lördag, april 01, 2006

Hormone Therapy

"Are you done with this, this apple core resting on the used t-shirt on the table? All done?" Elle asks after she walks in and out of the living room where the three of us other girls are watching some really strange Sci Fi movie about the Queen of Iceland and a dragon. No one is really paying attention to her because we have discovered that if we disconnect for even two seconds of the Ring of the Nibelung mini-series we will get even more confused about whether the strange German love-interest actor should have taken the ring or if instead it was the ghosts who were being selfish.

"No," Mac answers. "I'll probably gnaw on it some more."

"It says here that the guy playing Seigfried has won a bunch of German television awards," I said, after searching the web for some answers about his accent, his weird eye movement, and our reasons for watching this.

Elle leaves with the dead fruit.

"Is she kidding?," Mac says. "Am I done with the apple core?"

"Yeah, but what I really want to know is who taught this German guy to act," I say, ignoring the Spanky and Our Gang production of Hysteria Are Us. "It's his eyes," I say. "There is too much white showing. Is he a lunatic good guy or a lunatic bad guy?"

We suffer through two hours of film and three hours of advertisement to learn the truth: The Christians sucked the life out of the cool Pagans, too, and something had to be done about our very own Ice Princess. On the latter, I went into that evenings festivities knowing that only the day before I had heard Edit say to Elle: "You are not my mom. "

Ahhh, hormones and sex and a house full of girls. The pill made Elle break out, plump up, and conspire to take over the house, our lives, and the world. It was as if the house had suddenly been taken over by a spoiled, lazy, greasy college boy who thinks of a threesome as an entitlement. We others in the house have been walking around thinking, "Ew. Who is this?" That was just over the attitude. No one, out of fear of getting a head or limb removed without pain killer, even dared whisper anything about her rapidly expanding size .

Today I suggested that maybe she should give her estrogen therapy a rest.

I'm surprised I made that recommendation. I have never seen a downside with being sexual and I applauded her decision to be responsible. I hated that the pill came at the cost of a personality transplant. But so does motherhood, so I waited. I hated that it destroyed her face and body. But so does motherhood, so I bit my tongue.

But this morning I awoke to a newspaper article about a doctor in India sentenced to two years in prison for telling expectant parents the sex of the fetus. Seems there is a bit of double x chromosome infanticide going on in that neck of the woods, so doctors aren't supposed to tell.

I got a little annoyed. A familiar feeling surfaced.

Something starts to burn in the middle of my chest. Then it sways from side to side, increasing in intensity, as if I'm standing in the middle of an empty room wearing virtual reality glasses showing a Godzilla movie, and I'm the monster. My Girl Power Godzilla limbs swipe at pre-earthquake stabilized buildings and airplanes, but still never seem to win the battle and I eventually disappear into the water.

But this morning, stuck as I am in free association hell, I switch to the mob: "You got a problem with that, guys? You got a problem with the fact that that little baby is a girl? You don't like girls? You think we're stupid? You think we don't got what it takes? Hunh? Hunh? Why I outta, why I outta. Yeah. Say your prayers." Then because I am lacking in adequate debate skills and high-end socio-economic diplomacy, my imagination resorts to pushing, shoving, and shooting.

So I says to my kid, "Honey, it's not worth it right now." I'm thinking that it's time the guy took the pill, but I don't go there with her.

What kind of mom advises to drop protection?

Well, to be honest, the pill isnt what it used to be. Parents now get to worry about "on the pill, off the condom" behavior. Is it really fair to expect our kids to be belts and suspenders in their approach to human exploration after a night of beer pong? It's not such a stretch for kids to use their sense of immortality and infalliability to come up with "Why would I think he/she had an STD when he/she is only 19?" as the disasterously naive replacement for the old,"But we only did it once!" shock and awe response to an unexpected conception. I mean, as announcements go, I would so rather hear, "Mom, I'm pregnant" to "Mom, I have HIV" or "Mom I have cervical cancer from genital warts."

What should I instruct in its place? The thought of sending her out on a date wearing a garland of Trojans brings a smile to my face, but that's not so necessary. The last time I borrowed her car every space I opened, from the coin tray to the glove compartment, seemed spring-loaded with condoms. She had her own airbag industry going on there. I blushed and smiled and got pissed off all at once.

I think I know. It will be the condom route and the morning after pill for emergencies. It still sounds like I have to do research and I have a trip or two to the pharmacy in my future. And what, exactly, am I getting out of this? I'm not seeing much action in my future at all.

Cripes. Parenting. All of the work. None of the play.