My Friend, Wig Head

This is somewhat similar to my mother’s hat, but in pink.

Before my parents married in 1966 my mother had purchased an outlandish 1960s bright yellow hat, which more closely resembled a shower cap or a wig than a hat. This so-called hat (which I had always thought of as a wig) rested upon a Styrofoam display that was made in the size and shape of a woman’s head. I called her Wig Head, because that was her name.

When I was either four or five years of age I had a dream which featured Wig Head. My dream, as I remember it, from 1972 or 1973, occurred as follows:

I was sleeping in my bed, awoke and got up out to look out my bedroom window. Instead of seeing the front yard, which was the real-life view from my window, I observed that a tiny little room had been added to the house – my window being the entrance to the room.

I opened the window and climbed into this strange little room, which was just a tad bit larger than my clothes closet.

There were only two things worth mentioning in this room. The first item was directly to the right as I climbed through the window. It was a counter top that ran the length of the room – all four to five feet of it. The second item I observed was Wig Head.

I stood in this strange new room and wondered why Wig Head was here when she should have been in Mom’s room sitting atop the gray marble slab where she belonged.

As if she had read my mind, she spoke to me telling me, “I’m here for you. You can talk to me about anything. I’m your friend.”

Wig Head told me that she knew that my father had been hurting me in my waking life and she knew I had no one to talk to for fear that my father’s threats would come true. She told me I could talk to her any time I wanted and she would always listen and keep my secrets.

I honestly don’t remember everything we discussed. This dream occurred more than 40 years ago now, but I do remember the dream feeling so utterly real. Before the dream’s end I told Wig Head that I loved her and wanted her to promise me that she would continue to converse with me in like manner in my waking life. All she said before I awoke was, “You can always talk to me. You can always trust me.”

When I awoke from this dream, it was still dark out. I immediately got out of bed and went to the window and looked out, only to see the normal view of the yard.

I was heartbroken!

As silly as it may seem now, that dream was so terribly real to me that I truly expected to find the little room and Wig Head on the other side of my window.

I was terrified of everything as a child. I was concerned that monsters lived under my bed at night and that I could only be safe by remaining in bed. On the occasions that I needed to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, I would crouch on my bed and jump as far as I could so the monsters couldn’t reach my ankles when my feet hit the floor.

Then, because I imagined the house was watching me – that there were unseen eyes watching every move I made – I would run from my bedroom door to the bathroom, hoping I was fast enough that the house spies would miss me.

The bathroom came with its own unique threats. I feared flushing the toilet at night because, in my mind, flushing would wake up Count Dracula (a.k.a. Count Chocula) who would rise from the bowels of the toilet once the water had been flushed. Sometimes I wouldn’t flush at all – I would simply run back to my bedroom hoping the house spies didn’t see me. Other times I would remember how upset Mom would get when I didn’t flush and would stand as far away from the toilet as possible, while still able to reach the handle, and would quickly flush and run as fast as I could to my bedroom, taking a giant leap into my bed to avoid the grabby hands of the monsters.

After my dream about Wig Head, I wanted nothing more than to go retrieve her from my parents bedroom, but this would have to be done so quietly. Not only did I have to worry about the house spies, I also had to worry about the possibility that Count Chocula may be in his second favorite spot – just outside my parent’s door. I also had to worry about waking up my parents – especially my father, who might return with me to my room.

I couldn’t run through the house, even though that was the only way to beat the watching eyes of the house spies. I had to be quiet and take my chances if I wanted to get Wig Head.

I crept through the house as stealthily as a five-year-old can manage, while my heart raced with terror. I managed to get through the dark house, liberate Wig Head and return to bed without being caught by the monsters, Count Chocula or the house spies. My return trip wasn’t nearly as scary, however. There was something about having Wig Head in my arms that made me feel brave.

I slept with Wig Head that night, talking to her as I drifted off to sleep. I was very upset that she didn’t talk back to me as she had in my dream, but she was a comfort nonetheless.

