Week Four, Stop One. (Or six over all… I know, I know, this whole week thingy is a… well, gotta see it thru, right?) WOODLAND HILLS – BOOK SIGNING AND CHRISTMAS COOKIE EXCHANGE!
It’s… well, the next morning and I couldn’t sleep – I am still buzzing from the love in my own backyard (literally) and no, it ain’t the sugar! (Tho’ it could by all rights be – it was a MOUNTAIN of sugar! I am moving the Cookie Exchange idea into heavy rotation!)
I started the evening downstairs – thinking in a quiet space of what I wanted to say to the guests taking time to make merry. I could hear the delightful din start to grow upstairs. Suddenly a woman walked down the spiral stair case and two women who knew each other well were meeting each for the first time. My “Nanners” and I had gone to San Diego State together and each had pursued her career in this wacky world of TV… but sadly we confessed to each other that we had absolutely no excuse for each having lived in the valley for almost 20 years and neither had known… thank you FB!
Se let me collect the rest of thoughts scattered about like legos on a Christmas morning – there would be time to have our real reunion later… finally I couldn’t stand my solitude anymore – the joyful noise of the party upstairs beckoned.
It was amazing to see guests all deck in the holiday attire, everything a little bit more sparkly and bright! Smiles, eyes, hearts… nothing beats the sight of someone settling into a nice happy chat with a Santa mug full of hot cider… yes, Charlie Brown… Christmas time is HERE!
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But really, I feel like I’m training for the Olympics of Love – such an out-pouring of support from my Angels of LA. As we discussed before, in this town, nothing says true love like, “I’ll drive thru HOLIDAY traffic for you!” But also tonight has an added bonus – my neighbors could walk! Audrey, PJ & Beast (and don’t forget Preston!) Steve & Sue, Danielle and Jo & Gizzy thanks you for representin’… Girard Tract in the House!
And what a house it was -
It was SRO in the beautiful living room- made-auditorium, with the love and cheer of Jack & Ruthie Hayback. I am so grateful for these amazing friends – Jack is a professional audio engineer, and producer who knows how to turn an event into a great show, and Ruthie is the world class hostess, gracious and truly caring. That they opened their hearts and their home for Mylove and me, in their jam-packed work & holiday schedule is humbling to say the least. But they made this a truly memorable experience for everyone, in a seemingly effortless way – (but don’t worry Marcy and I weren’t fooled – we know the superhuman effort required to be calm in the chaos – kindred spirits!)
The crowd was our most eclectic yet, as Jack & Ruthie’s friends and colleagues mixed with some of my friends from college, KM and Chris, Nancy, professional colleagues Diana & Todd, and neighbors who walk the same trails in the hills of “Dirt Mulholland,” some, who were never aware of what really had happened to Marcy’s husband, (and I was to learn really had been talking amongst themselves) and of course my new BFFs – who braved the 405 AND the 101 to “represent” Marjorie, Christine, Siyah & Frannie, sisters & dear friends made in the last year. And once again… my journey was going public.
I wanted to have this event under the Christmas tree – it’s really only been since last Christmas that I gave myself the present of myself. My journey’s latest chapter really did start here at the season of peppermint and light and red & green and all that sparkles. And so I took Jack’s warm and loving guidance as we gathered our thoughts in his kitchen and then… Jack welcomed everyone and gave a heart felt request that everyone share everything that is about to happen with their friends on social media, set the stage and introduced me.
So many familiar faces and a few that were new – over 30 in all, my breath caught in my throat. And then I began, after explaining some context, I read from Chapter 13, “(Finally) Home for Christmas.” And indeed, I was.
The Q&A has been the most hopeful to date – most questions stemmed from the desire to understand how I had been able to document my going from girl to boy to woman; how I survived and thrived for as long as I could, by trying to surrender to the worlds’ expectations.
BUT – the bright Christmas star of hope shone when Mac, Jack’s friend, shared that one day, she picked-up her eight-year-old granddaughter from school as she was saying goodbye to her friend. When asked who her friend was, she replied Zach. Odd name for a girl, said Grandma, but her granddaughter explained that her friend was “a girl with boy parts.” What blew Grandma’s mind (and all of us in the room) was the way she declared this as the God’s honest truth that it is; with no judgment, no confusion and no conflict whatsoever. Just a girl.
There is hope for us all.
Jack took the mic and bowled me over as he said what Marcy and I hope is the one take away from our story – Love Actually is the most powerful force in the universe. Love does dispel the darkness of fear, ignorance and want. He thanked us for giving him the opportunity to experience that.
As we continued the evening signing books and munching Christmas cookies, I floated on that night timey, silent, profound and wondrously buoyant cloud of energy we all know as the Spirit of Christmas… my big brother Chris made sure I knew that my father would have loved his oldest daughter (me) with such pride. He would’ve loved knowing that he had all girls. Chris had met my father many times and he said this to me with with such confidence and urgency that I could feel my father’s powerful love suddenly embrace me. It was almost overwhelming. It’s truly is the most wonderful time of the year.
Marcy and I want to thank all who came out to our neighborhood in the oaks! Books were bought as wonderful Christmas presents (an even better way to spread the word!) And I know one book was bound for New York – exciting! I still have to pick-up the Christmas mugs and leftover cookies from Jack & Ruthies (I swear she wouldn’t let us help clean up!) as we prepare for the finale of the 2015 California leg of my Book Signing Party Tour - this Sunday, Dec. 20th As 2:00 pm at the Adeline Firehouse gallery. And for those of you outside of the Bay area… here’s a little secret… it will be live streamed via our website Zuzubean.com
See you ALL there!
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From Diana Weynand -
Scottie, Since I've known you for over 30 years, hearing you speak at the book signing in Woodland Hills started me thinking a lot about our early relationship. About how you must have felt not being able to be yourself. How much did you hold back? How much of yourself you were able to be with me? How much of Scottie Jeanette did I know back then? I’m curious if it was different for different people. It must have been. I always liked what you shared. I liked you. (Still do! ;-) It just has me looking at things from inside out, upside down, back to front, etc. It’s interesting, yet I don’t want it to distract me too much. It’s not what’s important. What’s important is that you are finding your way today to being who you are in your soul. And that makes me very very happy. And if you were happy being with me way back when, then I’m honored that you felt that level of comfort with me. True friends - forever!
*since Diana posed a question - Scottie responded:
"Diana - This is why we're so special - woman to woman we never held anything back. You asked how much of Scottie Jeanette did you know back then. Well, everything... to a point. I tried to build a courtyard in my heart that would give everyone a controlled and defended place to visit - I could let everyone all the way in to feel my complete love, but I could make sure that you stayed in the courtyard basking in my sun… you didn’t need to know how dark and cold the corridors were behind the courtyard’s walls. So, you knew all the best things that were me, that was Scottie Jeanette. You taught me that you could be tough and strong without sacrificing love and kindness. You showed me a long time ago that strong, smart, intelligent (which is a lot more differenter than many think) funny, creative and logistical, as you are, are feminine traits, So OF COURSE I was comfortable, And now, you are able to see why we were able to be so... close."