Castration Doesn’t Hurt
by Marina J. Neary
|Part 4: The Freak Show Continues|
So, my new life began. I traded my cyber sex-goddess for a real-life Eurotrash queen, my parents’ cozy paid-off bungalow in the mountains of central Pennsylvania for an overpriced townhouse in New England, the good-natured jerks I grew up with for not-so-good-natured jerks I was forced to work with, a set of God-given breeding balls for a bucket of golf balls.
And, since I’d never played golf in my life, Rinnie had to pay for my lessons. Apparently, she used to date the instructor, so he gave her a sweet discount. He normally charged sixty an hour, but for Rinnie he knocked down a whooping five dollars.
I know it’s hard for you to conceive, but I used to think of myself as a somewhat masculine specimen. In high-school I used to run track, which, I guess, classified me as a second-tier jock. My Daddy used to coach football. All in all, we were a respected provincial dynasty.
I found out that in southern Connecticut your masculinity was not determined by six varsity letters or even a six-pack on your stomach. It was determined by a six-figure salary, something I could not boast about, something that my bosses brought to my attention at every opportunity. One thing that my new boss demanded right away was trimming my mullet and removing the hoop from my ear.
“Hey, this isn’t the Lancaster Country Renaissance Faire,” he sneered. “Drop the Robin Hood act, will you?”
That was probably the wittiest thing that has ever come out of his mouth.
“They are just jealous of you,” Rinnie tried to comfort me. “They wish they had your gorgeous boyish figure and your flowing blond hair. And most importantly, they wish they had your gorgeous, intelligent, creative, sexy wife.
“Their own wives are a bunch of neurotic, dried-up hags who faint when their yoga instructors move studio locations or when caterer delivers shrimp the wrong temperature. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. And their kids? Ah, don’t even get me started! Their kids look like Mexican gardeners. It’s pretty obvious that they didn’t come from test tubes.”
To her credit, Rinnie could navigate the corporate labyrinth with her eyes closed. Too bad there is no academy award for the best performance in office hypocrisy. She could smile at those pudgy, balding, heart-attack bound pigs, even flirt with them, swoon over the photos of their potentially half-Mexican children, and then stick her finger down her throat behind their backs, making faint gagging noises.
“All I want from them is my paycheck,” she used to say to me over a bottle of wine. “They feed us scraps from their table, but I can cook a nice gourmet meal with those scraps. Look, you and I are in no position to get all squeaky-proud. I’m just a poor immigrant girl from a broken home, and you’re a Pennsylvanian hick. Let them think they own us. We know better. As long as they pay us — who cares?”
God, I envied her ability to switch off that voice of indignation, to mooch off of those she despised and still sleep well at night. This humorous hypocrisy went against my upbringing. My Daddy was a provincial patriarch. He coached football and ushered at St. Mary’s church. When he blew his whistle or smashed his fist against the table, it was like Poseidon splitting the ocean with his trident. The earth trembled. Daddy didn’t have to suck up to anyone to put food on the table. If he saw me, his only son, crouching before my bosses, he would surely disown me.
Sometimes I wondered if I should’ve let her squish my reproductive facilities back at O’Faolan’s. Yes, it would’ve been more painful, but at least I would’ve kept my inner dignity. Rinnie was slowly slicing my masculinity and feeding it piece by piece to the giant corporate Cerberus.
Copyright © 2011 by Marina J. Neary