I have Female Hysteria

I accept that for the better part of a century we’ve been saying that Female Hysteria isn’t a real thing. Misogyny kept women locked in small lives with no intellectual, emotional, creative, sexual, or legislative outlet. Then they put us in institutions when we acted out. Men made the rules and we had to walk the line. But…bear with me…What if Female Hysteria is a little bit real? And what if I have it? In this the year of our lord 2019, me a woman of sound mind and good education, thinks she has a 19th century disease that was treated with masturbation and naps.

First Symptom: I am irrationally angry all the time. Today I asked a woman how to find a section in the grocery store and I nearly grabbed her by her lapels and screamed in her face, “Your pause is too long! Why isn’t your brain and mouth moving faster! I WANT TO BITE YOUR FACE!” Intellectually, I understand she gave me the information in a reasonable length of time. But I felt unhinged. Here is a short list of things that have enraged me lately:

  • The laughter of a child

  • A dog wearing a hat that didn’t match his personality.

  • The general lack of things in the color orange

  • A guy I used to date posted a picture of his shoes on Instagram

  • I’m the wrong height. I’m too tall to be average, but too short to be tall. 5’9 is the worst.

  • Everything has cumin in it

  • Actor Zachary Levi’s face in Shazam

    Any number of these things could have driven me to peel all my skin off and throw my bloody skin suit at the nearest bystander.

Second Symptom: Food tastes weird. Everything is too sweet, or too salty, or too spicy. What do I love? SUGAR. What do I love only slightly less? SALT. What is something I’ve never said in my life up until a month ago? “It’s a little spicy.” I was putting hot sauce on my eggs when I was six. And yet suddenly I’m one of those people who can taste different flavors in ketchup.

Third Symptom: I have zero interest in sex, but I have a desperate need to have it. I am straight and yet I hate all men most of the time. You have to talk to them so much before they’ll let you have sex with them. They all had childhoods. They all have friends, and jobs, and hobbies. And if I don’t pretend to care I don’t get to have sex. And masturbation seems so time consuming. If I have ten minutes I should probably load the dishwasher and put a load of laundry in the machine.

Fourth Symptom: I think everyone is out to get me. I’m not necessarily paranoid. Three people are actually out to get me. But that feels like a lot and my mind is conflating it into everyone.

People currently plotting against me: (1) A coworker who thinks I’m responsible for her changed circumstances and wants to see my fortunes fall (2) A buddy’s wife. She thinks I had sex with him. I did not. But I can’t prove I didn’t. You can’t prove a negative (3) My neighbor thinks that I am the one who clogs the garbage chute and has enlisted other residents in surveillance to catch me.

See? Anger. Observable Neurological changes. Loss of libido. Paranoia. FEMALE HYSTERIA.

Still not convinced? I know it is female hysteria because it goes away when I am given time to myself, bland food, orgasms, and a low-stress environment. So although the original diagnosis was just woman-hating bullshit. There is an actual human condition in which sometimes you need to have someone give you a very clinical orgasm, and then tell you everyone around you is a jerk and should try harder not to upset you. I will immediately begin to secure funding for a sanitarium for women like myself. High thread count sheets, Netflix, and gardens to drink tea in.


Specificity and the Unmarried Woman

I once called my brother hysterically sobbing about my not being married. Just because I’m the Merry Spinster that doesn’t mean I’m never a bit husband hungry. And in what was a well-intentioned but poorly thought out attempt to cheer me up he said I was struggling to find love because I was “too specific.” No one matched up with me. I assure this did not make me feel even slightly better and he quickly changed approaches.

But my brother was right. I am way too specific. I was just sitting in my bedroom in Yoda pajamas learning to play The Come On by Janis Ian on my banjo. In order to fit into my life a man must be 35-50 years old, at least 5’8, gainfully employed, and a regularly bather. But he must also never yell or hit and not need me to live with a cat. In addition, he has to have an appreciation if not a fondness for Star Wars and assorted science fiction, 70’s singer songwriters, and the banjo.

I always thought the most specific romantic need in human history was Siegfried and Roy. Gay German Lion Tamer with a love of showmanship seeks same, is a dating profile that is really only getting the one response. Recently a friend got married to another lesbian professional mermaid. I only know about it from Facebook and she was previously married to a man, so I guess it would be Bisexual Mermaid Seeks Same. Probably a lot more likely romantic prospects than Gay German Lion Tamer, but still not a ton.

I feel like "Tall black female Sci-fi nerd Dog lover, seeks even-tempered banjo aficionado. Must also not be short or super young or perceptively old. Morning people who love Mexican food only need apply." Yep…So…I’m taking bets on which of those things I’ll end up living without. Dog lover, banjo tolerating, and even-tempered feel like the only non-negotiable requests. We shall see. The plan is just to get married before I turn 50. Because that’s when a spinster becomes an old maid. And the Merry Old Maid sounds less like a person than an Irish sea shanty.

These were a gift from my mother. And they're awesome

These were a gift from my mother. And they're awesome