Frieda y Diego Rivera by Frida Kahlo
Our new landlord just called. I picked up the phone;
“Hello, uh, Mrs. Burns?”
Silence. I wait. Ball’s in his court.
“Um, is this Darby?”
“Yes, it is.”
“And, uh, you’re not Mrs. Burns?”
“No. I am not. I am Darby Strong.”
I relay this chapter because enough is enough. First of all, I would be Mrs. Burn, no “S”, as my loved one’s surname is Burn. Secondly, are we living in the year 2005, or did I just get bonked on the head with the Betty Crocker cookbook while darning my husbands socks and end up in Patriarchville, USA? Sometimes, it is difficult to tell.
I had reported earlier that our move to the South had unearthed this strange beast, marked by its constant assumption that two heterosexual beings seen together, anywhere, must be married. This beast presides within a huge amount of the population here, but somehow has not spread to the more progressive areas of the South and seems to have never survived in the North. I, being from the North, haven’t the immunity required to deflect the neverending barrage of male identity placed upon my femaleness. My system is weak against the husband assumption strain of the beast, and I don’t particularly care for the shot that helps me get used to it, either.
The best part comes when I mention that I don’t want kids…