Discovering One's Self in Better Be Ready Bout Half Past Eight by Allison Baker
Length: 399 words (1.1 double-spaced pages)
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After reading Allison Baker's " Better Be Ready 'Bout Half Past Eight" it made me realize that discovering one's self is a situation our world is going through right now. In her short story one of Allison Baker's main characters, Zach tells his best friend of thirty-eight years that he is going to have a sex change. Zach tells Byron that he feels trapped in the wrong body and that he is going to become a woman. Byron is shocked about what he is hearing and can't seem to deal with the news. He's known Zach for some time now and he didn't pick up any of the signs about Zach's sexuality. Through the rest of the story you see Byron coping with the news. He talks to his baby boy about the situation and tells him that he will grow up to a man. He also starts to think about his own sexuality and even goes as far as applying makeup to his face. Byron watches the transformation of his best friend Zach into a woman named Zoe. As the story comes to an end Byron, his wife Emily, and their son Toby are at Zoe's shower. Byron squeezes Zoe's hand and I think, right then and there, he finally comes to terms with Zach's decision and is happy for his friend. As his friend walks away, he says that his son Toby Glass could grow up to be anything.
Today in our society, this kind of ordeal is happening everywhere. You read about it in magazines, see it on different talk shows, or you might even know someone who has gone through it or is considering it. If you are not happy with yourself you are going to be miserable until something is done about it. If that means coming out of the closet or going a step further and having a sex change, more power to you. You can't make everyone around you happy. Your first mission is to feel good about yourself. If your friends and family are genuine they will like you no matter what the circumstances are. In my own personal life, I have been friends with Pierce my guy best friend since the fifth grade. He moved away to Florida our ninth grade year.
In one of our conversations over the phone, he "came out" to me and told me that he was gay. His words did not even faze me. I love him for him and his sexuality wasn't going to change that. After that incident I think it made our friendship stronger. He knows I love him for him and he loves me for who I am. Another point Zach makes in the story is that he feels trapped in the wrong body. Zach has known for a while that he was a woman. I believe in our society that you know who you are at an early stage in life. Whether you are straight, gay, a woman or man you know it's not something that you make a decision to be. Like in the story Byron makes the decision for his son and says he'll grow up to be a man. That might be what his father wants for him, but Toby might have other plans. In the end of the story, where Byron says " Toby Glass, who could grow up to anything," I think Byron has come to terms that he will love his child no matter what the situation.