None of this is really going to come as a big surprise to any woman who has been living as a woman for any appreciable amount of time. In fact, most tween girls would likely roll their eyes and mutter “stupid...” under their breath, were they at all interested in reading my excruciating text. Much of this caught me off guard though, having lived so many years in guy land, disguised as one of the natives, with all the benefits of rank and privilege conferred therein. Oh, the things they never tell you ahead of time.
I noticed, when first getting to know the other trans women in my community, that the vast majority were hot and heavy on getting the manicures. I’ll admit, they looked great, but to me it seemed like a waste doing something I could cheaply and easily do myself. Yeah. “Easily” My early attempts made it look like I had just polished off a full bag of those red pistachios they don’t make anymore. Past failure made me really nervous, which of course didn’t help me stay on the nail one bit. Once I got that part sort of nailed (a work still in progress), I had to learn other things the hard way. Like what happens when you attempt to wrestle the dog off her leash run less than 20 minutes after applying. Or take a really hot shower. Dry to the touch does not mean dry. Ugh. I see why people pay for this.
I also learned why women get so annoyed when men make fun of us for taking forever to get ready. Oh, I’ll plan what I’m going to wear, maybe even try it on the night before to “save time”. When I go to get ready for work though, it’s all wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong! How can the exact same outfit that looked fantastic last night suddenly look like I belong on ‘Mama’s Family’ first thing in the morning? It doesn’t make sense, yet it is so. I change. Wrong again. Worse even! Now I’m getting frustrated. I bought everything I have because I thought it looked really good on me, and suddenly I go to wear it and it’s like I spot gained ten pound pockets of weight on random parts of my body. You guys have no idea. No idea!
When I used to run in male mode early in the morning, like ungodly 5 AM early because that is all the free time I have, I would notice other joggers. Running in daylight, I gleaned that it was fashionable in the grand and secret society of joggers to raise a hand in acknowledgment to brothers and sisters also pounding pavement. Look, when your method of keeping healthy is to pretend you are being chased by a honey badger, there has to be some sort of camaraderie. Anyway, I came to notice that in the wee morning hours, well before sunrise, female joggers refused to return the standard, “hey, I’m a jogger too” wave. WTF?
I came to find it (probably) wasn’t the more than healthy sweat I worked up, nor the prevalent ‘Andy Bernarditis’ red 11 I was displaying on my shirt. Now that I jog as female, I’m way, way, way more cognizant of the fact that it’s dark out. Having a big sweaty man coming toward me at top speed, even if he is a brother in run, induces just a bit of panic. It’s happened a few times now. He waves, and I keep going, but pick up my pace a little bit. Then I check behind me just to make sure he’s continuing on his way and not doubling back. Whole different experience on the other side. I’ve actually abandoned some of my favorite routes now because they took me under overpasses, down seldom used paths, and other dark and scary places. I didn’t realize what a privilege it was to run knowing it was extremely unlikely that anyone would find any reason to try something. Just another minor adjustment.
I’ve said it before, gender hath its privileges, and it also has it pitfalls as well. Right now it’s my fervent hope that I’ll figure out all the latter before I make a gigantic ass of myself publicly, or worse. I’m sure there are more on the horizon. And yes, I do try to park close to the door now, and it has nothing to do with being lazy.