A conversation

Me (coming into the kitchen where The Dandy is tidying up): I’ve just taken an absolutely soul-destroying shit.

Dandy: Your shoulders are wet.

Me: Yeah, I had to hop in the shower directly after shitting because reasons.

Dandy: [thinks for a second, then recoils in disgust]

Me: I’m stuck knowing that and now you are, too.

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If anyone cares, this is the specific thing I attempted to discuss with The Dandy in my previous post:

I used to work in a call centre. It was open from 8am to 8pm. Some people worked from 8am to 4pm and others worked from noon to 8pm.

Once or twice a year, there would be a company event that took place on a weekday evening. The company accommodated this by making everyone come in from 8am to 4pm and then closing the office early.*

Now, I was an admin assistant, not actually on the phones, but I gotta think that with everyone there at the same time instead of with staggered shifts, there must have been hours at a time where most people were just sitting around with nothing to do. There would simply have been way too many employees for the number of calls coming in.

And the offhanded comment I made to The Dandy was that this is one of the ways capitalism sucks, that the company didn’t just give the afternoon shift a paid half-day off. They were willing to pay the people for doing nothing, but not comfortably at home, only if they at least came in and pretended to work.

(It occurs to me now that if they’d straight-up given the night shift a half day off, the day shift people would have been pissed off. And that’s fair. But there’s got to be some other thing that could have been done.)

And The Dandy agreed that it was ridiculous to make the night shift people come in early like that just to sit around doing nothing, but said that this wasn’t capitalism, just a choice the company made. Which made me think “but isn’t capitalism about the choices companies make? Wait, is capitalism something the government mandates?” But as we know, The Dandy wouldn’t let me get a word in edgewise to ask about that.

*Btw, by the end of my tenure at this place, I was on the noon shift and typically going to bed at 4am, so event days were hell for me. I was having to get to work in rush hour traffic on about three hours’ sleep, and the stupid motherfuckers on the day shift – who apparently don’t understand circadian rhythms – would see me looking all bleary-eyed and sarcastically say “awww, poor baby. Didn’t get to sleep in this morning?”

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Last night I had an extended convo with The Dandy about fashion stuff – I told him I hope to take my wardrobe in a more androgynous/masc direction at some point and I’ll be wanting his guidance so I don’t accidentally end up looking like a scene kid or whatever. My tastes run a bit juvenile (perhaps because I spent a long time ignoring my nonbinary-ness, so in a way it’s like I’m in my 40s but my inner dude is only 19 or so) and I don’t wanna be an obvious middle-aged person looking like they’re trying to be a teenager. I want to maintain a bit of a goth/alternative edge to my look, but in a sophisticated way.

The Dandy had lots of great style advice, so that part was cool. And we got on the subject of vests (waistcoats, I mean, not like sweater vests) and he said that the fit on those is really, really hard to get right. Well, hilariously (considering our bodies are otherwise incredibly different) we have the same chest measurement. And he owns at least one vest. So I asked if I could try his on and see how it looked on me. He said okay and I excitedly bounced up from my bed to head into his room.

At which point The Dandy whispered to himself – while I was no more than three feet away from him, mind you – “ugh, I don’t want to have to dig around for all this stuff…” or something like that.

And I just fucking hate this shit so much. How is he so unclear on the difference between speaking and thinking? (I’m quite sure he does this whispering thing by accident, not to be passive-aggressive; he mutters to himself in the shower, too.) I already called him out before on whispering about me while I’m standing right fucking there. Like dude if you can feel your mouth moving, it probably means you’re not just having your thoughts quietly inside your head. Maybe make a point of paying attention to that.

Anyway, this time around I told him “first of all, when you whisper about me when I’m standing right here, I can hear you. Secondly, all you had to do was say ‘yes, but not right now.'”

The Dandy said “I mean…yeah.” Meaning “yeah, I would indeed let you try on my vest but I’d rather it not be right this minute.” But I made a point of standing there looking at him until he actually said it with his words.

