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Category Archives: Attempted Humor

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.

10 Things Missed and Not Missed About Male Existance

I’ve come to notice that making lists of stuff is a pretty popular thing to do. I’ve put a couple on here so far, and the feedback is like ten times better than average, even though I’m really saying the same shit I normally do, except numerated. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I got a tiny bit psyched when my stats jump for a day or two, and thus encouraged, I hastily thought up some more crap to sling out there in digestible bulleted format. With no further ado, aside from the remainder of this sentence, unwieldy and suspected run on in its complexity, let talk about a five things missed and five things grateful for in transition.

1.  Miss: Out of Bed and Out the Door in 5 Minutes: Back in my Air Force days we liked to ride a perpetually late pretty boy for always having one foot out the door and one still in the makeup bag. Yeah, it wasn’t that clever of a crowd. I have to admit though, even though I never exactly felt like myself, it sure was nice to jump out of bed and run to the store with absolutely no preparation at all. Well, except shoes and such, but you understand. Technically yes, I can still do this, but it means being mistaken as being intentionally masculine, which is as comfortable as showing up there in footie pajamas. We can, but sure don’t want to.

2. Don’t Miss: Shaving the Face: OK, fine, I’m still some time away from being done with this completely, but after months of being blasted in the face with lasers, there is only a little left to work on. Before that, it was morning agony scraping a slightly dulled steel blade across my increasingly sensitive skin and still needing 2 pounds of military grade super foundation to cover the shadow. Ones sense of femininity is never strengthened by a soft rub against your own cheek and getting stubble burn. Ugh. When it’s all gone for good, my Gillette Fusion will be destroyed with biblical vengeance. A plague of locusts sounds about right.

3. Miss: Looking Like Shit: Yes, society has double standards. I was able to come into work every single day wearing the same pair of jeans and rotating out 3 or 4 remarkably similar plaid shirts and the same shoes. Deciding what to wear took less than a minute, because face it, no one noticed or cared. I could not shave for 3 days, skip the shower even though I ran, and sport the same coffee stain for weeks on end and it made no difference. Now as I agonize over what matches and if I already wore that bracelet this week, I can appreciate the freedom men have to look like shit and get away with it.

4. Don’t Miss: Being Called “Sir”: Aside from giving my inner woman the heebie-jeebies, the term make me feel uncomfortably old and distinguished. Given that I feel about as old and distinguished as Ernie from Sesame Street, and certainly never looked any better, being called ‘sir’ was about on par with ‘your lordship’. At least with the latter I would have known they were joking and been able to laugh at the hilarity of it. I could also never quite believe I was the individual being addressed and instead would look wildly about for my old drill sergeant, sneaking up to bust my ass yet again. Yes, ma’am is better, if only by a short and curly.

5. Miss: Public Urination: No, no, that was never me whizzing on the side of your Jeep Cherokee in the Micky Rats parking lot, although there was a certain freedom in having that option. In dude mode, however, it was nice to be able to walk into any men’s room and relieve myself without any forethought or worry. Now that the row of splattered urinals is forever barred to me, I use the ladies, but with just a tiny smidgen of trepidation. Now, even hopping on one foot, I have to decide to either risk getting hollered at or risk adding yet another hilarious tale of my own humiliation to my formidable repertoire after failing to make it home in time. The good news is that I save up to 35 cents downgrading from the 4 gallon large Diet Coke at the movies to the wimpy 12 ounce cup.

6. Don’t Miss: Shopping Dude Style: Granted I finally got over myself some time ago, it was never really all that comfortable, and I certainly felt weird trying stuff on. Anyone marginally female knows size 14 means a whole range of things, only one of which stands a chance of looking good. I also felt compelled to shop in the male way, making bee lines for specific items and getting out as quickly as possible, all while making a half-assed pretention that I was buying for someone else. Now shopping is fun, I can take my time, and end up leaving the store without asking for a bogus gift receipt because I have exactly what I wanted. Probably a good thing I have no aspirations to amass a fortune in liquid cash.

7. Miss: The Old Wallet: There is a certain efficiency in carrying everything essential in a small folding container that was nearly impossible to forget somewhere, freed up the hands, and went with absolutely any outfit because it didn’t make many appearances anyway. In large crowds it was easily transferrable to the front pocket to thwart even the sneakiest of pick pockets. Unless you were George Costanza, it didn’t weigh much, yet still yielded occasional surprises like that free apple pie you won from McDonald’s Monopoly. The one I retired lasted 10 years, multiple washes, looked like something the dog threw up, and worked just fine.

