Tag Archives: family

Trying To Conceive: An OBGYN I’d Probably Marry

In my last blog post, Just Stare Into My Vagina and Tell Me It Will Be Okay, I wrote about how scared I am to have a baby. Or, how scared I am to try to have a baby, since I’m not actually pregnant, yet. As of then I couldn’t find an OBGYN, with higher ratings than a dominos pizza, that was in-network.

Well, cue the trumpets, I found someone. Two people, actually, and I want both of them to be my best friends. Best friends who have both been elbows deep into my birth canal.

I’m one of those weirdos who Googles everything. Especially healthcare providers and anyone who could potentially kill me or maim me but also pretty much anything because I have entirely too much time on my hands and am addicted to unlimited information. Like six months ago I stumbled on this one OBGYN that has like the highest rating in the state and I was like, I NEED HER. But she was out of network. Well, I checked again recently and she was IN NETWORK! So I made the appointment and was more excited than I’ve ever been to have my cervix aggressively raked. Usually my lady exams are super weird so I’ve written about them way more than a normal person would. Do normal people write about their vagina exams? I don’t know. Anyway.

At the appointment, I was shown to a chair and told to wait for the doctor. After five minutes or so she came flying in, apologized for being late, and proceeded to ask me a zillion questions. But, not in a normal doctor way.

” Do you drink?”

“Yes, wine”

“GOOD! Good for you! And you can continue to do that until your pregnancy test says you’re pregnant. However, that doesn’t mean you can put the test off for eight months.”

Throughout my appointment she was informative and funny. She made jokes about dressing up as a vagina for Halloween. During my pap smear she impersonated Trump, “No, really, nobody respects women more than I do.”

When I told her I was pro-choice she high-fived me and told me I was incredibly badass and responsible. I live in Utah where like 98% of the doctors are Mormon and super republican. And while I have many friends and family who are both of those things, I am neither. And I was pretty excited about having a doctor who I didn’t feel like I had to pretend for. I also really liked her because when I told her about my experience with an Italian gynecologist she said, “That’s horrifying. Do you know how many women are sexually assaulted? That would be traumatic.” She also explained absolutely everything that she was doing, why she was doing it, and gave me a forty minute explanation of why they do a pap smear (cervical cancer screening, caused by the HPV virus). Seriously, it was the most thorough, thoughtful, kind, and hilarious appointment I’d ever had. She’s exactly who I’d want by my side while I pushed a giant baby out of my lady garden.

However. I’d just discovered, the day before, that while she is in my network, the clinic she works in, is not. Therefore, she couldn’t be my OBGYN without my having to shell out a lot of money for the out of network stuff. Sigh. I told her all of this and she listened and said, “Oh, don’t you worry! I’ve got you! One of my best friends is an OBGYN in your network! You’ll love her. She’s super progressive and funny!”

Sold.

I haven’t met her yet but I have talked with her nurse a few times on the phone and she is amazing. When I told her who referred me she laughed, “Oh, she’s awesome. Yeah, her and Dr. So and So are like best friends. You’re going to love her, she’s so great.” So, I’m actually excited about my doctor now. Sounds super trivial for most of you, I know, but for me it’s a huge relief. Which is good because I can’t be over here chugging entire bottles of wine.

I have no idea what I’m doing. Oh my God what am I doing?

 

My Mom The Fascinating Creature

I went to Petco with my mom the other day to get some dog food for my poodle. I weaved through the aisles with her behind me when I heard:

“My neck, my back, lick my pussy and my crack, heeeeey.” In my mother’s voice.

I turned around.

“Have you heard that song?” She asked.

“Yes. Unfortunately. But why have YOU heard that song?”

“Your aunt’s roommate listens to it.”

“Lovely.”

“My neck, my back, lick my….”

“MOM! Please! Help me find the food.”

“Sigh.”

————————————–

“Hey! Come check out this shirt I bought your uncle!”

I run downstairs to see my mom holding a sweatshirt up. The shirt read, “If you  have to turn your head to read this you owe me a blow-job.”

“Classy.”