And then – sarcastically, in spite of myself – I was like “There you go! Look at you, using your adult voice.” And I went back to my room and shut the door.

Today over dinner I accidentally opened up the topic of politics or…financial systems or something. My FB feed gets a lot of memes running across it that talk about how capitalism is a terrible system and responsible for basically all our problems as a society. Strictly speaking, I don’t necessarily know the official definition of capitalism. But from reading all these memes I kind of get the gist of things, I think?

The Dandy, conversely, is big into history and politics and stuff, and knows exactly what capitalism is. But as someone who’s never been poor, he seems to only see the good side of stuff and not the aspects that the memes highlight.

Or, hey, maybe the memes have the definition of capitalism wrong, and if I relayed the memes to The Dandy, he could explain why they’re not accurate and it’s actually X, Y, or Z that’s causing the bad things, not capitalism per se. Except he won’t let me fucking talk.

I told him an anecdote tonight about a shitty policy my old office job had, and said “this is why capitalism is a shitty system” (because that’s the kind of thing the memes said). “When the expectation is that everyone needs to work in order to earn the right to be alive, it’s -“

And The Dandy interrupted me to say “that’s not capitalism, that’s a decision the company chose to make.”

I wanted to say that if all of society is skewed in this direction of believing that nobody’s ever allowed to get things for free – that everything needs to be earned – then yeah, it is capitalism’s fault, even if the government didn’t make the company implement that policy per se. I wanted to ask “wait, so does ‘capitalism’ mean that the government forces everyone to have a particular attitude toward money at all times? I thought it was more of just a…thing that most people decided to do, and the fact that most people are doing it means you can’t really opt out.”

But I couldn’t say any of that because The Dandy had a whole shitload of words to volley at me and he would not be stopped. I can’t remember what-all he said. Mostly stuff too technical for me to understand, and when I tried to ask for clarification, he steamrolled over me. Several times, it sounded to me like he’d misunderstood what I’d been trying to say and was speechifying at me based on a totally false premise, and I was like “but I’m not saying -” and he steamrolled over me.

Finally I snapped “this is not a conversation. In a conversation, we both get to talk. It goes: you say a thing, and I listen to that and respond, and then you listen to that and respond. How has nobody taught you this by now?” And I headed to my room.

The Dandy called out “I’m sorry for having stuff to say!” and the great tragedy of my life is that he didn’t mean it sincerely. It was one of those bitter/sarcastic fake apology things.

But yes, he fucking should be sorry for lecturing at me and not letting me get a word in edgewise. He was speechifying about economic systems on a level that’s way too advanced for me and I didn’t understand any of it! He was misinterpreting stuff I’d said and scream-lecturing at me based on his misinterpretation, not letting me explain what I’d actually meant! What the fuck is the point of any of that? Not for us to have an actual, mutually fulfilling conversation. Not even to genuinely teach me anything. He just seems to have this compulsive need to spew mouth-sounds at someone for its own sake. I hate it.

And btw, as soon as I realized I’d just accidentally mentioned capitalism, I put up my hands in a warding-off gesture and said “I don’t want to get into a whole big thing about this” because I know that mentioning anything politics- or history-adjacent will trigger The Dandy’s mouth-diarrhea. Early on in the speechifying – when he hadn’t yet gained enough volume and momentum to drown me out – I pointedly said “let’s talk about something else.” But he kept going.

And this is what drives me mad about him – this double standard. I actually listen to his wishes and will do – or not do – a thing if he asks. But for some reason he’s too chickenshit to ask – even though I’ve never penalized him in any way for being upfront with me.

Meanwhile, I tell him exactly what I want and it makes no difference.

Next time he won’t shut up and I’m tired of it, I think I’ll shut my eyes and whisper “stop it stop it stop it stop it…” the entire time he’s talking. Audibly, right in front of him. That’s how grown-ups deal with this sort of situation, right? 🙄

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Money CAN TOO buy happiness.

