Monday, July 19, 2010

Part Three ~ Happy Hour at the Mall

No drinking was involved ~ I was just happy. I knew what I was about to do, and all of the tension and anxiety was gone. I no longer cared if I passed (yes I did), or if people who give me a hard time (yes I did), or if I was about to make a huge fool of myself (YES I DID). Well, I was of two minds, but I was committed. All I needed was the commitment papers. :)

Meg's first stop was Angel Nails at the other side of the mall. I was the invisible woman as I walked there. I always have mixed feelings about that ~ I don't want to be noticed in a bad way, but I do want to be noticed in a good way. Generally, I get neither. If I really wanted some attention, I could have walked into any of the small shops in the mall and some nice woman would have greeted me and asked if she could help. But not today: I had a mission so I didn't stop. (Later, I got a bit of a good reaction and a bit of a bad reaction ~ from the same guy!)

I don't really like them, but my nail colour would have to come off in the evening so I went with French nails. This was a new experience. All of the other times (three, I think) I had my nails polished with a reddish shade. But the memory of my spending an hour with q-tips removing my polish after the clothing swap manicure convinced me that French would be better. All I really would have to remove is the white tips. I thought the whole nail was coloured with a natural polish, but it's just the tips. She kind of slopped the white on, then cleaned it up with remover. It was, like all of my femme experiences, interesting.

The women in the shop were Vietnamese. A maybe 25 year old started the manicure, then an older woman took over. I'm not sure why, since the pass was done in a language I didn't understand. I chatted a bit with each of the women, mostly answering questions. I did ask the older woman if she gets many "people like me" there, once we exchanged signals that she knew, and that I knew that she knew. Someday, I'll say "do you get many people like me here?" and she'll say "Oh yes. We get lots of older women here." And I can't figure out if I'll feel stupid for assuming she knew and she didn't, or I'll feel fantastic that I passed at close quarters. I think I'll feel fantastic. I also don't see that happening. I spend way too much time planning how I'll react to things that will never happen.

I made sure I took out my money first, so I wouldn't mess up my nails afterwards. I asked the woman to help with my bracelet (it has a difficult catch) and I had a "spa" manicure. She asked me if I wanted one, at the start, and since she didn't offer an alternative, that's what I agreed to.

I tell a consistent little fib when I do something like this. I say "I've never had a manicure before." Or "I've never had a makeover before." Or whatever I'm doing for the first few times. It encourages conversation, and I learn more about life as a woman.

So she explained to her newbie that it involved hand massage, lotion, oil ~ I wasn't taking notes so I don't remember exactly what she said. But it did involve hand massage, lotions, and oil. This was all done by the older woman. For the record, I think manicures, pedicures, makeovers are nicer for gurls like me than other women. It's all very sensual, even when it's offered clinically. It's hard for it to be otherwise, for us, I think. So going back a few sentences, it was nice that the older woman did this ~ she was probably more experienced at it, but it's also nice to have your hand held by a younger woman for a half-hour, y'know?

I found out later that the top coat is the hard part: hard in, well, hardness and hard as in hard-to-remove. At the hotel, I filled the cap with nail polish remover (the nasty acetone stuff) and I had to soak each nail in it before I could remove the polish. But at least I didn't have to scrub away at my cuticles (q-tickles?) with a q-tip!

After the manicure, I walked over to Macy's and stopped at Estee Lauder to ask the woman there if she could maybe improve on my makeup job. She thought the foundation blended perfectly and asked if I bought it there (it was Clinique). She said my eyes and lips looked great, and spent her time trying to sell me skin care products. I wasn't interested, so I left ~ sales people would do better if they tried to sell you what you already want and not have an agenda. But if she wasn't genuinely impressed with my makeup she was an excellent actress. This boosted my confidence 1000 percent.

The hem on the skirt I was wearing is pretty substantial. I could feel it move as I walked, and if I walked right, I could feel it swing quite a bit. I was enjoying that but not dragging a suitcase, laptop bag, and purse. It was time to call the cab. I tried my best Meg voice and was rewarded by being sir'd at every opportunity. I was ma'am'd at Macy's and the nail shop, which was nice.

I noticed there are two types of people who address me in person: one's who say "ma'am" and one's who say nothing. I guess that makes sense. I don't think I'll ever get "miss'd". I'm not sure what I'd do with a "sweetie" or a "honey" but that's another experience I don't expect to have.

The taxi driver didn't seem to figure me out immediately, but I'm sure when I spoke he did and just went with it. I was told it would be 10-20 minutes before the cab would arrive so I went back to the family restroom to change into my flats and do what needed to be done to avoid using the ladies' room later, and the cab was there when I got to the meeting place. He said "I was about to leave. I thought you weren't coming." I wasn't sure if I should say "aren't you glad you waited?" or "aren't you sorry you waited?" so I said "thank you for waiting. You came fast." Then I wondered if I still said the wrong thing!

One more hurdle has been overcome: I was talking to a man. I avoided that in the past, and I knew he would be the first of many.

On my way to the airport, I noticed a big mistake: I didn't check my legs eariler. I thought they were good, but there was hair clearly visible above both my knees. Lots of hair, although not thick or particularly dark. It wouldn't be a problem from a distance, but to a seatmate, it might be. I started thinking of what I had that could cover the problem: newspaper, seat tray, and tug on that hem whenever I sit!


  1. Meg
    Great adventure so far. I am glad that the courage carried the day and that so far things went according to plan.

  2. Do you know, brave Meg, I felt as though you may have been packing too much in pre-flight. I see now that you managed to find a way to gradually "occupy" your Meg space prior to the very big curtain-up moments at the airport.

    Savvy. Well done.

    I will certainly make a point of getting a couple of hours deeply en femme prior to boarding when I do join the much more exclusive Mile High club that you are a charter member of.

    Cheers. Do keep the dispatches coming...

  3. Sounds like you are having a great experience - I'm happy for you!

  4. The first time I ever spoke to a man was after the woman at the shoe store called out to him telling him I was seeking size 13 women's shoes. I was dressed in a skirt (No makeup or wig). He seemed uncomfortable for 4 seconds, but them he was casual and helpful.


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