I talked to Wig Head a great deal after that dream but after several months the novelty started to wear off. The fact that she no longer spoke to me was a huge disappointment. My visits with Wig Head gradually tapered off … until the night she reappeared in a dream – in that little room outside my window.

During my second dream about Wig Head she explained to me that she was real but only had the ability to talk in my dreams. She assured me that she still listened to me in my waking life but she simply couldn’t respond. She told me I was her best friend and asked that I continue to keep her company.

That’s when I had the brilliant idea to bring her back through the window into my real world. I explained to her that if I held her without letting go – from dream to waking life – she could be real while I was awake, too! She insisted it couldn’t be done. Just as I reached out to pick her up, I awoke, never having had the chance to bring her back with me.

Throughout my childhood my father worked the second shift, meaning he was gone from shortly after noon until around midnight each night. Sometimes, during the evening, I would sit with Mom as she watched TV in her bedroom and would try to catch Wig Head looking at me. I suspected she watched TV with us and would sometimes try to send me quiet little signals that Mom wouldn’t detect. Occasionally I was convinced that I’d catch her winking at me. Sometimes Mom would allow me take her down from the marble slab she rested upon, and would let me hold Wig Head in my lap as we watched TV.

I never told anybody about Wig Head during my childhood. I knew our friendship was a secret and felt it would be a betrayal to reveal the story of how we grew so close. I’m sure there was also that small part of me that lived in reality and knew that my friendship with a Styrofoam head wasn’t exactly normal.

Wig Head and I were secret friends for a couple of years. I didn’t completely give up on her after that those two years, but I suppose as I grew a little older and developed more coping mechanisms, I didn’t need her as much. But I shall forever remain fond of the memory of Wig Head. For a brief period of my childhood, I had a trusted confidante who I could trust with all my worries, which were more than I was able to handle by myself.

Me, at the age of four.

Wig Head came to my rescue when I needed her most and stayed until I was able to go on without her. She was my savior, in a way – a wise woman who came to my rescue when I couldn’t deal with the torment of the sexual abuse by myself but had no other available options.

I shall always cherish the memory of my little Styrofoam friend.

Never Trust a Sleeping Vicki

Death On My Doorstep

One spring day back in the 90s, when I was living in Lake Dallas, Denton county, Texas, we had a terrible storm. I was working as a graveyard shift security officer at the time and did all my sleeping during the day. It was undetermined whether there had been a tornado, but the dangerously high winds caused a lot of damage to the area. When I awoke late that afternoon the storm had passed.

My next door neighbor had a huge old Cottonwood tree that was felled by the storm.    People from blocks away heard the tree meet its end.  My bed was close enough to my neighbor’s tree that I could have been killed or severely injured if it had fallen in a different direction, but it never fazed me.

I slept right through it.

The Barbecue Crisis Call

Several years later I had moved back home to Paris, Texas.  I was working the graveyard shift, once again, but now I was working as a shelter advocate at a battered women’s shelter.  There wasn’t a lot to do during the graveyard shift, as the residents and their children were usually asleep, but one of my duties was to man the crisis line.  We would often go days without a crisis call, but it was important to be at the ready when one did come through.

The night shift shelter employees were allowed to nap and there was a bed available for us in case it was needed.  Being a night owl, I did most of my sleeping during the day but occasionally I wouldn’t get enough sleep and would take advantage of my on-the-job napping privilege.

On one such night, as I was sleeping soundly on the job, I awoke to find the crisis line in my hand.  I pulled it away from my ear, trying to make sense out of the situation, when I heard a woman’s voice say, “Are you still there?”

“Yes, I’m here,” I answered.

“I’m afraid I don’t understand you. You’re not making a lot of sense.”

That’s when I realized I had been having a conversation with this woman … in my sleep.  I had no earthly idea what her situation was or what I had said to her, so my gut instinct was to simply ask, “Are you okay?”

“Yes, I keep telling you I’m okay.  I just don’t understand what barbecue has to do with anything I’ve said.”

