It's been a while since I've been able to meet the ladies at the Whine and Dine meetup. Both the weather and other prior commitments have gotten in the way of seeing these friendly faces - and I missed them.
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When I started the day, I had a simple task list:
- (In Mario Mode) Get in the exercise I was too tired to do yesterday.
- (On Phone) Call my dad's financial planner, ask for advice.
- (On Phone) Call my tax preparer and schedule an appointment.
- (On-Line) Scan the job postings, and send out a few resumes.
- (In Marian Mode) See the ladies at the Whine and Dine.
- (In Marian Mode) Bring GFJ home from the Whine and Dine, so that she can be here tomorrow, when her car's windshield is scheduled to be replaced.
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Just before I was to leave for the health club, I received an email from GFJ stating:
I registered for the W&D tonight. We will act as if we just met. I don't really know Marian that well. I was just talking to my son and he wants to leave at 7 so he can study longer so I won't be there until 8. You don't have to save a seat for me. I am good at squeezing in.
So this is going to be fun.... GFJ will see how I get along with the rest of the ladies, and will likely have some interesting comments of her own when we come back to my place for the evening.
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As expected, I did not call either my tax person or my dad's financial person. But I did get to the health club, even though I didn't have the emotional energy to do so. And I did get my routine in for the day - so at least one important accomplishment was taken care of for the day. Even though the job boards were slim pickings, I did manage to send out a couple of resumes. That left me with the evening items on the list - and that was going to be the more interesting part of the day.
Part of why I go to the Whine and Dine is because it enables me to be with people, and feel like I'm part of the human race. Men in our culture are often solitary people, socializing in competitive ways, but never sharing much of themselves. And this results in a form of loneliness that many men share, as they do not know how to connect with others the way that women do. By being transgender and socializing as a female, I pick up on a different vibe - a warmth that one gets by being one of the girls. Yes, being TG does get in the way a little, but not as much as one might think. Women do look at each other, and immediately try to establish a pecking order - but they also have to get along with each other. So even when competing with each other, they must also collaborate with each other. Not having been socialized as a female, I am not as sensitive to this pecking order as most women, and I get my self worth from something other than a rank in a pecking order. This allows me to enjoy being with the Whine and Dine group, as I bring something to the table without being affected by any competition at the table, for I know I would never be a "queen bee".
When I got to the meetup, the Whine and Diners were well underway with their wine and their food. I ended up sitting with the women who were eating, next to the women who were doing the drinking. No, no one was getting drunk. One woman, S, (the Queen Bee) had a second glass of wine, knowing that her friend would be the one driving them home. Sadly, I missed seeing J (who was busy with her own affairs, which will not get chronicled here). The Queen Bee asked about J, knowing that we are friends. All I could say is that she was busy, and that I haven't spoken with her in a while. (True statements, but I knew more than I was letting on...)
I was having a great time chatting with the ladies at my end of the table, which included two newcomers. And out of the corner of my eye, I saw GFJ come in (as expected) in her down coat. Neither of us acknowledged each other, save for a quick eye connection, and she proceeded to the noisy end of the table to sit down and have dinner. We didn't have a single word to say to each other for this part of the night, and it was just as well - it helped preserve the image that Marian was safe to have in the group. (Marian is likely perceived as almost asexual, and not a threat to anyone.) But this left the two of us with a two part problem. How do we signal each other that it is time to go? How do we leave in a way that we are not seen as leaving together? And the solution came with modern technology - cell phone messaging. I was able to tell GFJ to meet me in the parking lot behind a building, and she met me there a few minutes afterwards for the trip back to my place and to Mario Mode....
Yes - it's a little strange switching between Marian and Mario modes when GFJ is in the picture, but I find it worth the hassle, to have a relationship with someone nice. It's probably a little awkward for her as well, but as long as we can find our way through this maze together, it'll be good for both of us....
PS: Can you find me and GFJ in the above picture?