YGM. If you believe in reincarnation, the two of us must have been very close to each other in a prior life. The two of us have been trying to get together for ages. But with various illnesses, holidays, and other events, we never could seem to find a day where I could drive up to see her. This weekend, the stars were finally in alignment, and we finally got together for an afternoon and evening together.
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Sunday morning, I made sure that all of my alarms sounded loudly - and I was moving by 10:00 am. Yet, by the time I finally got my butt out the door, it was already noon, and I had to book it to make it to the hotel by 2 pm. One would think that one can't drive the 121 miles from my place to Groton, CT in a little over 2 hours flat. But when I reached the Connecticut Turnpike, I was able to cruise at an average speed that would have gotten me a ticket had a cop been around. (And I was driving at or below the rate of traffic.) This allowed me to make it to the hotel shortly after 2 pm, with about 15-20 minutes to spare before YGM picked me up.
When I reached the hotel (Motel 6), I was greeted by a pleasant lady of Irish background who needed an oxygen feed. (I could see the tubes leading to a "nasal pillow".) She asked me for my id, and I showed her the Marian Johnson NYS License that I use for simple, non official ID checks. (I photoshopped Mario's license, so that I have something in the right place in my wallet.) It was nice to be greeted as "Ms. Johnson" for a change. However, things were not perfect. The card keys this lady game me didn't work for the original room I was given. After 2 tries, she gave me a new room - and the key cards worked perfectly there.
You'll note that the doors to each room face the outside world. So one can get very cold before one gets to the room. There are no elevators - just stairs. As a result, bringing luggage upstairs can be a big pain and going to the indoor pool afterward might not be worth it. (More on this later.)
Once I finally settled into my room, YGM arrived, and it was off to the USS Nautilus Submarine Museum. It was a perfect day for a visit, and again, there was a problem. Because a circuit breaker failed on the ship, the main attraction was not open for tours. YGM and I then sat through an interesting film about the history of the Submarine Service before leaving the place.
At this point, it was too late to visit any other nearby museums. We headed over to a local shopping mall, where I picked up another "tin" of my Dermablend foundation. Then, we went to Catherine's, where we got into a nice conversation with the two ladies working there. YGM was impressed with the store, as she found a place where she could find nice things in her size that she could wear on interviews. As for me, it was nice to browse through the racks again.
When we left Catherine's, both of our stomachs were growling. This prioritized the next stop in our journey - her house, where we could feast on some chicken before going back to the hotel. There was a second reason for stopping at her place - she had to pick up a swimsuit (or, what would pass for one). On the way back to the hotel, we talked about her family life, including issues I won't discuss here. Given what YGM said, it's nice to know that I was one of a couple of people she could trust with this information, even though her husband was uncomfortable with her sharing it with us.
By the time we got back to the hotel, the sun had set, and we still had to change for our dip in the pool. I knew we were going to be a little bit chilly walking over to the pool, and even more so when we returned from the pool. So I made sure that I could wear the short dress I was wearing during the day over my swimsuit for the trips between my door and the pool. While changing, I found out how much YGM thinks of me as a woman, as she came out of the bathroom (where she was changing) without thinking whether I was done or not. (Most of me was already in the swimsuit, and needed minor assistance with one strap not fitting right.) It was nice to be able to wear this swimsuit in public for the first time.
The pool was a little cooler than expected. YGM would only dip her legs in the pool, while I was sitting with my breast forms under water. If I had been moving around, I might not have noticed the chill. But I wasn't going to go in any deeper than I had done, as I wouldn't have company in the water. We continued the conversation we were having earlier, and she was surprised by some observations I had regarding conversations between women and women, and between men and women. I mentioned a conversation I had at church, where if I were in Mario mode, that I'd be able to assume the woman across from me might be interested in dating. But, in Marian mode, the woman and I would not likely have that potential sexual element, and the conversation would be seen as having no additional subtexts. Since I prefer socializing with women, it's a blessing to be able to do so as a peer.
