Tuesday, August 31, 2010
These are the earliest pictures I have. They're dated 10 Aug 1999.
This is before I started shaving any body hair, before I bought a decent wig, and before I figured out makeup.
I was learning makeup from two books: Kevin AuCoin's Making Faces and Michael Maron's Instant Makeover Magic.
The first book includes lots of before-and-after's, one of a male-to-female makeover. The second includes lots of makeovers of famous women, plus lessons on how to do different things, such as contours and eyes. Oddly enough, the second book is illustrated in black-and-white.
It also seems it's from before I learned to smile.
If you're laughing right now, I don't think I want to know. I'd rather let myself think I'm an inspiration. :)
And Please please please
tell me I've improved!
Monday, August 30, 2010
Do you have a budget for women's clothes, or something? I sort of do, but it's kind of a vague one at best.
I have a budget, but it's kind of a vague one at best.
I shop when I need something. But clearly, I don't need any women's clothing. Or if I admit I have a need to go out as Meg, then I only need a minimal amount of clothing. Fifty dresses is outrageous!
I used to buy things that I thought were pretty and would be fun to wear. I have several sleeveless dresses, and dresses with low backs, and sheer blouses. These are for indoors only, because I don't shave enough of me to wear any of those and maintain the illusion. I also have shoes that are clearly made for bare feet, which is not the way I go out.
Then I started going out, and a year or two ago I started only looking for "going out" clothes. This means I leave more outfits I'd enjoy wearing (or seeing on other women) on the rack, and more money in my wallet.
I shop cheap. $30 for a dress is about my limit. I scored a really nice silk dress at Macy's a few years ago. It was $130, on sale, then on clearance and ended at about $25. I remember the saleswoman kept saying what an amazing bargain it was. But it was an example of a beautiful piece of clothing that I'll never wear out ~ it won't fit in anywhere I'm apt to go.
I look for camis under $10, tops and skirts under $25, shoes under $25. I keep hoping I'll find two nice pair of shoes at a Payless BOGO half-price sale, but I never do.
Would I like to buy that $150 dress on the rack? Or go into Nordstroms and try on some shoes that look great and fit perfectly? Absolutely. But I do have other obligations.
I like to think I'm being frugal, but I'm sure I'd be depressed if I added up an average cost for all of the tops, skirts, dresses, shoes I own. And makeup! And jewelry! I try to make trade-offs. "I'll skip lunch this week and buy those skirts", but it's not likely that I'll save $75 on lunches this week!
Makeup is another expense. I have bought $35 (or more) foundation, because it's worth it to have the saleslady match my skin colour and get me exactly what I need. But I'll try to match it at the drug store next time. Mascara, eye liner, lipstick ~ I look for the under-ten-dollar stuff at CVS.
I wear the jewelry you find on the little racks in Macy's or the other stores. I don't buy the nice stuff that's inside the glass cases.
Burlington Coat Factory and Sym's are great for finding bargain clothing and jewelry.
I've shopped at the Salvation Army, but I'm torn ~ I can't decide if I'm giving much-needed money to the SA, or taking shopping opportunities from my poorer sisters. If the store is packed with clothing, I feel better about shopping there.
As for the "illusion" items, I shop around and I can't figure out a pattern yet. I know I should be spending a few hundred for a great wig, but my wigs cost under $100. My favourite breast forms cost close to $200, and I have a couple of pair of less expensive ones. Body shapers are expensive (in my mind) but I own a few and if I saw one that looked like it would do a better job than the ones I have, I'd buy it. But $100 or more for a corset? I can't see me spending that.
I have a lot of bras, and they're expensive but I never buy more than one at a time so I can't take advantage of the "buy two, get one free" offers. Mostly, there are just 3-4 bras that I wear. I'm also looking for something that looks nice, adds hip and butt pads, and is reasonably priced. So far, it's eluded me.
I do often look at what's in my cart and decide I'm spending too much, and have to decide which two of the five pair of earrings I have to put back. One silver and one gold? But they're all so pretty, and I don't have a lot of silver earrings but both gold ones are sexy and I think my gold hoops are broken and.... You get the idea.
I'm rambling, I know. I didn't plan this entry; it's just organic.
I have three types of women's items I shop for.
Strictly Meg. Dresses, blouses, skirts, makeup, jewelry, bras, handbags, cute camisoles, heels. Breast forms and wigs and shapers. I try to buy carefully and, lately, with a trip in mind. I also try to have a limit, based vaguely on when I last shopped, and how my side business is going. Do I need more clothes? Of course I do, in spite of what I wrote up top! And I bring some clothes to clothing swaps, including dresses I love and they fit but I haven't worn out of the house ever and never will. Like that silk bargain I mentioned earlier.
Everyday Wear. Panties, girls' socks, camisoles that I can wear under regular shirts, jeans, passable pants and shirts and shoes ~ they all come out of this pocket. I don't budget so much as buy what I need. I spent a lot of time in that mall in El Paso trying to decide if I should buy those pants. They were, I think, $58 marked down to $35. That's on the high end for me to spend on men's pants. So I follow the same spending rules as when I'm buying men's clothing, but I enjoy the shopping experience more. I am more likely to buy a passable shirt or pair of pants, just because they're hard to find and I don't want to lose the opportunity.
Art. C'mon. admit it. You've bought a dress or pair of shoes or necklace because it's beautiful, not because you need them or they fit really well.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Then I changed my mind ~ I wasn't sure what sort of books would show up at the top of the Amazon page. I've bought some trans-related books and a "recommended" might be embarrassing.
One bullet dodged.
Then he wanted to see how youtube looked on my new 2048 x 1152 monitor. I was about to open youtube and then reconsidered. That would DEFINITELY show videos that I didn't want him to see! Pretty much all I enjoy there are crossdress or makeup related. I finally decided to google my older son's youtube user name and we went directly to his page.
