Monday, December 10, 2012

Awkward like me...

Something I've come to realize lately, much to my delight, is that not only do I have women friends, but that my women friends are pretty darned similar to me. Before moving to Fairbanks, I had very few women friends, just because I was an engineer and met very few women. But in my closely-knit Fairbanks community, I have more opportunities to meet people outside of my field, and therefore more women. As it turns out, while most of these women aren't engineers, most of them are scientists of some stripe or other, and I tend to gravitate toward the biology people, since it's an area of interest for me, in which I have little personal background. I corner my biology friends and grill them with my questions about our local plants and why my dogs Do That and whether it's true that slutty cats can get pregnant by two different male cats and carry a litter with two fathers (yes, they can).

But another thing I've come to realize is that the women of biology, like the women of engineering, are quite warm and likeable but also a tad awkward. I almost always cringe at group photos of myself with other women, because, while I am seldom the most unattractive of the lot, I am generally the worst-looking in the photos. The other women look perfectly posed and radiant, while I either have weird posture, am chewing something, have my hair flopped in some weird place, caught weird light, or some other such thing. The point is, the other women look lovely, while I look like an alien. But now with the advent of Facebook, I have come to realize that my fellow women scientists are similar to me in that way, as well! I was looking through the profile of one in particular, and she's a beautiful woman (and I mean that in the shallow, outer-beauty kind of way), but in her photos, yes, she's surrounded by perfectly poised girlfriends while awkwardly hunched this way or that, or chewing something, just like me! Haha!

I once read a column in which the author, a late-blossoming, nerdy woman, recalled how when she'd as a child come home in tears because she'd lost this or that popularity contest, her father would say, "Don't you change. Someday you'll find a place where there are lots of people like you." For her, that place was college, and for me, that place is a small community of intense scientists in a small town in the middle of nowhere. :)

In other news, here are some cuddly things:

1 comment:

mdr said...

I look bad in photos but we both are much more attractive in person. Kimo once said you were like a model and one of his best looking performer, you were about 17 or 18 at the time.

I am glad you have female friends you feel comfortable with.