Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A taxonomy of mankind

Reactions to the plan have been varied, but break down into a small number of distinct groups.

Firstly are those who relate, and a surprising number of them at that, who offer up their own tales of surgery (often cosmetic, though not exclusively) or gender contemplations. Comes with warmth, sympathy, insight, occasionally wistfulness.

They come from the broader pool of support, who run the gamut from reassurance to enthusiasm, and are deeply appreciated. They photograph, discuss, contemplate, encourage, party and generally improve my world, keeping the terrors at bay during the day.

A sizeable number are simply nonplussed, and prefer to fade into the background rather than (I imagine) risk saying something inappropriate, ignorant or profane. I'm deeply grateful, in all honesty - there have been no bad reactions save the below, with every other person being careful not to cause distress.

Last, there are the self-absorbed remnants, whose communication is exclusively about how these things will negatively affect them and their plans. Fortunately, this set is so small as to be almost non-existent, containing but a single person - unfortunately, that single person is my mother.

It's the night before I fly out, tonight's guests have gone home and/or to bed, and I'm terrified.

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