Category: letters

Lookin’ for a newer model

By , May 2, 2010 7:22 pm

I'd sort of like to BE the girl, IN the car. And we'd both have rustproofing.

My stomach has continued to bother me on and off for the last few weeks, and today a friend asked how I was doing.

HIM: How’re you? And your tummy?

ME: I’d like to trade this body in. I can do 10% down and $399 a month for a new model.

HIM: Yeah, but for $399 a month you can only get B-cups. C-cups cost an extra $50 a month. Especially if you want rustproofing.

My question now: What part needs rustproofing?!

A response to “from dad, to dad”

By , August 5, 2008 2:06 pm

In a comment to this post, M wrote:

Your relationship with your dad confuses me. When he’s not supportive you get mad at him, when he is supportive you get mad at him.

I know I’m the outside looking in, but I think you took his email the wrong way. I think he was trying to show you that he’s getting his act together and wants to be there to support you, and that never again will he let you down.

I don’t think he was implying that without him you’ve been alone.

I think that you’re right, my relationship with my dad is a little ridiculous right now. When he’s not supportive I get upset, and when I think he’s either being ignorantly supportive or self-centeredly supportive, I get upset. That said, I’m conciously trying to restructure the relationship and not cut him the slack I feel I have been. My therapist and I have talked a lot about my relationship with my dad (tres cliche, I know) and we’ve been very satisfied with a ‘status quo, don’t rock the boat’ relationship.

Well, I don’t want that kind of relationship with him anymore, if I ever really did. So I am giving him a hard time, hopefully to get our relationship to a place where I feel more comfortable interacting and spending time with him.


PS – He replied saying, basically, “change ‘alone’ to ‘without my support'”, to which I replied thanking him for his support because it does mean a lot. I’m not trying to scare him away or hurt him when he tries to be supportive, but I’m also not trying to let him off easily when he’s saying something I think isn’t fully thought out.

From dad; to dad

By , August 2, 2008 6:53 am

My dad (both my parents, actually) came to see my performance at the end of the week-long workshop, and he sent me this email a day later:

I have to tell you that I was extraordinally impressed by the quality of all of the performances, including yours. More than that, however, I was moved almost to tears by your words as well as your acting, both of which obviously came from deep within you. I am truly sorry that you have had to shoulder your pain and anguish alone for all these years. But never alone again. I love you very much. Dad

I know our communication is a bit strained right now, but the lines “I am truly sorry that you have had to shoulder your pain and anguish alone for all these years. But never alone again.” really struck a nerve on how he sees my identity as trans and how I’ve dealt with it. I sent him the following response:

Continue reading 'From dad; to dad'»

Postmarked March 6, 1945 – Italy to Chicago

By , July 12, 2008 8:51 pm

Kay Graw
APO 0394
co Postmaster
New York, NY

Mrs. B Graw

4707 N Central Park Ave
Chicago V5, Illinois

Postmarked 4/6/1945

Dear Mother –

By the time this reaches you, you will have received word of my arrival through UNRRA but we are now stopped at a port on the way to our final destination and I can send mail so I did want to get some word off to you. Harry must have told you when he got home of my preparation for departure and I know you will unterstand why I couldn’t give you any more information. It was wonderful being in New York with Harry if only for a few days and we sailed the Sunday after he left.

All six of us have been thanking our lucky stars every day for the luck we’ve had on this trip. The boat is a French boat, the cook is French, the food is French and abundant beyond our highest deams. And just to add the final perfect touch there were a dozen French flyers and a dozen navy officers (French also) on the trip so that there were always at least two and a half men for every woman on board. One of the French flyers I took permenant possession and enjoyed a wonderful romance across the ocean. If I can pack him into my musette(?) back I shall bring him back to America with me. We had briliant sunshine all but two of the 18 days of the trip and never a rough enough sea to make anyone seasick or spoil anyone’s appetite. There were only about 40 passengers on board so thqat we all came to know each other very well. Continue reading 'Postmarked March 6, 1945 – Italy to Chicago'»

April 29, 1965

By , July 3, 2008 1:34 am


Dear Mary –

First and foremost – Thank you very much for writing at length and without pulling any puches. It means that there’s no risk of our ever skewing(?) about not understanding or arguing with each other. Next best thing to being able to sit and talk out with each other any ideas we may have, is to be able to count on each other being open and straightforward with each other.

