I Confess to Being Flippant About Bruce Jenner (though I’m not planning to apologize).

Over their usual beige dinners, my boyfriend’s teenage daughters were having an inane conversation about Kim Kardashian. Is there any other kind?

“Do you know who the original famous Kardashian was?” Chris, their father, asked no one in particular.

“Kim?” said one of the girls.

“Lawyer for Nixon?” I said.

“Lawyer for OJ,” Chris said.

“It’s his ex-wife who married Bruce Jenner, right?”

“Caitlyn Jenner,” the girls corrected me.

“Right! That happened. It’s so funny– back to the 70’s when he was considered an icon of masculinity. His picture was on Wheaties boxes!”.

“You’re supposed to say ‘her” picture,” I was told. “That’s the correct way to refer to a transgendered person even before they became outwardly trans”.

“Fine, but in the case of Bruce Jenner, whose photograph was on Wheaties boxes as a symbol of rugged masculinity, I’m going to make an exception,” I said.

I was being flippant, sitting at the counter with a bowl of green Thai fish curry that I’d made earlier. They took offense and started to clear the room.

It drives me nuts when they do that conflict-avoidance bullshit, so I got flippant about that, too: “Ooooooh a minor conflict, oh no, better run.”

Chris spent 45 minutes upstairs with them unpacking all of that while I finished my curry then penitently scrubbed the kitchen clean. The last thing Chris needs is more drama or another tangle to unravel. To my relief, when he came back down, he was amused rather than annoyed. We leashed up the dog for a long walk through the cool night and talked about other things.

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