“It’s hilarious! He’s gonna love it!”

“Surely.”

————————————–

“HEY! Your dog keeps putting his head near my crotch! Tell this damn dog that that area is for my husband only!”

“YEAH! MINE” My step-dad chimed in.

“Sigh.”

—————————————–

My mom is probably the most unhealthy person I’ve ever met in my entire life. She drinks nothing but coffee, coka cola, and beer (after five or six p.m., naturally), eats nothing but packaged foods and candy, chain smokes, and has probably not done any kind of cardiovascular work since her teenage years. She’s skinny though so in her mind she’s a shining pillar of health and wellness. I worry for her so it pisses me off that she doesn’t take her health seriously. My husband, who is Italian, finds the whole thing fascinating and studies her and giggles to himself. Yesterday I showed him that Kraft cheese spread that you spray out of the top onto crackers.

My husband: What the fuck is that!?

ME: Gross cheese

My husband: No!

My mom: Don’t be such a fucking wuss! It’s just cheese in a can!

My husband: BWAHAHAHAHAHAAH! [and he continued to laugh hysterically for about fifteen minutes]

My mom: What the hell is so damn funny? It’s just cheese! It comes in different flavors too. It’s good!

My husband: BWAHAHAHAAHAHAHAH!

Me: Wow. I had no idea that you’re a sort of Kraft connoisseur. They got that sharp chedder. That bacon. That American. Mmmm.

My mom: Assholes. Shut up.

Book Excerpt: Yee Fucking Haw (unedited)

Image

This picture has nothing at all to do with this post but it makes me laugh so I wanted to share it with you guys.

 

Now that we’ve talked about my mom and dad a little bit, we’re going to talk more about Kevin. Remember the jackass in the first story who wouldn’t bury me dog? Yeah, that dude. I’m taking you guys back to revisit the farm. I don’t tell anyone this, it’s embarrassing, and something that I think back to and go, “What the fuck Misty!?” but back in nine-teen-eighty-five, I was a rodeo princess. I was one of those little girls clad in Levi’s and flannel button-downs, cowgirl boots, and on occasion a little cowgirl hat, I was awesome and tough as nails. Or at least that’s what I thought. In reality I was one of those smelly little farm kids who swam in irrigation ditches with floating horse doody, slept in dog-houses, and was generally covered in filth. At that point my only aspiration in life was to grow up and be a professional barrel-racer, which in the eighties was basically a woman with a lot of blue eye-shadow, super tight pants and a massive belt-buckle which worked to accent her cavernous cowgirl camel-toe. 

 

This was all back when my mom and Kevin were still together, before the alcoholism and the continueous thirty-year decent into depression, hysterics and drug use. He must have been around twenty-three at the time, he was thin, and healthy, and he was a Rodeo cowboy who rode the bucking broncos in the Rodeo. I’d go watch him with my mom where we would sit on the sidelines so I could scream, “Go, go, go!” and he’d get up after being thrown off and wave to us and I’d worry that he was hurt. I’m not much of an outdoorsy type anymore so I know it’s hard for anyone to imagine me yee-hawing it up but I did, it happened, and because of it I can ride a horse which really doesn’t help my life in any way but it could if the world ended and cars stopped working and I needed to get away from zombies, or demons, really fast. Whatever.

 

I learned how to ride a horse by myself around four years old. Back in the eighties before human development classes, baby psychology, and coddling, I was raised the way most American kids were raised: I was told what to do and if I didn’t do it someone would kick the shit out of me. Children did as they were told, we were to be seen and not heard, and we respected authority or we were beat with something ranging from a belt to kitchen tools and once my mom, out of ideas, and unable to find another weapon, beat me with my little brother. I wasn’t abused, just spanked like everyone else. Children weren’t babied the way they are now. Nowadays parents talk to their children as though all of the children are severely mentally damaged. I’ve seen six year olds in strollers, their moms cautiously tip-toeing behind them, cooing, saying things like, “does wittle tommy want some wa-wa?” And I think to myself, I don’t care what little tommy wants, lady, what I want is for is for you to stop talking like an asshole. I have no idea how the shift in parenting happened, and in some ways it’s probably good to work on mother-child communication, and feelings and all that, but you don’t have to make your kid sucky in the process. Maybe I simply don’t understand it because it’s just not how I was raised and it’s certainly not how I was introduced to a massive one-thousand pound animal who I was supposed to dominate and ride about like fucking Sheera. 

