It’s been a little while since I posted, I’ve actually been quite busy and been in a good mood lately so I haven’t really felt like writing much. I am trying to get myself used to writing when I am in a good mood as well as a bad mood so hopefully this will be come a more frequent occurrence.
I got to go on my first vacation in over 5 years this weekend. (I don’t count going to my parent’s house in New Jersey as vacation). Usually I go to dog-sit for them while *they* go on a real vacation. But this weekend I got to join them in Florida because my brother was graduating from University of Florida on Sunday. Of course because my parents are insane they booked the first flight out of the airport on Friday, leaving at 6 am, so we left my parent’s house at 3:45 am. Shoot me. I almost decided to just not go to bed at all since I ended up getting 2 hours of sleep. So we flew into Tampa then drove to Gainesville, apparently that’s the best and cheapest way to do it. So a 3 hour flight and a 2 hour drive, yay. I slept on the plane for a little bit at least. I was starving so we checked into the hotel and then went to get lunch at this TexMex place my parents like. My brother was in the middle of his last final exam so when he was done we met up with him and he wanted to introduce us to a few of his favorite professors. For the first time in my entire life, my mother actually introduced me to one of the professors as her SON. Not her “oldest child” or “eldest child”, but her goddamn fucking SON. This has been a severe problem area for us with me coming out as trans – my parents have not once called me their son since I came out 7 years ago, and it hurt. I was always “the oldest child”, my brother was their “son”, and my sister was their “daughter”. At least my parents have stopped referring to me as female, because well, they’d look like a couple of assholes being that I am hairier than a werewolf and have a full beard. So after hearing that I was smiling like a goofball and I was trying to control myself I was so excited I had honestly never heard my mother say that before.
We walked around campus for a bit, went to my brother’s favorite bar so he could get a bite to eat. Of course everywhere we went my parents got drinks. I can’t say for certain if their drinking has increased over the past few years, or if it’s because I am now sober and their drinking is more obvious to me. I always knew they drank a lot of wine, like a bottle a night with dinner. But both of them have been really hitting the bottle (mostly beer and wine) hard over the past few years. Like 2 bottles of champagne on Christmas morning, before 1o am (with my brother and sister too). So that bothers me a little bit still. Seeing them drink a lot really bothers me. But I know they don’t respect me because honestly should I really have to say anything? They know I have a drinking problem. I have had friends who actually asked me if it was alright if they had a drink around me – those people care. My parents? Not so sure.
So then we went back to the hotel and my brother and I went swimming. It actually wasn’t *too* hot in Florida, hotter than I like though. Also another first for me this weekend, I took my shirt off in front of my parents for the first time since my top surgery 5 years ago! Honestly I was more scared to take it off because I’m fat and they’re all skinny and they totally fat-shame than being scared because of my scars and my gender. I’ve learned to own my scars, and pretty much own my fatness as well. I go to the beach with no fear and take my shirt off and walk around with my gut hanging out, I mean I’m not huge, but I’m fat. But it felt so affirming to me to do this I just haven’t had the chance over the past 5 years to do it so this was the first time. Then that night we went to this Chinese restaurant across the street from my brother’s apartment and his girlfriend came, this was the first time I met her. She is really nice, she and I totally have the same politics so my brother knew we would hit it off. The service at the restaurant was horrible unfortunately, but the food was good once we got it. My single goal being in Gainesville was to see an alligator while I was there (hence the U of Florida’s mascot is the gator). We saw a baby alligator on campus, but it was kind of hiding so I only saw it’s tail. There were some gators in the water out back of the restaurant, but by the time we got outside all I could see was the bumps on it’s head from it’s eyes and then it went back underwater. Boo.
The best part about this trip was that my parents actually booked me my own hotel room. My father goes to bed at 7:30 pm and I asked my mom “What am I going to do for 6 hours, sit in the dark?” and she said “Don’t worry about it, you have your own room. You snore too much.” Hey, whatever works! So I brought my laptop and was able to stay up til I wanted and didn’t have to worry about being quiet, sweet. My parents also were super chill for the first time about not making my brother and me get up early to do shit. We agreed to meet at noon, so even though my parents got up at the butt crack of dawn and did whatever they wanted, my brother and I got to sleep in. We went to lunch at this New Orleans style restaurant and then went to the U of Florida campus and walked around for a few hours. I was sweating like a pig, I hate the heat. I could never live in Florida. Then we went back to the hotel and went swimming again. We then went to this wings place and met up with 3 of my brother’s friends and got dinner, the wings were so good.
Sunday was graduation day and my sister drove in from Tampa and we all got brunch with one of my brother’s friends and his girlfriend. Then we went to campus to take graduation pictures. Surprisingly as much as it rains in Florida it didn’t rain once while we were there. My brother had to stay on campus but my parents, sister and I went back to the hotel and I yet again went swimming lol. Apparently my father decided that we weren’t going to have dinner (graduation started at 7) so we got to go to CVS to pick out snacks to serve as our “dinner” wtf. I was starving the second we left brunch (welcome to the life of a fat guy). Pretzel sticks and jelly beans for dinner? No thanks. I was pissed – we had brunch at noon! There were nearly 2,000 people graduating and we figured the ceremony was going to last until 11 or midnight, but they freaking did it in 2 hours!! My parents were super excited for my brother graduating because he dropped out of high school so they didn’t get to attend a graduation ceremony for him like they did me and my sister. At the end of the ceremony we met up with my brother and I was mentioning again how hungry I was, and my sister didn’t want to go out to eat, and neither did my parents, but then my brother mentioned a Steak n Shake was half a block from the hotel and was 24 hours so guess where I ended up lol. At least I got my food, I can’t go that long without eating real food.
Monday morning our flight was at least not super early, it was 9:30, but since we had to drive 2 hours to the airport we left at 5 am. I slept in the car the entire time and for at least an hour on the plane. Then we went to the animal hotel to pick up Sammy and he went freaking nuts when he saw us he was so excited. When we got home he was running all over the house and jumping all over the place and drooling and barking he just didn’t know what to do with himself. He kept grabbing toys out of the closet and placing them in the bathroom, weird dog. I got to play with him for about half an hour and then I had to head home because I had band rehearsal at 7, luckily there was no traffic going home. Overall it was a really good trip but I was just about ready for a break from my parents. I can only take so much of them at once.
I was super relieved going through security at the airport because trans people have been known to have problems with the scanner or being groped by a TSA official. My gender marker matches my outward appearance on my ID since I’ve had surgery, so that wouldn’t be a problem, but I wasn’t sure how invasive the scanners get or if someone tried to feel parts of me that should/shouldn’t be there. Luckily the scanner took about 3 seconds and I had no problems either way. This was only the third time I’ve flown since I started my transition, I typically drive everywhere. One of the flights was before I had top surgery so I was wearing a chest binder then but I have never had a problem, but that doesn’t calm my anxiety about it.