Friday, August 1, 2008

August 2008

Hi Poppets! God, but I’m loving the Pacific Northwest. Yes, my heart will always belong to Boston but let me tell you, it doesn’t suck out here.

I’ve spent the last 35 years – I’ll give myself until the age of three – never quite fitting in, being the freak. Luckily, I have been able to surround myself with amazing friends who love me because of and in spite of my quirks. My family has been supportive of who I am, even when they really didn’t get it. For all of them, the fact that I don’t quite fit in is part of my charm.

Outside, though, in the bigger world, people haven’t always been as accepting. I rarely engender a neutral reaction in people. Upon seeing me, not even meeting me, just seeing me, people usually have a strong reaction. Sometimes it is adoration. Sometimes it is disgust bordering on abhorrence. While I never try to create reactions, I also no longer worry about not creating them. I just go about my business and my life and let people react however they are going to react. I smile at the people who like me. I smile bigger at the people who don’t. My sister had often heard me explain this phenomenon but had only experienced the positive responses until we were at the mall one day. As we were leaving, she said “Bridget, I saw it a lot today. You mean it when you say they hate you, don’t you?” Yeah. I mean it.

Until I came out here.

Seattle has more burlesque shows, drag performances and pin-up clothing shops than I have been able to visit in a year. But it’s not just that.

One weekend, David and I were at a hotel in Vancouver (WA, not BC) and stepped out so he could have a smoke. It was late. We’d been playing. And while we were street legal, we were hardly in jeans and t-shirts. When we saw there was another couple – dressed in formalwear, nonetheless – already on the smoking balcony, we almost didn’t go out. Thank goodness we did. We ended up having the most lovely conversation with the King and Queen of the Vancouver community. (As an aside, my goal in life is to be as beautiful as she was. *sigh*)

Another night in Portland, I was asking a young woman about tattoo artists in the area. When she asked what I was looking for, I pulled up my skirt and showed her the large, intricate tatt that runs the length of my calf. It has always been described as “scary” so I was prepared. She looked at it and said “Well, that’s pretty standard so really anyone in town could do something like that.”

Poppets, out here, I’m normal. Hell, I’m positively mundane…and I love it. I have never wanted to fit in, to conform to societal rules, to be *that* girl. I enjoy wearing heels with Capri pants and corsets to a nice dinner. I laugh when I’m happy and don’t worry about if people stare. I’m bad at dropping hints and good at asking for what I want. I own my space and expect others to own theirs. And yes, I have flames and a broadsword up my left calf.

At the same time, I have never wanted to stand out for the sake of standing out. I have always just wanted to be me and to have that be okay with the wider world. Sadly, that hasn’t always been the case. Until now. In a place where “normal” can mean anything, even me.

So enjoy the rest of your summer. Embrace everything you are. Break a couple societal rules and breathe easy. You’re as normal as I am.

Until next month, Poppets, take care of you.

1 comment:

Dennis R. Upkins said...

I can so relate to what you're talking about. I've never tried to break the mold or garner attention just for the sake of garnering but I've never believed in conforming just for the sake of it either.