 

There was a time in my life where I loved Kevin. He was a cowboy, and he was tough but I learned a lot from him in that period. There was even a point where I preferred him and the farm to my mother. Where I clung to him when the police came to take me and my brother away because he didn’t want to give us back and my mom had sole custody. My brother and I hid under the dinner table while the flashing lights swirled outside and my mother stood on the porch arguing with Kevin, with her new boyfriend, a mean mexican man who beat her and once ripped my arm out of socket by yanking me from the car too forcefully. At this time Kevin’s house was a place of tough love but adventure. A place that helped shape my inquisitive, independent nature and taught me the importance of animal bonds because later in life I’d realize that humans are nuts. 

 

I helped saddle Polky, standing on a step-ladder, I brushed her mane, and cleaned out her hooves. Then, I was picked up and plopped on her back into the saddle. “Take the reigns,” Kevin said, “now, you’re probably going to fall off pretty quick and when you do it will hurt but remember when you fall off of a horse you get right back on it! So when you eat shit I’m going to pick you up and put you right back on. Okay?” I nodded and tried not to shit my pants. 

Only a few minutes into riding my confidence exponentially grew as I sat on top of the mountainous animal, rocking back and fourth as though we were one. I’d relaxed and released the horn with my left hand clutching only the reigns. If I’m being fair, Poky, the three year old Bay Quarter horse, was hardly walking. She was going at the pace of an elderly woman window shopping. She stopped once or twice to nibble some grass, another time to simply stare at the fence. Still, I felt like a professional and wanted to take things to the next level. It was my first time riding but not my first time watching, and I thought, I’m so fucking good at this I should probably take it up a notch and I mimicked the “bump the horses sides with your heels” move. Her pace increased and I still managed to stay on. Why not give it another go? I thought. So I did it again but this time she broke into a full apache attack gallop creating badly choreographed circles in the field. Finally she slowed down to a trot right before she ducked under a low area of the chicken coop, knocking me backwards into a mountain of sawdust. The adults ran over showing mild concern as they picked me up dusted me off, pinned me down and rinsed the debri from my face and eyes. Then Kevin, true to his word, picked me up and said, “I’m really proud of you frog-legs,” and then he plopped me right back on the horse despite my pleas for mercy. 

 

Recently I sat at a park with my husband where we watched a mother try to teach a seven or eight year old girl to ride a bike. The child was all but wrapped in bubble plastic with a helmet and knee pads, elbow pads, gloves, and special shoes. The mom walked with her and anytime the  bike leaned one way or another the child would cry hysterically. The mom would panic and lean down all guilt stricken, the face of a woman who is aware that she’s fucking up her kid at that very moment. “No, but seriously, that kid is a pansy, “I said after watching her cry for the fiftieth time though not once did she actually fall off. “How did you learn to ride a bike?” Francesco asked. “I didn’t. I found an adult bike, tried to ride it, fell down and racked my vagina on it. Bled everywhere. Ran to my mom who I tried to convince for ten minutes that it was from a random bike accident. Once my lady-business healed I just got back on and rode the fucking thing.” He raised his eyebrows as he normally does anytime I tell him anything about my life. “Did anyone teach you how to do anything?” He asked. I remembered Poky and the first time I rode a horse. “Yes, actually, I learned how to ride a horse with adult supervision though I’m not sure there was a lot of teaching involved.” I told him the story and the advice that Kevin gave me, “And that’s why, honey, I don’t fucking suck like that little girl over there.” Francesco shook his head disapprovingly and I’m pretty sure he second-guessed having children with me. 

