Burn the Ship!

| Sep 30, 2019
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Always ladylike Eagles fan.

Late Sunday night after the Eagles lost a heartbreaker to the Falcons, they interviewed Lane Johnson, the Eagle tackle and asked him to comment on the Eagles injuries. He said “We go the road ready to burn the ship,” meaning we are going to play hard with the personnel we have. The phrase, “burn the ship,” harkens back to ancient times, when a commander having landed in a hostile territory would order his men to destroy their ships, so that they would have to conquer the country or be killed.

Although my philosophy is to make love not war, the phrase speaks to me as a reminder that one must fully commit oneself to a cause in order to achieve results. And my cause is of course to find a personal companion, or in warrior lingo, a “prisoner of love.” Hmmm, maybe I should think about buying some handcuffs to subdue potential dates.

So anyway, Friday the 13th was a full moon, so I figured it would be a perfect night to do some sightseeing and check out the local talent. After work, I freshened my lipstick, combed my hair and switched from sandals to sneakers for an eight block to the Stir Lounge near Rittenhouse Square for an event known as the Sip City Mixer, which is monthly mixer for lesbians. I’ve been to a few in the past and they were fun with a small ‘f’. Just not quite the right vibe, but I could see the potential.

I have a tendency to arrive fashionably late, perhaps because I was born on Halloween, and was born close to midnight. It was just Mom and me that first night. Dad stayed home with my siblings to go trick or treating. He put on a gorilla mask. True story. However, on this particular and somewhat peculiar occasion I was right on time for kickoff at 6:30 p.m. sharp. I was more than ready for some attitude adjustment. I staked out a piece of prime real estate at the leading corner of the bar in the back room (the gays are in the front, and the lesbians hang out in the back), and I ordered a red wine. It didn’t last long, and soon, I was putting a whiskey sour on my tab. Soon, I was talking to one of the organizers Shara who broke the ice, put me at ease and made me feel comfortable.

Lynda with her namesake drink.

With moderately loud music on the sound system idle conversation with the large assortment of lesbians that were filtering in was at the traditional American standoff distance. We Americans require lots of personal space. You’ve got to move in close to people if you want to talk to them in a crowded bar. Closeness can lead to touching and touching can lead to a physical connection.

So I am starting to feel pretty good, my friends that I had alerted about this important event still haven’t arrived so I order another wine, which tasted much better than the first one. The whiskey sour was kind of wishy washy. What you really need for a killer whiskey sour is some lemonade concentrate. Sour mix just doesn’t cut it for me. I launched into some idle banter with the lesbian couple next to me at the bar I then spied an African American woman who was a dead ringer for my assistant at work. Nope, not her.

I felt a tap on the shoulder and who should appear but my friend Kira, a trans woman who I hadn’t seen all summer long. What a nice surprise, I love it when special guest stars appear out of thin air. Kira and I got caught up as she filled me in on her relationship with her girlfriend Lisa.

Then my three friends from New Jersey, Kristine, Liz and Barb arrive and the party kicks into high gear. Hugs all around. I live for those hugs. I savor them like fine wine. My friend Jone is missing in action and I am wondering if she had made an audible and changed the game plan. Kira starts talking to the Jersey Girls and I notice a woman that I am convinced is my friend Suzanne. I impulsively give her a hug, “What a surprise to see you hear Suzanne” I exclaim. Oh whoops, that’s not Suzanne. “Oh I am so sorry, you look exactly like someone I know.” That kind of faux pas might land one in hot water trouble in straight bar, but in a dimly lit, crowded bar full of lesbians, it’s all part of the fun.

Jone made a fashionably late appearance at 7:30 having spent 90 minutes in a traffic meltdown on the Schuylkill Expressway. (Fun fact about Philadelphia. Philadelphia is about a sixty-minute drive from Philadelphia.) Jone was an important component of the evening for me, because she was my ride home. The backup plan for me is to take the train, but that’s nowhere near as stylish.

