Confession of a Lapsed Feminist Signing Real Estate Papers in South Texas
I have—of late—lost all my principles.
While at the title company signing for our new home, I did not demand that the MAXIM magazine be removed from the reception area.
When told I had to sign all documents as "co-borrower" and/or "spouse" in blue ink, I did not pitch a fit that I could not sign with a magenta glitter sharpie.
When asked by my home lender why I was a "grumpy bunny today," I did not stab that man in the neck with said blue pen provided by said title company.
I did not point out the bitter irony of the assembled group's consensus that they just "didn't get the ending of No Country for Old Men." (Have you no dreams of the old times? Do you not lament the horseman who carries the fire, receding into darkness?)
Most shameful of all, I did not, when the realtor blamed Hurricane Katrina victims for not evacuating when told to do so, berate him as ignorant of the social science disaster behind the meteorological one.
My psychiatrist had already deployed all available legal pharmaceutical solutions to ensure success, but alas! Menstruation is a sly bitch. Would I have wadded the pages of that MAXIM magazine to stop my flow from ruining their cushy leather chairs? Would I have veered off from the long walk to the conference room, ducked inside a windowless office, taken the woman seated there, held a stapler to her head, and demanded a primary signature line for me and a better salary for her?
Yes, I would have. In the early days.
Today, I am an older version of that feminist who’d have pointed out every bullshit disparity in this cowhide-coated, oak-paneled, Old Spice-infused man space. What’s more, I’m a mother now, and a mother has to overlook the petty battles to win The War. A mother has to provide shelter, food, and security—and possess the pharmaceutical assistance to withstand indignities.
I am—as of present—doped up, with public restroom toilet paper wedged up my cooch-chute and my literary/social science analysis filters turned up to eleven.
This is how grumpy bunny signs on the lines underneath the man’s name. For forty-five minutes. Signature, initial, date, repeat.
When the hurlyburly’s done, there is an offering for my lost dignity: the plastic, cheap ballpoint—mass-produced, and stamped with the title company’s logo.
Here, the line snaps. (For mustn’t there be a victory, however small, to keep the flame alive?)
I say to the men assembled: "No, I don't want your fucking free pen friend-o. It's BLUE."
About the author:
Amy Minton’s fiction appears in Indiana Review, Phoebe, Waxwing, Knee-Jerk Magazine, Monkeybicycle, Hobart, and others. Her short story, “Overhanded,” was selected for inclusion in Best of the Web 2008 (Dzanc Books), edited by Steve Almond. Her non-fiction appears in Gravel, Hobart, and The Collagist. She sips fine tea while her four dogs keep her feet toasty.