Shmennifer was moving to Texas. I know, I thought it was a little quick too, but who was I to complain about her being right down the street instead of only accessible through a computer screen? Besides, what were you expecting? The U-haul lesbian trope is one of the truest cliches known to man.
She hopped in her SUV and drove down to the Lone Star State with her new teacup chihuahua puppy and whatever fit in her trunk and backseat. This was a thing I would come to learn about Shmenn, moving meant nothing to her. The girl had lived in over a dozen places and she was only 20 years old. If this is a red flag to you readers at home then you’re right, but I was young and dumb and thought her spontaneity was attractive.
The question was, however, what was Shmenn going to do when she settled down in Texas? Go back to school? Well, she wanted to, but her credits didn’t transfer from her preforming arts college and she didn’t want to start all over. Work retail? She tried about two weeks of that at the outlets until she came home crying one day because apparently the store she worked at was full of Regina Georges who peaked in high school and they made fun of Shmenn for being larger than a size 6. So she was left perusing Craigslist ads, and I don’t even remember how she lucked into finding her path in Apartment work but soon she was a leasing agent at a very shady apartment complex right off campus.
*Theme music and opening credits play*
This place was a dump. But the property manager there was a lesbian, whom I had never met. Shmenn was at least amongst our people in this sketchy apartment building.
I will admit that I got weird over the idea of Shmenn staying late with this new gay girl, that she was ALWAYS talking about. It also didn’t help that with a name like Shmavery my brain had cooked up this studmuffin (who says that?) image of what she must look like. I know, I know, I stereotyped the andro name to mean she was some hot boyish thing, and it would come to light that she was really the most femme girl I had ever met and the furthest thing from Shmennifer’s type imaginable.
Shmavery had a girlfriend… boyfriend… partner… who had a lot in common with me gender wise (AKA we both thought gender was bullshit and had been dealt a terrible hand and even more terrible feminine birth names). They invited me and Shmenn over for dinner one night (at the aforementioned shithole apartments) and as me and let’s call him, Shmavis, sat on the porch sipping on beers he informed me that he preferred he/him pronouns and he hoped to transition, and that Shmenn had told him that I felt similarly.
I had never met another person who felt like me. I had only recently discovered the world of YouTube transition videos and had spent nights upon nights doing research about the topic, obsessing over the journeys of other gender non-conforming individuals, and daydreaming about going down that path myself. It explained so much about how I felt about myself. All that aside, I hadn’t broached the topic much with Shmenn, so I was surprised she was telling this guy I had never met that him and I had common “interests.”
Once I got past the feeling of being outed, Shmavis and I hit it off. He was the big brother I never had, and we would become inseparable. Weeks later he told me that Shmenn had made me out to be a total douche-hole, and that him and Shmavery hadn’t wanted to invite me over to dinner at all. I wasn’t sure why Shmenn spoke about me that way to strangers, especially one of whom was her boss, but I was pretty hurt.
I brought it up to her, just vaguely, asking why she had told Shmavis that I was controlling and mean. She insisted she had never said anything like that, so I let it go.
And then the voting incident came up.
Have you ever been lied to about something so minuscule, so bizarre that your brain kind of turns off for a second and is like “there’s no way this person is so weird that they’d make that shit up, right?” Like only pathological liars would lie about their dog’s name, what they’re allergic to, or having sex with Vin Diesel.
It was November and it was the Romney/Obama election, you remember the one I’m talking about. You know…. old white dude running against the first potential black presidential candidate? If you don’t remember what I’m talking about you’re too young to be reading this blog.
Well, Shmenn was a Republican (I know, strike two! What’s strike one you ask? That whole strict Catholicism thing is really a no-go for me. I mean, yikes), and my entire friend group and I (being the young liberal queer artists that we were) were all progressive. Obvi we were pro-Obama (Probama?) and Shmenn couldn’t stand to be around when we watched the debates or had any sort of political discussion.
Election day rolls around and I know she’s going to vote for Romney, and you know what? Who cares! We can disagree and have differing views, that’s fine. But election night we are having dinner and the news is on, keeping up with the polls.
“Did they let you off work to vote?” I asked, genuninely curious.
“Oh yeah, me and a few of the other girls from the office went during lunch.”
“Oh cool! Was there only one precinct? I wasn’t sure, where did you have to go vote?”
“The elementary school, the line was so long!” She seemed believably exasperated.
“Eh, it didn’t take too long when I went. I wish I had read up on some of the smaller issues I had to vote on though, and I have no idea if I voted for the right candidates on most of that stuff.”
“Me neither! I just closed my eyes and circled random names.” She laughed. Oh boy.
“Shmenn… you know that voting is electronic right? Like you can’t just close your eyes and circle things…”
“…Like with a pencil?” I asked.
“Well, yeah, just in case I messed up. I could erase my choice and go back!” Shmenn laughed casually.
“Um… Are you lying about voting? Because, one: I don’t care who you voted for or even if you voted… but two, that’s a fucking bizarre thing to lie about and if you’re gonna be dishonest about something like that then where do you draw the line?” I was a little heated at this point — my “crazy meter” was going off the charts and I was a little scared. Both for myself and for the country if Romney won the election. Could Obama become president? Could me and Shmenn make it through this? Yes we can…maybe.
*Next week on Nobody Scissors, find out the fate of our country and I hop the border*