Thursday, September 30, 2010

Speaking of Speaking of Understanding

I think I need to expand on my comment from yesterday.

When I see a painting, I don't think "that's not very good" or "it would've been better if..." the sky was overcast, the woman was standing, the wall was lower, the colours more vivid. I think "why can't I do that? I can't draw a ruler with a straight line."

I once ad-libbed a role that made my audience cry. I'm still awestruck at how a good actor can whipsaw my feelings.

I don't look at a woman and think "she could've done her makeup better" or "why'd she do that to her hair?" I'm in awe that she can get up every morning and look great in that outfit and put on just that right amount of makeup. I'm enraptured watching a woman tie her hair into a pony tail or something more complex while she's talking, without looking in a mirror, without even checking when she's done.

The confidence amazes me. I mean it ~ I'm in awe.

Now, I'm going to backtrack, but it's not because I'm being critical ~ it's because I'm being selfish.

There are women I look forward to seeing because they always look great and always dress great. Then I go over to say hi and she's decided it's a jeans day and I wish she'd worn that dynamite suit with the pleated skirt she wore last week. Or she decided to tie up that incredible long hair (but I'm still in awe at the skill it takes to hid that much hair!). Or she raced out the door and forgot the wonderful earrings I look forward to seeing.

I'm still in awe. I'm just disappointed.

All women are beautiful. Some in a small way, some in every way (and you know who you are).

I still wish I could paint. I also wish I could get dressed in the morning and go to work and feel like I'm adding a little beauty myself.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Speaking of Understanding...

Also in response to my Civilians post, A Perfect wrote:

I also have it on "good authority" that the harshest critics of women are crossdressers. Where do you stand on that one Meg?

Well, from the other comments I received that day, it seems my anonymous friend Pat agrees with you.

I just stand in awe.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

You Just Don't Understand

A certain Miss Randall has pushed an idea for a future post to the front burner. It's not really cd-specific and I've been looking for an link. Dressing is such an integral part of me (us?) that I think there's always a link. It's here, so please bear with me.

Halle wrote: "[I]t seems likely the idea that anyone understands another person's behavior is pretty crazy."

I'll go further.

I don't understand "I understand" as it applies to personal feelings. I never say "I know how you feel" because I know I don't.

"My father died."
"I lost my father last year. I know how you feel."

No. You. Don't.

Maybe she had a horrible relationship with him and she was wishing her father was dead for years and now she feels guilty about thinking like that.
Maybe they had a deep misunderstanding and she was about to seek closure and now she never will.
Maybe she lives 10000 miles away and has to decide between paying the rent or going to the funeral.
Maybe they had a shouting match yesterday and she feels responsible for his heart failure.
Maybe they had a special bond that existed nowhere else.

No. You. Don't.

I've met a lot of gurls here. I've heard some back stories, and some ongoing stories. I wish I could say "I know how you feel" and mean it, but I don't. I wish I did. I can sympathise. I can try to empathise (I've been told I'm fairly empathetic). But I can't put myself in your stilettos, as Halle wrote.

I'll just take one aspect: being a married crossdresser.

She has no clue. Every item of clothes has to be hidden ~ in the attic, in a storage area. You don't know what she'll think if she found out, but you can't take that chance. Maybe she'll love it, or maybe you'll be exposed to all your friends and divorced.
She has a clue, and disapproves. You hinted, you casually watched films like Tootsie and To Wong Foo, you played with her clothes in the bedroom, and she thought it was disgusting. If she finds out, it's just a matter of what she'll do after the marriage ends.
She knows and disapproves strongly. You had to swear you'd never do it again, and you're back to hiding everything. Because you can't quit.
She knows and disapproves slightly. I'm here, but that doesn't mean I understand the other women who are in the same little pigeonhole.
She knows and doesn't mind. You can dress in the house, but she'll not only won't help, she'll ignore you.
She knows and shares your enthusiasm. 'Nuff said. The holy grail.

In truth, I'm not dumb enough to believe my "holy grail" statement. That's the theory ~ the crossdresser's Eden. But when there are two or more people interacting, it's never that simple. Your wife might be more into it than you are, and you're going further than you ever wanted to. Maybe she thinks there's a "submissive" component, and for you, there's not. Maybe she doesn't understand that you have a lifetime of shame about dressing to get over. Maybe she tries to understand, thinks she understands but she doesn't and it's hard to tell her that.

I can imagine how people in each category feel. I can't know how they feel.

Each of those categories has sub-categories and that's another part of the problem. I'm in category and you're in category and we're that close and I still don't know how you feel. There's a level of understanding of course. But if someone is opening her heart to you, you want that full understanding that really can't exist. It doesn't mean I won't stop trying. It doesn't mean you should stop trying. We're all in this together, and sharing is important.

I hope you all understand how I feel.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Civilians ~ An Introduction

I don't know how women's minds work. I can probably play a woman on-line for a while if I was chatting with a guy, but I doubt I'd fool another woman.

But I don't know how the mind of a non-crossdressing male (what I call a civilian) works either.

I've heard women say they "dress for other women" ~ is that true? I don't know. I know I'll think "wow!" when I see a woman in a nice outfit (and by that I mean "one I'd like to wear") even when she's too far away for me to see her face, or if she has her back to me. So whether she knows it or not, she's dressing for me.

Here's a situation that makes me think I don't understand civilians. There's a woman in a pretty flowered dress. A guy will compliment her on it. Why? I admire the way it fits, and the way she looks, and wonder how it would look on me. What's the civilian thinking when he compliments her dress? I might think a particular dress or colour is pretty. Is that what a civilian is thinking? I have no idea.

The only way to get into the mind of a cilivian is to ask a question before I ask the question I want to ask.

"Are you a crossdresser?"

I'm sure I'll get a no. If someone asked me, most likely I'd answer 'no'.

According to studies I've read, 5-10 percent of those answers will be lies.

But maybe the studies are wrong. Suppose 10 percent of males have no interest in crossdressing, 20 percent have a casual interest (maybe they've tried on panties or other items and liked it, or use women's clothes when they "practice" lovemaking, by themselves), and 70 percent are serious transgenders. I freely admit that I'm in the last category. I'm just picking numbers out of a hat.

How many other guys will admit to ANYONE that they're in anything but the first category?

We'd never know the real story.

When I was young, there was no such thing as rape. Newspapers reported a woman was "assaulted". People never spoke about cancer. They whispered the word.

Maybe that's where we are.

Maybe I want to find out how guys think, I should ask that first question as

"I'm a crossdresser. Are you?"

Not understanding groups you're not a part of is normal and expected. But I don't understand my own group and that is... disturbing.

I "get" rich people not understanding the poor.

I get me not understanding civil war re-enactors or hunters or women or people who are devoutly religious or rabid sports fans.

I get civilians (and women) not understanding why I'd rather wear a dress and heels than jeans and sneakers.

I get all that. But this is akin to not understanding people who have thumbs. I have thumbs. I should understand them and, oddly enough, I do.

