Saturday, March 6, 2010

People Always Find Ways To Amaze Me

Neighbors offering to cut up trees

When I am at home, I am me. I had just finished lunch, and was changing clothes to go to the grocery store. I had spent an hour on my stationary bike just before lunch, and was still dressed in my white tank top, fuchsia shorts, and women's New Balance sneakers. Suddenly, I was startled from my usual privacy, by a loud knock on the front door. I had just removed the clothes I had on, and was in no position to answer the door, so I ignored it and kept changing clothes, but the intruder was insistent. Whoever it was, kept on knocking forcefully. I had the radio on quite loud , and was listening to Attila, on Live From The Met, so whoever it was knew I was home. Grudgingly, I hurried to get into my male clothing, hoping I could get dressed before they went away thinking I was some kind of weirdo. They probably already thought that anyway, but I didn't want to fuel their speculation. I managed to get my shoe laces tied just as the intruder was leaving. I ran out and yelled to her as she was about to exit my driveway. She turned around and I saw that it was my next door neighbor, P.

We still had a lot of fallen tree debris along the road out front, from the miserable snow storm a few weeks ago, and she and her husband were cleaning it up. She said they had their chain saw out there, and were willing to clean up what had fallen on my property as well, if it was OK with me. I said sure it was OK, since my chain saw had been broken for a long time, and I didn't know what I was going to do without it. As she walked away, I realized that she wasn't even aware that my chain saw was broken, when I lent it to her and her husband in the aftermath of Hurricane Isabel. Their son came to help them cut up the big tree that had fallen next to their house during that storm, so maybe he was the culprit who destroyed my saw, and they never even knew about it.........or.......and admittedly my cynical mind is working here.........they were merely trying to assuage their guilt, by offering to cut up my fallen trees. Since I am not one who is given to embracing my cynical nature, I want to believe they really didn't know that my brand new chainsaw was destroyed by their son, and returned to my shed without so much as an apology.

On the way back from the grocery store, I saw her husband R out on the road, cleaning up severed branches. After parking the car in the driveway, I walked out to him, and thanked him for offering to cut up what had fallen on my property. I said my chainsaw had been broken for quite some time, and I didn't know what I was going to do with all of that tree debris. He was very gracious and even offered to help me cut up the tree that was laying against my roof. I thanked him, but said that I had a pole saw, and was going to cut the top of it off with that, and then I wouldn't have any trouble lifting the rest off the edge of the roof, and cutting it up with my bow saw.

After years of experience with all kinds of people, I am pretty intuitive, when it comes to human behavior. Neither he, nor his wife exhibited the slightest knowledge, or signs of guilt of my saw being broken. I'm now thinking their son busted my saw, and they didn't know about it, and I was completely wrong in thinking they did. I am so ashamed for mistrusting them. I went for years thinking they were crap, but obviously they are kind decent people. Shame on me!

Support group, clothes that don't fit , redundant cake, growing love for trans sisters.

My March transgender support group meeting was held Friday night. I began to prepare for it the day before, making sure I was completely epillated, manicured, and all of my clothes were washed. On Friday all I had to do was iron what I was going to wear, shower, dress and do my makeup, and I would be ready to go. All went well until it was time to get dressed. I had chosen a maroon plaid, pin tuck, button up tunic, a beige denim skirt, and brown boots. Everything went well until I put the skirt on. I could button it, but I could not sit down in it; not without it pushing all of the blood in my upper torso into my cranium! Everything was fine as long as long as I was standing up, but as soon as I sat down, I felt like my eyes were going to pop out of my head! Obviously this winter's lethargy had taken it's toll on my waistline. Well, I thought........this will never do! After trying several options, I settled on a pair of jeans, that while tight, were still comfortable enough to wear for the entire evening. It's a good thing I am now redoubling my efforts on the stationary bike. The boots still could have been worn, but since I wore them with jeans to my last meeting, I decided to wear a pair of Trotters woven leather loafers instead.

