I would like to be a badass whiner when I am undeniably under the weather. There are wimpy, limpy, poopy pants who are annoying and droopy when injured or ill, but they get themselves all of the rest and consideration that their bodies deserve. Then there are badasses who ignore their physical woes for so long that the denial and obvious discomfort become just as annoying to their spectators who, in the beginning, enjoyed that their super humans weren’t affected by such a trifling hurdle. Some things are obviously not trifling hurdles, so I want the sensitive, new-age-stud middle-ground. I want to acknowledge that I have some physical limitations while still playing it cool. Hercules with a broken arm instead of a hangnail.
Our species survived for bazillions of years, running around, practically naked on the savanna. If pregnancy was the huge impediment that we sometimes think it is, we wouldn’t ever have survived this long, so maybe I should stop complaining about it. Sure, the advents of obstetrics and nutrition were pretty key in our struggle for personal longevity, but mothers are built to be hardy conquerors. Just because I don’t entirely want to be a picture of curvaceous womanhood doesn’t mean I think women aren’t tough as nails. Ladies are some badass shit – constantly bleeding and surviving, killer muscles, stubborn endurance, wicked brain capacity and, often, emotional poise. So why does this very female condition have me reeling and simpering? Can’t I just woman-up and tap into some sturdy, robust, cellular memory of how to become a stout, yodeling, witch-priestess? I bet they would whine just perfectly.
“Look, I can lift and stir my cauldron, I will darn your socks, skin the beast for dinner and suckle the other four offspring, but after I milk the cows and make the cheese, I am taking a nap and I will spear anyone who wakes me up.” Farmwifery sounds so much more manly than dudehood. I aspire to that level of daily achievement while feeling, abdominally, like shit.
Rugged sensitivity – that’s what I’m going for here: Indiana Jones agreeing to a cup of tea, his bullwhip just visible under his maternity top. What would Batman do if he got knocked up? Would he institute scheduled rest times that he alternated with his prenatal Pilates practice, and would he take an extra, unscheduled nap if he couldn’t get enough sleep after getting home from the obligatory charity function the night before? Maybe I am aiming too high. I’ve always been more of a Shaggy or a Zander. Shaggy would chuckle while holding his expanding belly, sandwich in hand, foot on the harmless badguy in the meddling monster costume. Though, when Zander gets his eye poked out, he doesn’t even ask Buffy to stay by his bedside. Even the class clown doesn’t whine about forever losing depth perception. I grow a bit nervous that I am aiming for funnyman and landing sadly near the icky little sister, Dawn.
Maybe I should reframe whining as the badass thing to do – the verbal equivalent of a batarang to the leg: a pointed, sharp, high-pitched zinger that is hard to ignore, even if you are a Two-Faced, only semi-sensical metaphor. Whining’s just me letting the world know how it is and who’s on patrol. I’m in charge and today that is going to involve six naps, four smoothies and a marathon on the Cartoon Network.
I’m not really fooling myself here. I’d rather be G.I. Jane telling my expanding, wrenching uterus to suck my dick so that we can better function together in the trenches, but the standard issue jungle rot on my foot is actually pretty itchy, and if I am really in charge, I can totally mandate a few hours/days/weeks off. The commanding officers can shove it. Besides, I hear I’m going to glow like a happy, boppy Swamp Thing during the second trimester. That had better turn out to be true, or I’m going to take out how badly I feel on every holding cell in Arkham. Their ears will bleed from all the whining.