For the weekend of November 7-10 (Friday through Monday), a large number of friends came into town for the Texas Renaissance Festival. It’s always good to see these particular faces and this time was no different, though seeing me may have been a little different for all concerned.
We had another great dinner Friday evening at Vero’s Italian Kitchen. Saturday at the Fest was interesting, as it always is, and led to all sorts of fun discussions among us. Saturday evening we all got together at Willie’s Hamburger place. My only real regret that evening was a friend who had wanted to come this year had passed away a few months previously and was no longer among us.
We did, however, discuss all manner of things, as we seemingly always do and just about nothing was off limits, including my own recent eye opening experiences, at which the other women present said “Welcome to the sisterhood” and “Now you see what it’s really like!” Let me assure anyone who doubts in the least, at all, there very definitely is such a thing as male privilege and I’m experiencing not having it anymore at all and it’s both amusing and annoying. And further, too many men in our culture do treat women as sexual objects instead of people. Believe me, I’m seeing that too, up close and personal.
I also am having trouble getting my head around men either coming on to me or men just looking at me in a clearly sexual manner. It comes with the territory, I know. And intellectually, I was ready for this and even had experienced it in limited ways in the past. But now, since I’d gone full time back in September, it was actually getting common. I understand the annoyance of that woman in the video that went viral and believe me, being a lot older, I don’t look near as pretty as she does, but those comments, leers, whistles, and other things are definitely out there. One fellow at the Ren Fest even looked me in the eye before giving me the “appraisal” look from head to toe, even while he was holding his wife’s hand as she had their baby on her shoulder. I just shook my head at that.
Part of the problem is also realizing what my friends keep telling me – I look very good for an older woman. Now I don’t have a full length mirror at home but there was one at the hotel and seeing myself in that and ready for the day’s activities at Ren Fest, I realized my friends were telling me the truth. I have a pretty nice figure. Of course, it’s one thing to hear certain words intellectually. It’s another thing to really feel them in your heart.
And Monday was some obligatory thrift shop hopping, this time mostly at the Salvation Army store in the next town over from where I live. We discovered that me being over 50 meant half off every Monday on everything for the 50+ crowd and there was also a half off Saturday for everyone in case I wanted to return for that. I’m planning to take my daughter with me there and perhaps a few other people as well. It should be fun.
Work continues to go very smoothly. I work for an awesome company and I appreciate that very much. They’ve made this process easier than I ever expected it to be. I am completely accepted at work and thoroughly supported on any issues I have had thus far.
There are other things I considered writing about here but I’ve abstained because there is someone who stalks me through this blog. I’ll just let her wonder at my early and unexpected Christmas gift. 🙂