This is your Life as an Estrogencel You wake up at 5:30 AM to your East Asian girlfriend turning on the bedroom lights. It’s terrible; you feel lazy and just want to go back to sleep. But she insists in a stern tone and you join her for your morning run. You’re both training for a half-marathon your company is hosting next month. It’s tough and boring, but it really seems to relieve stress! On your way home, you grab a large soy milk lattee to get that extra boost you need before you bike to work. As you savor the creaminess, you fondly recall how your mom used to joke that you had soy milk in your veins, because she drank it so often while breastfeeding you. Once inside, you drink a glass of ice cold filtered water and head to the shower. The warm, aerosolized water from the shower is soothing and you hang your head, letting out a long, pleasurable moan. “Are you jacking off?” your girlfriend mockingly asks as she bursts into the bathroom. “Hey, I wasn…” you begin in protest — but she cuts you off, “I have to pee!” When she’s finished, she grabs a pill from her birth control package. You think it’s funny that her urine is sterilized at the water treatment plant before being reintroduced into the potable water system — some of it could be running down your face right now. LOL shower thought. You stand nude in front of the mirror: you’re 30 but your doctor recently remarked that you’re the youngest looking 30-year-old man he’s ever seen! You admire your full, red lips, the youthful red glow of your boyish cheeks, and your smooth upper body with just a small patch of hair on your sternum. You admire your long, thin, curved arms and think about what great shape you’re in! Well, except for that pesky ring of abdominal and hip fat that you just can’t burn off! But who can? “A runner’s body”, you think to yourself. Your 23&Me report said you’re a natural sprinter! You try to kiss your girlfriend goodbye as she heads off to her job at a nonprofit. “Ew, your deodorant is overpowering” she growls as she shrinks away from your embrace. Gosh, what a good person she is! You recall a spat the two of you had the other day, during which she lectured you about empathy and what it really means to dedicate yourself to other people’s lives. At the time her lecture irked you, but in retrospect you realize that her Facebook-inspired homilies have a calming effect on you. Regardless of your own lack of self-esteem, at least she knows what to do and what’s right and wrong, just like mom! As you bike to work, you inhale the enchanting, mysterious smells of the metropolis and congratulate yourself on “making it” in a big city (if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere). You chuckle at those hapless Trump voters from the sticks. They may be big brutes, but they’re dumb, cultureless brutes who will never know the anonymity, freedom, and culinary delights of the city. As you bike past the city zoo, you see the lion pacing back forth — as he always does — in the same loop. You think it’s sad because he must be relieving boredom or stress like a rodent on an exercise wheel. You head to your desk in your office on a tech campus, which is very progressive because, while it doesn’t offer childcare, it has several cafes and restaurants, as well as high-tech cardio machines. Who needs childcare anyway? You and your girlfriend tried to get pregnant (that’s the correct way to describe a pregnancy, FYI: “we’re trying to get pregnant”) for 11 months until a fertility doctor finally told you about your low-count, low-quality sperm. In any case, how would you compete with your childless peers who can dedicate 12 (even 15!) hours per day to projects? It’s better to have a workforce with minimal non-work burdens like children. You’re not childless, you’re child free! For the next 4 hours you sit in your ergonomically correct chair but slouch because of your weak core. When lunchtime arrives, you pull out your microwavable meal: a stew you learned to make in a slow cooker on Pintrest. It’s in a convenient BPA-free plastic container (how do they make it if it doesn’t have BPA? you wonder). Your weird co-worker hovers over your dish and asks whether the ingredients are organic. “No,” you reply hesitantly. This sends your co-worker into a tirade about pesticides and the environment, but you calm him by noting that pesticides like round-up are why we’re able to feed the third world. For the next 4 hours, you lurch from meeting to meeting, the last of which consists of your female boss badgering and cross-examining you while you avoid eye contact. She concludes the lecture by reminding you that it’s Equal Pay Day. Afterwards, you complain to an old company board member and family friend. He comforts you with an adage he found helpful during his life journey: it’s never too late to start over — make sure you love what you do! When you arrive home you crack open that stylish local IPA and savor the bitter flavor. You just love the taste of hoppy beer, but you also prefer IPAs because the alcohol kicks in faster and induces a comforting, soporific effect by the end of the first beer. You’ve convinced yourself this is a result of the high alcohol content of IPAs — maybe this is why the Protestants mandated brewing with hops in the 1500s. Because it’s Friday, and because you’re a hip young professional, you decide to supplement that IPA with some marijuana. It’s basically legal now and there aren’t any harmful effects — in fact, it cures cancer! But you don’t smoke it because that’s only for unhealthy idiots, like those dumb Trumpsters who smoke tobacco. Instead, you vape it. Now you’re really relaxed, and hungry. Your anxiety increases a little when your girlfriend gets home. She immediately suggests that you order some food. You suggest burgers. “Hmmmmm…no.” You suggest pizza. “Hmmmmmm…no.” You suggest Chinese. “Hmmmm…no. “ “Fine, why don’t you pick?” You snap at her, vaguely aware of the unintimidating, high-pitched lilting of your urgent tone. You resolve to mimic the angry black lady from your work cafeteria the next time you argue with your girlfriend. “No, you pick!” she fires back. “No you!” you retort. “Why can’t you ever decide? I always decide,” she complains. “No you don’t!” Your anxiety increases as you careen up and down an emotional roller coaster. Finally, you remind yourself that your girlfriend probably had a tough day making the world a better place and helping the indigent for menial compensation. You settle on tofu ramen. After dinner, you join your girlfriend in another vaping session. You remember this makes her horny, but tonight, like most nights, you’re pretty tired and hungry again. You pull out the cookies she made recently and devour them. You binge watch her favorite show about lawyers — she always seems to like the shows starring Nordic-looking guys with chiseled features. You notice they don’t have the same boyish cheeks or rosy pallor as you — this comforts you because, heh, those guys aren’t going to age well. And in any case, your girlfriend always says that muscly guys gross her out. Snuggled in your girlfriends lap, you drift off into a deep sleep, just like you used to with mom.