I am an only girl among my siblings. I was tomboyish as a child, awkward in my early teens, then kind of wild and radical in my late teens. From there I jumped into being a working mom who did all the chores at home and some.
I know how to mix cement with a shovel and actually have put up a wall of hollow blocks with steel reinforcement using a steel saw (just saw around the edge then bend to break). I laid out red bricks on the dining room wall and the facade of our home using old kitchen tools like an old butter knife to spread cement on the brick before laying on the wall. I have installed wallpaper, replaced spark plugs on a car and changed a flat tire. I have maintained car battery with distilled water and radiator with coolant. (The Philippine car batteries are usually not ‘maintenance free’ because that kind is cheaper and lasts longer if maintained right. Radiators need constant monitoring and coolant addition because of the climate in the Philippines.) I have used a wrench to change faucets. I have painted concrete walls and metal garden furniture. I am what is called a handywoman.
Although I am proud of being able to do a ‘man’s job’ I equally enjoy ‘girl talks’, ‘girl things’ and dressing up. I like romantic comedies, Miss Piggy, ruffles and lace.
While working at GA Manila, a survey was circulated. The question was “What would you want to be called, a lady or a woman?” My answer follows:
“Girl! A lady has sophistication, a woman has substance but a girl has fun!”
I have ‘emergency make-up’ in my car and a travel toothbrush set in my purse. I have hats for different seasons (hat helps to warm in winter and protects from sunburn in the summer). I don’t accumulate shoes like the rich and famous but I insists on wearing stiletto heels at 63 even if it means walking slow like ailing. I love wearing a coat in America and a swimsuit in the Philippines. I don’t selfie but I censor my photos. Only the good ones should be out there.
In a medical office, the doctor said I look 10 years younger than my age. Then he asked how I manage to maintain my shape. That was enough for me. I asked my daughter on the way home, “Is it just me or did that 40 something white doctor seemed to like me?”
“It’s just you mom,” she replied with a grin.
Hey, I still believe I can be a girl past 60.