Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tori: She's got baggage

I'm packing for Houston. The company I'm interviewing with wants to meet me in person, which I guess is a good sign. It certainly says a lot about where I am in my life that this is a decision I have to make.

The further I go from the East coast, the further I go from the Trading Post Inn, the life I used to live in Buffalo, and the one I've come to like as Tori, and the closer I get to having a future with Buddy, having a career and living in a new phase of my life.

Is two years long enough to forget who I was? Is six months of a relationship long enough to make this kind of choice? Is there any reason to do it other than that? Do I want this job? Do I want this life? Like I've said before, I wish someone would make the decision for me. I certainly never made the decision to become Tori, nor to keep being her after the first year, but it's worked out for the best. If you knew my track record as Cliff, you'd know it's not impressive. If I uproot myself for Buddy, and it doesn't work out... it could destroy me, emotionally at least. But I can't let this fear stop me from taking a chance on something good, at least that's what Alex is telling me. He's so supportive.

I look over at my suitcase at the end of my bed, at the clothes I've folded up into it, all the cleavage-baring tops and low-rise jeans and clean panties... when I first inherited Tori's wardrobe, I didn't know what to make of any of it. Now I spend my days surrounded by it, helping other women size themselves up and accessorize, and I don't feel the slightest bit self-conscious pulling on a cute pair of frilly undies. Buddy still makes fun of me, despite this, because he sees me as boyish because I cut my hair and read Sci-Fi.

If I don't get this job, I've been thinking about breaking up with him. I'm not sure there would be any point. I'll have to see how I feel about him when I get there. Lately, the distance thing has made him so paranoid and difficult to deal with, but we still have our good times. He's been asking about another video of me "going to town" on myself, but I've been reluctant. I tease him, saying he can wait for the real thing, but there's a darker reality.

Mae started dating this guy. She introduced him to neither me nor our parents, which I guess is fine, I could've seen myself wanting that level of privacy if I'd dated in high school. The problem is, she took some pics of herself for him -- not nudes, thank God, but very revealing -- and I guess they hit a rough patch since they ended up as attachments in a mass e-mail. Even I got them.

She has a pretty cavalier attitude about it... she's hurt, but not as pissed as she ought to be. Mom and dad were ticked, though, and Mae has asked about staying with me, and I haven't explained the likelihood that I won't be in Philly much longer. She knows something's up, but I haven't talked it out with the family the way I probably should have. It's a remnant of my upbringing, where we didn't talk about anything in the family unless it was an absolute necessity.

Anyway. I don't want that to be me. I felt personally betrayed when those pictures of Mae came out, and I don't even know the guy. I like to think I can trust Buddy, but can I trust him to delete that video of me if we break up? Am I going to let myself be held hostage because of a stupid mistake I made when I was drunk/lonely/horny?

If I'm having these thoughts, is it really smart to be considering moving forward with this relationship? Or can I go on selling skirts and shoes the rest of my life?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tori: The easy road

Unbelievably, I finally found a job opening in Houston for an accounting firm's IT department. I've never been so nervous about writing up a cover letter. Hell, I don't even think I was that nervous the first time I let myself have sex with a guy. In it, I wrote of my qualifications, my interest in the field, and the fact that although I am currently located in Pennsylvania, I am eager to move.

Maybe eager was the wrong word, but it's the one I went with.

I think this is going to be it. This is a make or break scenario for my relationship, I think... if I don't get this job, I think all the doubts I'm having about Buddy are going to explode and it's going to have to end. Even though I feel amazing when I'm with him, the distance just magnifies everything that's wrong between us. He also deserves someone who is willing to be there for him the way he wants, and if I can't bring myself to be that girl... sigh.

This is coming largely from a talk I had with Alex. He's helping to keep me on an even keel about this, helping me not feel guilty about considering breaking up with Buddy but also allowing me to consider how much I do like him. He knows this is tough for me, although obviously he can't know exactly why.

