Tales from the Bible Belt

So, some of the staff were talking about their weekend this afternoon. One lady, let’s call her Mary, had her brother and his family come in to visit them. Let’s call him Putz…just because. So, Putz has a son 6 and a daughter 7, and Mary has a daughter about their age, 9. Now, Mary Jr has a really cool sounding doll house. Has an elevator, door buzzers, the whole bit. Putz’s daughter wanted to play with it, getting the dolls to cook and clean and Putz and wife were all, “Isn’t that cute, she wants to be just like mommy.”

But, Putz’s son wanted to play with it too. Apparently baby Putz has been saying, for two years, that he’s a girl, wanting to play with his sister’s toys, wearing dresses, etc.  It seems Mrs. Putz is often home alone with the two kids, as Putz is an over-the-road truck driver and is often away for long stretches at a time. She admitted that she just lets him play with and wear whatever he wants around the house because it’s not worth the temper tantrum that he throws if she says no. Apparently she’s had the “you’re a boy; you need to do masculine things and be big and strong like daddy,’ talk several times and she’s convinced that if she stops making a big deal out of it, he’ll eventually ‘grow out of it.’ She also told Doomed-to-be-a-Putz NOT to tell his daddy. So, this is apparently the first time Putz has seen his son try to be (and insist that he is) his daughter, at least to that degree.

To hear Mary talk, once the boy really started in on the ‘I’m a girl and I want to play with the doll house’ spiel and wouldn’t stop, Putz took son into the back room. They emerged fifteen minutes later with son crying up a storm and Putz with a smug grin on his face. Reportedly, Putz sat back down and told them that he solved THAT problem. No son of his was going to be ‘sissified’ and he had promised baby Putz that he was going to get a ‘whoopin’ just like that one every time he acts like a girl.

Now, I don’t really believe in spankings as a general rule because in my experience (personal as a kid and vicarious  through watching other people around here) it tends to get out of hand in a hurry and turns excessive. But, I live in the Bible Belt…’spare the rod, spoil the rod,’ and all that. So, ‘whoopin’s’ are completely fine with everyone here.

To give Mary her due, she was saying today that she didn’t think Putz handled it right. But, of course, she didn’t say anything to him about it. “It’s his kid. He has a right to bring him up as he sees fit.” Then she related that she saw the boy playing with the dollhouse later, after Putz was good and drunk, and she didn’t say anything to him.

So, as far as I could tell, to that point, Mary was basically just a bystander and didn’t actually agree with her brother. But then she said, “And really, something has to be done about that boy. He’s the biggest sissy I’ve ever met.” Apparently she’s seen his ‘girlish’ behavior more often than Putz.

All the other staff were chiming in. “Oh yeah, I know this kid who’s really girly and his mom just lets him do whatever.” “He’ll grow out of it. My brother was a sissy and now he’s a construction worker”. And my favorite. “He just needs a firm hand.”

What possessed me, I’ll never know, because I KNOW this kind of stuff won’t be well received….but I asked Mary if the boy’s parents had ever considered that he might be transgender, since it’s persisted for two years already and doesn’t seem to show signs of stopping, and he doesn’t sound like he just likes some girl’s things here and there, but sounds like he honestly defines himself as a girl.

They all looked at me like I had lost a good hundred IQ points.

Mary said, “Well dear, there’s really no such thing as transgender,” and she spit the word out like it was bad fish. God just doesn’t make mistakes like that. That’s just something the queers want you to think.”

There were so many things wrong with that sentence …starting with the fact that I don’t like to be called ‘dear’, especially in that tone of voice. And it just went downhill after that. Everyone was giving me pitying looks and my coworker (the one I report on all the time, code named Voldemort)  said, “If you’d read your Bible…”

I honestly couldn’t tell you what else he said after that. I suddenly ‘remembered’ that I had a bunch of filing to do and excused myself.

It’s probably against the law, not to mention the Bible, to fold, spindle, or mutilate my coworkers, isn’t it?

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