8. Don’t Miss: Life Without a Purse: I know what I just said, and the wallet rocked for a lot of reasons, but nothing beats a purse for having what you need, whatever the occasion. Yes, I have to schlep it around and not leave it under the table when I leave the restaurant, but it’s oh so handy to have all my stuff. I’m never without a book, foldable flats when my new shoes shred my instep, sunglasses, makeup, every retail reward card ever issued, a snack, plus all the other shit that used to take up my pockets. Look, guys love to make fun of this, but all female clothing is designed to both hide faults and accentuate features, and a bulky ass wallet is the last thing we need to throw off the whole look, especially in the caboose. Also, I’m totally prepared if I ever have a yen to take up shoplifting.

9. Miss: Eating Like a Horse: Before the onset of hormone therapy, I was able to scarf down a giant steak and sausage hoagie with cheese and mayo, along with a  large fries and not gain an ounce unless I did this every night, which of course I did. That was no problem because achieving a 5 pound a week weight loss didn’t take much effort. Now the rules have changed. Not only does food, especially chocolate, taste extra delicious, but merely smelling it makes me pack on weight like a sumo at the Old Country Buffet. On top of that, I can no longer actually eat specifically like a horse with big harrumphing bites and streams of stuff going down onto my shirt without looking like I’m on loan from Dogpatch. In guyland, that was just called enjoying a meal.

10. Don’t Miss: Male Interaction: Not a big stretch to say I always kind of sucked at this. The easy casual way men interact with each other, with the ball busting and other banter never came very easy to me. I’d either have to try to fake it, or remained fairly silent. I was good one on one, because it’s one of the few forums in which men tend to feel comfortable being real with each other. More was usually a free for all I could not keep up with. Talking with women came easy, but I was often pegged as being “different” which made things awkward for completely different reasons. Now though? Oh, sooo much better!

Bonus! Miss: Upper Body Strength: I had this list done yesterday morning, but after spending 6 and a half hours trying to put together a damn trampoline for my son, and struggling with backbreaking tasks like lifting cardboard boxes, screwing things together, and pulling springs, I decided I so, so, so miss my old upper body strength. Not that I was the type to kiss my biceps and welcome people to “the gun show” or anything, but still, it was nice to be able to carry in groceries in less than 5 trips.

The Most Interesting Man in the World

I love those commercials featuring ‘The Most Interesting Man in the World’, don’t you? There is nothing this guy won’t do. He plays baccarat with hirsute sweaty Moroccans, then jumps on a team of sled dogs to run the Iditarod, and skydives from a military transport over the Deccan Plateau at just the thought of curried eels. And all this drunk and with enough presence of mind to hawk a previously obscure beer at every opportunity. When he pauses to tell a story, stroking his beard to remove the civet coffee chewing’s, by god, we all stop to listen.

It’s not all that unusual for trans people to find themselves in a similar role, but without the sweet royalties spilling in. Some cisgender folks, certainly not all or even most, appear to have a level of fascination with our journeys for the same reason we all do of our favorite bearded malt jockey. It’s truly impossible to imagine wanting to do that to begin with. One day a person is wearily haggling over a lawnmower repair at Sears, and next thing you know they are either Greek wrestling a mujahidin in the caves of Ameristan, or equally likely, seeking corrective reconstruction to their genitals. At least so it seems to the theater going public at large.

The Romans would describe me as being in media res, or in the middle of things, or would have had they not gotten to the end and stopped coming up with clever little phases. As such, I’m still kind of flattered when someone takes enough of an interest to hit me up with a lot of questions. I’m just a little psyched they find my relatively hum-drum existence fascinating enough to attempt to establish my motivations and getting a little chill thrill from hearing what I intend to do about it. I was never asked many questions before about myself, and frankly even find the transition process rather onerous and drawn out. How did you tell people? How did they react? What was laser beard removal like? Are you, you know, going to get…the surgery? Mind you, aside from minor spikes of activity, the vast majority of this was simply going to unpleasant but necessary appointments; little bits of forward action between loading the dishwasher yet again or reading myself to sleep. Still, nice of them to take an interest.

