My office is about as full of disillusioned thirty-somethings as any office. As such, we’ve begun to build up a bit of a Nerf Gun Arsenal. It started in IT, as Nerf-like things tend to, and has washed over most of the other departments, hiding in desk drawers and file cabinets, just waiting for a quiet Friday afternoon. I was one of the only “kids” left without protection, so our benevolent warehouse manager said he’d bring me my very own Nerf Gun. He asked me to pick between purple and blue, and I of course picked purple. Because I’m fabulous. And apparently naive.
This morning, as I was on the phone performing my best customer service voice, (raised about an octave higher than normal, and a bit clipped at the end), the warehouse manager wordlessly plopped a pink and purple box on my desk, and walked away. I glanced, taken slightly aback at the forced femininity that was flooding my periphery and my eyebrow started the ascension that has lasted until right now. I can’t get it down. Like, help.
To begin with, it’s not a gun. It’s a “slingshot”. And it’s only one of a sugar & spice line sold at many fine retailers. The line is named, “Rebelle – Secrets & Spies”. It’s like rebel, but without a penis. The word “rebel” would conjure images of testes, vas deferens and any number of male-only biological paraphernalia. I’m certainly thankful for that extra “le”, lest I suddenly sprout (more) facial hair and refuse to change course when playing sidewalk-chicken. The seemingly twenty-something girl on the box is delighted that she’s finally allowed to join in the reindeer games, even if she’s severely under-equipped with only two darts, compared to the big (boys’) lines of semi-automatic Nerf-gasms. But it doesn’t matter. After those two darts are flung, it’ll probably be time for her to get back to more practical fodder. The patriarchy isn’t going to prop itself.
Every time I look at this box, I see some other ridiculous and unnecessary detail. The name of this particular toy is, “Slingback”. Get it? Like a slingshot, but a kind of shoe so girls can read the word instead of staring at it for hours until someone mansplains it to them. Little girls do be shopping. Other toys in this line include, “Diamondista”, which combines a girl’s best friend with the last part of “fashionista” so she can still be the cutest gal under the glass ceiling. The “Secret Shot” is a purple and white purse, that I’m guessing shoots darts? Or…holds darts? Or, distracts our young heroine by forcing her to dig through it for seven minutes because she knows there’s a dart in there somewhere? Each toy has white wings drawn on it. The kind of wings you’d see on the back of a bro’s t-shirt. Because, even if she’s shooting you in the face, she’s still your little angel.
The darts. The darts are another thing. One of them is a nice, non-threatening turquoise, tipped in pink. The other is the “decoder” dart, and when you slip it into the handy-dandy decoder sleeve, you can see that it says, “LOL!! :)” Haha…I’m not violent, I’m just cute! Shooting this dart is like sending “JK” at the end of a risky text message. It’s the superfluous sorry of Nerf-warfare.
I’m still going to play with it. I already have ovaries, after all. I’m not in danger. Earlier, one of my male coworkers tried to pick it up and I screamed and slow-motion ran to him to stop it before he gained nipple sensitivity. Because I’m such a good friend. LOL!! 🙂 But seriously, be really careful if you play with this. I shot it at someone earlier and he instantly fell in love with me and then I got pregnant. Because it’s filled with literal girl-feelings.