My Name is Theresa. And I’m a Realist.

I realized something the other day when people were still throwing new year’s resolutions about, and i was steadfast in my resolution to not make any resolutions. i was sitting quietly in the car as we drove around Atlantic City listening to Christmas music. we were trying to get the last of the holiday spirit before it disappeared into the chaos of another three hundred-and-some days. i watched the blazing marquees blink and flash and i wondered what was in abandoned and broken down buildings. i watched the groups of casino-goers scuttle about and i saw lonely people trudging home from their late night jobs. i felt so small, like you do when you are disconnected from rushing crowds and noisy happenings. i wondered, as you do, what those people were celebrating, and felt lonely for not being a part of their fun. i was quiet and introspective, like you are when you miss your friends and wondering if they were missing you too.

there was talk about what we would do if we were to inherit a lot of money. my boyfriend and i were dreaming of owning a campground or a bed and breakfast, and building the house of our dreams and traveling. realistically unrealistic, but with the right circumstances, possibly attainable miles and miles in the future. we talked about the past, and things he used to do in his old neighborhood, and like i do, i listened, wondering what my childhood would have been like if i was in his shoes. talk of ‘the way it used to be’ was brief, if only because it’s just talk, and there’s no potential in dwelling on the past, so the conversation went back to buying a boat and a camper, specific kinds of dogs, special vacations, all excited with possibility. my life being what it is, however, full of so much missed opportunity, so much disappointment, i didn’t give myself the chance to get filled with dreams. or even hope. i’m a realist. and we realists know better. we live in the now. we only allow ourselves realistic thoughts. we don’t dream or make WISH BOOKS or say things like “someday i’d like to…”. we just can’t. we can talk about the future in the short term, on practical attainable goals like- “in six months after we pay off our credit cards-…”, or “after i lose ten pounds, i’d like to-…”, or “next week after i finish work for the week-…”. attainable. practical. realistic. i am a realist after all.

i wasted a lot of my life wondering about the ‘what if’s’, and crying over my problematic past. neglectful parents, correctable mistakes, broken promises. these are things i know. but these are also things that i can no longer do anything about. they are done. they are in the past. they are the past. thankfully.

the future? i want to believe, and dream and hope and wish. but i can’t allow that. i don’t want to say, “after i lose 100 pounds i’ll buy that bikini to wear on our caribbean cruise”– there is just SO MUCH WRONG with that. it’s almost laughable. i won’t say things like, “i would like to go back to school if-…” because, well, i just won’t.

i can however, let myself say, “after my car is paid off next summer, i’ll feel more relaxed” and “by next year, our credit cards will be paid off, and we’ll finally be able to breathe a little easier”. these are things i can say. these are things that will happen. these are things that i know (*knocks on wood*, barring some unforeseen disaster- that is NEVER out of the possibility). but MOSTLY, for the most part, BASICALLY, (probably) those are things i know.

now, having said all of that, i still WANT things to happen. like, winning the lottery, or getting a huge burst of creative energy and also a miracle publisher and get my books onto shelves. or losing 25 pounds. i can hope for a dream job for my boyfriend. i can dream that my son will find his way through life easier than i did. but will i wait for it? will i dream about these things? will i allow myself the luxury of HOPING for them? absolutely not. i’m a realist. and realists don’t do that.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/daily-prompt-forward/

Not So Much a Hero

Today i’m supposed to talk about a hero, eh?
well, i aint got one. nope. no way, no how. not wonder woman, not spiderman, not martha stewart or even any of the horrible disney princesses. i grew up with a mad crush on Michael Jackson and slept with a giant hard plastic King Kong bank—- does that count? i didn’t think so.

so. hero… hero… um. how about someone i admire?
because that’s an easy one. i admire my boyfriend. i admire his courage and strength. i admire his ability to ignore the assholes of the world. i admire him for having the guts to come out. my boyfriend, of nine years, came out to me this spring as male. let me back up and explain.

