Filed under: You can’t make this shit up
I was sitting in the sukkah (temporary hut constructed for use during the week-long Jewish festival of Sukkot) with some of the residents I work with. Keeping in mind that most of these people have some level of dementia, it isn’t so strange that one woman turned to Joita (who happened to be visiting me at work that afternoon) and asked her if she got along well with her father (me). Joita, having grown up in this environment, just smiled, looked lovingly at me and said, “Yes”. What was strange was that the next day this same woman found her way down to the sukkah to sit next to me. She leaned precariously out of her wheelchair toward me and said in a loud whisper behind her hand, “You know, I have a bone to pick with you. And it’s just my opinion. So take it for what it’s worth. But I like you very much and think you should know.” I nodded encouragingly and said, “Go on.” She looked straight at me and said, “Well, I don’t like very much, you making this absurd announcement that you are a woman. Or even supporting the notion that others have that you are. Unless that is what you feel like inside. But then again, no. It gives the wrong message to our youth. Because you know, you are not a woman. Sorry to have to tell you that. And I doubt that is what you feel inside anyway.”
In other news, there is a woman I work with from another culture (one not very accepting of gays – let’s leave it at that). When she first came to work for the company and met me she approached me and said, “I know what you are. And even though you are probably attracted to me, I am not that way. I am happily married. To a man.” Really, there is no good response to that and I think I can honestly say that it was one of the very few times in my life I have been at a complete loss for words. In the 10 years we have worked at the same organization (we work in different departments and do not have a ton of contact with one another), we have dealt with her bigotry and erroneous assumptions. We understand each other and are cordial. Though of course, I may never forget that initial ridiculousness. So the other day I was walking through one of the gallery areas at work and she was coming from the other direction. I don’t know exactly what happened (you know, it all happened so fast kind of thing), but she launched into a several-tumble, rather graceless fall across the floor, where she landed, splat, pretty much at my feet. I looked down at her, absolutely seriously, and said, “Ok A, you have to deal with the fact that you are obviously extremely attracted to me and so smitten with me that you swoon at the very sight of me. But you know, I’m happily married. To a woman.” Yes, I really said that. Not 3 days after atoning for all my sins on Yom Kippur. I may go to hell in a hand-basket, but I’m going to be laughing the whole way I tell you.
I shared the story (with pretty much everyone) with a co-worker who has offered to take me suit-shopping the next time Milton’s has a sale. She looked up from her desk and through peals of laughter said, “Forget about the suit Hali, you already have the balls!” Do non-trans people have this much fun?!