The fact that I don't understand my own group is a recent epiphany. I may expand on it as I try to make sense of it. If anyone has any insights, please share! I'll acknowledge you in my book. :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Keep Fear Alive (for me anyway)

The possible trip to DC for the Stewart/Colbert rally is, to my mind, riskier than flying to Topeka. Remember, I'm doing my usual overanalysis. I probably have nothing to worry about. (repeat until believed)

* in an airport, you can't spit without hitting a security person. Nothing like that in the metro. Empty/lightly populated cars can be dangerous under normal circumstances.

* if the rally is the success they hope, then I'll have the opposite problem. There will be thousands of people getting on to the trains at the same time. I used to ride the New York City subway in rush hour. Overcrowded trains don't bother me. But I know that packed trains can be a different experience for women. Or someone who appears to be a woman. Or someone who appears to be a woman, but only at first glance.

* the mall won't be overcrowded, but where there's a large group of like-minded people, there are usually people freely chatting with strangers. It's a different dynamic than on the plane or in the airport where everyone is in their own shell. For the uninitiated: "the mall" refers to the area from the Washington Monument to the Capitol. Sometimes, it includes the area past the monument to the Lincoln Memorial.

* enthusiasm must be curbed. Shouting as a woman does not work for me!

* cameras and microphones will be in abundance. I don't mind being a tv, but I don't think I want to be on tv! I know I don't want my picture and voice on camera for broadcast. Someone will recognise my Noo Yawk accent and figure out the rest.

* the rally is from noon to three. That's a lot of time for me to be standing on my high heels.

I'm still not sure what the family/friend situation will be that weekend. I think there's a 50% chance that I'll be on my own that day. I'll update that over the next few weeks.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Sir Charge!

From Wednesday's Washington Post. If we're dressed do we still get charged extra?

Lawyer Jimmy A. Bell goes after Landover nail salon for charging men more than women

Jimmy A. Bell, who is suing a Landover nail salon. (Courtesy of Jimmy A. Bell)

Jimmy A. Bell was taking a lady friend to dinner last fall when they decided to stop off first at a Landover salon for a little pampering: a his-and-her manicure/pedicure. Everything was fine, he said, until it was time to leave.

"I went to pay the bill while she was letting her nails dry -- and they had charged me $2 more than they charged her," recalls the outraged customer. "I said, 'Wait a minute, why am I paying more?' They said, 'Because you're a man.'"

That salon may have messed with the wrong well-groomed guy. Bell is a Bowie-based lawyer with a knack for the headline-making case -- he's represented comedian D.L. Hughley and "Top Chef" contestant Timothy Dean in suits against local businesses, as well as himself in a complaint against Domino's over its refusal to deliver to certain neighborhoods (the Justice Department ultimately got the pizzamakers to agree to a nondiscriminatory policy). This week, Bell filed suit in Prince George's County Circuit Court against the manicure place, Rich's Nail Salon, alleging gender-based price discrimination.

For those extra four bucks -- a $2 surcharge each on manly hands and feet -- Bell is seeking $200,000 from the salon.

"They're making money off of men illegally," Bell told us. "I don't get painted, just the regular buff. They didn't measure my hands or my nails to see if it's more work. They made a distinction based on the fact that I'm a man. ... You'd be outraged if they said blacks pay more or Jews pay more."

Bell said he took the case to court after a complaint he filed with the county Human Relations Commission appeared to stall. The owner of the nail salon did not return our call seeking comment.

John Banzhaf, a GWU law professor and legal activist, says Bell's case is reminiscent of his own successful crusades against dry cleaners that charged more for women's shirts and haircutters that charged more for ladies. Still, damages of $200,000 might be a stretch; he suggested that Bell try to bring a class-action suit instead -- though "I don't think that many guys get their nails done."

Bell, though, says he was directly and personally victimized by the salon's pricing plan. "The last thing that I thought that would happen to me in this county is that someone would discriminate against me," he said. "I couldn't even go to dinner, I was so upset."

Friday, September 24, 2010

The End of October

As I said, I'll be at the Stewart/Colbert rallies. The question is, will Meg make it?

Things that will keep Meg from going:

* my wife decides to not have a field trip that weekend. She wants to take my oldest on a college tour.
* my wife and oldest go, but my youngest stays home. In that case, I might be able to put him with a friend overnight, but it's risky.
* they all go, but don't leave before 9:00 on Saturday. I'll need three hours to prepare, change, and get downtown.
* a friend (or friends) want to join me. This is a very real possibility.
* I don't have prep time beforehand (find clothes, shave body hair, etc). This is unlikely ~ I can always do a "work from home" day and spend part of the school time working on Meg and part of the afternoon making up for that time.
* rainy or very cold weather.

Ideally, I'd like to start getting ready at about 8, get out by 10, get my nails done, and I can get downtown in plenty of time. I can skip the manicure if necessary. I'd like to go back to the woman who did my most recent manicure and have her meet Meg and give her a "womanicure".

If the family will be away, and I can finish this work project, I might be able to arrange a return to El Paso for that Monday. That would mean not voting on Tuesday (which hurts) but it would also mean flying pretty. If I can get out of the house very early, for that very early flight I took last time, I can change at home and leave under cover of darkness.

There are a world of possibilities. I can't wait to see what happens!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

30 Oct 2010

On October 30, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert will host rallies in DC.

My limited tv watching generally involves taping their shows at 11pm. The next morning, at breakfast, I rewind it a half-hour and watch the very end of The Daily Show (because it goes right into The Colbert Report). Then I watch Colbert. At the end of the week, I have almost two hours of Daily's and I watch them Saturday morning before anyone else is awake. Other than the news, that's about all of the time that big screen is lit. OK, I'll watch Dr Who, too, when it's on.

So I will go to DC to see them live. Stewart will be doing his show in DC the week before, but I was too late to get tickets to a taping. I've seen Bill Maher's "Politically Incorrect" when he did a few episodes here. Funny aside: I went with my wife and another couple. We were sitting about 3/4 of the way back and the place was packed. An usher (a very pretty usher, as I recall) asked if one of us would consider moving so two people could sit together ~ there was an empty seat next to me. I said "I'll move if you can put me way over there" and I pointed to the front. She said "I'll see what I can do". She came back a minute later and said "come with me" and I was in row three. I've also been to see a taping of Crossfire, if anyone remembers that 30 minute daily shouting match.

I also said "I tape" the shows. Yes, I use tape. I have a DVR but I never use it. I can move tapes between the two tvs. I can't do that with the DVR. I can probably watch the shows on Hulu or another website, but I am a creature of habit.

Back to the point: I'll be in DC that day. My kids are off Monday and Tuesday. I am not. I'll still be working on the El Paso project those days. My wife wants to go visit a college campus or two with the oldest. She might take the youngest too.

If she does, Meg will go to DC.

If she doesn't, she'll go to DC with me, most likely. In that case, I'll be in drab. If any of you are planning on being there, let me know and I'll tell you how to find me.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Almost Told

There's a woman in the office who I will call M. Like most of the people here, she doesn't know.

She missed Meg's visit last Halloween, but my manager sent a couple of cel phone pictures to the group members so she knows what she missed.

