My family had expected a girl. All the scans, all the check ups- everything had confirmed that I would definitely be born with a uterus. Even the doctor said so. And therefore, my parents went and got everything that was all pink. You would have thought their shopping spree would have stopped at the pink balloons and pink baby shower and pink matching ensembles with pink matching hats, pink shoes, pink shirts, pink trousers. Everything was a pale shade of carnation to the brightest, boldest hues of cotton candy.
This was beyond embarrassing for my father- to see his house so degradedly embellished with a decidedly un-masculine color but his wife had forced him to wear a pink suit.
"Aww come on- why do you females always insist on color coordinating everything!? Do I really have to match completely with the baby to be? Would you like me to get a sex change and even match with your anatomy? How about I get a bit fat too, to match with your physiology!"
This is usually followed by the sound of slapping. "DON'T BE VULGAR HENRY, CAN'T YOU TELL I'M MOODY FROM THIS PREGNANCY."
"Calm down honey. You're beautiful…ish. It's just that a man who wears pink must be the most gay person in the world."
Of course it is such a comforting thought that my father already labeled me as a homosexual before I was even born. That, added along with the pink ensemble that I was put in- they were such blows to my masculinity.
When I came out, the nurse turned me over carefully. "Hold up ma'am. There seems to have been a mistake in the gender of your child. I don't know how it happened or how the doctor was mistaken. Actually…I think he's been making a lot of these mistakes lately…But um- oh wait, never mind." She stopped when she realized my mother had fainted away from exhaustion.
Or was it shock? Perhaps thoughts like, "Holy crap, my child is hermaphrodite!" flashed through her mind.
My father bustled in. "Honey! Are you okay? How's the baby? Our new little Georgia!"
The nurse wordlessly handed him the baby and quickly exited the room.
"All right. Aren't you beautiful? Just like a girl too. My little Georg…" And the bottom of the blanket fell open. "Georgi…" And my father promptly fainted as well.
That was how I came to be called Georgie instead of Georgia or even just plain George. Named after my great aunt, masculinised by certain body parts and truncated (the syllables of my name) by my father because he neglected to pronounce my correct name before fainting away. Christened Georgie Terrence Bean. That kind of name was always made fun of in preschool. Georgie and Terrence were already really bad names but I think the last name was the cherry on top. Nevertheless, I was thankful that my sister (Ima Bean) had a much more terrible name than I had.
Because they had not accounted for mistakes in gender, my parents brought me up a girl.
"Well someone has to wear these dresses. Ima is too big to wear them and none of Georgie's cousins really want them." My mother glanced anxiously at the large pile of clothing: large pile of feminine clothing.
My father withdrew his head from behind the newspaper to glance at my mother. "That teaches you to not buy clothes for the baby five years in advance."
"They were on sale!"
My father snorted in his orange juice in contempt. "They were on sale because they were really ugly. They still are really ugly! That's why none of Georgie's cousins wanted them!"
My mother shrugged sheepishly. "I guess we'll just have to make Georgie wear them."
He shook his head resignedly before returning to his original position behind his newspaper. "That's right. The Salvation Army wouldn't even accept that kind of clothing if you tried."
And so, for the first five years of my life, I went around in pink girl clothing. I was scared that eventually, I would become so feminine that my dick would shrink and disappear. It was a terrifying thought and I checked every time I visited the bathroom.
I was very thankful when I reached puberty and the exact opposite of my fears happened.
Nevertheless, sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I had not started out my life with such a mess up.
Would I have thought I was a girl for the first five years of my life? Would I have been creeped out that my first kiss had been given to my by an unknowing four year old boy? Would my relatives have always greeted me with a "My dear lovely Georgia! …I mean George. No, sorry, Georgie! Yes, my dear lovely Georgie!" Would my real name have turned up on spell check instead of that stupid red line that always appeared under the name Georgie in Microsoft Word?
I think life would have been a lot les humiliating or complicated if that doctor had been able to tell the difference between a potential uterus or penis in the ultrasound pictures of the embryo.
One thing- maybe I would actually be winning this carnival game right now. It doesn't really have anything to do with that doctor but it really helps sometimes to blame someone else as a convenient scapegoat than to blame your own bad aim. Of course, irrational misdirected anger is always such a wonderful thing to experience. The doctor takes a mental beating from me every time something goes wrong in my life.
And at this present point, he is the reason why I am losing miserably in this stupid ball-throwing-hit-the-stacked-up-pins retarded carnival game. He is the reason why the guy next to me is wining game after game without any sweat at all. And he is the reason why Claire, the most beautiful girl I have ever seen in my life, is taken, not by me, but by him.
