Thursday, January 28, 2016

Blurred Mennonite

Continued from A Mennonite Makeover

Everywhere we went, people hugged each other and said Happy New Year. I had a really hard time feeling all that happiness with everything that was on my mind. I was still so puzzled about the dream I had and I couldn’t stop thinking about having to face my stalker again.

I was tempted to talk to Christina about my dream, but I didn’t want her to think that my confusion and obsession with gay people was her fault since she introduced me to her gay friend. I just carried on, trying to figure it all out on my own.

We picked up cappuccinos and made our way back to Christina’s mom's house. Christina’s mom kept bringing us snacks while she asked me all kinds of questions about growing up Mennonite as we got dressed and ready to go.

While she went to the kitchen to get us more snacks I called George to let him know that I was going to the party with Christina. I asked him if he could look for me as soon as he got there. I had a scary vision that as soon as Christina and I would walk through the door, Christina’s friends would drag her away from me. And I would be left standing there alone in my skimpy dress feeling awkward and wishing I could make myself invisible.

He said, “You bet, sweetie. You are the only reason I am going to this… fff… ah… I mean party.”

Christina picked up a big bottle of red wine and said, “You look hot, Anna. Let's go kick off the new year and try to have some fun, because the new year is coming whether we like  it or not.” And off we went, walking to the party that was right around the corner.

I sure didn’t feel hot. What I felt was the exact opposite -- I was very cold. I didn’t feel one bit as sexy as Christina looked, but then again, I had no idea what feeling sexy really was. I began regretting the decision I had made to buy that dress. But it was too late, and I thought it was a good thing that it was winter because I was going to keep my coat on all night.

When we walked through that door at the house, everybody stopped what they were doing. Their jaws dropped when they saw that the person with Christina was me. I got really nervous, and just kind of hid behind Christina for a while until people carried on and my vision came true -- Christina’s friend came and dragged her away. I was left standing there, all exposed and feeling vulnerable, wishing that I could make myself disappear.

I walked in further, found a chair in a corner where no one would really notice me, and sat down. I kept holding my breath, hoping that it would help so no one would come over and talk to me. Especially my supervisor Derek, who intimidated the heck out of me. Wherever Derek went, Sam the Dude went, making me doubly anxious to avoid him.

I sat there and held my breath as I pictured Derek and Sam showing up before George would come to my rescue. I was beginning to feel lightheaded when I remembered George’s saying: Chin up, deep breaths, and smiles only, Anna! And as I took a deep breath I saw Derek and Sam walking through the door and thought, Ay, caramba! Here we go.

I didn’t know what to do with myself, where to look, or how to act so that they wouldn't see me and come talk to me. My heart was pounding as I began to figure out which door I could sneak out of and run home -- my apartment was really close. I suddenly really missed my dictionary. I wanted nothing more than to put on my brown pleated dress with the yellow tulips and look up words in my dictionary.

As I thought, I am going, I am out of here, and got up to leave, I was interrupted.

 “Hey, Anna! Nice to see you here. Wow, you look… ah… so different. Wow, let me see your dress. Take that jacket off and let me see you,” Bree ordered.

I thought, Ha li kringil! As she took matters into her own hands and pulled my jacket off. She threw it on the chair I had been sitting in and slowly walked around me, looking me up and down. “Wow, you’re f#cking hot! Where have you been hiding all those curves, Anna? You have breasts!”

I turned beet red and couldn’t come up with a single response as I thought, I knew buying this push-up stoff brell was a huge mistake.

Bree loved it -- embarrassing me was her favorite thing to do.

When Christina spotted me, she started walking toward me with two glasses of wine in her hands. All I could think of was, Come on, Christina, walk faster!

When Christina finally got to me, she handed me a glass of wine and asked how I was doing.

“I think I should go home now. I shouldn’t be here with all of these fancy people.”

“But the party hasn't even started yet.”

“I just feel like I don’t belong here.”

“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have ditched you. It's just that my friend wanted to talk to me in private. George should be here soon.”

“George is coming?” Bree asked, and I immediately thought, Oh crap! I started to drink the wine Christina brought me. As the first sip of red wine went down, I instantly started feeling lighter and a bit more comfortable. I just kept an eye on Bree, and while she was talking to someone I tiptoed around her, got my jacket, and put it back on.

I turned around and there was Sam the Dude. “Anna! You are here?” He asked.

“Yes, I’m here,” I said, as I thought, Wait! He asks me that same question with such disbelief every time.

“Wow, you look, ah… different than the last time I saw you. Your hair looks so… fluffy.”

“Yes, I got a haircut, at a salon.” I wanted to make sure he knew that I didn’t do that to myself, that someone else did that to my hair.

“Why are you putting your jacket on, are you leaving?”