Apparently I was either dreaming about barbecue or I was wishing I had some.  Or maybe I thought I was speaking to a barbecue delivery service and was simply placing my order.  Who knows?  I couldn’t very well ask her what had happened during the last ten minutes.  Asking such a question would probably be interpreted as unprofessional, so I winged my way through the rest of the call and always made sure to show up well-rested for future shifts.

Sherlock Brain to the Rescue

Several years later I was living with my late partner, Connie.  I was sleeping and awoke to find her putting something in one of the dresser drawers.

“What are you doing?” I asked groggily.

“Isn’t it obvious?” she answered.

But it wasn’t.

I had no earthly idea what she was doing.  Brainy had not yet remembered that it inhabited a human body that resided on planet Earth, so there was no making sense of such things yet.

I continued to study Connie’s movements as she folded things and put them in drawers.  Slowly Brainy started putting the pieces of the puzzle together until I was given enough information to finally make sense of it all.  That’s when I loudly exclaimed, “You’re putting up laundry!”

Connie was not impressed with my brilliant powers of deduction, but I think I may have startled her with my outburst.

Hamburgers and Monkeys

About  year later I was managing a convenience store in Waco, Texas.  I worked long hours and was always exhausted.  Connie and I both knew I couldn’t be trusted with the telephone on my side of the bed so it was always on her nightstand in the event of a middle-of-the-night call.

One night we received such a call after midnight. My alarm was set for 4:30 am.  I never awoke for this phone call but apparently I had a very interesting conversation nonetheless.

I went to work the next morning, still oblivious to having received a phone call in the wee hours of the morning.  It wasn’t until the end of my shift when Robert showed up to relieve me that I was made aware of the previous night’s call.

“What were you talking about last night?” he asked.

“What do you mean?”

“I called you last night.”

“No, you didn’t!” I argued.

“I was having a problem with the paperwork.  I couldn’t make the money balance so I called you. You started telling me how to make the perfect hamburger.  You went into a lot of detail.  I brought up the subject of the paperwork again and then you started talking about all the monkeys in the trees.  I finally gave up and figured it out on my own.”

I accused Robert of pulling my leg and when I got home that evening, still believing that Robert made up the whole story, I told Connie about it.

“He wasn’t pulling your leg,” she said.  “That’s exactly what happened.”

“Did it ever occur to you that monkeys in trees and perfect hamburgers weren’t exactly store-related topics?” I asked.

“It did seem rather strange,” she said, “but I figured you knew what you were talking about.  Besides I wanted to hear the end of the story.”

Panic Time!

Because that job was so stressful for me and because it required me to work 12 to 16 hour days, I was often sleep deprived and occasionally overslept.  It wasn’t uncommon for me to hit the snooze button repeatedly until the alarm finally woke me up, but occasionally I would simply turn off the alarm clock in my sleep preferring not to be bothered.  On several occasions Connie would wake me up after I had overslept, yelling, “You’re going to be late for work!”

As previously mentioned, Brainy can’t make sense of the world immediately after awaking, so on these occasions when I would oversleep and was startled awake by Connie’s helpful but alarming warning, Brainy would simply alert me that it was time to panic.

I would jump out of bed and in my stupor I would run around the bedroom aimlessly, picking up random objects – thinking I needed them for some reason – and continue to run around trying, unsuccessfully, to make sense of the world with a pillow in one hand and a flashlight and yesterday’s dirty sock in the other.

Connie would usually intervene at about this point and calmly and slowly explain to me that I was running late, that I wouldn’t have time for a shower and that I would need to get dressed and drink at least a half cup of coffee before I was able to leave.  She would then take whatever objects I had managed to pick up during my maniacal run through the house and would introduce me to the closet while explaining that clothes could be found within.  She would then leave me to my own devices as she started the coffee.

My point in sharing these anecdotes was to convey to the reader that I’m a heavy sleeper and generally spend my first 15 minutes of apparent consciousness in a state of delirium.  I hope I succeeded in this endeavor because I have one more story which just occurred this last weekend.

Serial Killer Comfort

I have a relatively new Facebook friend who has been going through some stuff recently.  Friday night I sent her a message inquiring as to how she was doing.  I then took a two-hour nap  and immediately after awaking I decided to check my Facebook notifications.  She had responded to my message with, “I’m alright”.