She mentioned my Halloween "costume" on a number of different occasions. I wonder if she suspects and is looking for confirmation, or if she's just kidding around. She's like that (like me). After once lamenting that she wasn't in that day, I showed her my badge pictures. I made two ~ one for each side of the badge holder. I'm wearing different wigs in each photo, and different tops in each. If someone thought about it, they'd immediately suspect that this was more than a one-day thing. A couple of people mentioned on the day I was dressed that I was wearing a different top in one of the pictures and how many outfits do you own? I just said "it's easy to borrow a shirt" and that satisfied them.

Yesterday M was wearing a black mid-sleeve v-neck dress. I complimented her on it and she said "maybe you could borrow it sometime".

Now, I don't recall if I did one of my "nice dress" -- "thank you" -- "can I borrow it sometimes?" routines with her or not. I've been known to do that.

So I said "thank you, but I don't know if it'll fit." She said "probably not. There's not a lot of support. You'd probably need to wear a shirt underneath". I said "I'm sure I have a cami that would work". She said "I'm surprised you know what that is". I replied "I do my research! Besides, I wore one under my dress last year. I thought the neckline would show too much."

Now, I don't think I did wear a cami, but she wouldn't know if I had one underneath or not. I didn't mention that I was wearing a slip. :)

M said "either you did your research or you shop too much" and I said "well, it could be both" and at that point she had to go talk to someone else while he was in the office.

At any point in the conversation I could have said "you don't really think that was the only time I did that, do you"? That would have definitely 100% confirmed that I crossdress. She might ask if I'm serious, but that's pretty unambiguous.

Or I could have said "the hardest part was figuring out which dress to wear" or "you should see my closet!" or something like that ~ she'd probably take it as a joke and move on.

But I almost told. I think she'd be good with it, but I'd also vote her the Girl Most Likely To Blab.

But I might still tell. But I shouldn't.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Day After ~ 20 February 2005

I made an appointment with the other "finalist" makeup lady, T. I had to meet her at a train station, as she had no other way to get into Virginia from DC. I was a few minutes early; after waiting a half-hour she called to tell me there was an emergency and she was just leaving for the train at that time. That meant she wouldn't get to my station until about 12:30. I was unhappy; I thought this was a bad omen and I should cancel. Then I thought, if she showed on time my neighbors would probably be outside and I'd have some 'splainin' to do.

But half of a valuable day was wasted. The family would be back the next day which meant Monday would be a washing-sorting-putting Meg away day and that was about it.

We were supposed to meet at 11. She showed up at 1. This was Sunday; there was supposed to be shopping time after the makeup but most shops would close around 6. I was determined to not rush it. If we didn't get out, that would be OK.

She did a pretty good job. She had me try to do some of the makeup myself (which I did poorly) and patiently undid my mess and redid it. She gave me clothes advice: I must've tried on ten different outfits and showed her twenty more that I didn't try on. I'd come downstairs with a new outfit and two or three other possibilities over and over.

I ended up in a pink pullover top and a tiered skirt that she deemed "casual enough". (She was in jeans.) But by the time we hit the shops it was 5. I tried on some shoes at Payless, we looked at lots of clothes at Marshalls. I wasn't comfortable trying anything on though ~ I was close, but not quite there yet), and I got maybe one funny look.

Mostly people ignored me. It was fun to just hold clothes up so I could see how long or short a skirt was or how a particular top might look on me. I also had the rare experience of looking at lingerie without feeling self-conscious, although I really should have, dressed as I was. I also wore sheer tan hose, which was a first for me. Mardi Gras was the first time I had shaved my arms or hands or legs and I wasn't going to cover my legs after I worked so hard to clean them up!

These are all of "Meg By T" before we went out. Stupidly, I didn't stuff my camera in my purse so T could take photos in the real world.

I've been kind of stingy with pictures until now. I try to get the Best of Meg from each outing. I think these are all kind of similar but kind of good. I also thought T did a good enough job that I had her do my face again almost two years later. Unfortunately, I didn't get a lot of practice OR confidence during those two years.

Click on a picture to enlarge it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

But I Repeat Myself

At the end of July, I posted Followers. I said I didn't like that word and I still don't. It implies responsibility. Or maturity. or some -ity I don't think I have.

In that long-ago post, I asked readers to drop me a note at Post a comment if you'd like to be more public (or more anonymous: post a comment with the word PRIVATE at the top and I'll read it and not approve it).

It's a stupid request.

My on-line friends know I'm way behind on my e-mail right now, and I'm asking for more. But I've told all. And I'd love to know who I'm telling all to.

Tell me your story, even if you think "my god. It's the same as the other 10,000 crossdressers", even if it's just "I started at 5 with my sister's tights. Nobody knows." If you are a t-gurl, tell me where you are on your journey, and what's next for you.

If you're a g-girl, please tell me why you're here. And send lingerie. :)

And if you're outside the t-community, I'd really like to know why you're reading. It can't be my exquisite prose.

I'm open to questions, and I'll answer anything. OK, I said I've "told all" but I haven't. There are one or two things I can think of that I consider secrets. And I've already explained my attitude towards secrets. But I'll tell you I can't tell.

Tomorrow's post will be about the Day After Mardi Gras 2005. This is a picture from that day. As usual, click it to enlarge it. And I've tried that "click to enlarge" and I can tell you it did NOT work on my boobs. :(

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Freecycle Dilemma

I want to respond to this, but I don't know how.

This was on the local freecycle group a week ago:

I have a 3 year old who enjoys dress up. He would especially like to dress like a princess or ballerina, but we aren't sure how long that phase will last since he is getting to an age where he is picking up on social norms. So, if your little princess or ballerina is done with her dress up clothes, we would give it a great home and then pass it on again when we're done.

Thanks for considering!


I don't even know why I opened this. I generally only open items like BAG OF WOMEN'S CLOTHES (M). Did I mention I scored a half-dozen skirts in 8-10 a few weeks ago? Four fit. I like three. One that's too big I love, but it'll go to the next clothing swap.

I considered picking up a princess or ballerina costume for a 3 year old, and offering it with a note that my young one wanted it, but never used it and she's welcome to it.

I considered dropping her a note saying what a wonderful mom she is and how I wish I had a mom with her empathy when I was a boy. I wasn't sure if I should send it from a generic (more androgynous) account or from my Meg account.

I considered dropping her a note saying that I hope if he does decide that girl dress-up is what he wants to do she'll be good with that. I'd include a thumbnail of my story and tell her I'd be happy to be a resource if she needs one in the future.

I considered dropping her a note saying that I'm a mom who's son went through the same thing and never outgrew it and that it's cool ~ but that would be so wrong on so many levels I can't even begin to count them.

So far, I've done nothing, except think about it and wonder what her husband thinks about it.

It's still sitting in my inbox ~ eight days and counting.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Day Off

Check your calendars and you'll know why.

I'm not a big fan of organised religion, but I do enjoy days that put several hundred women wearing nice skirts and blouses and dresses and shoes in the same room as me, even if I have to wear a jacket and tie to attend.