I’ve been down in the dumps lately. Stir crazy from being inside all the time because pandemic, mostly, with a generous dash of being in a weird limbo bodywise because of hormone therapy. A lot of my clothes don’t fit anymore but I don’t want to buy new ones because I don’t know how many more physical changes are still in store for me. Whatever I bought now might also not fit in a couple months.

And even though I barely have an income right now and feel guilty about spending money…I’ve been buying myself some stuff. I ordered a very cool mask on Etsy (no matter what T does to my appearance in the long run, I’ll still have a face…) and some art supplies. And earlier today I spontaneously bought a new sex toy.

None of this stuff has actually arrived yet, but I do find myself cheered up just knowing it’s coming. And the sex toy and art supplies aren’t just totally pointless “now I have a shiny thing” items, they’re things that will actively enrich my life: I’ll be able to make cool shit and hopefully have some great orgasms. I’ll have activities to fill these stupid lockdown days with instead of feeling like a tiger pacing around their boring cage.

Between that and the bday gifts I bought for my friend and The Dandy, though, I do feel like I’ve gone a little off the deep end for money-spending and should ease up a bit.

…Soon. 😛

Although! It’s almost my birthday, too, and my parents typically send me money. I don’t count on it, since I barely acknowledge their existence and I figure they might get sick of that and stop doing anything for me. But so far they still do give money on my birthday and Christmas. So with any luck I’ll end up getting all my recent treats for myself covered retroactively.

The Dandy’s gift to me is a crap-ton of dumbbells. Not very fun or glamorous, but I did specifically request them. I’ve been working out lately, and hope to keep working out indefinitely, and dumbbells are both absurdly expensive and far, far more convenient than using something else would be. The weight of them is precise, evenly balanced, and clearly labeled so yeah plz just let me have a 20lb dumbbell instead of an empty plastic epsom salts jug filled with wet sand or whateverthefuck.

I had already begun to outgrow the few weights we already had around the house at the time that I asked for more dumbbells, so when they started arriving (The Dandy ended up having to order various weights from different stores because nobody had them all in stock) he just gave them to me upfront.

Which is going to make my bday itself a little anticlimactic, I guess, but what can you do?

As an introvert with a tinge of agoraphobia, I’m really not too affected by being in lockdown – not like people i know who are travelers and partiers. But I gotta say, there’s something about a fancy evening out that feels extra special to me. So I’m bummed that there’s nothing The Dandy can do for my bday to make it a really above-average day. I mean obvs we’ll order sushi. But aside from that…meh.

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Ongoing changes

Testosterone has been changing my body in some ways that I don’t super love, but I realized the other day: even if I went off it, there’s no guarantee of what I’d look like. I was already gaining some unexpected weight and stuff even before going on hormones. The time of me being able to resemble a thin hot lady-person has passed, one way or another, so I might as well try having an entirely different body and see how that goes.

I do love my slightly sharper jawline and increased capacity for building muscle, though. Even if I could go off hormones and get back my body as it looked at its woman-presenting peak, I don’t think I’d trade.

Also I keep automatically viewing all T-related changes through a lens of “but can I still pass as a chick?” because I’m not good at dealing with change/if I’m visibly not-a-chick I probably can’t be an art model anymore/I’m afraid of being hate crimed for being trans (if/when the pandemic settles and I’m out and about in the world again) etc. But if I make myself view the changes from the POV of being nonbinary, I more-or-less like all of them. Like…having a thicker waist isn’t great if I want to look like a conventionally attractive woman, but it will make me look more masc (in that my hips aren’t gaining the same number of inches. My body is becoming ever-so-slightly less pear shaped/femme). If I look in the mirror and think of myself as a potential man rather than a failed woman, I think I look pretty good. Sometimes I look at myself from the side and mash my tits down with my hand to imagine what I’d look like with top surgery, and I kinda like it.


