Through the Looking Glass, Column 17

Manhunt Over: Thank Goodness

The hills of Southern California are indeed alive again with the sound of music. I’m twirling my skirts and singing it out loud for anyone who cares to keep up: Alice is back with Frank! After a year of being single–at forty-four–I’m back with the man I hoped to grow old with. Granted I’m only talking about my once-a-week girl nights, but gosh, folks, I felt like I lost my left arm this year and slowly and painfully began to see that I couldn’t replace it. But after learning to live again without that side of my sexuality, that darn arm of mine grew back and contacted me over the holidays.

Okay, as many of you know from my book, I’m married to my delightful, bright, and amazingly tolerant Melissa. And my two babies are now active, engaging, utterly adorable elementary schoolers. They are my legs. She is my right arm. Sure, I survived the loss of my left upper extremity, but I was walking wounded and blown away by how hard it was for me to live without a steady man in my life. Sure, I’d had the best of both worlds for seven years, but I’d grown accustomed to it. And though I treasured my wife and kids more than ever, I spent many hours feeling helpless and numb. Like several difficult times I’ve lived through, I’m most comfortable sharing them if/when I find my way to a satisfying conclusion. With that in mind, let me tell the tale of Alice ’07 Part I: Empire Falls.

How did it happen? How did my seven-year every Friday-or-Saturday-night thing with Frank fall through? Like the Roman Empire, our union weakened with time to a mere eggshell of its former self. Ours was a relationship was founded on going out to dinner, the tranny club, and then back to his place. But the fine dining stopped as my former hippie carpenter got a firm hold of me, and our club time dwindled a couple years later, as he began a very-public building project and had to worry about who he might run into. I had to get comfortable with dining and dancing with my friends and then hooking up with him later on.

I was profoundly disappointed but did my best to understand my beau’s reasons and contain my dismay. I was under no illusions about my prospects out in the nightclubs (or on the Internet). So I didn’t jump ship in a fit of rage but instead charted my course based on the merits of what we still had together and how that compared to life alone again on my girl nights. What we had still was, weekend after weekend, wump after bump, safe, satisfying, you-Tarzan-me-Jane s . . . cintillation!

Though far from the full package, it was enough to affirm the female part of me and fill me up with enough s . . . elf-esteem and high spirits to smile my way through to the next weekend. But, it meant that my relationship with was reduced to simply getting together for two hour to enjoy something physical. It really wasn’t so different from a regular Saturday tennis game. But it fit in fine with the rest of my life, oh, what a partner he was—and continued to be year after year—until wear and tear caught up with my older-by-fifteen-years friend. An enthusiastic athlete when he was younger, Frank by his fifties developed arthritis in both hips, which by January 2007 brought our weekly “tennis match” to a complete standstill. Sure, he still had some okay ground shots, but he just couldn’t finish—and I need that to feel affirmed as a female. Just as hobbled on the construction site, he followed his doctor’s advice and scheduled hip replacements for an upcoming lull at work late last spring.

He hoped to keep our weekly thing together in the meantime. I said sure but not just for bad tennis. “How about dinner and a movie at an out-of-the-way mall?” I suggested. “That’s just not possible,” he insisted, and after seven years we agreed to part ways and perhaps check in with each other later in the year, if we were both still available. His hips were grinding to a halt and taking what was left of us, my left arm, with them.

So that’s the Tragedy of Alice ’07: Part 1. I’ll tell you about the Big Grabowski, the Baseball Hero, the Earnest One, and others I encountered on my manhunt in Alice VII: Part 2 next month. Okay, it’s not exactly Shakespeare, but I do need at least thirty days to figure out the right little lies to help me tell the truth and keep everyone copasetic in this very small world we live in.

Life’s rich, complex, and full of possibilities. Be careful and enjoy!

Alice Novic, M.D.

To learn more about me than you’d ever dare to ask, please see my smart, sexy memoir, Alice in Genderland: A Crossdresser Comes of Age.

Also, if you wish to eMail Alice with Questions, Comments or Topics for Future Through the Looking Glass Articles, feel free to send her an eMail at or to Post any Comments below.