Just a coincidence, I'm sure, but there were enough similarities in this event and the one which precipitated my last post that I figured connecting them was reasonable.
I was again in Wal Mart, though this one here in the hometown and not aways off. This time I was not dressed fully female but in this ambiguous not-fully-either compromise presentation that I do for the sake of the compromise I've described in this space before. As an aside, I will admit to you that I really HATE the mixed-signal mess that arises from this situation but I can't bring myself to be any more male than I HAVE to be and there's a limit to how female I can be and honor the terms of the agreement so I'm stuck with this. For now. I'll be so glad when this parenthesis is over because I feel like I'm losing a ton of credibility at a time when I need it most. But I digress.
Anyway, so there I am, in all my ambiguous glory when I see a friend of mine coming towards me. We were classmates in high school and she was always one of my favorite people from my class because she always treated me nicely . . . even when, as adults, she found her way into the "pillars of the community" while I drifted towards the last few rungs above "white trash." I don't mean a condescending sort of kindness either, but apparently genuine warmth.
I'd tried to add her on Facebook a time or two without success but I'd tried to overlook that. so anyway, she is close enough to absolutely see me and instead of her usual warm greeting, she simply doesn't acknowledge me. Well, ok, distracted maybe or something . . . oh well. Several minutes later I happen to cross paths again, close enough I could have picked something out of her buggy, and no one else around to draw her attention. I start to say "Hi" but cut it off as she blows right past me without a word, or a smile, or even eye contact.
It's always unpleasant when you find out someone you had thought highly of now considers you unacceptable, but I have to confess that having it right in your face like that is a whole 'nother level. don't misunderstand, I'm not offended necessarily - I still maintain that everyone is entitled to their opinion. I'm really not that bothered to find out she disapproves (though mildly surprised) but I was stunned that her disapproval was delivered in such an obviously rude fashion. the one thing I've never known this woman to be was openly rude (although to be fair, we have had only casual contact as adults) - she's always seemed very poised and ready for anything. that her feelings towards me are so negative that it provoked this reaction was something for which I wasn't prepared.
That said, it did give me something to think about. Part of learning to navigate the world as Laura is finding the path between those who are accepting and supportive and those who are hostile. In that sense, all feedback is good. Even if it can sometimes be bitter medicine. Still, one of the things I've really looked forward to is the next reunion (since I've missed most of the previous ones) - I have sort of a perverse urge to let those who knew the old me spend some time with the real me. This feeling, if indeed I'm reading the situation right, lends another level of complexity to that.
One paragraph on a totally unrelated thought:
A couple of people have said to me, or about me, something to the effect of "what are you going to do when someone stomps the s*** out of you for going around like that?" - with the unstated implication that I'd deserve it and they wouldn't feel sorry for me. My only answer for that is, basically, "oh, well." you either live in fear or you don't. right now I do live in fear, on one subject, but that not for myself or my own pain. I live in fear of unnecessarily hurting my wife - that is of acting to swiftly or too slowly or in whatever way doing this thing in such a wrong way that it cause her to hurt even more or even longer than she has to by the nature of the situation. It's the only thing that leads me to moderate my transition even to the point I have. but fear for myself or what might happen to me or what might be thought or said of me? No. I'm done with that. Mock me? Laugh at me? Attack me? Hurt me? Kill me? Bring it on. To live in fear is to not live at all.