My eyes adjust slowly to the evidence of a successful massacre, tiny bodies torn, tattered, mutilated, triumphantly displayed across the dark hardwood in every direction of the room. The palette of artificial skin tones and polyurethane hair create a neutral rainbow of disheveled parts, of limbs twisted into compromising positions. The pulling, and ripping must have taken a while, which explains her absence. I chuckle and smile, proudly
The door makes a loud thud as I shove it all the way open to enter my baby sisters room. An arm flies through the air landing next to the tiny spider-man themed bed nestled against the left hand wall from where I stand. I step forward and something soft gives way under my weight. Flipping on the light illuminates an abdomen. I step to the right only to land on a head which rolls out from under the ball of my foot and smashes the face into the ground, it makes a “pop” as the eyes come out, sending me off balance into the little wood dresser against the right hand wall. The framed group soccer photos fall to the ground, along with a little league trophy that lands on top of a severed leg. I put everything back together. There is giggling in the walls.
“Mitra?” I call out.
Something stirs in the closet. A boom then the double white doors fly open and a small mass bursts free. It growls, baring baby canines. “Impressive” I wink at my little sister. She smiles, stands all the way upright tilts her head back to look at me. Her chest puffs like a rooster. It rises and falls as she catches her breathe, trying to hold back laughter. Her blue eyes look out from under her bangs, her blonde hair matted at the crown. She’s wearing her favorite long blue nylon soccer shorts, oversized light blue t-shirt, high socks, and of course cleats. She looks like a gym teacher.
“What are you doing?” I move her hair from her eyes, and she swats at my hand.
“Pwaying” She points to the baby holocaust.
“What did you do to your dolls?” She smiles, pushes her hip out, twirls her hair between her tiny, chubby fingers, and gestures to the floor with her other hand to where all the dolls lie in their plastic cemetery. They're all nude. Their clothes are strewn about the piles of doll heads which have been separated from the bodies. The faces are covered in what seems like black writing.
“What did you write kiddo? Are you worshipping Satan already?” She tilts her head and furrows her brows.
“I don’t know, supposedly someone who is really rude”.
“No, Saman is your older brother”. Being the oldest I don’t understand the trials and tribulations of being a younger sibling. Her “rude” older brother is only eight years old, someone I regularly take on play dates, and send to his room when he says something inappropriate, like “penis”. God forbid a kid say the name of a body part, the same part my father uses to repopulate planet earth with his “strong Persian” genes. His own form of eugenics.
I pick up a head by its stringy, blonde ponytail. At closer inspection I realize the doll doesn't have writing on her face, rather she has been re-assigned with facial hair via black sharpie marker. The facial hair was new, an addition to her usual undressing and dismembering. She takes the clothes off of them claiming they, like her, are more comfortable that way. Living vicariously through them: naked and hairy.
“Why facial hair Mitra?”
“They juss look betta that way” She frowns as she catches on that I am ever so slightly weirded out.
“Of course they do honey”
“Wanna prway leggos?”
She tilts her head waiting for my response with her hands on her hips like she has seen her mother do. In fact, she looks just like her mother, and nothing like the rest of us being the only one with light features. In my family, regardless of how pretty she might be to most of the world, she will never be told so.
My father picks her up and inspects her like a rotten potato, hoping he will be surprised by some good parts, but knowing that really the whole thing has to be thrown out. “Why is she so white”? he will say with his whole face scrunched up, mouth pursed, arms straight out in front of him with my sister dangling in his hands where he holds her under the armpits so they are eye to eye. He talks through her to my step mother on the other side.
“Shut up Abbas” my blonde, German blooded step mother screams in her soccer mom voice. She shoots death glances over one of her thousands of fashion magazines pulled from one of the many stacks neatly kept on our 15th century antique Persian coffee table in the living room. There are boxes of them, hundreds or thousands. She's "a hoarder", like a chipmunk, or a squirell.
My father will look at me after putting her down to scuttle away, “she won’t chenge dat color, doesn’t she look dead dat color? You are a good colair, but you would be much more beautiful if you didn’t have half the stupid white in you. You would be smarter too, you only have half a brain”.
“No really, I’m serious, Persians are the most beautiful, and most intelligent, not like stupid white, who are so stupid they have to get someone from Africa to run their country for them…stupid, stupid”.
