Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Gift Certificate and the Exhibitionist

   My husband got transferred to Kentucky.  Every year, the Paramount Arts Center has a fundraiser called the Spring Gala. It is the biggest yearly fundraiser for the Arts Center. They are clients of my husband, so attendance on behalf of his company was required. It is a black tie affair, so we had to dress up.  My husband had gotten me a gift certificate to a local salon and spa for Christmas, that I had yet to use, so I made an appointment to get my nails done on the Friday before the Gala.
    I am going to share a story with you from about five and a half years ago, and how it corresponds to Friday.
   My husband and I had not conceived and birthed our youngest daughter yet.  We had been out on the town and decided food was a fabulous idea.  We stopped at the local Truck Stop for breakfast in the wee hours of the morning.  I did not know just how 'fabulous' our breakfast was going to be.  So we are contemplating what to order, and in walks a very tall, very beautiful woman.  She sits down just over from us.  She had very prominent, strong features.  She ordered coffee.  She appeared to be waiting on someone.  She anxiously kept looking at the door.  I had been sweating and dancing all night, so most of my makeup had worn off.  But not this lady, she was flawless, beautiful.  Until my nieve little self put two and two together.  She raised her foot up to remove her shoe, and gasp, it was the biggest foot I have ever seen.  My husband is watching my reaction, as the realization dawns on me that it is actually a man sitting over from us.  Albeit, one that is dressed as a woman.  A fabulous woman.  So cool! So we proceed to order and eat our breakfast.  The woman is still sitting alone, examining everyone in the restaurant.  She keeps anxiously looking at the door. She does not order anything. I find myself wondering if she has been stood up.  I feel bad for her. My husband excuses himself to go to the restroom first , before we pay the bill and leave.  While he is gone, the woman goes to the restroom.  I am wondering if she went to the mens or womens.  When the hubbie returns, I ask him, and he says he was the only one in the mens restroom.  OK.  I found myself experiencing an odd sense of foreboding.  I try to wait a little bit longer before I go to the restroom, but alas, I cannot wait any more.
   My husband tells me I am being silly.  I go to the restroom, and the door to the first stall is open.  WIDE OPEN.  I did not see feet.  I open the door the rest of the way, and turn into the stall. Oh, excuse me! I am so sorry! Close stall door, and go into next stall.  Sit down, hurry up, pee, keep legs together, oh dear what if she, I mean he has a mirror on his shoe, like in that article my mother in law just sent me in my email last week.  Do not think about what you just saw, block it out, maintain composure, and hurry and do what you need to do, and get out of here. Hurry up, pull up pants, exit stall, wash hands, grab paper towel, and try not to run back to our table.  I told my husband  I am ready to go now. Right now.  He asked what was wrong, I advised him I would tell him in the safety of our car.
   When we are safely locked in our car, I explain to my husband what happened in the restroom. I feel like I have just been visually assaulted. Ok so no one goes to poop, and leaves the stall door wide open.  I do not care if you are a man, woman, child, or elderly person, no one wants to broadcast their business.  Well, I apparently had the bad fortune to come across an exhibitionist sorely in need of attention.  So I explain to my husband how as I rounded the corner into the stall, the woman had her legs spread wide, on either side of the toilet, dress around her waist, and had man dangley parts, dangling away on full display.  She/he just stared at me.  No yelp, no request to close the door, no excuse me, just sizing me up.  I do not know what that meant, except it was most definitely a cry for attention.  So the whole time I was going, I kept referring to that darned article my MIL had sent me the week before, bathroom safety.  How people could have mirrors or video cameras on their shoes and could film you, and to always keep your pants as far up as you could, and to keep your legs together.  I was still tipsy, a little scared, had trouble breathing, and was just trying to concentrate on hurrying up.  If this person was that intent on being seen, who knows what else she might try.  You cannot be too careful.
  I am not a prejudiced person. I love everybody.  I was actually a little scared.  This person stood a good 6' 6" tall in heels, and since I am only 5' 4", way bigger than me.  I was embarassed, shocked, and definitely intimidated.  I never had any desire to see any other man bits, besides my dear old hubbies, in my lifetime.  I was subjected to something akin to a flasher, only pooping, groaning, and dressed like a woman.
   So now you know the story.  Back to the salon. So when I walked into the nail salon, what to my wondering eye should appear? The male hairdresser at the first station turns around and makes eye contact, and it was he/she.  The very same she/he that I had encountered that dark night in the truck stop. I knew that he remembered me.  Just the way he kept looking at me.  Just the way I will never forget what was forced upon me. I was a little uncomfortable, but I acted as I normally would.  Being my talkative, chipper self. I knew it was he, because he had a very distinct, unforgettable face.  He had some obvious work done, cheekbones, forehead, and who knows what else.  You know that man who has had multiple surgeries to look like a tiger? Those kind of cheekbones, and that kind of work.  He was unmistakable, as a man or a woman.
  So as I got my nails done, I learned his name.  I also learned that he had only been working there approximately six months.  He walked by the nail station several times, and each time I was engaged in casual conversation with the sweet nail lady. The nail lady and I had a good time conversating and laughing, while she made my hands beautiful! 
   I still remember the feeling of pity that I had for this individual.  What could have happened in his life to make him feel the need to do things like what he had done in the truck stop?  I can only hope that he now has someone in his life that fullfills his need for the attention he was so deserately craving.  And just like that, I forgave him, smiled at him, and walked out of the salon.

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