Bottom’s Up

For this last round of tests, I had to lie bare bottom up. And as I was lying there, waiting for them to aspirate me, Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” came on the radio. It’s true, I got rickrolled.

I laughed out loud in the operating room, which surprised the surgical assistant.  It also got me a shot of dilaudid to add to my xanax and morphine.  I’m not complaining.

In fact, I’m very appreciative that I’ve found humor through all of this.  I do believe laughter is the best medicine.

You know what isn’t the best medicine?  Metronidazole. That stuff is just downright nasty. The taste on your tongue could drive you to drink, but you can’t drink because it can have a disulfiram reaction aka alcohol will make you feel like you are going to die.

I was glad to see the bottom of that pill bottle, let me tell you.  Not only does it mean no more nasty nasty, it also means I might finally be recovered.  I’ll know for sure next week, after my third CT Scan. Hopefully, it will show no more post-operative complications, and allow me to get back to work.

Work would be welcome right now. I’ve been cleared to work from home for 20 hours a week.  Fortunately, my short-term disability will pick up the other 20 hours. Short-term disability is a wonderful thing, and I’m thankful for it.  But the transition from my regular paycheck to partial pay has been rough – especially since I had budgeted to be out of work for only 2 weeks, and I’m on my sixth week now.  The decreased pay and the increased co-pays and prescriptions has made things a tight squeeze.  I’ve come to my bottom dollar in more ways than one.

Yet, I’m still here.  Friends, family, unexpected windfalls, generosity and kindness has abounded beyond measure. And joy, happiness, giddiness and glee.  Legos.  Legos are awesome.  Legos that make lego people fly through the air?  More awesome.

You gotta laugh.  What’s the alternative?  Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down.  Bottom’s Up, world.

Aliens, Poo and Pelvic Activity

So it has been almost a month since my alienectomy.

To say that transition from alien baby carrier (10 inch dermoid cyst firmly attached to my left ovary) to recovery patient of a hysterectomy and partial oophorectomy (left ovary removal) has been an adventure would be odd.

On the one hand, I had a month to plan.  But there are some things you just can’t plan for properly.  For example, I was aware that the surgery would mean that my stomach would hurt for a while and that I would have 3 external incision areas, and one internal incision area.

What I didn’t know was that I wouldn’t be allowed to push when I had to poop.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to do that?  Let me tell you, there is only one way to poop without pushing – and that is called gravity.  I didn’t know that Gravity would win so many Oscar awards, and I certainly didn’t know that it would be my salvation for the past several weeks.

I knew that I would have lots of free time to focus on other things besides work – but I had no idea how much of my time would be spent focusing on pooping.  I took medicines, special home remedies, avoided cheese, got more advice than I knew what to do with, and then combined them all in one historic day I called “The Great Poo Day.”

But pooping has not been my only focus.  In addition to the admonitions not to poop – I was also warned repeatedly that I was to engage in absolutely no pelvic activity of any kind for the next 4-6 weeks. Sadly, I also had no pelvic activity for several months leading up to the surgery, so one would think I would be rather used to this.

What I was not used to was how much sex fills our lives every day.  Even though I have avoided pelvic activity – I can not seem to escape sex.  I can’t watch love stories, crime stories, comedy shows – I find myself hiding behind cooking shows and the Disney channel – and even those seem to work it in.  And trust me, I know Mickey Mouse’s “Hot Diggety Dog” dance way better than I should (and am a little too attracted to the way Minnie Mouse dances.)

Pooping and Pelvic Activity keep me amused and entertained – and also helped distract me from the real stuff – like the loneliness and the pain and the fear.

Let me preface by saying that I have the most amazing friends. They have surrounded me with love and caring and free slave labor. I would not survive without them.  But there is still those moments when you are lying in bed or half-naked in an exam room or even trying to wash yourself in the shower when the loneliness just hits you.  I miss cuddling – just having someone I know and trust to spoon me and stroke my hair and just breathe with me.