“Abbas, so help me god, if you don’t shut up I am going to come kick your butt” my step mother yells again. My father chuckles, and then continues.
At this point I tune him out because I can only handle his Persian Empire speech for so long before I lose my mind, or my temper, which my father also attributes to my bloodline of warriors. All of his five mostly illegitimate children are half “white” as he calls it, though Persians are technically Caucasian so I don’t know what the hell that means. I have decided “white” actually means “fair skinned”. My sisters, and brother all look like me, dark hair, greenish almond shaped eyes, olive skin. In me and my sister Chanelle’s case we are also gifted with huge hips that scream to all semen in a ten meter vicinity “impregnate me, I am a baby factory”.
This is not the case with Mitra. You wouldn’t know she was my sister because of her fair skin, light eyes, blonde hair, but even more so because she doesn’t look like a girl. She looks like a feminine little boy. This is part of the reason I agree to babysit her despite generally disliking children: she’s funny, bright, and completely out of her mind even at the age of four.
I don’t think I’m good with children because I can’t “child” them. I can’t, “cooo” and “caaaah” like women are supposed to. Being around them is usually awkward, even stressful because I constantly worry about breaking something I don’t own. What if I trip over it, or teach it to accidentally say “Fuck”? Being around children for me is like walking through a fine dining collectors aisle of an upscale store; it’s a fear of breaking something I can’t replace.
Mitra is still staring at me wondering if I can play leggos or not.
“We can play after you eat” She’s not listening. Instead she bends down to the floor to start adding a mustache to a doll with a beard. The doll now looked like Santa Clause and I’m reminded of last December when my step mother asked, “what do you want for Christmas?” and pointing to her crotch she said, “that thing I don’t have”. While other children are asking for dolls, video games, etc, my sister wants Santa to bring her a penis.
“You can fix her facial hair later, come on gremlin”
I turn and walk out of the newly painted light blue little girl’s room to check on my niece, Avah, who I am also watching, and who is downstairs alone doing god knows what. “Come with me Mitra” I call her again after noticing she’s not behind me. No response, and she has yet to step into the long hallway leading to the staircase, which leads to the tea room on the main floor. I wait another minute and she is still in her room, I roll my eyes, “Jimmy” I yell. She immediately turns the corner from her room pushing her hair from her face walking towards me. More and more she only responds to the little boys name she gave herself six months or so ago.
“Why did you choose the name Jimmy?” We take the first step down, slowly because she has to take one baby step at a time, and the marble is slippery. I have always refused to help her so she no longer asks. Instead I wait patiently while she holds the rail, eyes on the step in front of her, stepping down, waiting to make sure she is steady before transferring her weight. The more she can do alone, the better off she will be when she gets older and realizes no one is loved unconditionally.
She makes it down two steps and pauses to answer, “I like it”.
“But why not something like, King Edward, or George?”
“Those are stupid”
“But Jimmy isn’t?” I mumbled under breath.
At the bottom of the stairs I tell her to go find Avah, and play with her. She nods, then sprints across the tea room into the living room. I linger long enough to take in the room, the gold, the Persian carpets, the painting depicting a man and his herem, a hand dipped gold and sapphire chandelier. My father’s décor reeks of tradition. His objects attest to the fact that he has physically left Iran but never really left Iran. I hear the little girls talking and cannot help but laugh. Mitra thinks she’s a boy, Avah is the out of wedlock child of my little sister, and me, well, I’m an impoverished, life-long student of useless degrees with a history of failed relationships, and no social skills. I smile because we, the fruit of his loins, are Karma personified. Every year that we grow older, despite being relatively decent offspring, we always do yet another thing that makes him regret not using a better contraceptive.
In the kitchen I pull out pasta and watch the little girls talking on the other side of the room where they interact like petite adults. They gesture with their tiny hands sloppily, exaggerating the movements, speaking back and forth with importance inappropriately close to each other’s faces still unaware that culturally we are obsessed with distance in a way that creates psychological space too. Their happiness is my happiness, and I’m thankful, that their childhood is not my childhood.
The little girls, my sister, and our niece are only three months apart. The two are clearly related, with their pale skin, large light eyes, rose colored mouths. The only real difference is their hair and clothing. Avah’s white hair pulled up high in a ponytail on top of her head with a crown of pink berets, Mitra’s long, wavy, dirty blondish hair hangs in a mess over her little shoulders like a mop.
