Saturday, April 3, 2021

The big thing of the day was a trip into NYC for dinner with a new friend.


It's hard to believe how empty Grand Central Terminal is these days.  It was the first time at GCT in over a year, and things have really changed due to the pandemic.  If I didn't know better, I might have thought things were "normal" based on how everything felt when I arrived.  Things felt too comfortable for comfort.  None of the usual crowds were milling about the terminal.  None of the food stands and news stands I usually counted on seemed to be open - as if they closed the terminal after rush hour ended.  And most of all, the relative quiet of the place compared to the old normal.

- - - - - -

I spent the whole work day in my usual tunic and trouser garments.  However, I was prepared for the evening, as I had pantyhose on underneath.  This way, I could change into my dress without the time consuming headache of donning hosiery when I needed the time for something else.  And I did need the extra time before catching the train into NYC, as I couldn't find my favorite scarf.  Why did I look for the scarf?  50 mph wind gusts.  The last thing I needed was for my hair to look shitty when meeting someone in person for the first time.

Luckily, I was able to make it to the local train station with a few minutes to spare.  While waiting, I noticed that Metro North was preparing a new platform to serve a track not accessible from the original platform.  (It looks like a temporary platform to me, but they could make it permanent in the future.)  The train came a minute afterward, and I was n my way into the city.

Arriving at the terminal, my first destination was an ATM.  However, Chase had moved its ATMs out of Grand Central and the closest Chase ATM was at a branch across the street.  (I was lucky to arrive 15 minutes early, as I needed the extra time to get some money.)  I was surprised when I found that the machine dispensed a $100 bill.  That C-Note won't be spent any time soon.  A few minutes later, I met my new friend and we walked to the restaurant. 

My friend realized that this restaurant was a different one than she expected to go to, but we had a pleasant meal.  Around 9:00, we walked back to GCT and we said our goodbyes.  Hopefully, she'll be interested in a friendship. If not, it was a nice evening with someone new.

Friday, April 2, 2021

Is it me?


A while back, an acquaintance of mine wondered why s/he was being avoided at gatherings. I tried to be tactful and shift the focus to other problems.  But the problem was mostly with this person.  S/he was loud, yet had little to say that interested people. This person focused on one of his/her traits as an explanation for half of the group avoiding this person.  But I didn't have the heart to explain things, or the energy to illustrate the nature of the problem.

- - - - - -

Several years ago, I attended one session of a women's group being formed.  Another woman (let's call her J for now) asked me for help with her group, then backed away very quickly when she found out I was transgender.  Over time, I have become open about my transgender nature, but was afraid to do so when I first started going out and about in the world.  So some people accepted me for the person I was, and others shunned me - like the person mentioned above.

When I had my dispute with my ex, the ex made sure that J had all the details (supporting the ex's point of view) to make her keep me out of the group.  Yet, she didn't expel me from the meetup list - she just wouldn't admit me to meetings.  J came into one of my groups, then said a few things to the ex as if I were making a big deal about being excluded.  (That is a great distortion.  But with a clique, distortions go far in keeping someone out.)  Eventually, the ex claimed that it was me who caused the former leader of the group (let's call her S for now) to quit leadership of the group.  Let's chalk the ex's statement up to being angry at me for wanting to join one of "her" meetups as if the ex owned them.  Yet, I'll give J some credit for her part in this affair - she was eventually willing to tell me how she felt, instead of being mute.

Later on in our dispute, the ex was making a big deal about me entering the secondary groups which were formed by members of the first group and made sure that the new leader of the group (let's call her L for now) kicked Marian out, but not Mario.  That was OK, as I wasn't immediately planning on going to the ex's favorite group until any romantic feelings I once had for the ex were gone.  For some unknown reason, Mario was later kicked out of the group without causing any trouble in the group or even visiting the group.  That was the catalyst that cause me to contact the ex, as she once said that I could go to the group as Mario.  Yet, in a way, I may have been lucky NOT to be able to go - for reasons I was thinking about the other day.

After I contacted the ex, I asked her if she asked L to exclude me.  The ex claimed she didn't, but the sudden unexplained exclusion didn't make sense to me (or others in my circle).  The ex made a big deal about showing me proof that she didn't ask L to kick me out.  I wonder if L was only trying to protect the ex from her feelings if I were to go there once as Mario.  Why didn't L have the courtesy to respond to my question of her?  I have more respect for J who would state what her feelings were, than for L who didn't. 

Recently, I had a conversation with Vicki, and we discussed intimacy in friendships vs. intimacy in romance.  The two are different things.  Both of us recognized the need for an occasional argument in the romance, as that forces things to the surface which might be suppressed for too long.  My friend DCD argues way too much with his girlfriend - almost every night.  I never argued with the ex until after we broke up.  DCD and his girlfriend had the flip side of my problem with the ex - poor communication without judgement, negotiation, or compromise.

- - - - - -

But back to the first person I mentioned....

