Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Unexpected comment

At 5'2" tall and close to 200 lbs, I do not look like an athlete. I love playing many sports that I'm not trained in or good at but enjoyment is most important to someone who doesn't get paid to be an athlete.

My best sport is volleyball. I surely don't look like a "typical" volleyball player - 6'3" tall, slender, muscular. None of those adjectives describe me, so when I walk onto a volleyball court with people who haven't seen me play, the expectation is that I'm not as useful as someone taller, thinner and more muscular. This expectation is rational, I don't have a problem with it, but I find myself intentionally working extra hard to push against it by playing my best and showing that I'm better than I look. This intentional push to prove I'm more athletic than I appear happens on other courts, trails and fields as well.

Honestly, I don't know what other people are thinking of me most of the time, but I assume, without resentment, that people see me as not being an active participant in sports.

A couple of weeks ago I went to a running/specialty shoe store, looking like I do, and was asked by one of the employees, "Do you race in a lot of events around here?" In my mind I answered, "Are you blind? Do I look like someone who runs in a lot of events??"

Monday, February 08, 2010

Sometimes we remember the craziest things from our childhood - and then realize there's a point

Each time I put a few drops of dish soap into a bowl to wash it (instead of in the sink for a whole load of dishes), I think back to my friend's stepfather (a very uptight and non-friendly-in-my-eyes man). One time he got on my friend's case the moment he walked in the door because while she was trying to be helpful and please him by washing the dishes, all he saw was that she used enough soap in one bowl to wash the entire load of dishes and she had that much in a number of the bowls in the sink.

This may seem like sound parenting on his part to teach her to not be wasteful, but I'll never forget - and I keep reliving, in fact - the feeling of condemnation from his remark. She was clearly trying to please this man who was very hard to please and all he could do was nitpick at her.

And I seriously think of this each time I put dish soap into one bowl to wash it! (this mostly happens at work) And I have to wonder why I remember this so clearly. Then I realize that I am a champion nitpicker of Kevin, always reminding him that he could do something better, cleaner, more efficiently and more responsibly. Get a grip, woman - just tell him "thanks!" and "you're doing a great job!" sometimes. Even if he is using half a roll of toilet paper to clean up a quart of water spilled on the floor. At least he's cleaning it up without being asked. Because of all of the previous times you nitpicked him to clean it up for Pete's sake.