I've kind of been waffling about the Maxim pictorial thing, which is annoying Drew a bit. I don't really blame him; I'm not totally in a position to be picky about what I take and don't take, and this would set me up for bigger and better things.
Part of the problem, of course, is that I'm not sure I should be going on to bigger, better, newer things. I've been Penny for three and a half months now, but a part of my brain is still in Liz mode, trying to keep things as steady as possible even though I know that the proper owner of the life I'm living isn't going to take it back.
I am grateful that Louisa and Jessica checked up on Nell. If they really think she's happy with her new life, or at least committed to it, it does let me act with less worry over whether or not I'm letting someone down. Which, of course, is a big-time double-edged sword.
I've talked to a few people about the potential photo shoot. Perhaps the oddest was Nell's father. He was in town for a few days about a week and a half ago, and gave his little girl a call. I got my first hint that Nell and her father had what looks like a good relationship when her - my - cell phone displayed "Daddy" and played a cheery custom ringtone for his call.
I didn't quite know how to respond to that. In my old life, I was estranged from my father, to the point where I honestly figured my next encounter with him would be his funeral. It turns out that things worked out pretty close to the opposite way with Nell - she and her father are fairly close, but she doesn't have much to do with her mother. Weird.
Anyway, we arranged to meet up while he was in town for a convention. Nice enough guy, although I wouldn't be surprised to find that the birthday of his second wife is something like one day earlier than the midway point between his birthday and Nell's, so that no-one can say that she's closer to his daughter's age than his (although, to be fair, many men wouldn't care about that distinction). He seems very proud of what his daughter has been doing.
I mentioned the potential photo shoot to him, and his first response was a joking "well, I guess you've ruined those magazines for me forever", to which Sandy responded by giving me a high-five. After that, though, he said that I shouldn't worry about embarrassing him; he's already made his peace with the idea that total strangers will be looking at his Nelly like that from the volleyball and the TV work.
It was Sandy who said it sounded like I was trying to find a reason not to do it, which I suppose is something close to true, although not for the reason she suspects. So when Lyn called me to celebrate - or, at least, mark - our having spent one year as women, I figured I'd let her try to talk me into it.
She didn't give me the hard sell, but she did ask me if I'd fret so much about playing pro basketball if I'd wound up swapped into someone tall and athletic (that is to say, a tall and athletic man). I mentioned that I suck at the sport, and she said I was missing the point - that are physical forms are a resource, and that we shouldn't be afraid of using them as such just because of the weird way we came by them.
I've also tried calling Cassie in L.A.; I figured that maybe she'll let something slip ("Really? You always hated girls who did that!"). Nothing quite so direct, though. She said she didn't think she would, but that then again, she hadn't turned pro or gone into broadcasting; she liked her anonymity. - or at least, liked having more anonymity than having pictures of her in her underwear printed, downloaded, used as a screensaver or taped to the inside of someone's locker door would provide.
That's a pretty compelling argument, I think. If this is going to be my life, then I think I can live it without that. Drew should just be getting into R.J.'s office right now, so I think it's time to call him with the decision.
-Art (aka Penny)