Monday, August 9, 2010

Joking and Grooming

I am rarely serious with people. I have had discussions with my sons about joking with relative strangers (clerks, for instance). I explain that the first thing I do is try to assess their sense of humour. If they have one, I try to play to it. If they don't, I try to take advantage of it. :)

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:

Not. Your. Toes.

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.

She didn't.

Her not asking was better than the suicide prevention hotline. I live to dress another day.


  1. I remember that very well. You are just offbeat enough that I didn't really think anything much of it - almost like a dare. I mean, there are some people that I *know* would never do that. I wasn't surprised that you would. I wish now, though, I had been more aware and asked the question that seems so obvious now. Oh well.


  2. Meg,

    Are you familiar with the "No Fear" expression, "IF YOU ARE NOT LIVING ON THE EDGE - YOU ARE TAKING UP TOO MUCH SPACE".

    I think that this is a component of my personality regardless of attire. I love pressing issues and pushing buttons just to get a reaction. I have found that a little irony and a sly smile goes a long way. Let them wonder how serious to take what we are saying.

    I think that I reside in the world of the "double ententre". Words have meaning...often times multiple meanings. I like to 'push the envelop'. I sense that you enjoy that as well.

    Like you, I underdress regularly. Mother's warning about wearing clean underwear in case you are in an accident takes on a different spin when wearing panties and pantyhose.

    Keep them laughing and keep them wondering what you are up do and who resides behind that Chesire cat smile.


    P.S. Mazel Tov to you, your son and your family.

  3. Meg- Great story!
    Amanda, I'm so impressed by ya!! :)

    Meg- I wish I had the guts to go try the shop one day. I'm with you... no womanicure here!! Ha!
    I like the banter you had. Yeah, probably best to be careful there though...
    Which has me wondering...what does "he dresses in women's clothes" sound like in Vietnamese?! :D

    Keep it up!


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