He noticed I have lots of programs running and lots of firefox tabs open. He's pretty sharp ~ he pointed at one and said "is that Google Analytics"? Yes it was. Google Analytics gives web page information such as how many people visited. I said "yes, it's for the blog I created when I flew across country dressed as a girl".
No, I didn't. I asked a question about the computer parts he wanted and we got back on subject.
I don't like hiding. I don't like closing windows on the computer when I hear someone come down the stairs. Closets are for clothing. And I build a closet around me wherever I go.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Then I thought, maybe I could find a similar skirt at the outlet mall and wear it home. I could easily change to regular jeans in the airport. It would definitely make the trip more fun.
But as I pulled up to the mall, I remembered.... My manager will be flying with me. As I mentioned she is not ready for Meg.
But it's a possibility for next time. I might change into the skirt at the airport so the neighbors can't see. I sometimes see people I know at the airport, so maybe flying out is not a great idea. But flying back.... I can certainly leave the hotel, drive to the airport, make my connection (there are no direct flights from Washington to El Paso) and change into jeans after I get my bag back. Since I won't be lingering at the airport, just landing and changing, there would be little risk of being caught by a friend. Or worse, a friend of my wife.
It's certainly worth thinking about. And that's what I'm going to do. Next time I have a few minutes alone, I'll try it on and make sure it fits properly.
I did wear this to the office on Halloween long before I ever went out dressed. I owe you that story, along with Halloween 2008, Halloween 2009, and Mardi Gras 2004.
So if you're not sick of me, I'm not done with this blog yet.
Friday, August 27, 2010
But after a very good Mexican dinner, I decided I needed to take a walk around the area more than I needed to dress. It was a tough decision. It not only meant I was missing an opportunity, but it meant I had carried a LOT of items that would just be ballast.
I considered walking on to the campus, to enjoy the view, but instead I crossed the street and started walking. I found a couple of little clothing shops. Both, alas, closed at 6. I went past a couple of restaurants that I saw on my arrival from the airport; I didn't realise they were that close to the hotel ~ less than a ten minute walk.
I felt better after walking off a few calories. Whenever I refuse sweets of one sort or another I always say "I'm trying to keep my girlish figure." Everybody laughs. I guess it's one of those it's-funny-'cause-it's-true things. One of these days, I'll say "no really. I really want to keep my girlish figure." The problem is, I don't have a girlish figure, and that's overboard so it won't be funny.
And then I heard a call louder than the Call of the Clothes. "Ice Cream" it said. I'd never been to a Marble Slab Creamery before but it sounded good and it was right in front of me. It was empty except for a college-age girl working the counter. I chatted with her about El Paso while I was eating, and wished it was Meg she was chatting with.
I think Meg would feel comfortable walking around on or near the campus. There were the usual bars nearby, but also some small commercial districts (and those clothing shops). I'll be back in El Paso in a month or two, and Meg will almost certainly take a look at Texas.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
I don't know what personal pronoun he uses, and I'm confused (you'll notice I always use she for "us").
Google him, or her. You can start with this New York Magazine article from a year ago. An image search is... interesting.
Male Senate candidate: Vote for me 'because I do not wear high heels'
If I was in Colorado, I wouldn't consider voting for this guy. Gene Weingarten is a humour columnist I've chatted with on occasion and fellow prosopagnosia sufferer. He stated my political position best: "I am so liberal I should be tried for treason, and executed. "
But this guy probably lost all of our votes with this one. Sadly, he won the primary and may be in the senate next year. I'm a political junkie. I'll be watching this one.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Today, I was up at 530 to prepare for the day's meetings. Thirteen hours later, I was back in my room. And I have at least two more hours of work to prepare for tomorrow's meeting. If I wanted to be completely honest, based on what they gave me today, I have at least two more weeks of work to prepare for tomorrow's meeting.
So there's no way I can really dress up tonight.
So it's now about 930 and I'm wearing a blouse and skirt and everything else except makeup and jewelry. Hey, I brought all this stuff with me ~ I don't want to bring it all back home without wearing anything! And yes, I did remember to bring a dress, a top, and two skirts, even though I left that off my list. The skirt I'm wearing I hadn't worn before. I got it through freecycle shortly before my trip. It's gored, with a roses pattern. It's very full and falls below my knee (a bit longer than I like ~ but cute) and just a bit too big around the waist. I think it'll go to the next clothing swap. I should change into the other skirt before I get too attached to this one. And I should get back to work. I still have two weeks work to do tonight. I love working in my room!
Oddly enough, the shops are not in a closed mall. There is a kind of roof over much of it, but it's definitely outdoors. When it's 103 degrees, you notice little details like that.
There are basically eight buildings, each is very long and not too wide. There are three rows of two, and one on each side perpendicular to the others. Since there are no shops on the "outside" of the buildings, that's basically two long rows of shops with more shops on each end. It's hard to describe and I'm not doing a great job.
It's like this:
The boxes are buildings. The red lines are where the storefronts are.
I went into a LOT of stores. Remember I was in drab today.
I stuck to stores that might have something I wanted to buy and skipped stores like Hot Topic which have nice clothes but not really for me. I usually listen to the music in the store for a moment and decide to stay or go based on what I hear.
The mall was not crowded. Many stores just had a couple of shoppers, or one shopper, or maybe just me in there. I was always the only male shopper.
One of my first stops was Liz Claiborne. I found some nice tops and passable black pants. If I remember, I'll do an entry on what makes women's clothes suitable for drab wear. The pants had everything right ~ length, not too hippy, decent pockets, belt loops... it was all good.
So I asked if I could try them on. The woman at the desk said "sure".
Keep in mind, I'm in drab. Liz only sells women's clothing.
This goes back to the comfort zone thing. I don't know why I felt OK doing that today. In the past, I've taken women's clothing into the men's dressing room. Here I was, telling this stranger that I'm looking for women's pants to wear.
