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A Conversation, III                    by: Anne O’Nonymous

 

Jillian Markham ("Jill" to her friends), driving with her daughter, Pat, was disappointed. She thought she would be spending the weekend away, but at the last minute, Aunt Grace came down with the flu. "Well, we’ll make a stop at home, get my credit cards, and go shopping!"

Pat was disappointed, too. She liked Aunt Grace, and spent the last seven summers at her house. Grace taught the sixteen-year-old many things that school didn’t teach, especially about men!

"Oh, look! There’s Gina! Pull over," Pat exclaimed! Gina was a girl friend of Carl, Pat’s fourteen-year-old brother. Pat rolled down the window and yelled, "Hi Gina! Where ya goin’!"

Gina Martin heard someone call her name, she turned around and saw Pat. "Hi, Pat! Hi, Mrs. Markham! I was just going to the library to study. I’ve got a big History test on Monday!"

"Why aren’t you studying over at my house, Carl’s pretty good in History?"

"I called Carl to study! He said he wasn’t feelin’ too good."

"Oh! I’d better get home and check on him! Come on, Gina! We’ll look in on Carl, and I can drive you over to the library! It’s on the way to the shopping center!"

Gina got into the rear seat of the car with Pat, and said, "Thanks! I really appreciate this!"

A few minutes later, Jill parked in front of her house. "I guess we have time to stop for a cup of coffee. Come on, girls!" With that, Jill, Pat, and Gina left the car and walked up to the front of the house.

Upon entering the house, Jill said, "I’ll go up and check on..." At that point, Jill heard someone moving around upstairs. The sounds were coming from Pat’s bedroom. "I wonder what that can be! I’d better go look!"

Pat looked at Gina, and said, "We’ll come with you! It might be a burglar!" Jill wondered if she should tell them to stay downstairs; if it was a burglar, what help would they be!

Jill walked up the stairs, wondering who was there. Carl maybe? Why would he be in Pat’s bedroom!

Reaching the bedroom door, she pushed it open and got a very big surprise! There was Carl standing in the middle of the room in one of his sister’s old party dresses! He was wearing a pair of Mary Janes, anklets with a lacy turn-down top, ruffled Rhumba panties, petticoats and a pink, lacy and frilly party dress! He was also wearing a pearl necklace and matching clip-on earrings.

"Oh, err, umm, I ah ehh," sputtered an embarrassed Carl.

Pat was first to speak; "Look at the little pervert! I thought you were a little queer!"

Jill was next: "Young lady, you will apologize this instant! HE is your brother, no matter what!"

Gina just stood for a moment, started to cry, and suddenly ran from the room to the stairs.

"Go get her, will ya, Pat!" Pat took off after Gina, catching her just as she reached the front door. Pat called up to her mother and announced, "I got her!"

"Would you take Gina back to the kitchen and make four cups of coffee. Also, see if there are any donuts left!" Jill requested.

"And you, young man, I want to see you downstairs! Just as you are, do not take anything off!"

"God! Am I going to be grounded for life?"

"No, we are going to talk about this! Maybe after I have a cup of coffee, I can think a little more logically. Right now, I need to calm down a bit!"

Jill proceeded down to the kitchen area where the girls were making coffee. Gina was hunting in the fridge for something to nibble on.

Gina sniffled a bit, then said, "I am sorry about running like that. Carl and I were good friends, and well, emm, ah, I guess that’s all we’ll ever be!" Gina started sobbing. Jill grabbed hold of her, hugged her and said, "Don’t you think that way. Let’s see what happens. We’re going to talk about this, and I’m going to expect," she stopped, looked at Pat, and continued, "both of you to act like adults. No name-calling, no insinuations, no remarks and no arguing! Do you understand?"

There were two yeses!

Carl finally made it down stairs, still dressed in the pink dress, his eyes red from tears!

"I’m sorry, I’m real sorry!" was all he said, over and over.

"Pat, would you pour the coffee, please. Gina, did you find anything to eat?" Jill inquired

"Found some donuts, and some egg salad!"

"O.K., let’s drink and eat..."

"Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we, or in this case I, may die!" Carl said, sadly.

