At least, my mother was convinced I was going to be a boy when she was pregnant with me. She claimed that I "carried" like a boy, but since I'm the youngest of eight, and I have six sisters and only one beloved brother, it is reasonable to assume that my mother was simply suffering from a massive case of wishful thinking. Whatever the reasons, my parents were so convinced I was going to be a boy they had even decided on a boy name for me—Joseph.
But I'm a girl.
My mother, always a frugal woman, figured, why throw out a perfectly good name just because the gender's wrong? She put a handy "ine" on the end of Joseph, and I'm rather glad she did. I like my name, or at least I realize it could have been much worse. They could have been planning on calling me Ralph or something. Not much you can do with Ralph.
I grew up surrounded by women.
And not just normal, average women, either. My sisters are, without exaggeration, a pack of Amazons. They are all tall. They have masses of thick hair, gigantic smiles, ringing laughs, and unfortunately for me, they all have fiery tempers. You see—I'm not only the youngest, but the smallest as well. I also happen to be a natural wiseass. Not a healthy combination.