She was fine with that. They fit quite well. I asked her to put them aside for me, and I'd come back when I was ready to leave the shopping area. Frankly, they were a bit pricey so I wasn't sure I'd get them.
I went directly across from Liz and there was Ann Taylor. I looked around, I spoke to the sales assistants. I did that in every store, I think. I said I was just looking, in general.
Further down, there was a Soma Intimates next door to a Maidenform store. I went into both. In one, when she asked if she could help I said "I don't know. I can never find anything that fits right in this store." In the other, I said "yes, I see something I like but I'd need a bra fitting first." In both cases, I got a laugh.
I stopped at a Gold Toe store (socks) and admitted that I was looking for socks. I think that the ones I have for the flight home (white with blue flowers) have a hole, so I wanted an extra pair. I got two. I was looking for white and these are a light beige. Each has a flower/plant theme. If I have to take off my shoes at the airport, I want to have nice socks underneath (my to-El-Paso socks had large gold snowflakes on them).
I also saw a Hanes/Bali/Playtex store, so I stopped in to look at panties. They weren't a great bargain, but I picked up two ($7 each, normally $24 for 3). I should have waited. Although the directory listed it as "VF Outlet", it was a Vanity Fair outlet. I really like Vanity Fair panties. They fit well and are very comfortable. I looked. They had panties for $3.50 or so. I was tempted to return the others but walking was becoming more painful so I soldiered on.
I looked around in a Rack Room Shoes store. They had some really nice shoes ~ heels are getting higher ~ but not in my size. The one or two I saw in 11, I didn't like much.
I also went into a store called "Brown Shoe Closet" which sold handbags and, not surprisingly, shoes. The sales assistant, in response to my "I'm just going to look around" said "there are additional sizes available in the back". Clearly, I'm not the first guy who came in looking for shoes. And they came up with a way to say "I know you want shoes for yourself" without saying "I know you wear women's shoes."
I don't know who runs this store, but they should clone her. I did see a couple of pair I loved, but my luggage and budget are bursting, so I didn't ask if she had them in my size. I felt if I asked and she did, I'd be obligated to buy. Much later, it occurred to me I could simply say "no, they just don't fit right but Thank You!"
So now I have to figure out how to fit all this into my bursting suitcase. Meg takes up a lot of room.
And no Meg on Monday. I just wanted to take a shower and go to bed (OK, wearing a nightie). And I realise I HAVE to shower before changing here. It's impossible to be outside and not be a mess!
Anyway, I spent way too much time at the outlet stores and never did get to Las Cruses where the Deb store is.
But I did go back and buy those pants.
Monday, August 23, 2010
I occupied my time imagining how the trip would be different if Meg flew. But I do that in a lot of situations. :)
Maybe it's the time of day, but it seems the women in Chicago are dressed nicer than in Washington. Meg would fit in comfortably here, but stand out at her home airport.
I see a LOT of people here trying to leave Chicago. Since all I'll see is the airport, I don't know what they're trying to escape. Maybe I should start interviewing evacuees. :)
Temperatures just over 100 are expected in El Paso. I packed light and airy clothes for Meg. Not so much for my maleself, so maybe I should change, just as an accommodation to comfort.
I wrote a quick list while I had a few minutes the other day. Here's what I am bringing for Meg:
Not bad for a quick list, right? Fortunately I figured out what I was missing before I left home.
I think Meg would have gotten a lot of looks without it!
Sunday, August 22, 2010
I can't recall the last time I had a problem with either knee and don't think about it much.
Today, I finally took my youngest to play racquetball. We had a fun hour, but after one good twist my left knee is slightly swollen and it hurts when I limp, which is now my substitute for walk.
I haven't packed yet, and I may have to make some substitutes.
Flats for heels.
Long skirt for above-the-knee.
I did have time to shave chest/back of neck this morning, but arms and legs had to wait until after game playing with my son.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
This is a shorts event, which means I really shouldn't shave my legs until afterwards.
Time is getting short.
It seems I spend half my life making plans and the other half changing them. I know, I'm not alone.
Friday, August 20, 2010
I've decided Meg will join me, even if she's just in the hotel room. G will be staying in the same hotel, and she'll be on the same flight back to Virginia.
She'll also be coming to El Paso later in the day than I am, so Meg may roam freely on Monday. I haven't decided if she will. As I said, I like to scope out the area before I go out and I don't know if I'll have time. It also depends on whether I can get early check-in, and I can pre-shave arms and legs and all. It's hard to spend a half-hour in the bathroom with the electric shaver, and the razor doesn't do a neat job on my non-facial hair and I don't know why.
I may just do some shopping in the El Paso area. If I can, I'll go to New Mexico to that Deb store and see if they have the pumps I want in my size. I may pack an oversized suitcase light, and have room to bring back some clothing if I shop. I may even take advantage of being 2000 miles from and try on some girl clothes, even if I'm in drab. Or shop for cowboy (cowgirl) boots.
I was considering packing so everything could be carried on, but I'd be embarrassed if they had to go through my luggage and G was standing there. When my former manager hinted to G (with my tacit approval) that dressing up was something I do on occasion, G reacted not so much with denial as with incomprehension.
I know it won't be a non-Meg week. I doubt I'll bring my netbook, so I won't be able to video chat if I'm dressed up and stuck inside, unless readers want to.... Let me know before I pack!
I know I'll have an entry or two from the trip. I'm just not sure what they'll be about yet! And I'll try to post from the road.
I think "not much of a story" is a good thing. It means acceptance. It's also dull, but maybe that's a good thing too.
Her cubicle is more isolated than mine, so I went there. I pulled up a picture viewer and she proceeded to critique my outfits, wigs, shoes. She asked where I go, and I said mostly shopping and told her a couple of short stories. I told her my clothing swap story, and how I had to get the repair guy to fix my car while I was all dressed up. I also sent her a picture of me at the swap. The other pictures stayed with me on my flash, but I e-mailed her this one.
