Sunday, October 10, 2010

Something Funny at Penn Station




While out on a drive to London, KY with my parents I stopped by Penn Station for a quick lunch.  Dad went in with me and was in line just ahead of me.  I was presenting as I often do when traveling with my parents.  Men's shirt over a women's crew neck and jeans, no make-up, clunky androgynous boots and curly unkempt hair.  After taking my order the clerk asked for my first name, which is typical at Penn Station.  They key your first name in at the register and it prints on the order so that the cashier further down can find you if the line gets shuffled, and so that they can call your name when your order is ready.


Dad and I got our drinks and waited at a table for our carry out order.   It was fairly crowded and loud, making conversation pretty much futile.  While I was sitting bored checking my email and sipping at my fruit punch, a second  worker started calling for Shayna.  There were quite a few people waiting for orders but I realized, very happily, that the first clerk had misunderstood my name and put me in the system as Shayna.  Which was nice, because if she had perceived me as a guy and couldn't hear my name she probably would have assumed Shannon, Shawn or something along those lines.

It felt awakrd though, because I was with Dad.  He and Mom have never shown any indication that they consider me at all passable.  If I got up and went to the counter I'd be acknowledging that I thought the clerk saw me as female.  I could just imagine Dad sitting there silently thinking that I have a totally delusional self image.  Worse yet,  what if I got to the counter and they had not misheard me?  What if I went up and there really was a Shayna.  How embarrassing would that be with Dad there?

I snapped out of my garbled thoughts, realizing the sub guy was calling Shayna forward for the third time and was starting to look a bit annoyed.  I just stared, still unable to settle on a course of action.  Then Dad relieved all my anxiety.  "I believe that's you." he said in a low voice from across the table.  I dared look his direction for the first time since the name "Shayna" was called.  He was wearing a slightly awkward smile. 

I happily picked up my bag at the counter and sauntered back to the table glowing with pride.  Dad was smiling back less awkwardly now.  I think he was maybe even happy for me.


13 comments:

Leslie Ann said...

Gawd, that's a sweet story, Shayna!

Caroline said...

Truth has to dawn and they are still going out with you which says a lot.

Apart from trying to look a bit butch when out with your parents is there really any boy left in you? Looking fab.

Caroline xxx

Melissa said...

Shannon sweetie, take one look at the picture you posted of yourself on this blog post. Can you honestly look at that picture and see anything but a female???? Of course you can't! Sweetie, you are just gorgeous! Believe it! I think your father already does, and if he doesn't, then he's just plain nuts!

A great big hug to a very gorgeous girl!
Melissa XOXO

Stace said...

Great story :) You must have been so happy (both for your dad's reaction and the Shayna being called by the clerk).

Stace

Suzi said...

Wow! Sounds like Dad is "getting it." You seem to have interpreted his smile as a positive one as opposed to derogatory or snide. Some small victories can seem so great...I hope it continues. :)Suzi

Rebecca said...

I have to agree with Melissa, there is nothing the least bit male in your appearance; you look 100% female. And I'm so happy to read about your dad's positive reaction! This brought a smile to my face and made my day! *HUGS*

Rebecca

Dani said...

I would have to agree with what others have said, I look at your picture and I don't see a person who is even remotely male! Validation from the clerk was great, validation from your dad is absolutly priceless!

Jenny said...

Good for your dad! Having had the whole "You could never look like a woman" line from my otherwise very supportive mother I can appreciate what that reaction from him must mean to you.

Gin said...

Shannon, more than the fact that you cannot help but having a difficult time passing as male these days, that your parent is finally recognizing that you do is a big step. The people who we are closest to have the most difficult time seeing the difference.

xoxo

Jerica Truax said...

awwwww =) That's so awesome girl

Lori D said...

Well as far as being "on your way," I'd say you're already there ;)

Two Auntees said...

You arrived and have been for a long time.

ms.shandy said...

Sorry about the late reply. I read all the comments as they were posted, but I've just not been writing much lately. But I've gotten so much encouragement form your words and its meant a lot over the past couple of weeks.

I'll be back tonight to write up my electrolysis experience so far.