Family of Me

by Daphne
Updates Mondays and Fridays

Scene 115: Attraction Boomerang

Lark (The Dreamer): Hey Mom!

Mom (Me): Hello Lark. What’s on your mind?

Lark: Not so much — I just wanted to say hi. I heard Libra’s experiment went well.

Mom (happy): It did! It seems she’s not afraid of being desired after all.

Lark: Only when it’s from strangers, right?

Mom: Right. She needs time to warm up to someone first — all of us do, I suppose.

Lark: That feels accurate. I suppose that includes you too.

Mom (dismissive): Hm? Oh sure, I suppose it does. In theory, anyways.

Lark: Why do you say that?

Mom (wistful): Well… Libra’s young, and college was such a unique time in our lives. She’s surrounded by people around her age, and everyone’s *so* pretty. Libra’s really pretty too, and I’m sure she’d have her share of suitors if… Well, you know.

Lark: No, tell me.

Mom: If she’d had the chance to live as herself at the time, instead of pretending to be a boy. She wouldn’t need to experiment now; she’d be able to rely on our memories.

Lark: I seem to recall she cleaned up pretty well, actually. She looked pretty sharp in a suit, and I’m not the only one who thought so.

Mom (reluctant): Sure, people told us that, and she wore it pretty well if memory serves. But that look just wasn’t *her*, you know? When a guy throws on a suit and cleans himself up, he *might* look sharp. But when a girl puts on a pretty dress and takes her time to get ready… She *sparkles*.

Lark: You wanted to sparkle.

Mom: I didn’t know it at the time, but oh goodness yes… I was so envious. I don’t know why you’re getting into this with me; you wanted to sparkle too.

Lark (playful): Of course, it would still be a dream come true. And who keeps all your dreams safe, hmm?

Mom (sheepish): Oh, right.

Lark: Even the way you talk about it makes your opinion clear: Guys “throw on” their suits, while girls take their time getting ready…

Mom (dismissive): Yes yes, I’m biased. I’m a trans woman with less than zero interest in male presentation, and pretty girls make me weak in the knees. Why are you giving me the third degree over this?

Lark (pointed): Because *you’re* a woman now, and there’s nothing stopping you from making new memories.

Mom: I’m hardly a college girl, Lark.

Lark: You don’t need to be a college girl to sparkle, Mom.

Mom (embarrassed): I know, but the girls I’m drawn to, the girls I find myself fawning over… They’re not exactly my age.

Lark: No… They’re my age, aren’t they?

Mom (uncomfortable): Yeah… Women in their mid-twenties seem to be in the attractiveness sweet spot for me. You… You’re kind of…

(Lark extends her arms to her side and shows herself off with a spin as she answers.)

Lark: I’m you, as you wish you were. As The Dreamer, I’m you as you see yourself in your dreams. Young and sparkling. Effortlessly feminine.

Mom (breathless): Unbearably beautiful.

Lark (carefree): The kind of girl who could make your heart melt with a flip of her hair…

(Lark flips her hair to make a point and my heart skips a beat.)

Mom (timid): Yup, that’s definitely true…

Lark: That’s the thing, Mom. This is *your hair*. *You’re* the heart melter.

Mom (tense): No, no, no! I’m not young like you anymore! I don’t sparkle like you.

Lark: Let me ask you something. Do you find your partner attractive?

Mom: Goodness yes.

Lark: And the trans women online that you’re friends with, the ones around your age — do you find them attractive?

Mom: Yeah, they’re all pretty hot, honestly…

Lark: So you don’t need to be young to be hot, do you? Sure, it helps, but being in your forties doesn’t mean you can’t turn heads.

Mom: Fine, point taken, but I still don’t *sparkle*. Those women know how to wear makeup, and they’ve had FFS or laser hair removal…

Lark (dismissive): Sure, and I admit makeup can really help a look pop. But I’ll ask you again, when your partner doesn’t wear makeup, do you find her less attractive?

Mom: No, I don’t…

Lark: So why would it make you less attractive?

Mom (struggling): Because… Because when she *wants* to look amazing, when she wants to elevate her look to the next level, she *can*. She has the skill to make herself up and look stunning. I don’t have that skill… I’ve never even had the experience.

Lark: And that bothers you?

Mom (longing): You know it does. Having a trans mom make me up so I can see myself sparkle, just once… Having someone teach me the tools of the trade… *That’s* my dream. I never got that experience.

Lark: You’re willing to do the work to train your skill, but you want someone else to do the labor of making the curriculum. A “trans mom,” as you put it.

Mom (tearful): Yes.

Lark (gentle): Except you’re your own mom. That’s why we’re all here.

(I open my mouth to fire off a rebuttal and close is again, giving Lark’s words a chance to sink in properly before continuing.)

Mom (hurt): I’m not a very good mom to myself, am I?

Lark (firm): That’s nonsense. You’ve been amazing, and you’re allowed to have weaknesses. Even the best mothers need help from their daughters from time to time.

Mom: How can you help me with this? You can’t teach me makeup; you’re my past. By definition you have less experience with this than I do.

Lark: I can help by giving you the grace you dearly deserve. “Effortlessly feminine” is a dream, a carefully crafted illusion. An illusion crafted from makeup and manner and camera angles and good lighting… And lots of practice. Besides, there are plenty of cis women who had to learn those skills on their own too.

Mom (reluctant): I know, I know…

Lark: Can I tell you a secret though?

Mom: What’s that?

Lark: You told me you still find your partner attractive when she isn’t wearing makeup. Why wouldn’t other women see *you* that way?

Mom (surprised): I… I don’t…

Lark (insistent): Haven’t other women *told you* they find you pretty? Don’t you smile *every time* you see yourself in the mirror?

Mom: But… But I’m not like the pretty girls I see all around me. It’s not like people are going out of their way to hit on me.

Lark: Have you signaled that you’re open to that? Do you even *want* that kind of attention?

Mom: I don’t, but…

Lark (pointed): I think you want the validation, but I also think you make it pretty clear that you’re going to respond negatively to that kind of attention, so others rightly mask their interest. If someone found you attractive, would you even notice?

Mom (shocked): I… Oh. Oh no.

Lark: Mmm, it’s starting to sink in, isn’t it?

Mom (amazed): Am I… Am I actually attractive?

Lark (deadpan): What do you think?

Mom: I think I need to sit with this for a while.

Lark (smiling): That’s what we’re all here for, sweetheart.

Mom (smirking): That’s my line, thief.

Lark: Love you too, Mom.