Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The girl next door meets the neighbors...

Today as I was working on unloading more stuff out of my car, one of the other folks who live in my building pulled into the parking lot. He was being friendly and said "Hi, how's it going?" We got to talking and he's a nice enough guy even if his name struck a chord of sheer terror and some longing in my heart. Turns out his name is Earl.

During the conversation when he said his name was Earl, he said, "Wait, don't tell me your's, I'm usually pretty good at guessing." I figured okay, let's take this horse for a ride, let's just see what he comes up with. He took a step back, looked me up and down, head to toe and said:

"Folks probably call you Sandy for short, but I'm guessing your name is something pretty and a bit longer than Sandy, maybe Sandra?"

I had to laugh, but I cut oh so lovely a picture of humanity standing there in baggy, comfortable jeans, an even bigger t-shirt that has a picture of two cows, bulls in fact, standing in a veritable sea of sheep and the caption reads "Man are we in deep sheep!" Finish that striking ensemble with some Teva sandals, and my hair pulled back into a scrunchy, somewhat moist from the summer sun and I'm just the girl next door. Yeah, the one next door who's a mess and hadn't had a shower, no bra, nothing. Oh yeah, the very same girl next door who's still doing some hair removal and hadn't shaved this morning.

Yeah, just "reeking of feminine beauty" as Donkey said in the first Shrek movie.

But, he got the gender right. I had to laugh, I said "So close, but not quite. Actually my sister's name is Sandra. My name is Sam, short for Samantha."

He was so pleased with himself. "See" he said "I was right, short name that hides a really pretty one. I'm not usually good with remembering names, but yours should be easy, especially since that was the name of that witch on the TV show all those years ago. Ah, but you are probably way to young to have any idea what I'm talking about."

When he came up for air I said "Actually, I know exactly the show you're talking about. Bewitched starting Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York, I spent my childhood wanting to grow up to be just like Samantha Stevens! I used to dream my parent's named me Samantha after the character on the show, until of course I found out I was born a whole bunch of years for the show ever aired. But thank you for the compliment! You sure know how to make a girl feel good!"

He seemed seriously shocked and said "Oh, come on, no way you're that old!" Wouldn't be the last time in the conversation he'd be shocked either. We were talking and I mentioned I was getting the car ready to take over to the shop to have the rear breaks done because I wasn't in the mood to futz with rears right now. The front's I'll do when I get it back from the shop, only take me about a half hour.

This time his face said "Oh, come on, what would a girl know about brake jobs" instead he said "You can do your own brakes?" with a similar tone of disbelief. "Let me see your hands? I find it hard to believe..." I stuck out my hand's and he studied them and said "Well don't take this the wrong way, but these do not look like the hands of a woman who's ever been near a wrench, let alone brakes or anything complex like that.

I took my hands back and put them on my hips and said simply "Well, I don't know much from stereos, be they stereotypes or any other kind but I can put my baby up on jack stands, pull the wheels, and the calipers in fifteen minutes. Then I'll pull off the old shoes, compress the calipers, install the new shoes and put it all back together in another 15 minutes. Piece of cake, though I try to stay away from that because I just look at cake and the calories go right to my hips."

"Wow, I'm impressed, you really sound like you know what you're doing there. Where'd you learn so much about cars? Forgive me, but you don't really look like a rough and tumble, tomboy type of gal. Now my sister, she can still beat the crap out of me, and probably do her share of damage in a bar brawl, but you just don't have the look you know."

Well, damn, warm my little heart there Earl you sweet talkin' devil you!

So here I am at possibly my worst, hair all wet and the rest of me kinda dirty, rumpled and frumpy, what my Dad used to say was the look of an unmade bed. I just smiled coyly and said "Well you are too kind Earl..."

We talked for about another 10 minutes or so before he went into the building and I went on with unloading the car.

But I have to be honest, it did all tickle my heart just a bit when I stopped and thought about it.

So, I haven't put much in here in the last couple days, or week really as I've been busy with my move. While I'm far from settled in or even completely unpacked, I am without question doing far better than I'd even hoped I would at this point. For the first time in almost twenty years I'm living alone, and have no-one else to answer to, or fight to keep happy. My own kitchen, fridge, bathroom, living room, bedroom and plenty of closet space. One of the closets is just a bit smaller than one of my college apartments an eternity ago, meaning of course it's a nice, big, roomy walk in closet.

It's so cool! I started moving in on the fourth and this is just a whole new life for me. I've even survived my first big crisis, that being of course that my car is out of service and it's going to be something like 600 dollars to fix it. Mind, that will still leave me to do my front brakes, but heck, that's easy.

So, I'm actually, finally living in a place of my own and frankly it's wonderful! I can decorate it the way I want, and don't have anyone to tell me what I can or cannot have, do, eat, or whatever.

Wasn't my plan, in fact it really doesn't mean anything to me, but I've once again found my way to "stealth." I really don't care who does or doesn't know about my past, after all, that is what it is, the past. But short of going door to door and outing myself and making a big deal about it, no-one is going to know. I have too many other things to do than make my past a huge issue. Far as anyone within miles knows, I'm just the widow who went through a horrible divorce. That only really came up with the landlord because I have no credit history. That's as far as it ever went. I know Cincinnati has laws against discrimination that include "trans" folk, but it never mattered in terms of my move.

So, I'm doing good...


Now playing: Unknown at this time - Theme from the TV show WKRP in Cincinnati
via FoxyTunes


Anonymous said...

Great start, hon! Are you available for another brake job? :)

Samantha said...

Oh sure, you just have to pay for the parts. Strange as it sounds I like doing brake jobs, there is something beautiful about a properly maintained disc brake system. Something so very satisfying about taking old worn out shoes off and putting new ones on! I can just see it now:

"Zen and the art of disc brake maintenence."

That's right you heard it here first. :-o)