Saturday, July 31, 2010

Comfort Zone

Things that I am or am not comfortable doing change over time.

I suspect that I am not unique.

It wasn't that long ago that I was not comfortable with the idea of Meg driving away from my house, or even going outside at all. Now, it's not on par with "breathing" but it's pretty natural to do so.

It took weeks of convincing myself between the time I bought a women's shirt (in a man's style) and I wore it out of the house. Same thing with women's socks ~ now most of my socks are flowery or patterned in another non-masculine way. Same with my charm bracelet.

I'm going to quote myself, writing about my first time out:

I was with Wanda, the makeup artist who had just made me up and helped me choose my clothes, accessories, shoes. We were driving the a shop and she said "let me hear what your girl voice sounds like." I declined to try, because I was embarrassed by my voice. I was driving and thinking "wait a second. I just let this woman make up my face and I'm dressed as a girl and I'm out in public and I'm embarrassed to let her hear my voice?" But I didn't feel comfortable doing it. Weird, I know.

Gradually, I overcame that. I'm not happy with my voice but I'm not mute either.

Other things that have moved from outside to inside my zone of comfort: shaving legs, shaving arms, having mall makeovers, going out alone, getting a pedicure (with colour) in drab, trying on and buying a wig, buying girl clothes or shoes or makeup at all!, walking into a smaller women's shop (didn't want to talk to the saleslady), dealing with men (still a bit outside), and lots lots more.

On this trip I got over my fear of encounters with people when I didn't start it. A year ago, in a casino in Las Vegas, someone asked me the time and I was shaking so hard I could barely see my watch. On the plane someone asked, and ~ no problem. No problem with TSA or strangers who spoke to me (never happens when I'm not Meg!) or anyone else. I was ready for unexpected encounters, if that makes any sense!

There are two activities that are still outside my comfort zone. I did neither, although I could have. I think I figured I was doing enough and I could save these for another day.

I haven't had a forced FFF (feet facing forward) episode. That is, I did not use the ladies' room. I used a family restroom to change in Fair Oaks, one in Dulles airport, the airplane restroom, one in Kansas City. At the time, I thought it best to avoid the ladies'. Now, I'm thinking I should get comfortable using the women's restroom. That's a goal for my next time out. I need to think about the worst that could happen (HELP POLICE! THERE'S A PERVERT IN THE LADIES' ROOM) and expect it. This way, I can be pleasantly surprised when it doesn't happen.

I also did not eat alone in a restaurant. I've eaten with other women (gg's) on a few occasions, but not by myself. In Topeka, you recall, I bought takeaway. I'm not sure eating out alone is something I'll embrace. I'd feel trapped in a booth ~ I need to get over that feeling before doing this. I also need to be comfortable using the ladies' room before eating out. :)

Maybe I should get dressed, go to a restaurant, eat dinner, use the ladies' room, and come home. That would cover everything. :)

One other thing I haven't done is shaved so I can wear a dress with a low back, or a sleeveless dress. That's not really on my list, although there are some really nice dresses I either own or would like to own that I can't wear out.

There are also "outside comfort zone" things that I don't care to bring into my comfort zone. I want to experience what women experience, but going on a date is not on that list. It's outside my comfort zone, and outside my interest area. Most boy-girl interactions are outside my interest area. Dancing is. Dating is. Physical contact is. Flirting is a borderline activity I haven't indulged in.

I know of some gurls who love to smoke when dressed ~ also not in my interest area (although seeing lipstick on a glass is one of my odd pleasures). I might be interested in meeting another gurl when only one of us is dressed ~ sort of a play date, and if you asked me a year ago about doing that I would have said "outside my comfort zone and interest area". So who knows.


  1. Meg,
    A great post. The 'comfort zone' is a major issue for me, as well as others. Like you noted, it is in a constant state of flux, primarily growth. The growth has been slow and stunted.
    I think that I am ready to go out to eat at a restaurant but I would like some form of cover, either other gurls or even better yet some GGs. I think that I would be afraid to dine out alone since the fear factor would loom large.
    I would also like to get out to shop en femme. My sole experience was when a TG group that I get to sporadically arranged an after hours visit to a 'Dress Barn'. It was so nice to have the sales women treat us as valued customers. It was one of the finest hours of 'Pat's life.
    I have found a very enjoyable 'comfort zone' at a few small, low key, gay bars. I have had quite a bit of fun just stopping in for a drink. The level of tolerance has been outstanding and the men and women I have met have been accepting, inquisitive, friendly and helpful.
    At each establishment I asked what restroom I should use and I was directed to the 'ladies' room. While this may be a 'half-step' I now feel comfortable in the ladies rooms at these very small places. Of course the bathrooms were 'one-person' only.
    On the occasions when I have made it out I do what I can to look my best but recognize that going to a 'gay' bar guarantees being read. I, for one, am quite a peace with myself as being a simple 'guy in a dress'. While I look as good as I can I do not try to get the 'voice' right.
    The bartenders at the few places that I have visited have been great. Friendly, open, accepting, etc. I have struck up several conversations with the other patrons, male and female. Slow weekday nights are not that active and I have never felt any pressure since I suspect my vibe is purely hetero.
    On the other hand I have picked up some good advice about makeup, wigs, etc.
    Like you, many interactions are outside my comfort zone. Just heading out, however, for an hour at the bars has been fun. I recommend giving it a whirl.



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