Better Fences

Here is another excerpt from “Georgia: ‘On My Mind!’” First published in 2004.

Recently I talked about the importance to me of keeping George and Georgia separate but equal. Then I shared the process of becoming and being Georgia with the promise next, of relating the effort of being and keeping George alive and well. I am keenly aware that many of you read our articles to learn more about being feminine, so the idea of hearing about the masculine part of someone is not probably what you would expect, or want, to read about. Bear with me and you may be surprised at what you read.

The most important thing I learned as I, Georgia, grew into me, was how important George was to my bride. Through a series of exchanges I learned that it was extremely important to her that she not see any of the man she loved in the woman who wanted to be her friend as well as a part of her life. I also learned that it was critical for this other woman to not exert any influence on the behavior or mannerisms of Marilyn’s man. Sometimes it’s a fine balancing act because there are things about Georgia that are definite assets to George. George (pre-Georgia) tended to be opinionated and harsh at times as well as rough around the edges and self-centered.

The effort to fix George had been abandoned with a heartfelt and desperate prayer, informing God that I would never again ask him to take the feminine part of my soul away. I would instead, accept that part of me as a gift and asked only that he would just show me what to do with it. The result of that prayer was an overwhelming sense of peace that I had felt only 2 other times in my life. The first time was when I realized that Marilyn really did love me and the second was when I was baptized. About six months later Marilyn and I were having dinner one evening when she suddenly looked across the table at me and asked,
“Are you having an affair?”
“What?”
“Are you having an affair with another woman?” she repeated.
I was dumbfounded. It had come right out of the blue. My response was,
“No of course not. Why are you accusing me of having an affair?”
“You’re not lying to me are you? You’re telling me the truth? You’re sure there isn’t another woman in your life?”
“No! Why are you accusing me of that?” I repeated.
Her answer took me totally by surprise.
“In the last six months you have become the neatest man I’ve ever known. The anger and frustration are gone. I’ve fallen in love with you all over again and I couldn’t attribute it to anything but another woman.”

I explained that I had given up fighting the feminine part of my soul and had accepted it as a gift from God, not a curse. It was not the answer she wanted and it didn’t make her happy. It took a long time (No one has ever accused me of being exceptionally quick of perception) for me to realize that in a sense her original feeling was indeed the correct one. He was having an affair … with the woman within. It took a long time for her to accept the woman within her man as a friend. It took almost as long for me to understand the way she felt and why. Her feelings were the same feeling any woman would have, if she thought that her man was having an affair with another woman. Those feelings were anger, jealousy and the fear that there was something missing in, or wrong with, her.

Somewhere in there though, I came to the realization that she really was in love with George and that any threat to his existence was a threat to her happiness. Happily, I realized that my bride and Georgia could co-exist as long as they each got sixty percent of me. That I managed not by expanding myself to one hundred and twenty percent but by allowing a slight overlap for each. Georgia got her ten percent of George in his softer more caring and more attentive character. George got his ten percent of Georgia in her attentiveness to detail. But that’s where the overlap stopped. None of Georgia’s characteristics such as feminine demeanor, voice, personal habits or expressions are allowed to carry over to George. I suppose that you want more detail. Very well then, here are details.

George makes sure that when he walks it’s like a guy. You know, sort of lean forward and hope your legs follow and your knuckles drag the ground. George sits like a guy, or more correctly at times, like a slug. He tends to turn every chair into a makeshift recliner more or less and he certainly doesn’t cross his legs knee over knee. It is always ankle over knee or leaning back with legs straight out so that he resembles a Ken Doll in a standing posture except leaning back on a forty-five degree angle.

George wears the pants, literally (for the most part). Georgia wears skirts almost always. George can at times erupt into a verbal tirade about just about anything that has become a nuisance. George’s wardrobe is almost strictly Cowboy and is very limited in choices. That’s the way most guys are.

George drives a truck (admittedly a smallish truck, but a truck nonetheless). And he drives it way over the speed limit for the most part as the recent photo radar will attest, courtesy of the City of Mesa. Did I mention the $156.00 fine? George is always looking for a short cut and will seek out the closest parking space to the door that allows him to pull through when it is time to leave to avoid having to back up.

The pattern, as you might have figured out, is to make sure that all of the endearing things that Marilyn identified with George are not overcome by the characteristics of Georgia. The amazingly surprising dividend to all of this separation of character traits is that it makes life so much more enjoyable in both capacities. George wouldn’t trade the male banter and joking good-
natured harassment of the twenty-plus men he shares time with at six A.M. every weekday morning for anything. That enjoyment is reassurance that George is real and deserves equal time.

Finally, I refer to The Purpose Driven Life – What on Earth am I Here For?” by Rick Warren. In chapter nine he writes:
“You don’t bring glory or pleasure to God by hiding your
abilities or by trying to be someone else. You only bring him
enjoyment by being you. Anytime you reject any part of yourself,
you are rejecting God’s wisdom and sovereignty in creating you.
God says, ‘ You have no right to argue with your Creator. You
are merely a clay pot shaped by a potter. The clay doesn’t ask,
Why did you make me this way?’ ”(Psalms 119:33 LB)

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