Avah looks like a spray can of pink paint exploded on her, Mitra looks like David Beckham.
Pasta swirls in a strainer, the steam stings my face and I hope it opens my pores enough for me to sneak into the bathroom after and scrub my face. I'm aging. Through the window above the sink a deer nibbles the mint in our garden. A fantasy of Mitra’s future growing up to be a lesbian married to a woman named “big Linda”. Big L smells like potato chip grease and Salisbury steak TV dinners. I like that. She will never have to worry about getting accidentally pregnant, and our dipshit bigot father would realize that maybe there is no such thing as right, wrong, or perfect. We don’t pop out of the womb predestined, with a plastic kitchenette and a stroller wanting all the right things, like a house, a baby, and a giant bottom. Everything we become we are taught and told. Why should little girls be rolled in pink and dipped in all things feminine? The concept of gendering is idiotic. As a child I played with He-Man figures, locked my Barbies (after decapitation and head shaving) in the Skeletor dungeon, and gave my baby dolls to my little brother Mitch, who liked them more than I. I turned out just fine. A sudden flash of memory of a man on top of me in boxer briefs and yellow stilettos is interrupted by screeching.
“I’m the dad you can be the mom, so now you get me food” Mitras voice bellows through the empty space, reverberating off of the high ceilings.
“Why do I have to make food?” Avah screams.
“Because you’re the girl!” Mitra retorts.
“You’re a girl too!”
“NO I’M NOT! GIRLS ARE STUPID!” Mitra screams.
I dry my hands and start towards them but before I am able Avah takes a step forward and in what seems like slow motion punches Mitra in the right eye. Mitra cries, oozing water from every orifice. Avah starts to cry too. They scream, kick, and punch while I carry them to the couch like tiny bags of potatoes. On the couch they sit on my lap doing a strange breathing thing that sounds like gasp, gasp, gasp, sigh, gasp, gasp, gasp, sigh.
“Mitra, it looks like girls are tougher than you give them credit for, because she just landed a mean jab in your eye socket”. It was my attempt to get her to stop being sexist against her own sex as women too often are. Avah, like a snow princess, sat on my right knee very proud of herself.
“It’s not nice to hit Avah”.
She frowns, her pale white skin and bright greenish eyes make her seem angelic, clearly a façade.
“She called girls stupid!”
“I know, but hitting is not nice. Use your words next time just attack her self esteem”. They both tilted their heads confused by this thing called “self esteem”.
“Mitra, you don’t call girls stupid, you’re a girl, I’m a girl, Avah is a girl”.
“I’m not a girl!” she growls, fists balled up against her sides, head down, eyes blazing from under her messy locks. I watched her for a moment wondering what made her dislike the idea of being female so much. Living in a house with two older brothers is probably part of it. I was a serious tom-boy when I was a child but I never thought I was a boy. We sat for a while until I felt like they calmed down. I kissed them both leaving them on the couch.
“Look you two, you both be nice while I finish your food. Play, or just sit and stare at the walls. No fighting!”
The food is finished. I bring it to them in the living room where Avah is still seated on the couch, but Mitra is gone.
“Avah, where is Mitra?”
“I don’t know”
“MITRA!? JIMMY!” I yell towards the ceiling in case she’s on the second floor. A noise comes from the bathroom off to the side of the living room. I enter to find Mitra standing over the toilet, holding her shirt up, peeing everywhere wiggling around trying to find the best angle to hit the bowl of the toilet.
“MITRA! What are you doing?! Sit down, you are spraying pee everywhere”. And she was. I tried that too when I was younger because my brother could do it and it bugged me that I couldn’t. It wasn’t cute when I did it, I got into a lot of trouble, I didn’t want to be THAT person who makes children feel freakish or stupid for being children, however, my tinge of empathy was fading at the realization that I am the grown up and have to clean up the piss.
“I can do it like this!” She yells. I contemplate explaining that physiologically she really can’t but she’s too young, and already made a giant mess so what’s the point.
She finishes peeing all over the toilet and backed off of it, wipes, then wiggled her little pants back up grinning from ear to ear. I helped her wash her hands struggling not to burst into laughter. Who am I to crush dreams? I’m just here to make sure they remain alive until their parents return.
