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Dear Future Partner

“Are you there, God? It’s me, Margaret.”

(door opening, hurried footsteps)

“What the hell are you doing here? You’re in the wrong place, kid.”

“What? This isn’t Judy Blume’s brain, circa 1969?”

“NO! It’s Claire’s brain, circa 2008, you nutty little freak. Now get out of here! And take Ramona with you! The grownups are talking! Crazy ass kids, always running around in here. Some of us are trying to WORK!”

Ahem.

Dear Future Partner,

Hi, it’s Claire. If the the exchange you just witnessed above made you question my sanity or pull a number of pamphlets from your satchel, then you are excused. If it made you laugh or, at a minimum, shrug and say “Well, at least she’s not trying to make me eat Peeps,” you may stay. If Margaret immediately opened the door to your own brain and asked if this was the room where she learned about the flower of womanhood, then you may come sit by me.

It’s often been said that one shouldn’t have a “type,” and that creating a list of criteria for one’s perfect mate can actually prevent you from finding true love because what one wants is so rarely what one needs.

This is, of course, crap.

OK, not really. There is some sense to this – after all, if you’ve reached the point where you look at another person and say “Oh, jeez, I’m sorry, we can’t date – I’m not really into women with your shade of hair. You’re russet, and I’m really looking for more of an auburn. Also, you don’t have the Pirate Memory Game I’m looking for,” then it’s time to hang up your dating hat and reconcile yourself to being the Paranthropus Robustus of your family tree.

However, future mate, just like anything I attempt to reheat in the oven, I’ve been burned before – and there are some important facts I would like to share with you, here and now, so that in the future, when one of my myriad eccentricities manifests itself like the ghost of Jacob Marley, you’re prepared, and not phoning the authorities/raising a crucifix/alerting the citizens of Tokyo to my presence.

To wit:

1) You should be interested in learning. You needn’t be a super-nerd like me, nor must your internal fires burn with an insatiable lust for knowledge second only to Pryrates. If, however, upon hearing me and/or my friends discuss some bit of linguistic minutiae, some fascinating tidbit of literature or history, or last night’s episode of Jeopardy!, your immediate reaction is to roll your eyes and say “Um, we’re not in school, professor!” before turning back to your People Magazine crossword ( “24 across: TV horse “Mister __””), you will be driven way out in the country and left on a farm where you will have lots of room to frolic and watch reruns of A Current Affair .

2) I am sure that, given time, I really CAN come to love your children as if they are my very own. However, ten seconds after I meet you is a bit soon for this sort of special bond to form. Because I’m an unknown adult, I feel as though it’s not my place to yell at them for drinking bleach/smashing my belongings with a sledgehammer that they must’ve brought from home because I certainly don’t have one/tearing pages from my books (which are, it must be said, MY children) like feral goats. Furthermore, I’m not their Mom – I’m just some lady who keeps making suggestive comments to their mom while she laughs, says things like “little pitchers!” and turns red while slapping her hands over their ears. I don’t hate kids, I don’t have any illusions about my role in their life unless things get sufficiently serious, and I don’t worry about “competing” with them – but, shockingly, I would prefer to get to know YOU before being introduced to your kids and hearing the Brady Bunch theme music as we’re all tossed around in blue squares with your maid and Robert Reed.

3) If I accidentally call you Robin, it is an honest mistake. However, referring to me as Rosie, accidentally or not, will result in a Mortal Kombat-style fatality:

You: “Rosie, honey, can you…”

Announcer guy: “FINISH HER!”

Me: “GET OVER HERE!” (followed by launch of weird spear thingy)

You: “BLERG!” (thump)

Alternatively, you may receive the silent treatment and/or wake to find I have hired a plastic surgeon to bring you into line with Robin while you slumbered. So, you know, look out for that, then.

4) Birthdays are not optional. Even if you’re “not from a birthday family,” be prepared to experience a celebration of your birthday normally reserved for royalty and the ungrateful offspring of the privileged elite.

