My wife, Michelle, goes on trips occasionally for her honors society, Phi Theta Kappa. I have never gone with her, mostly because I was uncomfortable with pretending to be a man, so I was panicked among others I didn’t know. But also, because she is around me all the time, I think she should be able to get time away from me with her friends. I never want to be the spouse that smothers or demands all the attention. And people need friend time, why would I ever begrudge her that? But recently, Michelle has been talking more and more about me coming with, despite my reservations of taking away from her time with her friends.
I don’t have a problem meeting people now that I am just myself, I am perfectly comfortable. If I can meet the pizza delivery guy at the door in my lounge dress and no makeup, I can meet people at an event while appropriately attired. My only reservation remained, taking away time or attention from her time with her friends in PTK. We talked the other night, and I realized she was including me because she actually wanted me there, she actually wanted me to meet her friends who she only gets to see once in a great while. I didn’t understand until just then that this was her being comfortable with us, no reservations except my comfort level. I am not always the sharpest tool in the box with all the tools in it.
Her next trip is only two weeks away and the most economical, but I have inventory at work during that time, so it’s not going to work for me. But in March, there is a larger event and it will be a nice trip in a nice hotel. There is a formal dinner, in which I can actually wear a cocktail dress. I have never, in my lifetime, attended a formal dinner as me, I am pretty giddy about this event. I can meet her friends and not just enjoy the weekend-long event, but do something previously entirely unexperienced.
Planning our going to this event with my wife is just fun and I love talking to her about it. She actually looked up dresses she thought I would look good in and that I would like. When we were looking at them, she mentioned that a vintage off shoulder, high/low cocktail dress she had found would work for me because I have nicer legs than hers. You know that feeling you get, kind of a sparkly tingle on the skin when you experience happiness? I got that feeling then, even though she is far too harsh a critic over her legs, everything about her is sexy. I’m not a perfect person, I have insecurities and foibles. That she thinks about my legs at all, much less likes them, that was pretty nice to hear.
We talk about shoes to wear and the things we need for the event. She tells me about how this event has gone before and what I can expect, again, I feel so close to her during these moments. I have struggled to find the right word for how I felt and honestly I found the word “accepted” lacking for some reason. It’s not an emotion I’ve ever encountered, so it’s been difficult to figure out what it was I was feeling. I’m going to use a word I have only ever used to indicate a lack of wartime and never ever for myself, Peace. I am feeling at peace. And if you believe it can’t be a strong feeling, imagine your brain at war with your emotions your entire life and then a moment later it all clicks into place and that war is ended, just gone. Yes, I tend to mull things over too much, I will do so again, but knowing I can find peace that it doesn’t always have to be a struggle, that is a pretty great gift.
So, yeah, I’m looking forward to an event that won’t be happening for five months. Tranquility… just thought of another word for it… going in the title.