Playing the Gurl Card

A Young Man and a Girl Playing Cards. Artist: Uncertain

We’re selling a car and my husband just emailed to tell me a serious buyer had to back out because she realized the car is a manual and she can’t drive a stick.

Humph. Playing the Gurl Card.

I learned to drive a manual when I was being attacked by bees.

Okay, well, DRIVE might be an overstatement. I basically pushed petals and shoved the shifter around until the car moved. Later I did really learn to drive a stick and made sure my daughter did too.

I find myself stumped with these things that girls don’t do. I call it playing the Gurl Card. How do they live?How do they get away with this?  I move between embarrassment and admiration.

I have one friend who won’t drive a certain road where we live. This is a MAIN road and she does not do it. How does she manage? My Great Grandma did not drive. She knew how, but she did not.

Somehow I failed to learn these gurl tricks. I rode skateboards, operated power tools, fished (baiting my own hook), killed spiders and took out the trash.  And also to put sunscreen on the back of my hands to keep them young-looking, check your slip and the more typical female lessons. I don’t consider my upbringing sheltered (the opposite really) and yet somehow I missed this whole idea that we can pull the Gurl Card and just… NOT.

Just NOT DO something. Because it is Hard. Scary. Uncomfortable. Unfamiliar or even just Unconventional.

When my husband and I were planning to buy motorcycles, a woman told me that my husband should get a bigger bike because the one he was planning wouldn’t be comfortable with me on the back. On the back?!? I was getting my own bike.

I don’t think of myself as a tomboy. It’s just playing the Gurl Card does not occur to me. Or to use the Gurl Card would somehow be worse– keeping me from doing something I want to do or place I want to go or make something unpleasant last longer.

I had bees tangled in my hair and diving for my shoes to go up my pant legs. Have you heard the sound of honey bees tangled in hair? It is a potent motivator. I was driving that damn car! No clutch was going to stop me. Later on, the car I wanted and could afford was a stick. The practical thing to do was drive it (and stay out of San Francisco until I was better at it).

If there is a spider in the house and no one else to kill it, well, moving isn’t always an option.

DH and I had just met and I wanted to build a window seat. I asked to borrow his circular saw. His son said, “Let me guess. My Dad is going to build it for you.”

“Uh, noooo.” But why hadn’t I thought of this? That would have been so much easier. And, to be honest, the window seat would have turned out better. I pretended the incline was intentional.

The skateboard riding was short-lived. It was great until I broke my wrist. That was the end of that.

I will bait my own hook, but I will not clean my fish.

Hm, I guess I did learn some of those gurl tricks after all.