Secret Pop

Apr 28, 2005

I think my father was planning to name me Daniel Patrick. Or Matthew something.

I sometimes feel like I am more of a boy than a girl. I don't mean physically. No. Physically, I am soft and girly with an impressive hip-to-waist ratio. I was never good at sports. My voice is high-pitched and thin. I have very little body hair. Don't have to shave my legs as often as magazines would make you think a girl should. My skin is smooth, and I don't really have to put lotion on it with any regularity. Physically, I'm as girly as they come. Except in the sense that I am much stronger than I look, and I don't like to ask for help, so I've moved an entire chest of drawers down a flight of stairs by myself when there were four other people in the house. I'm a girl with something to prove. And I never complain about pain that comes from vanity. I wear excellent shoes, and I will not disparage them by saying how much my feet hurt. I wear high heels to Comic-Con. I am vain and impractical (girl) but occasionally very stoic and tough as nails (boy?). And I go to Comic-Con (dork).

I am tender and sensitive. Very sentimental. I cry easily, but I try to keep it quiet. I am nervous and shy sometimes. I get embarrassed constantly. I buy everything I like. I like to spoil people. I am thoughtful and considerate. I pay very close attention. I believe in please and thank you. I can sew a little bit. I can cook just about anything. I remember things in absurd detail. I like to look pretty all the time. And I believe it's possible to do so. I like to pretend that bodily functions are unnecessary and never take place. I love to be clean, and I shower or bathe every day. Sometimes more than once. I always remember what I was wearing.

But there are many ways I am like a boy. I think about having sex with every man I meet. Correction. Every man I see. Even the gross ones. Even if only in passing. I'm not saying I want to have sex with all of them or that I will. I'm just saying I think about it. I think about it as casually as I sometimes think, "I wonder what it would feel like to get hit in the face with a brick." I don't get offended by things or grossed out or indignant. I don't think there are things you shouldn't say. I am totally cool with pornography, and I miss the days when it was secret and forbidden and rare enough that it was actually thrilling to find it. I stayed awake in church by thinking about sex the entire time. I am not exaggerating. I usually don't exaggerate. Nor do I generalize. I try to solve people's problems. I am an excellent driver. I give (and prefer to receive) compass directions. I am attracted to things that challenge me. This includes people. I don't care that much about variety. I don't prefer symmetry. I'm not fond of cats. I grow tired of children. I like to have a lot of time to myself. I like action figures more than Barbie dolls, and I like vehicles more than action figures. I don't mind if people want to eat in front of the television. I am assertive in customer service situations. I am an extravagant tipper. I prefer to be the one who drives. I am impatient and can't tolerate being driven by people who aren't in a terrible hurry. I check out women's breasts. I like hard liquor and hot dogs and not washing dishes right away. And I can drink more than most of the people I know without really letting on. I keep my feelings to myself much of the time. I like to be calm and rational when I'm talking about important things. I curse extravagantly and appreciate others who subscribe to this art. I like to say incredibly inappropriate things. I am merciless and competitive and not interested in looking at wedding dresses. I love science fiction. I would rather be Han Solo than Princess Leia.

I can read a map. I can change my own oil (though I always pay someone else to do it for me). I don't make chit chat. I don't like people making a big fuss over me. I punch people too hard when I'm trying to be playful. I don't like magazines for women. I don't like gossip. I don't like Valentine's Day. I think romance is overrated. No one has ever written me a poem I liked. Unless it was funny. And I make friends with boys much more easily than with girls. Most girls try my patience. Most girls don't want to be friends with me, and this has been true my entire life. I am funny. Most girls are not. And the ones who are are often a lot like me. Funny has a gender-bending quality, I guess.

There is no science to this. I'm not saying there's anything wrong or that I need to consider going in for some sort of pre-operative consultation. I'm fine being the kind of guy I am. I just realize that it keeps me out of certain cliques and gets me into others. I am terribly clumsy, but I can walk in higher heels than you can imagine. I will sit on the ground in a skirt. And I'll bet I would look awesome smoking a cigar. Maybe I'm a conundrum.

And I realize that I started this as an inane exercise, and I'm sure someone will think I'm subscribing to stereotypes. And I totally don't care. I am excited about The Hitchhiker's Guide, and that has rekindled my love of the instruction that certain people should go stick their heads in a pig. Maybe this is all just something to say.

I ended up Mary Katherine. And that's neither here nor there.

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