Thursday, March 24, 2011


Look: it's another piece of FICTION this week, people! And it's a good thing I'm a writer, because otherwise? I'd be starting to worry about all these other people's voices I'm hearing yakking away at me, inside my head.

Let me begin by saying I fucking hate pink. It's just so... so... pink, you know. And I'm sorry about the cursing. But don't worry, if my kid were around I'd have said "freaking" or some other such almost cuss word. I'm not an idiot, I'm a halfway decent parent, after all. Unless you think I'm all evil and Satan-spawned because I'm my kid's "other mother" but then YOU'RE a hopeless idiot and I don't really care what you think, anyway.

So, my partner, Jess, my kid Ruby's "official mother of record," the one who got to go through the whole 9 months thing, the one she calls "Mommy" (I'm "Mamma-lu", don’t ask) is a bit younger than I am, doesn't have the pink aversion.

Well, actually, a bit more than a bit younger. Really younger, but not scary, could-be-my-kid younger. 12 years. I mean, I guess I could’ve had a kid at 12, but if I'd done that I'd be fucked up in so many other ways, having a somewhat younger girlfriend/life partner/wife/whatever-you-want-to-call-her would be the least of my problems, you know.

It doesn't cause trouble much. Just now and again, we seem to come from different cultures. Because when I was 20? We were Dykes, called ourselves womyn. But when she was 20, it was all lipstick lesbians. Pink? Doesn't throw her a bit.

Me? I got dressed in way too much of it as a kid, well against my wishes. My brother, on the other hand, my twin? Secretly longed for pink. Yeah, we’re that kind of family. We were quite the pair, drove our mother batshit. I was a full-on tomboy and my brother fairly well into the realm of sissy.

I would be rich as Midas if I could've have a dollar for every time I'd heard "you should have been the boy and he should have been the girl, just look at your muscles and his pretty eyelashes..." and then there’d be the tongue clucking, and the pitying looks cast at our Mom who, as always, had her game face on.

But we’re close, my bro and I, real close, which is a good thing, as it’s how I get to have a biological connection to our kid, too.  Because the "father," the guy who supplied the baby juice? Yeah, him.

Our mom was a little freaked out by this, but as it was the only way she was going to have a bio-grandkid she settled in after a relatively short period of kicking and harrumphing (she’s not a screamer, thank God). See, my brother didn't want to take on the full responsibility of parenthood. He's a travel writer and his partner’s a major international finance dude. They are actual globe trotters. And kids? That doesn't really mix.

But he’s happy to be Uncle Dad, and loves Ruby to pieces. They take her shopping, even buy her pink dresses. With gusto. Because our daughter is going through this… this… phase (please God, let it be only a phase), they even have a name for it -- the "Pink Thing."

Now I know the history of pink, that it's a relatively new phenomenon (no self respecting Women's Studies major from my era worth her salt doesn't know all about the social creation & scaffolding of gender difference markers). But it's just so damn much worse now. There's even a new book out about it: "Cinderella Ate my Daughter." When I saw that on the bookstore shelf I laughed my ass off because, crapola, that's how I'm feeling right now.

What happened to my feisty four year old who liked to make mud pies and gave as good as she got? Three weeks in public school Kindergarten and she's all "I'm only wearing dresses now” and “I NEED more pink."  She's all "this is for girls and that is for boys" with most everything I like to do downgraded to the "that" category.

Yeah, I'm feeling a wee bit rejected round about now. Why? Does it show. Yeah. Well, OK, so where I'm going with this...

It was my birthday the other day. Um, Happy Birthday to me. 49. OK? I'm not super uptight about it. It's not like I'm a Hollywood starlet who is likely never to work again once the first un-Botoxable wrinkles set in. But still, with a life partner twelve years younger? Next year will be a big deal. But anyway... birthday...

Besides shopping with Jess for my "big gift" Ruby likes to buy me a little something special by herself with her "very ownliest money." No she doesn't talk that way any more. But she did when she was three and started this tradition. Nostalgia, OK. Shut up.

It has to be a small thing since her "money" is mostly change we've let her keep rather than weigh down our pockets with it. And now, of course that the tooth fairy has started to visit, those precious Sacagawea "gold" dollars.

This year, my birthday gloriously fell on a Sunday, which meant that for once I did NOT have early morning duty. I got to escape watching My Little Hannah Strawberry iCarly Montanna Pony Shitcake with the dear one. (Because Sunday morning is her weekly TV time, folks, and she milks it for all its worth.)

And I got served y'all. Breakfast in bed. Fluffy scrambled eggs, extra crispy bacon. And on a special heart shaped plate: the pinkest frostedest donut I have ever seen.

Now, I have a weakness for donuts. Can't indulge it much anymore or my waistline would be the size of a small planet. But every now and then, for a special treat, like on my birthday...

Ruby knows it, and so this was her special gift for me. A very special donut, the one she would have chosen for herself, the one she would most have wanted to eat, of all the lovely donuts in the fancy new donut store that recently opened up in our 'hood:

Strawberry flavored, pink frosted, pink sprinkled... with tiny pale pink hearts on there as well, just in case it wasn’t pink enough.

A thing of beauty. If you like pink.

As she set the wobbly breakfast tray down on the cleared off nightstand, my daughter's eyes shone with pride. And with something else, too. Love.

I guess I don't hate pink quite so much, anymore. Today.


This post was written for The Red Writing Hood prompt: "Write a post inspired by this photo" 

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