Gender and Appendicitis. Genderitis.

For a while now, you can custom define your gender in your social media profiles. Humans are no longer just “female” or “male”.  This is what I learned this morning, poking around my facebook backstage looking for the “blocked” list while contemplating who I’m about to un-connect because I have no idea who they are (or how we know each other).

My eyebrows raised at “Gender Fluid” as an option.  Is that the distant cousin of ‘Social Lubricant’?  It sounds like a hip bar drink.  With vodka and pheromones, two cherries and a twist of something not citrus.  Maybe irony or independence.  If so, I may reconsider scowling about Happy Hour and jump on the new-and-improved gender party jitney. There are several interesting choices, many of which are well outside my sphere of comprehension, but I accept them all. Who am I to judge?

I feel so plain.  Just plain ol’ female – no bells nor whistles, no snap-on parts or renovated bits – not like some newer models.  Or rebuilt models.  I have had two surgeries – both necessary and emergent, none cosmetic:  a c-section to delivery Loinfruit in 1998, and an interval appendectomy in 2010.  “Interval” refers to the space between ruptured appendix undetected for three months (I thought it was just an annoying ovarian cyst so I blew it off and went on with my business.  For almost four months.) + level of septic gunk in my abdominal cavity remedied by a full week in hospital on heavy-duty antibiotics and other pharms.  Since I was sick to the point of “you could have DIED!” (I was totally clueless about that, by the way, until the head of Infectious Diseases came and stood at the end of the hospital bed, my chart in hand, and screamed that at me in my medicated fog).  Gee, thanks.  Once my body was healthy (took six months), they went in and removed the appendix (which had resealed and was starting to do more bad things).  TMI, I know.

There were moments, mostly in my 20’s, I spent thinkering about gender and what it actually means – and the problems gender causes when not handled or understood.  While friends came out, other friends morphed while other friends hetero-paired or coupled and families ensued.  Everyone can divorce, everyone can fall in love, everyone should be able to create a family in whatever manner they are able, as long as no one is hurt in the process.  Pretty simple.  So, does it really really matter what we call ourselves as long as we are good, kind and reasonably sane?

Were it ever an option, there are days I’d select “Female Impersonator” as my gender.  Shadows of my younger self ghost in and out of my body and once in a while the mirror. But that’s about as far as I’d go. Ever the homebody, I’m fine being an average, ordinary, plain builder-grade female. Plus, my equipment doesn’t need an owner’s manual. (Many men will argue this point to a shred, of course.)

Happy gendering!

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