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14 Going on 40… Or Is It the Other Way?

Yes, I’ve gone on about this before in a cutesy little list and all, but you have to bear with me, as in some regards, I’m still really a teenager. Don’t worry, still got my driver’s license, any propensity to scream about things unreasonably was never really there to begin with, and the chances of my music disturbing the neighborhood is nil, unless someone is hypersensitive to Simon and Garfunkel gently wafting from my tiny speakers. I am, however, going through puberty again and I think it shows. I’m just waiting for the acne to show up again, which would royally suck.

The average woman my age has been there, done that, is considering going for the easily maintainable lunch lady haircut, and has secret, or not so secret worries about becoming a pre-mature grandma. Yeah, I’m not quite there yet. Not even close. The reality of middle age transition is that you remember very vividly all the stuff you sat on the sidelines for and never got to do, or were even willing to admit to yourself that you wanted to do. Once we start living as ourselves and mentally free, all those old desires come roaring back. Frankly, it’s downright ridiculous, or even ludicrous, but oh, it’s there. Jenny Boylan even admitted to this, and if an esteemed Colby professor can cop to it, the rest of us sure as hell can.

I realized all this about a year ago when watching TV. I’m slow with the Tivo remote. Real slow. In fact, if my spouse isn’t there to fast forward, I’ll often do the unthinkable and sit there slack jawed and watch commercials. I saw one for Sparkle Sketchers and immediately I wanted them. I mean, shit, who wouldn’t? They were the bomb! All pink and sparkly; I mean seriously, how great is that? Reality sunk in when my 4 year old urged me to fast forward. I was watching Dora the Explorer with him and it suddenly dawned on me who the target audience really was. Crap. I bet they didn’t even make them in my size. How unfair is that?

I wish I could say it was an isolated incident, but no. Not even close. In the lifetime leading up to full time transition I managed to accumulate way too much stuff that is in no way age appropriate. I have enough makeup with glitter embedded into it to supply the Bunny Ranch for a solid year. I have clothing that qualifies me as the wardrobe specialist for Rachel on ‘Glee’, not to mention a permanent bookmark on my computer for the sale page at Forever 21. I came close, real close, to filling out the subscription card in an issue of 17 Magazine I was reading at the doctor’s office. Thankfully I was called in before the temptation overwhelmed me. And yes, I’m horribly embarrassed by all of this.

At the same time, it all stands to reason. I was jealous when my sister got to take dance and synchronized swimming. Sure, my parents would have let me if I asked, but I was also under the impression I was doing life without parole in guy land and wasn’t super excited to mark myself the equivalent of a snitch so early on. Instead I quietly read in my rabbit cage and lived inside my own head where such things were possible. When people like to say “the heart wants what the heart wants”, they never think to add on “and the heart still wants 30 years later, dammit”, mainly because it just sounds stupid. It’s true though and yes, I do still want to take ballet.

The bummer in all this is that I can’t go walking around in Sparkle Sketchers without looking like a jackass. If I were to stroll into a beginners ballet class in a tutu, you can bet money that enrollment would plummet like a rock. Being asked to prom and slumber parties are right out. On top of it, my only child is a boy, so my chances of vicarious wish fulfillment by making him live out my dreams are just shot. It’s OK, I would have made the worst pageant mom anyway. “Oh for cripes sake, think up a talent on the drive over there, it’s all a load of malarkey if you ask me. You pick your nose well, how about that?”

The good news is that I’m pretty much over that phase. My wardrobe and makeup are all geared for work, or geared towards running into people from work when I’m not there. I’m probably not going to crash cheerleader tryouts at Amherst High, or have the mailman look at me any weirder than he already does on account of my subscription profile. When Halloween comes, I’ll bypass all the costumes geared toward tweens that infuriate protective fathers and are considered too risque for the dancers at Rick’s Tally-Ho. Inside I doubt I’ll ever feel old, and part of me will always want Sparkle Sketchers, but I’m good being 40, and more than happy just being myself.

About michellelianna

I'm a transgender woman now in the maintenance stages of transition having all the electrolysis and surgery one can reasonably be expected to undertake. While busy exploring my new world, I took to blogging about it with dubiously popular results. I don't have quite as much to say as I used to, but I'm not quite done yet either.

18 responses »

  1. Goodness!! Yes, I *very much* get this!!

    Fourteen months into my second puberty at fifty-one, my main concession to my inner little-girl is my excessive use of exclamation points and my shocking pink tee that says: “Put Your BIG GIRL PANTIES And Deal With It!”