way back when, nearly a decade ago, i got a divorce and started what i liked to call, “guerrilla dating”.
being bisexual, i was happily dating both guys and girls, and one crazy night at a favorite club, i ran into the cutest person i can recall having met up until that point. very low-key, very casual, quite gender ambiguous and yes, quite drunk. i was hooked almost instantly. some heavy flirting and a bit of a ‘whirlwind romance’ later, we were in love and together ever since. that tale, however, is very long, and for another time.

through the nine years, i was labeled as ‘in a lesbian relationship’, and by default lumped into the ‘lesbian’ category, despite being bisexual and explaining constantly that one’s sexual identity or preference is NOT defined by their partner or relationship status. i held fast and true to my blatant bisexuality, all the while dispelling the myth that bisexuals are ‘greedy’, ‘confused’ and ‘cannot be monogamous’. i never cared about the gender of my partner. i just knew that i loved that person.

years and years after we met and fell in love, combined lives and built a home together, he bravely came out to me that he finally realized that he was a transgendered male, i.e., born with a female body, but inherently male. he risked me not accepting him, of me breaking up with him, of me not understanding or wanting to continue our life together; none of which happened, because i do accept him and want to continue our life together no matter what. and although i may not understand SPECIFICALLY what he is going through, i will support him every step of the way. so, since he came out to me and started his transition, things have been the same as ever; for me anyways. for him, unfortunately, coming out to me was just the beginning. next he had to tell our friends, which, although seemed easy, wasn’t. he still had to overcome the fear of being questioned, or not being taken seriously. everyone was supportive, however, and for them, as with me, it was all very easy-peasy. for my boyfriend, however, who hates any sort of attention, things weren’t as simple. he was having trouble fielding all of the questions and even responding to the overwhelming support, when he was still just feeling his way around this new step of his life. he had to learn to respond to his newly chosen name, and even remember to use the masculine pronoun when referring to himself. thirty-six years is a long time to just change something simple like your own name, especially when dealing with having to use your ‘birth name’ at work. there was so much stress from trying to decide how to come out at work, or even if he should, or even if he COULD and risk getting fired. it was so hard watching him struggle and be afraid of getting outed. he had to explain the situation to HR repeatedly, and unfortunately his company didn’t even know how to deal with the situation, which didn’t help ease his troubles. at every turn, there was a new scenario, a new situation to have to consider whether or not coming out as a trans-male was the best thing to do. he was under a microscope so often that i saw him crack occasionally, and those cracks lead to more stress. but he always managed to get his chin up and at least fake his way through it. he was so very brave then.

hardest of all, he had to eventually face his family and struggled with the whole situation for a long time. it is sadly a step in his journey that he will constantly have to revisit many more times to come, but at least, the initial conversations are over. i have always known my partner to be brave, but these things took the most courage of all. but even still, with what seemed the hardest part behind him, there were more steps, each more complicated, each another chance for exposure. he cannot hide, no matter how much he wants to. his whole life, he has always drawn attention, despite being quiet and withdrawn. every day he has to move forward, and every day is an introvert’s nightmare; stares and sideways glances; whispers of “is that a BOY or a GIRL?”, constant questions about whose credit card or license he has, and a never-ending stream of screwed up pronouns. waitresses usually seem to address him as ‘sir’ whereas blue collar workers call him ‘a lady’, and when people realize their mistake, it’s more exposure as they try to correct themselves, apologetically. and now, he has the added fear of the BATHROOM DILEMMA. he’s too boyish to use the ladies room, and men’s rooms aren’t usually fully equipped for his current ‘equipment’ and there’s always a fear of being called out, or openly questioned and embarrassed; not to mention the scariness of backwards people who don’t understand the world; people who can’t accept that how we are born isn’t always black, and white or male and female as the case may be.