“Ahhh… I’m just cold and I feel like I don’t belong here.”

“Why is that?”

“Ahhh… I didn’t know Bree would be here and I don’t know most of the theses people.”

“Don’t mind Bree, I think she is just jealous of your friendship with George, that’s all. She’ll get over it.”

Sam was beginning to grow on me. I couldn't forget and was still afraid of what he wanted to show me when he told me to let him know if I wanted to experience a time of my life. I thought maybe I could let that go and we could be friends. He was really nice to me and every time I ran into him I had pleasant conversations with him.

He was a good-looking man. He had dark messy hair, hazel eyes, and he always smelled really good. He also had very nice teeth which was important to me.

I was tempted to ask him why he was so surprised every time he saw me out, but I was too afraid to know what the reason was and thought that I might be better off not knowing.

“What are you drinking, can I get you another drink?” he asked.

“Ah… okay, sure, another glass of wine would be nice,” I answered.

He took my glass and went to get me a refill. I was beginning to feel warm from the effects of the wine, and just as I thought, Maybe I’ll stay a bit longer, George walked in.

I just stood there and watched him trying to figure out where I was. He looked past me a few times until he finally recognized me. He came walking over with his hands in his pockets and a confused look on his face. When he got closer he stopped and looked at me. It looked like he wanted to say something but he didn’t. He just came closer and put his arms around me, squeezed me tight against him, lifted me up, and spun me around.

When he put me down, Sam had gotten back with my wine and handed it to me.

“Thanks, Sam,” I said.

“It’s my pleasure,” he answered and turned to George, shook his hand and said, “Hey, George, how’s it going?”

Just as George said, “Great, how are you, Sam?” Bree came over and asked me if she could have a moment alone with George.

“Anna and I will go find a seat. We can catch up with you later. Come on, let's go find a seat,” Sam explained.

I followed Sam to the living room and we sat down on a sofa.

“Bree sure is having a really hard time letting go of George. I guess once you love him you can't un-love him,” Sam said.

“Yes! I imagine that it would be impossible to un-love him,” I replied.

“Let's talk about something else. What have you been up to, what do you do when you’re not at work?” he asked.

“I’m learning the whole world, twenty years behind you guys, but I will catch up! I'm gonna catch up. I even learned about gay people,” I answered in my most fabulous wine-influenced English.

“You didn’t know about gay people?”

“Nope never heard about such a thing,” I replied as George appeared in front of us and sat down beside me.

Sam got up and said, “I’m going to get a beer. Do you want one, George?”

“Sure, thanks,” George replied as he pulled his hair up. He turned to look at me as he asked, “So how did this… er, your new look, happen?”

“I went to the salon with Christina. I got a haircut and then I wanted to look sexy like Christina so I bought this dress, but soon after I put it on to come here I started regretting it. I almost went home before you got here because I was feeling really cold and uncomfortable.”

“Oh, Anna, you are beautiful no matter how you dress. I personally think women are sexier when they don't show so much skin. There are many ways a woman can be sexy,” he said.

I just couldn’t stop staring at his lips again. I had a hard time listening to his words because all I could think about was the dream I had the night before. I thought, Stop staring at his lips, Anna, as he told me about the difference between trashy sexy and classy sexy, and how he preferred classy over trashy any day.

“So often women think that they have to show men everything to be noticed, but that’s not true at all. I think what makes a woman sexy is how she acts and feels in what she is wearing, not the amount of skin she is showing off for everyone to see,” he said.

I grabbed a pillow and put it on my lap to cover my legs up as I thought, I am definitely not feeling good about how I am dressed tonight. When I get home I’m permanently hanging this dress right beside my purple nightgown dress.

“Don’t worry, Anna, you will figure out the balance between your Mennonite sexiness and where you want to be,” he said.

I laughed as I thought, Mennonite sexiness? And from there on the night flew by and became somewhat of a blur.

George happened to be close by me when people started counting down the seconds to the New Year. He hugged me and cupped my face in his hands, sending shockwaves down to my toes as I felt the warmth of his lips touch my forehead when he gently kissed it. I heard him say, “Happy New Year, sexy Anna,” and felt sad that the moment passed so quickly, and wished he would do that again.

George got dragged away from me by his friends. So many people hugged me. I even got a hug from one of the guys who I once overheard talking about how disgusting hairy Mennonite women were. I thought I wonder if he knows he’s hugging a hairy Mennonite. Though I had shaved my legs I still considered myself one of them.

I got a hug from Bree. When she loosened her arms her hand slowly brushed over my backside. I brushed it off as an accident and thought, That could happen to anybody in a crowded place like this.

The next thing I knew, I woke up with a nasty headache in a strange bed I had never seen before. Click here to continue reading my story.

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