A Love Story That Offers Hope to Non-lesbians (And Non-penguins)

“I could have been a terrific lesbian,” I once told my straight friend Ruthie. “But a hitch occurred: I am attracted to men.

Suki is small and delicate. Chupchikoni has a suit and, above all, as the name suggests, a chupchik – a little something that sticks out. So no one was surprised when they became a couple. Relationships based on love and monogamy are very common among penguins. As with other mammals, a chupchik is really all you need to get a female partner, because the singles market is cruel in the extreme, and every owner of a chupchik – irrespective of level of education, earning ability or emotional intelligence – will very easily get a female partner.

But Suki and Chupchikoni had a shared secret of their very own. Suki is for Chupchikoni, Chupchikoni is for Suki, and the couple is against the whole world. Now their secret has been revealed to all and sundry, and everyone is in an uproar.

Don’t let Chupchikoni’s chupchik confuse you, the way it confused the penguin handlers at Ramat Gan Safari. Blood tests showed that Chupchikoni is a female exactly like Suki, and the two had, for some time, been conducting a model relationship that excelled in deep affection and also in an exciting sex life. Notwithstanding the fact, the handlers say, that there are no few males in their vicinity available for coupling.

Some of you out there (I refer to men) might be amazed that, among the great abundance of penguins with coupling potential in the safari park (some of them undoubtedly spontaneous, possessing a sense of humor and wanting to live life to the full, except that they are ambivalent and need space, mostly in light of the fact that their wife doesn’t understand them), Suki chose a partner that only looks like a male. But it’s beginning to dawn on me that Suki is actually a female who has it all. “You did it, Suki!” I would say to her if I could speak Penguinese. “Go for Chupchikoni big time!”

Let us contemplate the astonishing fact that penguins do not have significant secondary sex signs, so those who handle them are able to distinguish their sex solely by their size. But what confuses people, and especially men, cannot confuse a female penguin, who as a woman does not see only with the eyes, but, above all, with the heart. From the first instant she was not misled by external markers like size, hygienic habits, male attire and Chupchikoni’s inclination to give short, businesslike replies, to deal with results instead of trying to understand motives, clinging to facts and bodily needs instead of occupying himself primarily with the psyche. Nor did the chupchik make the slightest impression on Suki, because she understood that the mere fact of its existence is no proof she will get an exemption from lengthy foreplay, reciprocity and an equal distribution of the burden. Nor can she enjoy the ability to shorten the process by faking an orgasm.

From the moment Suki gathered, with her feminine sensibilities, what Chupchikoni really is, she undoubtedly understood that she will never again be able to resort to the ultimate excuse, which she reserves for herself, as every woman does: “Okay, you won’t be able to understand me, because you’re a man!”

(For the sake of male readers, here’s a simple explanation: You are a man, i.e., insensitive; an emotional cripple; interested in inanities and never in the truly important things; you ask how to get from A to B without first trying to clarify the matter and understand why we should even try to get there and how we will feel on the way. This is in contrast to me, who, as a woman, is all profound wisdom of the heart and emotional turbulence and doesn’t actually care where Masmiya Junction is, whether it’s next to Kastina Junction or in the very same place, and the only thing you have and I don’t is a chupchik.)

The most spectacular result of our feminist struggles resides in the fact that men were somehow persuaded to believe that we women, as such and by definition, have access to a vast arsenal of infinite wisdom, to which entry is forbidden to every man as a man, unless he is gay (but then the existence of the chupchik is not relevant to our personal well-being).

Suki actually tried to liberate herself from the arbitrary gender division. One time, after an especially emotional quarrel, she said to Chupchikoni, “Okay, you can’t understand me because you are a woman.” But that didn’t sound right. True, there are also disadvantages to a relationship with one woman, but the advantages cry out to the heavens. More than once, and more than many times, I envied girlfriends of mine who decided to switch sides, and even more those who were fortunate enough to fall in love with members of their own sex from the beginning.

“I could have been a terrific lesbian,” I once told my straight friend Ruthie. “But a hitch occurred: I am attracted to men, and not just because of the chupchik but also because of the whole thing that’s attached to it. I’m sure it’s my mother’s fault, because in our family, women’s attraction to men is a genetic thing that’s transmitted from generation to generation without any need for a sperm donation!”

But Ruthie said it’s because I always think that if I were to have a female partner, someone would at long last organize my closets and also go to the income tax bureau in my place, and the truth is that inside me lurks a stinking male chauvinist.

One time I was caught red-handed when a good friend of mine discovered, at the age of thirty-something, that she actually prefers women. She moved in with her female love. “Now your home will at least be clean,” I said to her in a moment of incaution, and it took almost a month until she agreed to start talking to me again.

Now she is married to her beloved, according to the law in the American state where she lives. Her partner looks exactly like the (male) model in the commercials for Rav Bariach doors. “But to find an animal who burps and thinks you’re his servant, and therefore buys you horrible presents like that, you could have stayed straight and married a truck driver or a pilot,” I told her, when she decided definitively to have nothing more to do with me. But I see the pictures she posts on Facebook. Her hair is trimmed in a short, convenient hairdo, and the trace of a thin mustache emphasizes her happy smile (but there are plenty of gorgeous, well-groomed lesbians!).

Think of the advantages, my sisters! No more visits to the hairdresser! No more incessant hair removal! You will be able to throw out the makeup kit and go around in a sweat suit and running shoes! You will be able to talk from morning until morning about feelings, and there will be someone who will truly understand you. Just don’t come crying to me afterward that she’s always digging.

Tibor Jager