Here's a recent Sherman's Lagoon to tide you over. You online Sherman readers would have had to wait until next Tuesday to see this one! Click for a larger view.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Transvestite Shirts?

Google transvestite shirt acne and you'll find copies of a news release touting Acne's "Transvestite and Crossdressing Collection" of three shirts. You'll find an article from Time Magazine and UPI among many others.

I've been trying to see if the shirts button male or female, but I haven't seen a large enough picture. I'm just curious if they're men's shirts in women's style, or women's shirts being marketed to us gurls.

I've also been trying to figure out why this is a dumb idea. I know it is, but I couldn't figure out why.

I figured it out.

It's clearly a good way to get your product free publicity. A news google search for the above words gets a bunch of hits. A web search shows it being repeated in numerous blogs, plus Vogue, the Huffington Post, and New York Magazine. It's hard to pick out the actual articles, because google also indexes ads and sometimes there are articles about acne and the ad links to Acne transvestite shirts. But the name of the company is not why it's dumb. (They're partnering with Candy, which makes the searh even harder. Google "acne" and "candy".)

Today, I'm in my office wearing a women's Charter Club shirt. It's white with blue stripes and kind of like this or this. Other than buttoning the "wrong" way and not having a breast pocket, it look's like a man's shirt.

How many people in this office of 50+ know I dress? One. Maybe two. I have specifically pointed out to one that I was wearing a women's shirt and she hadn't even noticed. Even though I had told her in the past that I wear women's clothing to the office sometimes.

I think there are four large categories of crossdressers:
* less than 1% of the people they know (outside of the community), know. This is where I fit, and I think it's the largest category.
* nobody knows. Alas, this is probably the second largest category, and the loneliest.
* everybody knows. These are the gurls who go 24/7, or are out and proud. A small group.
* Many people know. The smallest group, and the hardest to control. One leak, and everybody knows. Stana walks this tightrope.

I have no statistics but I'd guess 95% of us are in the "less than 1%" or "nobody" category. We may want to enter one of the other groups, but we're either sensitive to those close to us who'd not share our enthusiasm, or we're terrified of reactions. Or there's a combination of the two.

So why the heck would we wear a shirt that basically has I'M A TRANSVESTITE written on the back in large glowing letters? I'd rather wear a nice skirt and blouse. I can probably buy several for the price of one designer shirt, and I'd certainly enjoy it more.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mardi Gras 2005 ~ The Party's Over

I was still working at the office where I wore my denim skirt about 16 months earlier.

Back at work the following week, I showed this group picture to P, the co-star of that story. I brought the picture up in an envelop because I just wanted her to see it. That's the hostess on the right; E (the woman who didn't recognise me A-Tall) is standing next to her and her boyfriend is cleverly camouflaged between us.

I told her these were the "District 6 Dems at a Mardi Gras party". She said she liked the hostess' hat and I put the picture away. I walked away and then walked back and said "and you didn't pick me out of that picture?"

She looked again and was *shocked* when she figured out who I was. She said she was thinking of asking, "who's that pretty young lady?"

Either my makeup lady is better than I thought or P is a faster thinker than I expected. :)

About a week after the party, the hostess sent me an e-mail saying someone was e-flirting with her & asked for a picture. She sent this group one. He asked which she was and she wrote to me: "should I say I'm the buxom blonde with the basketball player hands?"

I like parts of that description, but not the whole thing. And my hands aren't even IN that picture!

Being dressed in front of my friends (and several strangers) was fun, exhilarating, and less stress on my nervous system than I expected. Melinda helped a lot. She made me feel comfortable and put me in a girly mood and give me confidence. I really needed that.

For the t-girls here, if you have an SO who accepts what you do and helps you be a better woman, cherish her. She's making your life easier. And more fun.

By the way, I had this picture sitting on my desk in two different offices. Almost no-one ever commented on it, which I found odd. Well, at my current office, I have a paper Challenger model on my desk, and one of these and no-one has commented on them either. I think the socks throw them off. :)

The picture below is another guest who couldn't believe I wasn't what I seemed to be and HAD to have a picture. Click either for a larger version.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mardi Gras 2005 ~ Show Us Your....

No, no-one asked. We're a pretty mellow group. :)

There were about twenty people when I arrived. The hostess, J, opened the door, looked at me and suddenly looked shocked. I said "see? I told you I had nice legs." She laughed and asked what name I wanted on my name tag. She suggested a female variant on my male name, but instead she just put my real name (and voting district) on my tag. She then pointed me at the food and drinks, introduced me to one of the other women there and went off to run her party. I chatted with this woman a bit, and she was the first of three who said "I didn't know you were a guy until you opened your mouth" which is close to nirvana.

While we were chatting, a woman, E, whom I had known for about a year came in. I said, "E just walked in. She's looking around and she looked at me and paused but kept looking." E was still standing by the door, talking to someone I didn't know and she did that twice more. I think she thought "I know her" but she couldn't place me. After about ten minutes I went up to her and she looked at my name tag. I said "you kept looking at me"! She said "well, you looked familiar".

In this blog, I have briefly mentioned that I am a "classic introvert". Lots of people say they're introverts; most are not. I know; I've said I don't like labels and here I am stamping my forehead with one in large block letters.

An extrovert gains energy from crowds and attention. An introvert gains energy from solitude.

Sometimes I can tolerate crowds, but you're more likely to find me away from the group. At a party, I'll spend too much time getting a drink, or food, or focusing on some room decorations because it keeps me away from people. I've had situations where I had to just leave, at least for a while, to regroup. If you put me in front of a hundred people and say "talk about for twenty minutes", I'd be fine. If you put me in a room with a hundred people at a wedding I'll flee at the earliest possible moment.

But at the party, I went up to a few people I didn't know, or barely knew, and said hi and chatted about politics and the food and the nice house and common friends. For at least that night, Meg forget she was an introvert.

My state delegate, C, showed up with his family for a brief visit. My biggest mistake of the evening: not getting a picture of the two of us, with me giving him a hug or putting my arm around him or SOMETHING. Even just standing next to him, or talking to him! Meg has a lot to think about and forgets things like that and regrets them for a long time (at least five years, apparently).

Anyway, C knows me. He knows my name, he knows where I live, and he knows me well enough that when I was at a county inauguration he came in, saw me standing on a balcony two levels up and waved to me. Yes, I was on the balcony to avoid the crowds (see earlier paragraph).

C looked at me. I put out my hand. He shook my hand and looked at my name tag. Then he said loudly, "! You look different during the day!" I told him there was a women's issue that was being debated in Richmond (I forget what it was) and I wanted to make sure he knew which side of the issue I was on.

I told a couple of the women "I almost didn't make it. I was rushing to get ready and I thought 'opaque' meant 'can't see through'. I put on the 'opaque tights' and my hair showed through, so I had to shave my legs. Then I put on the blouse and didn't realise that the sleeves were kind of see-through so I had to shave my arms". I think I was trying to justify this for myself more than anyone else. I "had to" for the costume. I "didn't know" girl things. It's only a costume.

Denial is a deep deep river.