even more, there’s always an underlying fear of what happened to Brandon Teena who was portrayed in the movie based on his true story in Boys Don’t Cry. i am admittedly nervous for my partner at times, a lot of times actually. there’s always the underlying fear of hate crimes. always. no matter how much i pretend, the fear still lingers, even if just in the cobwebbiest of corners. i want to protect him from everything- the stares, the snickers, the pronoun game, and hate crimes; mostly, i want him to be able to transition quickly, both with legality of paperwork and also physically with surgery. but the reality is, i am not always with him, i can’t always be there to be a buffer when he needs to use the bathroom at work, or when he needs to use his old driver’s license or credit card. i can’t always be there. and at these times, when i can’t be there for him, he has to put his bravest “i don’t give a fuck”- attitude forward, just to do things that we all take for granted. and he is brave. i love him for that. he may not be my ‘hero’, but i admire his courage to just be who he really is.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/10/daily-prompt-hero/

Fat On the Outside

Talk about a time when i experienced being on the outside looking in?
that’s simple. every single time i go to the fucking gym. no joke. i’m not trying to be dramatic or cliche, either. it’s just that every time i take my fat to the gym, i become an outsider.

i go to a franchise gym where the slogan is that it’s a ‘JUDGEMENT FREE ZONE’- which is fine and dandy, but when i walk in, in my sweatpants, raggedy hoodie and non-designer sneakers, i get instantly judged, and might as well be put in a caged area for not being a natural born gym goer. to start, i am more than 100 pounds overweight, and although i don’t “LOOK” obese, by medical standards i am. interestingly, i am in better shape than a lot of my skinny friends, and actually can hold my own with a lot of exercise but i definitely don’t look good doing it. now, i know that no one really looks good sweating and getting all red in the face, but, most girls that i see at the gym wear more makeup than i did for my wedding. i’ve seen false eyelashes and glitter, even those glue on crystals– ON A TUESDAY NIGHT in winter. no, i’m not trying to compete, and NO, i’m not trying to pick up a date, i’m trying to drop a few tons, but i absolutely hate feeling like it’s Gym Class in high school- where the fat kids will ALWAYS be picked on, and never fit in.

people stare at me like they are worried that i’m going to have a heart attack, or pitied because my fat is flopping around. i know people will deny it, or ultimately say, “who cares? fuck em!” and all of that, but the truth is, it is a completely uncomfortable situation- from the moment i walk in, until i walk out. i am uncomfortable getting on machines and i am uncomfortable about getting off of them. i am nervous to use the weights and self conscious about using the other equipment. i rarely push myself, because i don’t like the looks i get; some that simply say, “gross” and “why are you bothering?’ and others are thinking “god, if i ever look like that, shoot me.”

and this doesn’t just happen at the gym, it’s just very obvious there. it happens everywhere. being ‘FIT’ or ‘IN SHAPE’ is as much a clique as being popular in high school. when i’m walking around the trails at the park, or roller skating, summers of softball, i feel excluded and not a part of what others are doing. Even the other day at the ski resort, i didn’t dare ski, because i hate not being able to fit in with people that are flexible and stronger, or even have better gear (i wore jeans, hoodie and some boots that i got from the thrift store that are in desperate need of another coating of waterproofing spray). i’m slower, less coordinated and not as resilient as everyone else, so it’s easier just sitting out and watching. it really sucks. the worst part is that my brain doesn’t understand that it can’t always do the same things that the thinner people, which makes things worse because i want to be out there skating and skiing, and even trying that scary cage-y bar lift-y machine.

i keep going to the gym and trying to be as active as i can, with the hope that i won’t be so big someday, won’t be so clumsy and ungainly and eventually won’t feel like i’m on the outside anymore. i know that there’ll always be the gym elite, the pretty ones, that wear expensive designer breast cancer-awareness pink sports bras, yoga pants that they bought from a speciality store online, and shoes made just for going to the gym that cost as much as my car. i’m not trying to compete, i’m really not, but, someday i would like to not feel excluded from something that most people take for granted.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/daily-prompt-outside-2/

Honesty is Never the Best Policy

Honesty is NEVER the best policy. ever. now, i’m not saying to lie constantly, but i’ll tell you what, most people absolutely cannot handle the truth all of the time. this also goes for OVERSHARING– i.e., posting constantly on Facebook and tweeting every damn detail of every second of every day.

even those people that claim that they can “handle it, no matter what” really can’t and are usually the ones that get the most bent out of shape when you tell them the honest-to-goodness STUFF.

