Saturday, December 27, 2008

Life in the Twilight Zone

It's official, I'm living in the Twilight Zone. My downstairs neighbor, the one who'd been doing all the loud music and deep base, making my life miserable when I first moved in, knocked on my door tonight. That's not the weird part.

Me: "Is everything okay? I'm not being too loud or anything am I?"

Him: "No, no, not at all, your fine. I never know there's anyone living above me you're so quiet."

Me: "Oh, okay, are you okay?"

Him: "I'm fine, I just have this question I want to ask you without you know, like offending you or anything"

Me: "I'm pretty hard to offend, so go ahead and ask."

Him: "Well, uh, do you like men?"

Me: Laughing "Uh yeah, I'm a pretty normal girl, I like guys, though ever now and then girls can be good too."

Him: "Oh, you're a girl? Like with a thing down there and everything? I wasn't sure if you were a gay guy or a girl cause I only see you in t-shirts and jeans and stuff. So like are you seeing anyone? Do you have a boyfriend?"

Me: [Not one to volunteer personal information to a complete stranger] "Well I used to be married, but my husband died two years ago and I'm still dealing with that."

Him: "Oh. I'm sorry, that must be hard."

Me: "Well, yeah, I'm to young to be a widow. Anything else I can help you with?"

Him: "Uh, no, um thanks. I'm sorry to have bothered you."

Me: "It's okay, have a good night."

Him: "Yeah, you too, and thanks for not being bitchy about my questions. I might be back later..." as he starts walking down the hall to the stairs...

So I'm left here wondering exactly how I went from the strange person living upstairs who complains about his music to being someone he feels like he can ask inappropriate questions of. So I went back to what I was reading and tried to put the whole thing out of my mind.

About fifteen minutes later there's another soft knock on my door. Oh crap, he's back.

Me: "Hi."

Him: "Can I ask you for some advice? Get a woman's perspective on something?"

Me: [Thinking WTFOver?] "Sure, don't know if I can help, but I'll try."

Him: "What do I do if I think my wife is cheating on me? Do I confront her and just come right out and say something or what? I mean why would she? Would she freak if I asked her? How would you uh, like react if your man did that?"

Me: [So totally not what I was expecting] "Well uh, I don't know. First thing you need to do is figure out how you feel about the whole thing, and where you want to go with the relationship. Then I can give you some ideas about what to do next if you'd like. Usually I do couple's counseling with both people in the couple. But I can help you with some ideas of what to do next depending on what you want to do."

Him: "Should I read some books like that Mars and Venus stuff people always talk about?"

Me: "NO!!! John Gray is a hack, he tries to do all the right things for the wrong reason, the wrong ways. In the long run, he'd do more harm than good in my opinion."

So I won't bore y'all with the blow by blow details, but we wound up having about a half hour conversation about it. I'm kinda surprised, amazed, and bemused. Of course when we're finished he had one more question.

Him: "So can I see it? You down there?"

Me: [My first thought was to slap him, instead I said:] "Ah, no, I'm sorry, but I'm not in the habit of showing off my body parts to complete strangers. I mean, if someone else in the building knocked on your door and wanted to see your crotch, would you let them?"

So yeah, it was a night right out of the twilight zone here in Cincinnati. So very, very surreal. I'm just so lucky. I didn't feel any pressing need to complicate things with sharing all the little details of my journey to womanhood, especially since he wasn't asking the right questions. Now if he'd been honestly interested, and seemed like he wanted to learn, and asked the right questions, that would be something else. I'd give him the trans for beginners talk.


alan said...

I don't think Rod Serling could write anything much stranger than that!

I wonder if he was trying to find out if you had noticed anyone about and couldn't bring himself to ask (though he doesn't seem to be too bashful about other things, jeez!)?

I know you are probably cautious, but be doubly so for a while, just for me?

He's probably harmless, but I worry!


Véronique said...

OMG, how old is this guy? Can he see it? That is about as clueless as it gets. And he has a wife? Oy. Maybe you can help enlighten him over time. He seems to need a lot.

You showed a lot of patience, hon.

Samantha said...

He seems mostly harmless, and if not, I know where he lives! No worries, I'm going to be extra careful, because I want to be able to live right here for a bit, and not have to fuss about moving. No worries Alan, I worry enough for all of us... As to Rod Sterling, yeah, he was an amateur. A good one, but still. My life has been all about the line from Hamlet:

"There is more under the heavens and earth my dear Horatio than you have dreamed of in your philosophy."

Which is a long winded way of saying truth is quite often far stranger than fiction. Regrettably my entire life has been a study in that exact thought. People often look at me like I'm from another world when I say transition was one of the easier things I've ever done. Not because it wasn't real, and hard, and everybit as much work as for most people, but because the REST of my life has been so much stranger.

Someone once cursed me to live in interesting times. Next time I see him I'm going to return the favor... Nah, not so much, it's just not in my nature, but it's nice to think about?

Veronique my dear, you are awesome! You are also quite correct, he makes Cher in the movie "Clueless" look like a Rhodes Scholar. As to patience, yeah, it's always been one of my corsses to bear... :-o) I have plenty of that, and often it's landed me in deep trouble.

In this case I couldn't see being mean or harsh, and honestly I have a lot of empathy for him in a way. Having problems with someone you loved enough to make a lifetime commitment to is never easy. Despite him being young (I'm guessing in his twenties) he seems like his heart is in the right place as to his relationship. He's just got some issues with lacking social filters I guess.

Englighten him overtime? You know, I'm not sure. In the past, yeah, I might have been interested in that, but now, I don't know. I'm focused more on living and working on my own life, and things on a different scale. If I can help him grow without it hurting me, okay, I'm good with that...