Thursday, September 29, 2011

Halloween 2008: The Untold Story

Really....  Other than you guys, who would I tell?

In October, 2008, I was working for a small company.  Halloween was on a Friday.  I was still uncomfortable about coming out.  I wanted to, but I cared what people would think, and I was on the edge between scared and ambivalent.  This is a bad time.  If you find yourself here, get over it as soon as possible.  It's a road to mistakes and regrets.  Take my advice (since I'm not using it): Get Over It.  Either resign yourself to stay in the closet, at least for the present, or jump in with two feet and eyes wide open.  Plan your lines, be prepared for anything, and be bold.  The space in between is, as I said, bad.

I think we need a flashback.  Cue the wavy line thing they do in sitcoms when they flashback.

The only local person who knew about Meg from my previous company is C.  After I left the company, we used to meet for lunch about once a month.  While I was at the company, we shared an office for a few months.

I know I've told this before, but I like to direct conversation towards my favourite hobby whenever I can.  While I was at the company, I decided to take a six-month sabbatical.  I thought I had been working full-time long enough and the project I was on was just delivered.  There was really nothing a more junior person couldn't handle and I wanted a break, even if it was unpaid.

C wanted to know what I was going to do for six months.  I told her that I wanted time to get aclimated after my sex-change surgery.  Her first comment?  "Go with the biggest boobs you can.  You won't be sorry."  This led to an enjoyable discussion about boobs.  Looking at C, I can imagine she's an expert.

After that, I joked about it occasionally; sometimes she asks questions about it, as if that was my plan.  She was never judgemental, and really kind of supportive, but I wasn't sure if she was being supportive or just going along with the joke.  When she mentioned that she needed to go shopping for clothes, I told her I'd be happy to go with her, "dressed either way."

While I was on my break, we started the once-a-month lunch thing, so I could catch up on what was going on at the company.  At one lunch, I told her I clearly wasn't getting a sex-change operation, but I did like to dress up whenever I had the chance.

C is not my most liberal friend.  She is moderately judgemental.  I wasn't sure how this would go.  But she's told me some of her secrets, and her deeper feelings, and things I wouldn't share with most people, so I thought I owed her this.

She was fine.  She said she'd like to meet "Meg."  I told her that I didn't get out as often as I like, about my home situation, but I said I'd arrange it if I could.

I had an opportunity in March, 2008.  I had returned after my time off, and the work wasn't there.  I don't like sitting on a bench, so I tendered my resignation and found a job not far away.  In early March, I took a day off and did my third "solo," where I did all of my makeup, chose my own clothes (what a big girl I am!), and went out all on my own.  This was a Friday.

Sadly, C had become a major player in a corporate power play/soap opera/fatal attraction kind of thing, and had lost her job.  This did mean she was home on the same Friday I was going out.

I arranged to drop by her house late that morning.  Although everyone was going to be out for an after-school activity, I needed time to change and put everything away and, of course, shower and scrub off my makeup.

I had a couple of errands to run first.  I stopped at the local computer recycling place with some equipment.

This is the first time I remember being on my own and not scared as I stepped out of the car.  I remember just walking out of the car, opening the trunk and pulling out computers, as I've done many times before, although not in a blouse and skirt and heels.

I drove to the center in Alexandria, where I've been several times before.  I pulled up to their loading dock.  The door was closed.  I went up the metal stairs to the regular door and went in.  Inside was another door to the warehouse area.  Knocking on the inside door got no response.

I knew they were open, so I shrugged and went down the steps and started carrying my computers and such up to the side door.  After my second trip (carefully, in those pumps) someone opened the door.  I spoke with the man there and told him I had more to deliver.  He brought the parts in and offered to help me with the rest.  I thanked him and he opened the loading door, came down and helped this overdressed, helpless female unload.  There were no comments, no snickers, not even an odd look.  My confidence, already pretty high, went up another dozen points.

I was still early, so I drove to a mall that was between the recycling center and C's house.  I spent a bit of time looking around ~ I was still at my "window shopping" stage ~ and I headed up to Arlington, where C lives.

When I was a few blocks away, I called C, as we arranged, to make sure she was there.  No answer.  I drove around a bit and settled once more a couple of blocks from her house.  I called again, with the same result.  I left a message and told her the time and that I was heading home in a few minutes.

I was nervous about her meeting "Meg" and getting more nervous by the minute.  I was both relieved and profoundly disappointed as I drove away ten or so minutes later.

Just before I got on the highway my phone rang.  It was C.  She just got back to her house and if it wasn't too late....  I assured her I was just a short distance away and I could be there in a few minutes.

If I had arrived home, I would have turned around.  It's not that C is that special.  She is nice, and easy on the eyes.  But I want to spend time with anyone who wants to meet Meg!

She opened the door, greeted me without laughter, and invited me in.  I remember she didn't call me Meg (or anything else).  I think her comfort level was theoretical until that point.  I didn't think to ask her to take a picture of me at her house, or to try to get a picture of us together; I didn't even bring my camera!  I overplan and underperform.

I hung out for about an hour.  She gave me a tour of the house, we had something cold to drink and chatted for a while about a variety of things.

I left feeling great.  Girl time, for Meg, is rare.

So what does this have to do with Halloween, 2008?  I'm getting there.



2 comments:

  1. I agree that the "space in between" is a bad place to be, but the closet seems just as bad. Both lead to "mistakes and regrets." Both cause internal suffering. Neither seems to result in a positive outcome. This is solely my empirical observation of others. I don't tend to take my own advice, either.

    pp

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