916. Alex Alexander

916alex

The office staff were a close knit team. All five knew the names of everyone’s spouses and children. The annual Christmas party was “one big happy family”. And now… excitement! A new staff member had been hired!

The name was Alex Alexander. But was it a girl or a boy? A woman or a man? Annette, Raewyn, and Beth claimed Alex Alexander would be male (the “er” rather than “ra” at the end of the surname was a give-away!) Nigel and Murray claimed that Alex Alexander would be female. The anticipation!

The day arrived! Alex Alexander’s first day at work! A delightful person! Fitted in perfectly with everyone!

But no one had the lack of grace to ask: Excuse me; are you a woman or a man? A curse on unisex dressing and hair styles! Raewyn asked “Are you married?” Yes! The spouse’s name is Kim. They had two children.

Beth claimed she could detect a slight bulge in the trousers, and Murray swore there was the faintest sign of a breast. Which bathroom was used was no help; both sexes shared the same facilities.

It wasn’t that they were being rude or anything; in fact, they didn’t ask because that was the courteous thing to do. But they just wondered. Knowing makes a difference – whether you like it or not.

And do you know? It took them all week to find out!

34 thoughts on “916. Alex Alexander

  1. arlingwoman

    When I can’t tell, which is often-er than used to be, I look at the feet. I have never been in an office that was one big happy family. Though some have thought they were. I can imagine the machinations and conversational salvos to find out what needed knowing…

    Liked by 3 people

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    1. Yvonne

      I’ve been trying to think of ways to solve this little mystery. Maybe arrange a picnic and see how Alex throws a ball, and runs? Or invite spouses. (But, it could be a same-sex union.)

      In the end, it doesn’t matter, does it?

      Liked by 4 people

      Reply
        1. Cynthia Jobin

          Biologically, physically, yes. SEX (male, female) is a naturally defined characteristic. GENDER (what is deemed “masculine” and what is “feminine”) is, on the other hand, a linguistic and social convention, according to which boys are blue and girls are pink, and, in French, a table is feminine and a fountain pen is masculine.

          Liked by 3 people

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          1. Bruce Goodman Post author

            Did you know – this is nothing to do with anything much except language – that in Bougainville in the Solomon Islands, there are 5 language dialects. Every word, verb, noun, adverb, adjective, and even sentence structure is either masculine or feminine. One of the dialects is completely the opposite in EVERYTHING to the other 4!

            Liked by 1 person

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          2. thecontentedcrafter

            I think it is wonderful that the world is growing up around the designation of gender. Thirty years ago I taught a child who had been gender assigned ‘female’ as per the theories of the NZ born ‘doctor’ whose name I forget – and who should be forgotten! – whose theory that nurture would solve all gender anomalies was all the go at the time. It was pretty obvious to us all back then that the little girl playing in the dirt with her dress and white socks on was really a little boy. I met the child again at age 18 when he was taking his fate into his own hands and determinedly living life as a male – albeit a sad and solitary figure at that time……. The earth is evolving and so I am pleased to say is humanity. Gender is metamorphosing. I admire the young ones who now live their lives between the two, being both and neither and simply claiming their own uniqueness. I am also waiting for an acceptable pronoun to appear on the scene that gives us all a decent way of addressing them other than ‘they’ or ‘it’. This is a much abbreviated version of all I think and feel about this issue – I hope its vaguely intelligible.

            Liked by 1 person

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  2. thecontentedcrafter

    This cliffhanger has probably earned you another quake Sir! Still and all – surely it is the person who matters, not the sex? Though I can’t think of an office environment where that viewpoint would have been the norm either…………

    Liked by 3 people

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  3. Cynthia Jobin

    Sometimes—though rarely—a story sets ones mind off, to thinking about a larger picture. This one brings to my mind experiences that have made me furiously angry in the past, so I really must keep my comment to: “no comment.”

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  4. Rustic Recluse

    How about an Adam’s apple? Or hips? Voice?
    But really, do we judge whether we like a person by their gender? I hope not, really …
    Alex Alexander must be cool. I’m willing to be friends with… him? her? …Whatever. With Alex Alexander. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  5. noelleg44

    We’re having a bitter discussion here in NC about bathrooms and transgenders. The left wants anyone to use any bathroom that makes them feel comfortable, the right wants people to use the bathroom tied to their sex at birth. I don;t have a problem because ladies’ rooms have stalls
    but locker rooms are a big problem. I’m just taking it all in, wondering where this will go!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  6. Amy

    Some years ago, we were traveling in one of the major cities in Europe. I saw a beautiful lady, tall with long, blond hair, and had a pair of long boots on. I ask my hubby to look, he was not interested at all. I said to him, “What’s wrong with you, don’t want to look at a pretty lady?”. Hubby said to me, “You are not looking, she is he.”

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Bruce Goodman Post author

      Thanks for the comment, Amy. When I first read your comment I had thought it was attached to my story about gnomes and flamingos (it was the long boots that fooled me). And then I saw the proper story to which it was attached!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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