The girls eat their food at their little table, talking among themselves, friendly, smiling, in between over-sized spoons of noodles that mostly fall out of their mouths onto the table. One wouldn't know they were just trying to beat each other to death.
My cell phone rings.
“Hey” his voice is soft, too soft, as it always is.
“Hi you how’s your day going?”
“Well, thank you. How are the girls?”
“The girls are great, fighting a bit. Mitra is mad that she is a girl.”
“Isn’t she always mad about that? I would much rather be a girl” He laughs. I don’t find it funny because he’s serious. Despite liking him I often feel like I’m dating a woman. There's nothing wrong with liking women, I just don't want to be dating one currently, and I certainly don’t want to be dating one that has a penis.
“Oh, the girls are being nuts I have to go” I lie, “call me back soon”.
The faucet is fucking leaking, a constant drip, drip, drip. I try to wiggle it, turn it on and off, wiggle some more but it keeps dripping a constant reminder, a ever so soft thunder in my mind.
Fuuuuuuuck. I start dishes to give myself something to do, to temporarily fix the drip by letting all the water fall free for a moment. The boyfriend, what to do about the boyfriend? Every thought comes back to the boyfriend. Why do I always feel the need to react, to understand, to over-analyze until everything is a social experiment, until everything is more convoluted than when I started? The little girls have abandoned their food to play Leggos on the floor.
In the dining room I take a seat at the over-sized, gold and dark wood dining table. Every giant, gold adorned piece of furniture was generally topped with more gold. I pushed the gold plated fruit bowl out of my way to put my head on the table. I’m tired. I’m confused about life, love, and children. Watching children is tiring, I can’t imagine why parents agree to do this for free. Good parents, ones who stick around, and actually try do a lot of work for free. What’s in it for them?
My phone rings again, this time it’s Cindy, a friend.
“Hey it’s me”
“Hey. How’s it going?” I ask picking up pieces of gold fruit putting it up to my mouth trying to bite into it. I hurt my teeth, return it to the bowl with a royal KLANK.
“Good. So I have a question. If I want to flirt with a guy should I not immediately talk about his member? I mean, is it not considered polite to say things like, ‘so we had sex that one time and I think it was alright but my brain exaggerates things…yes even those things”?
“I’m going to go with a ‘no’ on this one. Do you want to sleep with that boy you slept with like a year ago, the drunken thing after the bar?”
“Alright so, talk with him about things that you have in common, ask his opinion on something, be intelligent and witty, but pretend like you’re completely disinterested in him as a potential repeat. People put value in difficulty, unfortunately. If you’re not difficult, you’re invaluable. Don’t talk about the sex episode, and don’t talk about his junk. Pretend like you forgot it happened”.
“The knower of all things men, one day I will have this all figured out and be like you, dating a gay dude”. She burst out laughing.
“Oh! I was only kidding. You don’t normally care about my stupid jokes. What’s going on?”
Friend, advice, perfect. Dear friend, do I keep dating the gay dude?
“I don’t’ know if stuff with him can work. I’m trying to figure it out. That traditional side of me is just going bananas over how non-traditional he is.”
“Non-traditional as in he wears dresses, and likes men?” I could hear her trying not to laugh over the phone.
“Okay so he thinks dresses look sexy on him, and he wore a dress for some photographs, who knows if he is really into that exactly. Yeah he likes men, but not in a super sexual way. He just finds them attractive; he doesn’t want to put it in them anymore, I don’t think. Anyways his sexuality is complicated and I’m not one to try and pick that apart. My thesis project in college, the one on sexuality only taught me one thing about “normal” human sexuality, and that there is no normal. You helped me with my research enough to know most people are Bi-sexual in some form, fantasy, past behavior, remember the Romans? Maybe they are not openly Bisexual no, and maybe they would never date both sexes but you know what I mean. Sexuality is complicated. Gendering is even more complicated. Look at my little sister who thinks she is a dude”.
“Yeah. My problem is not in his sexuality, it’s in the gendering. I want a boyfriend who is somewhat stereotypical, because I'm a strong person, I need a stronger boyfriend. A man who I feel is kind of my corner stone, solid, someone I can run to for advice, or feel safe around. Okay I take it back, it’s not even gendering. Because I’m a lady and I’m those things.”
“You’re a lady? Since when?! The only lady I know who acts, thinks, and fights like a man.”
