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  • "Some say your nose,
    Some say your toes,
    But I think it's
    Your Mind"

    -Frank Zappa

    I've got a special sort of relationship with my mother. It's the special sort of relationship that only two truly shallow people can share. It's a business relationship of sorts. Each of our interactions ends in a sort of transaction. All of the questions: about how one relative or another is doing, how school or work is coming along, boyfriends etc--- are there to fill space. They're formalities with which we mask our true intentions.

    In any case, my mother called and we had the longest conversation we've had in years. If you don't think that's ridiculous, here's the basis for her calling:

    She said she was looking through my graduation pictures and saw that I've been right all along--- I do need a certain cosmetic procedure, the one that I've been asking for since I was thirteen. She then said that she'd pay for that procedure if I'd agree to just grow my hair out for the next two years, lose a bit of weight, and basically just try to act like a girl (though the girl part was not stated explicitly).

    That's it. That was the reason she broke our silence after all this time. She thinks that I need a nose job. She told me to grow my hair out as a "compromise" because she thinks that by cutting my hair, gaining weight, and dressing the way I do I've been trying my very hardest to be ugly. She said that it was her sister who noticed my nose in the graduation pictures, and that my poor mother hadn't been able to see it all these years because "every mother thinks her daughter is beautiful". She's so manipulative, so clever, so great at playing upon my insecurities, that I can't help but admire her a bit. She probably justifies using body shaming to control her own offspring by telling herself that this is ultimately for my own good, if she even feels the need to justify it to herself.

    She wants a pretty, straight, female daughter for her facebook pictures: not a chubby boy-girl 'thing'. She will accept nothing short of perfection in herself or anyone connected to her.

    Even though I know that I am the one she is manipulating, I know art when I see it, and in the art of mind games she is a true master.

    And, what was the finale to this masterpiece of manipulation? Eventually (two hours later) I agreed to her terms.

    It's two years of looking into the mirror and seeing something that I am not, seeing a stranger, and then I'll not only get plastic surgery to correct my flaws, but I'll be free to shear off my hair and become the boy that I am again. I didn't tell her this part, of course. I think that she truly believes that I'll change my mind about my gender and grow to love my new found 'femaleness' in two years of faking it. It's a waiting game, and I know that I will win. The science is on my side--- I suppose she thinks that she has god on hers.

    I'm beginning to regret making the deal. Okay, I'm regretting it quite a lot, and one day after the beginning of this haircut moratorium I am getting barber shop withdrawals. But, I'm still confident in my resolve. And, unlike my mother, I'd feel terrible if I was dishonest.
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