It’s A Hard-Knock Life: Interview With My Grandmother From 2007. Excerpt From My Memoir

I met my third husband Dean when I was twenty-seven. Dean and I went together for two years, got married, and two years later had another son Darren. Dean was amazing in bed. By far his best quality was his love-making skills. At first we had a decent marriage. Then I found out he was going to bars and telling his friends he wasn’t married. We used to fight cause he was out all the time, and he started hitting me. He would grab my hair and hit my face into objects and walls, pulling out my hair in huge chunks. I would comb my hair over the bald spots. The cops were around every other week, and at times he would knock me out and I would wake in a pool of blood with my children standing over me.  

 

We divorced after I couldn’t handle it anymore. After that divorce I spent a lot of years alone, raising my children as a single mother. I worked at a school cafeteria to support them, and while things were tight with five children on those wages, I managed to keep their bellies full. 

Book Excerpt: Nice To Meet You, Dad

Meeting ones father is a strange concept for most people. One doesn’t meet ones father, one just knows him, don’t they? Not always. My father was introduced like a new neighbor. I was forced out of propriety, uninterested and slightly weary. Thanks to my mom I knew that a kind face could easily mask a fervor for homicide, or an obsession with quilting and scrapbooking both highly probable if one lives in Utah. Also, because she’s a dick, my mom made sure I was terrified of my father. The night before I met him, my mother made me watch, “Not Without My Daughter,” a film about an Iranian man who takes his American family for a “visit” to Iran and then essentially kidnaps them and holds them hostage after turning into an abusive lunatic. After the film was over I sat wide-eyed staring at the credit, feeling very confident about being left alone with this stranger for an entire weekend. She walked into the living room, “Oh, it’s over! Anyways, your dad is a nice person but this is your father’s people, so, you know, don’t get on a plane with him or whatever”…

A Girl Named Jimmy

My eyes adjust slowly to the evidence of a successful massacre, tiny bodies torn, tattered, mutilated, are triumphantly displayed across the dark hardwood in every direction of the room. The palette of artificial skin tones and polyurethane hair create a neutral rainbow of disheveled parts, limbs twisted into compromising positions. She must have pulled and ripped for a while, which explains her absence. I chuckle and smile.

The door makes a loud thud as I shove it all the way open to enter my baby sister’s room. An arm flies through the air then lands next to the tiny bed nestled against the left hand wall from where I stand. I step forward and something soft gives way under my weight. Flipping on the light illuminates an abdomen. I step to the right only to land on a head which rolls out from under the ball of my foot smashing the face into the ground. It makes a “pop” as the plastic eyes shoot out sending me off balance into the little wooden dresser against the right hand wall. The framed group soccer photo falls to the hardwood, along with a little league trophy that lands on top of a severed leg. I put everything back the best I can. Then, something giggles in the walls.

“Mitra?” I call out.

There is a stir in the closet, a loud boom before the double white doors fly open and a small mass bursts free growling, and baring baby canines. “Impressive” I wink at my little sister. She smiles, stands all the way upright tilts her head back to look at me. Her chest puffs like a rooster. It rises and falls as she catches her breathe, trying to hold back laughter. Her blue eyes look out from under her bangs, her blonde hair matted at the crown. She’s wearing her favorite long blue nylon soccer shorts, oversized light blue t-shirt, high socks, and of course cleats. She looks like a gym teacher.

“What are you doing?” I move her hair from her eyes, and she swats at my hand.

“Pwaying” She points to the baby holocaust.

“What did you do to your dolls?”

She smiles, pushes her hip out, twirls her hair between her tiny, chubby fingers, and gestures to the floor with her other hand to where all the dolls lie in their plastic cemetery. They’re all nude. Their clothes are strewn about the piles of doll heads which have been separated from the bodies. The faces are covered in what seems like black writing.

“What did you write kiddo? It looks like you’re worshipping Satan.” She tilts her head and furrows her brows.

“What staytan?”

“I don’t know, supposedly someone who is really rude”.

“Saman?”

“No, Saman is your older brother”.

I suppose that might be the equivalent to her.

