[Musings of a Game Store Owner] Boobs- But Much More

In case you missed the memo, I’m a lady. I’m more than a little endowed. I’m sincerely very happy with this and these parts of my body and have no issues with dudes looking as much or as little as they like.

Which is why this next bit is confusing as hell without really thinking about it.

I exist outside of TheDude. I’m not just “TheDudePlusBoobs” and, conversely, I’m NOT just a pretty face left in the store for decoration. I’m a pretty competent businesswoman, with a lot more going on than a rack.

Yeah- not gonna fly with me.

I have two specific shifts that I work, and the customers that come in on those nights have gotten to know that  I’ll be behind the counter. They even kind of like it.

However, when one of the guys comes in on “my” night, but usually comes in when TheDude is around, or if TheDude is off (or sick) and I’m covering- I get a lot of funny looks. And as loathe as I am to ever admit it to TheDude, I get a lot of guys who think I’m an employee, the token girl, or an idiot. (Or worse yet, all of those.)

TheDude went on a trip in September. He was gone for 3 days. I ran the store for him while he was off, taking care of business. We put up signs, updated our website and put a note on our Facebook page, letting our customers know that a) our hours would be shortened during that time due to my “selling pens” job, and b) *I* would be running the place.

Yeah, because people read signs. 

There were a lot of questions by the customers- “Where’s TheDude”? “Is he sick”? and so on. I didn’t mind it the first day. It was new and different, having me behind the counter. I was really excited to be there, and I was really grateful to our community for helping me learn so much. By the second and third day, it was more than a little old, but I was as gracious as I know how to be. 
What got me were the people that were either rude or dumb- or maybe it was both. A guy called on the phone to ask when we would be open. I told him the shortened hours and he asked why we were opening later. I couldn’t quite get over that- he obviously knew our hours; so why call? Or the guy who asked me (to my face) who I was. It went something like this- “are you MrsTheDude? Or his girlfriend? Or just an employee?” I know it’s something different to see a lady at a game store, much less behind the counter, but c’mon. At least ask my NAME. 
The phone calls were either the funniest or most aggravating, depending on who was calling.  I answer the phone and either get guys who didn’t even register that I answered the phone and they are jabbering away at my husband, or those that just did not get it that I was the owner, too. They insisted they wanted “the guy” and no matter what I told them they were not going to talk to me. 
Being a lady in a man’s world generally doesn’t intimidate me. I’ve worked in an industry where I was one of 3 women who talked about the technical aspects of the business worldwide, and I game. I’ve always been ok with being a woman-until someone points it out.   Huh?
There’s a mental disconnect somewhere in my head between being a lady and being TOLD I’m one. Somehow by being noticed as “a girl” I automatically default to feelings of having to defend myself and prove myself to those around me.

I’ve talked a lot about the lack of attitude I get overall as a lady gamer- and it’s true; when I am a gamer. For the most part, I’ve known the people I game with for years and they’ve grown accustomed to me and my wackiness. When I’m a game store owner, there is a subtle but noticeable shift in the way I’m perceived. In addition, I’m exposed to more -different- people as an owner than I am as a gamer. Those people aren’t always as enlightened or acclimated to me; both as a person and a woman.

So how do I handle this situation? How to I reconcile the need to assert myself but the desire to keep myself in check?

In short; I’m stubborn. I’m tougher, meaner and just a lot more patient than most. I also have a tendency to give people the benefit of the doubt. I usually believe that someone is just oblivious, having an off day, or inexperienced with gals. I try (sometimes in a most futile fashion) to be attentive and compassionate to the dude in questions’ state of mind.

Now and then, I just have to straighten someone out. Usually all it takes is a firm “hey, quit being a fucktard” and things go back to normal. Like I said, most of the time, the guy just doesn’t have a clue that he’s acted like an absolute jackwagon.

But there’s always “that guy”.  It has happened that I’ve had “the talk” with someone and they just escalated-mostly “to be funny”. After some very straightforward words and a little shaming, they got back in line.

I’ve got a long way to go before we’ll be singing Kumbaya.

I’ve said it before, I’m not interested in re-educating every guy I deal with. Honestly, I don’t want to -ever-
So dudes, do a girl a favor. Don’t be a dick. Treat the women around you with some respect. It might take a while to adjust your thinking, just based on habits. I’ll wait as long as it takes. But until then, I’m going to keep doing what I love.

And I love the company of men, so I’ll close with something I know you’ll enjoy….


yeah, SinSynn- I got yer back, bro…

But let me tell you- THIS is what’s up, at least for me.

I’d love to hear what you have to say, so chime in with any comments or concerns.

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