Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Gotta take it in stride...

 

Had a (rare) occasion to visit a big box store during our visit to the kids' place in TN before Christmas, in my everyday attire – stirrup pants, turtleneck tunic, flats with trouser socks, and of course, long hair and nails, purse, a mask, and a women’s heavy hoodie due to the cold. Didn’t notice any questioning glances from passers-by.  But when I stopped to ask a nearby twentysomething female stock clerk where to find the product I needed, it prompted a strange reaction.

 

“Pardon me, Miss, where will I find  ________?”  She looked up at me from her duties, stared like she’d seen a ghost, and stuttered out something like “Oh sorry Miss - ummm Ma’am - ummm Sir, I don’t know, but I’ll get someone who does.”  She called a different clerk on her communicator to help me there in aisle 24, and then said “Excuse me now.”  And she skedaddled for parts unknown.  

 

She didn’t have her name tag on, so without a "lineup," identification would be difficult, and I desperately wanted to make my purchase so I could get out of there as soon as possible.  With the virus running rampant these days, and being in the heart of the bible belt, the issue simply wasn’t worth pursuing, for my own physical well-being.  There's a rotten apple in every barrel, and at the end of the day, that rotten apple eventually gets discarded.  (Like that pharmacy clerk who was fired for his actions against me a while back.)  Thankfully the male clerk who showed up was able to help, without any gender references (a professional response) and he took it in stride.

 

I wonder if perhaps the girl was a seasonal hire without sufficient diversity training, very religious and thus not wanting to associate in any way with, or even speak to, “one of those tranny sinners,” or just plain out-and-out bigoted.  I’ll never know, but for the time we’ve spent in the south, it’s likely the first bad reaction I’ve noted.

 

And at the gas station where I picked up a snack right afterward, I was addressed as female, by a 20something female.

 

As it should be…

 

Mandy

Monday, January 18, 2021

Thanks....

 

Thanks to Anuj and his team at Feedspot for including my blog in their "Top 100 Transgender Blogs" this year.  I’ll try to live up to the honor they have bestowed!

 

Mandy...

 

 


Friday, January 1, 2021

A New Beginning...

 

On this first day of 2021 (Thank God 2020 is in the rearview mirror),  l want to thank each of my readers for checking out my blog, and wish each of you a happy and prosperous New Year! And good health as well!

Hugs,

Mandy

Friday, November 27, 2020

Very Interesting...

 

Recently I had a physical therapy appointment.

 

That day, the only two staff members present who had seen me previously seen me were the female receptionist (out front), and a new 20-something male staff member who has only seen me a couple times. (He has not previously used any gender-specific forms of address for me, though when I started going to that office, there was confusion.) This 50something female therapist was new to me, and was obviously a substitute, since my "regular" male therapist was absent. Naturally, I once again precipitated some confusion... (It wasn't the first time, and it probably won't be the last!)

 

My "outfit du jour" was: tan stirrup pants with ballet flats, and a short sleeve long tunic top (untucked.) I was wearing a womens' sweater, and carrying my purse. Accoutrements were my now-long (I need a manicure) pinkish fingernails and long hair. No makeup or jewelry.

 

The session started off normally, with regular warm-up exercises "alone." Then the therapist came in and began the session. As she worked, she noticed my fingernails, and complimented them, with the usual "girl talk" about our nails and keeping them up. Then came additional typical "girl talk" about kids and grandkids. So far, so good, and the conversation stayed generic. She loved my long hair, and that (as well as hair color) became another topic for a short discussion. 

 

Eventually the "my spouse" discussion surfaced, as did discussion about kids' and grandkids' names as well. What tipped me off about the direction the discussion was heading: it included origins of the names and their history in families. Case in point - my given name - which does have a family history. You may remember my mentioning that it used to be a predominantly male name (Dad and Granddad), and which over the past 40 years has been given mostly to newborn females.

 

We continued our discussion, and it apparently solidified her inkling that "all is not what it seems to be." I didn't sense any problem or concern with it, but when she inquired how I wished to be addressed, that made "what was on her mind" obvious. Since this office was rather close to home, and people in town talk, I indicated that because of my preference for long hair and pretty nails, comfortable clothes, and the convenience of carrying a purse, it's easier to simply respond to either form of address. 

 

As the session ended, there was no issue whatsoever, all was well, and she addressed me in the manner plainly shown on their records - as a guy. "Follow the records" is always the safe course.   Unlike the clerk at the pharmacy from a while back (who got fired as a result of his extreme antagonism toward me), this was truly a case of: "no harm, no foul." 

 

And "as a guy" is the same way my regular therapist refers to me anyway...LOL!

 

So now, on to the next adventure...

