When Exactly Do You Become a Grown Woman?


I was pondering this thought when I read Tina Fey’s “Bossypants”. In the beginning of the book she asked 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.” No comment the blogger on that one.

So, this got me thinking about my own personal experience on when I exactly had the “a-ha” moment of thinking that, “Yeah, I guess I’m grown up now.” Most people will only tell you one instance, but I actually had two examples that immediately came to mind.

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. Yes, I’m aging myself. Stick with me on this one.

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.

The car passed us up and slowed to a stop about 25 yards away. The driver door opened 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 allowed to drive without shoes. It’s against the law. Let’s not forget the little fact of streaking, stalking and exposing one’s body parts to others’ in a parking lot may break a few laws as well.

So, he flashes us and starts grabbing his well….you know, male genitalia. 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 through National Geographic magazines (we had no internet back then), and seeing large black men painted in different colors doing tribal dances.

To me, this 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. I saw a real naked guy right before my young teenage eyes whether I had wanted to or not. I can pretty much guarantee that none of my friends had the opportunity to witness this yet, or else they would be telling ME what had happened to them.  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. I really didn’t understand what the big deal was. His bathrobe was horrendous. He had no concept of “manscaping,” not that this was a term used back then, but he looked like a gorilla with a bathrobe on while driving a car without shoes….which is illegal by the way.

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. (See visual to your right). ———>

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” (i.e. hand me some toilet paper, please.)

When I peeked down to see the shoes, I noticed they 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 at showing my womanhood “chops” so to speak. 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 down around their ankles.

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 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 angry I tried to catch him to punch him in the throat while  half dressed.

I am woman, hear me roar.

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