As you may have gathered from previous blog entries, I volunteered at the PNE parade, yesterday.
It was a long day, but I've got some great stories about discussing the topic of hosiery with a former manager, about seeing former fellow soldiers, and about how it went.
A few days ago, I happen to cross paths with my former manager from The Bay. It was good to catch up again. It turns out that she wanted a career change, so I happen to mention a few things that might help her, and even suggested that she volunteer with me at the PNE parade, so that she could see what it is like to touch base with a communications group. She could meet employees, and network. To make a long story short, she did it.
On Friday, we met up before the time, so that we could walk there together, since she didn't know the correct start location.
We took time to chat about the common challenges that we were facing in our personal lives. After a brief lull in the conversation, she brought up the topic about me wearing tights. In a way, I was glad to have this opportunity to chat about it with her. In another way, I wasn't in the mood for it. I felt that she was closed minded, from past experiences, and I didn't feel that I had to justify anything to her. Even still, I decided to take the high road. I tried to explain why I wanted to bring about social change. I mentioned that I wanted people who wear prescription hosiery to blend into society. I think that helped it sit well with her. I decided to push my luck by asking her how she would feel if her boyfriend would want to wear hosiery. Her basic response is that she wouldn't like it, and that she would try find out before they started dating, so that she could avoid the situation altogether.
I didn't push beyond that, because it would take a while for her to adjust to the whole idea, and that was out her and our control. At least, I think that it is out of our control.
At the parade, I basically had to welcome the parade participants to the parade start area, and get them to their starting positions.
I saw a couple of fellow soldiers. I was concerned about my reputation. I don't know what they would think, but I did try to avoid eye contact or even being seen at first. At 1 point, I knew that I would be "caught", so I did make eye contact, because I didn't want to look like a snob. I ended up chatting briefly and shaking hands with 1 of them. It was pretty cool. They're nice people and they didn't even bring up the topic of my hosiery or seem to look at it, so I think that that went relatively well, considering the possibilities.
Near the end of the evening, my volunteer supervisor made a compliment. I'm not sure if she saw me handling conflict or anything like that, but considering the timing, I suspect that she did. At the end of the evening, she offered a reference letter. At the end of the evening, the former manager gave me a big hug. I assume that wearing hosiery doesn't give her a queasy feeling or anything like that. I bet that it's all about what others think.
All in all, it all seemed to go well.
Check back here near the end of September for a blog entry about my experiences about me volunteering at the Fringe Festival.