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A good friend has a birthday coming up. And, incidentally, she got me a birthday gift last year and I hadn’t thought we were on a gift-giving basis and hadn’t gotten her anything (our birthdays are both in April), so I wanted to atone.

She loves anything goth-looking, and I was gonna get her a set of skull-shaped candles that’s white on the outside but eventually starts “bleeding” black out the eye and nose holes when it’s been burning long enough. She probably would have loved those. But alas, the Etsy store only carries these around Hallowe’en (I swear I saw them available at other times; maybe they’ve changed their policy).

But then I realized, hey, she just left her husband and moved out on her own; I bet there are household items she needs/wants! So I sent her a FB message asking for a list of things she might like. I was afraid her low self esteem would kick in and keep her from giving me any ideas so as not to inconvenience me or whatever, but nope, she told me some things. Good!

And this is where I remembered that, in a way, I hate buying gifts for people. I mean I love when I’ve gotten a thing that I know someone will love. But people’s tastes are not always as straightforward as you’d think (I know there are a ton of things people could get me that seem on paper as though they’d be perfect for me, but I wouldn’t actually like them for various reasons). And I hate hate hate the idea of saddling someone with a thing they don’t actually like. Especially if they then feel like they have to display/use/wear the thing for my benefit so my feelings don’t get hurt. And especially if I spent a lot of money on whatever it was, because I don’t have much to begin with so I want to spend it well.

My friend’s list wasn’t super specific, is the thing. Like she said “kleenex box covers” but didn’t link to a particular listing online or state any sort of theme or even whether she meant covers for a rectangular box of tissues or a square one.

So I fell down an internet rabbithole of angsting about home furnishings and finally realized that she’d also asked for some purely practical things, too – mostly kitchen tools. As much as I loved the idea of surprising her with a home furnishing thing that was exactly to her taste, that seemeed too fraught with peril (and I bet for most people it’s more fun to choose their own home decor and kind of a slog to shop for practical shit. Or maybe that’s just me?)

In the end I bought her what appears to be the best-selling immersion blender on Amazon, and on impulse I added a silicone mold that makes little skulls (intended for ice, but you could use it for chocolate or whatever else, too). She didn’t ask for a fancy ice cube tray but I thought it might be the sort of fun, frivolous thing she’d be unlikely to buy for herself.

And I arranged for Amazon to ship these things directly to her address, which I’m nervous about and hope to hell it works smoothly.

But anyway I’m excited about these presents.

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Wine Guy accepted my friend request and I messaged him saying he probably doesn’t remember me but we both used to be regulars at [nightclub] (and I thought he was cute). I recapped the one brief conversation we’d ever had (about a distinctive pair of boots I owned at the time) and told him I just kinda wanted to see how he’d turned out as a grownup.

He replied enthusiastically (many exclamation points), saying he did remember me and my boots and that the boots were incredible. But he didn’t ask me any questions or anything.

So I asked him how the last 25 years has treated him – hoping to get a conversation going – and he gave me a synopsis and then said “how about you?”

One of the things he’d said is that he’s currently building a tiny home. That’s pretty cool, so after I gave a synopsis of the most interesting changes I’ve gone through over the years, I asked him some questions about that.

He seems excited to talk all about his endeavors, but has still not asked a single question about me. And I’d given him plenty of conversation starters.

I get so tired of guys being flattered by my attentions and enjoying having me as an audience for their little monologues but not actually being interested in me at all.

This seems like a bust.

I’m reminded of a thing I read online: apparently, Ruth Bader Ginsburg had a rule in her youth that if a boy didn’t ask her for her opinion on anything during a date, there wouldn’t be a second one. And eventually she had a date with a guy who did ask her opinions, and she ended up married to him for a squillion years (until her death) and he was super supportive of her career and stuff.

Her rule seems like a good one.

