Friday, January 25, 2013

"Should I stay or should I go now?"

Hi,

Truth be told I am, in part, glad to see the back of this week. Not that it's been any great trauma, but frankly, I could have done without the hassle.

Car Fail

The short-ish version is my car started to play up last Friday. It ended up being towed to the garage after the dreading warning light started flashing. A quick check in the handbook decoded the icon as This Might Be Expensive. :-) Anyhoo, pretty much six days later (six days!) the garage get around to looking at it and thankfully, my little car is now back on the road. Also, just in time for Chameleons too. ;-) Despite all the faffing about, ringing around, working from home (my line manager was very understanding. Plus I got loads done!) and shelling out for a hire car, all is now well. Touch wood.

For years, I didn't have a car. When the Ever Lovely Mrs J was just the Ever Lovely Miss J, she had vehicle, whereas I didn't. I was quite happy to walk, cycle or take the bus if I had to go further. Mrs J always managed to keep a car on the go and she certainly knows more about them than I do. People ask, but don't you like to drive? Honestly, no. I prefer to look out of the window; daydream, nap or listen to music. If Mrs J is unlucky, I may even talk to her ;-)

Shanks Pony

Living where we do - in a little village - a car, or more accurately, cars, are a necessity. Our arrangement with the kids is that I take them in the morning and Mrs J does the afternoon pick ups. Well, barring any visits from the grandparents. It's all very modern, what with both parents working and help from Mrs J's Mum most months.

I did look at using public transport to get in, but.... you'd be looking at a 45 minute walk to get the kids to school. I wouldn't mind that, but getting them up super early and walking their little legs off in the snow did not feel right. Plus, once at the school, the nearest bus stop would mean I'd be dropped in the middle of Nottingham. Then, that'd be another 30 minutes walk or another bus ride to where I work. So, arriving around 10am each day? No, ta! I tried cycling once, but I'm not as fit as I once was. I guess, a nine mile trip to work would sort that out wouldn't it.

Enabling

Funny thing is, going back to the personal history, I either walked or got the bus. When I started work, Mrs J had an out of town job. For my first job, I'd get a lift with her half way in and then walk the rest. My second job - the modern day Dark Satanic Mill, aka the Call Centre McJob - was shift based, so it was out with the bike and off I went. I escaped that place and kept up with the riding. I wasn't quick, I'm more of a plodder, but I was fairly fit. No, despite the constant biking, I didn't shave my legs. All those wasted years eh? :-) It was shortly after we moved house that making the 18 mile round trip, meant I was frequently late home. Mrs J, bless her, bought me a motorbike for Xmas and that was the start of our brief flirtation with two wheeled transport. I moved on to scooters as Wee Man grew up, the school run beckoned and it was time to switch to a car.

Once in a blue, I'd have the luxury of borrowing either Mrs J's car, or a hire one from work. On very rare occasions, back in the day, I'd get dressed and go for a drive (after triple checking the neighbours were out).  For me, cars help buy you freedom when you're trans and starting out. Walking means you've got to look the world in the eye *and* avoid walking like a troll with a plastic hip. The bus? Well, that's like the previous, only less walking, but closer scrutiny and once you're on, you've got to ride it out (no pun intended). Bike? Well, good luck keep your hair on when you take the helmet off. :-)

But a car....? That climate controlled tin box of faux security. Tucked behind the wheel, you can see out and most people look passed you. It's a way of being out and not out at the same time. No wonder so many trans forums have threads about people like us enjoying a drive, or going out and getting changed in the car. Yes, love them or loathe them, the car makes lots of things easier when you're trans.

Chams

Given the faffing about with the car and the to-ing & fro-ing, I wasn't in the best frame of mind to go out on Thursday night. But, as I rinsed the cold weather away in a hot shower, I thought, what if I didn't go? Sure, I'd get an early night, but there's always this nagging doubt that if I don't go, how long until the next time? With that in mind, I picked up last nights full bag and headed out.

Maddy was already upstairs when I got to the Centre. We had a good chat; plus I caught up with Alison, Sophie and Sam. It took me an age to get ready, but I think that was in part to the issue that I just couldn't decide what to wear. I'd packed boots, a skirt, top and cardy; yet much as I loved the skirt, I couldn't get the rest of the outfit right. I guess it was just me being in an awkward mood (Ed: You? Surely not Lynn! :-P ) - more on that later. So, instead, I went back to the girl - okay, mum - next door look. Okay, mum next door with sparkly eye shadow. I thought I'd go with something a bit brighter for a change.

So, mood? Just being a bit narked I think. I'm fine now; which goes to show what a good night out with friends can do for a guy/gal/undecided. Yeah... mood. Hmm. I've an appointment this week with the doctor. We're going to be reviewing my medication. I guess that means the happy tablets, so I wonder what'll happen. Will I be brave and start weaning myself off them, or cave in and try to hang on. Decisions, decisions..... Fingers crossed and think on the bright side.

Take care,
Lynn

[ Todays' lyric: Should I Stay by The Clash ]

6 comments:

  1. being a member of the public that frequently uses public transport, I can say that for a trans individual, especially a tall, odd looking thing like me, cars sound fantastic... not having to ignore mumbled 'is it/isn't it' and the louder more obvious 'urgh, I wouldn't dare' 'there's a tranny on the bus' etc...

    About medical stuff, only start coming off of the tablets if you are really feeling strong enough... It's taken me a couple of false stops until I was finally at the relatively good point I have been this past few months to slowly get off them. thankfully all is good on that front so far =)

    p.s. I normally hate those sort of patterns, but you really make that jumper-dress work =)

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    1. Hi Jessica,

      Tall and odd? Welcome to the club, fellow tall oddity person. You're in bad company :-) At what point do folk think we are deaf when it comes to *ahem* muttered comments? Humbug! :-)

      Yeah, I think the last time I tried to come off the tablets, I rushed it. I feel much more together/sorted than back then. I guess the doctor will - well, I hope! - have a plan, that's safer than just stopping. Perhaps we'll down down the dose until it's next to nothing.

      Thanks for the kind words re: the jumper dress. I'm not one for patterned jumpers as a rule, but I do like this outfit. Plus, it was cosy on such a cold night.

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  2. Would it be rude to point out that you looked like you had fallen asleep on the door frame? :-) Still you look as good when you are sleeping as when you are awake. As for the car bit - I agree 100% that its far better to be driven - I used to be make a grab for the driving seat but the chance to switch off and just let the world go by is far better. There is also the added complication that my better half cannot map read ......

    It's hard re the medication - can be a real struggle giving things up that have helped for a long time. The default option when things are tough is to reach out for the tried and tested but I knew that they changed me and it wasn't always comfortable with that. Didn't make giving up any easier for me.

    I hope that you find help and support from your Dr and things work out well as the doses reduce.

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    1. Lol. Terribly rude, but I'll let you off. ;-) Ta for the kind words. I normally stick with a brown or smokey eye palette, but sometimes it's fun to vary things.

      Unfortunately, my sense of direction is matched only by my inability to read a map. It's embarrassing, it really is. I think that skill got traded in the womb for baking.... or probably shopping. ;-)

      Yes, I'm with you on the tried and tested. I find the medication mellows me out, so when I do come off them, I hope I don't go back to being Mr Angry :-(

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  3. Apart from a lesson or two i've never been behind the wheel. It probably means you can't be as impulsive when going out. The views are sometimes nice though.

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    1. Planning was never my forte.... unless we're talking about going out. That starts weeks in advance. :-)

      Not sure I could get by without a car now. Certainly not with living in the sticks.

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