Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Titles

It all begins with the BEST FRIEND. The broken heart necklaces that you wear around your neck, 14 carat gold plated. Until you fight and then find a new one. My first boyfriend gained his title as such when he handed me a rose, and asked if I would be his girlfriend. It was all very romantic until our relationship ended because he was suspended from school for xeroxing his bare ass. Not for the xerox, but for crashing through the glass and breaking the machine.

Titles are important. Whether they were emblazoned across your rugby-style shirt (hello: BENETTON), or a validation that you are in a relationship. They provide a frame to exist within. Without a title, we feel less defined. Sometimes. A and I never discussed "boyfriend"/"girlfriend" and then one day he proposed and that was it. Fiance. Or Fiancee? Those titles were huge. So huge that after proposing on a trip to Antigua, he bit down on his tongue, creating a huge blister that rendered him speechless for the rest of the trip.

I often title myself "infertile", despite the fact that I have a child. Once tagged as such, I will always feel infertile, despite medical interventions that have blessed me with a child and may or may not again. Sometimes I feel guilty, for those who share my title and are still struggling to become parents. Is it wrong to keep this title?

In the corporate world, titles are a big deal. I inherited my title when I joined my company: "Senior Director". It struck me as ridiculous. Over-the-top, isn't Director enough? My predecessor had fought for this title. She wanted to prove career growth. The rest of my title made the sum of its parts embarassingly long, so I would often refer to myself as "Director" to save the inevitable "That's a big title for such a little girl" that happens when you deal mainly with men of 60 years and older.

The "Senior" was removed from my title when I returned to work part time after having a baby. It was an unnecessary move by my boss to send a message. I tried to fight it, not because I cared for the "Senior", but because it was punishing. After 4 years, I had finally earned my title, and because I chose to work part time, I was being diminished.

Some Stay-At-Home Moms prefer the title of Work-At-Home Mom. It is definitely hard work to stay home with your child , harder than any work I have ever done outside the home. But the WAHM title reeks of defensiveness. My sister-in-law, a lesbian, calls straight people "Non-Gay". I guess it all depends where you are sitting.

The title of "Mom" is the most surreal. I am someone's MOTHER. How can I be this, when I still cling to my own? When I refer to myself as "Chloe's Mom", which only happens at the pediatrician, it sticks to my tongue like molasses. Who is this person? I am still working on MILF.

7 Comments:

At 6:01 AM PST, Anonymous Sophie said...

After reading and thumbing through some of the abbr. words I like to make sure that MILF does not come from this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moro_Islamic_Liberation_Front , or is it? *agelic smile*

Keep going, I like your thoughts.

 
At 8:11 AM PST, Blogger Amy said...

Sophie, that's hilarious. Who knew that MILF had a whole 'nother story behind it!

 
At 1:26 AM PST, Anonymous Sophie said...

And doesn't this make the udder stowwy a wee bit less sewious!

Also I tested my british partner in crime and he didn't know LOL

He guessed something like "mothers in love forever" .... aha! Oh, and his porn on the PC is http://www1.electronichouse.com/coolhomes/ideas/fun.html it isn't budget safe but surely work safe *bg* at least it isn't cars.

 
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