Anytime I simply answer, “Fine”, “Okay”, or “I’m alright”, it generally means I’m not, so in my sleep-stupor I decided to respond.

I told her I didn’t believe her but understood that she might not want to talk about it.  Then, in an attempt to offer comfort, I thought it would be a good idea to bring up Jack the Ripper.

I explained to her that my listening and communication skills may rate lower than those possessed by the 19th century serial killer but that I have an aversion to blood and am too lazy and skittish to go around killing people.

This was Brainy’s idea of comfort with a dash of humor.  I was barely able to keep my eyes open as I typed the message.  Immediately after hitting “send”, I went back to sleep.

My mind is almost always busy.  It often keeps me awake for hours when all I want to do is sleep.  The only time it’s quiet is after waking up – which simply proves that my delirium is more powerful than Brainy … at least until the former starts to fade.

I awoke again early Saturday morning. I had been up for the better part of an hour and was on my second cup of coffee when my stupor started to leave me.  That’s when Brainy took over and cheerfully announced, “Jack the Ripper”.

Jack the Ripper?  Why am I thinking about him?  Did I have a dream or something?  I don’t remember dreaming about Jack the … OH MY GOSH!  NO!  Please tell me it was just a dream!”

That’s when I started to remember that while most of my body was virtually dead to the world Brainy decided to offer words of comfort by sending a message of blood and murder.

I immediately opened Facebook to see what I had been up to during the night and found my “message of comfort”.

I sent another message: “Please ignore the last message and please just know that I hope you’re really okay. I vaguely remembered writing something about Jack the Ripper and thought, ‘Oh no! What have I done? And why did I think that was okay?'”

I panicked much of Saturday until I finally heard back from her.  Thankfully, she saw the humor in the situation and wasn’t disturbed by it.

But I was!

I now know I’m capable of sleep-messaging and am dreading the day when I next inflict my demented brand of textual terror on another unsuspecting victim.

The Horrors of Small Talk

I hate small talk. Most introverts do. But the worst kind of small talk, in my opinion, is the kind in which you feel obligated to participate but weren’t prepared for.

The unexpected meeting!

A while back I had gone to Subway to get a sandwich and ran into an old coworker I hadn’t seen in about 15 years. She recognized me, I recognized her, both of our brains kicked in and remembered past shared experiences – so naturally, we both felt obligated to speak to one another.

Commence mandatory small talk!

She: Oh my gosh! It’s been so long! How are you doing, Vicki?

Me: Oh, hey! Fine, and you?

She: Good! What have you been up to?

Me: Not much … and you?

She: What are you doing now? Where are you working? Do you have a girlfriend? What’s been going on?

Me: I have some cats. That’s about it. How about you?

She probably thought I no longer liked her. We were never terribly close but I never disliked her. We simply have nothing in common with the exception of our old job.

If one attends a party, a reunion or some other social affair, one expects to interact with others. I tend to avoid such get-togethers to avoid the inevitable, but if I were to attend such a function, at least I’d know it was expected of me.  The only speaking I was prepared to do that day was to recite my sandwich order which I was busy repeating over and over in my head so that when my turn came up, I wouldn’t hold up the line.

But when I ran into my old coworker, which was a completely unexpected meeting, I panicked. My sandwich order was on a continual loop in my brain and I didn’t have much room left for new thoughts, nor did I have time to construct a mental script for the occasion.

I felt bad that I couldn’t fill my old coworker in on the last 15 years but she was either going to have to settle for a four-hour conversation or “I have cats”. The second choice seemed more humane than to hold her hostage for four hours during her 30-minute lunch break.

Just Plain Vicki Goes Facebooking

Social media is one of an introverts favorite ways to socialize.  The usual stressors which are present when spending physical time with people are greatly diminished in the social media world … but that doesn’t mean it’s completely stress free.

Social media offers its own unique brand of stress, leaving the sensitive introvert with enough stress to cause her (or him) to feel like a social experience has been had, without having to leave the house or see anybody!