i consider myself an honest person and prefer honesty in return, but in reality, some things i don’t need to know, and don’t actually want to know. i’m of the school of thought for WHAT I DONT KNOW-DOESNT HURT ME.
people SAY they want the truth, but if the truth were actually withheld, they wouldn’t know the diff.
now, i’m not saying fake a pregnancy, or withhold who the father is, but no one NEEDS to know your actual age or your real hair color. don’t run around a hospital saying that you are a doctor, but in a barful of skeevs and pervs- who cares? no one ever died from taking an extra space in a board game- whereas conversely, there is no proof that the people that never sneaked extra monopoly money went to heaven any faster. it comes down to picking and choosing your battles.

no harm, no foul.

Who Can It Be Now?

If i had the choice to be ANYONE in the world- living or dead?   *thinks*  I’m surprising even myself by saying that i’d choose being me- no matter what. and although my life has been one fucked up hotmess after the next, i still wouldn’t ever change being good ol’ *Miss Tee*, if for no other reason than i’m a tenacious motherfucker and i really would like to see how my epic tale ends.

however, having chosen myself, if i had ‘it’ to do all over, i would like to make the following changes-

  1. lose all of this weight.  or at least, have the knowledge and forethought as a younger version of me to NEVER have gained this mass of mess to begin with.
  2. not listen to my parents as much as i did.  being a kid/teen/young adult, i foolishly believed that my parents always were always most concerned with my well being.  i figured that since they were adults, and were responsible for me, that they knew best, and would never do anything that wasn’t for my ‘own good’.  but now, having been a parent for nineteen years and with some actual life experience, i see just how fucked up my parents were.  hindsight is truly 20/20, and my therapy sessions would double if i dwelled on all of the mistakes my parents dragged me through, not to mention most of it wasn’t even ‘best intentions’-type of stuff.  adults make mistakes. and parents are adults. parental word is NOT god.  i know this NOW.
  3. make better choices.  including but not limited to- not falling in love so quickly, learning to be on my own and more independent in general, and learning more LIFE SKILL-sy things like car maintenance and home repair.
  4. not get pressured into school right out of high school.  the biggest regret of my entire life was being forced into secondary education before i was ever ready.  i never had the choice to just float and make mistakes before i was thrust into the BIGPEOPLE WORLD, and over two decades later, i still feel like i am paying for that.  i wish i had the chance to experience life a lot more before being thrust into adulthood at age seventeen.  i learned how to live paycheck to paycheck, and how to live off of credit cards, only to have to get money from my credit cards to pay my credit card bills.  i learned how to live on one meal a day, mostly on ‘discarded’ sandwiches from the cafe where i worked.  i learned how to work two jobs until i was so exhausted that i skipped class- A LOT.  i had absolutely no social life which caused so much unhappiness and resulted in more bad choices and i cared very little about moving forward in life.  worst of all, this probably resulted in my agoraphobia, panic anxiety disorder and yes, a lot of my weight problems.  to top it off, i graduated very mediocrely, which obviously didn’t help me land any topnotch art jobs, except, at an art supply store, ironically called Top Notch.

i don’t like to live in the past and try not to dwell on all of the shit, but it’s hard to not get bogged down in blame or a big ol fat shame spiral when things are less than shiny- even more than twenty years later.

however, having said all of this,  i was lost in the moment as we were driving around Ocean City looking at Christmas lights the other night, and realized that i finally am living in THE PRESENT.  i no longer want to sit and try to make up for mistakes in the past, and i’m certainly not going to wait around until my life is ‘perfect’ before i start living.  it took forty years for me to get here, and with any luck, i’ll be around on earth at least forty more (*knocks on wood*), and i don’t want to waste any more time on the ‘what if’s’ or thinking i can’t do things UNTIL (*insert thing i’ll probably never get around to*).  at the bottom of it all, i’m not unhappy with who i am, i know that i still have an amazing lifetime ahead of me, and don’t want to miss a thing.

Letters for Tomorrow- TODAY!

