Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dinner With Joanie ~ Really This Time!

The stars lined up, and Joanie and I had dinner together in Old Town Alexandria last night.  It was a late dinner for me, but that gave me time to organise dinner for my son and get a couple of things done around the house.  It was worth the wait.

I parked and walked the block to her hotel and as I walked inside, I saw a pretty lady with long long hair walking towards me and I was fairly certain that was her.

She has the look down pat.  If I didn't know, I wouldn't have known.  I kind of studied her picture and made some mental notes (long hair, slim, glasses) and I still wasn't sure I had the right woman when I said "Joanie?"  Remember my prosopagnosia.

I was there in my male disguise, so I didn't expect her to recognise me, and she didn't.  She practically walked past me until I said something.

Her hotel was on King Street, closer to the Metro than the water.  King street is kind of the main street of Alexandria, and as you get closer to the water it becomes almost solid restaurants.  Along the way, and on side streets, are mostly small businesses.  Small, unique, clothing and jewelry shops abound.  But there's even a (C)Ross-Dress-For-Less off the main drag (hah!), a short walk from her hotel.

We walked several blocks and chatted like old friends who somehow knew nothing about each other, if that makes any sense.  I'm getting used to it.  I've only met a few girls one-on-one, but that seems to be the common experience.

We assessed a few restaurants and looked in shop windows.  We walked about six blocks before finding a place to sit down and eat.  I watched people as we walked.  Mostly, we were ignored.  I did catch a couple of guys eyeing Joanie (I know, I didn't say anything while we were out).  I didn't see anything odd or out of the ordinary, and I think other people didn't either, except maybe to wonder how I got together with a pretty girl like her.

You can see from the picture that we have different cosmetics philosophies.  Where I go for the cover-the-masculinity approach, she goes for a lighter approach, and it sure works.  I wish I had a more casual femininity.  Or maybe not.  As long as I'm overdoing my dressing, I might as well be overdoing my makeup as well!

Over dinner I learned a lot about Joanie.  I think more non-t-girls know about Meg than know about Joanie.  On the other hand, like Dana and Vanessa (who I still haven't written about!  Sorry sorry sorry!), her wife and children do know, and meet with Joanie regularly.  Her wife, like mine, is a social worker, and probably has more of an understanding of gender issues than most.  Her wife, like mine, isn't interested in spending time with her "other" husband.  But unlike mine, unlike many of us, her wife is very accepting.  They can openly discuss gender issues and she can change at home.  They have reached an agreement that allows her much more freedom than I have: she has a "Joanie" day once a month.  Her toenails are painted.  Her ears are pierced.  She's had a lot of hair removed (although not permanently).  They share clothing, lucky girl.

She's a bit more on the "I care" side of the spectrum than I am, and she takes a great deal of care to not be noticed by neighbors or coworkers or friends, but at some point her children will spill the beans and I think she'll be ready, and I think her wife will be resigned, if not also ready.  And I want to hear that story! 

Joanie's also smart, nice, and easy to talk to.  And no, This Was Not A Date.  It was more like two colleagues at a business dinner.

And I'm going to tell you a little secret: she's not wearing a wig.

Before saying goodnight at the hotel, I grabbed my camera and we commandeered the chairs and tables at a little outdoor cafe.  At the hotel, she hugged me (I needed little encouragement) and we kept on talking.  I think we would have stood there and talked all night, except we both had to work the next day so we both said an abrupt goodnight and the evening was over.

I'm not sure if Joanie had more fun (because she was out) or if I had more fun (because I was with Joanie).  She travels here occasionally, and perhaps I can meet her as Meg next time.  Or maybe I can arrange an overnight in Denver on a trip to AZ before too long.

I'm always nervous meeting someone new, but so far, I've never been disappointed with any of you I've met.  I hope to meet many many more.  And I hope some of you who are deep in the closet will come out and meet some of your peers.  We're all pretty nice girls. :D

1 comment:

  1. Meg-

    THANKS so much for the fun nite, and for the overly-generous post! My pic *could* be a little smaller next time ;-)

    The 'old friend' conversations - you're right on! I think we had equal fun, because after all, we're all about full equality and that the T is not left out.

    In case anyone wants to visit or is near Denver, feel free and contact RMTSK:

    Or the 'Mile-High-Transgendered' Meetup group.

    I participate in both of these supportive groups.



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