One experience I had that I wouldn't have had if I was just out trying to pass among the civilians: I could make a bit of "girl talk".

I had fun talking to the women about my back hurting from that extra weight and the pain of clip-on earrings (the hostess gave me these purple glitter half-sphere clip-ons to replace mine ~ they were hideous but I dutifully put them on), and other "woman" stuff. E said "you've done this before" and I said, "I always do this when the family's away." I also talked about doing it again the next day and going shopping. Of course, E, like everyone else knows I'm kidding.

It's good to have a reputation as a kidder.

The picture is of me before I left for the party. Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

All On A Mardi Gras Day

It was dark by the time I left my house. Melinda had followed me home from the CVS. She left her car in the driveway and I had put my car was in the garage, to facilitate a stealthy exit. The party was at 7 and about 20 minutes away. Just before 7, I did a pre-flight check.

I made sure my makeup looked good.

I double-checked how my wig sat on my head, how my earrings looked, how the top and skirt fit, how the shoes felt. Did I have my watch? Yes. What am I forgetting?

I made sure everything I needed was in my pocketbook: money, a credit card, driver's license, insurance card, camera, cel phone, tissues, lipstick, powder, liner.

I looked through the garage windows and didn't see my nosy neighbors.

I took a deep breath and got into the car. I opened the garage door, stepped on the gas and crashed the car right into the house.

No I'm kidding. I got on the road with a "I can't believe I'm doing this" feeling. I got on the highway and found J's house without a problem. There were a lot of cars there. I had to park a block or two past it.

I sat for a moment. I thought "this is my Nike moment: Just Do It." I picked up my pocketbook, opened the door, and stepped out. I double-checked that I had my car key, then checked again. I locked the door, tucked the key into my bag caught my skirt in the car door and tore it off.

No, I didn't do that either. That was the last one ~ promise.

I walked down the sidewalk towards the house, sure that the click click click of my heels was loud enough to get everyone in the neighborhood to poke his head out to see what the racket was. I passed a couple of other people getting out of their car, probably heading towards the party. I smiled and nodded and soldiered on.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


My idol, Stana, put MY PICTURE under The Femulated on her femulate website! I'm making a guest appearance on the blog that was once described as the center of the blog universe!

I've made the big time! Back to Mardi Gras on Tuesday, when I come down from cloud nine.

Mardi Gras 2005 ~ MAKEUP!

As I said yesterday, I received a bunch of responses to my Craigslist request for someone to do my makeup.

1. a guy who said he has a (male) friend who does makeup ~ really not interested! Makeup, pedicures, manicures, massage all have a wonderfully stimulating component if they're done by a nice female. I've even enjoyed back waxing, when done by the right woman.
2. a pro who will do an 8 hour session/lesson/personal shopper for $300 ~ really promising, especially for Sunday. I thought I'd be overloaded by party time though.
3. a pro who said "I don't need the money; can I put you in my portfolio?" ~ this sounded really intriguing! But she had to do this at her house and the timing was wrong.
4. someone who said she was "just good" at makeup and that she'd do a session for $50 at my house but we haven't discussed cost for session/shopping (but she's willing) ~ very possible
5. a "what are you willing to pay?" e-mail ~ I wasn't interested in THAT attitude!
6. someone who was willing to give me some e-mail or phone hints & tips if we can't get together ~ OK, that's nice but I needed "hands on". This was my second public attempt, and I needed help, advice, and someone who could colour inside the lines.

I know there were seven, but I can't find any old e-mails regarding #7.

I was writing to numbers 2 and 4, trying to arrange Saturday and maybe Sunday too. The pro wasn't returning e-mails and I had a good conversation with the other woman. Her name was Melinda. I mention her name because, well, I really like that name.

I was very upfront with everyone. I explained exactly what I wanted to do, and bent over backwards to make sure they'd be comfortable with me. These were among the first people I admitted I was a crossdresser to. I knew that someone is going to have my address, and it's easy to get the homeowner's name, and this could be a big mistake, but adventure is always risky. This isn't skydiving or hitchhiking through Europe, but it is an adventure.

I was having a hard time getting in touch with the pro (#2 above). Melinda was easy to reach and we wrote back-and-forth a bit until I was pretty comfortable with her.

We agreed to meet at a CVS so she could look at my makeup and buy what I was missing (I don't recall if we needed anything). She also wanted to see me before coming to my house. I think she also wanted to look for the I AM AN AX MURDERER tattoo on my forehead. I gave her my cel number, my real name, my business web page (with that same cel phone number on it) so she'd be comfortable that I was what I said I was. I pointed out that I'd probably find some line that would get more responses if I wasn't serious about this.

We met at CVS at 3 for a 7pm party. She noticed I lacked the tattoo so we were good to go.

Before we met, I shaved extra-close and I shaved my upper chest, arms, and legs. This was new. When I write about my first time out, I'll post a picture or two and you'll see I was wearing a high neck blouse, long sleeves, and tights. I shaved my hands, but that was it.

Melinda looked at my clothing choices, wig options, makeup options, jewelry options. She not only helped with my makeup, she combed out a wig or two that she wanted me to try, picked out jewelry, and had me model a couple of outfits.

I did everything Melinda asked. She had final word on makeup, wardrobe, hair. I didn't like her choice of wig, but I didn't argue. I do think this was my only time out with that wig. I forget where I got that one; the wigs I preferred were from Paula Young (mail order). I still hadn't braved the wig shop to buy my own yet.

Some of the makeup ladies let me video their work. Some didn't. I'd have to look through my old tapes to see if Melinda did. That means I need some time when the family is OUT. If I find a video, I'll see about transferring it to the computer.

I didn't have time to eat before the party, but I knew they'd have some party nosh so I wasn't too worried. I had plenty of other things to worry about. At least, going to the ladies' room wasn't among them. :)

I knew a few of my political friends would be there, and I found out that my state representative, who knows me pretty well, would be dropping by on his way to Richmond.

I know I was nervous until I met Melinda. I think once I decide to go forward, an internal calm takes over. I can do my makeup without a trembling hand, my heartrate is normal, it just feels right. It's been like that ever since I started going out. Even that Halloween 18 months earlier, once I decided to change I was calm.

But going out wasn't ensured anyway. I could write off the $50 as an afternoon's entertainment and makeup lesson. Even after she does the makeup and all, I could still wave goodbye and sit at home all evening.

I also knew I wouldn't.

And I didn't.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mardi Gras 2005 ~ Advise and Consent

The agonising continues. I bet most of you have been there. It's one of the first times you're going out. So far, it's gone well, but there's always something new, something scary. My anonymous friend Pat said that she might go to a costume event in November, but put the chance of going at "less than 10%". Been there. Pat, I want to hear it's up to 50% by the end of September!

Back to the story. I wrote my friend S:

I still can't decide if I should:

* skip it
* wear a skirt, as I had discussed with the hostess
* wear a skirt & blouse
* go all the way. I may even have someone to do my makeup for me.

Yes, I was also still considering skipping a costume altogether. Maybe even skipping the party altogether. I'm not very good at parties. As I mentioned earlier, I am a classic introvert. I'll pass on describing what that means, unless readers want to know more.

