For the record, I don’t think males and females are necessarily and inevitably enemies, but sometimes the differences between the sexes can make it feel that way. But for some, even the same sex can feel very foreign to deal with.

The recent visit of my sister and nieces highlighted yet again for me how different I seem to be from the normal female. They all are very feminine — careful in choosing their clothes and accessories, skilled at the art of hairstyling and makeup application, and apparently quite good at flirting with men and getting attention without being obviously manipulative. (My other older sister is like this, too.)

I’m lucky if I remember to drag a comb through my hair before noon. I wore makeup in high school, but have gradually lost interest in it. The last time I tried to apply mascara I poked myself in both eyes and looked like a stoner for days. I couldn’t flirt my way out of a paper bag.

Now don’t get me wrong — I get (or got, before I moved out to the sticks) plenty of guy attention. But it’s a very different kind of attention than what I see the other ladies in my family getting. They’re coddled, while I’m asked to help with the heavy lifting. It’s okay for them not to know what a strong safety is, but I’m expected to know the different rules for NCAA and pro football, and recite them whenever they’re relevant in a game.

In short, I’m a tomboy. And in a lot of my interactions with men, it makes a huge difference. It can be very pleasant, when we cut through all the Mars-Venus bullshit and just talk, but it leads to unhappy surprises, too …. like when a guy asks me to dinner, and he freaks because I appear in a dress instead of my usual jeans and t-shirt. I feel like a mutant female.

So, I sometimes sneak behind the lines to see if I fit in better with the guys, which it usually seems I do. Typically, though, like this AskMen website, there’s not much that seems to apply to gals like me. Sigh…..

Oh well. At least I found this gorgeous picture while on my recon mission, which I bet lots of ladies will like as much as I do.

Nicely muscled male