Friday, August 17, 2012

Open the Door Richard - My Dead Head Friend P

First a comment on a comment to yesterday's post.  An anonymous reader wrote:

Don't paint all conservatives with the same brush. I'm a card carrying NRA member and a right wing conservative politically and economically but still a CD. I do not feel I'm out of the mainstream and should not be feared by the 'left wing' of the country (but I am).

Welcome to the blog, Anon.  I have friends all across the political spectrum and really there are two types of friends: the ones I talk politics with (like P) and the ones I don't (like J).  One of my son's friend's father works for a right-wing think tank.  I talk to him occasionally, but I avoid it because he likes to talk politics when he thinks he has a point.  I do not, and I don't return the favour.  I have a friend at my previous job who had an "I love Sarah" sticker on her wall and supported Bush, McCain, et al.  I've asked questions about her positions but a couple of days after one chat escalated into an argument I said "I'd like to talk to you about something."  She said "what?" and I said "anything but politics."  And we talk about anything but politics.

And I don't think we fear you, either for the gun carrying, politics, or the crossdressing.  And if you're ever in my neighborhood, let me know.

On to the topic du jour....

I met P for his dinner, my coffee, at the Chili's near my hotel while my wife met with an old friend of hers and our son entertained himself in our room (give him WiFi and he's happy).

We spoke about my marriage, my therapy, his marriage, his divorce, his life after divorce, and related topics.  Again, "ask the man who owns one."  At a lull in our almost-three-hour-squatting-at-Chilis session I said "but wait!  There's more!"

I then reminded him of the rally and my "costume" and said "that's not the first time I did that.  Nor the last."  And then he blew my mind.

He said, "a long time ago, you lent me a [vinyl record] album and when I took out the record, out fell a Polaroid of you wearing a dress and a long wig and my first thought when I saw you dressed for the rally was 'well, he's still doing it.'"

He never mentioned it before, certainly not at the time, which is definitely a good thing.  Being caught would probably have caused a purge (I've purged, but don't recall if it was before or after this) and pushed me further into the closet.  It would have changed our relationship, certainly for the worse.

He never mentioned it before.  Even at the rally.

Growing up in a two-bedroom apartment with a brother and sister and parents, it was hard to find a time or place to call my own.  I forget where I got the wig, the dress was probably my sister's, and I'd buy Polaroid film and put it in my father's camera and take pictures in the mirror (no timer or tripod).  No way I'd take a picture and let someone else develop it.  I did take some black-and-white, which I could develop and print myself.  But I had very limited hiding places.

One was record albums: pictures were flat, and my parents would never go in there.  My sister would ask if she wanted a record.  My (older) brother would just grab but I had records he'd never want to listen to and that was the hiding place.

And for all I know, the picture is still there.  I thought I moved them all to a new safe place when I moved out, but I guess I missed (at least) one.

We spoke a bit about the dressing.  He's a pure civilian, with absolutely zero interest in dressing.  He said in a subsequent phone conversation "when I'm with a woman, I'd rather get laid than wear her clothes" and I said "it's possible to do both."  I did reassure him I'm straight ~ like most civilians, even liberal ones (he has a lefty blog now), he is somewhat confused about gender and sexual identity issues.

But not horribly so, and he's open to further discussion.  And he's a good friend and a good resource in my troubled time.

A little follow-up.  Before saving this, I went through a box of records.  This is roughly my first 30 albums.  I made a couple of discoveries:
* The Who Sell Out (#12) and Bookends (#25) are both missing, probably misfiled.
* In OR-FM Double Golden, (#27) both discs were placed outside their sleeves.
* Magical Mystery Tour (#23) is missing its sleeve.
* The Daughters of Albion (#13 and nobody, not even Paula, knows them) has some drawings that made me think I hit the jackpot ~ but no.
* All sorts of filler came with the Beatles' White Album. (#15)
* Got Live If You Want It (#28) had two Polaroids in it, one mirror shot barely visible, one arms-length of yours truly wearing a long dark wig, a hat, a black-and-red striped shirt and what appears to be a jumper ~ the shot is a bust shot so I can't be sure.  No makeup.  I would not have had a prom date. :)

More on P on Monday.  This has gotten a bit lengthy, even for me.


  1. Meg,

    Your discussions with both J and P were wonderful. My guess is that their acceptance of Meg as being a part of the person that they have long known will not be impacted by their divergent politics. They both respect you and I am sure that they will afford you respect, understanding and privacy of this aspect of who you are.

    Anon does make some good points. It seems as if those of us on the right (Republican, Conservative, Libertarian) are often targeted by the media and those on the left (Democrat, Liberal, Socialist) as being hateful and intolerant. It has been an effective political stragegy but one that, at least in my humble opinion, is divisive. You should not have been surprised by the welcoming reactions of either J or P. There are good people of all political leanings.

    I find it best to keep an open mind about all things and show tolerance for others. You never know when you will be pleasantly surprised. The other night 'Pat' went out to an upscale LGBT bar. There were not many people there but one rather flamboyant young man started talking about the left wing bias of CNN and extolling the virtues and intellect of many of the people on Fox including O'Reilly, Hannity, Greta, Kimberly, Guttfeld and Napolitano. When specific issues were raised he did a good job of explaining his issues with 'big government'. I enjoyed myself that night although I did not participate much in the discussion since it was only my second visit to this place and it was already past my bed time. I hope to get back there and engage this young man in conversation. Among other things he is starting his own business as a hair and makeup consultant and instructor and he does not think that his success will be because of the government.

    I appreciate diversity. It takes all types to make life good and interesting.

    From out on the right wing ~ peace.


  2. Hi Meg ,
    I did not know you were into music . I have about 1000 thousand albums & 1000 45's. Doo-Wop to Jazz Rock
    Hugs Diane

  3. What a great true story. Here, all these years you've wanted to reveal yourself, and your friend knew. I'm sure years ago, you didn't tell because of what he would think of you but, then I realize it never bothered him enough to say something...that's a true Friend.

  4. I guess I'm just too young ;-), my (older) brother had the Who Sell Out, and although I haven't sat down and listened to it for years it still has some of my favorite Who tracks.

  5. Paula ~ When I first worked for BT (!) there were five very expensive unix workstation: hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon... and mine was called Rael. :)

    Diane ~ WOW! 1000 thousand albums! That's incredible! :D

  6. I remember the Daughters of Albion. I think I still have that one tucked away in my vinyl collection. It's been forever since I listened to it, but it was a fun record.


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