I’m not the only single person out there, I’m not the only one that feels this aloneness – and I acknowledge that.  But it doesn’t mean it doesn’t suck sometimes.

My recovery has not been as smooth as we planned.  I’ve had side effects like random bleeding that have caused me to go back for additional tests and procedures.  I found out that I had cancer after it was already gone – a circus of highs and lows, portent and relief and intimidation.  Now I’m dealing with an unknown post-operative mass that may just be blood, or could be an infection.  My diabetes adds further complications that could hinder my recovery if it is an infection.  Today I go in for another procedure to sample the mass so the doctors can figure out what we are dealing with.

So what’s a girl to do?  Face the challenges that come – try to distract myself when I can – and blog a little to let you know what is happening.

I’ll try to keep you posted – I’ll try to get back to the business of posting crazy dating stuff – but for now – thanks for reading.


On Pregnancy Tests

On Monday. I took my final pregnancy test.

“We’re required to do one whenever we are doing surgery”, the nurse explained.

The irony of a pregnancy test prior to a hysterectomy was not lost on me.

It just goes to show,” my friend Mombie texted, “There have been enough malpractices for performing hysterectomies on pregnant patients.”

Other than the 10cm dermoid that has attached itself to my left ovary (which I have nicknamed my alien baby) – pregnant is one of those things I have never been.

I remember buying pregnancy tests when I thought my husband and I would try for a baby. The box sat on the shelf haunting me as months went by and nothing worth testing was happening. I remember my less-than-joking conversations about him just putting some in a cup and I would use a turkey baster.

I remember discussing infertility options with my friends in couples class through our church. Our small group soon got divided as we became the haves and the have nots. Those of us who were childless started to feel like the kids who got held back and it was hard to deal with the depression of those around me who were trying so hard and yet were left without.

I knew what my problem was, as my marriage was rocky and lacked the intimacy required to even get the process started. But my heart ached for my other friends.

We looked briefly at becoming foster parents, but I realized in my heart that my husband would not be the kind of father I would want for any child – he had too many anger issues to provide a safe and stable environment. (It took me several years to realize that if the situation was not mentally healthy for a child, it was probably not healthy for me either, but I did wise up eventually.)

After my marriage ended, getting pregnant meant something different. I remember the first time that I thought I might be pregnant – the rush of emotions as I tried to figure out what I would do if I was. I had just started rebuilding my life, and the thought of being responsible for another being scared me so much.

I don’t know what it feels like to have a line turn blue, or show a plus sign, or flash “pregnant” and now I never will. I wouldn’t say I’m sad, nor would I say I’m euphoric. I’m more thoughtfully respectful that an aspect of possibility is now being laid to rest.

Phantom Loss

“I don’t need a uterus to have kids in my life,” I declared. “I’ve got 15 nieces and nephews; I’ve got a roommate that is young enough to be my son, I run a charity event for non-profit that deals with foster kids and adoption. If I decide I want a child, I think I can figure something out.”

It’s not the first time I’ve said it in the past few weeks, but this time I was saying it to my HR contact at work. I’m scheduled to have a hysterectomy at the end of the month, and am trying to work out how soon I can get back to work and off short-term disability. It’s not so much that I’m a workaholic, but I’m not really interested in dropping to 70% of my current salary.

“Don’t rush your recovery,” she cautioned. “Even if you physically recover, there is an emotional toll that overcomes you once your uterus and ovaries are removed. A lot of women don’t anticipate the grief of giving up motherhood as an option until it’s already gone.”

I understood what she was saying, but deciding whether or not to have kids was a decision I had to make back 7 years ago and I feel like I did my grieving then.

I had gone in for a routine check-up. The nurse practitioner was taking the normal vitals: height, weight, blood pressure. She took my blood pressure twice, actually, and then left the room – quickly returning with a crash cart and telling me to relax, which only made me more nervous. My blood pressure was 171/118. I looked at them confused – I felt the way I always felt. But evidently this wasn’t good.