Pat ~ as you pointed out in your comment, yes, I've added her to my small circle of Women Who Know. The picture (and others) is available on the internet, but she wouldn't know where to look for it if I hadn't sent it to her. Yes, she might forward it to people who I wouldn't tell, or post it on her facebook page with my male name. That's always a risk when you trust another person.
I also pointed out that my socks have a flower pattern on them, and my shirt is a women's shirt (worn deliberately today).
When she asked "who did your makeup?" after one picture, I told her I did it and one reason I had MAC do it when I came in for Halloween was, it would have been kind of a giveaway if I did it myself. Yes, I owe y'all that story. I pointed out a couple of photos where I had my makeup done by others.
As usual, the act is less stressful than the "what if"s and the planning. I wasn't nervous at all (in spite of my terrified comment yesterday) and I wish everyone I told Meg about would react like she did. I bet if I asked her if we could go shopping together, she'd say "when?".
I also told her that, when I leave the company, I'll tell her about another place I went dressed. I really want to keep my flying pretty adventure a secret from the office. It's for my friends only.
Later, her and one of the other women here were walking out from my side of the building (they work in the other side, alas) and she said "we're going out onto the patio for some girl talk. Wanna come?" I was late for a meeting, and saying "no" was one of the hardest things I've ever done.
From the article:
On Aug. 22, GoTopless Day 2010, GoTopless.org Summons All Men in America to Cover Their Chests in the Name of Equal Rights!
'Topless equal rights for all or none!'
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For the third consecutive year, U.S.-based GoTopless.org will stage a national Go-Topless Day protest to proclaim women's constitutional right to go bare-chested in public. During the protest, while participating women go bare, male participants will cover their chests to comply with gender equal rights by wearing bikini tops or bras.Check out the relevant page (but the home page is NSFW [Not Safe For Work]).
Thursday, August 19, 2010
I had a meeting with my "manager" today. I use quotes to differentiate her from a real person who knows how to manage others. Imagine if Wally was to replace the Pointy Haired Boss. She's Wally but without the experience.
She asked what hotel I'm staying at. I told her, the Hilton Gardens, and she said "me too".
This is the first time she's mentioned she's going.
This changes both work plans and after-work plans. We'll see how much. Maybe, if she wants an evening meeting (unlikely), it will be with Meg.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
OK, I'll back up.
One of the women in the office saw me dressed last Halloween, and said something like "this isn't the first time you've done this, is it"? I admitted it wasn't but I think she took that to mean that I'd been out on Halloween before. She didn't ask, I didn't elaborate. I'm still ambivalent.
I'll write about my Halloween at the office soon. She's a key player.
Since then, she's asked to "see pictures" on occasion. I've joked about it ~ "are you sure? Did you get over the trauma of last time?" and "why? Don't you have enough nightmares?". I take a lot of pictures (yes, that's very unusual, I know) and sometimes one or two look OK. But they're scattered around my disk and although I've cropped and made minor edits to a few, most of them are just there for me to enjoy. Or cringe over. Or laugh at.
Then I told my friend Amanda about Meg by way of sending her an e-mail version of my But I Digress post. Yes, this is the same (gg) Amanda who doubted my pedicure. She was incredibly welcoming and I scoured my disk for pictures to send her. I should have expected her approval because she's not only open-minded but also incredibly intelligent and beautiful.
So now I have a folder with a couple of dozen pictures. If I can figure out how, I'll make a photo gallery here. I put them on a flash drive which I guard with my life, at least from my immediate family.
Once I put this together, I asked if my co-worker was still interested in seeing photos. She said she was, but I took off a few days, and then she went on holiday. She' s back, and I just saw her and she said she wants to see the pictures. I told her I have to run, but will be back tomorrow. Well, I certainly had enough time to show her the photos but I decided this is a "sleep on it" occasion. This is a wrong decision. I will be up all night trying to figure out the consequences of adding one more person to my small circle. She's not the quiet type ~ everyone here may know by the time I get back from Texas. She might even call out to other people nearby to see what's on her computer while I'm there.
Maybe I'll tell her I was just teasing about the pictures.
I'll sleep on it.
In these pictures, I have many different outfits, and some different wigs, accessories, shoes. Most are inside my house, but a couple are not. She's a smart woman and I think she'll have no doubts that this is NOT just a costume thing.
I'll see where it goes from there.
I wonder if I should show her my Firefox "persona" as well.
In an e-mail, Sara asked me "how does it feel to come out to people you work with for the first time?" The short answer is "terrifying".
I'll sleep on it. Or try to.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Then I added another couple of weeks to write up my trip report (in eleven short novels).
Now, I find I've done something I rarely do and have never done at this level ~ I've made friends.
I've been writing to readers behind-the-scenes (and anyone is welcome to write me on gmail). I'm a bit behind at answering, because I still have this alternate (male) life to live and there are quite a few of you! I've made friends in North America and Europe, which is very very cool.
Sometimes, when we correspond, ideas for new entries magically appear. I've had a couple of suggestions from readers (those entries are coming). I feel like, if I stop, I'm letting people down. Maybe that's pretentious of me. Or delusional. I hope not.
And I enjoy writing. In a perfect world, I'd be a writer, maybe a political writer. Maybe a paperback writer. :) In this world, I learned two things:
1. writing is hard
2. writing software, not so much
So I do #2, and #1 remains a dream fulfilled in some small way with this blog. And I think this also helps me to keep my mouth shut when someone says "what's new"?
Right now, I'm not sure how long this blog will run. Sooner or later, I'll either run out of things to say or y'all will wake up and say "why am I reading this blather?" and you'll stop. And I'll stop.
Let me quantify that: I have a fluctuating number of readers every day. I have a number in mind. If my readership drops below that number seven days in a row, I'm done. Yesterday, it was close to three times that amount. If I find I am just plain Out Of Words, I'll try to stall for a few days. After a week, I'll assume my muse has said goodbye, and I will follow her lead.
