Sometimes it’s the little things. Like when I overhear someone refer to all males as guys and all females as girls. Somehow, that was just too much for me the other night, and I’ve been stewing in my irritation ever since. Why? Good question. Why should I use up my already admittedly limited brain space with such a silly thing? Because I don’t have a girl’s job or a girl’s struggles. My joys, trials, triumphs, failures, costs, and rewards are not that of a girl. I am a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, an aunt, a cousin, and often, a right bitch. My peers and I lie, cheat and steal and have been lied to, cheated on, and stolen from. We have husbands, lovers, parents, children, family and friends who need us and whom we need in turn. We have loved them, hated them, and even buried them. We laugh and grieve and take deep breaths to make it through the day. We have careers and responsibilities that we relish and resent. We are so many things. But none of them is defined by “girl.” When I was a girl, my life was different, not less important or less worthy, just different. Someone else carried the burdens that are now mine, and that someone also reaped the benefits that I am now privileged to call my own. I don’t want today to be confused with those by-gone ones. Because through age and experience, I left girlhood behind. I am a woman. And I may or may not be more emotional than rational, or care more about feelings than thoughts, or embody some other stereotypical feminine trait. Still, don’t call me a girl.