I have done a good job of integrating my two halves (or whatever fraction they actually constitute) for myself while keeping them separate from the rest of the world. I think on the whole that the people we interact with in our day to day lives like to have a simple set of instructions, a users manual if you will, for dealing with each other. I therefore provide the world with a pretty simple set of signals and surfaces to respond to.
I am largely known as helpful neighbor, competent marketing strategist, proud husband, and sometimes even as entertaining raconteur. Other things too, and sometimes no doubt less flattering things, but simple things. Perhaps complex things, but not complicated.
If I was largely known as helpful cross dressing neighbor, competent cross dressing marketing strategist, proud cross dressing husband, or as entertaining cross dressing raconteur it would complicate things. My dimensions would not be broadened, they would be limited. I like having large dimensions. I maintain those dimensions by carefully cloaking Petra. I may be a radical, but I am not a martyr. Thusly, the worlds are kept in separate and simple orbits.
The net result is that the world that I interact with day to day (as far as I know) with the exception of my wife, thinks that beneath my Superman cape, there lurks a Clark Kentish chap. They do not (as far as I know) suspect the presence of a Lois Lane.
But worlds did indeed collide. A dear old friend happened upon this blog and was moved to leave a very warm, accepting and loving comment.
My first reaction upon seeing the comment in my inbox was to look around the room for a defibrillator. The moment passed though, and my heartbeat returned to its usual over caffeinated rhythm. Yes, worlds collide, and it is not such a big deal.
I have friends with teenage kids early in their college years or about to escape from high school. There is a lot of focus and debate on what exactly they should study. I listen to the parents anguishing about the kid who wants to pursue the Arts when clearly a scientific or technical major is the track that leads to success. I tell them not to worry. To my thinking the most vital skills a youngster can acquire are related to how well they choose friends. If you do that well, whatever you wind up doing for a living and for a life will be done reasonably successfully.
I was pretty well into my 20’s before I figured out that I had a talent for choosing friends well. They have made all the difference in my life. My friend who found this blog is a former neighbor who Mrs. B and I met some 15 years ago when I first moved to Atlanta. We were first very causally friendly, and developed over time a genuinely close relationship. He has a house key and knows where the guest room is. At least one of the dogs sleeps with him when he camps out on his periodic trips back to Atlanta. Our friendship has survived car accidents (sorry about that one really), home remodeling projects (thanks!), financial disasters and the lack of maintenance that the long distances between us now allows.
And so the friendship will no doubt survive my cross dressing too I suspect.
We texted back and forth, but have not had a chance for a real talk yet, which I look forward to.
In the meantime, I will use this platform today to tell my friend that he probably has no idea just how highly myself and Mrs. B treasure his friendship.
And if you, dear reader, have had such good fortune as I in your choice of friends, don’t worry about the possibility of people seeing a little flash of lace beneath your cape. There is not so much Kryptonite out there as we fear.