Sunday, July 05, 2009

Return to the Estrogen Palace

I'm back from a five-week research trip to Philadelphia, back to the home I share with my wife Mrs. RSI and our daughters Miss Teen (almost 15) and Miss Tween (12).

A little world that has now become an estrogen palace.

Of course, the estrogen foundation was already in place. Miss Tween hit puberty and there's been a lot more talk about periods, pads, hormones, washing out panties, mood swings, and the details of menstruation. Videos, music, cell phones, and boys became more important; bikes and Scooby Doo less. There's also been an exponential increase in the bra population.

Mrs. RSI makes comments about the girls being "hormonal" when they're in bad moods. I'm not sure about this. I was "testosteronal" every minute of every day as a teen-ager and had a lot of sulky moods, bullying moments, and general over the topness. I'm not sure I'm all that tremendously different now either.

So, it seems that being human in any full sense of the term means being hormonal all the time.

And I generally think that's a good thing.

But I'm not so sure about the aesthetics of it all now Mrs. RSI and the girls have been painting the house in their own particular estrogen colors.

I'm highly allergic to paint. So there's always paint projects when I'm gone. But this time, I heard something new when the girls talked about painting various rooms. Miss Teen picked out an "egg shell yellow" for the kitchen and told me that it was "r-e-a-l-l-y p-r-e-t-t-y" in this sing-song voice I'd never heard from her before.

When I heard that, I thought it literally sounded like Miss Teen was drunk, but I also had a feeling that she was on a high from remaking the world to reflect her hormones.

She was painting an estrogen palace.

The next project was going to be painting the living room "rose-pink." Mrs. RSI vetoed that as too "girlie," but she then chose a luminescent green that's probably even more girlie. Now that I'm home, what's interesting about "the green room" is that it's so sensitive in light. The walls seem to "glow" in different ways as the light changes.

It has a very 60's kind of effect. Groovy, man.

But still girlie to the max.

Then there's the new baby, 'er puppy. Or as I heard over the phone-- p-u-u-p-p-y with a sigh at the end.

Our little family already included a dog and two cats. We also support a large avian population with all our bird feeders. But Mrs. RSI and the girls went shopping and Mrs. RSI fell in love with the look on Miss Tween's face when they were at the Pet Smart (entirely by accident I'm sure) and Miss Tween held up a puppy blue heeler mix and hugged it.

Love was in the air and I wasn't at home. So now the family has a new blue heeler puppy to swoon over.

Well, everyone except me.

I have to admit that I do swoon a little bit to see the girls growing up. Miss Teen has already started insisting on driving the car up and down the driveway in preparation for her 16th birthday in 2010. Dad's in Eastern Kentucky traditionally buy cars for their daughters and I'm thinking about adapting that practice if Miss Teen turns out to be a safe driver.

We're also starting to talk colleges and I'm going to take the girls to tour Cornell University next week when we attend a family reunion in my ancestral homeland of Upstate New York.

Why not think big?

But I'm not swooning over the puppy and not swooning over the luminescent green. Likewise, the teen-age boy in me is starting to question all the "cutesiness" around the house even as I make a conscious adjustment to living in an estrogen palace.

But there's nothing that says an estrogen palace can't have a "man hut" and I'll probably start building mine soon.

If only in my head.

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