Useless things I know because I am female.

March 18, 2012 at 9:32 pm (Uncategorized)

A few months ago, I was teasing a male faculty member at school for carrying around with him an iphone app that counts the calories of the food you’re eating. “But how am I supposed to know these things?” he asked. “For instance, did you know that avocados are filled with calories?”

Yes, duh.

“Sure, you do.” He didn’t believe me. He honestly thought that this was one of those things that people just don’t know, unless they’re a dietician or something like that. “How the hell would you know that?”

Duh (again), because I’m female. There’s shit you know off the top of your head when you’re female. A lot of it is disturbing (for instance, I know that most – not all, but most – of the women I know have been sexually violated/molested/assaulted at one time or another in their lives). But most of it is stupid.

Calories in food are a super easy one. I’m pretty good at guesstimating the calories in any dish, and I have the calories of various pre-packaged foods memorized. I also know all those rules about eating out: dressing on the side, no bread with your meal, protein should be the size of the palm of your hand and no bigger.

I know that the lower, inside lid of your eye – the part where your lower eyelashes are, the little flap of skin that goes right up against the eye itself – is known as the “lower waterline.” That is because the lower waterline (despite the fact that it comes into contact with your actual eye constantly, and is, a result, completely disgusting) is thought to be one of the key places to plaster with makeup in order to make your eyes look bigger. Also, when you apply blush, you’re supposed to do it on your cheekbone, in line with your pupil, and then out to your hairline, and then dab a little on your chin to slim your face (if your face is wide like mine). That I nearly never wear makeup doesn’t matter; I know this shit.

I know that if your skirt is sticking to your stockings because of static cling, putting some lotion on the outside of your legs (on top of the stockings) will help. And that if you get a snag in your stockings, clear nail polish will stop it from running… but don’t get it stuck to your leg, because the combo of stockings + nail polish = glue = rips off your skin = hurts.

Here’s a random one: I know that a certain kind of soda that was specifically marketed to the Latino/a demographic back in the 1980s was widely rumored to be an abortifacient. Technically, you were supposed to drink the whole can as fast as possible and then throw yourself down a flight of stairs, and the two together would “bring down your period,” which is a euphemism for miscarriage or abortion, or however you want to look at it. I remember some girls telling me this in high school and I’ve never been able to get it out of my mind, even though I know it’s not true. I can’t see that soda in my neighborhood today, some 20+ years later, without thinking of that.

I’m sure men have their lists of useless crap they know, because they’re men. I was recently walking in the park with my husband, and he pointed out that our football field there was not up to regulation standards. Ok: here’s a guy who hasn’t watched a football game in the entire time I’ve known him and has zero interest in sports in general, so how the hell would he know that? Right, because he’s male.

I just hate this stuff so much that it’s hard for me to even think about it. And it makes me wonder: is the brain finite? I struggle with foreign languages… so if I kicked out (somehow) all that crap on makeup and dieting out of my brain, would I suddenly have room for French? Yeah, probably not. But I’m still trying to forget all this stuff that I can’t seem to unlearn.


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