On Letting Go

I am facing a very difficult task and one in which I am not sure I am up to. For a couple of months my sexual relationship with my ex-HTB has been rekindled. We enjoy each other’s company but we don’t date, we rarely go out in public, and I’ve started to feel like an unpaid call girl. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the sex. Despite the many, many problems we encountered in our three year relationship, sex was never one of them. We have a passion for each other that is yet to be matched. In truth, I am addicted to him.

Because I fell in love with him in his physically female form, and went through the subsequent stages of his transition with him—attending therapy, accompanying him to doctor’s appointments, getting heavily involved in transgender activism, serving on panels at transgender conferences, and staying overnight with him during his top surgery and nursing him back to health afterward—I have this Goddess-like feeling that I am the ONLY woman in the world who truly understands that facet of his being and feel in some way that leaving him would leave him stranded.

Now mind you, I am the first person in the world who will say that no one else is responsible for your happiness. But I didn’t truly think this way until just recently. I have been in co-dependent relationships with partners who were wrong for me in so many ways but I looked to each of them for my salvation. Now, as my 45th birthday is fast approaching, I know that, at some point, I am going to want to settle down into a committed relationship. I don’t want a polyamorous life. Been there, done that. I lived in a trilationship with two women for two years sharing a king-sized bed and all the difficulties that went along with it. I have met an amazing woman with whom I share so many common interests. Actually, all of our interests are roughly the same. While I cannot trade one for the other, I am never going to be able to leave myself open to any future possibilities until I am able to walk away from my ex with no residual emotional ties and no desire to run to him for a screaming hot orgasm or two.

There is no future for my ex and I, regardless of our past engagement. I wanted the fairy tale. I wanted the big wedding, the validation that came from being a seemingly heterosexual couple although I missed my gay/lesbian community so very much. I wanted my family to finally accept me and I wanted my son to have a father. But all was rather tenuous based on the fact that everyone, literally everyone, knew of his transition. We have nothing in common. We come from two different worlds and aside from enjoying movies together and some outdoor activities, we have no real foundation upon which to build a lifetime commitment. I will not get divorced again. I will not tolerate certain aspects of his personality that he is unwilling/unable to change. I also drive him batshit with my laissez-faire attitude. He is rigid in his schedule and I am free-floating and subject to change like the wind. He is very happy in the town he grew up in and I want to experience the entire world and all of its diverse cultures. I could go on and on and on…but you get the picture.

So. Norway is here for a few weeks. I am spending the day with my ex. This may be the last time we are together. I don’t know. I want to be emotionally and physically free of any ties that bind, but I need to take that step on my own, not because there MAY be an opportunity around the corner. As I said, I cannot trade one for the other.

…and so, with all of the cerebral knowledge that I have, why am I letting my cunt rule my life?

Androginamosity

Through no fault of my own (well, okay, it was purely my fault to begin with), I am bald. Not quite bald, but my head is shaved shorter than the buzz cut my 9-year-old kid is sporting. Backstory: when HTB and I broke up, I did everything I could to distance myself from all that he preferred about me. He liked my hair a bit longer, kind of curly, and never jet black. Immediately, I took my own clippers and a box of hair dye from the local drugstore and turned myself into a 44-year-old goth kid with short black spikes and kohl-rimmed eyes. This phase lasted well through my mourning period. Lately, with fall coming on and my propensity for self-transformation with the seasons, I went to the salon to have my color lightened to something in the dark auburn family.

Little did I know that when you used multiple boxes of Garnier Nutrisse in blackest black, the process is tantamount to putting shoe polish on your hair. It is impossible to lighten. But we tried. First we did a clarifying shampoo. Nothing. 30 minutes of a clarifying treatment under the hair dryer and my hair smelled like death but emerged with spotty patches of brown intermixed with that stubborn jet black. My brilliant idea was to just strip all the color off and put on a golden wash and I’d be blonde. Fine by me…I’d been platinum once before I got preggers and it was actually kind of fun. So, 50 minutes of peroxide later, my hairdresser throws up her hands after examining the results—now five shades of burnt follicles. Ouch. My head felt as though I’d been bathing in a vat of ammonia. “Nicki?” I said, “Let’s just shave it off.”

She was mortified. She recently had to shave the head of a colleague who was facing chemotherapy. She couldn’t imagine a perfectly healthy woman asking her to shave her head as though she’d just asked for a drink of water. But, hey, it’s just hair, right? I went back yesterday morning and sat in the chair with a fairly nonchalant attitude. I watched as she tentatively started from the back, asking me constantly if I was sure. My son stared wide-eyed next to me as chunks of hair fell to the floor. I was okay with this. Really. And then she did the sides. Wow. That’s short. I now had a mohawk. Interesting. That gone, the only thing left on my head was 1/2 inch of blonde and white virgin hair (the blonde due to the bleach which had aggressively attacked my naturally dark roots). Okay. It’s done. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.

There are many women out there who completely rock the androgynous look. Some are so feminine with gorgeous thin faces, great bone structure, and lithe bodies. I will admit to being an attractive woman. I am not conventionally beautiful. The only thing I was truly happy about after the fact was that my head has a nice shape to it. I could pick apart my facial flaws, but I won’t. However, I immediately went home and darkened my lipstick and my eyeliner, put on a skirt, and the largest hoop earrings in my extensive jewelry collection. I do NOT rock the androgynous look, nor do I want to.

I have nothing against those who buck the binary gender system. Truly, this comes from a woman who was engaged to a transman. A woman who gravitates toward the butchest of women. Those who wear men’s clothes and men’s cologne and get “sir’d” left and right. I, myself, do not have a masculine bone in my body, nor do I want one. I love being high femme. I love everything about being a girlie girl. I am a strong, independent, assertive, and sometimes intimidating woman, but I am by no means interested in looking anything but really, really femme.

I got up this morning and looked in the mirror. What reflected back at me was this make-up free woman with a blonde crewcut. She was androgynous. She was me. I worry that my lovers will not be pleased with this new look. In church this morning I got all manner of responses from “are you okay, dear?” to “you work that look, girl!” to “oh, well, honey…you can always try a wig.” You know what? I fucking LOVE this hair! I have no bedhead. I did nothing after I showered but towel dry it. Everyone is saying that they think it will be so cute to watch what happens as it grows out. Guess what? I may not LET IT! I may decide to keep it! Hell, I’ve got the balls to do it. I CAN rock this hair. And if I happen to rock androgyny while I’m doing it, so the fuck what? Yeah, former HTB probably hates it and won’t want to be seen in public with me. Um…give a shit, much? And as for anyone else, if you really care about me, you really don’t care what I look like. Hair or no hair.

I think I’ll send a photo of the new me to Queer Eye Candy. ‘Cause, baby, I’m workin’ it.