Anyway, later that day I wrote:

I know what to do about costume:
* go all the way. I may even have someone to do my makeup for me: this is what I will delude myself into thinking I will do and I'll plan it all week as I completely distract myself working out every detail and buying the missing bits to make it happen

* wear a skirt & blouse (and tights and pumps): I have that very nice blouse I got from that little shop I mentioned. I have a couple of her cards and I'd be happy to give them to anyone who'd like it. This, I will convince myself, is my fallback and I'll even try it to see how I look as in skirt & blouse and maybe convince myself that it's not as extreme as above but I can get away with it. Biggest problem in my mind is, it makes it harder to do the full thing in front of the same crowd. I have two purple skirts, once is long and straight and plain; the other is very light and feminine. So I also need to decide which to wear. With the full outfit I'd probably wear the fem one.

* wear a skirt like I discussed with the hostess (with tights & pumps): the straight one. This is actually pretty safe, but, again, I can't escalate to a full outfit if I get up the nerve next time there's a costume event.

* skip it or go as : where I'll probably end up. Although I think I'd wear the skirt if it came down to this.

I don't expect an answer on that; I have to figure it out for myself. If you have any ideas on the "colours" question I'd love to hear them! I really have no idea, and if I do the full outfit I'd like it to look right, I think. Maybe if it looked wrong there'd be less suspicion.

Last summer I put a query on to look for a makeupper. I found the woman who did me for Meg's First Day Out in October there (another future post), along with some others whom I did not use. I tried re-contacting the others without success so I posted another query. I received 7 responses: a guy who said he has a (male) friend who does makeup; a pro who will do an 8 hour session/lesson/personal shopper for $300; a pro who said "I don't need the money; can I put you in my portfolio?"; someone who said she was "just good" at makeup and that she'd do a session for $50 at my house but we haven't discussed cost for session/shopping (but she's willing); a "what are you willing to pay?" e-mail; someone who is willing to give me some e-mail or phone hints & tips if we can't get together.

A bit of an explanation: the "little shop" is one in Vienna (Virginia, not Austria. Nearby.) that I stumbled upon. I had a client near there and I was early and the weather was nice so I went for a walk. There was a little shop selling Indian clothing. I went in to look at clothes and I ended up talking to the owner. At first I said I was just looking; she said she made all of the clothes there. They were a bit out of my price range (close to $50 for a blouse; a few hundred for a Sari) but there was a LOT of purple and I liked the idea of buying from the designer/creator. I told her I was going to a Mardi Gras party in women's clothing and had pretty much decided on purple. She was very helpful; she even let me try a top on. I was screwing up my courage to come out of the changing room to show her, but I heard her talking so I didn't. It turned out she was on the phone, and I had changed back and missed an opportunity. She said she really wanted to see how I looked in the blouse. But I did buy it. Yes, there Will Be Pictures.

On Wednesday I wrote S:

If I can get the wife to go directly from [my son's] piano [lesson] on Sat I will have enough time to get in a makeup lady (not a pro; she says she's "just good at it") and go to the party Sat eve.

The woman (pro) who I was talking to about Sun makeup and shopping hasn't answered e-mails since very early Mon. The Sat woman may be able to repeat on Sun, but I have good feelings about this other woman and I'd like to try her.

I don't seem able to meet up with the woman who wanted to put me in her portfolio. That seemed like a fun thing -- make me feel like a model! Certainly an experience I never thought I'd have.

I am very worried about how my costume will go down at the party. I am very nervous about going out, maybe getting caught by neighbors, etc. But a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

On Thursday I wrote S (you can see it's difficult to be a friend of mine, particularly a gg friend):

Right now I have an eclectic purple outfit: a bright purple (lavender? fuchsia? I'm not up on colour names) top, a choice of a medium purple long pleated skirt or a dark purple shorter skirt, lighter purple tights.

The wife had a good idea. She said she'd seen feather boas in a party store. I hope they still have them; I'll try to get a purple one.

I'm trying to decide on my "story". I sort of decided that I'm going to keep changing it, as people ask (even the same people if they say 'no really').

"I do this all the time, I just don't usually go out."
"Sorry. I couldn't think of a costume so all I did was wear this boa and my usual clothes."
"Dems have groups for women, labour, gay, latinos.... They don't have a group for white men and I felt left out."
"J [hostess] suggested I wear a skirt [true]. I got carried away."
"I was going to do the boa and I didn't have anything that looked right with it so I got the skirt. My legs looked funny so I got the tights. My sneakers looked dumb so I got the shoes. Then I noticed that the bottom didn't look good with my shirts so I got the blouse. The blouse didn't fit right so I added padding. Then the face was totally wrong so I did the makeup. That looked stupid with the hair so, well, here I am."
"J suggested I wear a skirt and I thought, might as well go all the way."
"J suggested I wear a skirt and I mentioned it to a friend who suggested I exceed expectations."
"I always dress like this to parties. That's why I never get invited to second parties."
"I went into a store and asked for something in Mardi Gras colours. I thought 'Chico' meant 'boy'."
"Damn. Wrong meeting."
"The hard part was deciding which outfit to wear."

I hope I remember all of these. I'm sure I'll think of some more.

A bit more explanation: yes, I told my wife I'd be going to the party. She slightly knew J, and some of the other people who would be there. I think I mentioned, I tell her everything (with the exception of my flying as Meg).

Friday, September 10, 2010

Mardi Gras 2005 ~ Say Yes to the Dress

I had a red dress I considered a possibility. So far, I had never shaved my arms or legs for a day out so I was looking for something with long sleeves I could wear with tights. I knew I'd have to remove some hair below my neck, but I didn't know how my wife would react to that. So I was looking at my long sleeve red dress, maybe with red tights. I have red pumps, but they're a tad uncomfortable.

I knew nothing about Mardi Gras so I did a bit of research. Purple, green, and gold are THE Mardi Gras colors. Green is good; I'm not sure about gold; and I really like purple. And maybe I could match the purple with a bit of gold. Gold shoes? A gold scarf? Gold jewelry?

I like purple.

I started looking through my closet and thinking about shopping. Again. I wrote to my gg friend S (who knew about Meg):

Can I wear a lavender top with a deep purple skirt? I may not do the pads, wig, etc, and just wear female purple clothes. I don't have purple shoes but I can probably get purple tights. If I can do lavender over purple, should tights be purple or lavender? Or should I just look for lavender up-and-down?

Or.....? I don't know!

The MG colours are green/purple/gold. I'm sure I can wear gold with the purple, but green?

There's lots I don't know.

Like I said yesterday, I agonised over this. That, you may have already figured out, is not atypical of me.

I wrote the above note on Friday February 11.

I was also trying to figure out how to dress without the boys seeing me dress. They're going skiing on Sunday and returning Monday, and the party is Saturday evening. I was also hoping to use my makeup lady for a Meg's Day Out on Sunday, even if I didn't dress for the party. This was going to be the most insanely Meg-intensive couple of days I'd ever spent!