“Okay, see, that’s my point! It’s not a gender thing, or a sexuality thing. It’s a, Jesus why do people have to fit into such stupid categories anyways?! Why can’t guys like the ballet without being ‘feminine’ and why can’t I like boxing without being ‘masculine’ people spend their whole lives trying to become these ridiculous roles that have been set for them, and they can’t. Nobody can. Men cry, sometimes women don’t. Women can be good at math, and fighting. Men should be able to wear makeup if they bloody want. I mean really who gives a shit?! It’s made up! It’s all culture based and made up”.
“Okay if it’s made up then why do you have a problem with your boyfriend?” She asked.
“I don’t know. I’m confused. Perhaps it’s the confidence to be different. The ability to feel like he is better than everyone else despite not fitting into cultural norms, I feel like his attitude is almost an apology for not being how he is ‘supposed to be’. And he’s not that different. He dresses like a very well dressed man. Sex is good. His mannerisms are precise, meticulous which is considered feminine in the United States, but is normal everywhere else. Isn’t it funny that men are supposed to be sloppy and ill kept otherwise they are feminine? In our culture anyways, he reminds me of a French or Italian man. Not here, he is supposed to belch and scratch himself and talk about his college gang bang days”.
“Are you trying to convince me or yourself? I think he’s a very sweet guy. He cares for you; he does sweet things for you. He’s attractive. Yeah he is definitely weird. Lacks social skills entirely, and seems genuinely uncomfortable in his skin”.
“Right, I know. That’s the issue. And you know why I have issues with it? Because I’m supposed to, because we are a society plagued with plastic femininity and super masculinity, Batman, James Bond, and of course Barbie.
I am supposed to be dating James Bond or Batman. I’m attractive and intelligent, as long as I keep my mouth shut of course; therefore I’m ‘entitled’ to a guy exactly like Batman: Rich, charismatic, brilliant. I expect that and so I can’t be happy otherwise or I feel like I’m settling”.
“Fucking fairy-tales. They really do ruin lives. I know what you mean, girls always looking for their prince, their white knight. They want a provider, a protector, someone who is sensitive, and never smells weird. We all know guys always smell weird so good luck with that.”
“I’m being serious. I should be happy. I should. He communicates well, he’s sweet, he’s attractive, and again amazing in bed. I mean, he doesn’t do anything weird, he’s never tried to stick it in my ass…which I think should make him a keeper.”
“That is a keeper; you and I both know that every guy tries that at one point. Six months and no attempt at anal, you should probably marry him. God men are repulsive.”
“But can I really take him home to daddy? My father might actually disown me for bringing home someone like Him. You know my father, he's obsessed with class, status, charisma...and he doesn't even speak! My father thinks quiet people are either stupid, or sneaky.”
“Your dad also believes that dumping tea in your eyes fixes fatigue. Best not to worry about what he thinks all the time”.
“But I’m traditional. I want the husband, the 2.5 children, and I think that since I’ve already had an abortion the .5 is taken care of. Now I need to prepare for the winners, the 2.0.”
“Yeah, that joke, that’s not traditional”.
“Okay, so I'm not traditional but I am still traditional if that makes any sense.”
“No, but it’s not what you want. It’s not what anyone wants. If you had it, you wouldn’t want it. For one, James Bond and Batman would have fidelity problems. And they would probably talk about how great they were all the time and that would get boring. Nobody likes an ego, or a perpetual martyr. The perfect is in the imperfection really. When two dysfunctional individuals come together and create something functional, that’s beautiful. And everyone nowadays is dysfunctional. You guys communicate well, he is devoted. Just compromise, and occasionally let him wear the panties in the relationship”.
“Okay, okay. Look, just date him and see what happens. Everything doesn’t have to be something. He doesn’t have to be ‘the one’. Just have fun”.
“Which I'm obviously doing. I’m not getting any younger though. I don’t have much to offer besides my dark sense of humor, instability, and tendency to drink too much. All unattractive after thirty I think.”
“Oh right, because you’re hideous and stupid. Nothing to offer. You know sometimes I hate you. Aaaanyways, I really shouldn’t talk to the guy I want to flirt with about his man unit? That’s not good flirting?”
“No. Honestly it’s kind of creepy”.
“Got it. I have to go, stop stressing, everything isn't a sociology experiment. Be emotional for once… oh wait, you don’t have those. Try to be illogical for once.”
