Saturday, June 23, 2007

code pink

During the years I was popping out babies, I always hoped there would be a girl in there somewhere by the time I was done. This desire was based on lots of notions that may or may not be true, but I really hoped, each time that EPT turned blue, that there would an innie at the end of nine months instead of an outie. And as we know, it just wasn't meant to be. I reside in Boyville, a run-down suburb of Testerone Town, where the air is permanently filled with the funky smell of wet toilet seats and well-hidden science experiments. There is no pink in my house unless it's mine, and when my kids misbehave I tell them to expect a Malibu Barbie playset for their next birthday as penance. Works like a charm.

And the thing's okay. It really is. Somehow, over the years, the need for a daughter has gone away. I adore my stinky boys, no matter how much I bitch about them, and am grateful every day of my life that I have them around. I can overlook that sometimes when I'm removing forbidden dirty dishes from bedrooms, and listening to the repetitive whap whap whap of a soccer ball against the wall for hours on end, and when I'm being forced to watch people get to new levels of video games I don't give a rat's ass about and pretending to look interested. It really is okay with me that I don't have a girl.

Part of it is seeing what's going on with my friends and family who do have girls. It really is a different world out there and I'm not sure I'm cut out for it. I have a couple of surrogate daughters I can borrow for a few hours when the mood strikes, but when the estrogen levels get too high I can just send them on their way. I'm well schooled in boy drama, but girl drama, even though I am one, confuses me.

We've had a run of attempted suicides at work the last few weeks and they've all been girls. Girls who have broken up with their boyfriends or been dissed by a "best friend" or wanted badly to get their parent's attention somehow. Beautiful, intelligent, well-loved girls. Girls who come in on stretchers in a blare of sirens. Girls who are unconscious while their hysterical parents stand at the bedside and give police reports. We haven't had one succeed yet, but it's always in the back of my mind, taunting me. Most of the time they aren't even awake when we ship them to ICU or, god help me, peds, but I just want to shake them and ask them what the hell they were thinking. I at least want to share my personal mantra with them, maybe even at the top of my lungs...

There is no man on Earth worth dying for unless you gave birth to him. Period. If you don't have children (or sons) feel free to delete the second half of the sentence and I still stand by it. We had a grown woman with four small children come in OD'd with a note that thanked her cheating husband for finally giving her a reason to kill herself. WTF? This is how you pay him back? I believe in the Roseanne Barr theory - Stay alive and really make 'em suffer. Or here's a a dignified human being and get on with your life. Model that behavior for your kids. I'm not saying that all females get sucked into this destructive behavior, that's not my point at all. It's the internalization of feelings vs. the externalization that I'm talking about.

Now I'm the first to admit that I've never had a girl patient come in saying she'd been hit with a baseball bat because her friends wanted to see if it would hurt. Never had a girl patient cut by broken glass when she tied a brick to ceiling fan blades to see what would happen. Never once had a girl patient who ate a lit pack of matches on a dare. But we get a lot of boys (and very often men, sadly enough) who seem to think this is all par for the course. And while I think they're idiots I have enough boy experience to almost understand the thought process (or lack thereof).

But the girl drama? I just don't get it. At all.


pursegirl said...

This girl drama thing, I have come to believe, is evidence of true differences between women and men. Girls, most at least, are guided by emotion. That does not make us weak, it just makes us in tune to what we really feel. Men cannot conceptualize this- which is why they blame our emotions on menstruation, pregnancy, and later in life, menopause. This is also evidence enough for me that if god exists, he is male. No female would bless men with such self justifying rationales. Girls can reach such amazing heights of emotion that it is scary. I might as well go write my own blog about this. You've got me going now. Funny enough, when I was growing up, I dreamed of having 4 kids- all boys!!!

Angela said...

I LOVE that part where you threaten your boys with a Malibu Barbie for misbehaving. I couldn't stop laughing at the thought! I totally agree with pursegirl when she stated that women are guided by emotion. And with that in mind I had always wondered if men actually do have feelings or just react/respond based on what damage has been done to their ego.

Jen said...

I have a girl, and I worry about all of the things she's going to have to deal with. I've been through so much girl drama myself, I don't want her to go through it, either. I'd like for her to be stronger and more independent than I was when I was young. Unfortunately, since we're alot a like, I'm pretty sure she won't listen to anything I say!

Happy in the Abyss said...

As the mother of an-almost-13 year girl who is constantly thinking she should diet and 2 2-year old girls...I am scared shitless. Scared that they will experience the heartache that I remember. That history is always bound to repeat itself, no matter how hard we try to make it not so. I am however, raising a son who has some respect for women.

But, Hell...he's only 6!

Just.Me said...

Found you from Rising Blogger. Congrats! I am the mother of a 15 yr old girl. I won't go into all the details here, however, I will tell you that at 13 she cut herself (not suicidal...just to take the pain away) due to unrequited love. It was crazy. To my knowledge that is the only time she did it. I can't tell you how much worry having a teenage daughter causes. She got her period at 10 and every month I am thankful when she gets it. She's not allowed to date, but I can't be with her every minute.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Fabulous dwahling.

Love it.

And the code words onthese old posts are hilarious.

So far I've had 'johhg', 'karhlag' and the winner, 'kohvpoo'.
Anything with the word 'poo' in it is a winner in my books.