The First Night of the Rest of My Life

2013 was certainly an eventful year for me.  I started things out with a bang.  Sabre and I started dating on January 1st and I couldn't imagine a better way to start the new year.  I never thought I would stand a chance with a woman like Sabre.  Our first date was one of the most memorable nights of my life.  I remember being so incredibly nervous all day.  We had been texting pretty much the entire day.  We took a few hours off to sleep and recover from the night before.  In the wee hours of the morning, I had finally gotten the guts to ask if Sabre would want to go out with me.  It was the first time I'd gotten a date since I started transitioning.  I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to pull it off!

I'm pretty sure I changed my outfit about three times before I actually decided on one.  I wanted everything to be just perfect.  My hands were sweating when I pulled into the driveway.  I showed up at Sabre's house right on time (gotta make a good impression!) with flowers in hand.  I shook her dad's hand and greeted her mom.  Then Sabre came around the corner.  She looked incredible!  I said hello and presented her with the flowers.  I don't even remember what we talked about before we left.  All I remember is thinking, "Don't say anything stupid!"  I hadn't told Sabre where we were going that night because I wanted to surprise her.  Originally, we were going to eat at Legend's.  But I had forgotten that most restaurants were closed for the holiday.  So we went to Olive Garden instead.  

As we got seated, Sabre asked me if I had cheated.  I wasn't exactly sure what she meant so I asked her.  "How did you know Italian is my favorite?  Did you ask Christina?  Because that's cheating!"  I assured her I hadn't asked her best friend for tips on how to impress her (although the thought HAD crossed my mind).  This night was all of my own making.  We talked all through dinner.  I had anticipated that awkward silence that normally accompanies first dates.  Nothing felt awkward about this night, though.  It all felt very right.  I knew before the end of dinner that I wanted to marry this woman.  I knew I didn't want to rush it, but I knew it would happen some day.  The beautiful woman sitting across from me would one day be my wife.  Never did I think, "What if she doesn't WANT to be my wife?"  Somehow, deep in my soul, I knew she was the one.

After dinner, we went to Family Video.  We both really love movies, so we made a rule for the night.  We had to rent movies that neither of us had seen.  Let me tell ya, THAT was a challenge!!  I feel like we spent almost an hour in the store trying to find movies that were new to both of us.  Eventually, we settled on some and went back to Sabre's place.  We popped in the first movie and laid together on the couch.  something about this movie just wasn't quite right.  The menu was in Spanish!  Huh?  Yeah, I picked the movie and it was in Spanish.  To this day, when we see The Odd Life of Timothy Green, we both just burst out laughing!  After that we watched Rock of Ages.  We talked through most of the movie.  We had to skip back to re-watch a few of the scenes.  After we finally finished watching that movie, we put in Brave.  We talked through the entire movie.  By this point, though, we didn't even bother skipping back to see the scenes we missed.  We were just enjoying the conversation.  After we had watched all the movies (or at least played them through), we flipped to the late night TV shows.  What kind of first date includes cartoons?  Well, that would be ours.  I was awesome.  It was wonderful to sit there with Sabre's head in my lap, me playing with her hair, just talking about our lives.  We have so much in common.

We didn't really realize how late it was until Sabre's mom came into the living room the next morning at about 6:00 ready to go to work.  I'm pretty sure I scared the shit out of her.  She wasn't expecting me to still be there!  After a good laugh, her mom went to work and I got ready to face the day.  That's right, I still had to work.  I was an opening kitchen captain at Cane's and had to report to work at 8:00 each morning.  Under normal circumstances, that would make for a LONG day.  But these weren't normal circumstances.  I had just spent the entire night with the most beautiful woman I'd ever met. And she acted like she enjoyed my company!!  I was on cloud nine all day long. I couldn't wipe that goofy-lookin' grin off my face.  And after I had gotten home, taken a shower, and had a little snack, I went back over to Sabre's house for dinner.  Her mom is a fabulous cook!!

From that day to this, Sabre and I have never spent a night apart.  It hasn't been all butterflies and rainbows, but it has been the single most important relationship in my life.  She has taught me how to be a better man.  She taught me that it really is okay to stand up for myself.  She reminded me how to have fun.  We have laughed so much since we've been together, I feel like we should both be sporting six-packs!  I never thought I could be in love with anyone the way I am completely in love with Sabre.  She has my entire heart and will keep it for as long as she will have me.  One day, I will marry this woman.  This beautiful, strong, funny, smart, and sometimes infuriating woman will be my wife.  We laugh, we love, we fight, we get on each other's nerves and I am confident Sabre is tempted to kill me some days.  But, we have made it longer than anyone thought we would have lasted.  

