I got to see Return of the King on Wednesday; the movie itself was way cool, but even better was seeing the 350 friends and one degree of separation friends. There were people I hadn't seen for years, people I knew but hadn't actually met, and zillions of people I recognized but didn't know who they were. What was bizarre was my sensation of being in drag; even though I was wearing terribly normal clothing, people seemed to not recognize me at first (or second, or third). Admittedly, the last time I'd seen a bunch of these people I looked rather different (shorter hair, different color, etc) but even the people I knew fairly well seemed to react slightly differently than usual.
As I was driving home I thought about it some more, and I realized that at many of the previous occasions when I'd seen those people, I was wearing dresses; the fabric's better, the styles are more fun, and I look a lot snazzier in them than in the kinda dull men's clothing I have. It's not that I was wearing them as drag or to 'pass'; I wanted to stay very recognizably myself. I've felt trepidation at doing so ("is this socially acceptable? do I look bad? does this make me look fat?") but never had the feeling of being in drag - which was why wearing fairly normal attire was such a strange time for those feelings to happen.
On the other hand, I seem to have the amazing ability to be not seen. I was at Koinonea with kaligrrrl, where several people I knew came within five-ten feet of me, and I didn't even register to them. (Their reaction later was "have you been here long?") This ability seems to manifest more often when I'm socially uncomfortable, like when it's time to depart some mass gathering (because I frequently have no idea how to gracefully say goodbye to people, and end up just ducking out). Kaligrrrl asked me, after we talked about all the attractive people at Koinonea, "Are you going to hit on any of them?" The question instantly made my stomach curl up in a knot and go nauseous, so I'd say that was a pretty good indicator of being uncomfortable.
And speaking of uncomfortable, I'd be quite happy for the Xmas carols to stop being played, thanks.