I have officially forgotten what it was like to be anonymous. No, I wasn’t a hacker with the fearsome power to wreak global havoc or annoy the living shit out of people who probably have it coming. It was more the luxury of gliding through life never turning a single head or being remembered seconds after I walked out the door. I assume, by the way, that this only was true for people who didn’t have existing relationships with me, but I will allow that those who do also managed to blot me from their consciousness when out of view as well. All that has pretty much gone and I have officially changed my designation to non-anonymous. I’m not fabulous enough to be famous, or enough of a grouch to be notorious, so I think non-anonymous is an annoying enough designation to fit my personality.
I don’t really think I need to go into the reasons why this is so. I pretty much went from a nondescript schlub of a guy to kind of a freaky looking woman. Schlubs are a dime a dozen and worth our collective ignorance, but no matter how many freaky looking women there are out there, everyone seems to remember them. I don’t have pink hair or wear shortie short shorts with fishnets beneath them or anything. Actually, I resemble a professional office worker Monday through Friday, and a frumpy middle aged woman the rest of the time. It’s OK though, the trans thing totally makes up for fishnets, multiple piercings, and an uncomfortable amount of leather.
It took a while before I realized this, but lately it’s been reinforced. More than once now I’ve gone into a store and had the cashier say, “hey, I remember you!”. I was Wal-Mart, the one everyone shops at, and chances are every single person in her line has gone though it dozens of times. I’m the one she remembers though. It could be worse. At least I’m not the one she remembers for a weekly purchase of a case of Imodium or industrial sized drum of Vaseline or something. I don’t think, however, it’s for the charming way I end each transaction by saying, “Thanks! You too!”. Just must be something about my face.
This was really driven home when in another store I frequent less often. I was walking out the door, when one of the cashiers I was passing made a point to turn and wave, “Hi Michelle!”. OK, I had been though the guy’s line exactly once about a month and a half ago. I remembered him because he was extra nice to me, which I assumed was because he made me and was gay, so we shared that LGBT connection. But seriously, he remembered my name? We didn’t even converse much and I didn’t introduce myself I know for sure. Obviously he noticed it on my credit card and made it a point to remember. Not sure how I feel about that. Flattered maybe? I don’t know, but certainly non-anonymous.
This is going to take some time getting used to and really reinforces that I have to get off my widening ass and work on becoming more passable. I’m not sure I’m made for the limelight in this regard. While I did used to muse on the advantages of becoming a local character, this wasn’t what I was thinking of. I had more in mind something along the lines of being that person who rode around town on a unicycle everywhere with a large raven on their shoulder. You see, that would have been on purpose. When I want to buy new underwear or something, I’m really not that jazzed about pointed shouts, “Look! It’s Michelle and she’s going for the cheap-ass three pack this time!” Ugh.