Monday, September 05, 2016

Tyler/Judith: The reason mommy drinks

It's something to keep an eye on, I'll admit, but I find that in the evenings a second or even third glass of red wine calls to me. Under normal circumstances I'd say I'm more of a beer or whiskey guy, but as we all know (haw haw) I'm not really any kind of guy anymore.

Besides, other than a punishing headache (which I'm likely to get with or without booze) the wine agrees with me better than any other drink. Beer seems to make Judith queasy, and if I venture into clear liquors I risk becoming a total lush, which... has a certain appeal given how much free time I've got (except that I don't really.)

Consider it my quiet way of coping with the situation. I feel like it's inappropriate to go shooting my mouth off about how crummy our situation is, around Adrian and especially Dylan. For the latter I'm trying to set a good example, and the former I just want to avoid getting into a "who has it worst" contest. Anyway I'm too many years into this to complain about not being Tyler anymore, and it was my choice to stop being Alan, so while that doesn't mean I have to love that I've wound up as Judith, I ought to keep my trap shut about it. Out official line, especially around the kid, is that we're lucky to have wound up how we did. It's hard to keep that perspective, but I believe it's true. We're well off, decent everyday folks, close enough in age to who we're supposed to be, and yeah a little mixed up in terms of body parts, but I know that's not an insurmountable handicap to having a happy life.

Honestly, my complaints are less Inn-related and more just garden-variety "being a person" stuff. Since I've gotten here I've had to contend with Judith's headaches, sore feet from a lifetime of traipsing around in uncomfortable shoes, heartburn and random digestive issues, hot flashes, muscle aches in the morning and at night, Judith's PMS (which I didn't realize I was getting until Kitty "helpfully" pointed out it seemed like I was having mood swings... guess she really is a guy now...) and her period... which featured the harshest, most intense cramps I've experienced in my life. And remember, I do have a year as Lauren to compare it to. Amazing how women experience this process differently. The headaches usually come in the evening, when it's hot, or when it rains... basically half of the time I've been here.

On the plus side, cheese is back on the menu.

Being a mom with a part-time job is sorta like having two and a half jobs. The nature of it means I only have to be present in the office three days per week (remind me to tell you all about that sometime) but I'm constantly on call to deal with issues and make arrangements for clients. So that means my brain isn't really out of "work mode" while I'm also in charge of making sure the house is up to Kitty's cleanliness standards, and I until school starts I have the kid to watch. I know 10-year-old Olivia is really 12-year-old Dylan, and he's really feeling the loss of privilege that comes with losing even those two crucial years, but... letting a 10-year-old girl roam around the neighborhood playing Pokémon is bad optics no matter what. Especially since we're new in town, don't know the area or even who we're supposed to know. I made the mistake of giving him an afternoon to himself, and it was only after I hadn't seen him for over an hour that I had a panic attack and started driving around the neighborhood frantically searching while the phone in my purse is still going off every two minutes with responses from catering companies to my inquiry about rates. (Turns out he was at a park nearby, playing like it was no big deal.)

And all the while my brain is buzzing with maternal chemicals, like "Shit, I'm a total fuckup as a mom already!" I mean, that's not something I ever wanted to be good at, or be to begin with, but I'm in this role and I can't let this kid down.

I'm trying with him, for what that's worth. He's pretty smart, he grasped the implications of our situation pretty quickly (I think kids have a better imagination than adults so they're easier to convince about stuff like this.) And he has his days where he just seems like an average kid, but there are days where he's just shellshocked about the whole thing. I don't know what triggers that. Every night when I tuck him in I want to apologize for not being his real mom and try to tell him he's still loved and safe and all that but... there's only so much you can expect a kid to process.

I'm trying not to force him to be too girly, but Kitty isn't helping on that front. She's got some pretty old school ideas about how boys and girls behave, and as long as our kid appears to be a girl, she's getting that treatment.

Honestly, I feel like I get it a bit too. Kitty has a lot of opinions about my wardrobe, my hair, my accessories and make-up. How I should take care of my skin and go to bed earlier to reduce bags under my eyes. Personally, I don't mind if I look like a scary witch. I feel like it might be an advantage.

And then comes the drinking, when we reach the point where I just can't deal with it all anymore, after Dylivia is in bed and Kitty has settled in to watch the Bachelor or whatever cheesy reality show she's into and I just can't deal with the world telling me how to be anymore. I plot a little escape, and so far it seems to be working. We sleep in the same bed and I think we're just too exhausted to even think about rekindling that part of our relationship - it never officially ended but we didn't exactly push to renew it once we got these bodies. We're together but not together, and while I would love to fall asleep every night next to someone I love and care about, at least I don't outright hate Kitty yet. Our partnership seems to be working okay.

I'm sympathetic, honestly. She's been put in this role of husband, father and provider. Like me she had no kids, and no experience doing a desk job, and now she's working in HR for some big corporation and she's definitely clueless. She has already proposed quitting if I can somehow make up the financial gap, which I don't think is possible. We need Adrian's earning power right now, and to be honest I don't want to shoulder any more of this shit than I already do. I've taken it on the chin for this "family," she ought to figure out how to do the same.

Assuming she doesn't get fired.

-"Judith"

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