Monday, September 15, 2014

A Happy Birthday

On September 13, 2014, I turned 48.

But this story doesn't start here.  Nor does it start on September 13, 1966.  Although technically my story started there.  But that's neither here nor there.

No, today's post starts a couple of days before the 13th, on September 11, 2014.  It was a rainy, miserable day here in south east PA, and I was waiting at the PA DOT Drivers licencing center in  Malvern, PA.  I'd been waiting for over ninety minutes when finally called.  In my hand was a form signed by my therapist stating that my true gender identity is female.  I also had a money order for $12.00 as that's what the PennDOT site said I needed.

And the guy processed my form and said "that'll be $27.50."  "But the website said it was $12," I said.

"The price went up," he said, very matter of factly.

And so I left.  I couldn't get more money, as my ATM card had been compromised the weekend before, and the replacement hadn't arrived yet.

The next day, I returned.  My ATM card had been replaced, and I procured another money order, this one for $15.50.  I waited my turn again, but this time had the proper amount of money.  Not long after, I had my new drivers license, with an F where gender was indicated.

Fast forward to Saturday, September 13.  It was another rainy day.  During the day, I saw Wife and daughter.  I was in male mode.  A compromise.  The highlight of the afternoon was Daughter's "birthday surprise:"  a twenty minute "magic show" which was a rambling improv narrative as only a six year old and her toys could do.  It was incoherent and precious as all hell.  I felt the love for sure.

That night was a party.  Last year, I spent my birthday alone.  That really tore at my heart.  This year, I decided I would throw my own party.  Coincidentally, Angela's Laptop Lounge was a week early due to a Raven event the following weekend.  So I would have my party at Angela's event.  I used facialbook to invite friends- both trans and cisgender.

After seeing Wife and daughter, I returned to the apartment.  My roomie Linda was already made up, so I jumped into the shower, shaved, and did my makeup and hair.  I decided to wear an LBD, as did Linda.  Her dress would get more compliments but that's ok.

Me in an LBD

Linda drove.  Our first stop was McKenzies to see our friend Valerie, who bartends there.  We stayed for a little then went off to Baxters, where the party and the Laptop Lounge were being held.

When we arrived, there were two couples having dinner and one bar customer.  Angela was already setting up.  Soon enough, my guests started to arrive.  Some brought gifts.  Eventually eleven people would attend my "party" and I was grateful to see all of them.  I really appreciate that people took time out of their weekend to see me.

Dancing with Katie to the Grateful Dead

As I mentioned earlier, I didn't drive.  As I suspected, people started buying me drinks.  And yes, I got drunk.  The biggest hit of them all was when my "Big Sister" Mel bought me a MacAllen scotch.  That really threw me over into drunkland.  But I didn't get stupid about it.  As the night grew late, people would buy me shots over my protests and I gave them away.  I knew if I had another drink I'd be sick, and I didn't want that.  I gave several of them to the wedding party.

Oh I didn't mention them?  Right around 10:30, guests from a nearby wedding started to arrive.  The reception was over so this was the after party.  Overall, there were maybe thirty of them.  At first, they stayed to one side of the bar, away from the TG women.  As the night went on, curiosity, the desire to dance, and, undoubtedly, alcohol took hold and they mingled with us freely.

And in this way, it was a good night for education and outreach.  Heck for most of my friends, I was the only transperson they'd ever met.  Now they were mingling with a broad cross section of our community; from CDs to fully transitioned women.  Everyone was respectful and really seemed to enjoy the Night.

Eventually, I'd had enough drink, and my dear friend Elizabeth (now back from Istanbul) drove me back to my apartment.  After she left, I contemplated sticking my fingers down my throat, but decided against it.

I was hung over like crazy the next day.  The weather cleared and I went to a church fair with Wife and Daughter.  Oh what a long day, but Daughter had fun.  And when it was over, I went back to the apartment and collapsed on my bed.  I slept most of the day.  I cvan't handle the drink like I used to, and that's a very good thing.

So that was my birthday weekend.  The only word that describes it for me is Magical.  I saw so many people and really enjoyed feeling special for the day.  Normally, I hate when people make a fuss as I don't feel I deserve it.  But I decided that I'd let people make my day special for me, and that I'd accept it.  And they made it special.


Thanks to all of you who came out, and to those who sent me birthday wishes on facialbook.

And thank You, dear readers, for staying with me through good entries and bad.

With Linda at the Party

1 comment:

  1. Just realized that "though I'm a bunch of years older than you", we share a birthday - September 13. Happy Belated Birthday!

    Your party sounded like fun...since we were on our return trip from the midwest that day, by mutual agreement there was no "celebration." Just a card and present. We'll go out to dinner as my official "party" one day soon...

    Maybe someday we can celebrate together....