We didn’t handle that very well did we? Too much blood all together. And from what I remember, quite a lot of pain. To be fair though, you had worn out your welcome. The altercation was way overdue. Forced evictions are never very pleasant but it got out of hand I know. It became very messy and I apologise for my part in that. I admit I was a bit pushy but I was trying to get you out. You didn’t make it easy.
I know you didn’t want to leave but it was agreed ages ago that you’d only stay for a few months. I needed the space back. You knew that it would only be temporary accommodation. You used me. It was all very upsetting. On more than one occasion I felt quite sick. I’d have kicked you out sooner but I knew you had nowhere else to go.
I know it wasn’t the Taj Mahal but I fed you didn’t I? Did you ever go hungry? And I provided all the heating. All I ever asked was that when the time came you’d leave quietly. I lived up to my side of the bargain. It was really unreasonable of you to make such a fuss. And it’s not like you’re small. It took a lot of effort on my part to remove you. Very difficult it was. I’m surprised more things didn’t get broken. You put up quite a fight you know. I really wasn’t expecting it. The last two didn’t carry on like that. The first was a bit tricky but the second left with no trouble at all. There was absolutely no damage. I was warned about you. You never know with the third, they said. Silly – I didn’t believe them.
I’ll not do it again. I don’t care if it’s a waste of space. I don’t care about sharing and charity. That’s it for me. I’m shutting shop. It’s all too painful. The goodbyes are just too distressing.
Who’d have thought all those months ago that it would have ended like this? I understood that you were quite comfortable with the arrangement. Fancy blocking the exit with a bag of water of all things. How long did you think that would hold you? To barricade yourself in – very dramatic.
I know possession is nine tenths of the law but what happened to common decency? It was the deception that I found so abhorrent. You gave every indication that you were happy to go but all the while you were plotting to stay. Didn’t you find the room a little small? It wasn’t designed for anything long-term. I told you that in the beginning.
Still you’re out now and the water didn’t do too much damage, just warped the door jamb a bit. So perhaps we could start again. You know start over. Re-introduce ourselves if you like. Here goes then - hello, it’s very nice to meet you. I’m your mother.
“A gender-equal society would be one where the word ‘gender’ does not exist: where everyone can be themselves.”*
I’ve always been aware of gender conditioning and actively tried to combat any lingering prejudices or stereotypes in my own parenting, even down to encouraging dolls with my boys when they were little. It’s great to read people writing about gender issues they’re experiencing with their kids. For too long these subjects have been discouraged or silenced. I’d love to publish some more creative writing on this topic, especially if you are struggling with a child who actively tries to move away from gender normative preferences. A society where everyone can be themselves – thanks Gloria for those aspirational words.
* Gloria Steinem