Wouldn’t this have been a horrible way to come into the world?
Gender identity. Something that my generation is probably a little more liberated about than all others before it … and possibly since. We were introduced to Ziggy Stardust as very young children and spent our teens years rocking to one set of dudes in eyeliner and lipstick after another on 80s MTV. Seriously, I think Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes wore more make-up daily than I wore at my own wedding. And it was considered totally hot back then. Except I’m pretty sure we said “fine.”
Where am I going with this? Do I have a point, you ask? Well, yes. Yes, I do. Thanks for asking. Remember Herve? The newest member of my household? The rodent that my dear little ODNT, Jr. pined for, submitted blog posts about and finally won for her birthday?
Yes. THAT Herve.
She knew what she wanted to name her pet before we even went to the store. So, it’s not like he looked like a Herve or anything. Don’t most kids go with names like Peanut or Nibbles? Not mine. I remember her saying, “I cleared out a spot in my room. I’m ready to go pick up Herve now.” I tried explaining that Herve might not actually be a HE but she contended that the name would still work as HER- ve. “Fine,” I answered, worrying quietly about how much money I’d be shelling out over the years for a hamster with a confused sense of self.
We brought him home, always certain he was a him, until one day he fell asleep belly up in my hand. And his tiny “features” indicated to me that we should be making more of an effort to accent the first syllable of his/her name. From that point on, I decided to embrace the pink cage and buy our hamster some diet food, fancy chocolate and maybe a subscription to Cosmo.
So Her-VE became HER-ve. (Ask Chaz Bono. It’s a difficult adjustment to make. For any species.)
Weeks passed and things were rolling along just fine. While the kids were in school, HER-ve and I enjoyed long lunches together at a little bistro in town. We got mani/pedis at a cheap nail joint around the corner. We even formed a book group and started talking about 50 Shades.
Until one day last week when I saw HER-ve dragging a “bag of gym balls” behind her/him. And my girl kept asking why her hamster’s butt was getting so big. (If you’ve never noticed how gifted rodents are in this department, google it. Or just click here. I could not bring myself to post a picture of hamster testicles. You’re in the driver’s seat now. YOU get to decide if you need to see this image.)
Anyway, now we’re back to Her-VE. Our lunch dates have ceased and I switched his magazine subscription to Sports Illustrated. And I don’t clean his cage as frequently. He’s got hands. If he wants it clean, he can help out once in a while.
And my girl? Well, she doesn’t give a hamster’s ass what he is. As long as she has a rodent threatening to break free from his cage and scare the crap out of me in the middle of the night somewhere in this house, she’s happy.
She even drew this picture for today’s post.