Reading the other excellent blogs out there (check them out, down on the right), it seems the majority get tired of this after a while. I suppose I will as well. I’m sure after a long day of transporting a troop of diapered howler monkeys in a Winnebago, The Most Interesting Man in the World likes to put on his fuzzy slippers, crack his 17th Dos Equis of the day, and chill out without having to hear about it. We are all only human, and humans have a limited capacity for talking about their own shit and maintaining any enthusiasm about it after a while. After some months or years though, the temptation is simply to tell them to just go read a book or something.

If we can do it though, I think we should. I know, I know, we are people to and deserve dignity, respect, and some privacy. Most of us don’t care for someone being “absolutely fascinated” by our genitals unless there is romance in the air. We should do it for two reasons really. Obviously it educates people with information they are unlikely to have stumbled upon on their own and builds up good will. They aren’t asking to give us a hard time; they are asking because they really want to know, and Wikipedia doesn’t exactly pack the same punch as a firsthand account from someone actually sharing an environment with them. Put yourself in their place for a moment and pretend you just found out Sara Mouskawitz in accounting was really the Most Interesting Man in the World. You would be grateful for the opportunity to ask a few things.

We also do it for the next batch coming after us. Yes, I am saying let’s do it for the children. If we can save someone who still has this mountain of crap to go though and probably doesn’t even know it yet, I think it’s the right thing to do. People like Chaz Bono, Jenny Boylan, and Chloe Prince put themselves out there every day – print, TV, etc – and honestly, aren’t you grateful? I source people all the time just to corroborate my own stories, and every time I’m insanely grateful they did this because it makes it so much easier on me. It would be nice to keep that going. Besides, in an astonishingly short amount of time everyone is going to know we aren’t actually the Most Interesting Men and Women in the World and leave us to crack a Dos Equis in peace. Stay thirsty my friends.

10 Lessons Learned in Transition

A great deal of you are going to read this and say, “well duh Michelle, we know that already”. Try not to though because saying ‘duh’ makes you sound like a teenage goon from an 80’s movie just waiting to have his ass handed to him by some smart-alecky punk named Corey. This is for people who may be coming to the realization they are trans, or may know someone who might be. I think it would have been nice if someone gave me a list at 17 along with a smart whap on the back of the head. Like the last list, this is kind of tongue in cheek, except in this case not really.

Also, a lot of people thought my last list was all labeled #1 as some kind of clever statement when in reality, WordPress and PE changed all my numbering and I wasn’t savvy enough to fix it. Consider my 11th and 12th lessons to be “learn non- MS Word text editing”, coming right after “learn how to edit text in MS Word”.

1. If You Ignore It, It Still Won’t Die – Trying to fix yourself through denial is about the same as slapping some black electrical tape over the engine light after it comes on. Having done both things, I have come to find that this simply reschedules the problem for a much worse time, and probably quadruples the cost. I dimly remember the Bible admonishing “thee” to not hide a candle under a bushel as an allegory to something, and have confirmed this was sound advice when the fire started. If you can mentally deal with it now, it’s probably going to be easier, and even if not, at least in the near future it will have been in the past; my favorite place for things I would much rather deny.
 2. The Military Will Not Make a Man Out of You – Now, I don’t regret for a second that I joined the Air Force and served my country, but from the outlook of a trans person, boy did it suck. After attempting to ‘man up’ by joining various teams and the Boy Scouts when I really wanted to hide and read in my cage, my thought was that nothing fixes you up better than the Air Force (except for the Army and Marines, but definitely not the Navy). True, it kept me focused with the high intensity learning of my career, and the higher intensity learning of the tens of thousands of rules and regs, many of which seemed aimed specifically at me, but it didn’t change my trans-ness. Not even when dodging camel spiders or attempting to solder a microchip while wearing a gas mask and huge rubber gloves. By all means sign up if so inclined, but don’t expect it will change anything.

3. Exercise Full Disclosure if Getting Married – This is probably a good idea post-transition, but I’m talking about the first time around. Most people get hitched with a basic understanding that their partner is going to remain in the gender they met them in. When this changes all of a sudden, not only does it seem like a big ‘fuck you’, the first thing they do is look back to see how they were duped. Chances are, you aren’t going to fess up about being trans at this point because you don’t really understand that yet, but we all know there were clues. Knowing how to put on pantyhose by the age of 8 without getting a run would be a big one and probably shouldn’t be left out. When the walls of the façade you have been propping up all these years finally come tumbling down, it sure doesn’t hurt to have an “told you so” or two in the bag.

