New Environments

I’ve always been a fan of things that smell good. Not really sure why, some would say it’s the big nose, but I can’t confirm that. What I can confirm is I have been drawn to pleasant, clean or citrusy scents my entire life and I do my part to ensure my home conforms to my scent preferences. This love affair with fragrance has led me to some interesting places, which naturally comes with interesting people. Usually, the people fall somewhere between really artsy or really bougie, even a quirky genius at one of my spots in Virginia (Arielle Shoshana). The ones I prefer to spend money with are usually the artsy types and Arielle, but sometimes I’m forced towards the outliers and altogether odd types.

two lighted candles

As I’ve previously stated, I live in Texas now and for those that aren’t familiar…Texas is an interesting place. A huge cultural difference between my previous home in Nevada and here. Despite living in a politically liberal area, the vibe of the state is very much conservative. Nevada feels like and is truly a purple state, but the reds and blues are united in the mutual appreciation for marijuana and a good time. You see a few more eyebrow raising people in the Vegas area too, so the locals are less concerned with different. They care, but there are bigger fish to fry for sure. In Texas, I don’t know where the unity is, and I can’t even seriously speculate. I can say I’ve seen people that raise my eyebrows, but no one else seems concerned about folks walking around with well-worn in boots and firearms on their side. 

One day while discovering places around this new environment, I found myself sniffing the air thinking “damn, that smells nice”. Turns out the scent was coming from this little store that sells candles and scent diffusers along with all the items you’d expect to see in your grandparent’s home if it were the 1980’s; big spoons and forks, fake fruit, floral patterned oven mitts, gospel quotes…you get it. The owner looks like he’s old enough to have been a high-ranking military guy in World War II, but I believe he’s only in his mid 70’s. Outside of my wife, daughter, the shop owner, his wife and me, the store was empty. He was pleasant and friendly, showing us all of his favorite scents and being normal. He went on to say we’d like it here because people are nice and accepting, and everything was cool. Then my wife and daughter walked over to where his wife was, they started talking so he decided to check the temperature with me.

He began in a slightly hushed tone, oh you have a beautiful family, it’s good to see that these days.

Me: Thank you, I only had direct input on one of them though.

Him: Yes indeed, yes indeed, now a days I don’t know if I’m dealing with a he or them, they or shim or what. It’s so crazy now isn’t

Me: (Pretending to be engaged in this conversation) Aww man, I get it.

Him: I had this fella come in the other day with eye makeup on, fingernails done pretty, I didn’t know what to say, he bought one of my favorite scents actually, but I didn’t know what to call him, sir or ma’am.

Me: (picking up a different scent and smelling it) True, you never know. 

Him: Back when we were young, the boys played sports and we would fight you know, boy stuff, we never wore girls clothes and make up.

Me: Yeah you have me by a few years but I know what you mean.

Him: (Clearly joking or delusional) I may have you by a couple years. 

Me: (courtesy laughing while thinking Sir, you have me by at least 50 years)

Him: You know the folks I’m talking about right? The trans generation I call it, and everyone is so confused about what to say to them, they get offended by every little you know. We grew up in a different time, we didn’t have all this stuff, I miss when men were men and you know, I’ve probably said too much, but you know what I mean.

Me: It’s all good man, I understand. Do you all ship these items or anything like that?

Him: Yeah, we can ship that’s not a problem. You seem like a nice young man, with a lovely, traditional family. 

Me: Yeah, they’re pretty cool sometimes. We’re going to head out and see if we can catch lunch before it gets dark out here.

Him: Alright I won’t hold you up, if you ever want to grab a fragrance just come on in and check us out. Welcome to the area too.

Me: Thanks, I appreciate that.

Now I’m sure everyone reading this knows that I too am very confused by the Trans movement as well, but I’m not bothered by or concerned with their existence. Like, from the perspective of simply not understanding their rationale for the feelings is where I am with it, and I’m cool with that because the barrier to learning is more than I care to deal with. The fact that people fall into this category is pretty easy to wrap my mind around though. I don’t feel affected when I see trans people. I look at them like everyone else and I think whatever wild thought about them that I’d think about a genetic man or woman. What was more fascinating to me about all of this was just how quickly he got into that topic with no Trans people around to inspire it, because I know he’s never read my blog.

black and white street sign
brick chimney tower of pearl brewery in texas

Living in and around Vegas, I didn’t really hear too much about “traditional values”. There are traditional people by the boatload, but you also have a sizeable population of people that fall out of the norm. So far, I can say I’ve seen fewer men dressed in a feminine manner, far more pickup trucks than any one state should have and probably an equal amount of synthetic body parts honestly. I have encountered more people that are ready and willing to over share though. I think once you get past the age of 60 in Texas, the things that constitute oversharing is different. I’ve found that I’m more uncomfortable listening to someone’s biases against other people than I am being around the people they’re biased against…well except for police officers, I’m always uncomfortable around them.

Maybe this move is a learning opportunity. I’ve never felt like that about moving to a new location, but since this place is different culturally than what I’ve grown accustomed to, I am more aware of the differences. Though I really miss Nevada and most of the people I befriended there, I don’t regret moving here. I’ve learned that you have to be uncomfortable to grow, whether that is working out, spiritual or mental growth. If you stay in your comfort zone all the time, there is a great deal of life experiences and growth you may be missing out on. That to say, if any of my people from Vegas, Chicago, Virginia, California, or Arizona want to relocate to sunny San Antonio, I’m already here. I’ll gladly welcome you to the neighborhood, but I can say with certainty you will all prefer Austin. Which is close enough for visits and meetups 😁

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