For most of my life, I lived a lie trying to fit the mold society said I should. Since I learned to hide who I am at a very young age most of that was done at an unconscious level. But not all.
At my best, I was never very macho, but there were times when I tried to pretend I was. This was mostly a joke and everyone knew it.
Sometimes I would make a big deal about how “manly” guns were, even though my wife was always a better marksman than I was. I always thought of my shop as a “manly” place, even though the whole family used it.
One of my favorite things to masculinize was coffee, yes coffee. I like coffee, to the point of obsession at times. So in keeping with my “manly” facade, I decided that coffee was masculine and so coffee cups were masculine.
This became a running joke in my family. When I was making coffee I would carefully pick out the cups according to the gender of the recipient.
If I was making coffee for a guy I would pick out a very “manly” cup, because men need manly things. But if I was making coffee for a woman I would practice this ritual. Since I was seeing all coffee cups as masculine I would look through all of the available coffee cups for the right one. Then after careful consideration of all of the attributes of the cups, I would announce to the recipient this is the least manly cup we have, so you get this one.
But not everyone in the family liked this little ritual of mine. We all knew it was a joke but for some, it wasn’t funny. In particular, a couple of my older daughters didn’t like it. They would point out how coffee didn’t have gender and when that didn’t stop me they would threaten to get me a cup that was clearly not masculine.
Like so many other parts of my life that were a disguise to hide the me inside, this joke has faded away. But in the end, I finally got what I really wanted, to be me and the perfect coffee cup.
Thank you, girls, for accepting me for who I really am and giving me the perfect coffee cup.