Sunday, April 26, 2009

Meet the Folkers

I just had to relate an experience I had yesterday. It's kind of along the fatherhood thread of discussion that's been going. My son is a graduating senior in high school this year. Last night, my partner and I went over to my son's girlfriends house to take the pre-prom pictures and meet her parents. My remaining male role in life is as public father to my son. He is fine with me, its just we haven't told his high school buddies. I will be coming out after this spring's graduation, so this is one of the last big, public rituals I need to do.

It was really weird. He is our youngest, so add to everything, the fact that this is the last time we will do this ritual before the nest is empty.

I felt like Nathan Lane in the Birdcage trying to act straight. From the manly handshake to mustering my best baritone to introduce myself by my old name, I've never felt so much like I was doing drag. I dressed as macho as I could muster, which isn't much. I did bind my breasts (if that isn't true love for my son, what is?) and wear a wool Pendleton lumberjack shirt. I took out my earrings and wore my highlighted hair in a pony tail...probably tied too high though, to contain my tapered bangs. Sitting (slouching?), legs, hand positioning, stifling the lift in my vocal expression all took conscious attention. My legs want to cross in a most unmanly way.

The upcoming graduation party itself should be interesting. My father will be here for my son's graduation. I'm out to dad but he hasn't met me, and, though I won't be wearing frocks, I won't be doing the drag king show I did last night. promises to be very interesting...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Trip to the Beep-Beep Store

Ever since our kids were small, they hated going to the hardware store, especially Home Depot. They were hyper-sensitive to the loud beep-beep-beeping of the reversing fork lifts. Hence, we have dubbed it the Beep-Beep store ever since. Last Sunday, my partner and I ventured to the Beep-Beep store to get spring fertilizer and other garden supplies. In particular, we are planning a small raised bed for the garden and wanted to get the appropriate landscape timbers and other stuff to bang it together. Plans? Who needs stink'in plans? There is nothing some BFN's, (Big frigg'n nails) can't build.

I was in my best macho presentation, in accordance with an agreement that my partner and I have made and I am doing my best to adhere to until later this spring when my son graduates from school. Thing is, short of gluing on a fake beard and taking some tips from the drag king world, I tend to be failing miserably at being taken for a guy. Without fail, every clerk in Home Depot went out of there way to say "Welcome Ladies" or ask "Is there anything you girls were looking for in particular?" Thankfully, my partner is a good sport about this, especially since full time is only a month or two away.

After lapping the store the requisite 6 times looking for things on our list, we found the landscape timbers and decided what size to make the raised garden. This was going to involve cutting some of the timbers in two places each to make the shorter pieces for the width of the box. We found the saw operator, and after complaining that anything more than one cut was a "project cut" and he would do it this time as a special favor. Condescending asshole! He further went on to explain that this was Home Depot policy in order to sell more power tools. This made me really pine for old-time hardware stores!

Next, as we were searching the nail section for 5" BFN's, a salesman approached us. Did you know that you can get 4" nails and 6" nails, but nothing in between? We asked him for alternative assembly methods and he went on to diagram a plan using Lincoln-log design, pinned together with re-bar. All we needed was a power drill, an 18" spade bit, a circular saw, a cutting disk, some 10' lengths of re-bar and a grinding bench to put a point on the re-bar spikes. (Not to mention the pickup truck to haul all of this stuff).

I explained that my tool of choice was a hammer. He looked at my partner and said that, "The ladies approach will work, but..." and went on to explain the 30 year life-span of his solution. We blew this guy off, talk about trying to sell tools! I bought some pre-cut wooden stakes. Good 'ol Dracula technology rides again!

I guess the point of this pointless post is how I felt treated as a woman at Home Depot. Everything was a big favor and everything needed more tools, whose use I really wouldn't understand. How hard is it to slap some landscape timbers together and fill the box with dirt? Apparently, according to Home Depot, it is a two-weekend, $300 project. We spent $22, it looks great...


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Law Enforcement Week!

I just got back from another visit with local law enforcement. Here in Colorado, you have to get fingerprint background checks from both the FBI and CBI and bring them to the name change hearing. To get the prints taken, you have to go to the county sheriff office. I went a few weeks ago, and the deputy sheriff/fingerprint technician was as nice and respectful as could be. Fully aware of why I was there and what my ID says, he seemed to take special care to get the pronouns right. When he took the prints on the machine (its all electronic these days), he pointed out lots of white lines running through them. "Are those the result of dry skin I asked?", after all, that is the bane of Colorado. His answer was a rather disheartening, "No, those are wrinkles".

Well, after mailing them in and waiting three weeks, that set of prints was rejected by the FBI as unreadable. Bad whorls and ridges or some such thing. (This check typically takes 8 - 12 weeks!). So today, I went back in. The same guy was much less respectful this time. I counted 6 "sirs" to only one "mam". I think he was out of joint because the precision of his work was called into question. A tech person was just finishing installing a brand-spanking new machine, so I was the first set of prints run on it. It didn't make me feel special though ...

So, off go the prints to Washington (Clarksburg, WV actually)...again.

This whole experience makes me ponder the invasiveness of the whole process. One doesn't have to visit the sheriff and have prints taken to come out gay. Well, at least they didn't insist on a retina scan. (that's retina, as in eyeball identification, not any other body part)

All inked up and nowhere to go...