Monthly Archives: November 2015

With best intentions…

“Should you have been born a week later?” she asked. My birthday is October 24, exactly a week before Halloween. I’d been at this job about a month and a half, and my new boss, AK, having already seen me in plenty of black and other dark colors with no pastels anywhere, had decided I was a goth. I let her, though I don’t actually identify that way, because it was harmless and she was kind. I’d been through my share of crap bosses and crap jobs, even a few promising temporary ones that ended up going nowhere, for a couple of years prior. I had hoped I had finally found somewhere I could land for a while.

“Yeah, probably,” I replied with a laugh.

At some point I must have mentioned my affinity for bats, which naturally did not hurt the whole gothy image I had going and AK proceeded to buy me as much bat stuff as she could find, whether it was my birthday or Christmas. Last month it was a ring with a bat affixed to the front of it and I’ve barely taken it off since. For me, bats are symbolic of impending, great, and tumultuous change and therefore, it had been the perfect gift.

See, AK retired this week. Over the course of just over eight years, she was boss and friend, ally and advocate. Occasionally, she was even a confidante. She was the first person – who had authority over me – to say that one has to have a life outside of work. She totally got it, how sometimes outside priorities have to come first. We had similar views on politics and religion which is to say we are both raging democrats and agnostics. She became my favoritest boss ever because I never felt like I was working for her – we worked together. And she is the reason I’ve been at this firm as long as I have. We parted, both of us in tears, promising to stay in touch. As I drove home, I continued crying because, despite our best intentions, I wonder whether we will actually follow through.

Back at work today, I was left with…well, less optimal people. I’ll leave it at that. I also have decisions to make once the holidays are over and I have more free time – do I continue here, where I am pretty well settled in, or try to start over somewhere else? There are plenty of frustrations here that make me want to leave, but it’s become one of those devil-you-know situations. I know how things work here. I know the people. I know my job. I get paid decently well and have some flexibility with time off.

I have a feeling that much better things are waiting for me if only I would make that leap away from here.  Because following tumultuous change has always been unforeseen…betterness. I wish I had a better word for it, but it is as if I am rewarded for going through so much crap. Before landing this job, I had been fired from a couple of other ones. But I also found my kink community not long after. I have seen bats before relationships that needed to end, did, and I went on much better ones.

But man that leap is scary. I wish I had the guts to just walk out and know there was a big chocolate or publishing contract waiting for me. But I’m too practical for that. I need to know I can keep up with my mortgage and car payments. I need assurances…

All I really know for sure right now is that something has to change. I don’t know yet how much or what form it will take, only that I wish I could flip to the last page in the book and see where our heroine ends up.

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Multipass

Written during the Geeky Kink Event in New Jersey this past weekend.

I don’t do cosplay.

That is, I never have. I’ve played with a couple of ideas – an older, more cynical Princess Leia, for example, or the Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your House from Welcome to Night Vale. But I was never sure I could pull them off. Or that people would know what I was doing.

But I love watching other people cosplay, especially those who take a known image, turn it on its ass, and make it into something unexpected. The two women of color a couple of months ago who were dressed as Loki and Thor were one of my favorite looks yet.

So this past Sunday, when I was finally feeling better after a couple of weeks of on and off con crud, I started thinking about potential costumes for GKE. I don’t even know now what got me thinking about the Fifth Element. Maybe it’s that I already have a fake Multipass that I got at a con in Pittsburgh. Maybe PrettyWhenYouCry and I were talking about it as something to re-watch together.

Whatever the original inspiration was, it occurred to me how easy it would be to dress as LeeLoo. After all, her first outfit is literally a series of strategically-placed bandages. How hard could this be?

But this is me. I am not a stick figure. I have curves and boobs and…and I have found an extreme amount of acceptance for my body in the kink community. I knew I could never wear such a thing at a regular geek con, but a kinky one? Why not? I found the elements pretty easily, and then a friend who agreed to help me sew them together. Finally a recognizable look that I could actually do.

It felt like a brave choice, but I liked that it made me a little nervous. It felt like a fear I needed to overcome. Because I also knew that if I were to see someone my size in this outfit, I would think they were pretty awesome. I decided to be that person for someone else.

So on the first night of vending

, I closed up vending a little early, threw on my elastic strips and an outrageous orange wig that refused to stay on for long, and headed out. For the first couple of minutes, I did not feel brave. Instead I felt vulnerable. I longed for pockets, or somewhere I could put my hands, some way to hide in case this all went sideway. Maybe it was too audacious to think that a woman like me would go out in such a thing.

By the time I got to the end of the hall, I had a woman stop me and thank me for wearing it. “You win,” she said. Minutes later, I had another woman stop and ask if she could hug me. It seemed like everyone got it. And everyone loved it. I lost count of the number of people who commented, or wanted to talk to me about it.

By the end of the night, I looked around at one of the best nights of karaoke I’ve ever been to, and realized how many of us had indeed found a place to share a passion or fandom in ways that we wouldn’t normally be able to. And I was one of them. I hadn’t chickened out or talked myself out of it for whatever reason. I had done it.

Take that, body shaming brain weasels.

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