Let me demonstrate by taking you along with me for a condensed tour of a fairly typical Facebook session.

My internal monologue is in blue italics.

(Opens Google Chrome.  Clicks on Facebook shortcut.)

Oh my goodness!  33 notifications! 

I think I’ll do a quick scroll-through before checking my notifications. 

(Scrolls through newsfeed)

Oh, look!  Jane’s in a relationship … for the third time this year … and we’re just in the first week of March. 

Should I congratulate her or wait until next week when men are dogs and she’ll never waste her time on another one again? 

I think I’ll wait. Maybe I’ll just pretend I never saw it.  She could be single again by lunch time.

At least when I say I’m through with love, I tend to wait for three to eight years before I embarrass myself again. 

(Scrolls through newsfeed)

(Scrolls through newsfeed)

Why do people have to be so mean?  I don’t like Trump one single bit, but I don’t go around insulting people who do.  I simply hide their posts  so I don’t have to see them.

How did we end up here?

How were our only two choices Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump?

When are people going to realize his character has never been honorable? Even when he was featured in the media back in the 80s he was arrogant … and he’s always been a braggart.

And when are people going to realize that defending his behavior isn’t winning any converts?

(Sighs)

Why do people have to be so mean?  Why can’t people just be nice?

I’m glad my mother’s not having to live through this. Character meant everything to her.

I can’t believe she’s been gone for 25 years now!

I wonder what she would think of me today. I wonder if she’d be…

I need a tissue.

(Blows nose. Scrolls through newsfeed)

Oh, cool!  Somebody started a share-your-favorite-childhood-photo thread.  I think I’ll post one.

Scott was so much cuter than I was.  

Aww, Shadow was such a good cat.  I still can’t believe he dragged a 22-pound turkey from the kitchen to the front door!

I sure loved those overalls.

(Scrolls through photos)

Hmmm…  I don’t really know these people but there are some really cool photos here.

I think I’ll like this one …

and this one and…

THIS one’s so cool!  I’d bet it  was taken between 1948 and 1952.

Let’s see if I’m right. …

What?  Why didn’t they post a date? 

History needs to be documented!

(Sighs. Continues scrolling through photos.)

Oh my gosh!  What an ugly kid!  I’ll bet she wasn’t very popular in school.  She was probably teased and bullied and came home crying every day and felt worthless and ugly and…

Poor thing!!!  I sure hope she grew into herself … or at least developed a good sense of humor!

(Gasps audibly.)

Nobody has even bothered to like her snapshot!  Some of the others have 15 and 20 likes.

(Clicks “Like”)

There!  I hope that makes her feel better.  I need to go back through and like the other ugly kids.

(Reviews photos again, liking all of the ugly kids or those who haven’t received any likes yet.  Continues scrolling through newsfeed.)

Sandra just posted a video – says it’s hilarious.  I guess I’ll check it out.

(Watches clip of kittens being cute and acrobatic…)

Aww!  It’s not hilarious but it’s cute!

(The next clip on the video shows a man sledding down a hill and is stopped suddenly when he accidentally scissors a tree)

“NOOOO!  NOT FUNNY!  No! No! No!  That’s awful!”

(Stops video one-third of the way through.)

Oh my gosh!  Poor guy!  I wonder if he’s okay.  How can people think people getting hurt is hilarious?  He could have died!

I need another tissue.

(Scrolls through newsfeed)

Nope!

Nope!

Nope!

Nope!

If they didn’t turn these images into dares by adding “Share if”  I might just share some of them, but I’ll be a fire hydrant in Dogland before I let some meme tell me I don’t love God because I didn’t share.

When did one’s loyalties start being defined this way?  It’s like a 21st century digital chain letter that uses guilt and bandwagon techniques to get you to prove love, loyalty or memory simply by clicking a five-letter word.

How did we prove that we loved God before Facebook?  It’s not like we sent postcards to all our friends twice a week reminding them that we love God!

How absurd!

