I am working on an imprinting machine and it’s kind of like Konrad Lorenz did with his ducks. Only this time everyone that wants to feel better about themselves can go through my machine and be imprinted with a more powerful, confident personality. It’s slightly painful but you forget that immediately because you take steps out of this machine into what is now sunshine and everything about you is more powerful: your arms your legs your heart your brain the way you look the way you feel the way you move. People pay a lot of money to go through my machine but I don’t take it. Actually that’s a lie. I am like Robin Hood. I take the money from the very rich people but I don’t give them as much boosting as I give to the people who have no money but are just very fragile and need it. The boost. The key measurement is compassion. No compassion, no boost. I don’t think I’m God I’m just very smart and the machine has been extraordinarily successful. In my old age I’ve decided that I am only going to allow women to use it. I just think it’s a better bet in the long run. Frankly, testosterone gets in the way some of the time in allowing people to be compassionate, humble, and kind. Life is too short. I want to be prudent in using my machine.

The Meeting That Never Happened

I am very easily bossed around by men with a low, testosterone filled, voice. So easily, in fact, that the other day I almost got lured to a man’s house I didn’t even know.

How did this happen one might ask? Well the truth of the matter is I am on a dating site because I am hopeful and incredibly romantic. Most of the men that I see on the site seem like perfectly nice men but I know that they are not for me. Yesterday, however, a man responded by email that actually looked like a reasonable person who might be fun to hang out with. He suggested we have a phone call.

I called him and we had a very lively conversation for about 40 minutes. During the course of the conversation he informed me that he was quite well known so that I could count on him to behave well. When I googled him I found this to be true.Our conversation was filled with flirty little innuendos on his part and laughter on my part and an increasing feeling of uncomfortableness because of the inappropriate familiarity.It was certainly fun to have someone appear to be so interested in me and to be so intimate in his conversation and so appreciative of my wit and intelligence.

 As time went on I began to notice that I felt like I was being cornered in a way that was quite shocking to discover. Because this man seemed so intimate and so knowledgeable about me and my life in such a short time apparently he had some control over me. 

Luckily, I was driving to an appointment and I said to him that I needed to get off the phone because I was at my destination. He asked me where I was and I told him and he said that he lived within 10 blocks of that location and after I was done with my appointment I should call him and he would direct me to his house. We would have wine and get to know each other. At this point I was so anxious that I just laughed and said great and hung up the phone.

I went upstairs to see my dear doctor and told him what happened and he said “No, Lucinda, you go to Starbucks.”

I realized how quickly I had fallen into the trap of being the obedient prey of the testosterone filled male. I felt as if I had been drugged for a period of time and without knowing it had gone along with something that was completely insane. The thing that scared me the most was I thought that if I hadn’t had to be at a doctors appointment I would’ve driven to his house as instructed.

Once I had completed my appointment I got into my car and called this man back and said look I’m so sorry I can’t come to your house as I don’t feel comfortable doing so why don’t we meet at Piatti or some local spot that’s convenient to us both and have a glass of wine and get to know each other.

There was an explosion from this man of anger and abuse. He accused me of agreeing to meet him and then saying I wouldn’t. He wouldn’t listen to the reason on my part as to why I felt uncomfortable coming to his house when I had never met him. He belittled me and made no effort to try to find a comfortable place to meet where we both could get to know one another in a normal manner. The more I listened to this, the more I felt frozen. I realized that I felt just like a child: unable to stop him and terrified by the anger I had a provoked in a man I didn’t even know.

All of this happened in under three minutes.

This seemed like slow motion. I find that when these type of things happen I often feel frozen. I knew I should hang up the phone but there’s a part of me that was so scared of doing something wrong. I kept trying to work things out for way too long.

Luckily in this situation I did finally end the call and it was clear to me that he wanted to be sure I knew he was the one that was breaking this off. All I could think of was what would’ve happened if I had gone to his house and had a glass of wine with him?

I have told the story to four or five of my women friends. Friends that I consider to be very wise and very confident and very liberated in their lives. All of them understood my behavior and said that they had done similar things. What was really bewildering to all of us is why that intense and frightening testosterone filled male voice still had the ability to make us do things we would never do.

I’m very grateful that the bottom line for me was that I didn’t go to this man’s house and I have had the time to reflect on the insanity of doing that. It’s also made it much clearer to me the kind of man I want to be with: a man who treats me with gentle compassion and respect and deep and abiding love. We laugh at the world, have each others back and feel cozy but also spicy together. Our conversations are open periods of expression with listening and sharing. Above all we have respect for each other. I know he’s out there somewhere.


I feel lust when It should be dust

I feel lust when I should feel like dust,

too much testosterone according to my

Geriatrician. I can’t help myself.

Fireman make my mouth water.

 I put on rubber gloves,

a mask, a lab coat, and go to Brice’s house for

a drink last Friday

(we’ve been slow dancing electronically).