Being the oldest I don’t understand the trials and tribulations of being a younger sibling. Her “rude” older brother is only eight years old, someone I regularly take on play dates, and send to his room when he says something inappropriate, like “penis”. God forbid a kid say the name of a body part.  The same part my father used to repopulate planet earth with his “strong Persian” genes.

I pick up a head by its stringy, blond ponytail. At closer inspection I realize the doll doesn’t have writing on her face, rather she has been “re-assigned” with facial hair via black sharpie marker. The facial hair was new, an addition to her usual undressing and dismembering. She takes the clothes off of them claiming they, like her, are more comfortable that way. Living vicariously through them: naked and hairy.

“Why facial hair Mitra?”

“They juss look betta dat way”

She frowns as she catches on that I am ever so slightly weirded out.

“Of course they do honey”

“Wanna prway leggos?”

She tilts her head waiting for my response with her hands on her hips like she has seen her mother do. In fact, she looks just like her mother, and nothing like the rest of us being the only one with light features. In my family, regardless of how pretty she might be to most of the world, she will never be told so.

My father regularly picks her up and inspects her like a rotten potato.

“Why is she so white”?

He’ll say with his whole face scrunched up, mouth pursed, and arms straight out in front of him with my sister dangling in his hands where he holds her under the armpits so they are eye to eye. He talks through her to my step mother on the other side.

“Shut up Abbas before I beat you to death.” She’s half joking.

My blond, Mormon step-mother will scream in her soccer mom voice then shoot death glances over one of her thousands of fashion magazines pulled from one of the many stacks neatly kept on our 15th century antique Italian coffee table in the living room. There are boxes of them, hundreds or thousands. She’s “a hoarder”, like a chipmunk, but a very clean and orderly version.

“You know”

My father will look at me after putting her down to scuttle away,

“She won’t chenge dat color, doesn’t she look dead dat color? You are a good colair, but you would be much better if you didn’t have half the stupid white in you. You would be smarter too; you only have half da brain”.

“Thanks dad”

“No really, I’m serious, Persians are the most beautiful, and most intelligent, not like stupid white, who are so stupid they have to get someone from Africa to run their country for them…stupid, stupid”.

“Abbas, so help me god, if you don’t shut up I am going to come kick your butt.”

My step-mother will yell again. My father, knowing he’s getting close to actually being in trouble, will chuckle nervously, and then continues. At this point I tune him out because I can only handle his Persian Empire speech for so long before I lose my mind, or my temper, which my father will then attribute to my bloodline of warriors.  All of his five mostly illegitimate children are half “white” as he calls it, though Persians are technically Caucasian so I don’t know what the hell that means. I have decided “white” actually means “fair skinned”.  My sisters and brother all look like me, dark hair, and greenish almond shaped eyes, olive skin. In me and my sister Chanelle’s case we are also gifted with huge hips that scream to all semen in a ten meter vicinity “impregnate me, I am a baby factory”.

This is not the case with Mitra. You wouldn’t know she was my sister because of her coloring, but even more so because she doesn’t look like a girl. She looks like a feminine little boy. This is part of the reason I agree to babysit her despite generally disliking children, she’s constantly entertaining.

In general children make me uncomfortable. I can’t, “cooo” and “caaaah” like women are “supposed” to do. Being around them is an awkward experience, even stressful because I constantly worry about breaking something I don’t own. What if I trip over it, or teach it to accidentally say “Fuck”? Being around children for me is like walking through a fine dining collector’s aisle of an upscale store; it’s a fear of breaking something I can’t replace. I might look feminine, but I’ve never felt it. I’ve always felt like a strange mix, too masculine for child rearing, too feminine for construction work, though I do enjoy automotive repair.

Mitra is still staring at me wondering if I can play Leggos or not.

“We can play after you eat”

She’s not listening. Instead she bends down to the floor to add a mustache to a doll with a beard. The doll now looked like Santa Clause and I’m reminded of last December when my step mother asked, “What do you want for Christmas?” and pointing to her crotch she said, “That thing I don’t have”. While other children are asking for dolls, video games, etc., my sister wants Santa to bring her a penis.

