A Feminist Life, Etc. 

by Beverly McPhail 


To be more inclusive when my sons were growing up I would say things like, when you are older and your boyfriend or girlfriend . . . . . At age 16 my son said to me, "Mom, I appreciate the inclusive language and I hate to disappoint you, but I am straight." And I could have been such a great mother to a gay son!
My father had dementia and forgot most everything and rarely said more than a word or two. As I was sitting with him in the nursing home he suddenly said a complete sentence to me, his first in years and as it turned out his last complete sentence to me:  " I never did like you very much."
Me to male friend staying at my house:  Want to have  drink before you go out?
My Friend: Yes
Me:  My sons always did that to save money on drinks at the bars later. They called it getting "pre-lubed."
My friend:  As a gay man, that means something different to me.
Me:  I suppose it does.
Conversation is one of the most glorious attributes of being human, glorious when well done, disastrous when not. This page will include snippets of conversation heard over the course of Life, Etc. with special attention paid to the humorous, absurd, or ironic. 
Me to Mother-in-Law:  How are you?
Mother-in-Law:   Fine.
Me to Mother-on-Law:   Funny, you don't look or sound fine.
Mother-in-Law:   I'm not.
Me to Mother-in-Law:  Do you ever say what you really feel or think?
Mother-in-Law:   No
Cowboys Boots 
Heard at a pricey Western store:

Kevin - "The last time I wore cowboy boots I was 6 years old and they hurt my feet."

Sales Staff - "We can do better than that for you now, sir."

An African American friend explains why Santa Claus leaves just one present for her daughter at Christmas:

"I did not work hard all year to have some white man come down the chimney and get credit for all the presents. She gets one present from Santa. The rest are all from mom and dad."
Class Conversations 

A female Asian student in an Intro to Women's Class:  People hold such stereotypical beliefs.Today our class was taking a math test and more people sit by me thinking  since I am Asian I must be good at math and they can cheat. The joke is on them though because I am terrible at math.

A female African American student replies: At least people want to sit by you. No one sits by me. They think I am going to steal their purse!
Crazy Mom

Beverly:  After a visit with a son that I thought was unhappy with me and I asked him about it and he said he was fine, it must be me.  I said, "I have the crazy mom; I don't want to be the crazy mom."

Sexy Shoes 

My hairdresser was telling me about how he met his wife. He saw her talking to a friend of hers across the room at a party. He loves sexy shoes and she was wearing a pair. He walked up them and talked to the two women, saying, "Can I say something outrageous to you?" They look startled, but intrigued and said, "Yes." He said to the woman he had admired from afar, "Tonight, when the skirt comes off, the shoes stay on." She gasped, but later that night, the skirt did come off and the shoes did stay on.
I Know Pretty 

My husband casually mentioned to his mother that a woman who came to the house on a real estate matter was pretty. "She is not pretty," said his mother. My husband responded, "I think she is pretty."  My mother-in-law said, "I know pretty and she is not pretty!"