From Little Girl to Grown Woman


When did that happen, actually?

I’m pondering this thought as I’m reading Tina Fey’s “Bossypants”. In the beginning of the book she asks a bunch of women the question, “When did you first feel like a grown woman and not a little girl?”

Most of them answered with things like, “When construction workers whistled at me”, or “When I got laid for the first time….and it sucked.” (Whose DIDN’T??)

So, this got me thinking about my own personal experience on when this happened to me. Most people will only tell you one instance, but I actually have two examples that showed me that I had become a woman.

The first was when I was around 13 or 14. Most would categorize this age as being a teenager, but not for me! My sister, her friend and I were walking out of Woodfield Mall one summer evening and headed out into the parking lot after shopping for plaid ponchos and gaucho pants.

As we were walking toward our car, another car slowly passed us. This often happens in a parking lot since people like to stalk you while you walk to your car….Oh, and find a parking space.

Well, this wasn’t the case.

The car passed us up and slowed to a stop about 25 yards away. The driver door opens up and a man wearing a trenchcoat, or maybe what appeared to be his mother’s bathrobe with wadded up kleenex in the pocket, stepped out of the car and flashed us.

Yeah, that’s right people. He flashed us.

He was completely naked (except for the really bad looking bathrobe). He didn’t even have shoes on. And, if I recall correctly, the DMV’s driver guide stated that you are NOT supposed to be driving without shoes. It’s against the law. Oh, and so is STREAKING, STALKING and EXPOSING ONE’S BODY PARTS TO OTHERS IN A SHOPPING MALL PARKING LOT.

So, he flashes us and starts grabbing his junk. The three of us stopped in our tracks and our jaws just dropped. That was the very first time I had seen a completely naked man with the exception of looking thru National Geographic and seeing large black men painted in different colors doing tribal dances.

This, to me made me feel like I had seen something that other girls my age did not. I felt like I was on the precipice of womanhood, having seen a real naked guy, whether I wanted to or not, while I’m pretty sure no one else my age had had this opportunity yet. I felt special and violated at the same time. Yay for me!

Frankly, I wasn’t impressed with my first run in with a naked guy. What’s the big deal anyway?

My second run in was when I was 21 and working for a relocation firm in Rolling Meadows. Our firm was on the third floor and we shared the floor with two other businesses. There was a common bathroom on each floor and back in those days, you didn’t need a key to access the bathroom, a special hall pass or a security guard to escort you to the bathroom to ensure your safety.

However, my bathroom incident changed the way we do “business” with corporate bathrooms now.

I entered the bathroom and no one else was in there. I got into the stall, pulled down my pants and started to pee like a normal woman does when she goes to the bathroom. As I’m doing what I’m supposed to do in a bathroom stall, I hear the bathroom door open, and someone gets into the stall next to me. Now, if you’re a typical woman, you’ll peek underneath the stall to see who it may be. If you recognize the shoes of a co-worker your friends with, I may strike up a conversation or ask them to “spare a square”.

When I peeked down to see the shoes, they were old, ratty gym shoes. Hmmmmm. Must be a visitor. Then, my spidey senses told me to look up. And, there HE was. peeking over the stall and seeing me with my pants down sitting on the toilet.

This was my first test of womanhood. I said, “What the hell are you doing???!!!” He immediately jumped off the toilet seat and ran out of the bathroom. I gave chase….but first I had to pull up my pants. Running with your pants down around your ankles in a public building, let alone a PRIVATE building is often embarassing and extremely awkward since one doesn’t normally run with pants around their ankles….well, with the exception of having seen a snake in the toilet (this is another phobia I have. Why? Do you need to ask? This is ME we are talking about).

As I was pulling up my pants and running after him at the same time, I lost him as he took the stairs. I ran into my office and ran to the front window and watched to see if the guy was going to step out into the front of the building, all the while screaming at the receptionist to get “A GOD DAMN POLICE OFFICER IN HERE NOW!”

Sure enough, I saw him walking out into the parking lot. So did three of my co-workers when they rushed to see what I was yelling about.

I knew I was a woman when a peeping tom decided to watch me pee in the bathroom where I worked in Rolling Meadows and I was so pissed, I tried to chase him down half dressed.

He was lucky I didn’t catch him or I would have easily kicked him in the nuts.

I am woman, hear me roar.

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2 thoughts on “From Little Girl to Grown Woman

  1. I’m sad to say I was well into womanhood the first time I was flashed. I was 26 and standing on the el platform at Belmont. There have been several times since, mostly el platforms. I’m not sure if multiple occasions makes me a “real woman,” but I will say I do remember the first time I felt like a real woman and it wasn’t a flashing incident. . .

    This has happened twice in my life, once when I was 16 and again some 20 years later. When I opened my purse in a public place and a tampon jumped out and landed at a man’s feet. Of course, that first time I was horrified and turned bright red, and I ran away from my tampon equally as fast as the young male. However, I credit that incident with teaching me about the power of the tampon. When I was ticked at my ex-husband, I used to call “head’s up” in the grocery store when I’d lob a bright blue package at him! His body would stiffen as he let the box bounce off his chest and hit the floor. One time, though, he unwittingly caught it; when he realized just what he caught, I thought he was going to faint. Don’t mess with females!

    The second time, I was riding an elevator. I opened my purse to fish out my office keys when that little sucker leapt to freedom. The only other person on the elevator (a male client, no less) simultaneously looked down. We were both frozen in horror until…I asked if he dropped something. So maybe the second time was when I realized I was a grown woman, because I have learned to empower myself with that which used to embarrass me.

    1. Aaaah….the almighty tampon. They really don’t like to be kept in purses, do they? I do like your comeback on asking the guy in the elevator if it was something he dropped!

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