As usual I departed at 6:30 PM, instead of the projected 6:00 PM. The pot luck supper starts at 6:30 PM, and the official meeting starts at 7:30 PM. When traffic is good, it takes me 40-45 minutes to get there. I got there at about 7:15 PM. I walked in, and presented my contribution to the pot luck supper; a huge sliced bundt cake, of assorted flavors. And no.......I didn't bake it in the nude, so you can take your dirty little minds out of the gutter! In fact, I didn't bake it at all. I bought it while fully clothed at at Kroger's! I thought it was a great idea at the time, but as soon as I walked in, I saw an identical cake sitting on the kitchenette counter! R, the girl who hosted our Christmas party, brought one just like it, and when she saw what I was carrying, smiled and said, "Like minds think alike!" I laughed and said, "Oh no!", but all was well. As it turned out, neither of our cakes were fully consumed, and I told one of the younger girls she was welcome to take it home with her if she wanted to. She is truly adorable, and seemed delighted by my offer, and that made me very happy!

The meeting was focused on a video of how to obtain a female voice. It was a CD made from a VHS tape, made by a girl named Melanie in Burbank California 15-2o years ago, but the girl knew what she was talking about, and and had a lovely feminine voice and demeanor. She showed a clip of her former male self, and he was as male as anyone of us ever was. It was a stark testament to just how far you can go, if you had have the determination and of course, the resources.

Madam president approached me as soon as I laid my redundant cake upon the table, and said she was happy to see me there this time. I offered my excuse for missing the last meeting, "I was snowed in", I said . "Uh-huh" she sarcastically replied. After seven months in the group, I have come to adore her! She will be undergoing her SRS at the Papillon Center .

Another girl who introduced me to the group and who I also adore, had been looking for a roommate, but when you are middle aged and trans, that can be tricky. She needs a girl to room with her, but she has to be gainfully employed, responsible, can't smoke or drink heavily, and can't play rap music. She has been looking for several months without success, and is contemplating advertising on Craig's List. I'm not too sure if that's a good idea or not, but she is getting desperate, because her monthly rent is killing her on her low salary.

New Dvorak collection & a few glasses of wine...all is good.

Listening to the New World Symphony a while back got me inspired, and I went on line and ordered a boxed set called Dvořák The Symphonies, recorded by István Kertész and the London Symphony Orchestra. It includes Symphonies No. 1-9. A few glasses of wine, the symphonies of Dvořák, blogging to my friends, what could be a better way to spend a late winter evening?

Melissa XX


caroline said...

So glad you have better neighbours than you thought even if the have bred an idiot.

I never did comment on music which brings tears and this post sent me into the attic to find an old favourite but it must have been in the box full I gave to my niece an eternity ago. While the 9th always roused my spirits I am sure it was the 7th which put me through an emotional wringer and brought tears regularly. I did find electric ladyland with it's original double cover image of naked ladies! Something too much for today's delicate shoppers! More tears of joy here.

Philip Glass' Koyaanisqatsi had me in tears at the first chord as I played it in the car minutes after purchase and Zbigniew Preisner's Veronique never fails but then it is sung by someone who dies while singing it in the film!

On that cheery note I am off to buy seeds with my gardener so spring must be in the air.

Caroline xxx

alan said...

I'd like to think you have the mystery of the saw figured out...which reminds me I need to go buy a chain for my own!

Music, listened to or performed can change things inside us that nothing else can.


Sophie said...

I was really impressed with Melanie's voice. She has amazing control of it. I thought the tape was great at letting you know what you need to be able to do, but not so wonderful at actually explaining how to get to point B from point A. I rather suspect that if one were in need of assistance like that they may be better off with a voice coach.

BTW, you have a comma in your link to Papillon instead of a dot.

Melissa said...

@ Sophie

She had a lovely feminine voice and mannerisms. I'm sure the fact that she was an actor probably helped a lot. I used to be able to do exactly what she was explaining, and it was quite effective. It's really just a matter of raising the location of your voice, from your chest, to the back of your throat. I did it years ago, when I used to make salon visits. It was much easier back then, because I was conversing with genetic women, an it just felt like the natural way to talk when around them. I can still do it, but without regular practice, it's hard to not let the voice drop, especially at the end of sentences. When I first started attending our meetings, I thought I was going to get a chance to use my feminine voice there, but when no one you are conversing with is making much of an effort to feminize their voice, you feel kind of funny doing it yourself. A few of the girls seem to have gender neutral voices, but no one I have heard has that really feminine sing song quality in their voice, that Melanie had.

Thanks for pointing out the comma in the link I provided. I've since corrected it.

Melissa XX

Calie said...

Melissa, don't feel bad about your hard and possibly incorrect feelings towards your neighbors. Any normal person would have come to that conclusion. From what I have seen, you are a wonderful, friendly, and caring woman. You're fortunate to have them as neighbors and they are lucky to have you as such.

Calie xxx