So here’s the thing:
When a person begins an important transition in their life, there are certain unexpected consequences that cannot be anticipated (hence the unexpectedness, said Rhetorical Girl).
In my case, the unexpected consequences of my journey from one sex to another have been by turns encouraging (“Hey, I have a waist! Kind of!”), confusing (“I know I’ve seen this commercial a thousand times, but he’s dancing with his daughter at her wedding! Just like when she was little and she danced on his feet! Oh, shut up and hand me the Kleenex!”), and, occasionally, humiliating.
It is this last outcome – abject humiliation – to which we turn our gimlet eye today, my friends.
Having spent the past few years toiling to lose weight and meet other transition goals, I have reached the point where I now (occasionally) feel pretty good about myself. Saturday evening, for example, started out grand: I had a new outfit, complete with some really cute earrings and necklace, and was feeling decidedly un-troll-like and ready to, as the kids say, par-tay. I drove to a local Mexican restaurant which has taken up residence in an old Pizza Hut building, much like certain crustaceans will adopt the discarded shell of another species as their makeshift home. The wind was blowing in my hair, the Scissor Sisters were blaring from my speakers (well, okay, the car’s speakers. I don’t have speakers. Why on earth would I have speakers? What is wrong with you people?), and life was good. I spotted my friends on the veranda and waved, then parked, grabbed my purse, and ran inside to meet them for Margaritas and fun.
And that, my friends, is when things went horribly, horribly wrong.
Although the restaurant wasn’t crowded, there were two tables full of extra-large parties (in number, not size) between yours truly and the door to the patio and my sweet, sweet margarita of lime-liciousness. Still charged with positivity and humming “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’,” I swept past the first table with a little “‘scuse me!” and then attempted to sneak past the second in the same manner.
And it was here, at the corner of Overconfidence Street and Clumsy Boulevard, that the Unexpected found me. Like many people who have struggled with their weight for any significant amount of time, I tend to see-saw back and forth between “Good God, I belong in Sea World” and “Aww, yeah, I am Salma Hayek, bitch!” (insert your own equivalents as necessary). It should be noted that a few months into the HRT, my waist has begun to approach Salma Hayek-ville (but is, I will admit, still several thousand miles outside of town). My ass, however – oh, my ass. Long accustomed to baggy pants and a curiously flat backside that made me look like an eggplant balanced on a white wine glass, I had not, as of Saturday, made accommodations in my mental bodyspace for THE INFLATABLE SOFA THAT NOW RESIDES IN MY PANTS.
As I skirted the Table of Skinny Girls Who Shouldn’t Be Eating Mexican Food Anyway Because They Look Like They Don’t Eat Anything ELSE, my ass gently caressed an empty (and, as it turned out, unanchored) booth in a manner not unlike the touching of a cotton ball to a butterfly’s downy wing. However, such is the power of the gigantic ass that the bastardly booth went flying like it was on rollerskates, nearly blindsiding a horrified waiter, and I trip-skipped the last few feet out the door and onto the patio, buoyed by the laughter of the Anorexic Brigade.
Later, nursing my wounded pride over a lime margarita the size of my head and finally able to laugh a little at what was, when seen from the other side of a bowl of frozen tequila, a pretty hilarious pratfall in the Laurel-and-Hardy vein, I paused to reflect. Referring to the incident as “unexpected” really isn’t fair…I mean, hormones can change your body, but you’re still the same person…and hasn’t that been the argument of transpeople since time immemorial? That we change our bodies to fit our minds, but we remain the same people?
So why was I surprised that I would knock furniture across the room like a matchstick sculpture of the Eiffel Tower? I’ve been doing that since I began walking (an event which brought great wealth to our local emergency room and a nervous twitch to my dad’s eye that remains to this day). No, even in a changing body, I remain ME – and that means lots of laughter, lots of love, and, yes, lots of property damage for which I do not carry a deductible, so just try to catch me, copper!
So, if you were there Saturday night, and abruptly found your burrito replaced with a banquette, I apologize sincerely to you, fellow Mexican food enthusiast. All I can say is, although we plan and plot, strive and scheme, sometimes the consequences of our actions only become clear…