    I don’t think I’ve gone through the Cinderella stage, though I have discovered the “slutty button” on my blouses. Maybe part of this is my very gradual, gentle transition through androgyny rather than transitioning through cross dressing as many of my sisters have done? Maybe part of it is that I can’t really afford all the glittery stuff. (Consignment stores are treasure-troves of women’s clothing!) Maybe I don’t know ‘nothin yet?

    Yet I *do* feel like a middle-aged adolescent and I can tell from my emotions and the way I see things, and in the way that (for now at least) I am self-absorbed as I transition through Transition.

    Even so, *somehow* I seem to be blending-in with other women, and people marvel when I tell them my age (they sort of gasp, wide-eyed).

    Blessings & Joy!!


  2. well, in fact there are a few venues for that kinda all girl silliness… the conferences. I’ve been to a few, and despite the fact that the majority of attendees are in our … ahem … age group, there are usually scheduled activities that include disco nights, fashion shows, shopping trips, makeovers and yes, sometmes even sleepovers!
    but they’re also a way to meet lots and lots of other girls like us … and guys like us, too. seminars on many relevant subjects from the spiritual to the silly to the downright scarily physical.
    matter of fact i’m going to one next week…

  3. Pingback: Transgender Stereotypes…Ugh | Michellelianna

  4. I’m 43 and can somewhat relate to what yr saying here although I am more like 25-30 going on 40. But you know, my genetics are good and I get read as 33 consistently and the hormones will likely make me look even younger. So I dress like I’m 25, go to queer dance parties, and last Sunday…I went to the pool in my leopard one-piece and vintage swim cap. I will get old one day and don’t want to look back wondering “what if”.

    • All the power to you sister! I’m not there yet, but maybe someday. I’ll never say “what if”, but do often say, “it’s not the time for that yet”. I refuse to ever be too old for anything and to quote the great sage Weird Al Yankovic, “I’ll be mellow when Im dead”

      Love, Michelle

  5. Oh my. I’m glad I read this tonight. I haven’t even started yet and I’m looking down that long tunnel at 35. I was beginning to think it might not be worth it.
    I’m glad I read this tonight. Thank you.

  6. PS. Slumber parties are very overrated. a bunch of screaming girls dancing to Prince, and watching the Breakfast Club. Geesh, that was fun. I’ll host, bring the Purple Rain, and some girls and we will have a slumber party.

    • I would *LOVE* that! There seemed to be a huge lack of dancing at boy sleepovers, too girly I guess, and instead lots of wrestling, which was totally not borderline homoerotic. Ugh. I don’t miss being in guyland on bit! Love you Annie!!

      Love, Michelle

  7. Hi Michelle,

    What we need is a two-week summer camp like the ones where middle-aged wanna be baseball stars get to go to spring training. Only ours will be filled with slumber parties and teen magazines. Just so we can get it out of our system.

    We can never regain those times that we stood by because we weren’t invited to the pink side of the room, and it is good to approach things like you have and accept the realities of our lot in life. Still, it would be nice to experience the stuff we missed even if only briefly.



    • I love this idea! How can we get this organised? I’m sure my wife would let me go, once she finally lets me start HRT that is…

      • Why dose that sound like that will never happen:)

        • It will. I still need to see the therapist and get the referral to the doctor. My wife is not ready yet for me to start HRT. As it gets closer we will discuss it more. So much is changing at once for her and I don’t want to overwhelm her.

        • I understand:) my wife didn’t get it then and really doesn’t now but were working it out, 4 years latter were still working on it, and it does get better, you’ll be fine and so will she:)

    • Hey sis, I love the idea of trans camp! Frankly, I’m wondering if the idea might not have a broader appeal all together, because plenty of cisgender women also, for whatever reason, missed out on some of this, while others would love to relive a bit of childhood. Sorry guys, this would have to be female only. Hmm… definitely a back pocket ideal. 🙂

      Love, Michelle

  8. My Grand Daughter wanted those Sketchers, Bad!! I admit I had no problem taking her shopping to buy them, I think the largest pair I seen was a 6, Sorry.
    I have the glitter lip gloss, I wear it when I’m in the mood too, 17, the doctors office is a good place to read it, if someone would hear my voice than they would know I came to the right place, help is just on the other side of the door, see there is an up side to everything, well not everything.
    Dance class, I would probably brake my neck, synchronized swimming, I can’t swim, I’m scared of water, so, being 52 at this point, sounds safe to me and being happy with that is a good thing. I love you Michelle, love the things you gift me in your blogs and emails:)


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