Please Contribute!

---> Do you have a similar story to share? Make me feel less self-indulgent and less alone. Please email me:

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Me Vs. Man #1

Man #1: But is it a guy or a girl?

This is what Man #1 said to Man #2 moments after I entered the elevator in my office building. I look up, surprised at their audacity, ready to bare my teeth, when I realize they are talking about someone else.

They move on to office chatter and gossip about avoiding a co-worker, until they come back around to whether or not it was a guy or girl.

Man #1: No, but seriously, is it a guy or a girl?

Man #2: I don't know.

Man #1: I just can't tell!

Then, I'm all riled up, and like a gender-neutral tea kettle I screech:

Me: Who cares?

Man #1 turns to me so slowly I'm afraid I might have to say it again. But eventually he turns to face me and says with pinched eyes:

Man #1: What?

Me: Why does it matter?

Man #1: You don't even know what we're talking about.

Me: I know. I'm sorry, you just sound ... really judgmental.

Man #1 huffs and puffs looking alternately at me and Man #2. His anger and confusion make his eyes look like they're about to pop out of his face.

Man #2: Just be quiet before someone gets hurt.

I decide Man #2 is warning Man #1 about me and how I could become violent at any moment. Either way, this is a long elevator ride and we have some time together. I'm on the 60th floor of my building and though the view is nice, it's insane how high up I work. We all stare at the video screen, reading about Kate Middleton's pregnancy, until the elevator doors open at the ground level. I start to rush past them, happy that I confronted this situation. But then:

Man #1: I was talking about my dog.

Me: You're talking about an animal?

My mind races. Am I a total, total asshole??? I conclude that I am.

Me: Ahh. My apologies.


So that happened yesterday, and when I told my girlfriend that story, she immediately said that Man #1 had enough time to think of a good excuse. She argued that it's really not hard to figure out if a dog is a boy dog or a girl dog.

Do you agree with her? Or, am I total asshole?


  1. Gender neutral tea kettle? best line ever.

  2. I think you're not an asshole at all. However, it is legitimately hard to determine the sex of many animals, especially young cats and dogs...because fur and lack of balls descending. Also, it's not really any of your business. I mean, gender wars don't need to be fought in elevators. Legitimately, it's not a good place to do something...with strangers who are not going to be receptive to you and when you don't even know the entire situation.

    Unlike when I was photographing a wedding with a trans m-f. I passed her and considered her outfit, because it was really cute, and the person behind her stopped me and said, "I thought the exact same thing about the same person." I was genuinely confused, because this woman is just who she is to me and nothing more. When I FINALLY put two and two together, I just said, "Oh, I hadn't seen her outfit before and was just thinking about how cute it is!"