Spring has come unseasonably early here in Oregon, and I can sense things stirring in my backyard already, pushing and slicing their way to the surface. They don’t want to wait until a more reasonable time–they want life right now. Vines are slithering out of the ground, soft and green. The sprouts in the veggie patch are starting to spread their tentacles. Buds are bursting open on tree branches, and the tiny finches, which have been waiting for this all through winter, are tearing them to pieces with their hard beaks.

I want to shut my door and keep Mother Nature out. I distrust Her on good days, and fear Her on worse days. She is out to get me. I will put on music to block out all that happy growing noise, and savor the little bits of my world which I can control. Cut roses in a vase. Nuggets of meat on a plate. My pet dog. I can close the blinds and burrow deep into my bed. Let the messiness of the spring happen without me. In the comfort of my home, I can pretend that I don’t live in a wild universe.

Still, I can feel them from here, moving in the brown soil. If I don’t ever go out there, I will wake up one fine morning in a house covered with weeds.

When is the fall coming back again?

I’ve never cared about fashion. Shoe shopping makes my eyes glaze over with boredom. I rarely wear make-up, and prefer to simply brush my hair back and tie it into a ponytail. I feel complete indifference towards whatever is “in” right now. I have nothing against fashion–it’s just not a thing for me.

But oh, the stuff you realize while watching public television. Their shows are totally worth the tax money.

It finally clicked for me as I was looking at the prancing birds of paradise on a Nature episode. Yeah, those birds, preening their feathers and spending hours decorating their nests in an attempt to attract Mrs. Bird. I would have to be pretty dense not to notice the connection between that strutting male’s bright red tail and the photo of the stilettos in the magazine. Every species has its mating rules. For humans, the rule is that the female wears the feathers–the make-up and heels and dress. I can’t willfully refuse to follow the mating rules of my own species and then complain that things don’t work out for me.

Does that realization make shoes and clothes any more interesting for me than they were before? Not really. I still find fashion to be dull at best and a pain in the ass at worst. But you gotta do what you gotta do, and I have a choice to make. I can remain the way I am, but then I don’t have the right to bitch about it if I don’t attract a mate in the future. So I suppose I should make at least a minimal effort at being “female”.

Or…I could do what genuinely interests me, and go back to listening to that discussion about the Keystone pipeline on C-Span. I never said I was particularly *good* at this whole being human thing….