Then on the 14th (the Monday before the party) I got an unexpected Valentine's Day present: my wife told me that she was taking the boys skiing on Saturday, instead of Sunday, and staying through Monday.

Heaven.... I'm in heaven.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Coming or Going?

I'll get back to Mardi Gras tomorrow. Today is Rosh Hashanah (New Years) day, and I scheduled this in advance because there Will Be No Computer Thursday after dark.

But I do have a message to Anonymous, who commented yesterday and who I will call Pat: if you do Halloween en femme, consider doing it in a fem costume instead of, say, office wear. I haven't done this, but I was told it will lessen the suspicion. So be Wonder Woman or Lady Gaga or a witch, or a cheerleader. Me, I'd just say "I couldn't think of a costume. I just grabbed the first thing I found in my closet." Actually, for Halloween last year (IOU posts) I came to the office dressed and said "I was told, 'dress for the job you want'. I want my manager's job. This is how she dresses."

And I'll leave you with a very old Beetle Bailey cartoon (click to enlarge) and a thought: I've noticed most of my posts are about going out or coming out. We'll see what 5771 brings. Shana Tovah (Happy New Year), y'all.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mardi Gras 2005 ~ Planting the Seed

My friend J decided to throw a Mardi Gras party for the friends she made while working on the Kerry campaign. The election was long over, she was moving away soon, and she wanted a reunion of sorts. This meant:

1. I'd know some of the people at the party, and
2. This is a costume opportunity.

Other than that skirt, I had never done Halloween or Purim or any other fancy dress event.

On the phone, we spoke a bit about costume ~ I said I didn't know what to wear. Yes I was fishing. I wanted her to come up with the idea. I found reasons to reject each of her suggestions until she said "you said you have nice legs ~ wear a skirt". I had forgotten saying that, but I'm often making clothes or CD jokes. No-one ever takes me seriously and I have a bit of fun too. I said "maybe I will" and left it there. I thought it interesting that she even remembered that comment.

I spent a lot of time agonising over what to do. Dressing was scary enough ~ dressing in front of my friends was borderline terrifying. I had been out only once before, definitely not in front of friends. I couldn't decide if I would just wear a skirt (like that Halloween outing), skip it altogether, do the full makeover, or do something else. I used a makeup lady to help me when I went out previously. I started contacting women I'd talked to for the other time out, and placed another Craigslist ad looking for assistance. Just in case I decided to go for it. But I probably wouldn't. I mean... in front of friends!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

No-one Notices ~ Try It Yourself and See!

Well, maybe the pink ones get noticed.

These are the socks I normally wear, except when I must wear dress shoes. My dress shoes are Aerosoles and a bit snug so I wear black trouser socks. I work with law enforcement, intelligence, homeland security and these are still my socks of choice.

A good place to find larger socks: dollar stores. I think they don't sell well in regular outlets so they end up there. But I've shopped the major department stores plus Marshalls (usually without luck), Burlington Coat Factory, Syms, factory outlets, and other shops. Even if all I can find are the "normal" sizes, many socks are stretchy and they fit and feel fine. I think women's socks don't last as long as men's; I'm not sure why.

It's nice to look down and see a little reminder of my feminine life.

As always, click on a picture to enlarge it.

ps to Shelby the Gap lady: please drop me a note!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Halloween's Coming!

I saw these in one of my wife's catalogues. Alas, they are only available in sizes 6 through 10. Click for a larger look, or go to the link if you're lucky enough to have female-sized feet.

I'm working on my Mardi Gras story. To prevent overload, it will run for a week or so, or you can buy the hardbound, 350 page version from Sandy Thomas Publications. :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Brotherhood of the Six Inch Heels

To get my Mardi Gras story right, I need to collect e-mails from Melinda, the makeup artist du jour, and others I sent to my friend in Oregon, and I need to jar my own memory. I've done all that, but now I need some writing time and editing time and... give me a couple of days, please!

In the meantime, Dani of EnTRANSed fame sent a comment with links to some other comics. I want to make them more accessible to Thems What Don't Read The Comments, hence today's post.

I had seen the other 9 Chickweed Lane ones (the link is to Dani's site) and the One Big Happy one, but not the Bizarro ones. Click to make the small pictures big.

I really like this line and I may use it someday. :)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Me? A Model?

Back in February 2005, when I was looking for someone to do my makeup for one of my first Meg Outings, I received an e-mail which I'm re-posting verbatim:

I am in a production two class and we are doing an assignment called a character profile piece where we do like a documentary style piece where we conduct an interview and then show the person's lifestyle.

I never do anything the usual way and so I thought it would be interesting to interview someone unique. The style I was going for was finding someone who as an average job, plays an normal role in society but behind the curtains leads a totally different sort of lifestyle. The contrast is what I am going for only because it is interesting but when I saw your ad I thought, hmmmmmm this is definitely interesting. So, my thoughts are in exchange for me teaching you how to do your hair and makeup, you are my interviewee. And maybe we could make that what the film is about, which the total length will only be 3-5 minutes and it is not going to be put out on the festival circuit or anything like that. If you want to remain anonymous then I will respect that and the only people who will ever see the film will be my film class and my professor. Although, if the film is any good then I wouldn't mind using it for my portfolio either.

And who knows, maybe you would want this for yourself too. I mean, you would definitely get your own copy of the film and what have you. In orderfor the piece to come off really well, I would want to interview you, we would sit down, not as "Meg" and talk, I would ask you questions and I would give you a copy of the questions and you can tell me which ones you are comfortable with. Then we would film you at work if possible, or with friends who know you, not as "Meg" and then we do the makeover and show the transformation, with the end result of you being "Meg" and what you do and how you feel as "Meg".

Totally up to you. There are three of us on the film crew. Juliet and I are both over 30. Our third crew member is Mindy. :)

I have been told many times that I do my makeup very well and I am completely comfortable sharing with you my beauty secrets. ;)

Let me know what you think.



She really wanted to film at my workplace, which would have been impossible. And I explained to her that it was completely outside my comfort zone! But we did discuss it. She said she'd film my male self in an "abstract" way so no-one would see my male face. She wanted to film me at work and shopping for makeup.

Negotiations broke down and she did a video about a women's rugby team.

I still kick myself sometimes for passing this by. If it was today, I'd find a way to make it work with the company and definitely do it!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Another Brief Pause

I'm writing up my Mardi Gras 2005 outing. This was one of my first, and my first among friends. There's a lot to cover, and I may break it into a few posts. In the meantime, please enjoy these from my comic collection. Click on a picture to enlarge it.

Ballard Street is always just plain weird. In yesterday's strip he was dressed like a chicken. I have a few others with crossdressing themes.

9 Chickweed Lane is one of my favourites. It's three generations of women, and the youngest (shown) and her mom are partial to sexy dresses and underthings. Brooke has been doing a story line flashing back to the grandmother's adventures as a young woman in Europe in World War II. It's been going on probably since the beginning of the year and it's great. Most of the male characters are a tad off-center. Amos never showed this side of him in any other strips I saw.

