Penny's Story

A cute little drummer living her dream.

Archive for January 4, 2010

Accidental Stealth

So, as I’ve mentioned, I spent Christmas and New Year’s with the Darling Boyfriend and his family in Maryland. We stayed with his parents, and his big brother and his family stayed there as well for a few days while we were there. The Darling Boyfriend also has two older sisters who live in the same area as his parents with their families. So I got to meet and spend time with his whole family.

It was a great time. His family is all just sweet and lovely, and were super-warm and welcoming. I got to have pretty in-depth chats with most of them one-on-one, and I feel like I really got to know them, and they me. I think it went as well as I could have hoped. They said they hoped to see me again, and invited me back, and other lovely stuff. His oldest nephew even said that he felt like I’m already part of the family [yes, that made me cry mad tears of joy].

And the question on everyone’s mind ever since I started dating after my divorce seems to be: “Do they know?”

“Know,” of course, refers to whether or not people are aware of my medical history.

It’s sort of interesting that my medical history is so fascinating and all, though it does get tiring.

And the answer is that they don’t know, though they probably will at some point (and I did tell one of his sisters that I had surgery last February, and that it was genital surgery to correct a congenital birth defect), but they don’t know now. The Darling Boyfriend didn’t tell them before I met them, and we didn’t tell them while we were there. Who knows, maybe they’ll find my blog, which is rife with details about my life.

I actually felt the conversation veering in the direction of me telling them about my medical history a few times, but then the moment passed. I felt like it never really seemed relevant. If I had told them it would have been forced, and I saw no need to force it into a conversation. And as opposed to it feeling like an elephant in the room, which it used to feel like, it now sort of felt like some inconsequential piece of data that wasn’t that big of a piece of getting to know me.

We hung out with his best friend a few times, and the same thing happened. It almost came up a couple times, and I even talked about my church being GLBT-inclusive, but my own connection to the issue was never explored.

It was incredibly relaxing, just being a person for a change. Not being an identity. Not being a statement. Not being a controversy. Not being fascinating. Just being Penny. Truly.

The Darling Boyfriend’s acceptance and understanding of my past never ceases to amaze me. At this point I almost think he does a better job of explaining it than I do. And I think we both sort of decided to let it happen organically, or not. I think we were both fine with the way things progressed, and that it didn’t come up.

And yet it’s impossible for me to erase my life in the before time, and I would never want to. My ex is my ex, not my “friend” (I mean, she is my friend, but if someone asks how I know her, I’m going to tell them that she’s my ex, and not give some evasive answer), and a million other things like that. I went to an all-boys Catholic High School, and so on. I’m not about to re-write my life’s story. And yet, it is amazing how much of life happens in the here-and-now, and how history can be something that isn’t referenced all that much.

I mentioned to the Darling Boyfriend, toward the end of our stay, that I had sort of been “accidentally stealth.” I guess, since I knew we were staying for about ten days, that I had just figured it would come up at some point. The fact that I never ended up telling his family about my medical history, save for that brief mention to his oldest sister on our last day, surprised me.

It’ll be interesting to see when/how/if his family learns about my history.

But, just to reiterate, it was an incredible stay, and his family is all sorts of awesome and lovely.

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