Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Quickie: It was a party!

There was a get-together recently at the nursing home, for residents and their guests.   Mom was not in a great mood, and given her lack of memory, she really didn't know what was going on.   Not only that...she really didn't want to go to the party.  However, staff had made sure she was dressed, and I made sure she went.  

They threw a nice party for us (25 residents and about 35 - 40 guests), with decent finger foods, though the pop machine was broken so folks had to drink coffee, tea, etc.  A new volunteer passed out carnations to all the ladies...and since I got one, she thought I was a lady!  Guess I looked enough like a girl for her...even though I was wearing stirrup pants, not capris.   
We sat at a table with two ladies from FL (one a temporary resident, the other a guest - not sure what caused her to be there)  and they and I talked.  They complained about the cold here - I complained about the heat in FL.  We were Even Steven!   And while we chatted, Mom caught up on her shut--eye, as usual.  I managed to keep her awake long enough to get her to eat a cookie and drink 3/4 of a cup of coffee, in a more animated moment.

I took Mom back to her room afterwards, put the carnations they gave us in a vase with some water, stayed with her a while, then went home, and the wife and I went out for dinner.  Tried a new restaurant along Route 50.   Decent food, decent price, and once you find the way out of it to get back on 50, it's not too bad.

I heard "Ma'am" a few times from guests who didn't know me,  and basically, had a good time with the group.  Nice folks...

Sunday, May 12, 2019

OMG - That was fast Karma!

Remember the trans-phobic clerk I encountered a few posts back?

As I mentioned before, I've been in that store several times and he was not on duty.   Today I found out why...and as you read this, recall that most of the staff know me as a guy, despite my appearance.   Which today was tan capris, a ladies' black polo shirt and my new sandals.  As follows:

While I was checking out, the female manager came by, ostensibly to observe the female clerk doing a check-out.  That clerk went to check a price (perhaps her exit was pre-planned, I'll never know), and the manager took that occasion to apologize to me for their employee's completely unacceptable behavior the other day.  Her words were "I was standing nearby, and when I realized he had "come  unglued," was so totally embarrassed by his actions that I couldn't think.  I didn't know whether to run back to the office, or crawl under a table.  I'm so glad you stood firm, handled it well, and didn't let his ignorance overwhelm you.  And I made the decision to both fix the problem, and try to make it right for you."

"You don't need to worry - he won't be doing that to you - or anyone else - in the future, as he no longer works here.  Our employees know that his actions regarding anyone, customer or otherwise, are unacceptable, regardless of the individual's gender presentation, or anything else, for that matter.  And anyone making the same mistake here, knows the fate they will promptly meet."

My response: "Needless to say, I wasn't pleased when it happened, but I dealt with it as I saw fit at the time.  I  figured management either heard, or would soon be told, of the incident, and was confident that proper action would be taken.  I wondered if you had already handled the situation, because the clerk has been conspicuous by his absence.   Thank you for doing what needed to be done.  I really appreciate that."
"We hope you'll continue to shop here.  And to thank you for being a customer, here's a gift card as a small token of our appreciation."

"Wow, thank you.  I'm here talking to you today, so it can serve to tell you that I realize one bad apple did not spoil the barrel.  As MacArthur said back in the war years - I shall return."  Her response: "Thank you so much, on behalf of all of us."  "You're quite welcome!"

At no time did she - or the other clerks - use any gender-specific terms for me...but that's OK.  Most of them ( all of them) know I'm a guy.  When the clerk returned with the price, and rang it up, she said "Thanks for being our customer."

I've always been OK with "no gender-specific forms of address."   There''s no need to fake a "Ma'am" when I'm known....just don't blow my cover with innocent bystanders by using "Sir" while I'm clearly wearing a feminine outfit.   Let bystanders figure that out on their own.  But let the record show that if any clerks choose to call me "Miss" or "Ma'am" I'm fine with it!

This particular saga has now concluded, since the biggest part of the problem was resolved.  To quote that now-infamous line from The Apprentice: "You're fired!"  You never EVER dream you'll end up on the front line of the LGBTQ issue...and it happens when you least expect it.   Fortunately, this was one small victory, though an integral part of a much bigger conflict.

One small step at a time...

Till later,


PS: if the fired clerk was married, can you imagine the conversation over dinner that night?

"How was your day, dear?"

"Oh, it was OK, but I just got fired."

"Really?  What happened?  Did you get laid off?" "Well, some guy with long hair came in wearing women's clothes and looking like a girl.   After I asked him which he was, and he told me, I tried to convince him that he should start to look and act like a man, not a woman.   And I almost got to the point of reciting Deuteronomy, to show him that God doesn't like it.  But he cut me off."

"So I guess he didn't care for your suggestion."  "No, and staff and management heard my too-loud sermon,  so they fired me."  "Well, you need to get out there and find another job immediately, so you can support us...the rent is due in 3 weeks. And with your next job, for God's sake - and ours - stop trying to change people!  Living in the car (at least till it gets repossessed), won't be much fun, particularly with 2 small kids."

So true...

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Quickie on my new sandals...

MMy new sandals arrived, without fanfare.   I opened the box, and tried them on.  And they seemed reasonably comfortable.    I wore them shopping, to the nursing home, and the hair salon.  But they may take a bit of "breaking in."