Like all women I want to talk

before sex and be a little drunk and be

kissed with intention to

paralyze but only for seven minutes or I get


 I just decide I am ready to tell him because

now I am bored with this dance after 50 years,

too many partners to remember identifying marks

or howls.

Listen, I say, here’s what I want.

I look at him in his old Patagonia, ripped at the hem and spotted,

hair half brown half gray stuffed under a Patriots cap,

face unshaven, nylon turtleneck blued into gray, open mouth

revealing years of ground out rage and he’s thinking,

What the hell now? So I

say I want to have dinner with someone every night.

I want a body in the bed next to me that doesn’t move or make


 I want someone to have my back.

I want you to figure out what we are going to do about dinner.

I want the smell of soap and skin and silk and the feel of hips and maybe

a gun in the house,

 a stick shift car and a big dog, Trivial Pursuit 80’s version,

I want you to figure out what I want and then give it to me when I want it not when you do and I want

chocolate pie.

And then he says I don’t want to have dinner every night.

Is it too late to be Nancy Drew?

Is it too late to be Nancy Drew now that it’s hard for me to get up in the morning and one knee hurts so badly but it does stop about seven minutes later? Is it too late to be Nancy Drew now that I forget things and my hair has turned gray and sometimes I look in the mirror and I don’t recognize myself? Is it too late to be Cherry Ames, Dude Ranch Nurse , solving mysteries that no one else could solve because she was smart and beautiful and accomplished. (Remember Cherry was not a doctor but the nurse at the ranch).

I want to be that woman who gets dressed in a three-piece suit with spiky heels and stalks across the courtroom floor and wins the case against the giant corporation making millions of dollars for her firm and saving millions of employees their jobs. Is it too late for that? I don’t know why I didn’t think that I could do that but my parents never read one report card and only looked at the beauty in my face and the lilt in my voice and the trail of suitors following me.

I had a longing deep inside of me like a drill bit that never stopped whirling and now I see the women getting in cars going to work with a confident twitch of their hips and I want to be them. I want to be successful and get a big paycheck and have a room full of men hang on my every word. I want to be brilliant and knowledgeable and respected and powerful and I want to have done it all myself with my big beautiful brain and I don’t want anyone to get in my way and I don’t want someone to marry me and make it happen. I will want this until the day I die.

Want a Boy? Dress Your Daughter as One!

Emblem of Afghanistan
Image via Wikipedia

Dress Your Daughter Like A Son!

Be a Boy for Your Childhood!

Experience Freedom While in Costume!

Make Your Parents Empowered!

All this and more for exchanging the life of a girl in Afghanistan for that of a boy.

This week the NY Times has a cover story on families who shave the heads of their daughters and raise them as sons often until they are married. Azita Rafaat, who is a Member of Parliament, has done this with her daughter, Mehran, and states that her life is better as a boy. I am confused by this article as it seems many know that these girls are really girls and am not fooled by the disguise. If, for example, teachers and coaches know the true gender of a child, what is the point of the disguise? Obviously giving an interview to the NY Times will blow Mehran’s cover and her mother will be exposed but this obviously doesn’t matter to the family or the society. Is there no one else out there who finds this crazy?

“In Some Afghan Families a Fake Son is Considered Better than None” NY Times,   9/21/10

This is the most confusing logic to me. It goes like this: if you have no sons but do have three daughters, you chose one daughter to be a son. You cut her hair off and dress her in boy’s clothes. You tell her school she is now a boy. She is allowed to go out of the house freely without as many restrictions as she had as a girl. Everyone in her family, neighborhood and school knows her true sex, yet she is allowed more freedom to experience life as a boy and not as restricted in her behavior.

I don’t know what to say about this as it is so weird. Why wouldn’t every girl want to be a boy in Afghanistan? Freedom of movement, more confidence, more attention? I guess they need some girls to stay girls so there will be something to compare male behavior and allowances to. What happens to these girls when they have to go back to being a girl at puberty or upon marriage? The article refers to some who looks back on their “boy” period as a wonderful one as they had so much freedom.

I like logical behavior and find this tradition most illogical as it is sexist but not sexist. A girl can become a boy overnight by cutting her hair and having her parents change her sex in schools. She can only live this life, however, until marriage or puberty. She can live out her childhood in relative freedom and compete in sports, speak her mind, and travel without much restriction in her neighborhood.

Why wouldn’t every girl want to be a boy? I know I would have. The truth is, I would have been really pissed to have to go back to being a girl and get married. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a transsexual, I just like freedom. I can’t imagine experiencing it and then having it taken away. Taking away freedom is done all the time in this world. Particularly to women. It’s almost as if men laugh a bit at this article as they know in their hearts how unfair this role playing is. Why should girls have to dress as boys to be allowed to do more in life? Tradition? Religion? Who knows?  I still find this practice confusing.