During the worst of the pandemic, I received one contact from this person - and s/he had nothing to say.  When I wanted to mention the background of my problem with the ex, s/he had already taken the side of the ex before the call.  Was I ever really his/her friend?  Next time, if asked, I will answer this question ("Is it me?") directly but tactfully, and maybe help the person who asks it.

That leads me to the nature of the meetup group that was the focus of all the problems.  It was for Over 50's who are single.  Might the group be a self selecting group of people who have intimacy issues? (I have edited out my musings on intimacy for brevity.) If so, I might have been lucky to be excluded, as most of the group's regulars may either not know what real intimacy is, or not want it anymore.

As for the question of the day....  Yes, it could be me.  And I know what the "It" is, unlike the first person I mentioned.  For that, I am lucky.





PS: I do not check meetups to see if my ex is part of them, or whether she is going to anything I am interested in.  The one time I stumbled into her registration for an event was a fluke.  I wonder what will happen when we finally stumble into each other, as the odds would suggest. 

PPS: The first person I was writing about even writes loudly.  If you were to see an email from this person, you'd understand what I mean....

Thursday, April 1, 2021

A quick note

The above picture is from one of those "you should have been there" moments.  Several years ago, I went to "Burlesque by the Beach" with YGM, and had a great time.  The lady in the picture was doing a pantomime of woman getting dressed while almost naked and the audience was having a great laugh.

- - - - - -

If I could turn back the clock, I'd probably turn it back to a time when YGM was here - and take advantage of the chance to be with this friend more often.  Now that she's in Florida, there's little chance we can get together at will.  That's OK, as she's been doing well down there.  But up here, I miss the days before Covid-19 struck the land.  And when "Normalcy" comes back, my normal will be very different from that I had several years ago.

Soon, I plan to publish a post about a friend who was never able to get out and about as the person she was inside.  She always lived in the shadows.  Even though I lost a lot over the past year or so, at least I had the chance to live as my authentic self.  And I have learned from my past, unlike many people I know.

It takes a lot to be able to withstand the attacks of people who don't understand you.  My friend was unable to do that.  She had to worry about a wife who didn't accept this part of herself, and couldn't break free of her cocoon.  I did.  Yet, I sometimes wonder if this has been worth what I lost in the process.  Given what I know about people, I think the people I lost in the process weren't secure enough in themselves to understand and accept someone like me.  

- - - - - -

Recently, I got a job working as Marian.  Several people I know wondered whether I was working as Mario or as Marian.  The big question is: "Why should it matter?"  I'm the same person no matter how I'm presenting at the moment.  If I were to get a different job, I might take it as Mario. (I know one job opening where I will apply as Mario.  But I'm not saying where for now.)

Looking back at the time I went to the show with YGM, I realized that the performer in the picture was more sure of who she was than most people I know.  One has to have confidence to perform almost naked in front of a group of people.  And she had that.  I wish more of us had the same....

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Opening up a mystery box or two


I like the above picture of me.  In it, I almost look like a pretty old grandmother - and that pleases me. Yesterday, I received my mystery boxes from Universal Standard and got 7 items.  The 6 pictures below are the items I will likely wear.

(Mine is in Merlot)

The three dresses I received are all good for Fall/Winter wear, and I plan to try them out when the weather gets cooler.  Although the two items below will be good for summer, I am not sure if the shorts may be appropriate for wearing outside.  I will check with Vicki before wearing them.

(Mine is in Merlot)

From what you can see in the above pictures, was it worth $200 to get these quality garments?  It was a gamble I might not take again, but I'll answer that question later in the year.  My friends in Texas game me the thumbs up on the boxes, so I think I may have been lucky....

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

The mystery box has arrived


A couple of months ago, I placed an order with Universal Standard for two "Mystery Boxes."  One box was for Athleisure Wear, and the other was for Dresses. The two "boxes" came in a single delivery, and there was not a thing I could wear this time of year.

The Athleisure box had 4 items:

  • V-Neck Short Sleeve T-Shirt (Black/White Striped)
  • Shorts (Navy Blue)
  • Sweatshirt (Merlot)
  • Bandeau Top (Gray)      ----    There is no way I'll wear this, so it goes in the donation pile.

The Dresses box had 3 items:

  • Shirt Dress (Merlot)
  • Turtleneck Dress (Dark Green)
  • Sweatshirt Dress (Navy Blue)
I think for buying a pig in a poke, I may have gotten my money's worth.  But would I do it again?  Maybe.  But I'll think about gambling a little more carefully next time.  Right now, I'm not in the mood to try on the dresses to see how they look.  But I will do so soon, take some pictures, and post them for my readers to comment on.

Monday, March 29, 2021

A walk in the park....


It's been a while since I've had the chance to go out hiking with DS.  Like FH, she has a schedule which leaves only one weekend day free to do things.  FH works Sunday-Thursday, while DS works Tuesday-Saturday.  This means that I have only one full day that I can schedule a get together with each person per week.  At least there is no conflict with these women, as I see them for completely different reasons and have completely different feelings about them.

