He stood, moved to the door, and beckoned me to follow with two crooked fingers.
- Chloe Neill, Friday Night Bites
"I'm grooming Sophie to be the ministry chair," I heard Rita say at the next table over at Holly's house in reference to the Membership Ministry of the church, while we were drying after bathing in Holly's floor so that we wouldn't mess up her hard wood floor.
"I'll probably find out about it like the Chalice Night Team," I called over to her. "I'll probably find out after you nominate me and I get a letter thanking me for volunteering from Dawn. 'I didn't,' I mimicked in reply. Rita, who is the current chair and was member of the prior Chalice Night Team, had also last month convinced Dawn, our minister that I had volunteered to be on the Chalice Night Committee, the group that oversees the administration of the weekly religious education opportunities for members and guests of the church, as the Membership Ministry representative. Because I found out by the congratulatory email to the new team from the minister, I'm taking her at her word.
Today is pleasantly quiet, the day after July 4th celebrations and a day off from work, it is refreshingly peaceful. When I finally crawled out of bed this morning, I threw on the first shirt in my short-sleeved section of the closet, and when I looked in the mirror to see how the blank workout tank top went with my brown skirt-style swimming trunks I slept in, I was pleasantly surprised to see cleavage. It wasn't really noticeable from the front, but from the sides it made me happy to finally see I had what I have been so jealous of. For the record, it's about a week over 26 months that I have been on feminizing hormones.
After a bath, a quick dry of my hair and lite makeup, I gathered up laundry and headed to the laundromat. I had exchanged the swim bottoms for my blue-jean skorts. There weren't many people there and I read about the first 30 pages of Friday Night Bites. As I grabbed a quick soda while folding my laundry, I noticed a gentleman staring at with me with a scowl. I didn't know why he could possibly be angry, and, defensively, returned a smile. Every time I glanced in his direction while folding, that look of disgusted hatred was on his face as he stared at me. Looking back now, I am thankful for the security guard who held the door open for me as I left.
I also got looks from a gentleman sitting in the passenger seat of a pickup right next to my car. An older white-haired woman sat in the driver's seat while they waited for their laundry to dry. There was something odd about the way he looked at me that made me feel very uncomfortable. I am hoping that one of these days I will not have to use the pepper spray I carry on my key chain. I have noticed at this particular laundromat that the time of day almost predicts which gender is present. Before 5 PM, the place is full of mostly men doing their laundry, and after 5 PM, it's mostly women. I should have waited until 5, but I wanted to get it over with. Next time, I'll wait until at least 4, when the men present are a bit more comfortable to be around and the the place will soon be packed with women and children.
Saturday night, I finally watched Soldier's Girl. I didn't realize it at the time, but it is an appropriate transgender-related movie to watch around Independence Day. There are adult moments in the movie, but they are key to understanding the story. It's the true story of the brutal murder of Private First Class Barry Winchell, who was murdered in his sleep for falling in love with a woman, Calpernia Addams, who happened to be transsexual. The events happen around Independence Day, 1999, and Don't Ask Don't Tell comes into the spotlight. The movie was brutal to me, because I identified too much with Calpernia's tale. I couldn't help but cry, and the only thing available to stem my tears was a role of paper towels on the table.
It was a long night that night. I didn't get back to my place until about 3:30 in the morning, fighting sleep on the hour and a half drive. I only got about 3 hours of sleep as I crawled out of bed on Sunday for church. As I was serving coffee afterward, I accidentally pointed to a couple of guests I hadn't met to remind myself to meet them, one of them noticed me pointing and came right over. As I presented my hand to introduce myself, he held it for the entire conversation as we continued to talk. And I met another guest, who happens to be working in Fort Knox, doesn't live that far from me, and I may have talked her into showing up at Jim Porter's for Swing Dancing Lessons on Tuesday. She came with her parents. Word is, she may be deploying to Afghanistan soon. I hope I can at least buy her a drink before she goes.
After church, I grabbed my bathing suit and spent the next six hours at a swim and barbeque at Holly's house. There were about 10 of us there, playing games in the pool and enjoying the wonderful buffet. My plate was loaded down with mostly vegetables, a piece of chicken, a deviled egg and a brownie. I had to go back for another deviled egg, fruit, and a wonderful homemade bean dip with chips shaped into little star-shaped bowls to hold the dip. Eventually, I made the 11 minute drive home to my place about 7 PM and crashed on my bed in my bathing suit until the fireworks woke me about 10 PM. Completely exhausted, I removed my bathing suit top and stubbornly tried to sleep through the booms, imagining what it must be like in a war zone, like it was in 1989 with all the missiles over Iraq. Finally, the noise ended, and I slept.
I was also pleasantly surprised by the scale this morning. All that exercise in the pool and right eating paid off. On Saturday, it read 196, and today it stopped at 190. If all these chips and homemade bean dip that I brought home doesn't put it back on, I only need to erase another 20 pounds in the next year.
Hugs and God Bless,