No one thought we would make it out of the "cupcake phase" but we are here.  More than a year later, we are stronger than either of us ever imagined.  We've been through a lot together.  In many ways, we act just like an old, married couple.  We go to bed early and sometimes creak when we wake up.  More than one night a week, our bed smells like IcyHot because our joints feel older than our years.  But we also love like an old, married couple.  We know when to leave each other alone for a while.  We hold each other when we have nightmares.  We divide all the household chores evenly.  We have to work our budget together.  We make up after every single fight, mostly because we know that it didn't have to lead to a fight.  We are learning from each other and learning how to help each other.  There are things that I never would have been able to do without Sabre's support.  I'd like to think there are things that Sabre wouldn't have been able to do without me.  

It is beautiful and complicated, this thing called life.  But having someone to stand by your side makes things much more bearable.  And honestly, much more beautiful.  I've come to admire Sabre and her family.  They are some of the strongest and most loving people I've met.  From day one, they welcomed me into the family.  I'm honored to be a part of this wacky, fun-loving, loud-as-hell family.  And you know what, I think that maybe, just maybe, Sabre might get the opportunity to be a part of my family, too.  But more on that later.  For now, I'm going to put my computer away and just enjoy an evening together with my girlfriend.  Thanks for listening tonight, friends.


A Year in Review

It's been more than a year since I posted a blog.  Once again, this is MUCH longer than I intended.  It has been a very busy time in my life.  I've gone through many changes.  Some good, some difficult, and some have brought me to a place I never thought I would ever see.  So, where to begin?

Since July of 2012, I have changed jobs.  I started working for Sitel in May 2013.  This was a step up from fast food for me.  Sadly, this job is not what I was hoping it would be.  Without getting into all of the details (which, quite frankly, awakens anger in me), let's just say that I don't want to work for a company that allows the things that are happening to just happen without any consequences.  Also, it's very difficult to make a good life for me and my family on the salary there.  So I am looking for a better paying job.  If you are reading this and you need some help in your work place, please let me know.  I am an extremely hard worker with an ability to learn quickly on my feet.  (Why, yes, that WAS a shameless plug for employment!)

The holiday season was very difficult for me in 2012.  That was the first time I spent Thanksgiving away from my family.  Luckily, I had a great church family who kidnapped me and took me away for the weekend.  There is nothing like good food and great friends when you are going through a tough time.  I was very fortunate to have these people in my life for that time.  I owe them a lot for helping me to get through some of the roughest months of my life.  

2012 was also the first time I wasn't at the late service with my parents and my brother on Christmas Eve.  We always went as a family.  It didn't matter how things had gone that year.  We could have been at each other's throats mere hours before the service, but we always made peace for a couple of hours so we could bring in Christmas morning the right way.  Again, I was fortunate to have a wonderful church family to fill the void.  While I knew it wasn't the same, it was a huge relief to be somewhere I knew I would be safe and loved for just the person I was at the time.    I was at all three services at my church that night.  I didn't really feel very much the first two.  But the third service was very hard for me.  It was a candlelight service, just like the one my parents were in just a few miles down the road.  I cried during Communion because I was one of the servers.  In my parents' church, I cannot partake in communion, much less participate as a server.  It is a very beautiful thing to be a part of.  After the service was over, it was just too much.  I had to find a quiet hallway so I could just cry.  It wasn't right.  I was SUPPOSED to be with my family that night!  I couldn't really put into words what was wrong, but that didn't matter.  Three very special people just found me and wrapped me in their arms.  They just held me while I cried.  I don't know what I would have done if those people hadn't been there that night.  Words cannot express my gratitude.  If you are reading this, hopefully you remember that night as well as I do.  I thank you very much.  You three made it bearable to go home and actually sleep on what had been the most painful night of my transition.  Thank you.

