Penny's Story

A cute little drummer living her dream.

Archive for Dating

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.

New Year’s Eve Eve

The Darling Boyfriend and I went to a fancy-do in Washington, D.C. last night, and it was pretty super-awesome.

We had thought of going out on New Year’s Eve in Boston, but his little nephew’s birthday is on New Year’s Day, so we’re staying in Maryland for the birthday party. I still wanted to go out somewhere and dress up swell, so his friend found us this event hosted by the Washington Film Institute. It was sort of a party and a film exhibit and a chance to shmooze and dance and drink.

The Darling Boyfriend’s friend ended up not coming with us, so it was just the two of us. We went in, got a drink, looked at the photographic exhibit, watched some of the short films, and then found a couch off in a corner and just chatted amongst ourselves for nearly two hours. It was one of those moments when we were in a place full of people and yet we were the only two people in the world. It was incredible. We chatted about lots of stuff. The conversation turned very heavy at several points, and I had an amazing time.

We were sitting in such a way that the lights from the Christmas tree were sparkling in the Darling Boyfriend’s glasses, and it looked like he had stars in his eyes. It was really cute.

After a while we decided that we had enough of socializing with ourselves in a roomful of beautiful people, so we called his friend and a friend of mine who is visiting family in the area for the holidays as well. We all converged on Tastee Diner for another three hours of socializing and food and fun. We had a ball. The Darling Boyfriend described that Tastee Diner as not the type of place you go to for the food, or the service, or the atmosphere, but I actually think the atmosphere is kind of fun. It’s very much a neighborhood diner; you can tell the place oozes history. I’m sure countless other folks have shared conversations well into the night at the Tastee Diner.

We finally headed out at about 4:00 AM, after being well fed and watered, and having had wonderful and diverse conversation. Bewteen the fancy-do, and the diner hang, it was an awesome night.

Meeting the Family [part 2]

Here I am in Maryland, about to go to bed after meeting most of the Darling Boyfriend’s family. They’re lovely. I walked in and was greeted with hugs and felt right at home. We chatted a lot, and I got to know each member of his family a little bit. We ate Chinese food for dinner, and just had an overall wonderful time.

I love meeting people’s families, because I love seeing the context that a person grew up with. I always think it explains a lot. It was very true with today. Seeing the Darling Boyfriend interact with his family (and they with him) gave me even more insight into who this man is.

Yea, it was a pretty freakin’ good day.

🙂

Ends

It’s kinda weird when people who used to be really close (~really~ close) disappear from my life. I used to think the disappearance was easier to take than the change in the relationship, but I don’t think so anymore. Now when someone has been really close to my heart, they kind of always are, and it’s weird when the contact ends even though the love and care don’t.

Feh, just thinking out loud.

I’ll give the strongest example. When my ex and I were in the process of our divorce, I needed some space. If I had any contact with her at all it hurt too much, because it reminded me of what we had before, and the loss was too much to bear.

~BUT~

Once I calmed down a bit, and regained some perspective (and developed some perspective that I had never had before), not having her in my life just felt incredibly awful. My world felt like it was missing a star from the sky without her presence. I’m thankful very often that we were both able to realize how important we are to each other and be in each others lives again. She was there when I had my SRS in Colorado, and I was there when she had her baby. We’re pretty much super-best-friends, and I truly hope we always will be.

It isn’t always that way, though. Sometimes damaged relationships become fractured relationships, and then eventually I suppose they stop being relationships altogether.

There are lots of people I’ve lost through the years. Sometimes it was because of a contentious disagreement, other times it seems like it was more from neglect from one or both parties. There have been times when it’s been a romantic interest that has gone their own way, and times when it’s been a friend, and times when it’s been a colleague.

There are several people right now that aren’t in my life that used to be that I think about at least fairly often. There’s the girl that just turned 21 this past summer – whom I haven’t seen since she was two. There’s the friend from school that I used to have lunch with every week – and haven’t even exchanged a peep with in over a year. There’s the lovely people from my old support group – who mostly disappeared when I left the group. There’s that guy who was the perfect guy for the perfect time – who was there and now is gone. There’s the lady who ventured to Colorado to be there for me – but now doesn’t want anything to do with me. There’s that singer whose music I used to get high from performing – who called me the worst name you can call a woman. There’s that lady whose house I used to visit pretty regularly – who stopped having time for a social life.

