Friday, April 26, 2013

Dolly Parton joins the Yakuza

I was sitting in the waiting area of the dentist's office yesterday reading a very well-written article about the battle of Bunker Hill, one of the flag-waving events of the Revolutionary War. Though frequently trotted out as an example of colonial grit, the battle in fact was a significant defeat for the scrappy colonials. I'm lousy at history, so I was interested and it filled the time as I waited and waited and waited.

I was sitting about four feet from a reception counter that was roughly shaped like a circle behind which there were two computer-imprisoned women who both said good morning to newcomers and made future appointments with those whose procedures for the day had been completed.

Another optical illusion
I was hip-deep in Bunker Hill when, on the far side of the counter, I became aware of a checkout customer with shoulder-length blond hair and a formidable set of boobs. Boobs are a guy thing and I'm a guy, so I left my 18th century focal point for something more up-to-date.

At first, being a guy, it was the boobs. But as I looked further north, I realized the face above this impressive rack was quite masculine, And as my focus sharpened, I realized that the voice making a future appointment was as deep as toe-nails. And into the bargain, the short-sleeved, low-cut blouse encasing my initial point of interest revealed a couple of quite muscular arms, both of which were heavily tattooed. The total effect was as if Dolly Parton had joined the Yakuza. It was big and brassy and sassy and I-don't-give-a-fuck-what-you-think. I began to like this person for entirely different reasons.

First and foremost, I really enjoy having my deeply-ingrained assumptions challenged. And on the deeply-ingrained front, sex is a biggie, probably a primordial urge to sustain and extend the species, but my hunch is that the average heterosexual guy doesn't think in such studied and serene ways. Guys want to get laid ... end of story. Boobs suggest getting laid. Boobs ... woman ... get laid -- something like that, all in a nanosecond of assumption and habit. All the politically-correct and caring stuff kicks in later.

But suddenly, sitting in the dentist's office, my assumptions about men and women, boobs or the lack thereof, were challenged. Was there really anything sacrosanct about "women" and "men?" I wasn't asking for some long, heart-felt analysis or explanation of transgendered people. I was interested in what I could actually know and what I could actually know was that my assumptions seemed to be too presumptuous. Masculine and feminine ... sure, it's true ... but is it really true? Man as woman, woman as man -- do the brightly-etched lines of assumption and distinction really compute?

The bottom line was that I found myself both delighting in and delighted by this biker babe behind the receptionists' counter. Eeeehaw! -- shake my tree! And beyond that, the line rose up unbidden:

You go, girl!

I never did see the dentist. I'd had enough excitement for the morning and got sick of waiting, so I went home ... pleased as punch.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to my world, where pronouns are never automatic.