Long story here, short story now.
Lower left hand (not lower stage left. As in, lower left hand like the hand I don’t use to write) wisdom tooth has been coming in super slow for years. Decides one steamy July eve to begin what I can only call “bumpin”. As in aches, throbs, irritations, and the kind of you-know-what that makes me want to rip it out myself. It’s just one, not all four. The one on the right has been cutting too, but the left one has been the cutter with mild teething irritation for years in my late 20s.
So yeah, pain upgrades and I go see a dentist. Not my first, but the one who says “all four come out” vs “let’s see how it goes”. At the time of “Let’s see”, I was 28 and it wasn’t bothering me. I am 30, have an appointment on the 8th for gas and removal, and I’ve been taking two 650 mg pain killers every 5-7 hours since two weeks ago. I’m trading that in for soft food, upright sleep, and PLEASE PLEASE SOMETHING ABOVE 650 MG. Vicodin, yes?
None are infected or impacted, so that’s good.
I was already broke, but now I’m going to be even more broke, and called myself posting a fundraiser to help with the cost of my limited food regimen and medical apparatus I need, but people are better at signal boosting than…helping. Which is better than no boosts at all, and none of them owe me, but I’m seriously about to be out of 1 to 2k of bucks of money I already don’t have. Scared ain’t the half of it.
…From a Boomer to a Millennial, About Marriage
So while my body has been jolting me awake at 4AM to rinse and repeat the song and dance of food and pill, my brain has been mulling over this super sexist idea my dad came up with/believes about women who are unmarried at a certain age. I’m 30, past my 20s, and probably looking into my crazy cat lady and poetry life as we speak, so it GOT to me. I’m also a liberated womanist, so it DOUBLY got to me, because my “All-American Raised” dad has this idea that any woman over 40 who isn’t married/has never been married has something wrong with her.
I get it. He was born in 1953 like a day after Lucille Ball’s son. So this whole idea of motherhood, wifehood, home maker-hood, and any other hood you can throw has been hard-wired into his head. For crap’s sake, digital media and digital apparatus have been singed into mine since the late 80’s, and Nintendo and Sony could wipe me clean if selling organs got me games. I get it. All generations have their….thing.
I get into this (respectable) debate with him about it all the time. I’M not married. With my luck with men and women, I might not even have a life partner. So what is he saying about MY potential future as a single woman? Some people don’t want to get married. Some people just…never do. There’s nothing wrong with them. A lot of people also have attitude problems that carry over, no matter WHAT kind of relationship they’re in. But the human experience shouldn’t be dwindled down and demeaned into this…thing where not being married–and this is usually geared at women–is a huge red flag.
He always refers to my cousin and her friend, his ex. And yes they are both the most flashy cops you’ll ever meet in Chicago, but they are also on their own terms sexually and relationship wise. My cousin’s friend wasn’t a match for dad because she likes to spend more than she makes. Which is…her problem, not his. My cousin is on an adjacent boat, but her “problem” is that she doesn’t keep a man “or know how to”, and I’m like….
What if she doesn’t want to? What if she has seen what marriage is like/can be, and decided that having fun is better than the risk?
What I hate is that dad is all “do you want to die alone”, and of course nobody does. But if marriage isn’t a part of my future, would you rather I force it? I could still be married and end up alone. I really don’t think there is anything wrong with being unmarried or just having a partner. And that’s not necessarily a “Millennial thing”. I’m tired of THAT, too. Everything free and liberal has to be “our thing” because we don’t follow the rules, like the Gex X folks followed all of them.
I guess it makes me mad/upset because it makes me feel like yeah, there is something wrong with me if I never get married. That all the things people like about me don’t mean anything, and that there is, again, this force that won’t allow closeness of any kind. I would be the exception in my dad’s eyes because I’m young (ish), and his kid. Yet facing all my old school friends and internet friends who ARE with someone, the idea of “something is wrong” is already there. Hearing it from a figure I admire just….makes it worse.
But then again he could be internally worried. He’s a Capricorn. Having him admit anything means it really bothers him or it’s a midnight hour deal. Considering how he feels about wanting grandkids and acting super weird when I tell him about the dating pool and relationships in this age, he’s probably beyond worried.
I guess I’m not worried enough?
The crippling embarrassment, moist poetry, and sadness usually cover it well.
…About the Internet
Rule of thumb, feed ye not the trolls.
Another rule: Feed ye not the snooty asshole in the comment section of BuzzFeed’s video about whitewashing, because he’s a picky, irritating, smart ass purist. They’re everywhere and they know everything. Spare yourself the….everything. Mute notifications despite the maddening urge and the shaky hands.
Rinse and repeat, try not to get into a flame war at the age of 30. It’s bad. It’s on your Internet permanent record. You are NOT going to get published. You’d think after years and years of pushy boys on the adult swim forums, the cheezeburger political section, and YouTube in its early days, I would learn? Yeah.