You are, of course, absolutely right about our agreeing in principle about the desirability of people keeping each other. And I agree with you whole heartedly that keeping one another has nothing to do with money. It has to do with caring about each other. And I don’t for a moment doubt your sympathy with Lillian Brown. What I do belive – and this is surely what I meant – is that one has no right to interfere in the way another person is living unless one is ready to accept the consequences of that interference. Let me confess first that I know very little about the kind of person Lillian is apart from what I’ve gathered from you and mother and Mary Tole(?). I do remember Uncle’s attitude about his daughter and his son years ago, the ????? of and and he(?) set up for their leh avion(?). The daughter was to be sheltered and kept out of the world, the sons to be given absolute freedom. I had never heard anything to suggest, as you do in your letter, that Lillian was at risk of becoming a gratitude. My impression of her was that she was too retarded in her personal relation rather than that she was too bold. But whatever her problems, if she decided on the strength of your well-intentioned advice to just ????? up and come to Chicago! To try to make a new life for herself, would you be willing to have her come stay with you? Perhaps you would, but if you did I’d be both surprised and sorry. Because I think that would be a greater responsibility than you should have to assume for her welfare – unless she means a great deal more to you than I assumed. Continue reading 'April 29, 1965'»

June 20, 1945 – Italy to Chicago

By , June 27, 2008 4:50 am

Note: The UNRRA, the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, was formed in late 1943 to “provide relief to areas liberated from the Axis powers after World War II” (from Wikipedia). I think it’s pretty badass that my great aunt – my mom’s aunt – was helping in Italy after WWII. Since this letter was handwritten in cursive, I wasn’t able to figure out every word and have noted ???s where I wasn’t sure of a word and (?)s where I was pretty sure but not positive of a word.

Kay Graw
UNRRA (Italian Mission)
APO 394
c/o P.M., New York

Mrs B. Graw
4707 N.  XXXXX
Chicago V5, Illinois

20 June 1945

Dear Mother:

My traveling days have continued and there seems to be little likelihood of any change soon. By the end of this week I ought to be traveling into northern Italy with Dr Weber and Lacy(?) Rahon(?) for a week or two at beach and ???? more. We will be going in connection with a group of about 20 who will be working in the refuge camps up north – by the time we get back I should know what my next assignment is as we have been training Italians to ????? us here. As Jared is now at Bari in southern Italy checking up on the ???? assignment in Yugoslavia. Continue reading 'June 20, 1945 – Italy to Chicago'»

15 April 1961, Ceylon to Chicago

By , June 25, 2008 4:03 am

My mom just gave me a box of letters to and from (mostly to) her mom, my grandmother. I’m going to try and transcribe them (slowwwwwwly) and post them as I do. The only change I’m making is inserting some paragraphs for readability, as apparently Gert (my great aunt, and the author of this letter) wasn’t a huge fan of them – the original had only two huge paragraphs.

15 April 1961

Dear Mary,

You really are extraordinary. Or just a moment. No, I just see that your card for my birthday was posted on 10 March, it arrived today, so I can’t blame you for not answering my last letter in it. But it was good to have even so belated a note from you and so uncommunicative a one. Did you receive from Delhi a set of table mats? A set I sent to Eleanore at the same time reacher her. Did Bonnie receive from Geneva a gold bangle of an Egyptian head for her charm bracelet? If not, please let me know so I can start inquiries. Especially as I shall have to stop in Geneva after I leave here, which I still hope will be toward the end of May. Did you get my letter asking you to send off my suitcase and did you send it?

Now for you. I’m glad you’ve finally faced that issue of separation. Now, to put it bluntly, try to forget the past or at least not remember it with bitterness. You can’t do anything more about it, but you can do a lot about the future. You’ve probably already realized that it doesn’t matter a fig what anybody thinks about Eddie not living at home, so that you might just as well have ignored “public opinion” all these years. But don’t waste your time regretting not having done it before. As long as you feel you’ve done right, and I’m sure Bonnie is both old enough and wise enough to be able to love you both without any sense of conflict or disloyalty, as long as you are wise about it and don’t demand proof from her that she approves of the seperation. What you must be prepared for is the possibility that you may have to live at a slightly lower standard of living if Eddie’s not at home, but you now know that you can support yourself and if you aren’t willing to pay that price for your freedom from the frustration and bitterness and discontent of the past years then you don’t really want it very badly.

As I’ve no doubt told you before, because it always seems to important to me, maturity is having to make choices between alternatives, each alternative having some advantages and some disadvantages. Children never understand why they should have to give up anything in order to have something else; grown ups should know how to make the choice and to live with it. You’ve wished for my birthday that I may continue to go through life doing the things I want to do. You might just think for a moment that I make up my mind each time by considering the alternative costs and deciding what I’m ready to pay or sacrifice in order to do something I want to do. Sometimes one gives up something else one wants to do, or chooses to do the least unpleasant of two unpleasant things. But it’s being able to choose that differentiates us from animals. Now let’s see what you decide to do with what you’ve chosen. Don’t worry about happiness. It’s not something one gets by direct effort, like going out to buy a loaf of bread or a bottle of whiskey. It’s a kind of by-product. You care for people so what happens to them makes you happy, even if you’ve done nothing about it yourself. I understand, for example, that Betty is pregnant, which you had nothing to do with but I’m sure makes you happy.

Continue reading '15 April 1961, Ceylon to Chicago'»

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