And when fiancees and girlfriends of friends don’t get to see exactly how immature my interactions are with their significant others, it’s too easy for misunderstandings to bubble up.
The thing is, all my male friends see me as a dude. And being bike dorks, we’re all just happy that someone else will stand there and listen to us chatter excitedly about hubs or rims or whatever. I’m not hanging out with these guys because I want to hump their top tubes, and neither do they want to hump mine. We’re not obsessed with each other, just with a sport that a lot of people find somewhat silly.
Which I’m sure my friend’s fiancee knows, as they both jet off to a romantic vacay this week. And if she doesn’t, like they say, diamonds last forever. Or at least longer than carbon fiber or Ti.