As the nurse practitioner prescribed the much-needed medication to get it back in to the safety zone, she asked me if I wanted to have children. Because this med and pregnancy could not mix. I cried. Not that I wanted to get pregnant, but that the choice was being taken away from me. My life was in a place where nothing was certain – everything was in flux, and I just broke down for a bit there in the doctor’s office.

Yes, ma’am. I had already done my grieving. I was able to joke with the HR contact, convince her I was fine, and we got off the phone both laughing.

Later that night, a voice on the TV caught my attention. This psychologist was talking on a news show about having a mastectomy.

“My friends told me I would go through a mourning period, but I just brushed them off. My femininity was not defined by my breasts; I didn’t need them to feel empowered. I had counseled people in the past through their post-surgical depression; I knew what would happen and knew I would be fine.

And then I woke up, and my breast was gone, and I mourned.”

So now I wonder if maybe I’m wrong. I really don’t expect to be sad about it – I’ve kind of gotten a Spartan attitude about my body parts – get rid of it if it’s causing a fuss. On the other hand, not having my own children has allowed me to focus on so many other things I wouldn’t have time for: rescue dogs, charity events, The Geeks, etc.

But I don’t mean to dismiss it all so quickly. I can understand that feeling of phantom loss like when a soldier loses his leg, but still feels the pain or like the leg is still there. I just can’t focus on that. It’s counter-productive to where I’m heading.

Forward march.

In Case of Emergency

Lately, I’ve been dealing with an avalanche of medical issues. It’s tough to admit when you are physically falling apart. As I’ve been wending my way through the myriad of doctor’s visits and consultations, I go through the normal rigmarole: name, rank, serial number.

All my visits have been in network, so once you update your information, it generally updates across the board instantly. After a day of several appointments and referrals, I found myself just nodding along absentmindedly as they rattled everything off. Until the last appointment of the day, when surprisingly they still had my ex-boyfriend listed as my emergency contact.

“Umm, no – wait – that’s wrong,” I stammered. “He’s no longer, I mean, well . . . let me give you my mother’s name.”

I flashed back to three years ago, the last time I had been at this medical facility. I had felt some shooting pain in my chest and left arm and just couldn’t sleep. Although I was fairly confident I wasn’t having a heart attack – I didn’t relish the idea of just ignoring it and waking up dead.

My sleepy headed boyfriend answered my late-night call and agreed to meet me at the ER. I tiptoed past my sleeping roommate’s bedroom and drove myself over. After being given some powerful drugs and being reassured I was going to survive, my boyfriend drove me in his car back to his place and took care of me.

It’s nice having someone like that – someone that will just be there for you – even if it means getting out of a warm bed into a cold car. He was also good at asking questions, researching options, and knew me well enough to just take control and make the decisions.

I would be lying to say I don’t miss that.

Now, my emergency contact is my mother: someone I love dearly, but who lives over two hours away and approaches life differently than I do. I’m the Mary to her Martha; the cricket to her ant. We do not agree on so many things, and yet, who else do I choose? I don’t have the kind of relationship with any other nearby family member where I would trust that my desires would be respected.

I have many good friends who live close by, and they have all been kind and asked how they can help. It’s what you do but how often do you really take someone up on it? (I’ve suggested that there are always dirty dishes and laundry – everyone finds that very funny. Frankly, so do I, but one can dream.)

My young roommate and Rocker have both gone with me on some of my appointments, and have run trips to get meds and milk (I’m addicted to milk, I swear) and held my hand. But a friend should not take on the immense burden of being your “In Case of Emergency,” especially when that is not just a vaguely possible perhaps. I mean, I’ve got stuff happening here and now. Being an “In Case of Emergency” requires a level of commitment that only a very close friend could even begin to handle.

This is where we as single girls must put on our big girl pants and just have to do it ourselves. Sure, I share and ask advice and get comfort – but these are my decisions and life choices – good and bad – and I have to make them, not rely on others.

It’s tough being a grown-up.

This morning I was chatting with a friend at work. Her dog that she has had for 16 plus years was recently, mercifully put down. She didn’t want to talk about it. The tears welled up in her eyes anyway.