While making new friends in bars is a life skill I have acquired over the years, it’s far more fun to hang out and catch up with your posse while you are making those new friends. This was my fifth Sip City Mixer and they have been progressively getting more fun. This mixer would continue on into the night with a DJ party at the Toasted Walnut Lounge. However, our crew of trans women headed over to the Marathon for some much-needed sustenance. I had a grand total of two Slim Fasts and I was starving. The Jersey Girls partied on into the night while Jone and I headed back to the burbs in her convertible, the ultimate chick mobile.

On Saturday night, I attended a memorial gathering for the 27-year-old son of a college friend who passed away suddenly from a heart attack. Roughly ten of my old college contemporaries were there including a core group of 5 that I had keep tabs on over the years. This was the first time I would be seeing them as Lynda and I wasn’t exactly sure how it would go. My male longtime friends are all very-broad minded Grateful Dead concert attending types but it was soon obvious that they just didn’t know how to relate to me at this point. Unlike the younger generation, they embrace the gender binary and the concepts of gender fluidity and transgenderism weren’t part of the curriculum back then. Frankly, I too am a gender binary believer, and it’s taking me some time to warm up to the concept. Interestingly, the guy who used to make some of the most misogynistic and gay-bashing remarks back in the day seemed the most comfortable with me as Lynda. My best friend back in the day, who actually discovered I was a crossdresser late one night seemed to have the hardest time relating to me. He did remark “I love what you’ve done with your hair” with a sarcastic tone trying to break the ice.

On the other hand, the women of this tribe greeted me with open arms. The memorial service was touching and afterwards our clan rallied at a nearby Kennett Square sports bar called Giordano’s. True to form, the guys all hung out in one area of the bar and the girls all hung out in an adjacent area. I joined the women and had a great time. These are some very smart and down to earth ladies and I felt very comfortable with them. No surprise, but it felt really good to connect with these ladies.

Sunday afternoon, Jone and I headed over to New Jersey in Jone’s convertible to Christine and Jacki at Christine’s townhouse for a light lunch and wine followed by a shopping expedition at the Deptford Mall. Jacki just came out at work and she needed outfits for work. The theme of the day was casual clothes and work outfits. Afterwards, we headed to a sports bar for bar food and drinks. Much to Jacki’s horror, Jone, Christine, and I remain avid football fans. Christine is an expert Fantasy Football player, Jone is an Eagle’s season ticket holder and I am an ex-rugby player who enjoys collisions.

Looking good for the first date.

Which brings us to Monday. After an epic weekend of socializing, I had planned a simple night at home doing laundry and watching Monday Night Football. But, on the train ride home I got a message from a guy I had met on OKCupid and met for coffee back in March. He asked if I wanted to get together, I texted “sure,” not realizing that he meant that night as in 30 minutes. After a one-sided negotiation, I pushed the start time back 90 minutes to give me time to primp to the max. This was to be my very first official date with a guy (I am not gonna count the coffee) and I wanted to make it memorable. I opted for a cold shoulder LBD and black pumps, some new earrings and a generous spritz of perfume. Total overkill. We had a nice dinner and enjoyed some fireworks in his car. Milestone achieved.

So there you have it gentlemen who used to be ladies, I had my first official date, joined the ranks of well-educated middle aged women, partied with my besties and had my first official “I primp to the max, and he picks up the tab for dinner followed by physical contact” date. Four different social settings in four days. I think I have done it. I have burned the ship, and infiltrated the Delaware Valley as a woman. There is no turning back.

Normally, I like to polish up these columns a bit, but it’s Saturday morning and I need to start packing to head over to New Jersey with my good friend Stephanie for a Girl’s Night Out with a whole pack of Jersey Girls. Okay I spell checked it, we’re good. See you next month.

Lynda’s spell check missed a few things but we fixed them. Like to make a comment? Login here and use the comment area below.

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Category: Out & About

Lynda Martini

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