It's funny. Whenever we're together, we always talk about me. Since I've been Tori, I've always hated talking about myself because I'm worried I'll slip up and start talking more about Cliff. Obviously I can't be worried that people will "find me out" (although sometimes I wonder about Buddy's accusations that I'm "more of a boy" than most girls) but I just feel like that part of my life is done and it has no point. So now I only have about two years' worth of memories to draw on, and abstract writings from a bunch of diaries that didn't really happen to me. But somehow we always get by and I never stumble.

I'm also very cautious about what I say to him because inside I'm dying to know if he really did have sex with Danny, or if he's gay or what... but I can't bring myself to ask, because I'm worried the answer will affect my opinion of him. Either he's gay or bi or whatever, and he didn't tell me, and I'm disappointed about him lying, or he's not, and I don't... have as much reason to keep him at arm's length.

Okay, secret time, guys. I'm attracted to Alex. There. I obviously don't intend to do anything about it, since I'm still with Buddy and hoping to make it work... but I feel so guilty about it. I wish it could be as simple as "dump Buddy, date Alex," but it's not, because I still have stronger feelings for Buddy, because he was my first... man-love, I guess.

But there was this moment when we were doing laundry and he was loading some of my stuff into the dryer, and I made a crack about how "usually I like to know a guy better before I let him handle my panties." He smiled and said he figured we were pretty close by now, what's a little underpants between friends? That sent a little jolt through me and I thought "That felt nice... oh, shit, that was flirting!" and after being very careful about what I said for the rest of the afternoon, I spent the next few days replaying that moment in my head, feeling happy, guilty, excited, scared, nervous, etc etc.

I've never been good at making choices like this. I hope this job just works out and I can go on with my life.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tori: Simplify

Okay, so I'm done school... now what?

Alex, for instance, got a job at a company. I, meanwhile, still sell skirts and blouses to girls getting their first receptionist jobs. Like once a week. That leaves me a lot of time to sit at home and browse the web for other leads on jobs. I thought it would be easy, I don't know, slipping back into stuff I used to feel comfortable doing, like there would be opportunities. I've thought about changing paths again, going to culinary school or something, because I've liked cooking since I was a guy and wouldn't mind getting better... but the idea of spending more time to find something else to do, or not do? Just exhausts me.

I've thought about Houston. Believe me, Buddy won't let a conversation go by without reminding me to think about Houston, but it's not like jobs are any more plentiful there than here. And I mean, no offense to him, I still like him a lot, but I don't want to move down there without something to do. I don't just wanna move there for the sake of someone to date. No matter how I feel about him, I don't think that's any way to live your life.

Maybe it's that kind of thinking that kept me away from romance in my old life. Maybe I'm too used to being on my own, even though ever since I started dating it hurts to think of being without someone. How did I get so dependent? It's not like the day I became a girl I thought to myself "I need a man!" As you'll know from reading this blog it took a long, looooong time for that particular idea to occur to me.

But jeez is this getting old. I can barely even muster up the energy to play with myself anymore (sorry for the tease, all, but I know you like to hear about it.)

On the plus side, I have Alex. I was initially wary about what I heard about him, but somehow he managed to keep himself around in my life and I'm glad he did. I never even asked him about it, it just... feels like it doesn't matter. He can be, and be with, whomever he wants, and if he feels comfortable talking about it, he will. We've gotten really close over the last few weeks, and I feel really glad to have him as a friend... which is something that makes me feel guilty.

I'm allowed to have straight male friends, right? I'm in a relationship, but even if I weren't, I wouldn't have to have feelings for Alex in order to hang around with him, would I? I mean, I lived so much of my life with guys, as a guy, I should be comfortable, I shouldn't think there's anything wrong with just sitting on a couch in my apartment with him, staring at the TV, channel surfing (is there a new term for that? Menu-surfing?) and not waiting for the inevitable opportunity to jump him.

It's friendship, but I feel guilty for having it and I certainly don't feel comfortable discussing Alex's existence with Buddy. Is that wrong? He's said some really paranoid things, which is unappealing, but I don't want to give him a reason. Hell, Alex has given me some pretty valuable advice on being patient with Buddy. We were having lunch the other week, and I was sorta... spilling my guts about how annoying it is that he's desperate to get me to go to Texas, and Buddy reminded me that I could put it off as long as I wanted, but if I was going to call it a relationship, I was going to have to put in the work.

