There are lots of bugs in this house. Spiders that crawl quickly out of sockets, flies that bang blind into window panes, and beetles that look bored as I paint or stain or whatever womanly project I've undertaken. Womanly. What happened to my feminism? My rejection of misogyny? A tiny black beetle crawls slowly over the throw pillows I've so carefully chosen, considering pattern and color, yearning for style yet restraining myself to what I consider a masculine color pallet or a bold pattern. Perhaps this is why I'm uncomfortable when my roommate dons red heels and boasts of his shapely legs. I want to crawl away and hide in the walls of my own do-it-yourself, follow-the-instructions gender norms.
I gently lead the bewildered beetle into a glass cup and carry him outside to the grass. And just like that, over time, I remove the unwanted parts of me from the presentable household I'm keeping.