Ugh. In typical Erin Hanley fashion the moment I make plans - big, literal life-changing plans - they have to get thrown out the window. And in typical fashion, it's not really my fault, but because of a man.
I guess I shouldn't be badmouthing my adopted gender... it turns out I'm going to be here for a while. And unlike some folks, in my case it's by choice... at least in a "this is the right thing to do" sort of way.
So the long story short is that although Chris, the real Chris, is ostensibly a smart guy who went through law school and everything, he isn't necessarily capable of following directions. So when I said to him "Rosie and I are visiting the Inn on July 28, please schedule accordingly," reminding him of our previously agreed-upon dates, he comes back with "Oh I already booked..." for the JUNE. Can you say "Doesn't Follow Directions?" How was he going to make it as a lawyer without having an eye for details??
What a stupid mistake. And he tried to blame me, but I swear I did everything I could. So he sold off his reservation but couldn't get one for the week after, so he reluctantly gave up and told me to live his life for another year.
Okay, fine. But for the last year I have been living Chris DiVito's life like I wasn't going to be here long. I avoided romantic entanglements even when my body and mind pushed me toward them. I kept a crappy job and was barely able to pay rent on Chris' apartment while having any semblance of quality of life. My only big change was getting my hair cut every month and shaving his beard because I didn't like the way it felt.
In 2016 and 2017, I will be living Chris' life for myself. I don't care if he doesn't like what he comes back to, I need to make changes. I want to stop emptying garbage and I would like an apartment I can actually afford (which may mean leaving the city... boo, I love it here!)
I discussed this with Rosie, who was obviously a bit annoyed. She was hoping we would see this through together, and obviously isn't staying as Ahmir. She's grown more and more reclusive as they months have gone on. She feels like an outsider around white people and black people alike. I told her we would still be friends - Portland is far but we're still on the same coast, unlike when I was in Indiana. She said there was more to it than that, but I wasn't sure exactly what that meant.
It was harder to place a call to Justin - the "new Erin" - specifically requesting that he keep my life for another year. It's a crummy position to be in, and I would understand if he didn't want to put up with the hassle of being female for another year. But I know that his girlfriend left him as soon as they became Rosie and Me. I don't know what kind of life the new-him has left, but... I mean, isn't it just easier to stay put, all things considered?
He said he was eager to put it all behind him - that being Erin Hanley represented a very difficult year of his life and he was hoping it would just disappear from his shoulders when he became himself again. But he's considering it. Honestly, if he didn't want to stay as me, I wouldn't blame him, and I would make do... but the fewer transitions I think we can involve, the better chance we have of putting things right next year.