Old Country for No Men


This isn’t a work-related post, necessarily, but you must know this about me: there are no men in several generations of my family. It’s by design, actually: we are a family of second and third marriages, multiple divorces, and men who are simply referred to as the baby’s daddy.

I have no problem with my family’s structure. Furthermore, we have several generations of strong women in my family who know how to survive. We can adapt to change, we can manage dysfunction, and we still know how to have a good time.

In any case, the time when the absence of men is most noticeable in our family is during illnesses.

My mother was sick in 1998, and a doctor referred to my family as a group of Amazons. He was an old, stupid doctor who had his head up his ass — but it’s not uncommon to hear similar comments at the hospital from well-intentioned doctors and nurses who are genuinely surprised to see a lack of men in my family.

Just yesterday, a very nice and thoughtful surgeon commented upon the lack of the Y chromosome in my family — immediately after telling us about my grandmother’s condition. I know we are a friendly family. We smile and love the doctors who care for our grandmother; however, I just wanted to respond, “Dude, aren’t you at work? Does your job allow you to comment upon the lack of Y chromosomes in the nursing staff, too?”

My grandmother is a stubborn old lady who exemplifies independence and self-sufficiency. It’s nice to have a man, of course, and I’m totally thankful for my own husband — but it’s nice to know that I come from a long-line of hardworking, determined feminists who are not afraid to choose something better than the crappy comforts of bad marriages and good-for-nothing husbands. We may not always make the best choices in my family, but we have some standards.

Also, if you’re a medical professional, I do have some work-related advice for you: please keep your personal commentary about my family structure to yo’self.

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