Now,” she whispered, “I have to admit that I really am living alone.

I hugged her.

“I have a lovely gay roommate you can borrow,” I told her.

It made her laugh but then we both fell silent. No matter how many friends you have, and how social you are, the fact that sometimes you have to go it alone doesn’t change. Even when someone shares your home, it’s not the same as someone who shares your bed.

I’m not afraid to be alone. I’ve chosen to be single when I’ve had other options, more than once. It’s not the times that things are easy, but when things are tough, that you grow stronger. You have to become strong to make it – we can’t be coddled through and expect to survive.

Just don’t shut me out,” Rocker tells me. “I respect that you are dealing with this on your own, but don’t assume that just because I hold back I don’t care. I still want to know what’s going on.”

I appreciate that. Trust me, I’m not the big brave girl. I would much rather be the little girl in the big, comfy bed – telling someone else what is hurting and letting them fix it. It’s just not an option right now.

I remember as a child listening to radio personality Paul Harvey tell the story of Florence Nightingale – crusader of modern nursing. How she left her own sickbed for three years to take care of wounded soldiers in the Crimean War. When the war was over, she went back to her sickbed and letting others care for her.

Whether that version is true or not, I’m not sure. But I think about it a lot. How sometimes, we just have to get up and do, and not expect others to do for you. We got to be our own best emergency contact.

Just do me a favor. In case of emergency, please don’t break me.

The Unwrapped Present

Dodger and I had been dating about a month – we started the day after Thanksgiving. We had moved quickly – the adrenalin rush of a new crush that felt like champagne bubbles in your brain.

I had met his parents, even slept each weekend in his parents’ guest room (he was slightly old-fashioned, but they lived next door – so no major travel issues). He texted and called several times – wanting to be part of everything in my world.

Dodger had a small son, and was strapped for cash, so I had pulled in some favors and raided the prize closet at the radio station where I worked and was able to get some great gifts for him to give including a Phat poster that cost over $100 and some video games. His son was coming for 2 weeks to visit, so I knew our time together would be limited.

My mother went back to New England for Christmas, but I had to work, so I was going to be alone for Christmas. Dodge promised to come down after church on Sunday and would stay with me through Christmas Eve Monday.

I took my time and made a special dinner – and had it ready for the normal time he would arrive. I wrapped up some extra presents I had bought for Dodger – hand-picked out because money was tight, and I had shopped carefully to stretch my funds.

He arrived 3 hours late with no apologies, and I did my best to re-heat the now cold and soggy meal. He crashed in the middle of my queen-sized bed leaving me balancing precariously on the edge – over it in fact, as the rolled edge of the mattress made an angry red indent up the side of my body.

I woke up early and made eggs and pancakes and sausages, which he sniffed suspiciously. His eyes only lit up when I brought out the presents. I gave him first the gifts for his son. He looked at each one greedily, but seemed disappointed when they stopped coming. Then I gave him the 3 gifts I could get for him. One was a DVD he had said he wanted, and said “I’ll wait and watch this with my son!” – the next 2 he asked if he could return for something else for his son. I told him where I got them (he was annoyed I had not kept the receipts) and then he got dressed and got ready to leave.

I was surprised. “I thought we were going to spend the day together? Your son isn’t coming until tonight and you arrived so late yesterday . . .”

He made no apologies. “Sorry, babe – it’s Christmas Eve and I’ve got so much to do, I just can’t stay.”

Then he was gone and I was alone. It was only after he left and I was cleaning up the dishes that I realized he hadn’t even gotten me a card or said thank you. The evening was quiet – I drank a little wine, watched a little TV, killed some monsters online. I went to bed alone and awoke to a quiet house.

Fortunately, my job that year involved meeting the radio and TV crews as we handed a needy family a check for $1,000 dollars. It kind of put everything in perspective. As I drove home, I thought back on what I had and didn’t have; what I did and didn’t need. I sat down and re-read the list I had made of what I wanted in a relationship. It was like knowing who is naughty or nice. My decision was easy.