"What I was going to say was ‘and we can discuss what happened here’ before I was interrupted!"

"I’m sorry, mom."

Pat asked, "What are you sorry for: that you got caught!"

"Now what did I tell you!"

"But m-o-o-o-m, he’s a pervert!"

"Pat, YOU apologize right now!"

"O.K., I’m sorry you’re a pervert!"

"That is NOT an apology!"

"Mom, please. I guess I am a pervert," Carl said, afraid to sit down anywhere near his best friend or his sister.

Gina sat quietly, crying softly, thinking about a future happiness now crushed by this turn of events. "I think I should go! This doesn’t seem to concern me, anymore!"

"Oh for God’s sake! Please, let’s sit and enjoy the coffee, the company, rest a bit and we’ll try to get some resolution going!" Jill wanted desperately to find out what was going on in Carl’s head. What was he thinking? Why did he do what he did? Where is this all leading! Is he Queer? Gay? One of those Transsexuals. She had to know for her and Carl’s sake!

"Please, Carl, sit down!" Jill watched as Carl plopped into a seat. "Stand up a minute, Carl."

Carl obediently stood up.

"Now, when you sit, place your hands under your dress," said Jill, demonstrating, "slide your hands down your backside, smoothing the dress under you, place yourself in the chair like so." She showed Carl how to sit, and after sitting, how to arrange the dress properly.

Carl caught on fast. He tried it several times.

"Alright, let’s get this show on the road! Carl, what were you doing?"

Carl took a sip of coffee, and said: "I thought you would be gone for the weekend!"

"Aunt Grace has the flu! I called her on the cell phone to let her know we were coming, and that’s when I found out! That doesn’t answer the question: What were you doing?"

"I was curious. I just wanted to see what it felt like."

"Like what felt like?"

"Pat’s clothes. I didn’t mean any harm! Please, I’m very sorry! I promise, I will never do it again!"

"No promises, please! If you do make one, I’ll hold you to it!"

"Mom, why is it so wrong for me to want to try Pat’s clothes, but she can borrow my shirts, socks and sneakers?"

"Do you, Pat," Jill asked.

"Yeah, occasionally," said Pat.

"Oh! It’s alright for you to borrow Carl’s things. Doesn’t that make you a pervert, too?"

"But that’s different!"

‘It’s called a double standard! As I recall, wasn’t there a fad, a few years ago, girls wearing boy’s boxer shorts! I don’t seem to recall any fad with boys wearing girl’s petticoats, or did I miss that particular one!"

Jill waited for a minute for it to sink in, then asked Carl, "So you might call this an experiment! O.K., let’s say this is an experiment. you would have to keep notes, right? Also, you would have to try various fabrics, for instance: which feels nicer--nylon or satin, do you prefer bikini panties or briefs, full slips or half slips? Carl, what I’m trying to say is that if you want to know what female clothing feels like, I would be more likely to understand and help, but you took your sister’s things, her personal property, without asking--this is what I am upset about."

"I understand, ma’am. Pat, I want to apologize to you for taking your things without asking!"

Something was bothering Jill. "Carl, stand up a minute, please!" Carl stood, as requested. "Bend over and try to touch you toes." Carl bent and touched his toes rather easily.

"Just as I thought, those aren’t your panties, Pat!"

Pat had been watching Carl, grinning at the show he was putting on! "Hey, mom, you’re right!"

Gina, who also had been watching, let out a little gasp, "Those are mine! Where did you get them!’

"I took two pair out of your washer one day last week! I wanted something of yours to keep close to me!’

Pat remarked, "Gina, where did you get those cute panties. They look so ‘little girl’ and adorable!"

"From that summer waitressing job--it was a job requirement!"

"Well, Carl, looks like you had a funny way of getting into Gina’s panties!"

"We are off-base here. So, Carl wears Gina’s panties. O.K., Carl, do you want to be a female?"

His answer was an enthusiastic "No!"

Gina asked Carl, "Can we stay friends, I really do like you!"

"Why do you ask that?"

"Well, I thought being, well, you know...."