4. If You Ignored #3 and Get Caught Later, Don’t Half Ass It – She found some pictures; he accidentally opened your breast binder. Yeah, now is a good time to catch up your partner to the past you have been dodging. True, you might not be ready to admit anything to yourself yet, but filling in some of the blanks is a lot better than slapping a deceptive looking band aid on the problem and hoping it won’t start gushing later. Just like the engine light, waiting till later is really, really bad. Downplaying things is like telling your trigger happy alcoholic uncle the noise was “probably” not a burglar, knowing full well the fuse to a cherry bomb is fizzing down behind him.

5. Your Therapist Might Be a Dick – I’ve talked to a few people now, still on the cusp of transition, who tell me, “Yeah, I went to see Dr Z, but man, was he a dick! I never went back.” Not everyone has this experience, but some do, and I kind of did. Don’t let this dissuade you at all. The therapist is a major gatekeeper, even though they get upset if you call them that. They take the Standards of Care very seriously and are genuinely interested in making sure you should be starting on this journey. After all, you may just be gay, not that there is anything wrong with that. If you think you might be trans, it is totally worth it to put up with some irascible badgering to make sure.

6. Foundation is Not Your Friend – Before we begin much needed beard removal, we still like to go out and about. I personally found that schmearing on a whole bottle of Covergirl did a wonderful job in masking that shadow and making look like a child’s nightmare at the same time. On a hot day you can prepare to look like you just opened the Ark of the Covenant, and on a cold one, keep a watch for a Madame Tussaud patrol vehicle looking to recover you back. Yes, we all hate to have anything mannish about our appearances, and with light make up, someone up close may notice something. Too much though, and they will notice you from across the street and peg you as a recently fired drag queen. Less is more.

7. Prepare a Damn Speech – When you are ready to come out to people, it’s pretty exciting and scary. Chances are, if you cold call it, you are going to ramble all over the place and sound kind of loony as they look on quizzically. Conversely, after you told the 67th person, it all gets just a little bit onerous. If you have a speech prepared, you can recite it rote, right from memory, as you mentally categorize your fingerbowl collection. I know that sounds cold, but even after 67 times, without something prepared, you are still going to fuck it up.

8. Don’t Assume People Know Anything – We, or at least I, have been there a few times. “What I wanted to tell you is… I’m transgender [dramatic pause]”. It’s good to remember that all of our trans jargon sounds really familiar to us, but to the majority, you might as well tell them you are chtmoiderated. They will look at you quizzically as they attempt to recall if this is some disease or ethnic group they should know about, but don’t. Chances are, you are kind of hoping for a good response to your news, and making them feel stupid and uninformed right off the bat sure doesn’t help. Saying transgendered is cool, as long as you follow it with a short definition. This gives them the option of pretending they already knew. People with saved faces are much less likely to spit in yours.

9. Don’t Be a Big Prickly Pants – Yes, you will have people insisting on calling you ‘Roy’ instead of ‘Renee’ just to be a jerk, or out of some weird passive aggressive way of teaching you that you are “wrong”. Most people though are simply going to screw it up, and probably a lot. This sure is going be weird and awkward for you, but get used to it. Unless they do it three times in a row slowly, it’s probably an accident they are going to feel bad about. Same thing with the pronouns. When I was outed at work, the first thing I did was assure people that I wasn’t going to get upset and the anxiety level all around seemed to drop immediately. Just like people who constantly correct others spelling and grammar, you will be technically correct, but much hated for it.

10. Don’t Write a Blog That Is Clearly Attributable To You, Includes Your Pre-Transition Name, With a Picture, and Easily Searchable by Google and Other Fine Products When Still Closeted at Work –  Um, I don’t think I need to spell this out any more clearly.

In the interest of making everyone clear on this, yes, I am the grade A ditz who did exactly all of these things except for #9 (or Don’t Be a Big Prickly Pants in case I screwed up the numbers once again). If I can prevent one person from doing one of these, it’s all worth it, so long as they don’t avoid two of them and make me look even worse. Don’t worry, I’m sure I”ll have more as I go along.

Independence Day

Today in the US it’s Independence Day; one of the most important of the nearly monthly nationalistic holidays we have. This is evidenced by the fact that it is actually celebrated on the actual day and not moved to the nearest Monday to avoid fucking everyone up schedule wise. Yes, I felt the need to explain this because through the magic of WordPress I can see hits coming in from other nations. And I say ‘the US’ as opposed to ‘America’ out of respect to our Canadian friends who get all miffed when we make the whole America thing just ‘aboot’ us. Sorry, I had to do that after the sly clerk at 7-11 managed to slip me yet another quarter that no vending machine will take.

