When a viking mistreats his lady, she may cut off his junk and hang it in her home.
- Women were in charge of the household’s money because they were believed to be magic and have the ability to see into the future.
- If a woman divorced her viking husband, he would be shamed for being divorced.
- Men weren’t even allowed to touch a woman’s hand if she had not agreed to it or he would be punished by law.
jeez i would love to order that thing online, but i don’t know what size to order it in because women’s clothing sizes are determined by the alignments of the planets in relation to the fuck you galaxy
god seriously. such a huge cause for anxiety. it took me like 4 orders from ASOS to finally align myself with their sizing voodoo. my life is better for it, though.
I want to talk about bathrooms.
One in particular. I grew up in a modestly sized, one-floor-plus-creepy-basement-plus-creepy-attic my dad bought in the early 80s. It was an older house in an urban area – probably built around the turn of the century, a perpetual fixer-upper. My dad’s stubborn DIY attitude paired with the inevitable entropy of the aging house compelled him to attempt repairing, repainting and refinishing every nook and cranny of the place. Some of these projects he finished. Others he did not.
He never got around to the bathroom. Since I was very young, I felt iffy about the bathroom. The floor was that splintery sort of wood underlayment you see on home improvement shows when Bob Vila is tiling a kitchen. The wall: yellowed plaster, with bizarre horse-hair fibers fraying loose where the material was pitted or cracked. Gnarled electrical wiring protruded from holes above the sink, capped with those orange plastic twisty things.
On the bare plaster wall, above the toilet, there was a black marker outline drawing of a duck.
In the corner near the door, a basic bathtub, the surrounding walls lined with duct tape and black plastic that would expand and contract as you closed and opened the door, like a billows, or an enormous pair of trash bag lungs. I once saw a large, shiny water beetle skittering around in the tub. Since then, every time I took a bath, I imagined that hundreds of those guys lived behind the plastic.
At some point, probably when I was 8 or 9, my dad refinished the area around the bathtub. The plastic was stripped out and replaced with a shiny white melamine prefabricated shower enclosure. It had little shelves for shampoo and soap and a bar for washcloths. The intention was to refinish the rest of the bathroom – to redo the floors, the walls, the light fixtures.
Then my dad was hurt pretty badly in a car wreck. Repairs to the house became sporadic. He suffered some brain damage in the wreck. Partly out of boredom, and partly for therapy, he took up drawing. Among other things, he completed a dozen or so colored pencil profile drawings of ducks.
Some years later my parents marriage failed, and my dad left. The house got pretty bad after that. My mom seemed to completely check out from life. We basically lived in squalor. It’s easier for me to understand now that I’ve lived out on my own. Depression has this effect. Either you lack the energy to maintain your living space, or you simply don’t see any point in trying. I couldn’t grasp it then.
As a part of the custody proceedings, an arbiter came to the house and assess the living situation for my brother and me. A couple days leading up to the assessment, my mom’s friend helped her feverishly clean everything to make the house presentable. I found the plaster walls in the bathroom hastily painted over with a cheap white primer paint, duck and all. The splintery floor had been coated with the same paint. I was perplexed by this, but it was enough for my mom to secure custody of us, and ownership of the house.
Around this time, I became neurotically obsessed with the skin on my genitals. I had gotten the idea that these small bumps on my penis – skin glands, I later found out – needed to be removed. Some of these removal attempts included the use of razor blades, or the acid that people use to remove callouses from their feet. Afterward I would sit on the toilet, reading a book about Vincent van Gogh – his time in mental institutions, the times he mutilated himself.
I submitted an oil pastel drawing of the bathroom to an art show during high school. I put down thick layers of brown and yellow, then put white over the top, scraping it away to mimic the primer that was chipping and flaking from the floor. I took my time rendering the splotches of sticky tobacco residue that bled from the whitened ceiling, courtesy my dad’s years of chain smoking. I drew the bath tub frozen half-full with a slow-draining gray murk.
My mom came to the show and saw the drawing. She said to me, in a ghost’s voice, “I know you need to have more time with your dad.”
I ran away the next week.
The story behind lobsters
is that they weren’t thought of as cuisine
until the 19th century. Before that
they were considered peasant food,
and most often served in prisons.
The story behind diamonds
is that they were just rocks until 1938
when there was a marketing campaign
that forever linked them with love.
The story about you is that you thought
I was so much more than I was.
The story behind art
is that it’s never a masterpiece
until it’s already been sold.
Once it already belongs to someone else.
The story behind us
is that once you finally had me, you had
no idea what I was worth.