Blurg...blogging backlog...too much to narrate coherently without writing a novella...slave to notion that everything must be recorded...the dammed flow of observation, musings, and purported wit rises up the walls of the mental reservoir, threatening to overflow...the walls bulge.
Weary of writing “I, I, I” all the time, Elizabeth switches to the third person. An arguably pretentious move, but it gives her more practice referring to herself with female pronouns, which she needs, as her confidence that she’s really managing to pull off this woman in the world thing wavers from moment to moment.
Elizabeth applied last month for a job at Hannaford, checking groceries for the summer, or bagging, or anything...she really needs to supplement her income. At first she thought she wasn’t even going to get an interview, because the woman behind the customer service desk gave her one of *those* looks (hooded eyes, tight mouth, stiff shoulders). Elizabeth persevered, calling twice to follow up, and got an interview. The woman who interviewed her was warm and talkative and hyperactive, and called her “sweet,” and Elizabeth really couldn’t tell if this woman could tell that she was trans...no double-takes, no slightly-too-long stares, no care with pronouns or the like. Elizabeth left with high hopes...but then the regretful message on her voice mail...polite, with a good reason carefully spelled out. And it turns out once there’s something about you which people might react to with prejudice, there’s always that question - is it because I’m trans?
Another recent consumer-life hassle centers around a smarmy eye doctor who has given her a bad prescription for new glasses twice now, the correction as off as the original try. Is he just burned out, as he seems, or is it a passive-aggressive response to the fact that she’s trans? She realizes she’s being suspicious, and she thinks of a person of African descent she knows who takes every minor setback in life as evidence of pervasive racism, and swears she never wants to become like that person...but how? Just roll with the bullshit? Stay noble and calm and not sink to their level and let the assholes do their worst? Their worst can be be really bad, she knows...history has shown.
Then there’s the thorny question of money. Elizabeth is actively planning at this point to get Sexual Reassignment Surgery in the next year or two. It is not covered by insurance, and generally runs about $20K. And that’s not all...she also wants Facial Feminization Surgery, which runs more like $50-60K, and is also not covered by insurance. Where is this $80K supposed to come from? She could liquidate her retirement savings, but that would mean swallowing the penalty for early withdrawal, and of course no more retirement savings. She could sell her house, but that would disrupt her own life and the lives of her children, and leave her without even the modest equity she has managed to retain through divorce and other reverses. Borrowing the money doesn’t seem to be an option, because it turns out lenders won’t accept mobile homes for collateral unless you own the land underneath them too, and she doesn’t. She has one lead on a company that might still...that’s one glimmer of hope. And then there’s always appealing to relatives, but oh, my, how terribly awkward that feels...and meanwhile, she’s going slowly but steadily deeper into debt, just to live. That second part-time job grows more and more important, but it’s so hard to find.
One bright spot: Elizabeth’s dentist, a friend, has offered to give her enamelplasty to feminize her smile. Boy teeth are bigger and squarer than girl teeth, and just a little artful rounding and shaping here and there could have a subtle but significant effect. He really seems to know what he’s doing - prides himself in his denture work, which is quite an art, it seems - so she’s going ahead with the procedure. She plans to post before and after pics.
And, at some point earlier in the month, Elizabeth passed the first year anniversary of starting hormones. That has been going well. Her whole body has grown slimmer and softer, most of the hair below her neck has faded away, her face looks significantly thinner and more feminine (actual cheekbones!), and her new baby breasts comfortably fill an A-cup. She is happy about the changes, but she has also begun to yearn for the return of sexual feeling...not the old way, though, never again the old way...hence the growing feeling of urgency around the need for SRS soon.
Still very much in process: electrolysis (another expense); and voice work (slow progress, rather than any breakthrough).
Having typed for an hour more or less at speed, Elizabeth decides to post immediately, without the usual meticulous rewriting and copy-editing. Blurt it out, put it up. Save the exquisite craftswomanship for next time. And so, she thinks, off it goes. (But it should come as no surprise that the next day she can't resist coming back and tinkering.)