Wednesday, January 4, 2012

DJ's outfits

I am not mocking DJ, ok, yes I am, but in fun.  NOT because she's transgender, but because girls can be so much fun when they are choosing their outfits.  Except for metrosexual guys, and (I'm going to traffic in stereotypes for a moment) most gay men, all the other men who don't fit in either category don't really care about what they wear too much as long as its: relatively clean, chicks think they look good in it, and it's comfortable.

Girls, and women, we're a bit different.  We are so incredibly in touch with our feelings, that we often want to dress in a way that reflects how we feel.  Hmmmm, I'm feeling a little bad ass today, so I think I'll wear my motorcycle boots, skinny jeans and dark black eyeliner;  I woke up feeling like everything in the world was beautiful, so I simply must wear a pink sundress with cute little strappy sandals;  my husband is not paying any attention to me and my wardrobe path may "Y" into either wearing a housecoat all day to piss him off, or wearing something that creates fabulous cleavage and then ignoring his attentions.  Am I feeling chic today?  Hair up.  Kind of down home and down to earth? A flannel shirt and jeans.  Ladies, most of you can relate....I think.  We are multi-faceted, and fascinating people and often, we like our clothing to reflect that, particularly the teen and twenty something set.

DJ is so much fun with her combinations that I must chronicle what she is wearing.  So perhaps I will add  a regular blurb to the blog just for fun.

Today's attire:  Black lace mini-skirt, polka dot stockings, purple converse sneakers with fuschia lipstick print on them, pink and black bustier with a black zip up hoodie over it, to meet school dress code.  No sparkles in the make-up today.  She looks freaking adorable.  :)

Traffic patterns in relationships

I had a response from a reader, "What is it about pronouns you don't understand?"  She retracted her statement pretty quickly on realizing she misunderstood something, which I appreciate, but I surprised myself because her (retracted) criticism stung.  I must explore this because I think there are a number of important lessons here:

1)  In spite of working in fire and rescue for a number of years, it seems I am still not nearly as thick-skinned as one would imagine I'd be.  What the heck?  Kind of funny that a perfect stranger's remark could have momentarily made me feel so crappy even if it was only for a minute or two.  Clearly, I have much work to do on not taking anything so blessed personally.

2)  What if I did make a pronoun mistake?  A gentle correction or explanation would likely get more of the response the speaker would prefer, which is that I use the correct pronouns in the future.

DJ recently has been dealing with friends who knew her for years as JD and are subsequently still tripping up and using the wrong pronoun or name.  Now, I have kvetched extensively about DJ's peers not hitting the mark, but let me play devil's advocate for a moment not to defend the people committing the faux pas so much as to explain the goof up from another perspective so that the person who has been incorrectly identified can understand that sometimes the goof up is just that-a goof up.

I mentioned how DJ's childhood pal came by and inadvertently called DJ "man".  Additionally, this young man doesn't openly flirt with DJ like he does with pretty much any other attractive girl at school (and yes, it would be wonderful if straight guys treated physically "unattractive" girls the way they treat the"attractive" girls, but that's a whole other topic and my brain cannot do that right now) and DJ was certain it was because he didn't accept her because she's transgender.  In her defense, I'm sure the non-acceptance happens to her a lot, but perhaps not in this case because not only did this young man drop by Christmas Day, but he came by New Year's Eve with another young man/childhood friend in tow, to visit DJ.  Isolate the "how's it goin' man?" remark and one could easily assume the young man in question just didn't get the pronoun thing (with the underlying assumption that he wasn't trying hard enough).  But taken together with his multiple attempts to seek DJ out and bring another mutual friend along, and I can't help but see it in another light.

Bulldog and DJ discussed this at length with Disc Jockey.  The point was to get DJ to see that sometimes acceptance doesn't come wrapped in the paper we expect or hope to see.  But let's face it, you wrap a beautiful Pottery Barn Carlisle sofa in newspaper, and I'm still going to adore what's inside. So maybe, since we're all in relationship together, we both try to give each other a break.  Yes, I know  the lion's share of the work will be resting on the transgender person's shoulders and that sucks.  Maybe I'm full of $- - -, but as a mother, if I thought trading places with DJ would offer her more peace, I'd do it in a heartbeat.  But there's another more important point here other than giving the "other" person who goofs up the pronouns a break, which is this:

In feeling rejected by the person who goofed, and in turn rejecting the person who goofed, you may be rejecting a person who truly loves you and is truly wanting to be your friend.

I know I'm sounding a bit high and mighty and I don't mean to but the reason I'm harping on this is because this is a lesson I've had to learn myself, so now that the murkiness is clearing and I'm seeing the full picture, I'm like a newly reformed smoker:  I'm so happy with my new "health" I want to force it on everyone else!!  But bear with me for a moment, please.  For years, I misinterpreted people's actions, particularly when it felt like I was being rejected.  More often than not, it had to do with my own esteem issues-which we all have to varying degrees.  Then, with age and pharmaceuticals and my own "Disc Jockey" came the realization that sometimes people react poorly to me or with me because of reasons that have nothing to do with me and everything to do with them.  Maybe they're a bit awkward, had an argument with their mother, failed a test, feel attracted to me and feel weird about that for any number of reasons, or are so worried about saying or doing the wrong thing that they say and do the wrong things, accidentally.  We've all seen the people who try so damn hard that they destroy the thing they are trying so hard to protect, right?  Hell, I'm one of those people!!

And in fairness to anyone who is "different", different folks have to be more on guard to look for jerks, without question.  Our radar has to be incredibly fine tuned so that we can avoid the jerks and not toss out the great folks who accidentally committed a jerk-ish error.  Something both DJ and I are learning to internalize:  Acceptance is definitely a two way street.