The Emperor Has No Clothes

It’s a story that people are familiar with – the cautionary tale – about the con artist tailors who bilked the Emperor of his money for nothing – and the Emperor was so desperate to justify his spending the treasury on himself – that he has a parade to show off his greatest and latest purchase.

And a child says The Emperor Has No Clothes.

And the emperor is embarrassed and the con artists are dealt with – but that’s the fairytale part – it’s not what happens in the real world.

I know – because I am the adult who was that child – the lone voice of reason in normal enough appearing world – but a world that is twisted and manipulated by adults who think that they are so clever that flattery will convince them of anything when it props up their vanity which is puffed up by their insecurity.

So I am a child – because when I asked my Dad or Mom – the eternal child question – Why? I was given answers.

I grew up in Canada – and I lost my civil rights in 1992 when I told the world, my decision that is my right to make. Who and who I do not have sex with – I declared – after watching the lot of you for a long while – that I was a lesbian.

Because I learned all about who the bad people and who the good people were by interacting with my peer group. Children – and I went to Sunday School – where I sang in the Junior Choir and I went to Elmentary School where I did sports and scholastics.

And, on the weekends, we would go as a family to Exhibition Park and watch Horseracing and we went home and I watched the Cowboy and Indian Matinee Movies on Television.

I told my Dad that I wanted to grow up and be a cowboy.

My Dad looked at me and said, you can’t be a cowboy like in the movies – those days are gone and that’s just a movie, not reality.

But…..grasping for straws – there’s still cowboys – people wear the hats….

Dad rolling his eyes – those are pretenders to the Throne.

Oh. Okay. Grudgingly convinced.

(notice by now, my Dad never said to me “You’re a Girl”)

Dad: Okay, there is a way you can be a cowboy, just ask your Uncle Morris – in Saskatchewan – and ask him if he will let you work on his farm.

Indignant – I don’t want to work on a farm.

Oh really? Then I guess you can’t be a cowboy because what that means today.

Really, okay, I didn’t want to be a cowboy anymore now that it was work.

And the 1970’s in Canada was kind of like the American 50’s – except that in Canada – it was a liberal 50’s – Consciousness raising, experimental schools, self directed learning – all the fancy stuff that Americans pay for in private schools – in public school – funded by taxpayers and available to everyone.

Besides, cowboys were kid stuff and when I was 7 – I discovered someone more exciting than Cowboys and he had a little blonde daughter who was my age and I was convinced that if I could meet Lisa Marie – that we’d be the best of friends. I was 7, what did I know about reality and my chances to meet anyone who knew Elvis personally?

I wanted to be Elvis and failing that, when I was 12, I saw the original movie – Cheaper by the Dozen and I wanted to be an Efficiency Expert, because I had already seen Kramer vs Kramer and I was disappointed to learn that lawyers argue for clients or for the state/crown and no one in a trial is arguing for the Truth – sorry Mr Smith, Washington isn’t ready for your close up.

But the computer, in high school, in 1984 told me that in a database of 10,000 jobs – that when I entered in all of my interested – there were no jobs for Nina.

So I had to work and hustle and take away interests, just so I could see what job a computer told me to be. Finally – I took out enough interest and skills and there was 2 jobs.

Movie Producer or Prime Minister of Canada.

And when I printed that list – and I still have all 9 lists that the computer printed – somewhere

And I showed it to the guidance counselor – you know, the kind that we all have to do to.

I don’t know about anybody’s else’s guidance counselor – but mine said

Well, this being Canada, being a movie producer is Hard, so You better go to law school.

But she could see the scowl on my face and my resistance to law school – but she did not ask why I was resistant – everyone else she told to go to law school was thrilled to think they might be able to be a lawyer instead of a legal assistant or legal secretary – as girls were told to be even in the 1970s.

But then, this wonderful woman who was my guidance counselor said the most magical words to me.

You know, she leaned in closer until she was almost talking in my ear so no one else could hear what she was going to tell me and tell me alone and tell me next, we could really use a smart and funny woman Prime Minister.

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