Dear One-Year-in-the-Future Me,

First off, i would like to extend my deepest sympathy for how shitty 2013 was. it’s amazing that we managed to make it out alive. alive and not homeless. i honestly can’t even think of much good that happened in 2013 except that Lucas came out as trans and it was an amazing time of life discovery for him and a wonderful boost of honesty to us as a couple.

otherwise- we turned 40. we got hit on by a lot of big black guys. we got spun through the constant revolving door of friends and used as the all-you-can-eat-friend buffet/stepping stone for others and we never lost more than 25 pounds at one time. we went to the gym inconsistently. this year dad died, setting off lots of nonsensically annoying events. softball, though fun, was filled with its usual drama. this was the year that we really started to focus but we never did manage to finish that book we started a million years ago. this is the year we started an amazing blog full of erotica, slutty short stories and sex positive narratives, but then crapped out after our job crapped out. that car of ours? first a dead deer carcass was thrown at it and then the ridiculous amount of flat tires and various other annoying and expensive problems. total balls. our relationship with lucas waxed and waned, became strained, but we worked through it and later, was amazing. we celebrated nine years together- that’s pretty amazing. michaelbosco graduated and turned 19. he also realized that he suffered from depression- just adding to the down parts of the UPS and DOWNS of life. thanksgiving was crap and by year’s end, lucas’ dad passed away, so we spent christmas in ocean city. it was tough, but we ended the year as happily as we could, with our new friends and some fun at our new favorite bar. thankfully our little family is flexible, resilient and amusing- and we celebrated christmas on january 5- with some silliness and a lot of plants.

the one thing i noticed though, is that we tend to put things off until other things get done. for instance, we say we’ll start going back to open mic nite at Coffee Buddha AFTER the car gets fixed or we’ll start writing again AFTER we get the house organized- and obviously more often than not- that never comes about. so- in an effort to waste less of 2014- why don’t we get over that bullshit, and get stuff done a little more expeditiously.

but here we are, January 6, writing, comfy in our pjs, surrounded by all “new” furniture and watching christmas movies in our cozy little house, with lots of hope for 2014. i can only hope to look back on 2014 and feel accomplished. i’d like you to have finished at least ONE BOOK, and consistently build up a nice and bulky blog full of humorous and insightful stuff that other people will appreciate and enjoy. hopefully you’ll be in better shape financially, and finally get those credit cards and car paid off (which shouldn’t be too hard- as the plan is by summer). and speaking of shaping up—now, i’m not stupid enough to hope for 100 pounds, but i’d really like to try to lose 50- and if nothing else, fit into all of those size 20 jeans we have. i hope to read that you went camping a lot, traveled and gotten to all of the places you missed out on this year— i just really hope you live 2014 with as much life as possible! no more putting stuff off! life is too short and the sand keeps running in that timer whether the house is clean or not; whether it’s the right time or not. so just get to it and dance like nobody else is watching and write like no one is reading it! ACCOMPLISH LIKE THERE’S NO TOMORROW!

lastly, i hope you have another year of good health and lots and lots of happiness! twenty years for mab, ten years with lucas— this is going to be a huge year- hopefully you can really get things accomplished as well!

keep on keepin on! just pick it up a bit! GOOD LUCK and much love and happiness! WRITE ON!!!!

yours,

*Tee Dizzle of 2015*

oh and P.S.! in 2013- we got an iPhone! welcome to this century! maybe soon we’ll get power locks and windows again!

All You Can Eat Friend Buffet

Did you ever look at your facebook and see your friends always doing super fun things and wonder why you werent there to join in? does it seem like everyone is always having more fun than you? i realize NOT EVERYONE is having the time of their lives on a daily basis, but some, in fact are, and i am NEVER along for that ride.

if i dont plan something, or ask someone to do things, nothing happens. if i dont hold people’s hands and cruise direct, i wind up doing nothing. but somehow MAGICALLY people always seem to have 3000 things to do and my phone doesnt ever seem to ring.