God knows how I feel without having to…

(Scrolls through newsfeed)

Oh, look!  Laura just posted in our introvert group.  Let’s see what she has to say…

What the ****?

Somebody just insulted her!  Her comment wasn’t even offensive!

That’s not fair!

That’s just wrong!

I better say something to this bully before Laura has to read this crap!

(Leaves comment for bully.  Firmly puts her in her place, without being unnecessarily mean – but just enough so she should feel ashamed of herself.)

I sure hope Laura doesn’t get her feelings too awfully hurt.  Poor Laura!  She didn’t deserve that!  Why do people have to be so mean?

I’m so mad I’m shaking!

I can’t do this!  I’ll check my notifications later.

I need to go on a bike ride or something.

(Logs out of Facebook. Spends next two hours obsessing over the troubling Facebook posts. Decides to post the experience on blog and returns home to write.)

The end.

Sorry, Wrong Number

img_20170224_133734I really have to be in the mood to talk on the phone. The unexpected call is the worst! When I’m basking in my introversion and the phone rings, I often feel as though my space has been invaded. I don’t hold it against the caller because I understand that sometimes messages need to be passed on, or perhaps a friend has a question or just needs to vent. I understand! But that doesn’t stop me from panicking when I hear the phone ring.

Iimg_20170224_134350 don’t own a cell phone – I still have a land line – so I can only make and receive calls from my tethered phone at home. I like it that way! If I were to receive a call while I was out and about, doing my own thing, I really would feel as though my privacy had been violated! I do have a couple of friends who would probably be happier if I had a cell – simply because I ride a bicycle and have been known to have accidents in the past. Perhaps, one of these days, I’ll get one for emergencies but for now, I live in the 80s when I’m away from home.

Iimg_20170224_133514 talk on the phone, on average, about once a week. Sometimes it’s a friend calling, but more often than not, it’s a telemarketer or someone conducting a survey. The other day I was enjoying a nice, quiet afternoon at home when my phone rang. I grumbled and cursed and picked up the phone. The exchange went as follows:

Me – Hello?

Woman – (In a friendly/sexy voice) Well! Hello…

Me – Hello!

Who is this? The voice doesn’t sound familiar. Do I know this woman?

Woman – How are you doing?

Me – I’m fine, and you?

Oh my gosh! I must know this woman, but her voice isn’t ringing a bell.

Woman – I’m good! I miss you!

Me – Awww! Thanks! …um … When was the last time you saw me?

I still don’t know who this is! If only my called I.D. worked! I need to figure this out!

Woman – Don’t be silly!

Me – I’m sorry, this is embarrassing, but you’re going to have to tell me who I’m talking to. I just can’t seem to…

Woman – Oh my gaw… Is this Jane?

Me – Oh, thank goodness! No, you have the wrong number and I’m not crazy!

Woman – I’m so sorry! It’s been nice talking to you though!

Me – You, too! I can’t remember when I had a more entertaining and stressful wrong number call.

Woman – (laughs). Well, you have a nice day, darlin’!

Me – You, too! Take care!

Thank goodness!  Wrong number!  Stage fright is diminishing and I can return to being normal again.

img_20170224_133424

The Man with the Crooked Toupee

img_20170223_115343If I had a home away from home, it would be my neighborhood Dollar General.

I am there almost every day. It’s only three blocks from home, so it’s a quick and easy bike ride. The majority of my social life takes place there. I know the employees by name and regular customers greet me as if I were an old friend. It’s usually rather easy to get in and out. I know where everything is and often help fellow shoppers locate a hard-to-find item. I like it there … in five-minute increments … as long as everything goes according to plan.

On a recent trip to the Dollar General to buy milk for my coffee, things didn’t go so smoothly.

I walked through the automatic doors, picked up a hand basket, greeted the cashier and proceeded to the cold cases to grab a gallon of milk. I placed my hand basket on the floor, opened the cooler door to retrieve my milk and was joined by a man wearing a crooked toupee.

If we had been in a crowded store, such as Walmart, I probably wouldn’t have thought to mention his toupee. I would have just ignored it. But since it was only he and I standing there, I considered pointing out the matter. I quickly browsed my memory bank to see if there was anything in there regarding toupee etiquette.

