Mary Johnson loves her family. She grew up in a traditional household. Her earliest memories revolved around her father marching through the door at the end of a long day to find her mother emerging from the kitchen with a smile to report that dinner would soon be on the table. Dinner was always a bright spot in her day, as her parents would ask a hundred questions about her and her sisters’ day.
Another thing she remembers is always wanting to get married and always wanting to keep her last name. She loved the idea of recreating the family that she grew up in while at the same time paying homage to them.
What got her thinking about all this was a boy. Well, a man really. THE man, if she was going to be honest about it. The first time she saw him she knew. There might as well have been doves released behind him as he entered the room. “A handsome man certainly brings out the insecurities” she thought to herself at the time. Whether that was echoes from the collective unconscious or a result of the last Cosmopolitan article she’d read she didn’t know.
“It’s not my responsibility to be beautiful. I’m not alive for that purpose. My existence is not about how desirable you find me.”
― Warsan Shire
There was only one small problem. His last name was Johnson.
“I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.”
― Jane Austen
People would assume she took his last name. That would not do. Of course she wanted his Johnson, she wasn’t rejecting it. Not at all. It’s just that it was important that she had her own Johnson.
“A friend said to me, “Hey you need to grow a pair. Grow a pair, Bro.” It’s when someone calls you weak, but they associate it with a lack of testicles. Which is weird, because testicles are the most sensitive things in the world. If you suddenly just grew a pair, you’d be a lot more vulnerable. If you want to be tough, you should lose a pair. If you want to be real tough, you should grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding.”
― Sheng Wang
She debated whether she should call herself Mary Johnson Johnson. Two Johnsons is a lot for one woman, and in the end nobody would know which Johnson was which. Nobody would be able to tell her husband’s Johnson from her own.
The dilemma ruined the time leading up to her nuptials. She just couldn’t come to grips with it. She loved her husband’s Johnson (almost as much as I love typing it), but even during the ceremony she couldn’t relax and enjoy the proceedings.
Finally it came time for her husband to say his vows. He’d gone to the trouble of writing his own. Well, not exactly. He had decided to use a quote from Roman Payne;
“She is free in her wildness, she is a wanderess, a drop of free water. She knows nothing of borders and cares nothing for rules or customs. ‘Time’ for her isn’t something to fight against. Her life flows clean, with passion, like fresh water.”
When he was done there wasn’t a dry eye in the church.
It was then that Mary Johnson turned and fled back down the aisle. Out the door and into the light.
“What’s the worst possible thing you can call a woman? Don’t hold back, now.
You’re probably thinking of words like slut, whore, bitch, cunt (I told you not to hold back!), skank.
Okay, now, what are the worst things you can call a guy? Fag, girl, bitch, pussy. I’ve even heard the term “mangina.”
Notice anything? The worst thing you can call a girl is a girl. The worst thing you can call a guy is a girl. Being a woman is the ultimate insult. Now tell me that’s not royally fucked up.”
― Jessica Valenti