2 Jul

Bruce, you say you are happy now that you are a woman. From a woman, let me tell you most of us women go through our lifetimes unable to say that.

Beyond the esteem thing many of us struggle with, there is a lot more to being a woman than putting on a short skirt and heels. That is not being a woman, there is more.

A 65 year old man wearing a dress and assuming a new identity, bypassed what we girls go through, the night sweats, bloating and menopausal weight gain.

Our twins have tumlbed beneath our equator to our knees. The hand we reach out to pick groceries off the shelf belongs to someone else. How can all those wrinkles be explained away. The brown spots, continue to appear exponentially. One day all those dots will be connected shaping out to look like the Statue of Liberty even Iceland.

We watch men grow old and get called gorgeous. We get old, we get called Bella Abzugs, Golda Meir or just, “ma’am.” The bags under our eyes are big enough to carry change in. That wreck of a neck looks hangs more like a turkey’s than we care to admit. All of that beauty product, we paid hard earned dollars for, doesn’t come with money back guarantees. The ‘they’ who market it know we will believe anything and pay top dollar for hope. The only thing that will ever make us look younger is standing next to someone a lot older than us.

As women we had a long time friend. We named our visitor, George. Before we were tweens we couldn’t wait for George to arrive. When George arrived it was usually at the most inopportune time and place while we were wearing light colors and in public. We had no idea for how long, every month, or how long in our life that George would stay in our lives. We knew one thing. It wasn’t a quiceaneras, communion or bat mitzvah that made us a women. It was George.

Oh yes, along with George came odors and options over pads, tampons. And boobs. Guys stopped talking to our face. Their eyes would drop to our twins.

We would spend time in store aisles trying to interpret which was our best choice of pads or tampons. There never was a best choice. The choice would disappoint at the most inopportune time and place. All the odor eating parfumed product in the world could not convince us the ‘they’ could smell us coming. And standing up? Well, we had to learn to camouflage dress. yYou know that jacket or sweater that would drop far enough to cover up red, just in case. There was also the nonchalantly, casually glancing side and back to the chair, just in case George let his presence be known. This is something we women knew as an artform. You won’t.

Cramps? Nothing like runners cramps you might have experienced as an Olympian. Cramps so crippling, for some, they could not even get out of bed.

There was also a sisterhood we shared amongst our friends. Darned if it wasn’t uncanny that George would come visit us all, in time, at the same time, month after month after month until George stopped coming. That is when we began to feel old and liberated at the same time.

George gone meant menopause arrive. We were no longer able to procreate, a double edged emotional sword. Realities settle in.

Our bellies never got quite back to where they were before the kids were birthed. Our hips are so wide we would block traffic on the 95. Most of women still haven’t got past the mentality of travelling in herds. Someone had the bright idea now is our time to embrace the color purple. I hate purple. I want to wear the same clothes you do.

So as women, out of frustration we eat. And with eating, comes wrong foods that work on our systems differently from men. Some food references mean something very different to us than they will to you. Cottage cheese? No, not the kind bought in the store. To us women, it is something you know it when you got it. As for cranberry juice, it is yet another girl thing to drink to combat things girls get.

As women we are science experiments for doctors and nurse practitioners. And targets of medico-s harping products, some that injure in ways count your blessings you cannot experience. You wont ever feel the shame of a doctor diagnosis, “Women your age…” I.U.D. is doctor code for I.E.D. making some women explode with cysts where there were non before. Nor will you know feeling blessed to have dodged the uterine bullet of complications from refusing surgery to put that darn thing in a hammock sling.

The best we women had to look forward to was ‘accept our outside because it is our inside that counts.’ Or, ‘beauty is only skin deep’ that’s why you spend hours with a team in front of a mirror dolling up. “Tuck” is something we cannot do making your teeny mini look we our version of penis envy. There’s plenty I would love to tuck, but it spills over, it seeps out. As much as I try to cage the beast, its busts borders, my ya-ya pours past.

With you wearing designer duds up to your kazoo, we real women lost our equal playing field we hated women on. We could brush off Andy Cohen’s “Real Housewives” franchise excusing their plastic surgery as something we would ‘never do’ or if we did, ‘we would do a life transformative choice maybe ending up looking like Christie Brinkley or you. As a guy you look stunning as a woman at 65. Plastic surgery isn’t my cup of tea. If the girls dangle even more, I will flip them over my shoulder shawl style to stay warm while I battle off cupcakes and blonde brownies salesgirls try to convince me the calories wont stick. I fell for that line once way back when pulling out was a fable innocent girls fell for. After all, we trusted men with poker faces. And then, 9 months later…..

Mattel once did a toy test giving girls the trucks and boys the Barbies. The girls dolled up the trucks. The boys shot each other dead with their given dolls. There is a taste, sorta like a taste test, a test. I wont describe it to you now but if you dare, I will subject you to the test in person. It is a test of tastes itself, something all women do, regardless of culture or zipcode. The choice is yours, literally. What you choose will determine if you got enough in ya’ to claim title as Real Woman or just dig your daughters’ and stepdaughters tastes in clothes. Who wouldn’t.

So there you go, Bruce. I get it about wanting to look like a woman. We want that too except you changed the benchmark we grew accustomed to …. us. As a real woman Bruce, I really don’t hate you, I just hate that you didn’t get to live more like me… though would love the Pat Field’s clutch, babe…

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