“You can fix her facial hair later, come on”

I turn and walk out of the newly painted, light blue, little girl’s room to check on my niece, Avah, who I am also watching, and who is downstairs alone doing god-knows-what. “Come with me Mitra”

I call her again after noticing she’s not behind me. No response and she have yet to step into the long hallway leading to the staircase, which leads to the tea room on the main floor. I wait another minute and she is still in her room, I roll my eyes, “Jimmy” I yell. She immediately turns the corner from her room pushing her hair from her face walking towards me. More and more she only responds to the little boys name she gave herself a few weeks ago.

“Why did you choose the name Jimmy?” We take the first step down, slowly because she has to take one baby step at a time, and the marble is slippery. I have always refused to help her so she no longer asks. Instead I wait patiently while she holds the rail, eyes on the step in front of her, stepping down, waiting to make sure she is steady before transferring her weight. The more she can do alone, the better off she will be when she gets older and realizes the more she can do for herself the better.

She makes it down two steps and pauses to answer,

“I like it”.

“But why not something like, King Edward, or George?”

“Those are stupid”

“But Jimmy isn’t?” I mumbled.

“No”

“Oh. Alright.”.

At the bottom of the stairs I tell her to go find Avah, and play with her. She nods, then sprints across the tea room into the living room. I linger long enough to take in the room, the gold, the Persian carpets, the painting depicting a man and his herem, a hand-dipped, gold and sapphire chandelier. My father’s décor reeks of tradition. His objects attest to the fact that he has physically left Iran but never really left Iran. I hear the little girls talking and cannot help but laugh. Mitra thinks she’s a boy, Avah is the out of wedlock child of my little sister, and me, well, I’m an impoverished, life-long student of useless degrees with a history of failed relationships, and no social skills. I smile because we, the fruit of his loins, are Karma personified. Every year that we grow older, we always do yet another thing that makes him regret not using a better contraceptive.

In the kitchen I pull out pasta and watch the little girls talking on the other side of the room where they interact like petite adults. They gesture with their tiny hands sloppily, exaggerating the movements, speaking back and forth with importance inappropriately close to each other’s faces still unaware that culturally we are obsessed with distance in a way that creates psychological space too. Their happiness is my happiness, and I’m thankful that their childhood is not my childhood. It took a few months to get used to the idea of having a little sister that is twenty years my junior, and some time get over the fact that it took twenty years for my father to become emotionally available, just in time for the new, younger kids to have the life I’d only ever seen in the movies.

The little girls, my sister, and our niece are only three months apart. The two are related, sharing subtle characteristics. The real difference is their hair and clothing. Avah’s white hair pulled up high in a ponytail on top of her head with a crown of pink berets, Mitra’s long, wavy, dirty blondish hair hangs in a mess over her little shoulders like a mop. Avah looks like a spray-can of pink paint exploded on her, Mitra looks like a mini David Beckham.

Pasta swirls in a strainer, the steam stings my face and I hope it opens my pores enough for me to sneak into the bathroom after and do a sugar scrub. I feel old. Through the window above the sink a deer nibbles the mint in our garden.

“I’m the dad you can be the mom, so now you get me food”.

Mitra’s voice bellows through the empty space, reverberating off of the high ceilings.

“Why do I have to make food?” Avah screams.

“Because you’re the girl!” Mitra retorts.

“You’re a girl too!”

“NO I’M NOT! GIRLS ARE STUPID!” Mitra screams.

I dry my hands and start towards them but before I arrive Avah takes a step forward and in what seems like slow-motion punches Mitra in the shoulder. Mitra cries, oozing liquid from every orifice. Avah starts to cry too. They scream, kick, and punch while I carry them to the couch like tiny bags of potatoes. On the couch they sit on my lap doing a strange breathing thing that sounds like gasp, gasp, gasp, sigh, gasp, gasp, gasp, sigh.

“Mitra, it looks like girls are tougher than you give them credit for, because she just landed a mean jab”. I’d like her to stop hating her own sex, enough women in the world hate themselves, she doesn’t need to be one of them. Avah, like a snow princess, sat on my right knee very proud of herself.

