Monday, April 25, 2011

Just When You Need It

You might recall in this post I mentioned I recently got a pedicure.

Which was some much needed self indulgence and pampering.

However something very interesting happened after my appointment.

Yet before I tell you that I need to explain something about the salon I go to.

Now it is a full service salon, hair, nails, massage, waxing, makeup, you name it there isn't much they don't do.

It isn't the flashest place or the largest but the stylist and workers are a strange mix of fun, sweet and mildly dysfunctional. You can't help but smile whenever you are there they are just a crazy fun bunch.

It is also trans friendly, which is why I started going there all those years ago.

I was referred on a message board as I was looking for help in regards to presenting myself as a woman. I didn't have anyone else to go to and honestly the only other 'known' place was a rather drag-centric location. I walked in there once and ran right back out.

So many moons ago I talked with the owner there and she put me at ease from that moment on, the rest they say is history. While I don't see her for makeup anymore she did give me a great foundation of skills and does pass along new tips when they come in. She does still do my hair and has been slowly teaching me how to style it as it grows out. She has become almost a second mom to me.

The point of that story is that the environment is very supportive from everyone even some of the clients.

Which brings me back to what happened near the end of my pedicure appointment.

A female client, who had popped her head in earlier to ask my nail tech some things, had once again returned to talk to her. Before she could though she waited as my nail tech finished talking to me. As she wanted to know how long I intended to grow my hair.

I replied as long as I could as I didn't know how long that would be. Yet that I am hoping to at least reach my collar bone.

It was during this exchange that the client caught the color on my toes. Which is this wonderful metallic cobalt blue I found and brought in myself. Everyone always asks me where I got it when I decided to wear it.

Before I could answer my nail tech said the following.

"He brought it in himself."

Now two things here. First, I had a later appointment in the day, so I was doing the pseudo boy thing. Second, I was gathering my things to make my way out the door. Thus I wasn't paying attention to the clients reaction when this was said.

The client said something else and walked back into the salon proper.

My nail tech, realizing what she had said asked me how she should refer to me.

I smiled and stated simply as {his name} since I was still in between and not always there as a girl full time. I told her I don't mind for now. Once I am doing being a boy we can use my name all the time.

As awkward as it is, I hate making people switch back and forth.

This is when it got interesting.

The client was suddenly back in the door, asking me if she could get the name of the color on my toes. I happily showed her the bottle that was in my hand. When she suddenly asked me.

"Are you transitioning all the way?"

blink, blink, I was caught a little off guard.


"Omg! That is so cool! I think that is awesome and I apologize for intruding, but I was so confused when {my nail tech} referred to you as 'him'. Because you look like a girl and I had to run up front to ask what the story was. Also, can I just say you are going to make one pretty girl. You are now in fact much prettier then most."

I was stunned, all I could say was thank you and answer a few more of her questions. Along with get a few more compliments.

Now first of all I don't think of myself as pretty. Many of my friends all tell me differently, B chief among them. While I will concede that I probably make a cute girl. I just don't buy the whole, very pretty, gorgeous, freaking hot comments I hear.

Yet this woman, who's comment was spoken so genuinely, just blew my mind.

With everything going on in my head lately this was a huge boost at a time I could really use it. Better still it came from a source that knew nothing of me before and simply was stating something very sincerely. I know she mentioned seeing a few other clients come in and mentioning that she had never seen one like me before.

I know she asked a few more questions, I know I answered them, but really I was so overwhelmed by what she said that it really didn't sink in.

All I know is I walked out shortly their after with a small spring to my step.

You couldn't have had more perfect timing.


Anonymous T-Girl said...

i watched a lot of Miami Vice when i was a little kid.

And for some reason, every time i see your last name, i pronounce it 'Burnett' in my head.

There. i got that off my chest. Carry on.

Sarah Sterling said...

I know what you feel like, when I was out makeup shopping with the rep from mac and fully dressed up the makeup artist used the word he and I got that funny look. When I was not treated any differently it made me feel better but I could not tell if they were just being nice or not but it was very uncomfortable...


Kelli Bennett said...

It wasn't uncomfortable at all I wasn't even paying attention to the exchange really. Also I knew I was trying to present boy so it didn't bother me.

The Client was obviously confused because I simply not convincing as a boy anymore. That and I can't remember exactly what was said after her comment, but she was being wonderfully supportive and sweet about the whole thing. I do know she asked what my name was and I gave it to her. I think if she could have talked to me for the rest of the afternoon asking questions she would have.

Honestly I think she was just in awe of the fact that I was trans and really didn't even look boyish at all.

Melissa said...

Call me old school, but I will never understand the current fascination with green, blue, and gray nail polish. I'm glad it works for you.

No more false modesy, Kelly! When someone tells you you are pretty, simply smile and say thank you!

Melissa XX

Melissa said...

OOOPS! Sorry I spelled your name wrong!

Kelli Bennett said...

lol I grew up in the late 80's and early 90's I love bright bold colors. You won't catch me with gray on my toes but this blue just pops. It did take me a long time to find it as I just didn't want a really dark or navy color(might as well use black) or a pastel shade. I wanted a color that says I am blue do not doubt it.

I wear a lot of purples, pinks and reds so it is nice to change it up. With something different.

And it happens all the time Melissa don't worry. Just don't call me Kel. I can't stand that.

Kelli Bennett said...

Oh and I forgot, I did smile and say thank you.