- - - - - -

Yesterday, I received a message from DS that read:

Hi ladies, would you like to go for a walk Sunday morning? 
It's going to be almost 60 degrees. 
Afterwards, maybe we can do outdoor dining.

I figured that DS was inviting one or more women to walk with us today.  Given that there are people I don't want to see in Marian mode, I asked who else was invited.  DS mentioned that she was trying to get LR out of the house.  Unfortunately, this did not happen.  It was just DS and I on the trails today: all 4.2 miles on the Yellow Trail at Babcock Preserve in Greenwich, CT.  One of the problems of this park is there is not enough parking at one end of the park.  So we had to park on the street.  Another problem is that in some places, the trail is poorly blazed.  It would be very easy for an inexperienced hiker to get lost on the trails.  Yet, we had a good time, followed by a tasty meal on Greenwich's main drag.

On the way home, I stopped off at Wegmans to pick up some lunches for the week at work.  I figure that I can buy Thursday and Friday's meals later on, as I want my food to be as fresh as reasonably possible.  As I arrived home, I noticed some people working on the lower right corner apartment in my building.  When I realized whose apartment it was, I realized that it was her dad, my former mechanic.  Hopefully, he didn't recognize me, as I hate hearing comments from the peanut gallery.

- - - - - -

Going back to a topic that I've been thinking about lately, I feel that there are two different types of intimacies: A Friendship Intimacy and a Romantic Intimacy.  I'm still working on how to define each type of intimacy, but I feel that the failings in my relationships as of late have much to do with both types of intimacy and the lines drawn between the two.


Sunday, March 28, 2021

A quick note: A box is on its way.

Today was the only day this week that I was in my male presentation.  As long as I see FH, I feel she needs Mario in her life, and not Marian.  And today gave me proof that FH is not the right person for me.

- - - - - -

The day started by me waking up early in the morning.  Since I didn't want to ruin my rest, I took care of necessities and went back to bed for a couple of hours.  Then, it was time to do a load of laundry, so that I could have some clothes for the coming week.  Since the clothes were in the laundry for the next hour, I ran to the post office to send a card to my niece in England.  While there, I saw the above box - perfect to send a backscratcher to my friend, Stephanie, in the Dallas, TX area.  

The running comment in our Zoom meetings is that Stephanie is always using some kind of tool to scratch her back, and never getting it just right.  So I said that I'd send her a backscratcher one day.  Today looked like it was going to be that day, now that I found the box at the post office. About 90 minutes later, my clothes were in the laundry basket, the backscratcher in the box, and I was headed out the door to FH's place.  After 5 minutes at the post office, I was on my way to Forest Hills to pick her up for a late lunch/early dinner.

FH is always a little picky about the clock.  If I'm running late, she'll text me to find out where I am - even though I shouldn't be texting while driving.  Luckily, I have found places where I could text her back safely without causing an accident.  But I'll need to tell her to call me instead, as I shouldn't have to look for a place to pull over to text her safely. After I got to her place, we made a trip to the local stationery store, so that she could get some needed supplies for her visit to her office the next morning.  (She works a Sunday-Thursday schedule.) Then it was off to a nearby outdoor mall to do some shopping and to eat afterward.

This is where I found out that we don't communicate well enough to be more than just friends.  The GPS took us to the site of the mall, but didn't give us an idea of where the restaurant was inside the mall.  So I made a couple of misjudgements regarding where to park, and she was only making things worse with her comments. Instead of noticing I was a little frustrated and needing the mental horsepower to figure things out in a place where I was unfamiliar, she kept commenting on not knowing where the restaurant was, and how far she might have to walk to get where she wanted to be.  I ended up raising my voice a little, but not shouting out of control, asking her to be quiet for a second, so I can keep my perspective on things - something she didn't know how to do.  Eventually, I figured out what I needed to figure out, and got us to a centrally located parking lot in this complex.

After doing a little shopping, FH and I went to the restaurant and were told that we'd have to wait an hour for a table.  This was not good enough for either of us, so we left - and then left the mall to eat elsewhere.  (FH was a little annoyed at the fellow who told us we'd have to wait an hour, vs. telling the next group that it was a 45-60 minute wait.  Big Deal.  Maybe he's dealt with this group before and coddles them a little.  But the difference in messaging and her reaction to that told me a lot about FH.  And then, when the fellow said that there is no in-restaurant waiting area, she ignored that until he mentioned it again.)  Eventually, we made it to a Middle Eastern joint in Ridgewood for dinner.  Then, it was back to her place to drop her off.  (This was not one of our best days.)  

Where the Ex complained too little, FH complains a little too much.  I'm still looking for a happy median.  Hopefully, I'll find one soon.  Life is too short not to have someone special to care for.











PS: I had to chuckle after scanning the selections on one dating website.  Someone who blocked me from a meetup group (not talking of the ex) is dating and her profile showed on my feed. I certainly would never consider someone like her for many reasons....

Was she dead or alive? Inquiring minds wanted to know.

  I hadn't seen Pat in months, and I haven't been able to reach her by voice or text.  Given that she's 84 years old, I figured ...