Thursday, June 24, 2004

Take That, Sigmund

I was walking along the river path today with my camera. It was around noon, and I saw a worker from a nearby plant unwrapping his lunch on one of the pathside split-log benches. I approached, smiling. He stared back, and said:

That's quite a lens.

I acknowledged my macro lenses heft and utility. He continued to stare, seemingly dumbstruck, so I moved on.

But it IS quite an impressive looking lens, and he was not the first passerby to comment on it. And so far, all the strangers who have commented on it have been guys. It's not that only guys strike up conversations -- I've had any number of brief, pleasant chats with women strollers, bikers and dog-walkers, and none of them have admired my big lens.

Even in my Freudian days, I'd never really connected with the concept of penis-envy. It seemed far fetched. Silly, even. Who'd want one of those inconvenient-appearing, oddly hydraulic, stuck-on, after-thought-like dangly things ? I was, all in all, rather pleased not to be burdened with one. And not to be burdened with the attendant worries about comparative size and function that seem to plague some men. Not that we women are free from body-part size issues. Who's got the smallest waist, longest legs, biggest breasts: these are the measures our surreptitious glances take.

But today, on the riverbank, with my camera, and without even trying, I'd become the alpha male.

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