I changed the subhead a bit. It's still too wordy, but I'm not sure where this is going or even why. Suggestions are welcome.
I'm writing about El Paso now. I'm not going to go into the same painful detail about packing and all that I did for Topeka ~ you've heard it all. Disasters and near-disasters will be duly noted.
I'm hoping to meet with a local t-group next month.
I also have another possible adventure planned. One of you ladies knows about this. I mentioned it to her because I got the idea while writing her a note. I'm not sure I can pull it off, and I don't have any details yet ~ not even a fantasy, which is where these things start, for me.
If I do it, I'll have lots to write about! If I decide not to, I'll let you all in on it.
First, I need my fantasy. And my muse.
Are you here, honey?
Monday, August 16, 2010
Apologies to Marty Robbins, and I wrote more (and it gets worse) but I like my readers and won't inflict it on you.
Reservations have been made.
My flight to El Paso leaves at 7.45 AM next Monday and arrives a little after noon.
My flight from El Paso leaves at 7.25 AM Thursday and arrives around 3pm at Washington National Airport. Travel, work, work, travel.
This means Meg will not be flying out ~ I'd have to find a safe changing place at 3AM and figure out what to tell my wife. It also means odds are very low that Meg will be flying back. I'd still have to get dressed in the middle of the night and, although my wife will be at the beach that day, she's talking about leaving my oldest home. That means changing somewhere along the way. I was thinking I could open the garage from the cab and make a quick entrance into the house, but not with a child potentially at home! I'll travel again I'm sure. Unless the job search pans out.
So what about Meg in Texas?
My first thought was, leave her home (except for maybe sleepwear, my absolute minimum). My week looks like this:
Tuesday: work with customer. He says he gets in at 6, which I can do, but because there will be other people I need to work with we may start later, or I may need to stay later.
Tuesday eve: follow-up to work done that day, and prep for the next. On a short trip like this, evenings are usually taken up with work.
Wednesday: work with customer. There's a lot to do in two days (I've spec'd out 20 hours and I'm not done) so I'll probably be there into the evening. Probably.
Wednesday eve: maybe I can get some down time. If we finish at a reasonable time.
Well, that leaves Monday afternoon/evening open for sure.
Except I like to take my first alone day to do prep work: shaving or other hair removal mostly. I can try to do much of that at home. It may be tricky though.
And when I'm in a new city, I like to scope out the places I'm going first. I don't want to go into a teen hangout mall. Or a cowboy-infested restaurant. (No offense intended to cowboys ~ I just don't think they'll approve of me.)
But if I can get in my car by 1, I can travel to a nearby mall, see if it looks friendly, and I'd easily have time to change and go out and maybe shop. Maybe I'll get over my eating-alone-as-Meg phobia.
And if it's not friendly, or I'm too tired to go out, I can still enjoy my evening in my room. Maybe dinner. Maybe, if anyone's interested, I will bring my netbook or a webcam and we can video IM. Let me know soon, if you wanna. I have packing to do!
Shirts, shoes, toothbrush, cel phone...
Panties, hose, heels, bra, pads, purse, dress, slip, cinch, makeup, jewelry, wig, wig brush...
Where's that list I posted a few weeks ago?
Sunday, August 15, 2010
My new friend Penny has an eclectic blog that I'm enjoying. She knows how to edit herself, a task I still find challenging, so it doesn't take as long to catch up with her as it does with me.
Yesterday, I received a comment from Gwen who has a brand new blog with a unique story ~ it kind of follows what I wrote about recently: dressing for the first time. Well, it's not the first time for her, but it's kind of a change-of-life story and I'm glad Gwen found me and I found this. I was hoping to find an e-mail link on there, but alas, no. Gwen, drop me a note if you wish. I'd like to hear more!
And I never miss Femulate and Jessica Who? . Required reading.
If anyone has other blogs that are Do Not Miss, let me know.
A little side note ~ Shelby put a little note on my blog. Blogger decided it was spam because she put in a link to the Gap stores. I'd like to know ~ are you real or spam? Drop me a note. I won't remove the comment... I'd just like to know.
No dressing opportunities this week. I'm still not sure about El Paso yet. My manager has a habit of making decisions without informing the principles, so I haven't made reservations yet. Knowing her, she'd cancel and I'd get stuck with the bill! Today's the day I'll firm up plans.
I will be meeting my old manager for coffee Tuesday. She's met Meg, but I'm not sure I'll tell her about this blog. I'm actively looking for jobs at that company and I want her to give me good recommendations not "you will NOT belivee what he did!"
My boss meeting Meg.... That should be an upcoming post.
Makeup has a special feel and smell, and you can't help tasting lipstick or lipgloss. Why do you think they flavour them, if only a little? Even mascara makes blinking feel just a bit different. (If it feels a lot different, go easier on the mascara!)
We seem to prefer dangly earrings which add a little music to a simple shake of the head. Bangles on a wrist can add a sound of their own.
The sudden addition of extra hair and extra chest (and sometimes extra butt and/or hips) is a constant tactile reminder of why today's different. The unexpected tug of a bra or slipping shoulder strap, the feel of hose on bare legs or air up a skirt ~ they all add to the different feel.
And heels don't just give a different feel to your feet whether standing, sitting, or walking ~ they make the world different. Simple everyday things, like reaching for a familiar doorknob, or light switch, or faucet handle become their own challenge. Everything has moved down two or three (or six!) inches.
Finally a chance glance while typing rewards (or startles) with the sight of brightly coloured clothing, maybe a glittery ring, sometimes painted nails. Walking past a mirror can cause an "oh my god ~ I've been caught!" moment.
Don't let the subject fool you. I like it all.
But I wish I had never dressed as a woman before, just so I could do it for the first time and get hit with everything at once. A common theme in transvestite fiction (see fictionmania for lots of examples) is a guy being put in a situation where he has to dress as a girl, even though he's never done it before. The author then tries to describe this wonderful feeling, but I don't think they even come close to what's probably an overwhelming feeling as every sense fights for attention in its own way.
