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Concessions Made

Life is all about compromises.

To allow for Kandi to live and breathe, to allow her to exist, to allow myself the pleasure that comes with being her, to still maintain the more important things in my life, concessions have to be made. Many, many of them. I have talked about how Kandi is the great time sponge. I have talked about many things that I enjoyed very much, I can no longer do simply because Kandi is Hoovering up giant chunks to my life.

In terms of my presentation, I have had to make some concessions. Some are very simple, none of them are difficult. Body maintenance, a time concession. That includes frequent complete shaving (and I do mean “complete”, head to toe). Touch up shaving every day based on what I am doing that day and what I am wearing. Daily moisturizing, a great thing to do, I never did until, well you know.

Nails, I have basically conceded to having nails that are well manicured and trimmed, usually clear polish only. Yes, I love pained nails and I love long nails. While my hands are big for a woman (ALL of our hands are, the easiest tell and blatantly obvious), they are small for a man. Therefore the effects long nails have to femininize hands are really not necessary for me. They would be just another way to accessorize myself.

My arthritic hands and long nails render me as if I had my hands amputated. I am basically useless in that situation. Long nails take time to apply, from glued-on nails to press-on, they take time and are an added expense. Just polishing my own nails takes quite a bit of time to get a really good dry and then removing the polish leaves remnants, no matter how diligent one is about it. Yes, I will treat myself on occasion, but usually a quick coating of the clear and out the door I scoot! In certain circumstances like extended girl time (Keystone, Erie), I will get gels, but they will be on my trimmed nails and be fairly neutral as I still have to walk around the world as a male.

I have officially given up on long wigs. I know I look good in them, but the constant hair loss from the wigs when brushing out the frequent knots and the fact that they drive me nuts when out, I am done. There is always that one hair that sticks to my eyelashes or lays on my lipstick. They seem to get ratty fairly quickly, creating added expense. I have also decided on only one wig company as well, Vanessa. My recent look has been with a Vanessa wig, five years old. I shake it, comb it with my fingers and I am good to go. Brushing it has resulted in very little hair loss. I just picked up two new ones and have purged most of my inventory. I simply prefer comfort and a look that actually feels more like “me”. The new ones are sooooo cute……. You will see one of them in a few posts this week.

I made past concessions in how I spent the 24 hours in my day. Prior to a Kandi, I read voraciously. I may have read three books in the past six years (all Michael Lewis). I do hold firm to the priorities in my life: the angel known as my wife; physical activity; work/business; family/friends (although the friends part has diminished); then and only then does Kandi get to spread her wings. My concert attendance, an almost 2-3 times a month activity pre-COVID, basically no longer exists.

Lately, working three jobs now, time concessions had to be made. My workouts are generally now only about 30 minutes, low impact and my pickleball play, which I love, only once, rarely twice a week. I used to play three or four times a week, at least two hours a time at minimum. My first job is a two day a week endeavor and used to be all I did, creating great amounts of free time. Uncle Sam finally got his pound of flesh from me, so I dig in for working to my grave so I can at least get my wife retired. Now, I work every day. I am not breaking rocks or anything, but no day passes without at least a few hours at my desk. Where Kandi once dominated my mental space, she has been greatly diminished. You may or may not have noticed, there have been much fewer Kandi outings of late, although I have tried simple things to combine two activities. I might get dressed and go to a local library to do a bunch of computer work. I have leveraged up who I am in hopes of generating some apparel sales, as well.

I am now, as of the day I am writing this, trying to sober up, trying to get back to some other things I like. As I type this I have been dry for five consecutive days. That hasn’t happened in a very long time. I do not wish to give up drinking, I wish to control my drinking and enjoy it more. Savor it instead of leaning on it like a crutch. I will have a glass of wine tonight, but that used to be a bottle of wine, not a glass.

Also, with less free time, I have dramatically limited my time online. I will always visit my platforms (this being my pride and joy), but I only do so generally twice a day and will try not to linger. I will always respond to and thank folks for comments and kind remarks, always. But now I have less time to interact with others, friends and “friends”. Plus, I have made a very strong commitment to avoid going down online rabbit holes. I am sure you know what I am referring to here. Those always suck up time and leave me feeling wrong about myself.

Finally, I have made an effort to get back to some of the things I used to enjoy. I have dramatically cut back the sports I watch on TV. I know this will sound hollow, but I love really, really good TV. I love all types of documentaries. I love investing myself in a series once it is in the books, so I can watch it straight through. Shows in the past I have loved are things like Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Friday Night Lights, Succession and The Wire. I am now into Ozark, Billions and Winning Time. While I do not have an attention span or the stamina beyond an hour, I greatly look forward to the next episode of each. The time I used to spend instead of watching these shows was spent on those damn rabbit holes.

