Nothing starts out a day on the wrong foot like finding out the customer you have been doing a remodeling job for is a terrible cross dresser.
Before I get to the story, let me clarify a few things-
I am not homophobic
So, that’s just one thing….but it did need to be clarified.
Allow me to further explain by way of another story before I get to that story.
During my last year of pre-sobriety (?) I lived with my younger brother and his boyfriend.
In that time, I learned much of the ups and downs of what it is like to be or to be assumed to be gay and the joys and hardships of relationships from their perspective.
I knew few people in that city. Predominantly, I hung around the gay and lesbian crowd.
I even earned a nickname-
“The Fag Hag”
I was the heterosexual surrounded by the homosexuals.
They were ravers. Club hoppers. Techno music enthusiasts. They like to drink. They liked to drug. They partied like drag queens.
I accepted them. They accepted me.
People are people.
I am open minded enough and comfortable enough in my own skin to not judge. As long as they were happy (which they were), then I was, as well.
That’s not to say they didn’t test me every now and then.
I was once asked if I wanted to venture into the “gay district” and hit up a dance club. They looked at me and said,
“It’s a pretty hardcore gay club.”
I replied, “Whatever. I’m in. I have to see what hardcore and gay looks like in one place….it’s like giant shrimp…it just doesn’t make sense.”
They laughed and got all giddy about taking the straight guy deep into the gay hood.
The best description I can come up with is that the club was basically a rodeo on steroids and crack without the barnyard animals.
They weren’t needed……there was bareback riding going on everywhere without them.
My brother came up to me after about half an hour and said,
“You alright bro?”
“Yeah, I’m cool. This place is nuts….no pun intended.”
He laughed and said, “Do me a favor and DON’T go into the bathroom here. There are things going on in there that straight men shouldn’t see.”
I made a sour face.
“Thanks for the info, I will steer clear….”
I looked around as he stood by me and then I said excitedly,
“HOLY CRAP! Is that a Dig Dug machine?!? I’m out sucka….I got $4 in quarters burning a hole in my pocket!”
I went and retrieved 2 beers and headed for the arcade game that was tucked into the corner.
By the time I used my quarters, I got hit on by 4 different guys. 2 of them gave me their numbers and stuck them in my back pocket with a pat and a squeeze.
After we left the club I showed my gay entourage the phone numbers and said,
“Look what I got….and I didn’t have to go to the bathroom to get them!”
FAST FORWARD TO PRESENT >>
I have been remodeling a kitchen for about a month.
I had seen and talk to the customers every day for about 3 weeks.
At the 3 weeks and 1 day mark….it happened.
I was finishing installing a few electrical plugs while the guy working with me was adjusting the cabinet doors.
I heard a door open and someone walking in.
I heard the guy working with me say, under his breathe,
“What the fu….?”
I look over my shoulder and see our customer walking up…..he was attempting to be graceful but it was not working.
For 3 weeks we had seen him. Dressed in work pants and a denim shirt….he is a truck driver. He is in his late fifties to early sixties. He is married.
He was in a loose fitting blouse. A knee length skirt. Black socks and sandals.
And make up…..make up applied as a man would apply it….
He made MiMi from the Drew Carry Show look like a goddess.
The guy who works with me is a redneck….and was looking kinda pale.
I looked at him and said,
“You gonna be alright, Bubba?”
“Yeah….but I can’t talk to that…”
I looked at the customer and asked,
“Good morning. I know we got here a little early….we are just trying to “make up” for lost time.” And I glanced at Bubba and winked.
Bubba just stared. All droopy faced and stunned at what his eyes were seeing.
“No problem,” the customer began, “I just needed a glass of water and I will leave you all to finish.”
I smacked Bubba on the back of the head as the customer walked by and mouthed to him when he looked at me,
I turned to the customer and said,
“Sir, I don’t mean to intervene in your life but can I make a suggestion?”
Bubba’s eyes got big and he stepped back a few steps.
The customer turned around, crossed his arms and replied,
“Sure, go ahead.” Almost mockingly.
“Well……that eyeshadow is all wrong for your complexion. A lighter color would bring out your eyes a bit more.”
The customer relaxed….just slightly and said,
“Really….and what do you know about make up application and skin tones?”
“I used to hang around the ‘alternative lifestyle’ crowd. There was a lot of talk about make up, fashion and the like. I picked a little up. If you would like, I will show you a few web sights that will help you out.”
“I would like that thank you.”
And then, the customer smiled, turned around and went back into the other room.
I looked at my stunned redneck work mate and said,
“Did you notice that you both were wearing the same earrings?”
Bubba didn’t think that was funny.