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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Big Strong Men

I can't believe I got myself in this situation, again. Why do something over and over again where you always lose and end up looking ridiculous in front of a crowd? After repeated failures, what makes someone decide to try all over again?

In other words: Why do I keep entering physical competitions with big strong men? I can remember fighting boys in preschool. In middle school, I would challenge boys to arm wrestling competitions. Never winning a match, you would think I would have lost the habit by high school when the boys started to look like actual men, muscles and all. Yet scrawny men, men no bigger than girls with muscle tone limited to their forearms would taunt me as if I was going to win, letting their fist come dangerously close to the table, only to come alive with super-power strength, slamming my hand onto my desk. One single time, during all those school years I won. But victory was empty for me. The poor boy just looked weak, pathetic. I looked scary and masculine. When nobody wins, everybody's a loser. That moment was enough for me to finally embrace a belief that had crept up on me: Men are stronger, which is why they should do stuff for me.

Finally, an answer that got me out of lifting stuff. The world seemed beautiful and right. Why then, ten years later, do I find myself in another competition? This time the opponent is my boyfriend, a slightly more conquerable foe than the previous, all of mankind. Usually, I think that having a 6 foot tall man who weighs about fifty pounds more than me as a huge life perk. I get fifty extra pounds of muscle but don't have to carry it around all day. A big strong man is meant to be enjoyed, not told that he can be out-skied. Why did I bet my boyfriend that I could ski more than him this winter?

My defense: I thought that I was going to have every single day free this year, whereas he would be working five days a week. He might get an extra day off here or there, but I saw my winning as sure thing. I was choreographing my victory dance. There was a chant to go with it. "You's a bitch. Eat my dust." (repeat)

My reality: He is schooling me by an extra third of hours. Just when I'm reaching a point of exhaustion where I fear breaking a leg he seems to be finally warmed up. Unless he is arrested or maimed he is probably going to win.

Let this be a reminder. Men are for carrying stuff, buying stuff, and being allowed the pleasure of making you laugh. Don't compete with them. Enjoy them. You's not a bitch. No one needs to eat dust. Especially since my boyfriend is in the kitchen right now making me a sandwich.

Nobody ever let me arm wrestle this guy.

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