Seriously, lady, you’re gonna think Ed McMahon stopped by. Well, I mean, the old Ed McMahon, with the Publisher’s Clearinghouse checks, not really old Ed McMahon, with the neckbrace and crippling debt. You will expect to see yourself on the Society Page! Assuming wherever we live has a paper large and pretentious enough to support such a thing!

Naturally, my own birthday week should be written in your calendar in PERMANENT marker and, if desired, sparkly pen. The kind with a feathery tuft where the cap would rest on a non-super-gay pen.

5) When I hear “PDA,” I think of my Blackberry™. Yes, I love you, Future Partner! Truly, I wish to declare it from the tops of the highest trees…I want to shout it to the deepest caverns of earth’s stony heart! However, I do NOT wish to have an amateur appendectomy performed by your experimental tongue-probe method in front of A) my family, B) strangers at the mall, C) that weird neighbor guy who suddenly became all friendly when he found out I was a lesbian and forced me to get blinds for the bedroom. Seriously, I’m not Prudence McPrude, mayoress of Prudeytown – I just know how grossed out I am by other “get a room” couples, and my hypocrisy only extends so far.

6) I am a tGirl, and the “t” is not silent. OK, it should be noted that, while I don’t exactly wear a t-shirt (get it? T-shirt? HA! Oh, God, I should be killed.) proclaiming my transsexuality, it is a part of who I am, and I have no intention of hiding that part (insert rim shot here). Falling squarely into the “Activist-Lite” category, I am active in the trans community, and anyone I’m with should be cool with that, if only because I’d hate to be at Pride, stuck outside one of those unbelievably snobbish “Natal Women Only” events, holding our ciders while you listen to “Robyn WomynRayn” do a poetry slam.

7) Come to think of it, the “girl” isn’t silent, either. Despite my little case of Harry Benjamin Syndrome, I am in fact a girl through and through. Well, a woman, really, since I heard “Miss” for about a week after I began transition and then settled into “Ma’am” with blithe acceptance. No, my house isn’t pink and covered in doilies, nor do I dress like Miss Yvonne from Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, but I am a femme, for better or worse. It can be difficult to separate stereotype from reality, and even more difficult to separate the concepts of “feminine” and “female,” but let it be said that I am most certainly the former and will (barring acts of the Almighty or Congress) also be the latter as soon as possible. The reason I bring this up is that, as mentioned in my Transgender Primer, I am not a f*ing drag queen, and I am most certainly not a guy in a dress (or any other kind of guy, really).

8 ) I’m not what you call a “serious” person, a fact that has been underscored abundantly within the past two sentences if not the past 33 years. Like a lot of kids whose differences forced them to choose between being the entertainment or the main course, I donned humor and my own cavalier disregard for authority as my sword and shield. Don’t worry, there’s a nougaty center of considered and rational sincerity under the brightly-colored candy shell, but you’re gonna need something sharp to get at it, sister.

I think that’s it for the moment. It’s strange to think you’re reading this now, even though we don’t get together until later, around chapter seveteen (after the incident involving the Van Allen belt, but before we kill the giant badger with silly string and a Sharpie®). Write back soon, okay? But don’t tell me what happens in Transformers 2, because I’d hate to have its tightly-written and no-doubt Joycian plot unraveled for me prematurely.

Also, if Michael Bay ever, ever, EVER wins an Oscar, just go ahead and send a nuke back with the letter. I’ll see that it gets where it needs to go.

Your future wife/partner/ball-and-chain-but-don’t-call-me-that-where-I-can-hear-you-I’m-not-kidding,

Claire

Published inGeneralPriderelationshipsTransgender Issues

9 Comments

  1. We should all write letters like this…if only to make our intentions clear. Thank you for your insight.

  2. Sra SraNo Gravatar

    I wish I had your wit.

    Please bless they don’t make a Transformers 2! The first was so terrible and completely messed with my childhood memories.