There WAS some good that came out of November 2012.  I met the love of my life!  I met Sabre the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  Christina was going by to drop off some gas money because Sabre had taken care of the pets while we were away.  She'd been talking about Sabre for months at this point.  I couldn't wait to meet her.  The first time I saw her, I remember thinking this was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen.  Her smile lit up the room (and still does) and her laugh was contagious.  From that moment, I couldn't stop thinking about her.  I wanted to ask her out, but I was a chicken shit so I didn't do it.  The first time we really got a chance to hang out was on my birthday.  That was a great birthday!!  I got my first birthday cake and got to have lunch with a lot of friends who meant a lot to me.  That afternoon, a group of us got together to go watch Les Mis at the Warren.  Wow, talk about an emotional film!  Although Sabre and I were at the opposite ends of the row, we both remember that day very well.  After the movie, we went to Freddy's for custard.  Sabre and I sat across from each other.  We had both ordered the same thing.  We kept catching each other's eye and looking away.  There was a moment, though, that we looked at each other and I think we knew.  Something happened to me that day.  I knew I HAD to be with this woman.  The next day, I would get such an opportunity.

New Year's Eve was another difficult day for me.  One of the men who was like a grandfather to me had died and his funeral was that day.  The funeral was down in Purcell and I didn't want to go by myself.  Christina volunteered to drive down there with me.  It was very difficult for me to be back in the town where I grew up.  It brought back so many memories and I saw so many people who helped raise me.  Many of the people in that room did not accept that I am transitioning.  They still saw me as that same little girl they helped raise.  My brother was there, he hugged me.  My dad was there, I'm pretty sure he only talked to me because my brother told him to.  My mom was there, she wouldn't even look at me.  Her Sisters tried to convince me to go up to her and talk to her.  I couldn't do it.  The ball was in her court at that point.  I also knew that this funeral was not the place to do it.  I wouldn't bring up that kind of pain in an already painful situation for everyone in my family.  To make that pain a little easier to deal with, Christina and Sabre took me shopping.  You see, I was going out with the two of them and another friend of Christina that night.  I definitely needed an outfit that was as awesome as the women I was driving that night.  

Sabre remembers me being very, very loud that day.  I don't remember that, but that isn't saying much.  I can't really remember a lot of things day-to-day.  After a lot of deliberation, we got the right outfit and we went back to the apartment to just relax until the festivities started.  That was the first time I'd gone out with friends on New Year's Eve.  We didn't leave until late that evening and we tried to go to Bricktown.  That was a mistake.  After a little while of waiting in line, we realized we weren't going to get in to any bar in time for the new year.  So we drove back down to Norman.  We ended up settling on Logan's.  I saw a few people from Purcell there, which was weird.  But all of them were fully supportive, which was good.  It certainly made things much less complicated that night.  I'm not much of a dancer, so I pretty much guarded the purses and drinks.  There were a couple of times the girls pulled me onto the dance floor.  My favorite part was when Sabre taught me a new move (she knows the one).  

We had been talking about finding someone for a New Year's kiss all evening.  Becca wanted a military man, so I wasn't the one for her.  I couldn't kiss Christina because she's like my sister.  That just left Sabre.  And, quite frankly, I was excited!  I wanted to kiss her more than anything!  She looked amazing that night.  I couldn't keep my eyes off of her.  We made flirty passes at each other, but nothing really happened until midnight. I was at the bar about a quarter til, trying to get the girls some drinks before the big moment.  Christina dragged me away and told me to come watch the ball drop.  When midnight struck, I wanted to kiss Sabre, but, again, I was too much of a chicken shit.  Luckily, Sabre wasn't.  She just grabbed me and we shared a quick kiss.  It was my first New Year's kiss.  I was on cloud nine.  When we left the bar, we went back to her mom's house to spend some time with her family.

Well, since I was the only one sober enough to drive, I got elected to make a cigarette run.  Sabre offered to go with me.  Again, I was totally and completely okay with this.  When we got back to the house, we sat in the car for a couple of minutes and just talked.  Long story short, Sabre told me she liked me.  She looked terrified.  I remember thinking, does she really think that I don't like her, too!?  When we got out of the car, I stopped her and I said, "The feeling is mutual."  She looked so relieved.  We stuck around for a little while longer.  Sabre went to bed and I drove the other two girls home.  I was SO happy!!  We texted until 5:30 that morning.

And that's how the rest of 2012 went for me.  More later about how 2013 turned out later.  For now, I must bid you good night.  Thanks for listening.