The List of To-Do’s

Frozen fingers run up aching spines.

Sit up straight, little cricket. She doesn’t know that you curl into yourself to protect your frame. To defend hearts and major organs against human emotion and hurt. She sees a curved spine and dammit, that’s not what ladies do.

Cross your legs, little cricket. No lady should be sitting like a hooligan, knees up to your chest. She doesn’t know you sit with your boots out the car window, legs stretched out to reach maximum potential for hooligan-ness.

Don’t you roll your eyes, little cricket. Sarcastic gestures are for immature teenagers, not ladies. She doesn’t know you’re hoping your eyes fall out of their sockets because anything would be better than chatting about the weather when there are real problems hidden behind the small talk.

Don’t be profane, little cricket. Ladies have vocabulary, thoughtful comments to aid polite conversation. She doesn’t know you cuss like a sailor until you’re blue in the face. Four letter words are so much more fun when they’re deemed unacceptable.

Quit fidgeting, little cricket. Sitting still with legs crossed is how ladies are supposed to pose, frozen in time like Stepford wives and department store mannequins. She doesn’t know about the anxious electricity that shocks your muscles into repetitive motion. Control it.

Pay attention, little cricket. Ladies are supposed to stay aware, to make sure all the glasses are full at dinner and everyone is content in their own company. She doesn’t know about Brain leaving body, about floating above the room to think of better things when “good company” doesn’t cut it.

Learn how to cook, little cricket. A lady’s job is a housewife’s duty, haven’t you been taught that? She doesn’t know you live off of cold mugs of coffee and the occasional Poptart. How could she? Your muscles are frail underneath pale skin, but no one looks that hard anyways.

Quit scribbling in that notebook, little cricket. No good man wants a lady with her nose buried in her own inked words. She doesn’t know it’s how you cope, how you create, how you continue to live.

Little cricket, you will never be a lady. There is so much to teach you and so little time.

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