My afternoon at the spa ran late, so I knew I was going to be late for the start of the banquet (no way would I cover 80 miles in 65 minutes), but as Murphy would have it, things got worse.
I missed a transfer point between Interstates and was unsure of what to do for about five minutes; should keep going or turn around? Then, I recognized my location and knew how to get back to my neck of the woods. However, the error was going to cost me and I was going to be even later arriving at the banquet.
Turned out I arrived 25 minutes late. After parking the car, I gathered up my stuff, checked myself in the vanity mirror, exited the car, walked through the parking lot and into the hotel lobby. I encountered a few banquet attendees, but no civilians. The atmosphere of the hotel seemed very subdued to me.
I checked in to get my meal and raffle tickets, then I encountered Diana, who was one of the banquet organizers. I asked her how many were expected to attend the banquet and she said over 55, which was typical for the past few years of the banquet.
Entering the banquet room, it seemed about half the attendees had not yet arrived and the atmosphere seemed subdued. (Was I attending a wake or a party?) I staked out a seat at a near empty table and went to the bar for a drink.
My stomach was still not up to snuff nine days after my bout with a stomach virus, so I had only one alcoholic beverage the entire evening. I also ate like a bird, barely touching the soup and main course, but indulging more in the salad and dessert. (By the way, I lost 7 pounds since the virus first struck.)
I tried to make pleasant conversation with my table mates, but something was odd. I felt out of place. I was just not into it. The girl next to me remarked, “You’re very quiet tonight.”
I felt so out of place that I almost excused myself from lip-synching the song I volunteered to perform during the entertainment portion of the evening. But I soldiered on and my turn came, I lip-synched Peggy Lee's classic version of Fever.
Although I knew the words of the song cold, I immediately messed up, snapping my fingers out of synch with the recording. I also flubbed a few words and at the end of the song. I was unhappy with my performance, yet I received a nice applause from the audience and everyone I spoke to about it said I did a good job, but I dunno.
(I asked a friend to use my camera to take some photos of my performance, but they all were out of focus, so the photo accompanying this post is another one from the spa.)
After the entertainment, I sought out my old friends to catch up with their lives. For me, chit-chatting with friends and acquaintances was the highlight of the evening. I ran out of gab and friends just past midnight and decided to depart.
I loved catching up with my old friends, but I have outgrown the banquet. It is just another closet and I am way out of the closet. I have been out in the real world interacting as a woman; I don't need a trans event to get out en femme. And I certainly don't need its safety net.
I don't rule out attending another trans event in the future, but there are many other things I would prefer to do en femme.