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Acting like a Girl

by Elizabeth Spannuth

I often joke that I am “breaking down gender stereotypes” when I exhibit certain social behaviors that have traditionally been associated with men, such as opening doors or paying the check. Even though these behaviors are more the exception than the rule in these times, the stereotype still persists. I was shocked and amazed earlier this week when my boyfriend broke down the gender stereotype of men being emotionally clueless.

Out of the blue, he asked if I was feeling ok. “You have seemed a little distant and pensive lately.” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. A man was asking about my feelings… Was I having an aural hallucination? Was this the first step to him coming out of the closet? I love that Ukes of Hazard song called Gay Boyfriend, but I wasn’t serious about having one.

His observation was right on. I have been feeling a bit stressed about the pending uncertainty that makes up this 3D reality. Just like in the game of dominos, one worry leads to many others via the cascade effect: health insurance, the economy, car maintenance, vet visits, climate change, buying new socks and the list goes on… This stress has been evidenced by the reappearance of my old enemy, the eye twitch, and mild stress dreams, including one that involved having all the tires stolen off my car while being parked in front of a tire store. (Oh irony…) When I start to feel stressed, I tend to keep it to myself so as not to stress others. My boyfriend has been slammed lately with trying to get his business off the ground and I didn’t want to stress him any more than he already is stressing himself.

We talked for a while about mutual concerns and stresses, and that alone eased my mind. The next day my eye twitch has eased off and my stress dreams had morphed into something that felt more like “everything is going to be alright”. I dreamt that I was going to see a live show with friends, but I lost my ticket. In a panic, I asked someone how I could get in to see the show without my ticket. The cashier told me just to go in through the side door and enjoy the show. It turns out I didn’t need a ticket after all.

But how did this man who is a member of the gender that is supposed to be clueless notice my internal struggle? We often joke that since he met me he has tapped into his “inner girl”, becoming more sensitive and gaining an appreciation for things like it wine and British comedies. Maybe there is a dash of truth in that joke.

Elizabeth Spannuthbelieves in love as a driving force in our lives. She is continually amazed by the humor at work in the universe and approaches things with a wry witticism. She firmly believes that love takes many forms as she herself has had many different kinds of meaningful, relationships.  She has said “I do” and signed “I don’t” and thanks the powers that be for giving her the grace learn from every experience. She has a varied professional background that includes performing arts training, event planning, sales and marketing planning and execution and serving as a whipping girl in corporate America. She is currently the Love Evangelist at Good Clean Love.