I’m Losing It…


Motorcycle season is still a few months away, but I think it might be time to get out my boots and leathers anyway.  In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been referred to as “dear”, “little”, and “girl”.  I’m in serious danger of losing my badass self-image.

Note I said “self-image”.  In reality, I’m probably more good-ass than badass, but I’m a loyal and happy resident of the state of delusion.  I like it here.  I’m staying as long as I can.

My image crisis started in a restaurant in Parksville, BC.  The ten-year-old (okay, fine, maybe she was eighteen) waitress called me “dear”.  Repeatedly.  Just like the group of sweet little old ladies beside me.  Granted, I don’t know if they actually were sweet.  I couldn’t overhear their conversation, so maybe they were swearing like sailors and swapping stories of their latest sexual conquests.  I kinda hope so.

But the point is, she called me “dear”.

And just like Rodney Dangerfield, I don’t get no respect.  Later at the airport baggage carousel, I was waiting for my luggage when a guy pushed past and stood right in front of me.

Hey, buddy, am I fucking invisible?

I wistfully contemplated giving him a nice solid elbow strike to the back of the head, but I had a feeling my apparent invisibility wouldn’t fool the security cameras.

Then “little” and “girl” got thrown at me at the gym.  At 5’10” and 48 years old, neither of those words have applied to me for a very long time.  I’m willing to concede that “little” might have been a comparative term since it was used by my muay thai instructor, who’s over six feet of muscle.  It wasn’t like I was going to argue with him.

But then I was waiting behind a couple of guys at the security gate to the change rooms, and one turned to the other and said, “Let the girl go first.”

I glanced around just to be sure, but I was the only female in the vicinity.  What the hell was that?  “The girl”?  Reminded me of the “good” old days, when the boss used to say, “I’ll have my girl do it.”

Just to be clear, I’m not necessarily offended by being called a girl.  In fact, one of my most treasured compliments was one I overheard a couple of years ago when I was at a show & shine (outdoor classic car show, for those who aren’t car nuts).  I was checking out a 1970 Challenger with the 426 big-block when I overheard a guy behind me:  “There’s a girl over by the car that just makes you wanna…”  His more politically correct companion interrupted with the words, “…go over and say hello.”

I checked surreptitiously, but again, I was the only female in the vicinity.  At 46, I took it as a high compliment, cheerfully ignoring the possibility that I might have misinterpreted his sentence structure and it was actually the car that made him wanna.  Hey, I don’t judge.  There were lots of cars there that made me wanna.

But I digress.  My point is, short of starting to spew f-bombs publicly (and as I mentioned before, I’m too Canadian to do that), I need to find a way to polish up my badass image.

Wonder if the gym’s dress code allows boots and leathers?

43 thoughts on “I’m Losing It…

  1. Pingback: I Don’t Get No Respect | Diane Henders

  2. It’s amazing how the same “endearments” that would have completely offended me a decade ago are completely embraced by me now. If one more person calls me “ma’am”, I’m going to sic Wonderbutt on them.


  3. I may have been 45 when some kid at the gas pumps called me “sir”. Damn, I felt old. As to “Dear girl”, if I call you that it is a term of affection to someone I know. The Russians have a solution to what to call people “Woman!” (Zhenshchina), “Man!” (Mozhchina), “Girl” (Dyevochka), “Boy” (Malchik). You, Diane, could get either Woman! or Girl! depending on the age and sex of the person trying to attract your attention or address you. Would you prefer to be addressed as Hey, woman!?


  4. Hey, I much prefer being called girl to the dreaded, “Mam.” Seriously, count your lucky stars you haven’t heard that one yet. Mam means you’re female but no longer with working parts – I’m pretty sure. Take girl and run with it, keep that going as long as you can. The alternative is painful. 😉


    • LOL! “Female but no longer with working parts” – ouch! Sadly, I’ve been getting “ma’am” pretty frequently these days. You’re right – I’ll treasure “girl” for as long as I have it. 🙂


  5. Lost it? I don’t think I ever had it to start with. And you haven’t lost it, you just need to keep one of those really think knives and clean you nails with it in public. You’d be surprised how much respect you get afterwards. Well, so I’m told of course!



    • Good plan. But blood is hard to come by in sufficient quantities. My machete is currently caked with nameless grime; maybe that would do. And you’re right about the airport – they’re already suspicious because they had to confiscate corkscrews from me the last two times I flew. What? It was a natural mistake. Doesn’t everybody carry a corkscrew at all times?


  6. I wish someone..anyone..anyone at all ? Would It hurt you to call me a girl?
    You can laugh as soon as I’m out of ear-shot.
    I feel your pain, I got called “Sweetie” by a 12 -year old hairdresser( At least that is what she looked like), that was 2 years ago and I still haven’t forgiven her!


  7. Diane, you badass biker chick you, you shouldn’t take it, I tell you! You should tut loudly the next time someone calls you dear! I can’t think of the last time someone called me something that made me tut… however, I was called Stan once which left me baffled. And ‘sir’? Where would they get that from, in your case??? People, eh?!


  8. Now, little lady, you just settle your dear self down…

    I’m kidding, I’M KIDDING!

    I’m also waiting to be called gramps, old coot and ancient dude. I hope it doesn’t happen until I’m using a cane so that I can rap them upside the head with it.


    • LOL! Glad you added that “kidding” part.

      I dunno; “old coot” has a certain je ne sais quoi, but Gramps is definitely cane-worthy. Don’t worry, though, you won’t need to use your cane. You can simply wither them with a caustic burst of curmudgeonry. I’d buy tickets to watch…


  9. You do muay thai?? That’s the DEFINITION of badass! I haven’t been called “dear” in a long long time. I don’t necessarily get offended when I’m referred to as a girl, but it depends on who it is and the context. But you’ve obviously got it goin’ ON. And if you ever want to embrace your inner American, let me know. I give lessons.


  10. I feel your frustrations. The only one I want calling me ‘dear’ is a grandmotherly type. When I was at the magicians’ conference with my son, I was trying to get through a crowded room, and a guy told his son, “Look out, there’s a girl trying to get through.” I had to look around. Was I that girl? I haven’t been called a girl to my face in a long time. It was strange and also a little offensive. If my husband walked by, would he say “there’s a boy trying to get through”? Weird.


    • It is weird, isn’t it? I guess sometimes it’s a way for insecure guys to diminish us to a “safe” level of childishness in their minds. I don’t usually read too much into it, though – after all, “going out with the girls for a beer” is the same as “going out with the boys for a beer”. And I tend to cut some slack for guys over the age of 40 – if they grew up hearing all women called “girls” in the 60s and 70s, they probably don’t intend offence when they use it today. It just struck me as funny in that context, because I’m pretty sure I was older than he was.


  11. You can swear all you want and leather up all you want… the ma’ams and dears will come anyway. It’s inevitable. Invisitbility too. At least I no longer have to worry about making a fool of myself. No one notices anymore. Sigh.


  12. Oh…I had someone call me a “madam”…..:(
    And…and..I got called an…”aunty”!!!!!!!
    Girl is okay…kinda…I mean, you know..make you feel young…
    hey…once they know you are a sociopath (hmmm or was it a psychopath that you think…I mean…that we know you are..ahem)…you’ll be so badass..you won’t even need leather!!! 😀


    • “Madam”. Ouch! I got one of those a while back, too. I pretended I hadn’t heard. But I’ve also been called “Miss” and “Sir”, so I’m going to take that as evidence that people aren’t necessarily all that observant…

      And hey, great idea! I’ll get a T-shirt that says “Sociopath inside – handle with care”. 😀


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