“It’s not nice to hit, Avah”.

She frowns, her pale white skin and bright greenish eyes make her seem angelic, clearly a facade.

“She called girls stupid!”

“I know, but hitting is not nice. Use your words next time, attack her self-esteem”. They both tilted their heads confused by this thing called “self-esteem”.

“Mitra, you don’t call girls stupid, you’re a girl, I’m a girl, Avah is a girl”.

“I’m not a girl!”

“Yes you are and you’re lucky too! Do you see daddy and mommy? Which one is in charge? Mommy right? Because a girl is better.”

She growls, fists balled up against her sides, head down, eyes blazing from under her messy locks. I watch her for a moment and wonder which of the many factors has her convinced it’s better to be a boy? Living in a house with two older brothers is probably part of it. I was a tom-boy when I was a child, anyone who is competitive and intelligent might see the tragedy in being female. The little ones calmed down quickly and soon enough they were making weird noises and playing again; I kissed them both leaving them on the couch.

“Look, both of you be nice while I finish your food. Play, or just sit and stare at the walls. No fighting!”

I bring their food into the living room where Avah is still sitting on the couch, but Mitra is gone.   “Avah, where is Mitra?”

“I don’t know”

“MITRA!? JIMMY!” I yell towards the ceiling in case she’s on the second floor. A noise comes from the bathroom off to the side of the living room. I enter to find Mitra standing over the toilet, holding her shirt up, peeing everywhere wiggling around trying to find the best angle to hit the bowl of the toilet.

“MITRA! What are you doing?! Sit down! You are peeing everywhere!” I’m trying not to laugh at how ridiculous she looks, but I’m not judging. I tried that once when I was a kid because I was jealous of my brother who could do it. I got into a lot of trouble, I didn’t want to be THAT asshole but, my empathy was fading as I realized that  I am the grown up and would have to clean up the pee.

“I can do it like this!”

She screams. I contemplate explaining that physiologically she really can’t but she’s too young, and already made a giant mess so what’s the point. She finishes peeing all over the toilet, backs off of it, wipes, then wiggles her little pants back up grinning from ear to ear. I help her wash her hands struggling not to burst into laughter. Who am I to crush dreams? I’m just here to make sure they remain alive until their parents return.

The girls eat their food at their little person table, talking among themselves, friendly, smiling, in between over-sized spoons of noodles that mostly fall out of their mouths onto the table. One wouldn’t know they were just trying to beat each other to death.

My cell phone rings.

“Hey” his voice is soft, too soft, as it always.

“Hi. How’s your day going?”

“Okay, thank you. How are the girls?”

“The girls are great, fighting a bit. Mitra is mad that she is a girl.”

“Isn’t she always mad about that? I would much rather be a girl” He laughs. I don’t laugh because he’s serious. Despite liking him as a human, the entertainment of dating a man that wants to be a woman is fading. There’s nothing wrong with liking women, I just don’t want to be dating one that has a penis.

“Oh, the girls are being nuts I have to go” I lie, “call me back later”.

Oddly, my sister decided she wanted to be a boy at almost the same time I was dating a boy who wanted to be a girl, not the “transsexual” kind of way, but in the “can I wear your dress” kind of way, all while writing my sociology thesis on “sexual fluidity and social influence”. When I met Tom I was working at a gay club and at the peak of my research for my thesis. Now, I didn’t date him for research reasons, but I was extremely fascinated by him. He was dressed in a tie, a button down, slacks, and high heels. From the feet up he was completely masculine, and model attractive. He was nice, interesting and extremely relaxed which is what I needed. I’d been going through a rough patch and needed companionship without any expectations. The fun of dating someone different was gone now as I took a step towards my future I needed someone who could take a step with me. That wasn’t him.

The little girls had abandoned their food to play Leggos on the floor.

In the dining room I take a seat at the over-sized, gold and dark-wood dining table. Every giant, gold adorned piece of furniture was generously topped with more gold. I pushed the gold- plated fruit bowl out of my way to put my head on the table. I’m tired. I’m confused about life, love, and children. Watching children is tiring; I can’t imagine why parents agree to do this for free. Good parents, the ones who stick around and actually try do a lot of work, what’s in it for them?