The only real-life first-time full-immersion experiences I can imagine is for Halloween or a "womanless" event, like a wedding or pageant or other charity affair. But since most crossdressers start pretty young, that would only happen to someone who is "one of us" yet never thought about it, or felt comfortable enough to try it. I think that's a small percentage of us. And that young first time probably involved one or two items of clothing, or, at most, child's clothing (a sister playing dress-up with a boy). Women's clothing, and an adult or adolescent observation, is a world away.
I know I've missed all of the firsts and experiences of growing up as a girl. Here's a male experience I'll never have either.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
My wife suggested that "the guys" go to the air and space museum, while the two women go to the consignment shop. My wife turned to me and said "what do you want to do?" I got my biggest laugh of the day when I said "the consignment shop sounds good."
Nobody takes me seriously. And the consignment shop still sounds good.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Instead, I spoke to my youngest who wanted to know when I'd be coming home because he wanted to do some things with me today.
So I came home. The shoes, I hope, will wait. And if I really really wanted them, I can order on-line. My wife doesn't like to see that I'm bringing More Meg Stuff into the house. Even when I get it for free.
OK, that source: I belong to the local freecycle group. For the uninitiated, freecycle is a yahoo group where you can post offers of stuff you don't want. People who are interested send you an e-mail, you arrange to hand it off. No money changes hands. Sometimes, you see a wanted post ~ someone asking for something they need. These aren't very common.
After you get rid of your item, you post a taken. If the item you requested comes your way, you post a received. Someday, I'm going to post
A few days later, I'll post a RECEIVED. :)
I also thought if I posted an OFFER: of that same car, I'd find out the e-mail address of everyone on freecycle.
I've uncluttered a lot on freecycle. Books, my old grill, miscellaneous items. One woman's trash and all that.
I never request items. With one exception of course. I've scored dresses, tops, shoes, even slips. Some I can use, some I can't. What I can't use goes to the clothing swap. My most recent pickup was a half-dozen skirts. Four fit and are a style I will wear.
The six-inch sandals pictured here came from freecycle:
In the past few days, someone offered a wedding dress, size 14. It's a bit big, but I was very tempted. I decided to leave it for someone who might actually use it for, say, a wedding. I never freecycle clothing myself. People who know me and my wife are on this list. If I offer, say, some size 10 skirts, and they know my wife is a 1X, red flags will be raised.
I know I should keep my mouth shut. There Will Be Local Ladies who will now be competing with me, but this blog is about sharing. So join, post, clean up your house, and maybe get a special item of clothing. And look for clothing swaps on meetup. You might find some other treasures.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
[Some readers might be equating this with Charles Drew, the black doctor who invented blood transfusions. The story is, he died after being denied a blood transfusion at an all-white hospital. He did receive a transfusion; his auto accident injuries were too severe.]
Tyra Hunter bled to death after paramedics refused to treat her after an auto accident. Apparently, blood, death, broken bodies were OK but finding out that the woman they were treating was really a man was too much for them.
Amanda Milan was murdered for minding her own business. As she lay bleeding from a slit throat, cabbies cheered and applauded.
The scariest thing is, there were groups of people present who did nothing to help! Why couldn't one hospital worker, paramedic, cabdriver, have the decency to say "that's a person. We need to help".
These are people who would probably rush to save a puppy in distress, if they could.
I really hope it's news because it's rare. Stana regularly does outreach, to help people understand that they're no different from us, really. I wish we had an army to educate the masses. That's one army I'd enlist in.
Sorry for the downer today ~ I'm trying to figure out why.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Remember I mentioned Deb and the shoes that I was interested in and didn't buy when I was in Topeka? I live about 30 miles from the nearest Deb. The place the company is going to is about the same distance from that store. BUT I may make a side trip on my way home. Those plaid pumps are calling me!
Monday, August 9, 2010
My wife wasn't that fond of it. And I had to change my lifestyle a Little Tiny Bit.
The boys never knew. I like to go barefoot, but not for these few months. I kept my socks on, studiously avoided any socks with holes, and kept bedroom slippers at my bedside so I could hide away my little bit of built-in femininity 24/7.
In November, I finished the project I was working on and had to go with three other members of the team, plus some customer types to deliver the equipment and train the users.
The team members were all women, none of whom knew (although two do now). The customer was the coast guard. Delivery was at the coast guard base in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
This was pre-shoes-off at security, so that didn't worry me. But knowing my coworkers, I could envision beach meetings in SJ. So before we left, I reluctantly said goodbye to the polish.
This was almost two years ago. If it was today, and they did not know, I would have left it on. And when the shoes came off, I'd have a GREAT conversation starter. :)
Wednesday, in preparation for my son's bar mitzvah, I had a haircut. Haircuts, alas, do not take long anymore due to the sparsity of source material. So I also got the back of my neck and eyebrows waxed, and a manicure (but, not a womanicure).
The last time I had my haircut, someone at the haircutplace did my brows. She did a terrible job. She believed that guybrows should go low ~ she took off the top of my brow, straightened them out and completely exposed my browbone. I did NOT like it. Meg did not like it . I briefly considered it a problem for travel, but bangs cover lots of eyebrow flaws.
Q: What's the difference between a good haircut and a bad haircut?
A: Three days. A week, tops.
Not so with waxing. A bad waxing lasts a while.
Today the very nice lady who has been cutting my hair for the past couple of years was busy so I decided I'd get my nails done first.
As I mentioned earlier, I tell a little fib whenever I do something like this. I enjoy discussing girl things with women, so I feign ignorance. I say I've never had it done before. In this case, Meg has had her fingernails done. I have not.
So Vickie talked about what she will do. She said there'd be shaping, cutting back cuticles, and "a massage. A little one". I don't know why she phrased it like that. It sounded like she thought I'd object, as if it were "an amputation. A little one".
