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I’m Now the Party Planning Committee For Some Reason

Party Planning

It took less than 5 months into transition at work before it finally happened. After 11 years of being asked to do nothing of the sort, I have been put in charge of my boss’s going away to include party, gift, and memorabilia. The upside of this of course is that the company clearly sees me as female, and I have no complaints at all with that. The downside is that I absolutely suck at this.

Let me take a moment to justify that last statement with an anecdote from my troublesome past. In my last year in the Air Force, a group of us who were pretty tight took to having some final outings before we all went our separate ways. In May my best friend planned a camping excursion to a volleyball tournament. She pulled it off flawlessly. Everyone was given instructions on what to do and what to bring, she secured the perfect camping spot with proximity to electricity and the bathrooms, and we had all the food and beer we needed, which was a lot. Flawless. Apparently Tiff got tired pulling my weight and demanded I plan the next big thing, a trip down to the Outer Banks.

We worked all night (most of us were on the overnight shift) and planned to launch from my apartment at dawn. Tiff and I got into a tiff because I neglected to pick up any food, necessitating a hurried run to the store for anything that would fill the cooler. I did get directions, and we drove down in a fleet of cars and met at a rendezvous point down there. Flawless! Every single one of us made it there. My friend Bryan asked, standing under the big fish, “OK, so where do we go from here?” My answer was one of the least popular things I’ve ever said. “I don’t know, wherever everyone wants to, I guess.” People who have worked all night and drove all morning really and truly hate being told their sleeping accommodations were never even an afterthought. In my mind, I was tasked to get us down to OBX, and I did that. Mission accomplished. Yeah… things were just a teeny bit tense for a while until we dumb-lucked into a rent free beach spot to squat on.

Coming back to the present, I look back on my success rate since then and it’s not good. My M.O. is clearly procrastinate, put little or no thought into it, hope someone else is doing something in the background, and see what happens. The funny thing is, I don’t work like that at all. As soon as a paycheck is involved, I’m full of proactive, risk reducing, contingency planning, schedule assuring efficiency. Ask me to plan a holiday party though, and risk is high that I’ll be hitting an ATM and passing out dollars so everyone can make a selection from the vending machine. More than one trick-or-treater has walked away from my door with a can of Cream of Celery weighing down their bag. No one buys my typical potluck story that I “accidentally left my dish on the roof and drove away” after showing up with Doritos and a two liter of half flat diet Fanta.

When the email came in from my boss’s boss, to head this up, I was initially thrilled. He sees me as a leader within the group! A little later it dawned on me. He sees me as a woman within the group! Ugh. The pressure was on. I had to nail this, and for more than one reason. For starters, I didn’t want to fuck up the very first direct assignment given. A close second, my boss has been really cool and sweet about my transition and there is no way I was going to have this turn out to be a dud. Working for a great boss for 11 years builds up a whole load of gratitude. Finally, I need the girl cred. A disaster, or even a half baked showing is likely to have people thinking, “Typical. Leave it to a man make something special and this is what happens.” We all agree that we can’t have that.

In those reasons, I found my answer and motivation. I wanted to get this right because I care. It’s not about people being mad at me, or sucking up, but because this is the right and nice thing to do for someone to make them feel appreciated. Maybe I’ve always had this in me and was repressing it. Maybe the hormones finally knocked something loose in my skull. Either way, I think I got my girl cred. Don’t worry, I’ve got this and it’s going to be great.


About michellelianna

I'm a transgender woman now in the maintenance stages of transition having all the electrolysis and surgery one can reasonably be expected to undertake. While busy exploring my new world, I took to blogging about it with dubiously popular results. I don't have quite as much to say as I used to, but I'm not quite done yet either.

9 responses »

  1. Gee, Michelle. I am sorry that you want to hold on to the idea that you don’t have the capacity for brilliance in your new gender role because you have a history of sucking at something as a man. My own transition has allowed me to get in touch with my own capacity for brilliance as the woman I have always wanted to be by my own say so and I believe so can you. I know you have the capacity within you to change your thinking and that you can be brilliant, just because you said so. Deanna

    • Oops! I see that I jumped to a false conclusion before I read your whole post and I now see that you have already welcomed into your thinking that you are as brilliant as you believe. As Emily Litella would say, “Never mind!” Deanna

      • LOL! Now there is a reference I haven’t heard in ages! It reminds me of the wig I had briefly that made me look like Rosanna Rosanna Danna. 🙂 I’m also pleased to say it all went off without a hitch. Who knew I could do this?

  2. Cream of Celery, I have never seen this in a bag at trick or treat, Funny! I’m not asked to help with doing the heavy things that need to be done at work and the talk around me is much different, she or her comes out when referring to me, its a wonderful feeling.
    The hormones do change the way we handle ourselves, and the way people react towards us, this has been very obvious to me.
    I have always been able to cook but it seems to come easier to me. I pick up a screw driver to fix something, I haven’t touched one in a wile and felt that I had to learn to use it all over again.
    Just be you and everything will be just as it should be, there is many layers to this, you are a woman after all:)

    Write me, Erin

    • They layers just keep coming sister! Totally identify with everything you said. 🙂 I promise to write soon – just have 5 minutes now and thought I’d answer some comments. Don’t worry, I have plenty of Cream of Celery if you ever stop by. 😉

  3. Your last paragraph just ties it up! You’ll do it because you want your boss to feel good. It will be great!

  4. As if there was any doubt! You will indeed nail this and all the while you will be fretting that it’s not good enough. Don’t worry. You wouldn’t have been given the task if you didn’t already have the cred.

    Also, once again, you have found a way to present yourself and your dilemmas that has left me laughing.




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