I walk back into the living room where the girls were still playing leggos. I plopped down on the big brown leather couch to watch them. Avah is aggressive like a little boy and Mitra thinks she is one. Maybe she thinks that because the way girls are ‘supposed’ to act is lame. I think that too. I played soccer, I enjoyed wrestling and getting dirty, I hated dolls and preferred He-man figurines. Gendering is too confining. Our culture is too defining, too restricting. I coughed and their attention turned to me. They both slowly lost interest in their creation and crawled onto the couch..

“Can we watch a movie?” Avah asks.

“Which movie?”

“Snow-white” she smiles her pageant smile, all of her teeth showing. Mitra bolted up glaring at Avah.

“NO! NOT THAT!” Mitra Screamed, “I hate princesses!”

Like a member of the swat team Avah had jumped off of my lap onto Mitra’s lap. I dragged Avah off of her. Watching babies brawl is like midget wrestling. I pulled them apart again. Enough was enough, my step-mother and sister would return to find their children missing chunks of hair and teeth if I didn’t separate them. I put them in separate bedrooms for a “time-out” session. Mitra was being punished for “verbal insensitivity”. She had no idea what that was. Avah was in trouble for being a small, white, female version of Mike Tyson. She didn’t know who that was.

Then he calls again.

“Have you killed the children yet?” he laughed.

“No, I’ve stopped them from trying to kill each other a few times though”.

I laugh uncomfortably,

“What are you doing tonight?”

“I don’t know. You?”

“Watching Dracula, because the guy who plays him is really handsome, and then…I don’t know. Ty wants to do some project where I dress in drag and flirt with people for fun.

“Interesting. You’re more comfortable in women’s clothes lately”.

“Yeah, cause it’s funny. And besides I make a hot woman. We still need to talk about you being bothered about me not being ‘manly enough’”.

“Excuse me?” I ask.

“I prefer being quiet” he continued. “I like observing more than being active in conversation. I know that it bothers you. I can tell. I’m not a super manly guy; I don’t know what to do about that exactly”.

“Well you were wearing yellow pumps when I met you. I know you’re not super “manly”.”

How annoying. That he’s trying to call me on my bullshit, and that I care about something so fake, appearances and society, as if I’m the most social butterfly. How many of us really care what another person is saying or doing? We nod, pretend to care, ask the right questions on cue, and try not to think about our laundry or homework enough to pick up on the next cue requiring our response. People usually become automated outside of their comfort zone. So why is it such a desired skill when there is nothing real about it?

“I understand that I have a lot of stuff to work through. You’re leaving for Italy though. You won’t be back for eight months and you already told me you don’t want to date anymore. Is it really an immediate problem now?”

“I’m not certain. And maybe it’s less of a social thing than it is a passive thing. Passive people worry me. I had better go check on the girls again. I want to make sure they’re not sharpening toothbrushes into knives and all that”.

“Good luck”. He said.

“Thanks”.

I hung up the phone, stood against the counter for a moment wondering what’s wrong with me. He’s perfectly nice, I would never have to worry about him lying or cheating (with a woman anyways), yet, I am not interested. There are much worse things than liking women’s clothing. He could be vile like most men, picking his nose, spitting, being generally misogynistic. Haven’t we gotten over the olden days of the “great protector” or the “delicate flower”? How many “male” traits are considered desirable these days?  Brute strength hasn’t been valuable for a few hundred years.

And my little sister, there is nothing wrong with her just because she likes “boy” things. She’s smart and determined, and more importantly she’s happy. Society has created such rigid standards; it’s only natural that everyone can’t follow them.

I went to check on the girls one more time. Both were fast asleep in their little beds. They were probably just tired, and therefore homicidal.

At the end of the day give or take a little hormones, an inny or an outy, we’re all just people, naked, vulnerable, and trying to do our best to stay sane.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Misty Evans

“A Girl Named Jimmy”

 

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