I was watching an episode of Big Bang Theory last night in which Sheldon and Amy were discussing how fast a meme can spread and Sheldon mentions that “Sheldon Cooper’s a smelly pooper spread like wildfire”. Even as I laughed out loud, it got my thinking about my own childhood nickname and while I found it humiliating at the time, it really wasn’t that bad. In fact, it was very creative as nicknames given by elementary school children go.
Sheldon Cooper (the smelly pooper)
I grew up in a small town that was very sports minded. Even as a very young child I was overtly feminine. I loved my ballet class and had very feminine mannerisms. These qualities got me nicknamed Dainty. I didn’t mind being called Dainty. I wore it as a badge of honour. But then came the year I turned 10. It was the mid 1970’s and the big trend in hairstyles was the pyramid perm. All the girls were getting them. My Mom and I went out and got a Toni home perm kit and set to curling my poker straight hair. After the perm rods cam out, what I saw in the mirror wasn’t a pyramid perm. It looked more like this…
Little Orphan Annie
The next day when I went to school, Dainty officially became AFRO DAINTY. Because I was very insecure about the way my hair had turned out, I found this new add on to my existing nickname absolutely humiliating.
When I look back on it now, it was a clever double pun. The reference to the goddess of love was more complimentary than a myriad of other references I can think of. Certainly nothing to be so ashamed of. I’d rather be called Afro Dainty than Smelly Pooper any day of the week. So I guess nicknames, like so much in life, are relative.
Feel free to use the comments section to share your childhood nicknames.
There, I said it and it feels good to get off of my chest. I am now at an age where having them in the future isn’t possible. I have passed the point of no return and it’s a relief.
It seems that lately I am being asked more and more if I have kids. Over the years I have answered that question in a myriad of different ways (from a simple no to a more humorous, no that I know of), depending on who was asking, how they asked and the look of expectation on their face. Usually I try to answer in such a way as not to invite more questions, unfortunately that rarely works.
I don’t understand why people think it’s okay to pry into my reproductive life upon first meeting me. Let me take you on a little trip through a typical conversation upon meeting another woman who does have children.
Her- Do you have kids? (or the alternate, How many kids do you have? because she can’t fathom a grown woman not having any)
Me- No (or none)
Her- Why not?
Me- It just wasn’t in the cards for me. (but I’m thinking, none of your damned business)
Her- You know you can always adopt.
Me- Yes, I know.
Her- Or there’s in vitro, or surrogacy.
Me- Yes, I know.
Her- But you have kids in your life, right? Like Nieces and Nephews?
Then I politely change the subject so as to get that puzzled look off of her face.
I know that it would be more honest to just say I don’t have kids because I don’t want kids, but this seems to invite hostility from women who do have children and there’s no need to push those buttons. Women who are mothers tend to feel that I am somehow negatively judging them if I say I never wanted children. Honestly, I think it’s great that you had kids and that you are loving being a mother. I’m just not that kind of woman, so I chose not to have children.
I don’t like children. Even when I was a child I played with older children. I never played with baby dolls, instead playing with Barbie dolls and dreaming of the day when I would be a big girl. I never dressed my cat up as a baby. I dressed him up as a groom and married him weekly (poor Softie), but that’s another story. I had very little interest in my little brother when he was a baby. The one memory I have of any intrigue I had surrounding babies was when my Mother was breast feeding my brother. I was about 4. I recall just staring and trying to figure it out. Finally I had a eureka moment and said, “I get it! One is for milk and the other is for orange juice!” Even just a couple of years ago, I was walking down the sidewalk and almost tripped over a stroller while I was noticing a cute dog.
I am just not meant to be a Mother, that’s my choice and that’s okay.
I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day. I think it’s a pointless Holiday aimed at selling greeting cards, roses and chocolate hearts. I mean, you don’t even get the day off work. Valentine’s Day excludes single people, or worse, gives them false hope that some secret admirer will turn out to be their soul mate instead of just some creepy stalker. But, in the interest of finding the silver lining, I have assembled a collection of adorable babies, dressed as Cupid that can make even the most cynical among us smile.
I grew up in the Disney era when little girls were taught that, if we were good little girls, someday, our prince would come and rescue us. All the movies of my childhood preached the idea that girls needed a handsome prince to give them a happily ever after. My grandmother used to tell me, “It’s just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor man” over and over again. All this preaching didn’t sink in, however. I was a rebel and the feminist movement was the female voice that was speaking directly to me. I had a long string of relationships with men who were not only, not rich by any means, but not ambitious either. I was the bread winner and the caretaker until I realized I wasn’t getting anything out of the situation, lost all respect for my partner and eventually moved on. I have become the man I want to marry and I never wanted children, so marriage has now become a moot point for me. I firmly believe that marriage is for people who are planning on raising children. But lately I’ve been thinking about the message that society has been sending women about love and marriage.