Two days later he called me. “Hey Babe . . .” he began.

I stopped him, and thanked him for the present he gave me. He was very confused. “I want to thank you – I was a little blinded at first, but I’ve realized you are just not what I need.”

“Are you. . . “He stuttered. “Are you breaking up with me?”

I thanked him again, and assured him that I was. He was dumbfounded.

I’ll call you in a few days after you have thought this over,” he informed me.

Sliced bread, meet Dodger.

He did call, a few days before New Year’s. I assured him I was starting the New Year as a free agent, and after he made sure I knew what I was doing a few times, he hung up.

I later found out that he had a date the next day, and that they did the same whirlwind courtship. In fact, he was a serial dater. I think he was an adrenalin junkie, in it for the rush, but not the long haul.

It would be nice to say that soon after breaking up with Dodger, I met the man of my dreams. I didn’t. I did eventually meet someone that brought out some of the best in me, and lead me to the path where I am today. Had I not broken up with Dodger, I would have missed some amazing steps in my journey. Sometimes reality is a great present – and no one even had to wrap it.

“So you guys dated, huh?”

I nod.

“Wow, I can’t picture you guys together.”

It’s a statement I’ve heard a few times. The Geek world tends to run in small circles, so it’s not uncommon to run in to ex-boyfriends or dating partners. My goal is always that if we liked each other enough to start dating, we can like each other enough to be friends or at least friendly acquaintances when we stop dating. I don’t need to be their best friend; I just don’t want to be their sworn enemy because we weren’t ultimately a good fit.

It’s easy to pick out the things that didn’t work when talking about past loves. It’s easy to make the other person the enemy or the fool. But the truth is, there was something good and attractive that started the whole thing off in the first place.

The way he smiled at me when I was feeling alone. The way he made me feel beautiful when I really needed to be attractive to someone. The emails he sent that gave me something to look forward to, that inspired me to be witty and whimsical when I replied. The help he gave me when I just wanted someone else to take over for a while.

Even though he may have been the wrong one, each one did enough of the right stuff to get my attention. Sometimes that’s enough to give things a try. Hopefully, I was someone who gave as good as I got – that made the world a little brighter for a while.

I admit it. I like happy endings. I want people to see me and smile; I want to see someone from my past dating life and feel like I can walk up and give them a hug. I want us to be able to be real with each other and encourage each other as we look for new things.

Thomas Edison is quoted as saying, “If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is often a step forward….”

I strive (even if I don’t always succeed) to view past relationships that way. Each wrong relationship shows me what does and doesn’t work for me; what I can and cannot contribute. And each wrong relationship was made up of two people, both who crave and deserve love.

So yeah, maybe to the outside world, our union doesn’t make sense. But for us, for a short time, it did. And I’m grateful for the good things each one gave us.

A Ronulan Tale: Cowboy Slim

Ron is a real person who dated my sister. A Ronulan is someone who possesses Ron-like qualities. A Ronduh is someone who is dumb enough to put up with them. Here’s today’s story – Happy Ronday!

It had been a long several days. My old car had died and my replacement car had started acting up with some of the same symptoms. After days of frantic phone calls, mixed messages, and a few tears, I was done. D-O-N-E. Done.

But finally my new car had been repaired and picked up, and my boyfriend and I had decided to grab dinner at the Cracker Barrel next door before heading to our homes to crash. We loved Cracker Barrel but this was not a normal night. Tonight was “Rising Star” night (evidently) – as none of our normal waitresses were on site and the folks who were there were all wearing aprons without names on them, or only 1 or 2 stars. (The more stars, the better the waitstaff, or at least the longer they had been there. New staff have “Rising Star” sewn on their aprons while they wait for their personalized aprons to arrive). One 3 star waitress was frantically overseeing the crew.