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When I was in my early 20s, my friends and I went to a particular goth club almost every weekend. I had a crush on one of the other regulars (a visual crush only; I never really knew him per se). One of my friends somehow ended up hooking up with him and they were FWB for a while – which automatically precluded him as someone I could make a move on (if I’d ever even had the nerve), because that’s…just how it worked with the people I knew. You didn’t fuck someone your friend was fucking/had fucked. You didn’t even fuck someone your friend had out-loud put dibs on.

A few years ago I went on a little spree of looking up random people from my past on FB, and I found this guy. We actually have some FB friends in common; we’re both still at least tenuously connected to the goth scene and some people therein. The Dandy, while not FB friends with the guy, has socialized with him before.

We will call this dude Wine Guy, because apparently he’s a connoisseur.

Tonight over dinner:

Me: So, last night I ended up on Wine Guy’s FB page again because reasons. He openly states on it that he’s poly! And he’s posted some anti-transphobia memes. So now the question becomes: how can you engineer a meeting between us so that I might perhaps bang him, without it looking like you tried to engineer the meeting?

Dandy: I remember him as being a straightforward person. Probably just asking him out would be the way to go.

Me: I mean usually I’d do that but I’m not 100% sure I’d be attracted to him now*. He has a different facial hair configuration in every picture he’s posted and my brain is having a hard time parsing what he actually looks like. Also, we’re not FB friends so if I messaged him it would get sorted into that “Other” folder that nobody ever checks.

Dandy: Ah, I see.

Me: Oh, maybe I’ll just try friending him on FB. If he accepts, I can message him briefly explaining who I am and that I just kinda wanted to see how he turned out as a grownup.

Dandy: That seems like a plan. …Wine guy has excellent taste in wine, you know. And makes a really good fondue. I’ve had it.

Me: So what you’re saying is I should definitely try to bang him in case there end up being food-related benefits to share with you?

Dandy (laughing): Basically.

What’s endearing is I’m 100% sure he would’ve encouraged me just the same even if we were still dating.

Although come to think of it The Dandy’s lack of jealousy may well be linked to his indifference to sex. Like who cares if I’m banging other guys? Those guys aren’t getting anything The Dandy especially wants.

Still, though. It was an amusing conversation. And I sent Wine Guy a friend request.

*Also, pandemic.

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So, since being on testosterone I’ve gained some inches around my waist (and a little on my hips and I think chest too) and this is weird to me because, under the circumstances, you’d think my hips and chest would get smaller. Testosterone causes fat to redistribute to a more “manly” pattern and men aren’t known for their huge hips and breasts, after all.

I think I’ve figured it out.

Men also tend to have less subcutaneous fat than a woman basically everywhere. A really skinny cis man will almost always have veinier, more tendon-y hands than a really skinny cis woman, for instance. Less fat under the skin.

I’ve thought for a while now that my calves look skinner than they used to be. Last night it struck me that my arms have less fat than they used to, too. And my face-bones are ever so slightly sharper.

So I think my womanly fat is “redistributing” from my extremities first, and it’ll take another while longer before I see much difference in my hips or chest.

Which is all fine. The main thing, for me, is that the new belly fat is coming from somewhere else on my body, as opposed to me just gaining a bunch of brand-new weight.

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Three unrelated things I felt like telling you

  1. I didn’t get a period this month! I didn’t expect the testosterone to accomplish this so soon (or maybe ever) but here we are.
  2. My deeper voice makes it a lot harder (if not impossible) to imitate Dickface the Kitten’s meows, and that’s a bit of a bummer. I used to love yowling right back at her, pitch-perfectly.
  3. I’m nearsighted and haven’t been wearing my glasses around the house very much lately. The Dandy has an annoying habit of being all “Hey look at this!” about some object in his hand while standing across the room from me. Every single damn time, I tell him I can’t see whatever the thing is and he needs to come closer. Tonight he came out of the kitchen and held something up and asked what it was. I crankily said “a blurry blob in silhouette” (because he was not only far away but also directly in front of a light fixture). When is he going to learn not to do this? It’s irritating as shit.

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