There’s lots more, too, these are just the ones that hurt the most, that come to mind right now. I’m not accusing anyone but myself in these relationships falling to the point of estrangement. It doesn’t really matter to me why these people disappeared from my life; I miss them.

And I think that’s why I get more and more careful about the people I love. I hate losing people, in any way that I could lose someone. I mean it when I say that my friends and family are the stars in my sky. It’s sad when stars flicker and fade.

[Yes, I know that it happens sometimes, for any of a myriad of reasons, and that it’s part of life, but it’s still sad.]

How Awkward, or Not

The Darling Boyfriend and I were talking the other day about our relationship and stuff, and he said something very interesting. He said that he felt sort of awkward about it, but that if we had met before my SRS, we might not have been so sexually compatible (for the record, we’re ~very~ sexually compatible).

And I pretty much said: “D’uh.”

I mean, really. He’s a straight guy. We’re not supposed to ever talk about the fact that having the proper naughty bits is important to our sex life, but of course it is. One of the things that confused me so much when I was younger was that I knew I wasn’t a gay man, and I knew I wasn’t attracted to gay men. Now that I have the proper body, and I have a straight boyfriend, it’s pretty obvious that that was a huge piece of the puzzle.

I mean, seriously, I’m a straight woman, and I want to have a relationship with a straight man. It seems like it would have been awfully difficult to do that before I had my body corrected. That’s pretty much what “straight guy” means, after all.

I told him rather than feeling awkward about it, I prefer to think that we met each other at the perfect time. (He emailed me for the first time the day after I broke up with my last boyfriend.)

He said that he doesn’t really like to believe in fate. And I said that it’s much worse than that – I believe in God.

🙂

Escort Me to the Faire, My Love…

The Darling Boyfriend and I went to King Richard’s Faire on Sunday. It was a pretty spectacular day. I had been planning it for a while, and I hoped that I could get some friends to come with us, but as the day approached it became apparent that we would be on our own. That turned out to be just fine – young love finds a way of entertaining itself.  😉

Anyway, I decided to wear a nice corset top that I got from Torrid a couple years ago, a black velvet skirt, and these really cool boots I got from Payless (yay Payless!).  I was really happy with how I looked, though I worried that I might get cold as the sun went down (it’s been chilly here lately). Here’s a pic of my outfit:

We got there pretty early, and after hitting a couple shops, and after the Darling Boyfriend bought me a rose, I headed off to get my face painted. It was on my agenda as one of the things I wanted to do, and I knew I wanted to do it early. Here’s a pic of the amazing design (it was called “Scorpion King”):

After getting my face painted, the Darling Boyfriend and I did quite a bit of browsing in the amazing shops. We did see the end of one magic show on our way by. We went into one of the sword shops (you gotta love Ren Faires – “~one~ of the sword shops” – lol) and I ~so~ wanted to buy a wakizashi, but I was good – I didn’t. We moseyed further on, and the Darling Boyfriend bought me this really cool hair-braider thing; you spin your hair around it and then insert a long pin to hold your hair in place – it works great even on my thin and frizzy hair. After getting the hair-braider we stopped at a pewter store, where the Darling Boyfriend bought a mug. He was so tickled with his purchase that we needed to get him some beverage to put in it, so we headed off to the food court. He got a turkey leg (of course) and I got fish and chips. He got hard cider to fill his mug and he was a happy camper. 🙂

After lunch we headed off to see a sword fighting show, which was really this cute comedy act with kids from the audience. It was funny and super-cute. The “good guy” sword-fighter was training the kids to be his “deputies,” and he told them to say, “God save the king.” He then turned to the crowd for our response. None of us knew that we were supposed to say, “Long live the king,” so my boyfriend said, “Go Sox.” The Good Guy was bemused, and said it was the first time he had ever heard anyone yell that. I was cracking up, and the Good Guy said that the children were about to go into battle and were possibly minutes away from death. I was still laughing and the Good Guy turned to me and said, “Lady, it’s not funny.” I dunno, I thought it was pretty funny. The guys in this show were just awesome with the kids, and the kids were adorable, and it was just sweet fun.

We were right next to the cape store, so I decided to look at capes, because I’ve wanted one forever, and I was really starting to get cold. I told myself I would only buy one if they had a pink one. Of course, they had ~one~ pink one, so I had to get it. C’mon, it was pink! I absolutely loved it, I just had to. It was too expensive, but that’s why you don’t go to the Faire everyday.