Maybe I am finally growing up. Maybe I am simply becoming focused. My two apparel lines, which to date have generated minimal revenue, are poised to start to grow. And there are two things I love about this. One, these are literally the ONLY jobs I have had in my very lengthy life and non-career that I intrinsically enjoy doing. I have had jobs where I enjoyed the people, but not the job. I have had jobs I have hated. I have had jobs that didn’t pay much, like my job as a floor buffer that paid me $19.20 a month. But the room and board was free and I could use those funds for candy bars and pizza kits (yes, during my unfortunate incarceration). Two, both gigs very much involve fashion, something you may have noticed I know a thing or two about.

I sit here writing this from top to bottom while seated in The Cleveland Museum of Art, awaiting our September Mix event. I look very nice, I feel wonderful and I am doing another thing I love and am quite good at: writing. This whole essay poured out of me like a faucet as I imagined it while driving here. That skill and $5 would get me a short (small, to me) coffee at Starbucks. Hopefully you all enjoy reading my blathering…


8 Responses

  1. Kandi,
    Time is a strange commodity sometimes we can’t find enough hours in the day and other times we spend it aimlessly .

    At times I still feel guilty that I waste time , consoling myself that I’ve earned it , so now I’m entitled to enjoy my free time , it’s what we’re told retirement is all about . BUT it’s just not me I filled my time in the past to the full , perhaps to the point of burning myself out , when I was younger I would work until I dropped on many occasions , at 72 I’m so aware that that clock is still ticking but as we get older time really does fly !!

    Kandi is so important to you , you exist for her so try and not beat yourself up over the time you give her , the best compromise is to integrate her into your life as much as you can , you will never regret the time you do find for her . That is one thing I certainly have no regrets over , I find people respect that committment , even if you hair , nails or whatever aren’t perfect . I find I’m treated as much of a woman if I’m wind blown with my makeup slightly smudged , it’s the inner woman that shines through on those occasions .

    Maturing , more focused or simply becoming more realistic , does it really matter , the important point is being happy in what you do , if you weren’t happy being Kandi you wouldn’t do it given the choice but the fact is you don’t have a choice , she’s an integral part of you and the World is a better place for it !

    1. Thanks Teresa, I don’t really beat myself up about anything (or I would have beaten myself senseless!). I always try to make a post instructive for anyone knew to our world or going through what we all have had to go through. They need to know, we all have doubts, we all make choices, we all deal with many of the same sort of things.

  2. Hi Kandi,

    As one of your more, ahem, mature readers, I can attest to the effects of time, particularly the subtle erosion of energy level and its impact on one’s physical and mental endurance. Though I am reasonably fit and still competent to manage my own affairs, every day includes a reminder that I am not as young as I used to be. I still work out vigorously at the gym, but find I am much more efficient: I can work to exhaustion much more quickly than in the past. Same with anything that requires focus. I have to take more frequent breaks. The days of working through the night to complete a project are long behind me.

    Some time ago I read a book on aging well. The author recommended that as we mature, we “do less, more often”. In other words, pace yourself.

    1. Bless you Kim! Pace myself? When I am gone, I’ll wish I had done that.

      As you have read here recently, I don’t get to kick back and enjoy my life. I have to grind each and every day. Just my circumstances, my fault, my responsibility.

  3. Great post!

    Both concession and her sibling compromise are more or less essential to a happy life. We can’t have it all but those who try often end up with nothing. But prioritise the things that are important and, if appropriate, ditch the things that aren’t as you describe and we may well end up with a life that we wouldn’t swop for anything. It can be a hard lesson to learn but life is so much better when you do.

  4. Kandi,

    I always enjoy your blathering! It’s refreshing and interesting to read about how you go about dealing with life’s ups and downs.

    I am always in awe of people who can sit down and, in one continuous stream of consciousness, dash off a complete article, column, letter or memo like you describe doing. In my business career I’ve written uncounted numbers of memos, letters, press releases, marketing plans, speeches and articles for trade periodicals but I’ve always found it very difficult. It’s like I have a permanent case of writer’s block. It takes me a very looooong time to write something. Speaking of which, that article I promised you two weeks ago is finally finished! I’ll send it to you tomorrow.


    1. Love you Fi! One very big difference. What you describe was your job. What I do here is my passion.

      That said, a few hundred of you get to enjoy whatever I write and then… into the ether it goes.

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