February 23, 2006

A moment of minor awesomeness

... but which requires some set-up.

Dramatis personae:

- Max, a rather masculine fellow whom most people in Max's life would identify as a butch lesbian. Nobody ever uses Max's birth name (resorting to an ever-growing collection of odd nicknames), and people very rarely use any pronouns when discussing Max, since even if you don't know whether male pronouns might be in order, it's pretty clear that female pronouns are stunningly inappropriate.

- Lara, Max's long-distance girlfriend.

- Carmen, Max's occasional hook-up partner, who is more privy to questions (and answers) surrounding Max's gender identity than most people, but still not 100% in the loop.

- Alice, Max's good friend, who is pretty much completely out of the gender loop altogether.

- Me, privy to knowledge about Max which I can't reveal, gleaned in ways I can't reveal, which nobody officially knows I know but which everyone expects me to know anyway.

The scene:

Carmen, Alice, and I are walking down the street. Alice mentions that she's just met Lara. Although Carmen is determined to pretend that Lara doesn't exist, she has to ask:

Carmen: So, um ... what's she like?

Alice: Lara? You know, I really liked her - sorry, I know you don't want to hear that. But yeah, I'd date her myself if Max weren't. But, I mean ... [trails off]

Me: What?

Alice: Well, it's just, like - she's practically straight. To the point, like - I think she is straight. But, I mean, I guess she can't be all that straight, right? [looks around for confirmation]

Carmen: [looks at me as if to say, 'ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh. I get it! Max is dating a straight girl!]

Me: [looks at Carmen as if to say, 'um,

Alice: [looks around as if to say, 'wait - what's taking you two so long to agree with me?']

Yeah, well. Labels. Y'know.

Alice: [nods knowingly, as the clue train sails past the station without stopping]


wannatakethisoutside said...

your post about awkwardness just inspired me to post about awkwardness, too.

isn't it great that everyone on quench knows so many awkward people/is so awkward?

Trope said...

WTTO--I've never really thought of awkwardness as a thing to celebrate, although it does up the fun factor in any given encounter. I'll have to reconsider...

BTW, I'm feeling a little like Alice in this situation. But I'm going to embrace the awkwardness there.

icarus said...

I guess I feel pretty sympathetic towards "Alice." If she has no information about her friend's gender identity and understands his identity to be that of a butch lesbian and has not been told otherwise, she probably is trying to respect his gender identity - it's just that it's the wrong one.

But I agree that's still mad awkward.

wannatakethisoutside said...

Isn't it kind of good that "the clue train" passed right by Alice, as you put it?

I mean, if I were Max and I hadn't told Alex, I would feel weird if people intentionally made innuendo and disclosed for me if I had asked them not to.

maudite entendante said...

No, I mean, it's good that Alice didn't leap to any conclusions about Max (though they'd probably have been on-target). But it's definitely awkward to have Carmen finally figure it out (probably) and try and get confirmation from me, and at the same time have Alice there trying to figure out what the heck was going on.

Btw, Carmen has been trying to reach me all day. Drama?