I told him sometimes it feels too much like work and not enough like fun, and he said well, that's life.

Sorry for the rambling, disjointed posts, all... maybe it's because I don't get on here much, and I forget to mention specific events. Hope you're all well!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Alia: Not a breakup, not a marriage proposal

I feel like our absence from the blog should tell you how good things have been going in our lives lately, Todd and I. Todd's just finishing up his undergrad and I'm still mulling over whether to go to teacher's college in the fall. It's funny, a few years ago if you'd have suggested I might become a teacher, I would have smacked you. Then I was Rob and didn't feel so bad about it as a possible career plan.

The truth is, I'd like to completely leave this blog and be off in happily ever after, but Todd and I are trying to figure out exactly what that's supposed to be. We love each other, and probably for the first time since we started dating, our relationship is comfortable. But we're not the types of people to get married and have kids, even though that's generally what people do. In a way, we thrive on drama, and spoken or not, Todd and I worry about being status quo.

So it all sort of exploded last month when one of my stupid cousins got pregnant again and Todd and I were invited to the "couples baby shower." Todd expressed irritation at the pressure my parents put on me to give them grandchildren, to say nothing of their opinion of Todd... suffice it to say they don't see him as son-in-law material.

So we were talking it out and it got heated, and Todd asked me whether I agreed with my parents that I should have kids before I'm 30, and I said no. He then asked if I thought I should have kids ever, and I said I was leaning towards yes eventually and he immediately accused me of "parroting" my mother, which as all you gentlemen should know, always gets said about five seconds after you should have shut the hell up already.

That was a big fight, comparable to ones we've been having for years. The weird thing is, he's actually talked about having kids before: he was so impressed with Anne-Marie's kids, he admitted to me, he wouldn't mind having a couple of his own someday. I do, however, think he gets freaked out by babies.

Anyway, the whole thing is still unresolved, but we've called a detente, as you can guess: he does read this blog and probably wouldn't like me saying anything here I hadn't already said to him. I think the main thing we can agree on is: no kids for now.


Friday, April 01, 2011

Tori: Maybe too much truth

I have a headache. I'm lying on my bed refreshing the same boring-ass websites and re-reading old webcomics because I just can't bring myself to go out. Hell, it even took me this long (and opening my third beer) to realize this is pretty much exactly why I blog.

So my attempts to make Alex and Raine into a thing went bust, pretty much for the most bizarre reason. After it all went down, and Alex was getting a little awkward around me at school, Danny clued me in to something I would never have expected. He and Alex have... a past.

Excuse me?

Now, maybe I don't have the finest-tuned gaydar in the world, but I could've sworn Alex was all about girls. I really thought when we met he was into me, and he certainly didn't bring it up when I offered to fix him up with Raine. Anyway, Danny and Alex apparently agreed not to tell, but Raine dragged it out of Danny while I was away from the table and Alex was having a smoke. Even Alex doesn't know she knows. Danny ordered me not to tell. "Don't worry," I assured him with a smirk, "I'm great with secrets."

But of course, those are mainly my own secrets. Now when I'm around Alex, I can't read him and I just want him to be honest with me, because I feel like that's a barrier to our friendship. I don't know if he's gay or bi or what.

Meanwhile, I can't talk with Buddy without him pressuring me into looking for jobs down in Houston. Even though I want the relationship to continue, I don't feel like we're at a good place where I can make that sort of commitment. I get frustrated with him because he's single minded about this sort of thing. I guess he feels, because he's "doing something" with his life, he's entitled to me making decisions for mine based around him. Anytime I've ever hinted that maybe I'd prefer staying in Philly has been met with an instant fight. Add to that the layers of sexual frustration and loneliness that pressure the relationship even further and... bleh.

I didn't ask for this life. Fuck, fuck, fuck, I didn't ask to be this person. I'm doing my best to be her, though. Believe me.