Truly Yours

Lowly coffee shop manager, man in woman's body, and white after Labor Day

by Lena Lett
Published on February 13, 2003, 12:00am | Comments

Truly Yours by Lena Lett

Dear Lena,

Love your column, but I have to disagree with your advice to the coffee shop manager who got dissed by the Capitol Hill lawyer who thought slinging latte was a lowly profession. Unlike you, I have to side with the lawyer. Does anyone really sit around when they're a kid and say, "You know, one of these days, I'm going to be a great, important coffee shop manager!" I'm not saying Mr. Coffee may not be a perfectly nice guy, but there's nothing wrong with looking at the career aspirations of a potential mate and recognizing right off the bat that someone who's content in a coffee shop isn't exactly living up to their potential. Sign me…

-- Cream of the Crop

What's this? A voice of dissent! Well...I...never -- be gone, before someone drops a double-wide on you, too! Better yet, get your own damn advice column!

Okay, now that I have that off my chest. Thanks for your feedback -- always glad to have it. No, really. Always glad. But I still back up our beleaguered Starbucks boy. You know, some people enjoy the vibrancy of a retail environment. Some people enjoy making your day a little nicer by preparing something to eat or drink, and serving you with a smile. For whatever reason, the coffee shop manager is happy with his life right now, and I think the lawyer blew a fine chance at getting to know a nice guy. And who says how your earn your living defines your life? Maybe you manage a coffee shop, but you also write beautiful poetry, and volunteer at a homeless shelter, and devote time to friends, or any number of fine pursuits. Is the world really better for having so many freakin' lawyers running around? I rest my case.

Dear Lena,

Something really heavy is weighing on my mind. I believe I am a man trapped in a woman's body. I know I'm not a lesbian (tried that, didn't take) and I know I'm not "sick." But I'm not sure what step to take next. I'm new to the D.C. area and if you could please point me in the direction of some organizations in the area that could help me out (for talking, counseling, etc.) I would be eternally grateful. Thank You, Lena.

-- Susie Q.

Honey, you have a lot to sort through, and I commend you for being prepared to reach out for guidance. The sooner you get started, the happier you'll be. You should get in touch with the Transgender Education Association (TGEA) at 301-942-3822, or you can visit them on the web at They will help you with all of your issues. Start there, and if you need more help, feel free to write again. I wish you well.

Dear Lena,

Why is it a sin to wear white after Labor Day, and when is it safe to wear the color again?

-- Color Blind

Traditionally, white is not worn between Labor Day and Memorial Day. However, exceptions are made (e.g., White Party, nurses, The Pope). I believe that if your outfit is stellar and you are happy wearing it, the color really shouldn't matter. Do remember, though, that wearing white to a wedding is a big no-no. There should only be one girl in white that day, no matter how inappropriate (for different reasons entirely) it is for her. And another thing -- if you do go out in this winter wonderland of ours wearing your virginal best, you'll want to stay away from snow drifts. Otherwise, you might just blend right in and wind up getting plowed. On second thought, however, maybe you're on to something....

Truly Yours,


Have a wonderful Valentine's Day, my little individually wrapped truffles! And don't let me hear anyone complain about having no one in their life who cares about them. Why? Because Lena loves you. Besides -- (cue orchestra) -- learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all. Now, breaking up with yourself when you become overbearing and inconsiderate -- that's a subject for another column entirely. Smooches! Write to, and visit for more Truly Yours.