dis·ap·point·ment [dis-uh-point-muh nt]
1. the act or fact of disappointing: All of his efforts only led to the disappointment of his supporters.
2. the state or feeling of being disappointed: Her disappointment was very great when she didn’t get the job.
3. a person or thing that disappoints: The play was a disappointment.
In the words of John Mayer “disappointment has a name,” and it’s USPS.
This isn’t going to make sense to a whole hell of a lot of people, so maybe I can find a way to help you relate.
It’s the Christmas season and you’ve been begging and pleading for that special something all year long. You’ve done extra chores, gotten all A’s, and stopped talking back and arguing. You have become a machine of perfection in hopes that this will be enough to secure your victory. It’s Christmas morning and you wait anxiously for everyone to awake because you know you’re not allowed to open presents without the whole family present, or without mom and dad’s approval. You’re so excited you couldn’t sleep and not being able to withstand the turmoil and anxiety any longer you slip out of bed and go into the living room. As you enter the room and check the clock on the wall you see it’s only 4:30. DAMMIT. It will be at least another 3 hours before any one else is up. You can’t sit in the dimness of the tree lights with nothing to do so you approach the tree with the calmness of a Texas tornado bottled up inside of you. Every step closer to the tree gets harder and harder, because it’s so close. It’s in reach. But you must wait. You’ve spent the last month dreaming of how this one item will change the way you exist in the world. How it will fill a void. You’ve planned everything around this.
It’s here. You can feel it. The thought of being within the vicinity of it labors your breathing, blurs your vision, and at any second will cause your aorta to rupture.
You’re trembling with antici…………………………………………….pation. You can’t stand just standing there. You have to do something. So you begin to scan the items under the tree. You gently start to sift through the labels checking for names that aren’t yours, so when the time comes you won’t waste precious seconds on the wrong gifts. After you’ve been able to clearly map out which items are yours, you then begin to match the sizes and shapes of the camouflaged items with what you expect the dimensions of this one to be.
“No, that’s too big.” “That one’s too light.” “That’s from Grandma. Clothes.” “That one jiggles too much.” You keep going. You know it’s in there somewhere. After you’ve made it through nearly every gift unsatisfied, you begin to panic. None of the packages feel right. “But how can that be?” You begin to get angry. “But I was perfect.” Your ears are on fire. As your throat begins to tighten and burn you begin to choke back tears. You feel betrayed. As you begin to cry something catches the corner of your eye. You turn and see a package very carefully tucked away under the back of the tree. “How did I miss that?” you ask yourself.
You carefully move the other items out of the way to get to it. The more obstacles you overcome to reach it, the more you’ve convinced yourself “this must be it. It wouldn’t be so hard to get to if it wasn’t.” As you get closer the hope begins to build, and the excitement once again becomes impossible to contain. Finally you’ve reached your destination. You look at it, just barely sticking out from under the tree. You bend down closer to inspect it, its relative size and shape, but you’re cautious. You don’t want your heart broken twice. You scan the package very carefully. Satisfied you gingerly begin to pull it out from under the tree. It takes very careful maneuvering to not knock the lower hanging ornaments off of the bottom branches. You managed to move past the little glass balls dangling precariously, but as you make that last pull it gets stuck. You pull again. The tree begins to lean forward. You decide to crawl under the tree for further inspection of what would possibly dare to separate you from your Precious. It’s the strand of lights. You can see where the package is caught and decide to lay on your side in an attempt to free your beloved. You reach under the tree, but no matter how far you stretch it’s out of reach. After all a seven year old’s arms rival only that of the length of a Tyrannosaurus Rex’s. Your heart stops. You’re too close for this to happen. The anger begins to build. You can’t give up, you’re too close. So you shove yourself with all your might and reach again. HAHA! Success. The box is freed and you scramble to your knees to pull it out the rest of the way. You have it, it’s there, you check the name tag to make sure this wasn’t all in vain. There it is, your name, this one’s for you. You smile and sigh with relief. You trace your fingers around the edges of the box. It’s the right shape and size. You lift it and to your satisfaction it’s the right weight. You shake it and it makes the right combination of sounds, not too many clunks and jingles and definitely not the soft rustle of clothes. Not the sounds of something wrapped in clothes either. This is it. You know it without a doubt. You can feel it, and begin to breathe easy again. Even though it’s now only 5:17 a whopping forty-seven minutes later and you still have roughly two hours to wait, it’s okay. You know it’s there and you’re holding it. It’s real and the anticipation becomes slightly more bearable. You sit there holding it lovingly and tracing it’s shape with your eyes and fingers. A bond begins to build. Your imaginings of how this item will help to perfect your world are now a reality. So you wait anxiously, but it’s okay.
