LJ Idol Week 12: Intersection Topic: Current Events

January 30, 2010 § 17 Comments

Letter #1


“What Sex are You?” and other inappropriate questions

January 15, 2010 § 31 Comments

phone rings


“May I speak to Michael?”

“This is she.”

“…” “I need to speak to Michael.”

“Yes, I am Michael. How can I help you?”

“…” “You sound like a girl.”

My first name is Michael. And I’m a girl. Welcome to my life.

I have had to deal with everything from curiosity and amusement to downright incredulity and hostility over my mis-gendered moniker.

My usual explanation, if they are of the curiously amused sort, is a standard statement: “It was my mom, Jimmy’s idea,” pause for appreciative chuckle, “She didn’t want a ‘Junior’ so they named me after my father.”

Sometimes more questions follow; do you like having a boys name etc etc, but usually the conversation moves on. It’s a great ice breaker, I must admit.

More often than is decent, though, folks will make the most ludicrous comments. It’s amazing how rude people can be at times.

The various statements upon learning my name usually go like this: “I bet your parents wanted a son.” Or, “Did your mom and dad think you were a boy?”

As indicated above, the phone seems to cause the most disorientation for people, because I have been told I sound like a girl numerous times. I am beginning to respond with “I get that a lot.”

I once had a lady from the bank call and ask for “Michael.” When I indicated that I was indeed she, she proceeded to ask me all my identifying information, and ask progressively stupid, rude, and offensive questions. Finally, she said, “But you sound like a girl.” Which I did not dignify with a response. At my silence, she declared, “Well, I cannot talk to you about this account unless I can verify your identity,” mind you, I had confirmed my social, my address, my birth date, phone number, mother’s maiden name, and my DOG’S name, “goodbye.” click

I just shrugged. She had called me.

The absolute worst/best encounter over my name though had to be while I was a sales rep for a certain wireless phone service. This was face to face.

An older… gentleman (I use the term ironically) was asking me questions about several phones and our service. About midway through, he caught sight of my name badge.

“Michael? Your name isn’t Michael.” It was a declaration, not a question.

Smile “Yes sir, my name is Michael.”

Long appraising look up and down my person.

“What sex are you?”

I wish I had a picture of the horrified expressions from my boss and co-workers.

“Sir, if you can’t tell, I’m not telling either.”

perplexed “You’re a girl, right?”

Yes, folks, I am a girl and always have been. Unfortunately, most people are thoughtless, dumb and tactless, and it seems, always will be.

Written as an entry for therealljidol.

LJ Idol Season Six Week Nine: The Better Half: An Equation

January 7, 2010 § 26 Comments

Whole milk, once divided = skim milk + cream. Cream > Skim milk, therefore cream is the better half.

Honey comb = honey + wax (and sometimes unavoidable bee parts.) Honey is way > wax, and so is the undisputed better half.

Oil and vinegar, though easily divided, are > the sum of their parts when together, so there is no better half in this equation.

Peanut butter cups = AWESOME. They are peanut butter + chocolate. When divided, they still = AWESOME. Peanut butter cups have no better half, they are two AWESOME halves multiplied by infinite levels of AWESOMOCITY.

Me + Matt = Elanor. She, like oil and vinegar, is greater than the sum of her parts, though she is non-divisible. Like Peanut butter cups, she does not have a better half, but achieves infinite levels of AWESOMOCITY. Like milk, she makes a complete whole, but is greater than cream, and sweeter than honey.

Her value equals immeasurable joy and untold worth.

LJ Idol Six Week Eight: Reprobate

December 19, 2009 § 25 Comments

Whore. Harlot. Slut. Reprobate.

She knows the words are being whispered behind scandalized hands, though none are said to her face. No words are actually spoken to her, because she is now too low to deserve comment. Only quick glances of disgust and disapproval before narrowed eyes are averted as she walks down the streets of her tiny town. No one will even breathe the same air as her. Except for him.

“It must be his, why else would he agree to marry her still?” she overhears though a window, followed by a loud splat as spittle hits the dirt just in front of her feet.

Tears sting her eyes as the injustice, the unfairness, the horrifying shame of it all threatens to overwhelm her. Shaking her head, she reminds herself that she has nothing to be ashamed of as she rests her groaning joints in the shade of an olive tree, and caresses her growing belly.

She did nothing wrong.

Adulterer. Fornicator. Reprobate.

The ribald comments from the men he works alongside, the glowering glares from the elders and the pain in her father’s face twist like a knife in his heart. He doesn’t know what hurts more, the wicked glee from younger men who used to look up to him as a paragon of virtue– oh how the mighty have fallen!– or the disapproving disgust from his mentors and teachers who doted and exclaimed over their darling pupil when he was growing up.

“I would have turned her out on the streets and called off the marriage directly if it were me.” A customer continues to moralize and pontificate instead of leaving with his wares.

Turning to his woodwork more energetically, he sets his jaw and fiercely reminds himself that he has nothing to be ashamed of.

He did nothing wrong.

Rabble-rouser. Blasphemer. Reprobate.

Shouts, screams, and rough laughter assault his ears through the fog of pain and humiliation. Alone, he awaits the inevitable, having endured the kicks, blows and verbal assaults, the torture and shame of the spectacle and display that he has now become.

“Why don’t you save yourself?” sneers the man beside him.

With painful mercy, he looks down on this angry mob, whom he loves so much. This is what it takes, this is what is required, and he’s the only one who can do it.

Because He did nothing wrong.

LJ Idol Season Six Week 6: Sunrise: Ode to a Friendship

December 5, 2009 § 4 Comments

When I look to the east to observe the sunrise, I think of someone who experienced that rising many hours before me. Someone who epitomizes sunshine, hope and joy. One of my best friends in the whole wide world, Christianna Acabee Whitekettle.

I met Christi…

LJ Idol Season Six Week 1: Empty Gesture

October 21, 2009 § 19 Comments

I am one of those pompous asses that will hit “Reply to All” with a link back to snopes.com in response to erroneous emails forwarded with dire warnings of carjackers, purse snatchers, and dying/missing children in some distant state/territory/country. It is also a pet peeve of mine to receive forwards that lack all logic with such statements as “As soon as I forwarded this email my telephone rang!!!” or, “I hit send and found a winning lotto ticket that same day!!!

I don’t know why I have this compulsion to point out others lack of research, logic, common sense, what have you. After all, they usually do not learn from my remonstrance, and ultimately, it just makes me look like a jerk.

And yet, I persist. I can’t seem to help myself really. It is my vain attempt to bring some semblance of sanity to my inbox.

But resistance, it seems, is futile. The same people continue to send me inane drivel, and I can’t help but suspect that I am merely a name on a mailing list to them. My squeaks of protest, and shakings of my tiny fist do nothing to establish my individuality and personhood to them, nor cause them to reflect on their own emailing habits. It is indeed a fruitless vanity. I should probably give it up.

But I probably won’t.

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