Jill wanted to say something, but thought it might not be the best time, then changed her mind (Woman’s Prerogative, you know!), "Gina, I don’t know what you were about to say, but Carl is not Gay or homosexual. At least, I don’t think so! He is just like a lot of other young males his age, curious about things! Some young males try on their sister’s, mother’s or aunt’s clothes, and find they enjoy the feeling. Others could not care less about female duds! If the boy enjoys the feeling, he usually acquires a life-long habit, one that is difficult, if not impossible, to break! For some as yet unexplainable reason, these boys turn out to be nicer men. They seem to have masculine and feminine qualities in them."

"Let me get this straight," Pat commented, "Carl is going to grow up to be a guy? He’s not going to get some operation to turn him into. . ."

"That, young lady, is entirely up to him! HE has to make his own choices in life! Whatever he chooses, I will support him, and you should, too!"

"Wait a minute! I’ve already said I’m not going to have any operation! I want to just be me! I don’t know what will happen in the future, I do know I like wearing these things, is that so wrong?"

"Do you really wear my panties to be near me!"

"Damnit, Gina--You put me on the spot! You and I, we’ve been friends for so long, and when I saw the way you looked at me upstairs, I was so sick, I thought I really blew it with you! I . . . I . . ."

"Gina, is that why you ran? Did you think Carl was Gay? Is that it," asked Jill?

"Yes!"

"Oh, great! Gina, I’m the same today as I was yesterday. I’m still the same person under these things!" Carl said. "Gina, please forgive me. I want you for a friend, no, a girlfriend. I want you to be my steady girlfriend. You were always there for me, please be here for me now!"

Jill looked at the two, and said, "Why don’t the two of you kiss and make up! We can wait!"

Carl and Gina took advantage of the suggestion!

"How about we all move to the livingroom and finish this discussion!" Jill stated.

Moving to a front seating area, Carl sat down on a couch, and Gina, now much relieved, sat on his lap! Jill sat in a comfortable chair, while Pat, after much searching, decided to join her brother on the couch.

"O.K., so far, we don’t believe that Carl is not Gay or homosexual. He doesn’t want to be a full-time woman! He enjoys the feel of female clothes, as I can well understand," Jill stated.

"And I think I’m in love with . . . , no, make that, I know I’m in love with Gina. I should have realized that when I saw how much I hurt her."

"It’s about time you admitted it!" said Jill, glad to finally see it out in the open.

Pat was feeling a little kinder towards her brother. "Maybe he isn’t a perve after all. He does look kinda cute in that dress," thought Pat. "Look, kiddo, I’m really sorry about that remark."

"Forget it, sis. I was wrong!"

"Oh, spare me! Look, all this love and stuff is nice but, I think, we need to understand Carl and what he is now going through!"

Pat spoke first, "What do you mean, mom. We were kinda mad at him at first, but. . . "

"O.K., let’s review: First thing you did was to call him a pervert! No explanations, you just blurted it out! Gina, you ran downstairs to try to get away! Same thing," Jill exclaimed.

"Well," started Pat, "I thought I had a straight brother, but when I saw him!"

"Aha, I see. Word gets around school that your brother is a queer, a fag, your friends disappear. YOUR reputation suffers. YOU wonder if he is after one of your boyfriends, competition for you when he’s dressed. So what! Those are words people use to hurt others! And if those friends disappear, well, they really weren’t your friends, were they? Your perception of him was based on what you saw, not what he is inside! Dear, we all have an essential nature. There is a word, well words, for it: Yin-Yang! Hard and Soft! Male and Female. The symbol looks like two ‘equal-sized’ commas joined to make a circle! Sort of a metaphor for existence. Have you ever noticed the many references to ‘life cycles.’ This is deep inside and partly masculine, partly feminine! When I’m at work and I have to get something done in a hurry, I call on my masculine side! Of course, some of my fellow employees call me a ‘Bitch’ or ‘Butch,’ but it gets the job done. Men usually can’t do that, because calling on the feminine side is perceived as a weakness! Male superiority descending to a female, or lower, level. There are a few that can, but feel the need to masquerade as a female to call on their feminine side! If you look like a female, it’s easier to cry, have compassion, touch, dress nicely in soft, colorful clothes! Men want to be all male, macho, so they tend to look down on other males who realize their feminine potential! What I find really galling is that when a young boy does find this potential, people call him a ‘wimp,’ a ‘sissy,’ and send him off to a military school to ‘make a man out of him.’ Hell, don’t they realize he is a man, and, in most cases, a damn fine man! And competition, what are you afraid of? Don’t you have enough confidence in yourself! Are you afraid he will dress and look better than you! Come on, if he does dress better, don’t you think you’ll also dress better! Maybe ‘he’ will make you a better ‘woman,’ have you ever thought of that!"