Our waiter for the evening was Cowboy Slim. He was a grizzly, lean older fellow with bowed legs like he had been riding too long in the saddle. He had a cock-eyed grin when he greeted us as if he wasn’t quite sure he understood our cityslicker English, but he was sure going to try. He took our drink order (2 waters) and then ambled off. We noticed him pushing in some chairs and straightening some tables on his way and then twenty minutes passed.

The frazzled 3-star waitress noticed us and came by in exasperation and said, “Has nobody waited on you YET?”

We let her know that someone took our order for 2 waters but that nobody had been by in quite some time. She shook her head and said, “I will get you help – I’m so, so sorry.”

Less than 2 minutes later a beautiful metrosexual black man approached our table. He was tall, lean, with a starch crispness to both his outfit and his demeanor. As he elegantly placed each water glass in front of us, he stated, “I don’t know who your waiter was before, but I am here now and I will take care of you.”

With a flourish he took out his order pad and pencil, and I just felt this wave of relief wash over me. Now things would be better.

And that’s when I spotted our Cowboy Slim sidewinding back up the aisle towards us and wrassling our beautiful waiter out of our way. “These are my folks,” he said, “I’se gots ‘em.”

Our waiter glided away with a shrug and I wanted to shout after him to come back – but it was too late. He was gone.

We placed our orders with Cowboy Slim, and when he asked us if we wanted cornbread or biscuits, I hesitated. I have celiac’s disease, so the biscuits are a no-no. But my boyfriend likes the biscuits, so usually we ask that they put my biscuits with his. Slowly, I explained to Slim that I wanted the biscuits, but on a separate plate so my boyfriend could eat them. I stressed that the biscuits can’t go on my plate, that if they touched my food it would be cross-contaminated and I wouldn’t be able to eat it.

Slim nodded his head and with a hitch in his walk headed purposefully towards the kitchen. When he finally returned, he held his tray aloft like it won first prize at the county fair. He set my plate first in front of me, and then my boyfriend’s in front of him.

Finally, he held aloft an enormous platter.

“Now, little lady,” he began. “I listened carefully to whatcha said about them biscuits not touching cuz you were allergic. So I think you will like what I have done.”

And with that he placed the platter on our table – with one biscuit in each of the 4 corners of the platter.

I looked at him out of the corner of my eye, hoping he was joking. But he was serious and plum tickled with how clever he was.

I didn’t have the heart to explain to him that pull-apart biscuits didn’t magically become non-allergic because you pulled them apart from each other. And quite frankly, it was all I could to do not to burst out laughing or crying. So I just avoided eye contact, thanked him, and waited until he left before looking at my boyfriend. And then we both started suppressing our laughter so hard, the tears ran down our face.

There are just no other words.

Fumbling Towards Ecstasy

He contacted me again.

We’ve been broken up for a year, and yet he still is part of my thoughts. Some thoughts are kind, some . . . well, not so much. Sometimes I want to hate him, but what does that solve?

Today wasn’t one of those days. No, today he messaged me to say he found a few more things of mine as he was packing up his house to sell it. I waited for the usual adrenalin surge of anxiety– a normally crashing wave that retreats quickly but leaves me feeling the effects for hours after.

This time? Nothing. A mild curiosity of what other things may have been found. A little bit of a desire to text back and say, “wow, all these changes you said you would never make – and you made them all in a year.” But that would serve no beneficial purpose, and I’m better than that (or at least will continue to pretend to be until it’s true – “fake it till you make it” style.)

When I first realized that I wasn’t all aghast, I mused that it could be because I have someone who makes me happy right now. I’ve actually been very fortunate – each time he has contacted me, I’ve had, for however briefly, a potential romantic someone in my life. But I think it’s more than that.

I love the title of Sarah McLachlan’s album “Fumbling Towards Ecstasy.” I just love that phrase. Fumbling towards Ecstasy.

I fumble for the bathroom every morning. Contacts stuck to my eyeballs, toes trying to avoid stubbing themselves on random shoes and clothes on the floor, fingers trying to find the light switch, hoping to make my destination before it’s too late. Fumbling, stumbling, eyes half-opened, trying not to fall. Unsure, trying to get there, lacking confidence or knowledge of the perfect path.

