Be Careful What you Eat

Anymore, I try to consider what I am ordering to eat at restaurants. In other words, I try not to order bone in chicken wings which I have to pick up and eat like a guy.

Last night though I ended up with a sticky situation in a BBQ restaurant we go to often. If I am just with Liz, I don't care so much since I already know I am already totally accepted but with others I try to do better.

I did break down and order a pulled pork brisket sandwich which of course I had to add extra sauce. At that time, the only other person eating with us was another woman who knows and accepts me well. So, I thought I could eat most of my dinner before a man I didn't know joined us later. 

Actually, with the help of a fork, the dinner didn't go too badly. I managed not to slop BBQ sauce all over myself and since I wasn't wearing much lipstick at all, I didn't have to worry about that. Thank goodness for Chapstick tinted lip gloss.

In some ways I consider eating like a woman is one of the last transitional transgender frontiers. After all you have to be good enough to get to your seat in a venue without half the world staring. For the most part I am past all of that paranoia and simply try to stand up straight and walk to my seat. And, as I always write...confidence is a trans girls best friend.

Once you get to your table though, don't forget to give yourself a break and don't be a slob. Be careful what you eat and don't get BBQ sauce all over your new sweater!

Comments

  1. As far as I know, proper table etiquette does not discriminate between genders. The same rules apply to both men and women (or, I should say, "gentlemen and ladies"). Women may, generally, find adhering to the rules more natural than do men, but a slob can be of either gender (or anybody, at any place along the gender spectrum).

    My mother was a stickler for manners, and my brother and I followed proper table etiquette out of fear of condemnation. My father grew up in a military school, and taught my brother and me how to eat "square" when we were very young (fork, level and straight up from plate to mouth-level, then turned toward mouth at 90 degrees, then repeated in reverse to take the fork back to the plate). At least my father stopped short of having us have to eat that way in unison, but we didn't dare ever take another bite until we had swallowed the previous one. I remember the trauma I experienced on my first day of school, when all of the other kids had gone out to the playground after lunch, and I was still in the lunchroom when the bell rang. A teacher had to console me, as I sat there crying. I was so afraid that I could not follow the school rules if I also ate the way I had been taught at home. The other cardinal rule, in those days, was that one eat everything on their plate, and that was what made for my dilemma. I just couldn't do it all!

    Anyway, we learn to adapt. I'm not referring only to eating here, as this applies to anyone who is living, and trying to navigate, a transgender existence. Societal rules on gender-shifting may have become more relaxed in recent years, but, let's face it, being an out-trans woman is still seen as breaking a big rule by many people. We can adapt and mitigate through our behavior, though, and proper etiquette can only help to do that. I know that my world became so much better when I stopped being fearful of being seen as "a man in a dress," and began being seen as a good and polite person who just happens to be a trans woman. It's all I can do, even if I can't do it all.

    BTW, a good way to practice more-elegant eating is to switch hands. If you're right-handed, hold the fork in your left hand. You'll find yourself being much more mindful of how you're eating, as well as slowing down the process to a less-slovenly level (and, yes, use that fork to eat a pulled pork sandwich!). ;-)

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