I keep thinking I’m bigger and more masculine than I actually amPosted: October 21, 2014
I’m not complaining; it’s not a bad thing! My surroundings sort of facilitate this, which is fine by me. As a janitor at an elementary school, I spend most of my time, during the work-week, with women and children (if I’m with anyone at all). Every teacher I interact with regularly is relatively feminine in her attire, mannerisms, and speech. (There are a handful of men who teach / work at this school; I just don’t happen to see them on a regular basis.) Every child running around me getting ready to head home for the day, is tiny. I wear a work uniform which is super masculine by default. (Like, we don’t have “women’s uniforms” and “men’s uniforms.” We just have uniforms.) In addition to the uniform, I wear men’s pants and men’s hiking boots. I imagine my movements are relatively masculine. I’m working, I’m using big, sweeping motions. I saunter around slowly, sometimes with my hiking boots untied.
I am surrounded all day long by tiny furniture. The classrooms I clean are for kindergarteners through 2nd graders. (My co-worker cleans the bigger kids’ rooms.) Some of these table tops are seriously 2 feet off the ground. I have to essentially bend in half in order to spray and wipe them all down, daily. (My poor back!)
I’m only 5’4″ (or maybe a little shorter than that. I like to think I’m 5’4″ – I’m at least that with my hiking boots on!) but I feel like a giant! Sometimes I sit down in the teeny tiny chair at the teeny tiny table and just catch my breath / think / relax. It’s sorta like I’m in a fun house, where my self-perception is distorted because of my surroundings.
I like this feeling a lot. It helps me feel more like the way I see myself. The only tough thing about it is when I get a glimpse of myself in the mirror (this happens at home too, it’s not just a work thing) and I realize how tiny and feminine I actually am! I seem to especially hone in on my neck, for whatever reason – it’s so dainty and slender and like it could snap right in half so easily. My wrists too; it feels like my hands could snap off at any time. These feelings don’t really translate into me feeling like I should be taking more testosterone and becoming more masculine. They’re just sorta… fleeting, at least for the time being.
Another thing that’s going on at work that’s somewhat related is: age. The kids stay the same; the parents stay the same. (Not really of course. Kids grow up. I just mean I’m perpetually surrounded by kids and parents around the same ages, they cycle through, while I get older and older.) I used to be the youngest person who worked at the school, for years. Now, there’s a teacher who is younger than me. When did that happen?! (It happened last year.) Also, parents keep looking younger and younger. Many of them are, in fact, younger than me now, which is a shift. In fact, just yesterday, a parent recognized me from high school. She was in a grade below me. It was super weird!
It’s just not the same as it used to be: kids and parents these days!