We then moved on to issues of sexuality, and we talked about fantasies, as well as our relationships. Again, I won't go into YGM's relationships here, save that she loves her husband very much and noted that if we were closer in age and met before she were married, that she'd be interested in me as a partner. In response, I said that not many women of my generation are comfortable with gender fluidity, and that when/if I decide to medically transition, that I would likely not have any more romantic partnerships.
From there, we discussed our bodies and what gradual medical transition would do to mine. She offered me the HRT pills she would soon be getting, as she wasn't feeling any hot flashes or any hormone related discomfort related to her hysterectomy. I said it was a nice gesture, but I shouldn't be taking any hormones, except under a doctor's supervision. There is an increased risk of stroke and heart attack for transpeople on HRT, and that I would likely need to lose over 100 pounds before a doctor would consider putting me on Estrogen. (It is tempting though. I'd love to have a pair of breasts that are part of my body and can fill out a bra properly.) But all too soon the clock interrupted our chat, and we repaired to my room to change.
Shortly after YGM was dressed, we hugged like old friends who wouldn't see each other for a long, long time - and she was gone. At this point, I started to take out my stuff and prepared my CPAP unit for the night. Around 10 pm, GFJ called on her way home from Pennsylvania, and we talked for a while. I started falling out, and told her to text me when she got home. (She did, after taking a short nap along the way.) At this point, I started to try and study, and got through half of a chapter in my PMP book before I could no longer concentrate. There was no way I was going to set up my laptop to do some of the quizzes. (I'd put that off for another day.) In the background, I had on the Yankee/Cub game - and I couldn't even watch the game past the 14th inning. And it's just as well, as I wouldn't have wanted to stay up to see all 18 innings of that game!
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The next morning, I had to pack everything up and leave. Although I was semi-conscious by 7:15 am, I didn't bother moving until 8:30 or so. Yet, even including a long, hot shower, I was out the door by 9:30 - and looking for a McDonald's for breakfast. Although I didn't find a Mickey D's nearby, I was able to grab a soda and a snack to tide me over for a while.
Shortly afterward, I spotted the above disaster on the other side of the road. It was very fortunate that I was traveling on my side of the road, as the backup went on for several miles. Shortly after I passed this point, GFJ texted me, and asked if we could have dinner tomorrow. I said yes, not knowing if she has any other message she wants to communicate in person or not. But it will mean that I spend one less day as Marian this week, and I will miss the freedom I have as Marian.
Driving West along Route 95, I remembered that there were 2 outlet malls that were near each other. I stopped into one of them, where there was a Lane Bryant Outlet. Entering the store, I was greeted by a lady wearing a maxi dress. What was special about her was not the dress, but a certain "glow" about her. We chatted a bit, and she told me that she had just come home from school in Utah. If you put 2+2 together, you can probably guess what church she attends on Sundays. I proceeded to search the clearance rack for a dress that I might like, and I found a LBD that had been marked down from $70 to $10. So I had to try this dress on for size. It fit, and well! The saleslady had just come to the back and asked me if I needed any help. So I came out of the changing stall, and she said that the dress was a knockout on me. (I forgot her exact words.) It was obvious that I had to buy the dress. I put the dress on the counter, then found another dress (at $40) that I wanted. Sadly, I couldn't justify buying that second dress, as it would be a great "tunic" that I could wear with leggings of all types. Without a job or reasonable income, I had to just say no. If I'm in the area in a month from now and I have a few extra bucks, I will look for the dress and buy it if I can.
Eventually, I made it to New York, and stopped off at the GLBT center to make a donation of some old business shirts. The fellow manning the thrift shop was too busy to do much of anything, so I dropped the shirts off in another room, along with some serving plates I'll never have need to use. (After 20+ years, I'm still getting rid of things that came here with my late wife.) This receipt will be quite useful, even though not as valuable to me as it would have been if I were still working.
And then... I was finally home.