I still shake my head about this one.
Last few years I worked in the IT group of a large company, we had about 150 programmers and related IT people. It was a family friendly company, which means that, among other things, they sponsored employee and family events. A nice one was the yearly picnic, which took place at one of the area theme parks, catered and with free passes. We also had two yearly Christmass parties, one semi-formal dance gig, and one during the work day for family. They’d bring in a Santa, hand out nice presents to the employees’ kids. Like I said, family friendly.
I covered all that because I wanted to make the point, in an admittedly longwided way, that although you might not mix socially with other employees you’d still get to know them and their families, somewhat. One of my co-workers, let’s call him Mark, seemed like the most normal guy in the world. Mid-40’s, slightly fat, glasses, wife, 2 kids, and generally just your run of the mill IT nerd.
He worked at the other end of the floor, and I really didn’t mix much with him except for the occasional head nod in the hallway. Then one day I was int men’s bathroom, standing at the urinal taking care of business, when someone comes in and stands at the next urinal hikes up their skirt and proceeds to pee. It took a couple of seconds, for the whole “hiked up the what???” thing to register.
I figured I’d be cool about it, maybe we had hired a scottish contractor, and casually glanced out of the corner of my eye, while pretending to stretch my neck. Holy crap!! Unless scotts have started wearing makeup and lipstick as part of the kilt, this was a woman. A damned ugly woman, yes, but definitely no man. Then she spoke to me.
I nearly strangled little bayonet I was so startled, this was Mark! I could barely stammer out an almost inaudible “Hey, Mark.” In retrospect I know I missed a great opportunity to use the old “How’s it hanging”, retort, but really, I wanted to get out not witty banter.
“Sorry bay, I’d rather be called Mary now.”
“Uh, ok, um, Mar…, Mary. See ya!”
There’s little doubt that if there was a ever an Olympic event for fastest “zip-up, wash up, dry up, get out of the bathroom” and my performance that day was presented for evaluation the sports world would proclaim me as the Babe Ruth of the day.
I immediately ran to the admin assistant, also known as Director of Gossip, and got the scoop. You think the bathroom scene was bizarre, no, no, it gets better. I swear on all that is Holy I am not making this up, this is The Scoop as she presented it, and later verified by Mark-Mary him/herself in an email sent to all.
Mark would occasionally dress up in his wife’s clothing when she was not around, but one day she returned home a little earlier than expected, and how many lives have been ruined just like that I ask you ladies and gentlemen, please, never surprise your SO, exercize that cell phone; anyway, she returned early and caught him. Much fighting ensued, and Mark finally admitted that he was in fact, “a woman trapped in a man’s body…”. Weird enough? No? Ok, he wasn’t just a “woman trapped in a man’s body”, he was a “lesbian woman trapped in a man’s body.”
I know, a lot of guys out there will say “Hey bay, I’ve said many times that I’m a lesbian trapped in a man’s body!”. Maybe you have my imaginary friend, but in support of those statements have you undergone hormone therapy, developed breasts, and started wearing women’s clothing EVERYWHERE? No? Didn’t think so. And I would also bet that you have never then gone to the trouble of divorcing your wife, and marrying another “lesbian woman trapped in a man’s body”.
Mark did all this. It never got any less weird, some days he would wear man’s clothing, and I swear he looked just like SNL’s Pat. But most days he would stick to the skirt, boots and blouse emsemble that he was sporting during the aforementioned bathroom incident.
Incidentally, I heard from the Director of Gossip that Mark had tried to get HR to change his name in their records to Mary, but the HR director took the stand that he would not do it until Mark officially changed his name. AKAIK Mark never did.
Of course it goes without saying that the names have been changed to protect all involved. Well, except mine of course, I am really bayonet, also known as bay.