The ball soared towards the pins and stopped, just one inch away from touching the pin. How was that possible?! Did that even obey the laws of physics?! That should've hit it. It really should've.
"Having a little trouble with this game, Georgie?" Ryan's white teeth, perfectly lined up in a row, flashed at me as he leaned across the counter, smirking at my pathetic throw. "Here, watch me." And he easily lobbed a ball with a one handed throw and knocked down the entire row. "It's that easy."
"I know perfectly well how to toss a ball!" I snapped as I grabbed the last ball in the tray away from Ryan's fingers as he reached across the counter for another demonstration. My fingers curled around the ball as I tried to copy the easy grace of Ryan's figure and then I threw the ball. Once again, the ball stopped just short of my goal. Did Newton really hate me that much that he chose to make my throws defy the laws of physics and gravity?
Ryan clicked his tongue sympathetically- if it was even possible to look or sound sympathetic while wearing a cocky grin. "Better luck next time. Maybe you'll learn how to actually throw, Georgie."
"Stop saying my name like that." I hissed through my teeth. "Listen, we'll have a face off. You've only touched the tip of this iceberg and you haven't seen how good I am yet. Come on, we'll buy another round and whoever wins…"
"Will have Claire." Ryan smiled confidently as he pulled out a five dollar bill and placed it on the counter.
"I matched his look. "Deal."
His eyebrows quirked as the person set up the pins for new round. "Of course it doesn't really matter for me, since I already have her and will so obviously win."
I hated him. But I had to give him credit- this guy was as arrogant as hell.
Five dollars poorer later, I had lost yet another round.
Yes, that's right. Blame it on that doctor for causing all these pains in my life.
"With every bite of this fat and oil filled food, I feel like my pores are overflowing with grease and condensing into a lump of saturated fats. 120 calories! In just one bite! Do you know what that means?"
There is a rustling of the wrappers as the other girl took a bite out of the granola bar. "Yes I know what it means. Talia, you're becoming anorexic." Darcy took another bite and munched contently. "The amount of sugar in here is probably equivalent to fifty ice cream bars." She chews off another chunk. "It actually tastes pretty good for something that's supposed to be healthy. I think you're pretty ridiculous though. Bringing health food to a…carnival." She indicated to Talia's bar. "Can I have that?"
There is no response as Talia gaped helplessly at how fast the granola bars were being consumed.
"Thanks." And the second granola bar soon disappeared.
Talia stood up indignantly. "The rate in which you are consuming such fattening foods sickens me. I'm going to the bathroom."
"What? You've become bulimic now?" Darcy quickly crammed the last of the bar into her mouth before standing up as well and chasing after her friend. "I still honestly think it's unbelievable Talia, how you're at a carnival that sells cotton candy every fifty meters and you're still refusing to eat anything above 50 calories."
The women's bathroom was completely filled. The line stretched from the door to the other side of the room and curved around the corner- it was at least twenty people long, now turned into at least twenty-two people with the addition of Talia and Darcy. On the other hand, the men's bathroom didn't have a line at all.
"Why don't they make urinals for women too?!"
"Darcy! Women don't use urinals! We don't have a…we just don't use them!"
Darcy shrugged. "We could learn to use them. We could learn to aim. I think we have the potential to become very good firefighters as well, you know."
Several heads in the line turned around to glare at Darcy as Talia tried to scrunch up on the floor as small as she could. She whispered furiously to Darcy, "I swear, next time this happens, I'm going to denounce you as my friend."
"Talia! Oh stand up, come on, you know I'm kidding. If it makes you feel better, I won't outline my plans for sneaking into the men's bathroom or digging a hole outside if we really end up with an emergency. I'm considerate, right?"
Talia covered her ears. "Maybe if I repeat, 'I don't know her' enough times, I might start blissfully believing it…"
"Good job. Denial is the best way to a self recovery."
Five Minutes later:
"Talia…I really need to pee…"
"Just a couple minutes more Darcy, hold it in. Cross your legs if you have to."
Ten Minutes later:
"IF THIS FUCKING LINE DOESN'T FUCKING MOVE, I'M GOING TO HAVE TO SHIT TOO. OR I'M GOING TO FIND A FUCKING TREE, RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!!!!!"
"DARCY KEEP IT IN, THE LINE'S MOVING!!!"
Fifteen Minutes later:
"Darcy just stay still for a couple more minutes! It's only twenty people in line now!! …Darcy, are you there? Darcy?"
Talia turned around to look at Darcy but she was nowhere to be found.
"Darcy, where are you?"
She glanced across the road at the men's bathroom directly across from the women's. Those guys had it so easy. It didn't have a line at all. It even looked deserted.
Except for the door, swinging on its hinges, like someone had just gone through it…