Nov 19, 2011


Excluding SCC, I have been out and about as Petra only thrice this year. Ouch. Well, four times now as of last weekend. I did then rather enjoy things seen through pink lenses, and wrote effusively about the whole pretty pageant here.

Time has been the principal thief of opportunity. Work stuff is planted to rails of my metaphorical farm. The fallow, clovered pastures that Petra did once flourish and frolic in are presently under plough, upturned and nitrogen fixed for commercial purposes. 

I have come to think that work, the way I spend my days has a pretty big impact on my “Petra-ness” beyond simply being a time soak. The impact is behavioral too. Like any job with grazzilions of dollars at stake, the day is composed of a fair amount of adversarial posturing, the odd volley of tactical aggression, and an always-present sense of wariness about things in general. You know, the generalized chest-beating, loud tree-top howling and Samsonite-hurling that corporate Great Apes conduct in the service of the business.

Women can and do succeed in my role, in my industry, so the exercise of masculine traits is not a pre-requisite of success. A little more project nurturing here, a dose of quiet collegial grooming there, terrific female Great Ape behaviors, these work too.

And ya know, dear friends, I am not proposing that one behavior or another is the exclusive domain of one gender or another. I am merely suggesting that having spent about 99% of my life expressing male, those are the behaviors I reflexively lay hand to under pressure. I call frequently on those traits in part because there is so much newness in the work that I need to rely on a lot of background processes, reflexive stuff to keep my higher mind available for the work.

And so “Petra” has been a little less available to the whole me just now.

Darling friend Janie, of CD Janie blog-fame touched on a related topic recently in a series of short, revealing posts starting with Inner Voice deliberating on the process of going rapidly from femme-space to drab-world and back again. Go read. Janie is a star. Do come back then, will you?

These posts struck a chord in me. It seems that while there is a certain amount of biology that manifests itself in the life of the gender-curious, there is a pretty big beaker of chemistry in the mix too. My brain chemistry, just now, is wired more for my familiar male life than it is for wonderful explorations of the less familiar, the more feminine.

I will tell you this though:

Getting out for a gorgeous evening really has the effect of shaking that beaker up and generally catalyzing and effervescing things. I have spent this past week more distracted by thoughts of a dreamy nature than I have been in a good long time. I popped into a shop in drab mode and snared another gorgeous new outfit at a shocking price (pictured Harvest Gold Ann Taylor skirt for a dumbfounding $7.00, 8% of original retail and a smart top too). Chatted with the (typically) gorgeous sales assistant at length. She was in a sad state having just found out that she was on duty at Midnight, Thanksgiving Day for the increasingly insane rigors of Black Friday.

I wanted to touch her hand and say it will be ok more than I wanted to throttle the throat of the insensitive, short sighted lemming at HQ who thought that an upmarket woman’s boutique should follow in Wal-Mart’s less than stylish footprints. I drove home closer to the speed limit, leaving more room between me and the next vehicle, weaving less and exercising patience more. I found a tiny tributary of pretty thought to paddle around in and express in a product review for my friends at Guilty Pleasures.

Lovely things, lovely feelings. I hope that as more and more of my work becomes a little more reflexive to me, that I will have more room in my higher mind, room for Petra. It feels good when this part of me has room to stretch out and touch things as surely and gracefully as she can. I suspect that, with time, I will be able to employ my fortunate access to wells of feminine strength and wile more easily, more purposefully in my everyday life. Better living through Chemistry indeed.


Josie T-girl said...

I love this piece. Great writing. I see myself in many portions with my job and my life too. Been doing it a long time myself. Can feel the woman in me but not express her fully through out the work day, but at night ... well a different story. I let my inner woman reign in oh so subtle ways and then get her in nylons and heels and pretty dresses out and about as circumstances permit. So far we've survived for quite a while this way. Thanks for expressing your thoughts, and so others of us, so very very well. (By the way, love your grey outfit on the stairs. Excellent!)

Petra Bellejambes said...

Sincere thanks Josie. Delighted by your visit and kind words.

Best wishes to you.

Couture Carrie said...

Hello, legs!
You look amazing, darling Petra!
Gorgeous and beautifully written post :)


SometimesSpanked said...

Good catching up after a time. With my son in the house, and so-so excited wife, I've been out less than you! You're gorgeous, though... go out!! :)

Calie said...

As is always the case, an entertaining post, Petra. And, a lovely skirt, too! All of them, including the super-deal skirt!

Calie xx

Venus Loves Virgo said...

Have a lovely Christmas weekend! XOXO

Couture Carrie said...

Happy New Year, darling Petra!
Thanks for all your wonderful comments, friendship and support :)


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