“Will do! I should get back to baby-sitting before the little gremlins do something I can’t cover, like death 43. Thanks for the talk. Bye.”
I walked back into the living room where the girls were still playing legos. I plopped down on the big brown leather couch and watched them. They don’t act how girls are supposed to act. Avah fights like ‘a boy’ and Mitra thinks she is one. Maybe she thinks that because the way girls are ‘supposed’ to act is lame. I thought that growing up too. I played soccer, I enjoyed fighting, I hated dolls and preferred He-man figurines. Gendering is too confining. Our culture is too defining, too restricting. I coughed and their attention turned to me. They both slowly lost interest in their creation and crawled onto the couch. Avah crawled up on my lap pushing her little face into my chest, and Mitra snuggled into my side.
“Can we watch a movie?” Avah asked.
“Which movie?” I asked.
“Snow-white” she smiled. Mitra bolted up glaring at Avah.
“NO! NOT THAT!” Mitra Screamed, “I hate princesses!” Before I could intervene Avah had jumped off of my lap onto Mitra’s head and was elbowing her in the cheek. I dragged Avah off of her kicking and screaming. Watching babies brawl is like midget wrestling. I pulled them apart again. Enough was enough, my step-mother and sister would return to find their children missing chunks of hair and teeth if I didn’t separate them until they calmed down. I put them in separate bedrooms for a “time-out” session. Mitra was being punished for “verbal insensitivity”. She had no idea what that was. Avah was in trouble for being a small, white, female version of Mike Tyson. She didn’t know who that was.
My boyfriend called.
“Have you killed the children yet?” he laughed.
“No, I’ve stopped them from trying to kill each other a few times though".
I laughed uncomfortably, “What are you doing tonight?"
“I don’t know. You?”
I hit the faucet and hurt my hand. Silently I hopped up and down wincing trying to listen to him speak.
“Watching Dracula, because he’s really handsome, and then…I don’t know. Ty wants to do some project where I dress in drag to see how other people deal with it for a social experiment which is fine. I’m comfortable, so I might just do that.
“You’re more comfortable in women’s clothing then you are starting up a conversation with a stranger. That’s interesting”.
“Yeah, cause it’s funny. And besides I make a hot woman. We still need to talk about you being bothered about me not being a ‘dude enough’”.
“Excuse me?” I asked.
“I prefer being quiet” he continued. “I like observing more than being active in conversation. I know that it bothers you. I can tell. I’m not a super manly guy; I don’t know what to do about that exactly”.
“Well you were wearing yellow pumps when I met you. I know you're not super "manly", and trust me who wants that? It’s not a ‘man thing’. It’s a social thing. I think that maybe you just need more social maturing. Working a room is a necessary evil of adulthood. And I need a sort of strength from my partner to maintain sanity. There has to be someone I can run to who can say all the right things and make me feel better. Socializing breeds a certain kind of confidence that makes you trust-worthy in a relationship. Confidence is necessary for your partner to have faith in you. It’s the attitude of being able to take care of business and it’s not a male or female thing. Nobody is naturally social, it’s learned, or faked”.
It’s usually faked. How many of us really care what another person is saying or doing? We nod, pretend to care, ask the right questions on cue, and try not to think about our laundry or homework enough to pick up on the next cue requiring our response. People usually become automated outside of their comfort zone.
“I understand that. I do. That is something I do need to work on at one point. You’re leaving for Italy in two months though. You won’t be back for eight months. Is it really an immediate problem now?”
“No of course not, you’re right. I had better go check on the girls again. I want to make sure they're not sharpening toothbrushes into knives and all that.”
“Good luck”. He said, “I love you.”
"love you too.”
I hung up the phone, stood against the counter for a moment. Things can be okay. I don’t have to care; I’m leaving. So what my boyfriend's kind of gay. There are much worse things, he could too straight, picking his nose, spitting, while being generally misogynistic. Haven't we gotten over the caveman days of the "great protector" or the "delicate flower". Women can do anything and everything now with the use of handy tools, and most "male" traits are considered bad which makes masculinity useless. Just think of all the things in the name of "men": War, rape, economic instability, porn sex, and femininity: Hoop skirts? Martha Stewart? What does it mean to be a man or a woman? Interestingly enough I have two fantastic examples of what happens when society is thrown out of the window. An adorable little sister, and a sweet boyfriend for the time being.