I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on the things I didn’t like about being viewed as female in public, by strangers, but very little time in regards to how I would feel being viewed as definitively male in public, by strangers. I’ve been surprised by some of it. First, women treat me differently now. They either ignore me completely or they’re kind of flirty and friendly. I have to admit that I enjoy the flirty and friendly interchanges with the ladies. Does this make me disloyal to my partner? I hope not because it’s fun. Besides, what are you supposed to do when someone is friendly with you besides be friendly back? Anything else would just be rude.
Another eye opener happened this past Sunday, which was Mother’s Day here in the U.S. We met up with my bro for brunch so I could fill his medicine for him (long story for another time). We went to one of those buffet places where you pay before you eat. When we paid for our meal the cashier told Candace Happy Mother’s Day but not me. This was a first. I waited for him to include me but he didn’t. I’ve always been shocked and a bit wigged out when someone wished me a Happy Mother’s Day, since I have absolutely no desire to be a mother and don’t relate to that at all. It will be interesting to see what happens when Father’s Day rolls around. That could be fun.
At work, I rarely deal with the public because, well, I just prefer to stay in my office or workshop by myself, but I’ve had to cover the front of the store for 2 1/2 hour shifts (feels like a loooong time to me!) for two Mondays in a row now because I have an employee who is on his honeymoon somewhere in Italy. Not one customer has pegged me as female. They all have called me sir.
Also, I don’t shop much unless I have to. My dog’s birthday was Monday and as good fur parents do we bought her some toys and special treats. She goes to “Doggie Daycare” during the week and has little friends there so I went over to Petco to buy her birthday treats to share with her daycare friends. I was standing in line to pay and the man in front of me was taking a long time. I guess there was a problem with the little bag of fish he was buying for his daughter, so he told the cashier “why don’t you go ahead and take care of him (me) while I figure this out. This kind of thing has happened a bunch of times.
This one had me confused at first. There’s an Italian restaurant two doors down from my shop and I occasionally order lunch there and go pick it up. The last two times I’ve done this the same young man (20-ish) has called me Boss. Now, I wasn’t sure if he was calling me Boss because he knows I’m the boss where I work or if it was some kind of alternative male pronoun like “man”, “bud”, “dude”, or “bro”. The second time he did it he followed it up with “Have a nice day, sir.” So, there you have it. Boss is a hip modern way of saying “bro”. I like it!
I’m still adjusting to my apparent “passing” as male. I didn’t expect it. I certainly didn’t expect it to be so sudden and final. So many people have said that having boobs or not made no difference or rarely did in how they were treated that I am shocked at the sudden change. Before top surgery I would say that I got called sir maybe 75-80% of the time. Now, I think I’m close to 100%, maybe 98%. There was an interesting situation in a sandwich shop in Charlotte where we went two day in a row for lunch. The same guy waited on us both days. The first day he called me sir. The second day he called me ma’am. What was different about me the second day? No idea. But obviously I’m not at 100% yet. And that’s ok with me. In some ways, I feel like I’ve been thrown into the men’s pool very suddenly and without much warning, so a ma’am here and there tells me I’m still in transition. I’m not really ready for this to be over yet.