“Getting a little low on ideas there Michelle? Ooo! A post about the day of the week… riveting!” Shush you, if I can put a trans spin on forgotten old tertiary comic book characters, a major holiday is cake. I’ll even resist my overwhelming urge to be positively goofy and sling out some schlock about how we ought to call it “Transdependance Day”. That doesn’t even make sense. Disclaimer aside and conveniently forgotten, I’m pretty much going to talk about exactly that, but without coining a new term no one will ever remember or use.

Independence is a meaningful word to us. When you think of all the descriptions we tend to use pre-transition – ‘black hole’, ‘trapped’, ‘caged’, ‘bottom of the barrel’, ‘Turkish prison’ – well, they all tend to bring to mind situations one tends to wish for independence from. This isn’t a big reach. I mean who likes to feel stuck in an unending onerous situation where the probability of ever getting comfortable without significant change is nil? Here in the US we have co-opted the whole concept of freedom (valued just behind Jesus and unlimited corporate power), but in reality it’s everybody’s thing, and for a good reason.

So, although here in the US we will be setting off dangerous explosives to commemorate our resounding victory over the nefarious Brits (who since retaliated by sending us Piers Morgan and Benny Hill reruns – touché old chaps!), the trans people of the world may also take a moment to appreciate either the glorious independence found, or may kindle hope that it does in fact exist. Lord knows, it doesn’t come easy, and as much as I hate to agree with a bumper sticker plastered just above the rubber scrotal sack dangling from a Chevy pickup, freedom ain’t free. I would suggest adding ‘ – I mean have you seen the price of vaginas lately?’ to the end, but you know people would just take that the wrong way.

Happy Independence Day my US and international brothers and sisters. No matter what glorious or truly heinous situation you are n right now, be happy that at the very least you know who you are. All freedom starts in the head and heart; something to truly rejoice when found and deeply appreciated when earned. The fight for the rest may be long over, or the first shots have yet to be fired, but nothing can take away that moment you knew you were you.

Top 10 Reasons Middle Age Transition Doesn’t Suck

I’ve noticed that a lot of the really cool bloggers out there like to make Dave Letterman type Top 10 lists. OK, maybe not me, or any of my excellent blogger friends in my b-roll way down to the right, but people do this. Now in the past, it’s always been my firm policy to observe what the cool kids were doing and run in the opposite direction, you know, just to be different. Not that being different was a big chore for me, but whatever. Wouldn’t it be really, really different if I made like a monkey and aped the cool kids? No? So what, I’m doing it anyway. And yes, these are all tongue in cheek before you get all ‘Analytical Annie’ on me.

Without further ado, the Top 10 Reasons Why Middle Age Transition to Womanhood Doesn’t Suck:

