Sunday, July 01, 2007

My First Designer Hat.

As many of you know, I have some problems with what it means to be feminine. Now that I'm starting to explore imitating women I respect and admire, I realize I was jealous. All I knew from my background was that I sure as heck didn't want to be anything like my mother.

Look at the other 1950's role models. "I Love Lucy" is on the top of my barf list, but I hated all the happy family shows, as that world and my world were universes apart. I remember being confused in the 2nd grade when I noticed that both parents in "Fun With Dick and Jane" dressed in fancy clothes. My parents spent their time nude, or in filthy bathrobes.

Please understand. My mother was extremely mentally ill. I mean no disrespect towards her. One of the things I am really looking forward to in heaven is meeting my parents whole, healthy and happy. But I decided that being a male was the safest way to go. I didn't like my father's passive behavior, but when he'd finally hit my mother, she'd worked on him for hours!

I tried the gay lifestyle and wasn't any more successful in those relationships, then I was with the guys. I don't hate men as a matter of course and I just couldn't buy some of the politics of the women's movement. Although not being "cute", "frilly" or "stupid" was fine with me.

I am now deeply involved with my small church. We dress up for Sunday Service and the women are requested to wear a dress for every meeting (no matter how the men slep in). That is one of my sticking points, but to continue.

I am around truly noble, positive, smart and beautiful women. When they dress up on Sunday they sometimes have a hat to go with their jacket dress, or tailored suit. Most of the dresses come down to the floor, so I see a lovely woman walk in to church, wearing a flowing purple jacket dress topped with a matching hat. When she walks, it looks like she is almost floating, or flowing across the floor. I found myself wanting to look like that, to act like that. To have the quiet dignity which enables these women to confront with compassion, to love without shame and be fully alive as whole human beings.

I now realize that Phillip's knowledge of manicures, hairstyles and fashion scared me. It felt like he knew more about being a girl then I did! Until being with the women of my church, I'd never been around too many positive female role models. Now that I'm getting some idea of how if "feels" to be a woman, Phillip's skills don't intimidate me as much.

So, this year our annual District Convocation was held at the Oakland City Center Marriott. Aside from meetings and the regular classes of a conference, there is an entire long hall dedicated to selling the kind of clothes we like to wear for church. A very conservatively dressed, but glittering version of Dolly Parton. Sequins everywhere. Silver, or gold purses and hats. Also,beautiful shiny blouses that look almost like a mirror in fabric.

The hats are amazing. Everything from the squat and sequined (like mine) to the tall and or floppy. These hats are perfectly matched to the color of the outfit. The look is stunning. So, I was pretty sure I was going to try and get me a hat for Communion Sunday.

I figured on spending no more then $50. Well, it turns out that the lady selling the hats made them! She sold me a hat that had to be worth $120 for $80. I threw in an extra $10 because she was being so kind. I plan on doing a full news story on her and her business, later in this blog.

My friends at church were happy with and for me. They engaged in the friendly banter of sisters: "Ooh, girl, I'm scared of you!". I picked out the hat on my own and I've been told I did a very good job. All I know is I feel truly lovely and feminine when I'm all in white with this beautiful hat. It is easy to remember to move slowly and as gracefully as I am able. I seem to have less of a problem falling back into trying to act like a tom boy. It is a nice feeling.

See, there must really be a God (for my atheistic readers), because only a move of God could take a frustrated Jack Ryan want-to-be and turn her into a woman unafraid and unashamed to finally be who and what I really am.

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