Feb. 10th, 2011

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We're at the original official end of Shirley Week, though I'm going to stretch it into a Beatles Week (eight days) because there is a dance I want to go to tonight. But I'll write about it now anyway :)

So... what was living as a woman?

Dancing at a contra dance and SCA Renaissance practice
Seeing the Vagina Monologues for the first time and being brought to tears by the transgender one
Going fabric shopping with a house guest, another friend, and a housemate
Trying on and buying girly jeans
New Betsey Johnson panties
Spending more time doing laundry because of all the delicate items
Extra attention to shaving
Putting on makeup (but no eye makeup this week, I'm having a flareup of a recurring eye condition)
Being brought to tears at a greeting card rack
Going out to the movies (The King's Speech) with a housemate during the Super Bowl
Freaking out a little girl at the subway station (she saw me and hid behind her mother)
Buying groceries and makeup and plastic hangers
Eating more sensibly because Shirley cares about how she looks and feels
Walking nearly everywhere in warm snow boots with heels that come to just below the knee
Showing up at Great Council in a little red dress and a pearl necklace
Ruining a pair of cheap knee-high stockings by walking in them too much
Spending four hours at the dentist and being calm about it
Telling the dentist the two minute version of what's going on
Going crazy over cheap jewelry at Forever 21
Seeing the eye doctor
Bouncing (fake) boobs at morris practice
Eating Tosci's and BerryLine
Listening to Bring Me To Life by Evanescence and being brought to tears (sensing a theme here?)
Hugging a male friend and suddenly having it feel different
Being loved and accepted by all my friends!

So, what was it? One of the most extraordinary ordinary weeks of my life. Now I have to figure out how much of the wonderfulness was that I'm coming closer to being my true self, and how much was a result of everything being shiny and new.
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Saturday we ended up having a house guest: John McGuire. I know John from the SCA: he's an amazing tailor, runs a decadent camp at Pennsic, and is an all around wonderful person. Saturday we all hung around and ate Thai food and talked; on Sunday, after a yummy breakfast made by two housemates, Jane and James (with Chip and Davey, two regular visitors, as extra breakfast guests), four of us (John, Jane, Davey, and me) went fabric shopping plus a stop at the nearby Marshall's. I got a holiday print fabric that will make nice tablecloths for the next New Years party, and some jeans.

Sunday evening Jane was in the mood to see a movie, and going out with a friend sounded like a lot more fun than watching the Super Bowl alone, so out we went to catch The King's Speech. Before the movie we stopped at Open Doors, a new age store in Braintree, because Jane wanted a reading; while she was busy with that I looked around the store. Two of the cards on the greeting card rack really got to me. The first was one that says "this is a long-distance hug" because my girlfriend is in California and I wished that I could make that card magically materialize there for her. The second was a mother to daughter card that said "I used to be your hero, now you are mine", praising the daughter on the wonderful woman she has become. That one got me because I don't expect things to be easy with my family and so I'll probably never receive a card like that.

The day on Monday was devoted to laundry; I don't have enough bras to get through a week without doing some washing. In the evening it was time for SCA Great Council, our group's monthly business meeting, and I decided to make a statement by going in a little red dress. (Council is usually a casual occasion; people don't wear garb to it, and they're only dressed up if they are coming from work or some other setting that called for it.) Catriona, the Seneschale, liked it.

Tuesday was a LONG day. In the morning I had an appointment with the dentist that should have been relatively short, but another patient at the office had an emergency. So after about half my work was done I had to wait a long time while they dealt with that; in total I was there for about four hours. But I was surprisingly calm about it; I rested for a bit, did some reading and web surfing on my Evo, got up to stretch, and all in all had as good a time as was possible under the circumstances. Somehow being Shirley made it easier to let the trials and tribulations of everyday life roll off and not spoil my day.

Once I finally got out of the dentist's office, I did a bit of shopping (bread at Trader Joe's, jewelry at Forever 21), then returned to medical for another appointment, this time with the eye doctor. (I have a recurring condition of inflammation that sometimes means I need prescription eyedrops.) After that it was time for morris practice, which went well.

Wednesday I spent the day relaxing at home. I got a new sound interface: an SDR-Widget, something mostly designed for use with software defined amateur radio equipment but it can also be used to play music. Of course I had to try it out, and the first thing I put on was Bring Me To Life by Evanescence. The song brought me to tears (third time in a week, is there a trend here? Actually make that fourth, I also cried at the movie, but I always cry at movies!) because being Shirley IS waking me up inside and bringing me to life; it's just that it's the person within me doing it and not somebody outside me.

In the evening I went to SCA dance practice in the evening. It turned out that there was an excess of men at practice this week, so my being there as Shirley was a Good Thing as it improved the gender balance of the group. (Not that I really care too much; I'll dance either part no matter how I am dressed.) Afterwards I went to Toscanini's for ice cream. When things broke up I shared a hug with Troy (something I've done many times, he's very sweet) but suddenly it was different... I was there in his arms, and looked up into his eyes, and I felt like a woman in the arms of a man she likes. A lot. No it's not the same as being a man in the arms of a woman he likes, but I can't define exactly how!

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