  1. It’s Way Better at Making You Feel Young Again Than Buying a Corvette – Seriously, what in life is going to make you feel younger at 40 or 50 than going through puberty again? Just a few months of blue pills and you are right back with Margaret doing those “I must, I must, I must increase my bust!” exercises. The added bonus is that you don’t even have to keep tampons handy in your purse for when your special friend finally arrives. Way beats looking like a ridiculous looser in a sports car everyone thinks you bought for penis deficiency reasons.
  1. Suddenly You Are the Interesting One at High School Reunions – I’m going to take a wild stab and guess that not a whole lot of us were the captains of the football team. We all know we secretly wanted to be cheerleaders or on the synchronized swimming team; let’s not lie to ourselves here. When we show up now, suddenly Johnny Brewski’s 4 touchdowns in one game in 1986 isn’t such a draw any more. It’s OK, he can sip Old Grandad from his flask while the crowd of people you only sort of remember lavish you with positive attention.
  1. Very Low Probability of Ass Kicking in the Forecast – OK, we all deeply envy the kids they like to show on Nightline who both figured themselves out at like 5, and had the guts to insist on it at the same time. No yucky male puberty, and get to do all the girly stuff we are now too old for. We also didn’t have to present as teenage girls with a penis. I’m sorry, but that just seems like it’s got to suck and super dangerous if inclined to date. Teenage boys are simply not known for non-violent restraint when their masculinity is threatened. Yes, at our age we can find ourselves in the same boat, but by now we do have some common sense about it, plus we don’t have to wait what must seems a horrendous amount of time to take care of things. At 40, a few years is but a blink.
  1. We Can Just Go Buy Pretty Things – Just getting started and building your wardrobe for the final time after Purge #8? You can shop anywhere you want, and buy anything you want, anywhere, anytime, even in total dude mode because (1) everyone is going to assume you are married and doesn’t even blink and (2) you just don’t even care anymore anyway! Remember those nerve wracking trips bringing a dress from the K-mart clearance rack up to the register at 21, sweating and blushing the whole time? Those days are done sister!
  1. We Can Buy Those Pretty Things in the Right Size – Nothing was a bigger bummer than ordering that sweet looking dress online and failing to understand what the ‘P’ meant on the size chart and looking like the Morton Salt Girl as a result. By middle age and after dozens of heartbreaking Salvation Army donations, we are finally no longer attempting to stuff our feet into way too tiny shoes, or wearing pantyhose that cut off all our lower circulation. The feeling like we are still trying to squeeze into our younger sisters outfits when just trying to look nice is done as well.
  1. Chances Are, You Got Your Shot at Having Kids – Maybe not true for everyone, but the majority of us had the joy bringing life into the world. Maybe not the way we would have wanted, but still. We can’t all be as smarty pants as Dr McGinn and think to freeze our sperm before starting HRT, so our younger, more male-ish lives were the best chance we were ever going to have. [Note: Dr McGinn, in the tiny chance you read this, it’s all tongue and cheek! I certainly don’t need my potential surgeon getting miffed (So, little Miss Michelle thinks she’s so funny, eh?) and adding 4 additional testicles or something.]
  1. The Value of “Comfortable” is Well Ingrained – One thing we learned in the years of acting male is that men generally refuse to wear anything truly uncomfortable for any length of time. Even ties are really not that bad. Younger trans women, as well as a great many cis women, are willing to subject themselves to fantastic levels of suffering in the name of looking good. Four inch stilettos, way too tight clothes, jewelry that makes barbed wire seem like a good time, and so forth. By the time we hit middle age, we are generally willing to suffer pantyhose when necessary, and maybe a pair of heels on special occasions. We are saved excruciating pains up our feet and shins just through the knowledge that looking pretty good in flats or low pumps is way better than looking really good in foot shredding, ankle breaking platforms.
  1. Lower Expectations – Back in the dude days, people didn’t expect a whole lot out of you when it came to the softer side of life. You could forget everyone’s birthday for 5 years straight, then make it up with an animatronic talking fish head wrapped in the classifieds section and be lauded as truly swell. Now that you are revealed as female, it’s time to stop being such a sandbagging lump of crap and actually read through the Hallmark section a bit before randomly picking something for your mom’s birthday that says, “To My Nephew Who is 5!”. By this point, after all the years of really screwing the pooch at this, anything you do is going to look like a huge improvement, even if the same thing from your sister would raise eyebrows of disapproval.
  1. Old People Kind of Look Alike Anyway – OK, you saw how fast the last few decades have gone, and how exponentially faster every added year has been as well. With the way this is going, it’s not long before you are going to be “get off my lawn” old. I’m sorry, but this isn’t the place to pull punches; there just isn’t time. The good news is that once you hit about 65, the great big public difference between the sexes seems to be boobs, hair, and clothes. And just barely at that – there is a lot of overlap. That’s just 3 things you have to worry about  to pass in public with never a person looking at you with the hairy eyeball. Sure, your chances of ever looking like Natalie Portman may have fled, but there is something to be said for being unquestionably a Ma’am as you munch your senior Moons Over My Hammy at Denny’s.
  1. Your Older Relatives Are Probably Dead – I’m not saying we should be jumping up and down yelling, “Yay! Aunt Bernice is finally pushing up daisies!” At the same time, the older we get, the less of the preceding generation is left kicking around to call us pansies, Nancy-boys, or worse, all while peppering their language with the ‘N’ word and making it to the polls do or die to vote against us. We still miss Aunt Bernice, and her constant attempts to trip us with her cane and steal the cough medicine from our bathrooms, but it’s OK to be a little glad we don’t have to try to explain this. She just wouldn’t understand.

And so concludes my latest attempt to witty, whimsical, or simply copy other people who actually are. Fear not my munchkins, I’m sorry to say that I’ll probably be doing this again, as I thought of a bunch more after I already typed ‘10’ and didn’t want to go all the up to the top of the page just to correct.

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