There was a moment over the weekend when I realized the power of the inn. You would think I would think about it constantly from the moment I get up in the morning, put on a bra and use the toilet, but that's not what I mean. We bought a ton of Halloween candy and failed to unload all of it. So temptation being what it was I found myself snacking on fun-sized Kit-Kats and Aeros.
Well it turns out, Anne-Marie has never liked chocolate. It apparently had been a long-running joke about how much she disliked the stuff. And strangely enough I found it tasting somewhat bland compared to how I used to feel when eating chocolate. But habits die hard. So when someone saw me uncharacteristically unwrapping a Tootsie roll and asking what was up, I just shrugged it off and said "...things change." And what could anybody say? As vehemently anti-chocolate as Anne-Marie was, here I am, looking like her and eating chocolate and nobody would think it's because Anne-Marie isn't who she seems.
So it got me thinking about the little ways in which my life had changed, and what I miss. I keep a written list in my nightstand drawer to remind myself why I am trying to leave this apparent life of luxury. Here's what I've got.
My penis. That's a given, right? I might as well not even list it because of how obvious it seems, but I never appreciated it until I had to leaf through a book designed for 13-year-old girls to understand my equipment.
Freedom from fashion. Simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to Men's wear. A pair of boxer shorts, an undershirt, a hoodie, some jeans, a pair of sneakers... mix and match at leisure. You should see Anne-Marie's wardrobe. It's immense. Simply choosing a pair of panties is a gargantuan task. I never appreciated a girl who mixed-and-matched her underwear until I tried to find the bra that went with the teal Calvins I put on this morning.
Being Canadian. That is to say, being surrounded by Canadians. As similar as our worlds are, there's still something of a culture shock when I am here. It's almost as significant as the shock of crossing the gender line. Almost. Then again, being American at this point in history has its advantages, given I am suddenly allowed to vote in the American election. I won't bore (or possibly alienate) any readers out there with my personal politics, but hey, I'm from Toronto. (Sidenote: Hal and I went to a Halloween party on the weekend. Somehow he convinced me to go as Sarah Palin... I guess I kinda-sorta look like her. That was an unnerving revelation since I don't see why so many people find her attractive.)
Toronto... or any city. In particular, the plethora of choices for food and entertainment, the sense of community. Not having to drive anywhere is also a bonus.
Alia. I haven't spoken to her since I left for Maine. I want to tell her how much this experience has made me appreciate having her in my life.
Youth. I'll admit it. I was a lazy, immature jerk a lot of the time. But I had potential. I still had the means to be anything I wanted. It doesn't feel like Anne-Marie can be much more than the wife of a dentist and the mother of two kids. And that's fine for some people, but me, I need that horizon. I lost ten very important years.
That said, I'm not saying there aren't benefits. Like I said, I get treated with a fair amount of freedom, I get to feel useful by doing the housework, I don't worry about money even amidst this economic crisis... and anytime I want I can touch a pair of boobs.
Every cloud has its silver lining... but every one of them has a touch of grey, to quote Garcia.