You know that your loved ones understand you when…
J: Hey, can I ask you a question that might make you go “grrrrrrrrrarrgh!!”?
Me: Yeah, go on then. It’ll do me good to have something to growl about.
J: Guess how much a bunch of roses is, two days before Valentine’s day?
Me: How many roses?
J: Probably twelve.
Me: Oh, at least £15.
J: Wow, not bad – they’re actually £19.50. But I could buy ten wooden ones for £1, if I wanted. Actually, I’m kind of tempted.
Me: Well, they’d last longer.
J: Shall I buy some?
Me: Sure, they can go with my fake sunflower.
J: What colours?
Me: What, they’ve got colours that aren’t red or pinkI?
Me: GAY PRIDE ROSES!!!!
J: *laughs* Ok.
Me: And lots of purple!
I think this can only improve the decor of my living room. And at least I can’t kill them like I killed the evil potplant.
A more substantial post will happen at some point, but in the meantime, have this snippet of wisdom from J:
J: You know how we were talking about stereotypes? Well, I went to get some things from Boots and the woman there was convinced I was getting them for my wife.
Me: Oh? And what were they?
J: Moisturiser and nail polish remover. I didn’t have the heart to tell her they were for Mum.
Me: *laughing* Well, they wouldn’t do me much good, would they?! [I bite my nails quite severely, and am allergic to most skin products]
J: You might use the nail polish remover.
Me: I don’t have nails to use them on!
J: Well, of course you wouldn’t use it on your nails! I just thought you might use it to destroy things with.
Because I am a wind-up merchant, occaisionally I have conversations with J that go something like this:
Me: Hey, I had a thought.
Me: Well, you don’t want to divorce me, right?
J: Um, no…
Me: Well, I’ve worked out a way to make sure that your odds of divorcing me are zero.
Me: Don’t marry me. As soon as you do, you’ve got a 45% chance of divorcing me by the time we’re 50.*
J: Bloody statisticians.
*This argument, admitedly, would work better if J didn’t like a pointless bet every once in a while.
On an entirely different note, today I roasted a whole chicken all by myself, and it is definitely cooked properly and smells yummy. (I got a bit enthusiastic with the lemon.) I am very proud though, as I’ve never done it before. I’m having some for dinner tonight and the remains will no doubt haunt the rest of my week as I try to work out how many reincarnations of the same meat you can actually eat.
Recently, in Rachland:
J: Well, to be honest, I’m still a bit disappointed that you’re not taking my name.
Me: Huh. To be honest, I’m still very disappointed that you’re not taking mine.
It is for reasons like this that I suspect we will just have to live in sin. Imagine trying to plan a wedding with those kinds of conversational snippets. Perhaps I shall have a housewarming instead. God knows there’s more to celebrate about owning your own home than there is to celebrate about rampant displays of heteronormativity. And besides, at the moment at least, home repossesion is less likely than divorce. Hurrah!
(One article in the Guardian from February says that “1 in 290 borrowers had their home repossessed in the fourth quarter of last year”, and another, from last year, says that “The Office for National Statistics (ONS) found 45% of marriages will end in divorce before a couple’s 50th anniversary if 2005 rates continue”.)
Last night, J said something so mind-bogglingly mad that I immediately retorted, “I’m blogging that!”
Unfortunately, my memory is shite, and I can’t for the life of me work out what he might have said. It was probably about the female reproductive system, since I’m on my period and grumpy with it, but more than that, I cannot say.
This, sadly, means that the only thing I have to entertain you with is the exchange that shows me in a pretty foolish light:
Me: *tells half of a story I’d read about a tampon getting lost*
J: *goes off on tangent*
Me: Shit, I’ve completely lost my thread, damn you…
J: *laughs hysterically*
Me: *glares over the phone, tries not to laugh*
On a somewhat related note, I keep trying to get J blogging. I’ve come to the conclusion that I just want to live online vicariously through him, because my offerings at the altar of Blogland have been distinctly fluffy of late. In my defense, not only am I posting at least twice a week for the Sheffield Fems, but ordinary life leaves me with precious little time, and the stress of ordinary life leaves me with precious little inclination to put my feminist glasses on. It all just gets too depressing, and gives me headaches. Or bouts of murderous rage. Still, at least my weekend news-surfing means I do have some inclination of what is going on in the country. This is probably a good thing.
One of the downsides about being engaged to a man who sells jewellery is that sometimes he forgets how much I’m not interested in it. This is not to say that I don’t like colourful or twinkly things – that would be silly! – just that I don’t really care what it’s made from, as long as it doesn’t irritate my skin. Bear in mind, my skin can be irritated by aqueous cream and E45, two products specifically designed for sensitive skin. So the irritation thing is a reasonable concern. The relative shininess of platinum as compared to silver really isn’t.
Now, J and I both wear engagement rings. Which is to say, anybody who sees his left hand assumes that he’s already married, because in the eyes of the patriarchy, it is always and only the woman who should carry the symbol of ownership – formerly wedding rings, and now, since mens’ wedding rings have become common, engagement rings.