Adam is a bit subtle here. It took a second reading before I got it and then I laughed out loud. This is a new side of him as well. I really enjoy Adam and cannot believe the same guy pens the horrid Red and Rover strip.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Not Sure About This One

Some blogs request a username/email/webpage when you leave comments. Mine does, although it's not mandatory.

I comment on the Washington Post website a lot. I have a generic (anonymous) ID that I use there.

When I comment on Femulate or JessicaWho I use my CallMeMeg e-mail and website.

I occasionally read other political blogs (but not regularly). One is by my local state senator and I use my real name when I comment there. He knows me by sight and by name (and he met Meg once ~ but that's another post) and I want him to know how I feel, especially when we disagree. I don't recall commenting on other political blogs.

I'm also a big fan of the comics. I read about 30 plus the ones in the Post each day. That's why I have so many "on file" to share with all of you.

Lately, I've been drawn in to a blog of one of my favourite strips. And I've been adding my two cents as I read along. And I've been doing it under my "Meg" name/website.

I've been doing this for a couple of weeks. Either no-one has followed the link to my site, or no-one has said anything either in the blog or to me privately.

The name-to-website link is hard to see, so maybe that's why. Maybe no-one cares enough to follow the link. I really don't know, nor do I much care.

But I'm not certain if I should re-brand myself and try to "pass" among the other commenters or if I should keep my real (Meg) identity instead. If I change names, it'll still be Meg, but without the link.

Passing in a written venue ("on the internet, nobody knows you're a dog") is fun. Getting outed among a group of people I'm sort of getting to know ~ I'm not sure.

I'm a status quo person ~ I keep moving in a straight line unless I'm forced to turn. So I think I'll keep saying I'm Meg the blogowner, unless someone gives me a compelling reason to do otherwise.

I'm open to suggestions!

I'm ALWAYS open to suggestions.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Halloween 2003 ~ First Time Out

In 2003, I worked in a small office, part of a Very Large Company, one most people outside of the Wonderful World of Contractors never heard of (SAIC).

There were about a dozen people altogether in our office. The only important things to know about the staff:

* all were men except for Pat, our security person. Her title was security director, and she handled clearances and visit passes and such but she was also the Staff Female. So she'd arrange celebrations, order supplies, keep things neat, etc etc etc. Women's work.

* there were three levels of people: us drones, head cheese (Gary), assistant head cheese.

In 2003, I had never been out dressed before. I had planned to go out dressed on previous Halloweens, but there was always some reason I couldn't. OK, it was the same reason. I chickened out.

Like every year, I planned to do a full costume. Like every year, I went out to buy The Outfit for Halloween, which would then be worn around the house only. This year was no different.

And this year, I had an opening. I had been joking with the Pat about her being the lone woman in the meetings (she actually brought it up) and I said I'd wear a skirt one day in solidarity.

Halloween was on Friday. Casual Friday. I considered that cancelled when it comes to dressup possibilities.

So I went shopping for appropriate business attire. I got two two-piece outfits. One was a tank dress that came almost to my knees, with a matching long-sleeve jacket that was almost as long ~ a light, patterned pink. I still have the suit.

The other was a more normal business jacket/skirt. The skirt came past my knees. I really didn't like that length, but thought it was probably better than wearing something short. It had a suit-type jacket with it, with an oversize black collar. The collar was removeable, giving me more options. It needed a blouse underneath, I thought. I didn't know about camis at the time, so that seemed to be the option. I had a very nice white blouse with a kind of ruffle down the front that I considered wearing with it. The suit was red, but not really like crimson. But red. My red shoes were pretty uncomfortable, so I thought I'd probably wear the collar and black shoes with it. I have since deemed this suit hideous and clothing swapped it to someone who has even less fashion sense than I have.

The pictures here are of me wearing those outfits about three weeks later. I looked pretty horrid, right? I do think the ankle bracelet was a nice touch though.

In the office, they had a monthly pizza lunch, arranged by Pat, of course. I cannot eat pizza, but it was a staff meeting/guest speaker/lunch so I was obliged to be there. Generally the staff is there, plus a couple of representatives from the customer or other guests.

I brought an entire outfit (I don't remember which now) with makeup, jewelry, and so on. And I brought a separate bag with my long denim skirt, black hose, and black heels.

Pat sometimes wore a similar denim skirt. She was partial to coloured hose (tights?), usually black or white. She also only wore flats. She's a few inches taller than me.

Before the meeting, I asked Gary if a costume would be acceptable. He asked what I had in mind; I said I couldn't say. I also said I may not, since I'd be the only one in costume, and I hadn't decided yet. But I wanted to clear the possibility. He said it was OK, but sounded reluctant.

His reluctant-sounding-reply plus my natural urge to not humiliate myself convinced me to just do the skirt. As a bonus, Pat was wearing her denim skirt! She wore white hose (or tights) and I had black, but that was OK. She wore black flats; I had black heels.

I wore my tights under my pants so it didn't take long to change. I changed in my office shortly before the meeting. Then I phoned Pat and asked her to drop by my office, so she saw me first. She said "I knew you were doing something like this" and she probably did when I called her to come over. I NEVER did that.

I worked at my desk for the next ten or fifteen minutes until the meeting was called. Then I waited a bit longer.

When I walked into the conference room, there were probably close to 30 people. There were maybe four women there today. The table sits twelve or maybe sixteen. Most of the people were getting pizza or drinks. I grabbed a can of soda and sat down at one of the few remaining seats at the table, across from Gary. I slid my chair in. I did not want to sit in a chair by the wall, where I usually sat. Normally, I didn't want to take a table seat from someone who was eating. Today I wanted my legs tucked neatly away.

No-one noticed.

I think people expected to see jeans and that's what they saw. Or I'm just mostly invisible. I'm not very gregarious; I didn't greet anyone and no-one greeted me.

I wasn't sure what to expect. Although I considered this possibility, I didn't really expect it.

There were pizza boxes on either side of me. People kept getting up to get pizza, and still on-one noticed. I glanced at Pat and shrugged.

As the meeting wore on, I started getting nervous. How would it look if I got up and people started noticing? Very weird, I thought. I ran through scenario after scenario and didn't have a response and my nervousness began to turn to panic.

At the very end of the meeting, Gary leaned across the table and said, "no costume?"

I was saved.

I said, "well, in sympathy with Pat who often laments that she's the only woman in the office..." and I pushed away from the table. I got some big laughs. And Pat appreciated my efforts. Someone asked why I wore heels when Pat never did. I said it was to get up to her height.

I stayed "in costume" for about another hour. I got up to get something from the printer and three or four guys were milling about. They commented on the skirt (and my not changing yet) and as I was walking back someone made a comment about the skirt so I wiggled my butt at them as I walked back. I heard a "whoa" and wondered if I had overdone it.

I went up to see Pat before I changed. One of the women from lunch, who I had never met before, was there. She commented on my "bravery" at doing that. I said I'd do anything for Pat.

I thought, to keep this from getting out of hand, I had better change back (plus I had to go to the little crossdressers room).

If someone bet me that I'd be flying dressed less than seven years later, I would have taken that bet and I'd be broke now.