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 Roger ponders:

> On Thu, 20 Jan 2005 10:19:02 -0700, Marc Chrusch wrote:
> >I can't begin to count the
> >number of times I've seen a female SO perched in terror
> and/or tears at the
> >top of a steep pitch, clearly in way over her head in either
> ability or
> >comfort level, while her strutting male partner has blazed
> down the pitch
> >and is now "helpfully" but impatiently yelling at her to
> "...just keep turning!"
>
> So then the
> question I ask to the ladies of the list(and any
> sociologists) is why?  What is it about our social
> norms that makes the scene Marc describes so common?


So I'm neither, but when has that stopped any of us from offering an
opinion.  I think the big difference is simply machismo.  Guys remember
skiing stuff that was beyond their ability or frightening and expect
their SU to do the same.  I've skied down many lines that I had no
business messing with simply b/c I didn't want my friend's seeing me
wimp out.  For example, my first time looking down paradise at the END
of a powder day, when there was more blue ice than powder showing.  The
walk out would have been just as easy as the walk in, but I wasn't about
to back down even if my skiing consisted of little more than point em,
stop, sideslip, point em, stop, etc....It took little imagination for me
to see potential disaster of sliding too far and too fast on such a
line, but I still wasn't about to back off, despite my inadequate skills
for the job (and my embarrassment at further denuding powder from the
line).

Girlfriends don't have to be macho in front of their spouses.  If fact,
in most cases, I'd wager that they're more likely to ski a tough line
when out with their friends than they are with their boyfriend/spouse,
with whom they are more ready to get angry for dragging them into an
uncomfortable situation and therefore not feel peer pressure in the same
way.

Nowadays, I'm more comfortable wimping out of a line I'm not comfortable
with. I don't know if it's age and family or simply that many of the
lines I'm not comfortable with nowadays have a much lower margin for
error than the lines that used to scare me.  I do know now to have
modest expectations of my wife on skis or bike.  I'm not sure why I ever
suffered the illusion that she would change her ways just by association
with me.  I'm satisfied enough that she loves the outdoors at her own
speed and occasionally lets me out to enjoy them at my speed.

-Patrick

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