Okay, I’m home from my out-of-town volunteering jaunt. And I have some bad news and good thoughts. The bad news first: One of the tires on my car blew out on the way back to Madison. I blame it on a log that was in the middle of the road, one that appeared suddenly in front of me after navigating a bend in the road. It wasn’t a tree-size log, but more like a full, round, piece of firewood, about the size of a jug of milk, that must have fell out of the back of someone’s truck. (Whoever that dude was, he should’ve kept a tarp over his firewood. Just sayin’) Since it appeared so suddenly, I was unable to slow up and swerve out of the way. I heard a loud POP, the left front tire literally went pfft, while the rim it was positioned on is clearly bent out of shape. One long 20-mile and $210 tow truck ride later, I’m back in Madison. The car, however, is awaiting service at the dealership, which is closed until Monday morning. I did leave them a message, and hopefully the monetary damage and waiting time won’t be too difficult. (Memo to self: See if the insurance company can cover at least some of the damage.)
While I kick myself over my predicament and think of a way to get around come Monday morning (I had a trial offer card for Uber somewhere), I’ll turn to the “good thoughts” and talk about something I discovered during my volunteer duties today. Myself and a handful of colleagues in our place of employment were part of a parade; we were handing out candy for the kids and promotional flyers for the grownups. Part of our float… okay, it was actually a company pickup truck, was an appearance by a costumed mascot. I’m not talking about someone in a wig or hat or article of loud clothing, I’m talking a head-to-toe anamorphic character, one with a big suit and oversized gloves and feet. Without revealing too much about the industry I work in, I’ll leave it to the words of a bystander I overheard urging their kid to interact during the parade: “Look honey! A large dancing phone! Go say hello to the dancing phone. Say ‘hi’ and push its buttons. Go on, honey!” (Oh, I’ll just add this: It had buttons but it technically wasn’t a dancing phone.)
Now, I was assigned to hand out stuff to the populace, while a colleague wore the big felt suit. Said colleague was a little late in arriving to our spot in the parade procession (her fiance dropped her off quite a long walk away from our spot); before she did show up, the marketing person organizing our participation (for the sake of reference, I’ll refer to her as Lyn) was fretting a little bit. We were already a little bit short-handed due to unforseen circumstances, and Lyn was wondering if we would have to go without the mascot. That’s when Lyn turned and suggested to me, “You know, you’d probably be able to fit into the costume.”
Well, bashful ol’ male mode me wasn’t sure when Lyn suggested that aloud to me. I mean, I do have a small frame, so would I be able to fit into the costume and not make the character look like its a wobbly bag of bones? (I want to leave a good impression of our company, mind you.) Plus, since my face would be completely covered, would I still able to see through the vent that’s the character’s big gaping mouth? I based those thoughts on another parade I volunteered at back in August, when Lyn wore the very same costume. From what I saw of her that day, Lyn did okay, although she couldn’t entirely see out of that costume. (I won’t even get into the fact that it was hot that day.)
Well, our colleague who was going to wear the big felt suit did arrive, so any question of my wearing the suit went away. After she did put on that suit, she really went to town as the character: She was prancing around, waiving, and doing jumping jacks. She was posing for pictures with others before we even stepped off. She was doing every dance from the wip and the bop to the robot and the nae nae, or as close as she could to doing those dances in a big felt suit. Yes, she even made one or two scared little kids cry when greeting them. (Well, that’s sometimes a natural reaction for a little kid when they meet a strange creature who wants to say “hello” to them.)
The impression our colleague gave me while she was in that big felt suit gave me a common and obvious realization: If you put anyone in any sort of a costume or unfamiliar outfit, the personality of the man or woman wearing that costume tends to change and adjust to fit that costume. I know it’s that way for me most of the time when I dress up as Allison; I do tend to be much more outgoing, in addition to presenting somewhat feminine mannerisms, when I dress up than I would as my drab male self. I imagine a lot of my fellow crossdressers probably feel that same way when they dress up and present their feminine side — their “character,” so to speak — to the world. My colleague probably felt that same way, too, after she put on that big felt suit. I knew she was a little more outgoing and eager to please even without the costume, but when she put on that suit, she became really vibrant.
Yes, our colleague did a good job in that suit… although she did feel exhausted and tired out once the parade ended, even with it being only a few blocks long. I just had to compliment her on how well she performed. I also started to wonder… gee, how would I be able to perform in that suit had the responsibility fallen on me? Perhaps Lyn’s wondering about my possibly needing to wear the suit has my mind wondering… you know, maybe I will take up an offer to wear — nay, become — that character if given the privilege in the future. Perhaps there’s just enough of an outgoing personality in me to pull it off.