The band stretched out a bit, so I may have to tighten the buckles soon.   Their wedge heels are fine, but they make a more feminine click than my other sandals do, especially on steps.  Nice!   Then,
back to the office supply store for a pic, as the sun was good in their parking lot....    I'm looking forward to wearing them again.  

My wife asked how they fit, and I gave them "about a 5 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being perfect.  The other white sandals, which I wore yesterday, are about 8 or 9."  "But you've only worn these for a day."  "True.  If the comfort level remains at 5, or goes up even a little, I probably will order the black ones, and see if they're any better.  If not,  they'll go back. 

Since I've worn these tan ones, I'll keep them.   Even if they don't fit perfectly, this pair will be fine, and can be worn for half-day periods.  But I'll keep looking for different styles of sandals...


Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Sandals...old favorites!

This was taken the first day this season that I was out running my errands in sandals.  (And I know it won't be my last...)   No, these aren't my new ones.

At the nursing home, Mom thought they were new, despite the fact that I've had these for several years.  I guess they still look good.  And they're very comfortable.  I had them on all day, and didn't want to take them off!  Though I've found that it's impossible to walk quietly in them...    The new receptionist at the nursing home came out of the back room...commented that she "heard your footsteps and wanted to see who was coming or going.   Love your sandals, Ma'am."   I guess I look - and sound - like a girl in those sandals. 

In another town, I stopped at an office supply store to pick up some things.  I said "good morning" to a lady in the parking lot and her reply was "Good morning to you as well, Ma'am."

One of the staffers addressed me as "Ma'am" but the check out clerk (a twentysomething male) took the safe route and omitted any gender-specific references.

I had tried out my new sandals, and they fit.  My wife was surprised to see that I hadn't worn them.  "You will tomorrow, and the rest of the week, right?  That way you'll know if they really fit, before we invest in the other colors."

Yes, I will...gotta answer that question.


Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Yes, it happened again!

I've been in the store from the post titled "Pray it ain't so" twice since the incident with the ignorant clerk, and haven't seen him again. "You can't fix stupid," but the manager may have removed it...or perhaps he was simply temporary help.  In any case, the store is much better off without him.

For the past week "plus," we've had visitors at our house.  Our son, D-I-L and 3+ year old granddaughter were visiting.  There was lots of time to visit, get a few items checked off the to-do list, and do some sightseeing.

Our son could only stay a few days with us, before flying out for work...but the little one and her mom stayed the rest of the week.  We had a great time, and got to see a lot of my mom in the nursing home.   My mom's memory is failing and she doesn't understand what being a great-grandmother is, who the little girl belongs to...or that the baby's daddy is her grandson.  But even so, a baby brings a smile to the face of just about any woman...and my mother was no exception!

We also went sightseeing in downtown Baltimore, with one overnight in a downtown hotel.   I was dressed in capri outfits, pantyhose, turtlenecks and flats, with a water-repellent jacket, such as in the following, taken at the USS Constellation in the Inner Harbor:

And accordingly, when we checked in at the hotel in downtown Baltimore, I was addressed as "Ms (add "now-exclusively female" given name here) for our entire visit.   Never heard the dreaded S-word.  We also visited the aquarium (granddaughter loved it):

Timbuktu is a very real city, located in the West African state of Mali, sitting about 12 miles north of the Niger River on the southern border of the Sahara, with a population of about 50,000.  We didn't have time (nor did we bring our passports with us) to fly over for dinner on another continent.  :-(  So we had to make do with going to the "American Timbuktu":

It's a restaurant in Hanover, MD, near the new casino, with decent food.  Granddaughter loved the macaroni and cheese,  the ladies enjoyed their meals, and the crab cake sandwich I had was good, too.  They don't use a lot of local seasoning (called Old Bay) on their home-made crab cakes.  That's can tell I wasn't raised here, as I don't care for that stuff!  (Waitstaff simply used no gender specific forms of address for me - guess I must have confused them.)

The next day, at a fabulous playground in a nearby town, our granddaughter made friends with a 9YO girl, and they were playing with the girl's kiddie "bubble makers" while her daddy and 10YO brother watched them.  I was standing nearby, while DIL and my wife were talking, but not within direct earshot.

While standing near his daddy, the 10YO boy asked me "Are you a boy or a girl?"  As you may remember, this question had its dress rehearsal rather recently, and I recited the same response about being a boy, this time without being upset, due to the kid's tender age.   "But you have long hair" he exclaimed.   I couldn't help thinking that this kid may be having a learning experience.   I smiled and said "Yes hon, and it's all mine! At this ripe old age, too.  Wouldn't give it up for anything."   The boy's daddy, who obviously overheard, chimed in right away, to remind his son that his Uncle (insert name here) has long hair too - and had it for years.  Nothing was said by anyone about my capris, flats or purse.   And the kid said "OK Dad. Bye, Mister."  Then he ran off to play with the other kids.

It's obvious that not everyone is like the impertinent clerk, with ill intentions by asking "the question."  It would simply be nice to not have to deal with the topic quite so often!   But I'll get used to it.   Sort of makes me wonder if perhaps the topic came up in some recent church sermons in the area????   Perhaps as part of discussions about the gay Democratic candidate for President?  That might be an explanation for the recent spike in such comments.

Will it happen again?   We'll see...

More later...