Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Good news – I’ve started seriously working out again.
Bad news – My deltoids hurt every time I raise my arms. I think it was the Pilates moves that did it. Damn Pilates…it looks so easy until you actually DO it. My abs seem to be fairly strong still, which is good, although I won’t be able to actually SEE them till I lose some weight. Strong abs are still good from a strength and stability POV, though, so I’m feeling pretty happy in spite of the muscle pain.

Funny thing though…I used to feel weird about strength training. I always worried that I would develop Governator-style muscles, which I find disgusting on both men and women. Lately I’ve realized that I’m probably not even capable of developing those kinds of muscles, genetically speaking. Both of my parents are small-ish, and my Dad had some decent muscle tone when he was younger but he never got bulky even when he was working out every day. Honestly the diseases for which lack of exercise is a contributing factor should be far more of a concern, since I have multiple family members with those.

So, I’m working out. The weird thing is that once I got past the mental block I actually LIKE feeling stronger. I was a strong kid, it’s nice to feel that way again. Honestly, I’m feeling really resentful of the whole ideology that women are supposed to be delicate little flowers and therefore weights? Are you insane? Just, like, jog or something! Except I don’t like jogging, and I do kind of like the strength training.

And speaking of the whole woman as fragile flower idea…some dude called me “doll” on Sunday. It was the weirdest thing…I was crossing the street and this random guy smiles at me and says “Hey, doll” and then follows me and tries to chat me up. And I’m thinking…”doll”? Dude, I’m 33, could you not think of a more age-appropriate generic sexist endearment? Don’t women sort of move beyond the realm of baby-talk at some point? Honey or darling or whatever I would understand, but when I hear “doll” I think of some teen or early-twenty-something girl in a cute little sundress, possibly with pigtails. I was in jeans, t-shirt and sandals, with no make-up on and my hair down. Doll?

I ran this past Mr. Cassandra and a couple of male friends and got “the guy had no idea how old you are, he probably thought you were about 25” and “well, you are kind of small”. To which I think…how hard is it to tell a woman’s age, really? And what the hell does height have to do with anything? OK, I was wearing sunglasses so the tiny telltale lines around the eyes (which Mr. Cassandra claims do not exist and I, obsessive weirdo that I am, have seen the beginnings of since my late teens) weren’t visible, but still…doll? I’m not sure whether to be amused or insulted.

Older readers (by which I mean older than me)…at what point does this stuff stop? Is it just a matter of how one dresses, ie. if a woman isn’t in obviously middle-aged clothes she still gets it? Do people take their age cues from stuff other than a person’s actual face, or is it just that in the minds of some men women are never really adults?

I just thought it was a weird thing to say.


Renegade Evolution said...

I'm 35. I still get carded for booze on occasion. Women are much better at guessing other women's age than men are. We tend to know what to look for. Most female people are much closer on guessing my age, men tend to guess anywhere from 12-5 years off. Also, I think women who are smaller generally DO get mistaken for younger often.

BrevisMus said...

Have you seen http://www.stumptuous.com/cms/index.php - it's a good resource for women interested in weight training (including information on why you are unlikely to turn into Arnold Schwarzenegger).

I'm 26, with many creases on my face, but I'm also 5'1", and frequently get IDed in pubs. What's more frustrating is that I don't drink, so being IDed for an orange juice - when I have no ID since I'm way over age (the age limit in the UK is 18) and not actually drinking - is very frustrating. I think people see a combination of short + alternative + tee-totaller and assume teenager.

Cassandra Says said...

Last month I got carded and the 21 year old woman I was sitting with didn't. That was kind of funny in a "don't laugh, she might get offended" way.

You may be right, Ren - I think size is a big part of it, along with how a person dresses.

What I find REALLY wierd is when it's other women who can't judge age. A few months ago I was at a concert and this group of teenage girls kept referring to me as "that girl" (loudly and obnoxiously I might add...apparently the fact that they could see cleavage offended them). Being referred to as a "girl" by girls who could literally be my kids age-wise is a little odd.

Cassandra Says said...

BrevisMus - Thanks for the link, I'll check it out.

I'm really starting to think it's a combination of age and clothes. I'm around girls in their teens and early twenties a lot and most of them seem to have no idea how old I am. I think that people just look at superficial cues like how a person dresses + interests and make assumptions accordingly.

It must be really annoying to be carded when you're not even drinking. Why are they IDing you for orange juice? I'm from the UK too and when I was still there nobody IDd unless someone was buying booze, or if they did it was at the door of a club/pub rather than at the actual bar.

H said...

Well I'm guy who just turned 50 (holy fucking shit on a stick with festering sprinkles) and I use doll, baby and darling quite a bit. I also call them Professor, Dr., mommy and the occasional mam (nothing torques a 30'ish women more than mam). I find that the older the dame the more my language is clearly understood as a term of endearment and not any kind of snub (I am more formal with strangers). If you are secure, held in esteem and feel respected language gets to be a lot more fun.

Doll is interesting, I have used it assuming that it has not been in wide use since the '50s I find it fascinating that you got it on the street.

Relative to carding I used to get carded with some regularity through my mid 40's. I do have a baby face, have still not been able to grow any nonembarrassing facial hair in my life. But likely these days it is more about keeping the liquor license than anything else. there is a bar down the street that still cards me gray hair an all.

Extremely late kudos for the sisterhood post (I may have already commented but you know the mind starts going at this age) in the end we are all people in the same boat.

Cassandra Says said...

My reaction was more "who says that any more?" than anything else, honestly. I have one friend who calls me "baby-doll", but he's a Southern boy (and a lot bigger than me). Doll by itself from a stranger was just baffling. The guy was 40-ish and sort of rocker looking...long hair, black jeans, tour shirt.
A wierd experience all around.

Veronica said...

I get everything from 19 to 40. I guess I am ageless.

(Psst. You have been tagged.)

Octogalore said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Octogalore said...

You know, the "doll" thing means nothing more or less than someone crudely communicating that they think you're still hawtt by societally approved standards. While it's irritating, the underlying message is a positive one. From the "older than you" crowd (I think by 5 years in my case), I can't stand sexist stupid thug comments, but when they stop happening, I won't like the message that sends either, I must admit.

Rootietoot said...

I think it depends on who's talking to you. I get called ma'am by the under 30 set, and flirted with by the 35-50 set, and called sweetheart by the older than 50 crowd. And here in Georgia, everyone gets carded, so it's no big thang.