I feel like a jaded, cynical old lady who should be chain smoking on a patio somewhere with cats milling about as I shake my head in amusement and disgust while I play solitaire and ignore the results of my years of missed appointments for pedicures and root touchups. I’m 34 years old. I’m too young to be this jaded and cynical.
Picture me at an uber-fancy baby shower in Orange County. It’s at a country club (because having a baby shower at a home is so pedestrian) and I’m in a corner by myself eating cake pops (because cupcakes are so 2010). I’m one of the few ladies at the event who eats food, let alone carbs, so I basically can eat pops until I pop.
The mommy-to-be hasn’t announced the sex of her baby prior to the baby shower. We were all lured there, in part, by “the thrill of being the first to know.”
“Gather round, girls,” the event’s hostess shouts, using her perfectly ombre-manicured hands to form a peachy-pink megaphone. “It’s time for the big reveal. We’re going to announce the baby’s gender now!”
A sea of shellacked sorority sisters squeal and shuffle to their seats.
“You can’t announce the gender, you don’t know the gender yet, you won’t know that for years and years. You know the sex of the baby. You’re announcing that your baby either has a penis or a vagina. You have no idea what you could be in for as far as gender is concerned,” I think to myself as I stuff another cake pop into my mouth, stabbing the inside of mouth in the process. Karma.
I’m the lone brunette, the lone eater, standing in the corner, growing into a crusty old broad.
“IT’S A BOY!!!!!” the mom-to-be and hostess shout simultaneously as they open the lid of an enormous box and helium-filled blue balloons float towards the ceiling signaling the high hopes they have for their boy, who they assume will grow into a man and a lover of women.
“IT HAS A PENIS!!!!!!” I think to myself as I picture helium-filled, penis-shaped balloons filling the room and bonking the classy, hopeful women in their heads as they rise erectly to the rafters. I bet they haven’t even considered that it may be a boy on the outside who feels like a girl on the inside or a boy who is a lover of boys.
The blue balloons hang over the room decorated in yellow. I try not to look up.
My life used to be that simple. I used to think that a person’s sex and gender were one in the same. I know better now. Even growing up with a gay brother, a card-carrying member of the LGBTQ community, I didn’t fully comprehend the possible separation of sex and gender until C.J. came along and got all gender nonconforming on us. I’ve learned that you don’t always get what you expect when you’re expecting.
I try to adjust my attitude. I have to adjust my attitude. For the majority of my friends, if their baby is boy he will like boy toys, the color blue, sports and the such. I have to let them revel in their uneducated presumptions and be happy for them. A baby is something to be happy about. It’s part of my family’s process to not allow ourselves to get jaded and cynical. We have to celebrate and support every person’s individual journey. Sometimes you have to let go of your issues in order rejoice with and for someone else. Let go of your issues, grab a cake pop and watch out for penis-shaped balloons.