"No! It never entered my mind," Pat said, starting to think about what her mother just said.

"And you, Gina. You were in love with him, weren’t you?"

"Yes, very much! It hurt a lot when I saw him dressed like that. I didn’t know what to think!"

"Umm, let’s see! You saw him in the girl’s clothes, and thought ‘he’ wanted to be a girl. Does that seem to be right? You are straight, aren’t you, Gina!"

"I guess ‘yes’ to both is right," Gina replied softly.

"So, we have three perceptions here. Pat viewed Carl as a homosexual, Gina viewed Carl as a potential transsexual. And, if I don’t miss on this guess, Carl thinks he is a pervert! Three views of the same reality, isn’t this interesting--I wonder which one is right!"

"But they can’t all be correct, can they," Pat asked, questioningly.

"They can be as far as a viewer perceives it. Each person makes their own judgement about what he sees. Sometimes, all views are wrong. It’s like looking at a can with no label and trying to figure out what’s inside. If the can is mislabeled, we get a wrong impression of the contents--sorta like now. Each of you labeled Carl, based on your own impression of him. You took him at what you saw, you didn’t ask questions or try to understand what he was going through. The same as the mislabeled can, do you understand!"

"I think so," said Gina, "We sort of have to open the can to find out what really is inside. We put labels on people, and sometimes those labels are wrong, but we never know because we don’t see deep down inside of that person!"

"Oh, like at the supermarket. When we buy something, we judge the product by what we see on the outside of the can. If we like the product, we buy solely by the label it has. And avoid those products we don’t like because of the label," Pat said in an enthusiastic burst.

"Right! And we are afraid to try something new or different because of the label it bears! Many things in life bear ‘labels,’ and some have stigmas attached, like boys wearing girls clothes. Carl just wanted to try something that was, to him, new and different! Of course, there are some dangerous things that you shouldn’t try, but you have to make your own judgement about that, same as when you shop. You get to know products by reading their labels, and you have to be able to read what is good and what is bad for ‘you.’ Sometimes we are swayed by outside influences, the advertising that promotes the best the product has to offer, and we judge a product without even trying it! Sorry to say, but you were both trying to influence Carl by the way he was viewed and what you said to him. What may have been a chocolate soda with mint ice cream, you made a ‘spinach-and-clam juice on salmon ice cream’ sundae!"

There was a simultaneous "Yucch" from three young mouths.

"So, we kinda messed up something that might have been pleasant for Carl?"

"Well, look at it this way: it might have been. Carl’s never done drugs, never drank, he’s a rather pleasant person, and I would like to think that this might round-out his personality a little more, sort of smooth off those rough edges."

"God, I thought I would be studying History today, and I wind up with a psychology lesson."

"Did you learn anything?" Jill asked!

"I love Carl and he loves me, I think that’s about enough!"

Pat said, "Carl does make a cute girl, and I don’t mind if, well gee, Carl-ah," she said emphasizing the ‘a,’ "does come to visit once in a while. I could use another girl friend to go shopping with!"

"Well, I guess that’s about it! Let’s get these cups and dishes washed up. Oh, and Carla, put on a apron, that real pretty one! I don’t want you messing up your pretty dress. Do you know what this means?"

"No!"

"A shopping trip! Pat, why don’t you take your new sister upstairs, fix her make-up and get her something more appropriate for shopping! Gina, why don’t you join us! I think you’ll really enjoy being with Pat, Carla and me! I’ve got a credit card to max out on the new addition to my family!"

Finis--Annie O

 


2001
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