Jeremy and I went to the Mandarin Restaurant for dinner yesterday. Zie’d never been there before even though we live within walking distance because holy hell the price! It cost us $75 including tax for two adult dinners and no drinks. Jeremy found the restaurant to be very crowded and commented on that multiple times. I liked the ceilings painted to look like the sky and a kaleidoscope of colourful nylon butterflies they’d hung in a corner.
Once we found our seats, I quickly loaded my plate with tempura vegetables, noodles, and salad. Meanwhile Jeremy had found the chicken (with much pointing by me) but zie wanted beef too. I’d seen it during my tour of the restaurant while the manager showed me everything vegan. Obviously that wasn’t one of the options he suggested, although he did try to recommend both Jell-o and shrimp.
“It’s in the far corner over there,” I said as I gestured toward the opposite end of the room.
Jeremy nodded and headed off while I went back to our table. A short while later zie returned and slid in beside me.
“Mom?” Jeremy said hesitantly, a thread of amazement wove through zir voice. “The man serving the roast beef thought I was a girl.”
“And what did you think of that?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” Jeremy said happily then zie smiled. I smiled back although my feelings were a lot more mixed.
Jeremy is quite happy identifying as non-binary and insists zie feels like both genders. Chances are zie was simply happy because it was a change from the usual he/him comments. But if Jeremy ever came out as female, I think that would be one of nature’s cruelest ironies. When Jeremy was a child, zie got called she/her a lot. As I’ve said before, I simply stopped correcting people because it happened all the time. Jeremy’s very pretty and garnered a lot of compliments. Now zie’s six-two with huge hands and feet, a deep bass voice, and almost the same pretty face as before (just broadened by puberty). The compliments have transformed into outright stares.
That’s not the ironic part. Jeremy’s father is five-five with a fairly high voice and hands no bigger than mine. His shoe size is 8 (which is a woman’s size 10). If Jeremy took after zir father, zie wouldn’t get a single double take. Somehow, despite having two short parents, Jeremy ended up being the tallest person on both sides of the family.
Tomorrow I’ll need to work on my letters for Amy and Karen. Considering one posted a huge rant on my Facebook page this spring, claiming non binary doesn’t count as trans and the other disowned Emma this summer, you can imagine how excited I am to do this. Yeah, about as excited as getting a root canal done on a healthy tooth. But they are family.