Chanukkah


On the first night
of Chanukkah, I give Andy two CD's. Andy already has 2,000 CD's, but I know I can pick anything that he doesn't have and he'll like it--as long as its not classical. I get him Bikini Kill. The lyrics are very women-oriented so Andy feels like a hip,feminist male just for owning a Bikini Kill CD. And I feel cool having a boyfriend who listens to it.

The second night I give Andy bubble bath, because he likes sweet, romantic things. He's surprised because I'm never sweet and romantic. We light three Chanukkah candles, and bring the menorah into the bathroom, and slide into the raspberry-rhubarb bubble-bathed tub. I lie back against the tub and Andy lays his back against my chest. I wrap my arms around his waist, and his arms wrap around my thighs, and I nuzzle my nose into his soft blond hair.

The third night, I give Andy a pruning shears.

"Thanks," he says, "These will make it so much easier for me."

"No," I say. "They're for me. I'm going to help you so I don't have to talk to your mom for an hour while you prune her bushes."

The fourth night we have a fight. I return the shirt I bought him and buy a shirt for myself.

The fifth night I give him boxer shorts covered with my finger-painted prints.

The sixth night I give Andy trees. Two hundred redwoods for his model train. He mapped out a replica of the Santa Cruz line at the turn of the century, and the model is almost finished except for the barren plaster that's supposed to be a mountain side. I suggested he put in bushes, which you can find at any hobby shop, but he was appalled. "You can't put bushes where Redwoods go. The scenery isn't just there to cover up the foundation. Don't you get it? If I wanted to do bushes, I'd do a model of an Illinois train." So I scoured Southern California for a shop that sold Redwoods.

The seventh night I give Andy my other train store purchase. When I was wandering around the N-scale section, which is the inch high train sets, I noticed a whole wall devoted to models of people-people who are less than one inch high, but covered with interesting details. The most interesting detail was that most of the one inch people were men, doing things like reading a newspaper or playing tennis or buying and selling ice cream. The women were lying down in bikinis, or posing in tight shorts, or hanging out wet laundry-twelve different versions of women hanging out wet laundry.

"What are these for?" Andy asks, trying not to seem ungrateful for the gift.

"The model train. I thought you'd like some people."

"But where do they fit into the model?"

"Well, I think its important to bring to peoples' attention how sexist the model train industry is."

"What?"

"There were no models of men doing housework or posing on the beach."

"I knew you wouldn't like going to train stores."

"You can put the women hanging out laundry in the forest, so they're like a colony of women whose lives consist of cleaning other peoples' clothes. What else could the manufacturer of these women have been thinking? Or they can be Stepford wives, and you can put them in your suburbs, on the front lawns."

"What about these other people?" he asks.

"You can put the sunbathers on the beach, and the other women on the board walk. And that guy who looks like he's buying something? That's the john for one of the women. Isn't that clever?"

"I get your point, but I don't really want to turn my model train into a monument to feminism."

"If you were really a feminist, everything you do would be a monument to feminism."

"How about if I give you the beach, and you can have the prostitution scene..."

"Sex worker scene."

"You can have the sex worker scene, and the beach bunny scene, and we can trade in the women washing clothes for people playing volleyball? The colony of Stepford wives seems a little over the top. Let's just leave the forest alone, okay?"

"Okay. Isn't it nice that we've found a hobby we can share?"

"Yeah, okay, but you're just sharing the beach, and that's all, all right?"

"Thank you."

"When is Chanukkah over?"

The eighth night I give Andy a blow job. It's not like this is something I wouldn't do if it weren't Chanukkah, but I want him to remember it's always a gift.




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