The best way to navigate something like transition, no matter if it is yourself, your partner or another loved one going through it, is by educating yourself. That being said, we are packing up to head to Philly on Wednesday. This trip is for a three day Trans* Health Conference. Looking over the workshop list again this morning, I am excited to learn as much as we can fit into three days. There is a workshop being taught by Laine’s potential surgeon, and one specifically for SOFFAS (partners). There are show and tell workshops regarding surgical options and workshops specifically for FTM’s transitioning over the age of 40 and 50. One of the most important things I am looking forward to getting out of the conference is the conversation that comes out of workshops and the experience, and flows over into dinner and drinks just between the two of us. I personally feel that a very important part of this process, while in a relationship, is communication. Laine and I typically talk about everything…and these types of experiences put some conversations on the table that might not otherwise arise.
The first month of transition is officially complete. Laine has been on testosterone for 32 days now. Over the last four weeks the most dramatic changes have been mood swings. Things seem to be balancing a bit better now but we’ll need a few more weeks to know for sure. He hasn’t experienced a “crash” since swapping to weekly shots. After the week three shot, his mood spiked the opposite direction of a crash and he had to figure out how to bring himself down from an “angry/aggressive” mood. The last week and a half has been fairly even and maintainable without any dramatic swings one direction or the other.
The other major change has been his sex drive. Ok, so it isn’t a MAJOR change, as his drive was high before…it has however doubled from the already high drive that it was and I am trying to keep up. I truly now do believe without a doubt that the male “sex obsession” is no doubt hormone related. There are days I have to remind him that my eyes are “up here” and not in my cleavage when having a conversation. I just shake my head and laugh at him. Everything they say about the ‘T’ turning a grown (52 year old) adult into a 14 year old boy, its completely TRUTH!
The other reality we have discovered…”man brain.” Its really a thing!! No joke. Here’s perfect proof. Last week when Laine picked up my engagement ring from the jeweler, he looked at the ring and thought “Is that the one I ordered?” Man Brain kicked in and he decided that it must be because it had the right diamond in it and after looking at multiple rings they all begin to look alike. He brought it home without questioning the jeweler. If you follow this blog you know what happened next. He proposed, the ring was too small, I put it on anyway, 24 hours later I had to have it cut off and I was ring-less for one week. Fast forward from the proposal weekend to yesterday.
We’re sitting at lunch across the street from the Chandler mall. I’m bumming out because I KNOW my ring is across the street but I’m fairly certain I’m going to have to head home without it for at least a few more days. Almost on cue, Laine’s phone rings. It’s the jeweler. He explains to Laine that MY ring is ready and there was a mix up. At this point we’re confused, I’m ecstatic because my ring is ready but I have no idea what they mean by a mix up.
We finish lunch, and head over to the mall. I get to the jewelry store and the jeweler recognizes me immediately and says “Hi!” I say “Hi” He says “So there’s a really long, almost funny story….” He goes to the back and returns with my ring. However this is not the ring I had cut off my hand a week ago. This ring is even more amazing than the first one. This ring is the ring Laine actually ordered for me. I’m pretty sure my jaw dropped for a moment when I put it on. It fit perfectly. Of course it does, this is the ring that was actually sized for me.
The jeweler explains what happened. Someone else ordered the “other” ring, within a day or two of Laine placing his order. When the other ring arrived in their store, it was somehow mixed up and given to their jeweler to place the center solitaire which Laine ordered into it. They tracked the ring from that point by owner of the solitaire, hence calling Laine to pick it up and giving it to him. Neither Laine nor the jeweler noticed it was the wrong setting…insert that “man brain” phenomenon here.
It just so happened that I had to have the other ring cut off so it was in their possession when MY ring arrived in store. At which point they looked for the solitaire that belonged in it and realized what had happened. Since they had the “other” ring in their repair line at that point, they swapped my solitaire to MY ring and then called us to pick up the RIGHT one.
Fortunately, we are able to verify the solitaire is the correct diamond. Laine ordered a Firemark diamond. If you know (or Google) anything about them, each diamond has been specially stamped inside the stone (with a secret method that DeBeers wont release the “How to” method to anyone.) Every stone has a unique number in it that can only be seen under 50x magnification. Usually diamonds are looked at under 10x magnification…so it’s a pretty cool tracking method. Needless to say we were able to compare the stone in the RIGHT ring to the number on the documents we have and they match. This time after seeing the RIGHT ring, Laine recognized the setting as well and no longer had the internal questions he had with the first one.
This entire experience has made us laugh, a lot, and yes I cried a bit last week when I had to have a ring cut off my hand…but through it all we learned a few lessons. For me, things happen for a reason. There was a reason I had to get the other ring cut off and hand it back to the jeweler within 24 hours of receiving it. As Laine posted on his Facebook page, he learned that when he has those gut feelings, he needs to speak up and ask questions. The internal questions are probably the right questions to ask out loud. No matter which ring is on my hand, the important part is that Laine is the one by my side and I am by his. We will forever have a memorable engagement story to tell, and as long as neither of us forget which venue we decide upon and we both show up at the right place on October 2, 2016…then life will continue to be perfect.