like branding cattle. | March 30, 2011

From as young as I can remember to about nine years old, on occasion my sister would dress like a man and present herself to me as someone I didn’t know. Before I could say that I knew it was my sister my mother would whisper to my whole family that my sister had me convinced she was a strange man. They named her persona “Bill” and I would play along. Like Santa and the Easter bunny, I was never actually fooled, but I played along. My mother would even create a narrative for us and say that I was falling for Bill, that he was my boyfriend. My sister was only about eleven or younger dressed in an oversized flannel with fishing boots and a trucker hat. She often looked confused too, but we played along. Her hair balled up under her cap she lowered her voice and tried to think of something clever. I think back to those memories and wonder how much eye contact we made. I feel we must have avoided it. With the memories come hot flashes of embarrassment and the reflex of quick movements, how much of our behavior is unconscious panic? When our eyes connect we are placed in a position of being forced to be honest and when you can’t tell what honest is panic sets in. “Bill” was a lesson in playing along. How appropriate that it was women huddled around a girl emulating a man and all the good girls played along. “Bill” was a lesson in men, perhaps based on unfounded, inaccurate curriculum, but the lesson was learned. Like branding cattle, the lesson was learned. Men are an illusion women play along to; a facade of grunting strength and rough steps.

There are some different examples coming up in my life these days though. There are men that don’t act. There are men that don’t encourage women to play along… and there are women in my life that WILL NOT play along and are all the more sexy for it.  After all, no one likes cattle people.


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    Mother Lover. <3

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