As she was cutting the cuticles she said, offhandedly, "polish is included, too." Again, I don't know why she took that long to mention it. I can only guess she's had bad reactions from other guys. Maybe she was gauging my interest, but from what was said afterwards, I don't think so. She then proceeded to discuss the merits of (clear) polish, and also the option of buffing, which would shine my nails without the hassle of the polish looking funky when my nails grew. She said polish chipped, and about seventy percent of guys went for buffing, maybe ten percent got polish and the rest did neither. I decided to go for the buffing, mostly because I didn't want to be late for my haircut. A little bit of me didn't want to have spend the night explaining polish, but a little bit of me also wanted to see if anyone would say anything. Maybe next time I'll have time for clear polish. Buffing did shine and smooth my nails, and they're still shiny and smooth.
But I did give her a hard time, discussing what colour I might get, and "maybe I'll get a dress afterwards that matches my nails". When I finally decided not to get coloured polish, I said "it's just too late to get a gown altered".
She took the kidding as kidding, which is OK. I can get away with more when I'm not being taken seriously.
I did volunteer that I had a pedicure once, and had my toenails polished. My (gg) mostly-email friend Amanda (hi Amanda!) once told me that she had her toenails polished and had a painting of flowers on her big toenails. I had a pedicure (in drab) and said I wanted to try nail polish. We found a nice colour on the second try ~ we both agreed the first colour looked awful and she took it off. While she was doing my nails, I told her that my friend always gets flowers on her toenails. She said "I can do that" and she did. I told Amanda, who did NOT believe me. I stupidly had not told her about Meg at that time. When I sent her a picture (the one here), she sent back a simple note which I still remember:
I sent ANOTHER picture of me standing on a mirror so she could see my (male) face and (female) feet at the same time. Still, she never asked why, and I suppose she thought I was being even weirder than usual. Part of me wanted her to ask, part of me didn't. My tg audience understands.
Back to the nail place. I also volunteered that I had my back and back of my neck waxed on occasion. She observed that my arms were waxed, or shaved. She seemed hesitant as she mentioned that, as if she wasn't sure how I'd react. I was surprised she could tell, but just responded "I'm not fond of the body hair. Besides, it doesn't look right when I go out dressed as a girl."
We have now reached a dichotomy. She has two choices.
She can say "are you serious?" and then I have two choices. Or she can playfully slap at my wrist and say "oh, stop".
I'm a pretty good judge of how people will react to humour, and I'm pretty good at knowing what I can get away with. She playfully slapped at my wrist and say "oh, stop". I smiled.
I told her about my bad eyebrow waxing and she said that she does it, and can do it right so it looks good. I knew I was done with the dress-up jokes, at least for now, so I agreed to let her do my brows ("clean them up" she called it). She did a good job and I took her card and I'll go see her again. Maybe just for my brows. Or maybe for my nails too, as Meg.
I went for my haircut, and decided if the opportunity presented itself, I would tell her about my "hobby". This would not be a good idea: I knew someone who worked at the shop. I knew her husband and her sons, and her sons know my sons (although they haven't seen each other in a long time and were never really friends). I see her, her husband, and her boys once a year, at the state chess tournament. Of course, I also see her whenever I get my haircut. We say hi, how's the family, blah, blah.
So it would be a really bad idea to mention it to my haircutlady, because she might mention it to her coworker, and she knows the coworker knows me.
It would not be instant suicide because she (the coworker) never talks to my wife. Their paths just do not cross, although they may at the chess tournaments. In the past, they've rarely talked. I have seen my wife talk to her husband, briefly.
But they do have a lot of mutual friends. I have to assume the haircutlady would say something to the coworker who would say something to other mutual friends "you know .....? Her husband crossdresses."
But I thought I'd say something if the opportunity presented itself. Maybe just to see how long it would take for it to get back to me. You'd all know when you saw the post titled "From the Hospital Room". :)
Last time, she (the haircutlady, notmy wife) waxed the back of my neck and told me not to shave it because it waxes better if it has a chance to grow back. I had to shave it before Meg's two appearances in the last month. I told her (twice) that I HAD to shave the back of my neck, hoping she would say "you had to? Why?" and then I would explain why.
Her not asking was better than the suicide prevention hotline. I live to dress another day.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
We're the guys who eat no ham!
Last night we hosted a bar mitzvah at Maggiano's. It was both wonderful and painful to see so many women dressed so beautifully. I was wearing a suit and tie. *ugh*
At least I had my Aerosoles shoes (like these but in 11w) and I underdressed, of course.
One woman who always dresses for the occasion was wearing a beautiful above-the-knee dress. At the end of the evening, I told her how much I liked her dress. She said "I'd be happy to lend it to you!" I said "it'd never fit" (it wouldn't ~ she's probably a 6 or 4). She said "sure it will. You'll look great." I said "fed ex it to me and I'll send back pictures."
I'll see her next month ~ I'll tell her I never received the package and see where it goes from there.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Luann is a strip about the life of a teenage girl. I like it ~ it gives me a taste of what I missed growing up.
Crystal (the goth) and Knut (the slob) went together for a short while. Tiffany (the blonde) is the I-am-full-of-myself-and-you're-all-jealous type who populate strips like this.
In the previous day's strip, Knut offered to help Crystal ("you model, I choose"). She declined.
Friday, August 6, 2010
Drop me a note. I'd like to know more about you.
Sorry ~ She's a future friend, I hope.
I'm going to try to address some comments and e-mails over the next few days. I think I mentioned "a party". My youngest has his bar mitzvah tomorrow (you're all invited, of course!) and family and friends are converging. Alas, none of them know about Meg except for my wife and the friend I mentioned in But I Digress.
The smoke won't clear until Tuesday or Wednesday; I have a couple of unedited long posts waiting until that happens. I also might write about previous experiences ~ Sara expressed interest in that in a comment.
