December 15, 2007

Name Calling

Posted in Christmas, coworkers, family, Identification at 2:21 am by Michael

Today at work, one of the folks I was talking to was asking about what my experience was like with people calling me “Megan” and “She/Her” vs. Michael and He/Him. As is in my FAQ, I said what I’ve said in that I’m not bothered by in the least it unless that there is real intent (to be mean/cruel/not accepting) behind it. I think I’ve introduced myself as “Michael” at least 5 times this week (on the phone, not in person).

Anyway, this person had an interesting insight. Basically, that while it may not bother me, to expect it to bother the “Name Caller” a lot if they make a mistake. The point was that people, especially at work, will want to be so kind, so accepting, that it will really bother them if they just make a simple error that really causes no stress in my life at all.

I said “Hmm… I hadn’t thought about it that way!”

Not an hour later, a co-worker, at the end of our phone call, ended the call (which was great!) with “Thank You Sir!”. I said “No problem, talk to you soon!” I did hear the ‘Sir’, but it bothered me not in the least – it was a manner of speech, and this person hasn’t seen me f2f yet, and we were on the phone, where I certainly *sound* like Michael (no changes there!).

An hour later I got an apology email. Wow wow wow. For the person who said this (who I know is at least an occasional reader of this space) I know you will recognize this story – and I don’t do it in a negative way at all – really! I bring it up because it’s a counter example (this whole thing really) of transitioning and being shunned. I’m being accepted, with open arms. Not only that, but people apologize or feel bad when they don’t do it “100%” right.

Maybe that’s why the “Crappy Look Counter” is only on 5 still? (There was a potential Crappy Look sighting today, but I’ll put it in the Curious Look bucket, which isn’t bad – and is not tracked).

We have the big kiddos (Peri and John) this weekend, so I picked them up at school after work (short day, I’m still on “vacation”). We came home, they played, Anh and I made dinner. Anh and I had some wine (Darioush 2004 Napa Cabernet  – we both like it – its super big and chewy). This was a great dinner (mashed potatoes, broccolini, chicken and lamb skewers) not only because we were all sitting around the table talking (Friday tradition), but even Samwich was in on the action – he had exactly the same food we all had. This was a bit of a first – we have given him table food a lot – but this was the first time that his meal was 0% supplemented, and he ate 100% of what we served (at least a bit – cut up – no teeth yet you know!).

Anyway, we are cleaning up, and John says to me (out of the blue):

“I’ve decided that I’m going to call you Daddy, Forever! Because that’s what you are, my Daddy.”

Now, you almost had to hear this. He said this with such gusto, and conviction. It was almost the way he said “I am going to call him Samwich! Why? Because its FUNNY!”.

The conviction and excitement is what made this – not the words. You can imagine these words being spoken a number of ways that would be concerning – not here.

I say: “Great John! That’s good with me, I am your Dad, and will always be!”

For the parents reading this, as a total aside, if you want to bawl, just get and read “I’ll Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch. ( http://www.amazon.com/Love-You-Forever-Robert-Munsch/dp/009926689X/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1197712663&sr=1-1 ). Here’s what the momma says to the child every night while rocking him, as in infant, and then as he grows up:

I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
as long as I’m living
my Baby you’ll be.

Warning: read this book a couple of times to yourself first, get the tears out of the way, then read it to your kids. I still can’t get through the whole think w/o loosing it. AND that was pre-hormones.

Ok, back to the main thread.

So, after John says this to me, I’m thinking “Maybe we should walk to get dessert?” I had this flash in my head “You’ll have to change clothes. (pause) Wait, I don’t have to!” For the last few months, when I was “fulltime” (I know, improper use of the word) at home, whenever we went out, I would have to change, and then change back. It was a pain in the bumtacular region, and I generally always felt “bad” when I did this. NO MORE! No changing. I said this to Anh, she smiled, and gave me a hug, and said “Well, Never Again, huh!” Exactly!

But we didn’t go out – kids had ice cream in, and instead we watched “The Polar Express”. Yes, I know, mocap is scary – the mouths and eyes look dead. However, as a holiday movie, its pretty fun. Samwich was awake long enough to see the “Hot Chocolate” scene and was mes-mo-rized. During the whole third act with the North Pole and the Bell, and that whole deal, John and Peri were just mes-mo-rized as well. They had these angelic looks… This was especially poignant since this year is the first year that they raised, and were confirmed in their suspicions about the existence, or lack thereof of the Jolly Big Man. For the last two years, Peri *knew*, but she wouldn’t admit it. (Proof – two years ago, her big “Santa Present” was a nice art easel w/supplies. I got it at Lakeshore Learning, and on the leg, there was a small imprint that said “Lakeshore Learning”. In the spring of the following year (3-4 months later), I noticed that she had carefully taken a pen, crossed out the “Lakeshore Learning” imprint and neatly written “Santa’s Workshop”. She never said a word to either Anh or I about this. She knew, but still believed.) Last year, John was extremely suspicious, but went with it, because hey, how can something so good, be false?

I think Peri and John still hear the bell… and I know I do as well.

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1 Comment »

  1. Lindsey said,

    Hi Megan! I am new to reading your blog, and I love it! I love reading about how you love your life.

    Anyway, Santa story: in the car with my mom in 4th grade, close to Xmas. She asks me if I still believe in Santa. I hesitate and tell her that I don’t, but I act like I do, because my little brother still believes. Later my mom gently asks my little brother the same thing, and turns out he is just pretending to believe too, because he thinks that I still believe! So we had both been pretending to believe in Santa for a long time, not wanting to disappoint the other with the truth about Santa! We were very elaborate in our pretending too, talking about Santa constantly and making plans to try to meet him on Xmas and all sorts of stuff – it was so fun to pretend. That story still makes me laugh. Point: it is still fun to believe in Santa, even after you don’t really believe.


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