After what seems like an eternity of sitting in the dimly lit silence, you hear rustling and footsteps. You get excited. Then you realize they are clumsy but soft, it’s only your younger sibling not mom and dad. You look at the clock and see that it’s only 6:42.
So close. It’s almost time, you can feel it. In your limited experience of life it’s alright that you still have to wait a while longer, you know without a doubt that the magic in your lap is the gateway to Zion. The idea that you could be wrong never thought to cross your mind. This is simply because of your unfamiliarity with how cruel the world can be, but that lesson will come. Soon.
Everyone’s up. Mom and dad have their robes on, a coffee mug each. They’ve finally made their way into the living room. They see that you’ve already separated your stack and are cradling the package you don’t dare to let out of your sight for even a moment. They look at each other and for a moment they’re peeved, but somewhere between the spirit of the season, the fact that you’re only seven, and that they know without a doubt this is something a child of theirs would most certainly do, they simply move on to the next moment without question.
You’re ready to tear into the package, but being part sadist, as most parents are, they lay down the rules. Mom, “wait until your sister has all of her gifts.” Dad, “since you couldn’t wait for everyone else, you get to open that one last.” You shoot lasers out of your eyes directly at them. Don’t they know how important this is? How dare they? You start to protest, and dad cuts you off with the tried and true, “well we can just give it back to Santa and try again next year.” You stop, it’s almost more than you can bear to hear, so you cave. Like a hungry angry baby that’s just had a nipple shoved in its face, you cave.
You decide to formulate another strategy, you’ll quickly rip through all the other presents to get to your Precious. After the second gift your parents figure out what’s going on. “Woah, hold on a sec,” dad yells. “Grandma’s going to want pictures of this,” mom follows up. “Hold it up” she says. You shove the gift in the air to make the moment pass. “Smile, there are a lot of children that don’t get anything for Christmas.” Ah yes, the good ‘ol starving children routine. It doesn’t work for brussel sprouts and broccoli, why the hell should it work on the most important day of your life thus far? But you cave, yet again. You fake a smile. The kind that clearly states you don’t condone this. You know what they’re up to. This isn’t your first rodeo.
So box after box, you rip open and hold its contents up to the unnecessary lime light. Great, another hideous sweater. Another useless book. A new pair of sneakers, you’ll come to appreciate those later. Lego’s. A pocket knife. Wood burning set. Remote control plane. Any child of the 2/3’s world would be instantly grateful to have such items. Not even all of them, just one would change their world forever, as it should yours. But no, there’s only one item that will pacify this demon. It’s so close and yet light years away.
You open all the remaining boxes. You even double-check under the tree just in case you missed one. Then you turn to Mom and Dad and painstakingly plead to finally be allowed to open the one that truly matters. They agree. Before they fully even get the blessing out of their mouths, you’ve already shredded through the wrapping paper and have the box tape mostly out of your way. As you pull open the last bit of tape it refuses to budge. You pull and pull with all of your might to no avail. The rage begins to build again. Another hurdle. “Why don’t you use the pocket knife you just got from Uncle Joe?” your Dad asks. Why? Because you weren’t actually paying attention to the items in the other packages, you didn’t even notice it. You were going to make time for those items later.
You attempt to locate the knife, but have no clue where in the pile of debris around you it is. So there you are wasting precious minutes searching for an item that MacGyver wouldn’t dare leave home without. Finally there is it, right next to you, because your subconscious knew you would need it sooner than later.
You quickly shred through the tape almost losing an eye and a thumb in the process. You throw the knife back onto the floor and like a Tasmanian Devil annihilate the interior packaging that is holding your Precious captive. There it is. Your heart and lungs stop. There’s a silence in your ears that you’ve never experienced before, and the world has come to crashing halt. You gaze upon it finally. As your heart and lungs begin to function again and sounds return as white noise, your brain begins to fill with doubt, fear, awe and questions:
“Oh God, this is it. It’s really here.” “That’s not what I thought it would look like.” “The colour is strange.” “That’s bigger than I thought it would be.” “I’m supposed to do what with this?” “This can’t be right.” And finally, “Where are the instructions?”