There was not.

I still hadn’t decided whether to mention anything or not when the man sneezed, causing his toupee to slide off his head and land on the gallon of milk I had just put in my hand basket. I immediately turned away and started looking at more items in the cold case even though I had only gone for milk.

“Oh, this looks good!” I exclaimed enthusiastically. “I don’t think I’ve ever tried this before! I might just have to get some.”

I was simply trying to save the guy some embarrassment by appearing to be distracted. I had no idea what I was now holding … this luxury ingredient I had just raved about. I had simply thrust my hand in the cooler and grabbed something in a moment of quick thinking to save the guy some humiliation.

Iimg_20170223_114557 tried not to look while he removed his hair from my milk, but I couldn’t help but notice that it wasn’t actually a toupee at all. It would probably be better described as a hair piece.

Just imagine a hairy yamaka.

He returned the hair piece to its resting place and I turned, still holding the amazing item i had grabbed from the cooler.  The guy looked at the item in my hand, then looked up at me with disgust. He wrinkled up his mouth and nose, making it obvious he had taken an instant disliking to me and said sarcastically, “Really? You’ve never had butter before?” He then turned and walked away with his crooked hair piece on his head.

What I’ve Learned Today: Gender Reveal Parties

img_20170222_114503

To be perfectly honest, I gained the knowledge discussed here yesterday – not today – but I simply wanted to be able to use the WILT hashtag.

It all started when I was scrolling through my newsfeed and scrolled past a video a friend of mine had liked regarding something that took place at a “gender reveal party”.

Oh!  This sounds interesting!

I opened the link and immediately paused the video so I could watch the video with a full cup of coffee.  I returned with my cup of joe, settled down and hit play.  A 30-second commercial started up and I took this opportunity to contemplate the idea of a gender reveal party.

I wonder if somebody just recently had transition surgery and is about to reveal their new body to their friends and family?  I hope they don’t go so far as to actually expose themselves.  A display of genitals would be tacky!  Oh!  The commercial’s ending!  Now to find out what happens!

A man and a woman are shown in a back yard, surrounded by friends and family.  The woman is obviously pregnant and near them is a box, large enough to contain a full-grown adult.

Oh!  I bet the transgendered person is in the box!  I wonder if the couple have any idea? The pregnant woman may be the transgender’s sister … or maybe the husband is the brother.

A crowd of family and friends is standing around, urging the couple to open the box.  They tease back and forth a little and finally they reach for the lid and take it off the box.

Approximately a dozen blue helium-filled balloons make their escape into the heavens.  The crowd cheered, laughed and cried.  The couple looked genuinely happy.

Okay … whatever!  So they’re having a boy and everyone is as pleased as punch.  Maybe the transgendered person is inside the house to surprise the young couple.  Maybe he or she came from out-of-state simply to surprise them.  Maybe they haven’t seen each other in years.  Maybe…

And it’s over.

What just happened?  Where’s the transgender?  What a stupid video!  They forgot to film the whole point!  Just a pregnant woman and a bunch of stupid blue balloons!  Where was the big gender revea… 

Oh, wait! 

Pregnant woman…

Blue balloons…

I wonder if that was the whole point?  That would be really lame! 

Gender reveal party?   Hmm…  I wonder if that’s a thing?

img_20170222_114334I googled the term and discovered it is, in fact, a thing!  In fact, it’s quite a common thing.

Why have I never heard the term before?  How did I miss ever hearing about this cultural tradition? Whatever happened to baby showers?  Do they even still exist?

I alerted my Facebook friends to what I had just learned. Apparently they already knew about this tradition.

A couple of my friends expressed their dislike of being told the gender of an unborn baby. They both prefer the surprise factor. One friend attempted to make me feel like less of an idiot for never having heard of a gender reveal party. Several others piped in with their opinions and experiences with such parties and one said, “You’re so adorable.”

So there you have it!  There’s a thing in our culture called a “gender reveal party” … and I’m adorable!