Transplanted Life
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
Even I have trouble with how I think of me
Went out to dinner with Doug tonight. Which involved putting up with all the "you're showing leg" stuff from Carter, but I've sort of gotten to the point where I just tune that out. I think my body's fun, he hasn't come to feel that way yet, and it's just going to be a thing with us. If we were a sitcom, it would cue up the laugh track regardless of whether we're actually funny or not.

But, at least Carter has a definite opinion, and sticks to that point of view. With Doug, it was kind of weird tonight. This was our first real date, with no attempts to pick his brain or the like - it was, we agreed, to be strictly boy-girl stuff.

Of course, he knows about me, so it's awkward. He's able to tell me with apparent sincerity that I look sexy, and stare at my cleavage when he thinks I'm not looking. But then I'll smile at him, and he'll sheepishly say something about how I must know exactly what's going through his mind at that moment. Hey, any woman would know that, I'll say, but it somehow seems to have the opposite effect, that instead of it being no big deal, I've called attention to my origins. Which was obviously the opposite of what I intended.

Most of the evening this manifests itself as him taking half a second to think while doing stuff he'd normally do instinctively. He starts to pull out a chair, then thinks maybe (s)he thinks that's weird, then remembers that I've said to treat me just like any other woman. There's always that little hitch in his actions, like he's got to remind himself to trust the evidence of his own eyes.

He doesn't know what to talk about while we wait for our dinner. I try and get it started with asking how I'm getting impatient for Nomar to be playing for the big club (a lot of folks thought he'd return tonight, but instead it was back to Pawtucket), and his brain locks. Like, "girlfriend who talks sports==good" but "sports talk may indicate not really a girl in her heart==bad" but... It's like that episode of Star Trek where they're trying to confuse the computer with nonsense; he's got the same look on his face that the android had after Spock explained that "logic is a wreath of pretty flowers...that smell bad".

So we eat our food and see our movie try to find some topic of conversation that doesn't involve anything vaguely related to gender stereotypes at all. I can't think of anything to break the logjam; I want to scream that I am who I am and you'd best start treating me like an individual or it'll never work out, but I'm afraid that will just push him further away. And I don't want to do that; aside from needing his help, I like the guy.

But here's the funny thing - the very fact that he's not sure how to see me makes me not sure how to see him. I could just be the girl, so to speak, when I was dating Carter, but if I do that with Doug, he'll think I'm being strange and not myself and get weirded out. But I also worry about being too guy-like, in case that grosses him out.

This really bugs me, because things have been going so well with Maggie that I was planning on telling more people - my mom, Kate and Jen, maybe even Wei (I know I'm not ready to tell Kurt yet, or if I ever will be). But if Doug's going to be more typical of how the people close to me act than Mags, maybe I'm better off keeping everyone in the dark.

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