Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Exactly like peaches.

This picture taken by JoLai captures me feeling like a woman.

Oh, oh, oh I wanna be free
Yeah, to feel the way I feel
Man! I feel like a woman!

~ Shania Twain

I ran into her again. And actually, I shouldn't say it that way since "running into" someone suggests that doing so is rare and unexpected. I think a better thing to say is that I've seen her several times since she made the decision to openly identify as just that. A "she."

The quotations around she just made me bristle a bit. Because usually they mean that something is fake and not real. Or pretend and not legitimate. And since I know how it feels to open my eyes in the morning and really, truly feel like a woman, I guess I'm conflicted by the thought of how I'd feel if every single person I encountered told me otherwise. That is, that I wasn't one.

Of course. There are those feminine things like how freshly shaved legs feel when rubbing together under crisp cotton bed linens or how the hip bones curve out or even how the decolletage holds its mysteries. Yes, those things all make me feel like a woman, but not mostly those things. Mostly it's something inside of me that just knows. When I'm lying on my back looking at the ceiling and thinking my early morning thoughts, I know. And in those times, I do--I feel like a woman.

Does that even make sense? I don't know.

So, yes. I saw her and I see her and she always seems happy when I do. Because she can tell that I've made up my mind to not just try to see her as who she is. But instead to simply do it on instinct. Like I do when I'm lying in my bed knowing who I am. And I see the glares she gets from the people standing in line to get things like chewing gum and cigarettes or toothpaste and mascara. This look of disgust that washes me over with soft ripples of pain on her behalf.

On this day, I just needed some bubble bath. Harry had asked me to get it for him, along with some Chapstick, and I obliged him. When I saw her at the register, I waited in her line instead of going to one of the oft confusing "self checkout" lines.

"Hey, there, doc," she said, "how goes it?"

"It goes. It always goes, my dear."

"Have you smelled this bubble bath?"

"Uhhh, no. It was just on the list of ultra random things to get."

She chuckled. Her stubby fingers came to her lipstick stained mouth when she did. "Well. It smells really good. Exactly like peaches."

"Is that a good thing? To smell exactly like peaches?"

This time we both laughed out loud. And since no one was behind us in line, it was fine.

"I've been taking the soy hormones. You know? Like the ones they give women going through menopause?"

And I just nodded because I did know. I knew that these plant-derived estrogens could sometimes maybe knock the edge off of a hot flash or two but wouldn't come anywhere close to helping her to evolve to her desired phenotypic appearance.

"What do you think so far?"

That answer felt like a bit of a betrayal since I already had a pretty strong opinion. She shrugged. "I'm not sure it's doing much."

"Hmmm. Have you. . .like. . .thought about. . ."

"Prescription strength hormones? Yeah. I have but I can't afford them since I'm not insured. And for whatever reason, especially if you're young, doctors are super funny about it. A lot of people get it, you know, on the streets or underground ways. But I can't afford all that."

"Dang."  I thought for a bit about who I might know of who could help. But then I wondered if it was even appropriate to cross this line and start offering specific things to her. Again--I was conflicted and unsure what to say next. "I take it you've been to Grady."

"Yeah. The person I saw was nice." She paused to hand me my receipt. "But he seemed really confused by me." She let out a soft chuckle before going on. "I've been in touch with some advocacy groups though. You know, for trans people. It's a lot." She seemed so positive. Even though the reality of what she was telling me sounded the complete opposite of that. Suddenly the thought of being trapped and handcuffed into one body when every fiber of my being felt like it belonged in another one punched me in the gut.


"That really sucks." That's all I said. Because honestly, that's how it felt. And she was right. It's a lot. But having a door close in your face when you're trying to be who you are isn't just a lot. It sucks.

Really, really sucks.

So I repeated myself. "That really, really sucks."

She seemed to appreciate that statement. And we just looked at each other across that drug store counter. I could tell that she knew I wished the world for her--her authentic world--but that I wasn't sure what to do.

"It's nice when someone is nice, you know? Like not trying to be. Just nice for no reason." She sort of changed the subject. And since we were talking about her and not me, I let her.

She handed me my oversized bag with the bubble bath and grinned in return. "Whoops, almost forgot to put this in here." She plopped the tube of Chapstick and it quickly got lost in the plastic carrier.


"Have you smelled that?" She pointed at the bag where she'd just placed the lip balm.

"What? The Chapstick?"

"Yeah. That.  It doesn't smell like anything."

"Oh, it doesn't? Well. I think the husband should be okay with that."

"Not me." She curled her lips, lowered her eyelids half mast and gave her head an exaggerated shake. "I prefer to smell exactly like peaches."

With a lopsided smile, I nodded and gave my reply.

"You know what? Me, too."

Happy Wednesday.

Now playing on my mental iPod. . . . . "Man! I feel like a woman!" by the beautiful Shania Twain--another woman I always find myself always rooting for.


  1. Nothing "commenty" to say, just that this is such a cute picture of you!!!

    1. Thanks. I've always loved that picture because I was looking at JoLai. And the loving look in my eyes was for her.

      I'm also wearing this flowy maxi dress that always makes me feel like a woman. :)

  2. Well you know I love this. And she does need help and I know trans people who can't get hormones for the same reasons she stated and it's a sort of hell that most of us will never know and these people are braver than most of us will ever have to be.
    Brave enough to just be who they are.
    Have you see The Dallas Buyer's Club? Jared Leto plays a trans woman in it and he'll break your heart. "She" in the movie.
    One more thing- you and I both used the word "decolletage" in our posts this morning. That's a little strange if you ask me.

  3. I'm always feeling like a woman esp when I put on my perfume. Aaah. :) Looking woman-y Dr Manning :)
    Liz Litali.

  4. *wear my perfume :)
    Liz Litali


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

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