Well, that’s me in a nutshell. I’m a great fumbler. But to fumble towards ecstasy – well, that means that you are moving towards a positive. And although you might have to deal with some dirty laundry along the way, you are moving forward, trending in the right direction. Willing to reach out and feel it, knowing you might touch something you don’t want to in order to find something you do.

I don’t know what exactly I’ve found yet. But the closer I get, the warmer the sun feels, the sweeter the birds’ song in my ear. It could just be a rest area on the journey – but some rest areas have the best scenic views, don’t they?

A lot of my friends have been posting things they are thankful for this month. Well, this is one of mine. I’m thankful that today, I’m fumbling forward with good things ahead.

Dear Joey:

When do you think is the best time to give a potential boyfriend bad news?

Say you have to tell him you’re bipolar, or that you have an STD, that you’re on parole, or that you’ve have gender reassignment surgery. (Or something!)

Do you tell him before he gets to know you so that if he rejects you it doesn’t hurt as much and you didn’t waste as much time?

Or do you wait until you guys know each other better and then he may like you more and be less likely to reject you based on only a single piece of information?

I mean, for 2 of those scenarios, obviously you need to tell them before you have sex, but in general, is there a point at which it’s either too soon and not soon enough?

Potential Girlfriend

Dear Potential:

Great question!

Before I get in to what my thoughts are (your miles may vary) – I want to first point out that you have two different sets of information detailed here: things you’ve done, and things you are.

Things you’ve done that may be affecting you now are potentially bad news that may reflect negatively against you. In your examples, I would put the parole part right up there. The STD might fall there as well, depending on how you contracted it.

Things you are would definitely include being bipolar and being transgender. For the record, I would not count either of these as “bad news” – just facts. You are who you are are.

But I understand this is Earth, not Utopia, and people may react differently to you once they know these things. So instead of “bad news” – I think we need to discuss these as potential dealbreakers.

That being said, I wish there was a mathematical formula I could give on when the right time is to talk about stuff that could be troublesome, but there currently just isn’t. (I’m sure someone is trying to work on the algorithm, but for now we are just going to have to muddle through this.)

The Golden Rule of “do unto others” comes to mind. When would you want someone to tell you?

I tend to like the 3 date rule as a general baseline. Typically, the third date is symbolic for when you get more intimate with someone. The first date you are nervous and just trying to see if you get along. The second date you are checking out if this potential chemistry is a fluke, or if the lack of chemistry was due to nerves. By the third date, you are starting to see that this is going somewhere, but instead of just making this a physical mile-marker, make it a true intimacy moment and talk about who you are beyond liking baseball and thinking Kirk is better than Picard (or vice versa).

Things like the STD has a medical impact on your potential partner – you need to discuss it before sex, like you said. And if you are pre-op Transgender, that might be a bit of a surprise if you don’t discuss it before the clothes come off.

Any medical condition: being bipolar, having cancer, being allergic to bees – these are things you need to discuss if you are going to be in position where people around you may have to react. If you are going to spend the night or the weekend with someone, they need to understand that you have medication that you have to take, that you have appointments you have to go to, that you have an epi pen in purse.

But in reality, timing is something you have to figure out for yourself. What impact will revealing these things about you have on your ability to date? Is not telling someone going to prevent you from being yourself on a date because you are afraid of rejection? Then go ahead and get it out of the way – it may seem “too soon” to other people, but you are not other people – and you have to do what’s best for you. If someone will run after hearing that, it gets it out of the way.

As for other bad stuff in your past, like having gone through bankruptcy, or being a former nun or drug addict – I say, take that as it affects the relationship. This might not need to come up by the third date, but it definitely needs to be addressed before the 90 day rule – especially if the relationship has gone past casual dating to something potentially long term.

Again, just think about when you would want someone to tell you those things and use your best judgment. And remember that who you are is never bad news –it just might not be the right fit for someone unworthy of you.

Wishing you love and happiness –


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