 

Mandy

 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

 

Steam’s days were numbered by this time… 

Dad and Mom were on a trip to Florida by train back in 1951, headed east on the Pennsylvania Railroad’s great Broad Way…the 4-track east-west main line through the Appalachian Mountains.

One of the obstacles in building this stretch of railroad was a heavy grade. So the railroad’s designers devised a route through the mountains which involved  a horseshoe-shaped route to make it over the hill with a les-severe gradient.

Dad liked photography, thus these pictures came to be.  Yes, I wish they were sharper, but what can you expect from a standard lens camera and slow (ASA 25) film?  At least he made the effort to take them!

Notice those spiffy new E-units on the point of Dad's train, all shiny in their tuscan red?  Steam was on the way out...    And now, 70 years later,  passenger trains are almost gone, too!

Thanks, Dad - for leaving these reminders of the way things used to be!

Hugs,

Mandy


 

 

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

A Very Good Day!

I needed some little things for a couple items on the "honey-do" list, and I noticed a merchant had obligingly provided a very nice coupon for $5.00 off any purchase as a birthday present. So, off I went, in black pleated-neck tunic, white capris and my barely-there sandals, with white toenails leading the way, and my long hair, purse and now-long fingernails - I need a fill, but chose to hold off for a while. (And for some odd reason, my nails just keep growing!)

The greeter addressed me properly, which was appreciated. Several clerks and customers passed me in the aisles as I shopped...with appropriate greetings for my feminine self. Once I was in the check-out line (socially-distanced, of course), folks cutting through the line to get to the aisle on the other side also addressed me as female, which was wonderful. 

Best part happened at checkout. The clerk (20something male) entered the card number, noticed my given name (now exclusively for girls) and asked "you're Miss (given name), right?" "Yes, sir." "We here at (store name here) wish you a wonderful birthday, and many more. " "Thanks so much, sir." "You're welcome, Miss _____________. Please come back soon!" "I will!" 

A very short - but affirming - shopping run! Somehow, I can't help but believe my "barely-there" sandals and beacon-white toe nails (pic below):


...are an important part of my feminine image. It's quite unlikely that men would be wearing this style of sandal OR have painted toe nails. 

In addition, I've found that "buying my own color and letting the nail tech paint my nails with it, then give it back to me afterwards" is helpful. Not only can I later touch up any chips that may happen, without the patch being obvious, but I can stretch my pedi out for an extra few weeks, touching up my nails till my comfortable closed shoes get less comfortable! Then it's time for a pedi. 

While I most likely won't ever be able to wear them like the following during my lifetime (except perhaps on one of my infrequent 2-week summer excursions), it would be interesting (and fun) to wear them this long, and this brightly-colored, for an entire summer: 


Shoe selection? Easy one….open toe sandals, minimum 2” heel with 3/4” platform - all the time, so nails don’t scrape the ground and get scuffed. A pedicure like this would make the rest of my presentation much less of an issue. Men don’t have pink toe nails so long that they can’t wear regular shoes! "It's a girl!"

Won't happen any time soon, though...  :-(

Mandy

Monday, August 24, 2020

Ever Wonder?



What happens when your overall presentation doesn't precisely reflect the gender marker shown on your license, and you have an incident involving police when you're on the road? 

The short answer often is: "nothing out of the ordinary."

I was sitting at a red light on a side road in another county in Maryland, waiting for the light to change, listening to the radio and sort of daydreaming while staring at the light. While wearing one of my capri outfits with my white sandals and white toe nails gleaming. All of a sudden: BAM - my car lurched forward (but the brakes held), when the driver behind me ran into the back of my car at a relatively slow speed. (Always keep your foot on the brake, as I do, to avoid rear-ending the car in front of you when you are rear-ended. Using "Park" may mess up your automatic transmission.) I looked in my mirrors, and the driver was an older (than me) lady. There were no cars behind hers yet, and no lurking bystanders or passengers in her car, waiting to jump in and hijack my car. So I got out, the lady opened her window and apologized, and asked if there was any damage. Which of course there was, so I called police. 

The officer arrived within a couple of minutes, (which amazed the lady). He used no gender specific greetings for me at first, addressed the other lady as a female, my face matched my driver's license, and required papers for me and the other driver were all in order. There was no injury to anyone, and the officer facilitated our information exchange. Then to my amazement, when talking to both of us together, he finished with "Each of you ladies, report this to your insurance company, and they will work it out." Before long, we were both on our way. My car with a dented rear, hers with little or no identifiable damage.

Of course, under different circumstances things with police involvement could turn out wildly opposite...."your mileage may vary." But one's composure and attitude could make a big difference. And handled carefully, it's generally nothing to fear.

Be safe...

Mandy