Since picking up my wife at the station, it's been rather quiet around here.
Since my wife got back from her sister's, I've been dressed in typical
androgynous outfits, living my daily life, and there have been the normal amount of
"miss-identifications" along with instances of the "S" word. A few notable exceptions, though...
Warranty parts for one of our cars arrived at the dealership, eliciting a
phone call to my home. In her first two calls about it, the female
clerk addressed me as "Ms" and "Ma'am," apparently in response to my
"now female" first name. When we got to the dealership with the car, my regular service writer was there. He knows my gender, and regularly uses the "S" word. He helped me, but I noticed a female clerk went by his desk several times while my wife and I were there. Turns out, it was the female clerk I talked with - he had to ask her something and mentioned her name. Coincidentally, when Kelly called to check on how they did for the service call, she used the "S" word. So I must have been the subject of at least some discussion!
Last week I dropped in at my nail salon for another appointment rather late in the day, wearing shorts, a polo top and sandals. (Been there, done that. Guess I'm just a glutton for punishment???) Since the place was rocking, my tech's husband was there - second time in a month. (Business MUST be improving...) I was expecting the worst from him...but instead of hearing the dreaded "S" word, he used my first name in front of the other customers. Wow....a shock! I didn't have to say anything to get this result. His wife must have wised him up! And I didn't notice any of the customers checking me out...that was a good thing!
I have two pairs of sandals like these, one in the tan, and one in white. Both are rapidly disintegrating due to being 5 years old, and plastic, not leather. I figured it was time to buy another pair of white sandals - which are nice and feminine for the summertime. But I expected comments.
I found the following on line, and I ordered them, hoping that I could rescue them from the mail before my wife got the box. Things didn't work that way - she got to it first. When asked, I told her what I bought...including that they were white, thus she "won't like them" "But I do...they're keepers." Particularly with the dark-color insole, which won't show dirt at all...
When I initially wore them around the house, there were no comments. Not the first day, or the second. And I wore them out alone a couple of times. Still no comments. - very surprising. I wondered how soon issues would begin...and when we decided to take one of our walks through the neighborhood, I found out. "You're not wearing those sandals." "Why not?" "They're women's, and you look like a girl anyway in that women's tank top and shorts." We went back and forth a bit...but ultimately, it wasn't worth continuing the debate. I changed into a pair of obviously-women's flats, but which she tolerates. Some crusades make sense to pursue, others don't.
I'll be wearing my new sandals as often as possible, so she can get used to seeing them on me. At some point in the future, we'll determine whether toleration has increased with familiarity. If it does, I'll probably buy a pair in black, for cooler weather. White ones will look very nice with shorts, pedal pushers or a skirt over the summer. In black, they'll be perfect for spring and fall, with jeans, jeggings, skirts or dresses. And it'll be nice to have more shoes suitable for wearing without nylons.
Our son had occasion to be in Delaware on business, and we took the chance of being able to meet him for dinner. It was to be a casual event. I wore shorts, a polo top, and my pair of strappy sandals (unfortunately, not my new ones), with my purse and necklace. As it was late in the day, my beard shadow was beginning to show...no makeup today. There was no pretense of being, or attempt to be, feminine. Today I was just "lil-ol-me."
The three of us went into a very nice-looking family-style restaurant, away from Dover itself, and in a rural environment. Most of the other patrons were of the "elderly" category...my wife and I fit right in, using age as the yardstick. Waitstaff omitted gender-specifc pronouns for both our son (call him A) and me (though I'm the girlie one - he's "not so much.") I didn't notice any customers staring as we ate dinner. The overall atmosphere was surprisingly and pleasantly neutral and relaxed.
On our way to the exit after dinner, A (with his long hair and beard) walked past a heavily-tattooed and bearded fat man wedged into a booth. His totally-disheveled clothing and rough appearance would have been more appropriate in a sleazy biker bar, than at a "vanilla" family-style restaurant crowded with mostly-on-the-north-side-of-60 elderly customers. The guy was gawking at both of us, since I was following A. As I neared the guy's booth, I slowed down a bit, to let A get ahead of me, then distracted the guy's attention by smiling at him and in my best femme (soft) voice and southern accent, saying "Hi sir, now y'all have yourself a good day." Then I glided on, enjoying the positively dumbfounded look on his face, and as I glanced back, the precious "duh, what was that, boss?" expression on his table-mate's mug (another heavily-tattooed, bearded and disheveled fat guy wedged into the other side of the booth, who also resembled the biker stereotype.)
Why did I even bother to waste my breath talking "at" those guys? In retrospect, I can't answer that. The only reason I can think of is that, like Flip Wilson's female persona Geraldine (from the 1970's) would always say - "The devil made me do that!!!" Would I repeat the performance again in the same, or any other, circumstance? Extremely unlikely. But at that moment, everything came together, and it just seemed SO perfect...
The three of us forged on toward the door...and neither my wife nor A said a word about
the incident. They were apparently a bit too far ahead of me, and/or in
conversation, to hear or notice. Finally outside (after some "Keystone Kops" congestion comedy from 6 inbound elderly customers who couldn't manage to get out of each other's way at the entrance), we noticed that parked among the dime-a-dozen Chevys, Fords, Nissans and Toyotas, there were... you guessed it...2 humungus Hogs (Harley-Davidson motorcycles).
Good food apparently attracts every type of customer. Including hungry bikers...
That's all for now!