The other day, wedding rings came up in conversation. Since one of the things that irritates J is me quoting his own arguments at him verbatim, I try to make a point of doing so every so often, and this provided me with the perfect opportunity:
J: Lots of the men I speak to at work get that look. The one that says, “I’m paying silly money for my girlfriend’s ring, and she’s not paying for anything for me”. And then I speak to them about watches. And their faces light up.
Me: The joys of equality – now everybody has to give you their money!
J: Well… I was thinking… Everybody thinks that this [points at his ring] is a wedding band, and I’d only have to move it to my right hand. So maybe you just shouldn’t buy me a wedding band.
Me: Hmm. Well, I was thinking, everybody thinks that this [points at my ring] is a wedding ring, and I’d only have to move it to my right hand. So maybe you just shouldn’t buy me a wedding ring either.
J: *looks disappointed*
Me: *light dawns* Oh! You wanted a new watch, didn’t you?! You thought that you could buy me another ring I don’t need and I could buy you another watch that you don’t need!
J: *looks shifty*
Me: How much?
J:…. £1,000… ish…
Me: *laughs hysterically*
J: No wedding rings, then?
I would like to point out here that my life is made considerably more entertaining by J’s presence. In a good way. And I’m very relieved, to be honest, that we won’t be thinking about any more pointless jewellery. Being many things, but mainly an impoverished maths student, I can’t help but note that the money that would have bought the watch J wanted would have paid for 40 week’s worth of food for me – an academic year’s worth, in other words. That kind of thing makes me want to gibber in a corner.
(J now has his own blog, which he has promised will not make him sound like a whinging emo git. I checked this. He told me it was “delicately put”.)
You know how sometimes, if you say things often enough, people latch on to the idea?
Like the way my father and his friends talked about money all day to my uncle when they were away on a cycling holiday, and then that night my uncle said, in his sleep “big cheques are the worst when you have to write them”.
So, anyway, one of the things I say often, and usually in tones of great disgust, is “if you can’t tell me what a calorie is, you shouldn’t be counting them.”
Well. J called me today to tell me that one of his managers was going on a diet. The conversation went something like this:
J: [manager]‘s on a diet.
R: Well, tell her the BBC said she’ll get flu AND DIE!!!
J: I can’t, I’ve already told her that she can’t count calories unless she can tell me what they are.
R: [laughs like a fool] And could she?
J: Um… well, you know how when you’re not quite sure about what you’re saying, and it works better if you believe it than if you don’t?
J: Yeah, she didn’t really believe it. She tried to tell me that they were like… little… balls… of fat….
R: Hmm. Do you know what they are?
J: Well, you know how when you’re not quite sure about what you’re saying….
J:…. a little thing… a unit… of energy…???
R: Yay! [pauses] But you still can’t go on a diet.
R: According to the BBC, you’ll get flu, AND DIE!!!!
The whole diet-in-winter=flu=death vs diet-in-summer=sexaaaay thing is bothering me somewhat, as anybody who’s been on the Sheffield Fems site recently will be able to testify. Not that I’m gratuitously self-referencing at all.
So, I was at a housing fair today, collecting leaflets, free pens and chocolate.
It’s November, but apparently house-hunting season is already on for next July.
As I went round the stalls, I was talking to a number of different people about the options they might have for couples.
Specifically, I told them that “my partner will hopefully be coming to live with me”.
And they all, to a person, responded by referring to J as “he”.
Some people who read this will know that J – the partner – is indeed male. But I didn’t tell them that. And my hands were covered by the sleeves of my hoodie – no sign of any ring to help them in their assumptions.
It was infuriating me by the time I left the fair – and they weren’t even wrong. I don’t want to begin to think of how angry I’d be if J had been a woman.
Although, I wonder how I would have felt if they’d refered to J as “she” instead. Would it have been better or worse than if they’d called J “he”, and if J had been a woman?
They would have still assumed my sexual orientation, or the gender of my partner, or both, and they would still have got it wrong.
I don’t know. I just know that having J’s gender assumed so constantly in conversation made me very uncomfortable. Why couldn’t they have just referred to him, like I did, by saying “your partner”?
Yesterday, I went to see my sister at her uni. Mum brought my brother up and we all went to have pizza. So far, so normal. Until….
Sister: “I bet J’s glad you’re in a flat with all girls”
Me (thinking that she means, ‘so he can ogle’): *glare* “no”
Sister: “no, not like that, just, you know, because there aren’t any guys there…”
Me (getting that she means ‘so there’s no competition’): “well, that doesn’t stop me coming on to the girls, does it?”
Mum: “….. are we talking theoretically here…?”
Me: “um…. no….”
Mum: “so, are you trying to say that J is a woman?”
Mum (thinks about this for a while): “oh…..”
Me: “anyway…. what are your flatmates like?”
For the record, I am not coming on to any of my flatmates. That would be strange.