It was a weekend like any other with the exception that it was a bank holiday. One of those long weekends that I look forward to during the week with so much planned but when it actually comes I spend more time procrastinating about what I’ll do with the days that before I know it most of it has passed. By Monday I realised I’d been in the house, more or less, the whole weekend. It wasn’t just Hannah that wasn’t getting air-time but I haven’t been proactive in enjoying my spare time. Everything had become a ‘one-day I’ll do that’.
Trying to force summer into bloom I had the need for a feminine day out. To express myself more so than most days. You know what it’s like jeans all week, no matter how feminine, eventually the cycle of the woman takes its troughs and peaks and this weekend I’d peaked wanting a summer dress and visit a music festival catching as much sun as I could whenever it decided to show. Sadly the only dress I had was black and spaghetti strapped. It didn’t quite hit the mark; besides it really wasn’t that warm yet. What were my options, denim shorts over leggings? It just seemed mad fretting about these stupid simple things and so on went the ripped jeans, a dark cotton camisole and a pale plaid shirt blouse. It would do and besides I was going out for the music. It might not fill the void of wanting to display saturated femininity while I felt that way but at least I wouldn’t spend another hour switching clothes and wasting time.
The crowds were fluid from food stand to grass patch. Plastic pint glasses squished out of shape holding lager or some local cloudy ale with farmland exotic names. Children played around an old flaccid piano under old trees and the boom of indecipherable music came from the large big top tent around which the rest of the festival was tethered. I took to a can of over-priced lemonade and stood at the free stage waiting for the next performance. I was amazed at how many people would just start talking to me. Whether it was about the shagged out piano on the lawn or talking about some of the more experimental Jazz bands that most people just agreed that they didn’t understand. With the beauty of socialising with strangers aside my mind suddenly hit a strange disconnect with my body image like never before.
While strolling around the winding paths between the patches of grass picnics there would be occasions where the odd person here and there would look at me confusingly. Not quite like in the public toilets where not dress specifically female but men would still stop, turn and walk out, then walk back in when they reread the sign on the door. That in itself it confusingly satisfying that a man would think he was in the wrong toilet after looking at me. But walking freely when someone looks and I just don’t know what they’re thinking other than some look of confusion. Just at that point I felt like I was now female on the outside, but male at the skin level and female at the core.
It was as if the clothes were saying female but my face and hair were just not. It was as if someone had placed the mask of a man on me and I had to wear it for the day or that I been made to grow a beard. I don’t think I’d ever felt it like this before. Doubt set in like the clouds towards the end of the afternoon and I just felt like I need to revisit what I thought of myself. Who am I.
It didn’t spoil the day, in fact the rather strange man at the back of the audience who insisted in clinking a pair of spoons together in a four over four beat as if he was listening to something totally different to what the band were playing, was probably the only thing that did spoil it. Well that and not having a dress to wear and not wearing one. And probably wearing my hair up when it would have been nice to have a day with it down. The things I do to protect the feelings of the general public.
When I returned home and got through the front door, dropping my bag on the floor and briefly looked in the mirror, I saw someone else. A woman. A woman with her hair in a pony tail with a little bit of eyeliner left on the ridge of her eye lids. Suddenly I realised that this now didn’t match the body image that I had in my head at the festival. All that worry feeling that I was looking like a man with angular facial features rather than curves were completely different to what I was outwardly showing.
This is one of the major internal conflicts I have as a sufferer of the gender thing but never has it been so multilayered – and to think, it was all in my head. Once I had got my dinner on I went back to the mirror just to double check I’d not imagined it. Confidence had been gained from a lack of confidence. I just need to have a little more faith in myself. I may not be quite where I want to be, I want a new hair style and hair removal to be fair and the only fringe at the moment was the festival, but I should at least for now not be quite so hard on myself.
Until next time.