Roller-blading and the male psyche

It’s Grandma Day today so I went roller-blading this afternoon for the first time in a loooong while. It wasn’t pretty but it brought back a flood of trail-blazin’ memories. Now, if there’s anything that bristles the quills on this porcupine, it’s when I encounter a guy who is demeaning. I’m not some overbearing feminist who has to prove herself to the world but I just can’t stand being treated like I am incapable of doing something, especially in sports. This has led to some clinical research of the male psyche whilst roller-blading.

Clinical Case Study #1: I was rollerblading along Provo River Parkway (my all-time path in Utah) when I came upon a little guy of about 12 or 13 who was out on his blades. When he heard someone approaching, he started to move over. But when I called out, “Passing on your left,” something triggered within the little guy. Something very male. Something very ugly. Something along the lines of:


And so this kid practically killed himself until I finally put him out of his misery and zoomed by. MEDICINAL GENIUS FINDINGS: Chauvinism and the fear of being one-upped by women starts at a very young age.

Clinical Case Study #2: A couple of weeks later, I was rollerblading with my brother Jade. He was not denied the opportunity to play hockey (like some people we know) so he absolutely kicks butt on skates (though he can’t do pirouettes). Anyhew, we’re zooming along and we saw this guy on his blades. Now, I had just experienced Mr. Junior Testosterone and this new guy had “Macho” written all over him. Sure enough, he glanced over his shoulder, saw me and “it” was triggered. He started busting his butt to keep ahead of our rigorous pace.

Now dear friends, I had three choices. I could 1) Fall back and let the guy strut his stuff, thereby proving his sheer animal magnestism. 2) Zoom past him in two seconds flat, thereby crushing any semblance of an ego he may have had. 3) Toy with him. Follow him closely for a while, see what he was made of, and THEN pass him.

Of course, I chose No. 3. And what a show Mr. Macho put on for us. He panted, he sweated and he REFUSED to let up. When my brother realized what I was doing, he laughingly called out, “You’re AWFUL!” Yes, I am awful when provoked by chauvinistic men and I enjoyed every mutinous minute of it.

Finally, he pulled the biggest copout of all: what I have termed a “Tonya Harding.” He veered off the side of the trail and pretended there was something wrong with his skate. I have yet to process this pitiable copout in the lab but I will let you know as soon as the results are tabulated. The results aren’t looking good.

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