There was no surprised look or giggle or stare. If she remembered me from two days earlier, she didn't betray it. The elevator is near the desk; I waited for a minute or two to hear if she would say something to the other person at the desk. I heard nothing.
The only possible explanation is, she thought I was sharing 214 with the woman who came in Monday. Well, maybe not the only possible explanation, but it's my favourite and I'm sticking with it. My second favourite only possible explanation is, she didn't think there was anything unusual about the woman who checked in and didn't give it a second thought.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Last night, I had dinner with my brother-in-law, his wife, and son, and my family. Conversation turned to their flight and experience in the airport and airport security in general.
I sat quietly, thinking of what I could add to the conversation, but couldn't.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
"Our kids are from Boston and San Francisco, the Great Salt Lake, New Jersey, Kansas City, and Mississippi. Other than the usual suspects (liberals, therapists, yoga instructors), the parents here are Republican, Catholic, Mormon, or otherwise conservative. Some tried to "fix" their kids as the best psychiatrists of the '70s used to advise (and as some still do). But when the fix didn't take, the parents at the camp decided they preferred a happy kid to a normal one, and they ended up here, watching the annual fashion show."
Good read! Life's changed since I was a little
Yesterday, I was working on a computer and there were two pairs of pretty clip-on earrings sitting in front of the monitor. One had the older screw-on back, the other the more common spring. I was so tempted to try them on ~ just for a second. I did mention the earrings and she said "I'm one of the last people to not have pierced ears." Before I could point out that I have to wear clip-ons too, she corrected herself to "last women".
The other little story involves a new customer. She lives in my neighborhood, and her husband's machine is slow and her daughter's is failing. Her name is Gaye. She turned out to be a tall, attractive woman in her mid-40s. I rang the bell. She opened the door, looked me straight in the eye, put out her hand and said "hi. I'm Gaye."
I know this was practiced on her part, kind of a pre-emptive strike over her name. I know I hesitated for a second as I went over options.
"Hi. I'm Gaye."
"Hi. I'm straight."
"Hi. I'm Gaye."
"Oh my god! Too much information!"
"Hi. I'm Gaye."
"Hi. I'm Gaye."
"That's too bad."
"Hi. I'm Gaye."
"So I shouldn't even try, huh?"
And the number one answer, the one I really wanted to say:
"Hi. I'm Gaye."
"Hi. I'm transgendered."
But I said "hi. I'm ----."
Ah well. I want to ask her what the strangest response she got was, but I don't want to seem flirty. I have to return the laptop this weekend, and if I can phrase it right, I'll say something.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
She planned to go on Tuesday the 24th and return on Friday. Since there is a school thing on Tuesday, she'll probably leave early Wed instead and return Fri.
Wed - leave work as early as possible, get ready (nair, plan, change for the evening)
Thu - take a day off from work ~ MEG DAY
Fri - put every thing away, go to work late.
If there's a tg group meeting Wed or Thu eve, I might go.
Instead, my job has me in El Paso Tue and Wed.
So my week becomes:
Mon - travel to El Paso
Tue - work
Wed - work
Thu - travel from El Paso
Fri - mourn my lost opportunity, probably the last one for the year.
I don't see the work schedule changing, unless I change jobs (I am looking to do that ~ anyone need a good software engineer who dresses a tad offbeat?).
In theory, I could dress in El Paso but I don't know the town and probably won't. I'll be busy with work and maybe have time to dress in my room, where I can be less of a perfectionist.
Also (in theory) I could fly back to VA as Meg. No-one will be home, but there are no direct flights from here to there, so it's a 5+ hour trip. I don't know what time flights leave El Paso, and I'd have to come home in a taxi. That means neighbors and people walking to/from the pool who know me might be nearby. It's not as bad as waiting for a cab, but I still have to get my bags, get into the house ~ it's a bit risky. BUT I could stop at a mall, change, get a second cab and go home. That's more of a pain, but less risky. Or I could even change in a family restroom in the airport (if it's Dulles ~ they're rarer at National).
If I liked to gamble (well, I do, but that's a different blog) I'd lay odds:
100 to 1: getting the trip changed
10 to 1: wife changing date of beach trip
20 to 1: getting OUT in El Paso
50 to 1: flying home as Meg
I still have one more Topeka post, and a couple of ideas for posts. If I still get the level of visitors I have now, I'll keep writing at least until El Paso. If not, I'll say goodbye.
I'm writing this at work. As I was writing, one of the IT guys came by. When I saw him, I remembered the day after my Halloween adventure at work (did I write about that?) he came up to me, looked me straight in the eye, and said earnestly "you looked really good last week. Really good." and never mentioned it again.
On Halloween, the other IT guy walked past me while I was talking to some other people and slapped my butt. :)
Monday, August 2, 2010
Sunday, August 1, 2010
One of my other worries whenever I go out is explosions. I don't mean the world is going to blow up, I mean I am going to blow up. Sudden air movements do not come out in a feminine manner. Sneezing, coughing, clearing my throat, laughing.... I'm not a bass, but I'm not a soprano or even a contralto. I've tried, and giggles or female-sounding laughter is beyond me. My best bet for a sneeze is to cut it off and hope it doesn't blow my earrings off instead.
That may be a common worry. My other is personal ~ my walk.
I have a very distinctive walk, apparently. I don't see it so I don't know, but I seem to have a bounce that is unique to me. I am not making this up.
Once, walking in a parking lot near my office, a car pulled up from behind me. A familiar-looking fellow poked his head out and said "I thought it was you ~ remember me from when we worked together five years ago? I don't remember your name, but I recognised your walk." From behind, he recognised me!
Last Halloween, I asked someone at the office if I still had my "bounce" when I wore heels. She said no. I was wondering about that.
But at the airport and mall, I wore flats. It didn't occur to me until later that I might've been "outed" not by my face, but by my feet!