I still have this conversation from time to time, or a close rendition: Would you rather be a boy or girl? It's no longer with fellow eight year olds though. It's typically with women lamenting or downright caterwauling- maybe screaming like banshees, about the disparities between men and women. Financial inequality, parental responsibility, lack of freedom, etc. These topics come up time and again. And yet I was never convinced that being a boy was better. I could play with trucks, run through the streets, cry, emote, bake, and look pretty from time to time. Points for girls! Who would ever want to be a boy?? Icky, stickey, smelly, gross!
All those rules! Misunderstood machismo demands and expectations, arghhh! Men, they never have much to say. They are usually self-involved. They can't find anything. They don't usually know when their own children go to sleep, have a sports event, a big test, doctor's appointment or crush on someone cute. We are told from an early age that they are not as smart as women. Who wants to be dumb, or dumber than an entire gender?
While I don't particularly love having to manage all the appointments, rapid growth clothing replacement, studying and down-right nagging to have anything completed, I do like being involved and aware of what goes on in the lives of my children. Another point for being a "girl". We stay informed!
So, I now shout UNCLE out loud and at the top of my lungs because I am starting, or perhaps deep, in the throes of menopause. Night sweats, insomnia, mood swings, hot flashes! Let's just pause here for a moment, shall we? Hot flashes? I thought this meant a sudden and quick flash of heat. It seems to mean, at least for me, a slow flashing of heat across and over different and unpredictable body parts or regions- as though someone, creepy, no doubt, is holding a lighter under the skin and slowly moving it. Not in a sensual manner but in an altogether intrusion of personal space manner, with almost the sensation of an alien insect attack to boot.
And while my head spins and the pea soup emerges, or I am suddenly crying in that odd, awkward way that no one can relate to because we are sitting outside on a sunny day enjoying a sandwich with avacado and fresh cheeses- who on earth would be crying under these circumstances? And this all comes on suddenly like those hot flashes, so what does one do to attempt sanity, or feign composure?
And men? What? They get a girth that they quickly learn to play with and rub as though they were Buddha junior? Bring it on! Girth that is enjoyed? How does this make any sense? Those children that I mentioned earlier? The ones I enjoyed knowing so much about and doing so much for? They are hanging with the man with the fun girth. Suddenly it is so easy to be happy-go-lucky when Mrs. Fire-Cracker-One-Man-Band-Crying machine walks through and asks if anyone wants to watch a movie, or explain why they are thankless.
It's over! UNCLE! For the next couple of years, maybe it wouldn't be so bad being a smelly, gross boy, with nothing much to say and weight gain that was fun to be with? I could do that. Jiggle does rhyme with giggle, after all. Girth rhymes with mirth.
Stay with me as I hum, "How lovely to be a woman......., or maybe "I feel pretty"