This is a new experience, you’re terrified and excited all at the same time. This is not how you imagined this moment. You’re really not sure where to go from here.
So this is the part where I explain what in the hell that entirely unnecessarily drawn out, overly glorified, Steinbeck-ish
blade of grass… I mean metaphor is about.
I recently ordered my first STP (stand to pee) packer (packing your pants with a penis). I ordered it online as Indiana isn’t known for trans friendly sex shops (who knew?). Now it’s probably starting to make sense how a single item could change the way you live. I was excited and terrified all at the same time. My room-mate was kind enough to order it and I paid extra for more or less over night shipping. I was incredibly anxious to get the packer in the mail, and in my “best laid plans” it would arrive on a Friday or Saturday which was of the utmost importance. I wanted to spend the weekend learning to use it so I wouldn’t find myself peeing all down my britches at work and then be stuck in the precarious position of either having to explain to my boss why I wished to carry out the remainder of my shift from the men’s room, or why I was walking around clutching a binder to my crotch all day like a Titanic survivor holding onto that door for dear life.
Friday came and went, with no penis in my mailbox. That left Saturday to be my Christmas morning. When I awoke I quickly put on clothes and ran to check the mail. I expected a key to be left in the box for me to retrieve my package from the large parcel boxes below since the box wasn’t on my porch. Much to my horror I instead found an ugly little note from the postal carrier telling me my Precious was being held captive at the Post Office. I was starting to get angry. Ok, I was angry. “Why didn’t the postal carrier ring the door bell?” I asked. I also noticed on the ugly little note that the package was under roomie’s name. He had just rolled out of bed and wasn’t thrilled when I asked if he wouldn’t mind going to the Post Office with me to get my penis. Knowing how excited I was and how much this meant he agreed to put on a shirt and a hat and willingly went out in public looking like a hung over hoe-bag (for those of you that know roomie, you know this is a big deal) and to the Post Office we went. As we drove down the street he asked “is the Post Office still open? It’s Saturday they close early.” “Yep,” I responded, I checked the website, it said they’re open until 4.” I pulled out my phone and showed him the website. “Umm, last pickup is at 4, they were open from 9-12. It’s 2:30.” “WHAT?,” I shrieked. “But I read the website.” “Yeah, it does look at first glance like they’re open until 4” he replied. “FUCK. FUCK, FUCK, FUCK. DAMMINT. FUCK.” I continued the colourful expletives as I turned the car around and headed back to the house. “I’m sorry” is all roomie can manage to get in between my rants. Looking back that must have been awkward for him, after all there’s not really a Hallmark card for “sorry the US Postal system is holding your penis hostage.” That really is more the type of thing you find in airport gift shops after an encounter with TSA.
I stayed angry for the majority of the day. What took me a while to admit was why I was angry. I’m 27 and upset because my first penis wasn’t in the mail and I now have to wait another week to have a weekend to learn to use it. I’m embarrassed, and feel utterly ridiculous, but can’t begin to admit it.
So Monday came and roomie went to the Post Office and picked it up. It was waiting for me when I got home from work. I was so excited when I saw the box. I fought with the tape before I thought to grab a pocket knife. When I opened the box and saw what was inside I was slightly terrified. It was bigger and heavier than I thought it would be and the colour wasn’t quite what I had imagined. The part that you pee through was somewhat intimidating. Once I finally tried it on I was terrified because every time I looked down it looked like Godzilla was in my pants. I looked at my wife and said “this will be the only time you ever hear a man say this, it’s too big.” She tried really hard not to laugh, but there was no way to contain it, and I can’t blame her.
So as time passed I became more comfortable with my new friend. I learned that being able to pee standing up is AMAZING. I learned why biomen are always grabbing their crotches, it moves around into awkward positions a lot. I’ve learned that balls sticking to your leg always happens at the most inopportune times and as a result you become an International Stanky Leg Champion. It really does become your best friend in a strange way.
Over time I also started trying to find more comfortable ways to wear it, as the actual peeing receptacle was kind of a pain, literally as well as metaphorically. I’ve torn it apart and rebuilt the insides at least 4 different times now. Unfortunately the main ingredient has to be ordered online. Apparently the only size latex tubing you can’t buy in stores is 5/8, so once I get my hands on that I’m sure I will have constructed the ultimate pissing machine.
So that’s it. The story of how the stork brought baby’s first penis.