I had been single for over five years, which aligned with the amount of time it had been since I publicly came out as transgender. I am not saying the two are inherently interconnected. But, they are two coexisting timelines. As a side note, I highly recommend being single for a prolonged period of your adult life, whether you are transgender or cisgender. AND if you are trans, I highly recommend being single during the start of your transition. The reasons behind this recommendation could and will be another post of its own. But over-simplified, it’s a time period with a lot of (totally justified and deserved) selfishness that makes it difficult to contribute to a healthy and balanced relationship. But back to this week’s post.
I had been single for over five years. I was happy being single and felt fulfilled by friendships, a career I was passionate about, and traveling and adventuring around the world. I wasn’t looking for a relationship—not to say that I wasn’t dating. I totes was. But finding a partner or a serious relationship was not a priority. Which is starting to sound like that really unhelpful and annoying piece of advice that only people in relationships give; “It’ll happen when you are least expecting it.” Right, bite me, Susan. But Susan was sort of right. I wasn’t looking—and definitely not at the moment when I first remember seeing her.
It was during the busiest and most stressful events the organization I work for puts on: Pride. I had just checked on our entertainment acts backstage when one had asked for a drink. I ran to the beer tent and that’s when I saw her—she was wearing a rainbow tutu and a huge smile (and a shirt and pants—relax, people) and was serving beer to a glitter-clad gay boy. For a moment I forgot what I was doing. Oh yeah, getting a Bell’s Sparkleberry beer for the lead singer of the next band. I got the beer from a different (I’m sure, lovely) volunteer and ran backstage with the special delivery. I returned to my job the rest of the day and sort of forgot about the beautiful tutu-wearing woman.
Then, the next morning, when I awoke from an over-exhausted state, I checked Facebook, as any good millennial does. I had a bajillion notifications and some friend requests—one being from the rainbow tutu woman! She had noticed me, too! I accepted the friend request and pumped my fist into the air—winning! The feeling of excitement was short-lived. After a brief facebook stalking sesh, I realized she was clearly dating someone. She had not noticed me the same way I had noticed her. Drat.
Fast forward six months. RTW (Rainbow tutu woman) had been living in Germany and travelling around Europe for the last five months and I had followed her Facebook updates of said travels. I was a bit jealous of all the adventuring of such scenic places. Around New Year’s I sent her a Facebook message—because all genuine interactions begin on messenger.
Me: Hey! Are you back in the States!?
RTW: I am! I might have spied you for a moment at Helen and Rachel’s engagement party. 🙂
Me: And no ‘hello’ after said spying???
RTW: Well I haven’t exactly met you, formally, I don’t believe.
Me: Aside from the rushed crazy of Pride and other events—I guess that is correct. Well, maybe we should meet formally, I was hoping to hear about your adventures abroad and to live vicariously through your time.
RTW: Ah, yes, Pride is always crazy, way more for you though. And sounds great!
From this first exchange, we set up a brunch date and swapped phone numbers to move from Messenger to texting. Between setting up the first date and the actual first date, RTW shared some new-to-me information. Turns out, she was best friends with my ex. Not just any ex, my most recent serious relationship ex, Bethany. You might remember Bethany from the blog post Cheater Cheater Pumpkin Eater. Turns out, RTW met Bethany right after we broke up when Bethany moved in with Ed. RTW asked me if a) I was aware of this and b) if that was ok. I told her no and yes—meaning no, I was not aware of this, but yes it was okay if she was okay. After all it had been nearly 6 years since Bethany and I broke up and I was good as long as RTW was good. She was, so the date was still on.
I’m not going to go into all the details of the date because I’m still trying to get this book published and so I can’t be dropping all the secrets and details for free, duh! But I will say that it was a lovely date, we talked so long that the wait staff was giving us the polite-you-need-to-leave-routine. You know the one, where they increase the frequency they stop by and ask if you need anything. So we took the cue and went for a walk so we could continue our conversation. Then she said she had to get to work and I walked her to her car.
As I was floating on cloud nine from this first date, my phone buzzed. RTW had texted me!!! She said “So, I guess I don’t work until 4pm—whoops!” So I replied, “Is it too soon to ask for a second date, say drinks in 15?” She said she’d see me there and we had date number two. And date number two was just as good as date number one. Now date number three was a completely different ball game—but that will have to wait for another time.
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