if it happened just once in awhile, that wouldnt be such a big deal- but this is constant. and whats worse? these are always people that started off as “my friends” but through one of my parties or events, i have introduced them, and they fall instantly in FRIENDLOVE and then, ultimately i’m left at home on the couch, watching 6million photos of them riding unicorns come up on instagram. i gotta say that it sucks. a lot.

even worse is when my friends meet and they decide to date or hook up. that ALWAYS ends badly. but guess who gets stuck in the middle? ME. i end being their liason, advice giver, their confidant, and even a third wheel on dates- and then nothing. there i am, on a friday nite, by myself, watching their 45 tagged check ins pop up on facebook. and guess which asshole gets consulted when problems start to arise? THIS ASSHOLE. you better believe it. why? because i was THEIR FRIEND- and know them. unlike the person that jumped into dating them. and then, if/when they break up, this asshole here, is stuck in the middle of it.

do i sound bitter? fuck yeah i do. why? because i am. i HONESTLY do NOT have a problem introducing friends around- i dont! i’m happy when people meet and connect and become friends, i honestly am. what i CANNOT DEAL WITH- is that when these people connect, i ALWAYS end up a third wheel, like they have been the ones that were friends forever, and not us. and then ultimately, i end up alone on a friday nite, wondering where the hell my friends all went.

if this only happened once or twice, i wouldnt care. but it happens CONSTANTLY. i have become an ALL YOU CAN EAT FRIEND BUFFET. and people know it too. “oh hey! i’m off work this weekend- what are you doing?” conveniently i have stuff going on, because i usually do- IF I DONT- it’s COUCH CITY for me. most times i see that people fucking friend each other on facebook WHILE WE ARE STILL HANGING OUT at the damn event. lately, it seems that the whole THIRD WHEEL thing has even been cut out. i dont even get invited along to shows that they both coicidentally wanted to go to and make plans to be besties and go together within 2 hours of meeting.

do i still go out and have fun? sure i do. do i have my own “THIS SHIT IS HILARIOUS” pic moments on facebook, of course i do. i’m sure there are people that think every day of my life is eating tubes of cookie dough and no-handed shots and pinatas, and that’s why people hang out with me. i’m FUN. but my novelty ALWAYS seems to wear off. and the people that came along for THE *MISS TEE* CAVALCADE OF HILARITY before, are on their own merry go rounds now, together.

IT IS MADDENING. and NO. i am not being sensitive. NO. i am not just paranoid. THIS HAPPENS CONSTANTLY. it’s so bad now, that i dont even want to introduce people around, bc i feel like some FRIEND PIMP and i dont even get paid or bought a drink no mo. i feel invisible most times now, because i feel like people just want me around for the people that i bring.

no joking, i’m a super cool awesome fun person, and i assume that maybe my personality might be too big and intense for some people- but i tend to be JUST FINE for my friends UNTIL this other super cool person that has more in common with THAT FRIEND comes along, and then- it’s BYE BYE BYE to me.

i’m at the point where i cant even look at my fucking facebook on friday nites or monday mornings.

and every time my friend becomes friends with another one of my friends, they get distant, like they know i’m going to throw a fit, or not be “cool” with it… and at first i didnt care and i was honestly “cool” with it…. UNTIL>>>>> i started seeing these new besties intermingling THEIR FRIENDS… and i would think to myself- “self? have we met these people?” and usually we havent. THIS HAPPENS SO OFTEN you would think i’m exaggerating. it’s like people come into MY little social network and go shopping, but i NEVER am invited into THEIR group. it’s really eating me up.

so, here i sit, going through this strange phenomenon that has become a regular occurrence in my life with not just one but SEVERAL friends. and now i have to decide if i just delete my facebook and ignore it (which NEVER worked in the past), or do i become a hermit? do i invite myself along to their outings WHICH I OBVIOUSLY WAS NOT INVITED TO (and it wasnt just a matter of me being busy)? or do i just purge these people, put them on the same backburner that i seem to be on and move on?

why do people seem to be able to only interact with people that are in their immediate attention? why do peope have the ability to only be friends with, like, 2 people at a time? and most importantly where the hell is MY unicorn party?