At that point I had to pee wicked bad. Like, wicked bad. So we headed off to the “Privies.” I think this is one of the first times that I’ve had to stand in line for the ladies room while having to pee that bad. I’ve had to stand in line before, and I’ve had to pee bad before, but this was the first time for both at the same time. I was in so much pain standing there in line. And Darling Boyfriend went into the men’s room. And came out. And I hadn’t moved. Ugh. So Darling Boyfriend stood with me while the line for the lady’s room was outside. It just sucked. And then, when I finally got into a stall I overheard two women talking and one of them said that this was the only time she wished she had that certain “appendage” so she could just whip it out and be done with it. And I felt like saying, “It’s not worth it!” So, yay, sweet relief. I learned a valuable lesson about not waiting that long when I know there’ll be a line; I should have dragged us to the privies sooner. A lot sooner. Well, lesson learned, and no harm done.

After that we went and threw some weapons around. Darling Boyfriend shot some arrows at the archery range and then threw some throwing knives. We both threw the throwing axes and the throwing stars. The throwing stars were awesome! Darling Boyfriend also shot a little canon at a canvas ship. They had a swing-the-hammer/ring-the-bell thing, and I decided that I wanted to give it a try. I honestly thought I’d be able to do it. Oh.My.God. I am such a wimp nowadays. I did good to even get the hammer over my head, and I think all three times I got it to hit the right spot, but the little slider thing barely made it half-way up the rail. I’ve fully assimilated into the proper side of the gender-binary, as after my miserable turn, the guy running the hammer used my performance to try to goad a few men into trying it, saying, “Hey, she did better than you guys who are afraid to even try.” Wow. And then Darling Boyfriend tried it, and he didn’t ring the bell, but he got a heck of a lot closer than I did. I am weak.

We ambled and browsed in more shops. We stood and watched a glass blower for a little while. That was pretty impressive. At some point in there we got some mead to fill Darling Boyfriend’s mug – it was yummy.

As it was getting late, we decided to go by the “creepy gypsy lady” (my words), and get our fortunes told. Darling Boyfriend went first and he had his palm read. I was laughing at so many of the things the woman said because they seemed so dead-on target. She said that he would fall in love in his late thirties (hmmm…), and said some other very interesting things about his love life and career. After that I had a Tarot reading. I got four of the Major Arcana cards, including two Magus cards. The woman said that was highly unusual, and that it showed destiny and that I was entering a time of being very powerful, which I think is pretty accurate, honestly. She said that I’d be financially successful – it’d be lovely if that proved to be true. She also said that I would be in a relationship with great sexual compatibility (hmmm…). When we left her stand I was almost creeped out, because the stuff she said just seemed crazy accurate, and she didn’t do any “fishing” for info before the readings.

We grabbed a quick dessert, and took a look at tiaras. I saw a couple girls wearing these really cool circlets with jewels dangling on their foreheads and I really wanted one, but I didn’t find any that I thought were that nice.

As we were headed out the front gate we watched a guy juggle with batons lit on fire, and I had the Darling Boyfriend take my picture standing next to a guy in a giant wizard costume (I’m wearing the new pink cape).

All-in-all it was an amazing day. The Darling Boyfriend and I seem to just have one awesome adventure after another, and I seem to just fall deeper and deeper in love with him all the time.

Yay.

Pondering Transproofed with Friends

Saturday night I hosted a group of friends to watch the short film “Transproofed.” It was the first meeting of what we hope will be a recurring and growing group. I say I hosted it, but I was hardly alone in making it happen – it’s just that it was at my house.

So, we watched the film, which deals with dating as a woman of transsexual history and stealth and all that fun stuff.

After the movie we had a great discussion, with some help from some recent facilitator training for one of our group. We talked about disclosure, I told the story of how I talked about my history with the Darling Boyfriend, other people shared their dating hopes and experiences. It seemed like we were all on the same page as far as honesty and disclosure and such.

It was super-neat having my friends over and hosting discussion. It was just very cool.

[spoiler alert]

The part that touched me in the film was when Andrea James is helping Calpernia Addams “trans proof” her apartment, getting rid of all evidence of her trans history. Andrea insists that Calpernia must rid her place of the pictures of her friends. Calpernia refuses, feeling that is too high a price to pay for acceptance. It was a really touching scene. I wouldn’t think such a short movie could make me cry quite so much. Wow. Good stuff! And the talk with the group was just all sorts of deep and insightful and educational and groovy. I love my friends!

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