As I mentioned, the Disney movies of our youth told us to wait for that handsome prince to rescue us. From what? From getting a job, standing on our own two feet and realizing that we are strong enough to take care of ourselves?
I guess there’s a shortage of princes and rich men now because it seems lately the romantic movies are preaching to successful women that we should go for the sweet poor guy rather than the rich guy who’s married to his career. Movies like Sweet Home Alabama, Letters to Juliet, and Leap Year illustrate this message. Of course the message is wrapped in the delusion that it’s only the sweet poor guy who could ever REALLY love you. Don’t rich men have feelings too? Apparently, if we are successful women, we can’t have a successful man because that would throw the earth off it’s axis or something. The movies of today are also telling men that they are spending way too much time working, money is not what’s important and they should be home with their families more. Movies like Liar, Liar and Click illustrate this point.
My question is, if no one is working, who is earning the living that’s needed to raise a family? Kids are expensive. So then we get back to the women should marry rich message again, but that’s bad. If you do that then you’re a gold digger, which is the societal equivalent of being a whore, which is also bad. After all marriage is supposed to be about love, pure love, true love. Scientists have found that this thing we call love is simply a chemical reaction in the brain caused by hormones and neurotransmitters… romantic huh? Maybe my grandmother had it right all along… it is just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as a poor man, when you look at love in terms of hormones and neurotransmitters.
Let’s go back to the gold digger label for a moment. It used to be that women sought out a good provider to mate with so that their children would be well taken care of. These women weren’t called gold diggers, they were called smart. Now that so many women are a success in their own right, they are looked down upon for seeking out a good provider. In my opinion, gold diggers are getting a bad rap. In the movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Marilyn Monroe has a great little speech where she defends herself against the accusation of being a gold digger. “Don’t you know, that a man being rich is like a girl being pretty? You wouldn’t marry a girl just because she’s pretty, but, my goodness, doesn’t it help? And if you had a daughter, wouldn’t you rather she didn’t marry a poor man? You’d want her to have the most wonderful things in the world and to be very happy. Well, why is it wrong for me to want those things?”
So, which is it? Do we marry for love, marry for money, make our own money and marry for love, marry for money then force our hard working husband to spend less time working or just say to hell with it all and try to find happiness no matter what it looks like?
In this blog I will make the argument that the folks on ALL sides of this event are showing their stupidity. Let me begin with the aforementioned Ms. Grey. It should be noted that I am not anti porn in any way. I consider myself a sex positive feminist, from the old school of feminism that believes a woman should embrace her sexuality, not be vilified for it. I do not judge Ms. Grey for her former profession, only for her behavior in this instance. As a former porn star she should know that society will not want her in direct contact with children unless they are her own. While I applaud her wanting to volunteer for a worthy cause, she picked the wrong one. If, however, she had gone into that classroom, read the story and left without feeling the need to be validated through tweeting about her good deed, chances are, we and the children’s parents never would have heard about this situation. But, then Ms. Grey would not have had the publicity she so sorely desires. I am so sick of women playing the victim, especially when it’s obvious that they cast themselves in the role. Oh, look at the poor former porn star, she’s not allowed to do anything good without being reminded of all the bad she’s done. It was stupid of her to tweet about reading to elementary school children under her performing name to all of her porn fans (and TMZ). What I really want to know is who took the pictures of her in the classroom? Can you say Publicist?
Then there’s the school who claimed, when pressed, that Ms. Grey was never there. Could it be because she was there under her non-porn name and they just didn’t put two and two together (not EVERYONE watches porn after all)? Could it be because they wanted to avoid the inevitable shit-storm from the parents? Or maybe they thought that if they denied it, no one could ever possibly prove otherwise. Enter Twitter and TMZ. Denial was possibly the most stupid route to take in this drama. Who do they think they are, politicians?
Now to the outraged parents. The collective complaint here seems to be that their innocent little angels were subjected to the horror that is being in the same room with a lady who read to them. Let’s face facts, in the moment, all these kids were aware of was that some lady was reading to them. It’s the parents who have made this an issue that they now have to explain to their kids, by voicing their outrage. And we all know how parents hate having to talk to their kids about sex. How do you explain pornography to a 6-year-old? This is a question the parents should have asked themselves before reacting emotionally. If they had just left well enough alone, then these little children would not have had to know the meaning of the word pornography and why the pretty lady with the long brown hair was a bad person. These parents in their stupidity are just breeding more hate and playing right into the hands of Ms. Grey and her quest for fame (or, in this case, infamy) through victimization.