What a week! Last week was inventory week at my employer, and anyone who has ever worked retail knows just how horrible the inventory process is, particularly if you are a manager or a supervisor. Lots of work, long hours, little sleep. Worked Thursday until midnight, having to return to work at five in the morning on Friday. I ended up not being able to sleep, so I stayed up about thirty hours before I was able to get to bed for a little shut eye.
With inventory over, we had reports to work on Saturday, which we spent a few hours doing, until it got too busy. I worked until six, at which time I went home and tried to relax, knowing that the next day, Sunday, I would be have off. Finally having some free time, I changed into my Stefani clothes, knowing I would have the rest of the evening, and the next day, to be myself.
At around nine Saturday, my friend Amy convinced me to drive up to see her. The drive from Amarillo to her house, about an hour and a half north east from Dallas, usually takes about six to seven hours. Not wanting to squander the time I had set aside, I said I would go, but I would only do so as Stefani, which she heartily agreed to. She missed her best friend after all, as did I!
Nothing of note happened on the drive. I listened to music, and then switched over to a book got off of Audible, The Night Circus (my favorite book of all time!), and got to her house at 4 in the morning. Slept in until almost ten before I woke up, exhausted but happy to see my friend.
Now, Amy has known about me since we met back in ’98. Her husband, however, did not. He only found out maybe a year ago, after I told Amy to go ahead and tell him. I think it freaked him out, the arch-conservative that he is. I never presented myself as Stef in front of him, but this time I took only one change of clothes, since I would have to drive immediately home on Sunday evening.
This is where it gets amusing. I was in the living room, on the chaise, covered with a throw, wearing the clothes I wore on the drive the night before. He saw me but didn’t pay me no mind. I thought he was avoiding me, not wanting to deal with a freak like me. Soon after, I look a shower, changed into the jeans and blouse I brought for the visit, put on my makeup, and stepped out, nervous at having her husband see me.
A few minutes later, he called me, wanting to show me his latest acquisition, and I went into his music room, where he showed off the controller for his drum machine. I sat down and began playing on the drums, as I usually do while I’m there. As I played, he went back into the kitchen until I was called back for breakfast.
Amy whispered to me that Bryan hadn’t even noticed that I had on a blouse, or that I was wearing makeup, or had my hair tied back. Never registered that I was in Stef mode. What he noticed as I walked into the music room, and what he asked Amy, was if I was wearing girl jeans!
Amy and I set off for one of her client’s house – she has a pet-sitting business – to drop off their dog. We stopped by a Walmart I had worked at in McKinney, the one I opened back in 2007 as an assistant manager, and walked around. Brought back some memories! Then we got a bite to eat, stopped by another client’s house to feed their dogs, and back to her house.
I stayed another couple of hours. Bryan came in and we talked a bit, mostly about the trailer for a movie that’s coming out next year, Ready Player One, and the differences we noticed between what they showed in the trailer and what was written on the book.
Then at six that evening, I left to make the six hour drive home. Once Bryan had decided that I was the same person in Stefani mode, he grew more comfortable. I hope that leads to him coming to terms with transgender people in general, but we will have to wait and see.
I think most people would grow more comfortable if they interacted with transgender people. We’re not some group of bogeymen. We’re not crazy, and we are not mentally ill, which I’ve read as fact from some ignorant jack asses on Facebook. I know some people are bigoted and are eager to find a group that is socially acceptable to bully and disparage, but if more people were willing just to talk to us, maybe some of that stigma would disappear. Maybe they would come to see that we’re people deserving of respect.
At least, that’s my dream.