Spring Cleaning

| Apr 15, 2019
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In the wake of the euphoria of the Keystone Conference, I braced myself for the inevitable backwash of the blues by setting a new course. After five days of wining and dining and dancing with my best friends in the whole wide world, I felt the need to atone for my sins. So, I went for a run. Working out is always high on my priority list and I find it’s a great way to elevate my mood and clear out the cobwebs.

The recent heavy rainstorms had left little pools of water on the rive plain next to the Schuylkill River Trail and the frogs and toads were making a cacophony of sounds. Mating season is upon us for the amphibian crowd. Meanwhile I as letting my body find its rhythm and absorbed in thought. Keystone is always a watershed event for me, a magical gathering of transgender people who like amphibians are diverse and adaptable. “Shove me in the shallow water before I get too deep.”

But the party is over, and it’s time to face the harsh reality that swimsuit season is only a few months away. It’s time to resume the Battle of the Bulge. Time to burn those calories and grind the flab off my abs. I have many weapons: Two bikes, rollerblades, running shoes, golf clubs, tennis racquets and a gym membership. Having surgery was a good excuse to take my foot off the gas pedal for a while but now it’s full steam ahead.

Working Girl starring Melanie Griffith and Harrison Ford is one of my favorite movies. I love the scene where they are flirting at the bar and Melanie Griffith boosts “I’ve got a mind for business and a body for sin.” Now, there’s a pickup line. But if only works if you can deliver the goods.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks back, when I went to a women’s mixer known as the Sip City Mixer at a very cool rooftop venue on the top floor of the Cambria Hotel in Center City Philadelphia on a Friday night. I walked eight blocks over from work took the elevator to the 12th floor and arrived with the party in full swing. Happy hour prices were in effect and I was ready for some attitude adjustment. Half of the venue has a roof and the other half is a clear plastic tent. The woman who organizes the event is a goddess. She’s a tall, blonde statuesque model and she was wearing a long black dress with a lace trim cutout at the bodice to mesmerize mortals like myself. She’s the sort of woman whose very presence lights up the room. Possibly descended from a long line of Viking Princesses. You feel as though you should simply drop to your knees and surrender saying “Take me to your leader.”

Between the main bar area under the roof and the tent, I would say there were about a hundred women mingling and talking. Reminded me of that song Spill the Wine by War. . . “But there I was, I was taken to a place, the Hall of the Mountain Queen, I stood high up at a rooftop bar, naked to the world, in front of every kind of girl.” The estrogen levels in the air were dangerously high and quite intoxicating. There was just one little problem, the vast majority of the women were about half my age and about six inches shorter than me. Undaunted, I did my best to engage the natives in conversation. While I had high hopes that this might be a target rich environment, where I would get swept out to sea by the undertow of estrogen, it was really only fun with a small ‘f.’

At 8 o’clock, the Happy Hour ended and the drink prices went from too much to way too much. I came to the realization that it was yet another Wile E. Coyote moment. Road Runner cartoons are a perfect parallel for my attempts at dating. I strap on my Acme rocket skates and soar towards the heavens only to come to the realization that my calculations were slightly off and I plunge into the abyss. My transgender girl friends and I were starving so we hightailed it over to the bar at The Palm where we shared appetizers and wine. Rule #1 of barhopping—Always stick with your wing girls.

So the question remains. Have I been looking for love in all the wrong places? My initial dating career lasted from my late teens into my mid-thirties. More often than not, I met my dates through friends or when I was out with friends. In my early thirties, I hung out with a particularly handsome guy named Erich who could easily have been a model. He was one of those guys who were handsome and outgoing enough to pick up women in virtually any situation. A chick magnet. I made a career of being his loyal wingman. Erich had that all important deal closing skill of getting a girl’s phone number. I remember one night, when we were in the process of leaving a bar and he asks me: “So did you get her number?” Erich literally made me turn around march back through the crowd and get the phone number of the girl, I had been talking to.

In theory, dating is simple, but as one college girlfriend that I recently connected with put it, I never seemed comfortable in my own skin. It’s not that I lacked self-confidence, and it’s not that I couldn’t steer conversations in the right direction when the situation called for it. Rather, it was that deep down inside I wasn’t dedicated to the mission. Simply put, I wanted to be the one being asked for her phone number. I wanted to be a woman.

Looking at my current situation, I have an excellent portfolio of blue chip friends that pays dividends. Of course, not all my friend like to ski, dance and watch football, so I adjust the mix depending on what I am into. Thank you Captain Obvious! But seriously, we’ve all been in that what’s for dinner? scenario.

Me: “What do you want for dinner?”

Friend: “I dunno.”

Me: “How about sushi?”

“Ewww, Raw Fish! No way!”

So I compromise. Would I date somebody that didn’t like sushi? Maybe, it depends. Not liking sushi could be a deciding factor on whether someone is worth a second or third date. But my overall point is this. People like it when you assert your needs. No one can read your mind; you have to get your story out there. To thine own self be true. I’ve spent most of my life hiding my try identity and compartmentalizing. I married a woman who wasn’t comfortable with my feminine side. She loved sushi. But, she never accepted me as Lynda. Simply put, I am not gonna make that mistake again. No way, never, never, unh, unh, ahhhhh!

Neal who’s a college swim team friend of mine, plays bass in a bluegrass band called Aimless Pursuit. I think Aimless Pursuit is a perfect description of my current dating strategy. “One of these nights, one of these crazy ‘ol nights, we’re gonna find out pretty mama, what turns on your lights.” And so my quest to find true love and understanding goes on. It’s a trial and error process. I know the woman of my dreams is out there somewhere. I just need to find her.

Maybe instead of strapping on a pair of Acme roller skates like Wile E. Coyote and chasing the Road Runner, I need to switch roles and become a Road Runner myself. Meep Meep!

That’s all Folks!

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Category: Transgender Body & Soul

Lynda Martini

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