After the dining out portion of our girl's night out Thursday, Diana and I drove to the cocktail party at Real Art Ways (RAW).
On the third Thursday of each month, this Hartford art center hosts its Creative Cocktail Hour, which usually includes the opening of a new art exhibit, a live band, finger food and of course, creative cocktails. The crowd is very diverse and the local trans community has been showing up from the get go. In fact, one of my long-time trans friends, Audrey, is on the board of RAW.
My iPhone took me on a different route than Diana, but we arrived at RAW simultaneously! The cocktail hour began at 6 and when we arrived at 6:30, the crowd was sparse. I bought a drink and walked around looking at the art exhibits. Then we staked out a comfy wall-length couch, which became tranny central for most of the evening.
In the past, I have seen up to a dozen transwomen in attendance, but this time I counted only four including myself and Diana. RAW board member Audrey showed up as did another long-time trans friend, Deja. I chatted with Audrey and Deja like forever catching up on each other's lives.
Besides chatting, I people-watched. The size of the crowd was atypical for the RAW cocktail party. It is usually wall-to-wall people, but this time, the crowd was much thinner. Dunno why, but it was. And unlike the restaurant, where I felt invisible, the cocktail hour is a very social environment and people watched each other. Invisibility was impossible.
I noticed a number of beautifully-dressed women in attendance and the length of some of their skirts competed with mine. Some of the woman were very friendly and greeted me as if we were old friends despite the fact we had never seen each other before.
A couple of fellows came over to our group of girls, introduced themselves and chatted for awhile… mostly with Deja and not guy-shy me. (I am guy-shy because I am not interested in guys.)
I made a new friend Thursday night, Shawn. He is a friend of Audrey's and came over to chat with us. After he heard me speak, he was taken aback by my accent. When I told him I was born and raised in Waterbury, he said my accent was unlike any Waterbury accent he had ever encountered before. I mentioned that my first language was Polish and I only learned English after my parents bought a television. He thought that maybe having Polish as my language had something to do with my odd Waterbury accent. We then switched gears and talked about the Red Sox… not the ones we wear on our feet, but the ones that play in Fenway Park.
Audrey and Deja moved on to listen to the live band and Diana left for home. I listened to the band for a couple of songs, but the music sounded muddled. I suspect the acoustics of the room were at fault. Whatever --- it was not something I wanted to continue listening to, so I returned to the comfy couch to people watch.
As I sipped my second glass of lime and seltzer, I watched all the lonely people and suddenly felt lonely myself. I felt bad that I didn't try to break the ice with some of the singles who sat nearby at various times throughout the evening. And I promised to myself to do better next time.
And there will be a next time.
Andrej Pejic, femulating fashion model.
Wearing Avon Mark.