  3. @Llanna: Thanks so much for commenting! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    @Sra: Aww, thanks, sister! 🙂 Yeah, it’s true – they’re making another one…unless Shia The Beef DUI’s his way into prison, or better yet, into Michael Bay’s trailer (at full speed, with maximum explosions and idiot dialog). Transformers were one of my favorite childhood commercially-sponsored toys, and to see them cheapened (!) by a movie saddened and offended me.

    However, I hear they might have Mirage in the next one, so I’ll probably throw another $12 at the Hollywood machine for a brief glimpse onscreen of what used to play in my head all the time (since replaced by reruns of Morning Express and that crappy knock-off of “Married with Children” that featured Nikki Cox as its only redeeming virture).

  4. I am glad you have decided not to go with the Miss Yvonne from Pee-Wee’s Playhouse look. I am pretty sure her hair took hours and may in fact had little woodland creatures in there. Her dresses were really pretty and poofy though.

  5. Your Pee Wee reference immediately made me think of Large Marge!!!!! (Yes, I saw Big Top Pee Wee)
    Do you remember her? Now she was HOT! She puts that Robin Meade you are always gushing about to shame.

    I still have some love letters Jim and I exchanged in High School. We were such dorks…..now we have merged our “dorkiness” into a GIANT cloud of embarassment. It will rain down upon the children! Wahhaha.

    I remember in the extreme early days of our relationship, he used to drive me home from school. One afternoon I decided it was time to ‘define’ what we were doing. Is he my boyfriend/are we in Looooove, or are we ‘Just Friends’ ?!
    Anyways, I started blabbering on and on…. and he reached into the back seat of his car (a sweetass silver ’81 Chevy Citation well equipped with a load knocking engine)
    “What are you doing?!” I asked him.
    “Taking notes.” Was his reply.
    *Face burning* I’m thinking SHIT! Why did I bring this up?! Now I’m clingy AND stupid!
    He actually was writting down his phone number. I still have that little piece of history.

    Not sure why I went on about that.
    I guess it’s just to illustrate that sometimes you want something SO BAD and it’s right in front of you……you just don’t know it yet. I really believe that.

    ***********************************
    Where are we going tomorrow?

    And I am not going to fill out that “tag you’re it” survey….out of pure spite.
    I’m the most likely to respond? I think not!

    What’s wrong with Rosie? Heh heh.

  6. Do they seriously have “natal women only” events at Pride?
    That is the biggest crock of shit I have ever heard.

    I wish I had made a list. I just sort of took what I got and screwed it all up a lot along the way. It worked out pretty well, all things considered, but a list would have saved me a lot of heartache.

  7. @Tara: Well, to be fair, my list is mostly the result of hindsight and not foresight…I just know myself well enough by now that I ALSO know all the crazy shit I’m not willing to endure (as well as the stuff I need to create a moderately successful relationship).

    No word yet on what I’d need to create a totally successful relationship. Booze? A big lotto win? Thinly veiled references to my “Other Ladies First” policy in the boudoir? Who knows?

    And, yes, they have “Natal Women Only” events, although Womyn are also allowed. This policy isn’t universally enforced, naturally – I’ve been to many cool events where all women/womyn were welcome, but there’s some prejudice, to be sure.

    And pamphlets. So…many…pamphlets. (shudder)

    @Mollie: I was tempted to go with the Ms Yvonne look, but ultimately opted for “Grossly Swollen Miss Venezuela” instead.

    @Jess: We should all be so lucky to be as dorky as you and Jim are! You give me hope for the future…or at least hope for you guys!

  8. I think Jess and Jim are cute. And if you ever want to try out the Ms Yvonne look for an evening I do have a talking Pee Wee Herman doll you can borrow as your sidekick. lol.

  9. […] also includes ones partner/girlfriend/boyfriend/significant other, of course…however, my previous experiences have left me charred and twitchy, as well as slightly suspicious that I may be dead inside, like a […]

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