Years ago, I used to dread going to see my family on the holidays because of the traffic jams at the toll bridges. One Thanksgiving, my wife and I turned back because there was a 2.5 hour delay to get across one of the East river bridges. Because of that, we vowed never to visit on a holiday again, saying we'd visit the day before or after, but would not put up with holiday traffic. Some people might think that we were being hard asses. But we invited my parents up to see us for the holidays, but my mom refused - in part, because she didn't want to put up with the traffic, and because she claimed to want the whole family together - which usually didn't happen anyway. So, I held my ground while my wife was alive, and kept the peace where it was important - in my household.
Things have changed a lot since then. Both my wife and mom passed away, EZ-Pass was implemented on the East River toll bridges, and I do not have other holiday engagements (such as seeing a (then) girlfriend in Rochester and sharing the holidays with her family) that justify not being with my dad on the holiday. So I knew that I had to be there for my dad....
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Getting up this holiday morning, part of me was wishing that I could have gone to holiday dinner en-femme (something that absolutely will not happen while my dad is alive), as I feel much more comfortable and natural in Marian Mode these days. Since I'm far from ready to go 24x7, much less to fully transition, I certainly am not ready to show this side of me to any of my family embers. So, I got into a clean, comfortable, and casual set of clothes that I've worn to work, and went down to see him. Traffic, as expected, wasn't too bad - except when crossing the East River, where bridge toll delay added an extra 1/2+ hour to my trip. Luckily, I allocated this time to my drive, met my dad at the time we were supposed to be at the restaurant, and got there about 15 minutes late.
German restaurants are getting farther and fewer between these days. Luckily, there is a good one in my parents' old neighborhood - and I know that Koenig's will never disappoint me. The service is always professional, the portions are hearty, and the German dishes are done to perfection. So, I knew that my dad and I would have a good meal in a place where we could enjoy a good conversation without having to shout over the background noise.
All too soon, it was time to leave. And though I could have stayed at my dad's and chatted more, I felt that I'd better drive home before the worst of the traffic jams screwed up my return home. And, as expected, I encountered another bridge traffic jam caused by insensitive people who don't bother to get EZ-Pass for their holiday trips across the East River.
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On the way home, I received a text from one of the ladies from my Thursday night gaming group - the lady who offered to teach me how to ride a motorcycle. Even though she's very busy, she's making the effort to keep in touch with this old lady - as I think she sees me as a kindred spirit, someone who understands what it's like to be born with the wrong genitalia.
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Other than a few emails from GFJ earlier in the day, we did not exchange any emails later on in the day. She doesn't yet want her sons to know that she is dating someone - even though it was their father who ran out on her over 2 years ago. I have no problems with that - some women are not comfortable with their children knowing that they are dating until it becomes serious. In GFJ's case, until her divorce is final, she needs not introduce her sons to information which could cause her trouble in the short term.
GFJ rarely has both sons in the same place these days. One is living with her right now, waiting for a job offer to come though, so that he can be on his own again. The other lives several hours away, and is usually around for the holidays. Having both sons around is likely disrupting her routine - as it would if I were in her place.
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As you can tell, there was little to say today that involved my transgender nature. Yet, for those who follow my posts, I think that this Thanksgiving is unique in its own way. In 2012, I spent it with my brother's family, and in 2013, I spent it with GFL. Hopefully, in 2015, I'll spend it with someone special.....
And on that note, I'll close out with the usual Thanksgiving tune....
Arlo Guthrie - Alice's Restaurant (Farm Aid - 2005)