Around the holidays things started to get weird between me and Rafe. It can be a very sentimental time, even though neither of us are sentimental people, and it's hard not to succumb to the urge a little and behave a certain way. Something about holiday cheer and togetherness makes it hard to just enjoy casual sex for what it is.
Around New Years Eve we found ourselves having an obligatory "What are we?" Conversation. Are we exclusive? No, but neither of us is seeing anyone else. Do we go out on dates? I said it would be acceptable but he said it was outside his comfort zone (to put it mildly.) In my head I had echoes of someone or other saying "Why buy the cow..." even though I didn't even grow up as a woman. I had to field awkward dating questions from Valerie's mother over the holidays, and deflected by saying I was out there, and that's all. It deepened the already sour feeling in the pit of my stomach whenever I spend time with that family.
In January I decided, kinda unilaterally, to downplay my thing with Rafe. Call it a Resolution if you must. It had been a few months of great sex with someone who wasn't interested in more. Why not look again?
Instead, online I found the usual collection of way-too-self-absorbed boy-men in suits who think all women are impressed by a decent suit and a nice car (in this city? Please.)
It was a lot like last year's round of boredom-inducing matchups, only this time I actually had sex with a few of them. None of them had much potential for long term, but I wanted the experience. Whereas before I avoided sex because I didn't want to feel used, now I embrace it because I wanted to do the using.
I think I have screwed myself up because I can only bring myself to sleep with a guy if I dislike him now. I know I should respect my body enough not to just let anyone have it, but I also respect it enough to give it things that will feel good, at least for the night. But if I think I have feelings for a guy? I dare not complicate it with sex.
Besides, I was worried they wouldn't want me soon. At the end of January I did something I have been dreaming about for years... having my breast reduction surgery.
Having boobs of any kind is great about 10% of the time. Times when you want the attention they bring. Times when you are wearing something flattering but not uncomfortable. Times when you are literally naked, on top or below (or in front of) someone and feeling them bounce up and down and against your ribcage in response to something very pleasurable. The rest of the time they are a frightful inconvenience, and when they are 8% of your overall body weight (I did the math!) they are a literal pain.
I had made up my mind months ago and went through a battery of consultations and examinations. Recieving healthcare as a woman in this country is not overall simple of convenient but my doctor - a man - acknowledged that on my frame, these breasts are too much by a lot.
Before the surgery, I texted both Kevin and Rafe, the men in my life who I had kept at arms length of weeks or months. Kevin wished me well, Rafe didn't respond right away. I also texted my sister and Meg, and of course Maddie and Ariel knew - who has taken Charli's old room and made a really good late night talking partner since both of us are effectively single.
Before they put me under, the Doctor said something to the effect of "Just think, when you wake up, you'll have a whole new different body." I probably laughed way too hard, involuntarily, and confused him.
Then they wheeled me in, put me under, and that was that.
Afterward, as I woke up, in my groggy state, my first thought was to grab for them. I think I thought I was back to the Inn because Maddie recalled me babbling about "Am I me? Am I me?" Before long, I came to and had a chance to examine.
It was amazing. The scars are barely noticeable. They're still pretty big actually, but much, much smaller than before. I might actually be able to shop in regular places for tops and bras. Wear sundresses. Jog. See my feet. They're reshaped into perfectly symmetrical orbs. Almost too perfect. It bugs me how I've lost a certain natural appearance. I don't want people to think I have fake boobz (I did get a lot of "are those real?" questions from creepy guys online, but mostly people assume rightly that at this size, you wouldn't pay to put those on your chest.)
Part of me was excited - I looked great. I felt free. Part of me was sad, as I worried I might be - I had lost something that had come to be a part of me, as frustrating and inconvenient and painful as they could be. Never in all my years of wandering as Tyler or drifting from life to life via the Inn had I felt so attached to anything, let alone body parts I wasn't even born with. I worried about not being appreciative of the body I had inherited, but Cynthia has told me this was a dream of hers too.
It's like being a new me (something I'm real familiar with) with the losses and gains that implies, but I get to keep being me, which is exciting.
Once I got back into street clothes, Maddie and Ariel were gobsmacked. It was so different and yet it looked so rigbt. They were very supportive and very complimentary. They got me a card and pampered me while I recuperated.
Rafe eventually did text me back, saying that he was happy for me, in a weirdly brief manner. But that's him.
One other reason for the timing... Meg's wedding is coming up. And I wanted it all out of the way so I could wear a nice dress and feel good about myself because the only person I ever really loved is getting married and I need to be there to support her.
If it ain't too obvious to say, I really do feel a weight off my shoulders. I had been hemming and hawing so long, and now it's done and I don't regret it.
I'm a happy gal.