The big romantic commemoration known as Valentine’s Day occurred earlier this month, and if you’re a single person like me, the below picture is a probable representation of how your day went:
Yeah, just like that round-headed kid, I didn’t get any valentines this year. As a matter of fact, a day like Valentine’s Day finds me sending more valentines than receiving them. I’m the proud uncle of four nieces, and I’ve always felt a responsibility to express my love, support, and admiration to them on any significant holiday or occasion, regardless of whether or not I can deliver it to them in person. (Valentine’s Day is no exception, which is why each of them received a card from their proud uncle.) Whether my nieces are able to reciprocate that affection through the mail, phone, or whatever doesn’t affect that either; knowing they’ll still shower me with their own love the next time I visit them makes me happy just the same.
While I have blood relatives I can shower affection to, Charlie Brown has always pined for any potential source of love, especially that little red-haired girl; hence, Charlie Brown is the type of kid who’d camp underneath a mailbox all day, waiting longingly, impatiently for a valentine that may never arrive. Unlike Charlie Brown, I never really showed unrequited love toward anyone else when I was younger, and if I did have a crush on someone, I never acted out on those feelings. I
suspect admit that having shy awkwardness, as well as a thin skin and guarded outward attitude–the result of the occasional bouts of teasing and bullying I encountered back then–prevented and/or discouraged me from making any affectionate overtures.
Though I’m not as thin-skinned as an adult as I had been as a youth, my complacency of single life has continued. My male side has never been one to just go up to someone and just say, “Hey, I like you” or even, “You’re pretty cute.” But that’s not to say that I’ve never taken the initiative. (Heck, even Charlie Brown has made at least some effort to woo that little red-haired girl.) I have gone on a few dates, I did have a girlfriend for a year or so when I lived in Green Bay, and I’ve even tried speed dating. The net result, however, is my all-too-single status. No, it’s not fun being single, but I’m used to it; and if I die an old spinster, so be it.
If I ever do go steady with someone (do people still use that term anymore?) and things start go get serious, there’s something that I will have to bring up with him or her–my feminine side as Allison. Just as I’ve never shared my crossdressing side with my family, I never did so with the girlfriend I mentioned in the above paragraph. I dated her during a time when I was still not open about my crossdressing as I am now open about it online (the internet was in its infancy back then). I was living with my sister at that time, which led to making sure my feminine side was covert (i.e. no dressing up in her clothing when she was around). Just as I didn’t want to take chances revealing my dressing-up to my sister, I felt the same way when dealing with my girlfriend. I gauged her to be someone who may not have been understanding about a guy with a girly side, though who knows if it was a false gauging (perhaps she could’ve been accepting; I just didn’t feel it right to consider that possibility).
The intimate phase of the relationship between that girlfriend and I lasted for about a year or so; come to think of it, it may not have been for that long of a period. We went through a brief “just friends” phase after that and eventually fell out of touch. I’m not sure how she’s doing these days, though I like to think she’s still living in the Green Bay area and is married to a wonderful gentleman… with whom she probably shares all her deepest secrets with. I say that because although I did not disclose to her my deeply secret feminine side when the two of us were intimate, she did share one of her own secrets to me. I will not share it here as I promised her when she told me this secret that I would never share it with anyone, not even my family members. Let’s just say it’s a secret that deeply affected her before I ever met her, but it’s also one that, I sincerely hope, hasn’t adversely affected her in the long-term. (I will say it’s also a secret my sister may have suspected at one point, but I never confirmed it with her. Yeah, I’m that good at keeping a secret.)
But, to regain my train of thought, to the likely need to disclose “Allison” to the next person I date…. I think the fact that I am more open and confident about my crossdressing (online, at least), and the fact that I’m in a town (Madison) with a generally open-minded atmosphere leads me to this thought: Should I ever find myself in a serious relationship some day in the future, I will want or probably need to disclose to that woman or man my side as Allison. For sure, I probably won’t blurt out on our first date together, “Oh, by the way, I dress up as a woman.” Rather, what I will seek to do is feel things out with that person: How open-minded is that man or woman? Will that person understand that Allison has been and will always be a part of me, though not a side of me that defines my entire life? Would they perhaps like to see and/or be with Allison? To be succinct, would they support Allison?
Those serious questions about my crossdressing side are ones I must consider if I were to again date someone. Of course, I’ll need to have another steady date (oh, there I go with that antiquated-sounding term again) in order to put those questions into play. When I feel the time is right, I’ll dive back into that dating pool I haven’t been in for so long. Once I find that right woman or man to date and perhaps become intimate with, I’ll take the “go slow” route in regards to disclosing and introducing Allison to them, gauging how that person would be accepting (or, shudder, not) about my feminine side. If things don’t work out between the two of us, well, perhaps another supportive person will be out there who’ll want me to be their valentine; after all, even a lovelorn person such as Charlie Brown has been someone’s valentine.