Thursday, March 31, 2011

!!! Special for the Readers of My Blog !!!

Six weeks ago, I wrote about a site called Armed and Glamorous (see I Love This Site!).  This British site has pointers to tops, dresses, and more ~ clothes with sleeves.  I have a limit to what I can shave.  As much as I love sheathes and sundresses, they are for indoors only, and rooms where mirrors are many feet away so I can imagine I look passable.

Since then, Melanie, who pretty much runs the site along with her little baby (who, based on my experience, probably doesn't contribute a lot except to keep the author awake), and I have been keeping in touch.

I lamented the lack of a similar site in the US.

No more.

Melanie has branched out!  It's not quite ready yet, but she has given me the go-ahead to announce the US Armed and Glamorous site!  The two dresses here are from that site.  If you like what you see please link through her site to the actual site ~ baby needs a new pair of shoes and all that.

I'm considering both, but I need to choose.  The red dress also comes in brown, which is more my colour, but the red is lovely.  So I'm really considering three and I need to choose.

(An aside ~ my clothes budget usually comes from my lunch budget because I put aside money for lunch and then often bring lunch or skip lunch or am on travel and expense accounts pay.  But a Friend of Meg will be walking in the DC Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, and my lunch money is going to her.  She asked me if I'd like to walk with her, but 39 miles over two days is way too much for me!  If anyone else would like to contribute, drop me a note and I'll pass you a link to her Avon walk site.

Mel is a nice lady, a new mommy, and she has a great idea.  We're not her target audience, but I think the community has a new friend.  Please spread the word!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

No No No No No!

(I still have to finish my Richmond trip, and I'm heading into my next opportunity, Colorado next week, but I'm still feeling lousy and I wrote this a couple of days ago...)

After I returned from Richmond, I had a free hour so I decided to organise my drawers.  I have mostly finished rating my panties and I have a drawer dedicated to them.  I don't need quite so many, so I started locating my "A's" and put about a dozen of them in that drawer.  The rest went into a bag.  I also have a sock drawer that has more socks than I need; you saw the pictures.  I grabbed a couple of pair of plain black socks and about a dozen more with flowers and other patterns on them.  The rest went into the bag as well.

Then there's the drawer of "whites."  White (or mostly white) socks, camisoles that pass for undershirts, and panties that look like regular male undies.  This was another full drawer.  I pulled out five pair of patterned white socks and two or three pair of plain white socks.  I kept a half-dozen plain white cotton panties.  I also pulled out a few of the camisoles.  Everything else went into the bag.

The bag went into the closet as backup for when something gets worn or torn.

While sorting through the whites I found something that I thought was already banished from the house: male underwear.

No no no no no!

They went into another bag with a couple of pairs of panties that had earned the "F" rating and that bag went into the trash.

I feel better now ~ a little more pure.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Brief Interruption

I want to write about the rest of the trip and my followup with my manicurist, but instead I spent last night not feeling well at all, and today a headache persists.  So I'm going to let the Washington Blade speak for me today with this article.  A couple of weeks ago, after bragging that they'd be next to pass, the Maryland house killed a gay marriage bill, so this is significant but also not yet a done deal.

Maryland House passes trans bill

The Maryland House of Delegates voted 86-52 on Saturday to pass legislation that would ban discrimination against transgender Marylanders in the area of employment, housing and credit.
The vote came after a 50-minute debate in which delegates supporting the Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Act urged their colleagues to help end what they called an injustice against fellow citizens whom they said have been denied jobs and housing solely because of their gender identity.
“This is a huge demonstration in support of fairness today,” said Morgan Meneses-Sheets, executive director of Equality Maryland, the state LGBT group that led lobbying efforts to pass the bill.
“We still have work to do,” she said. “We’ve got to get it through the Senate. But we are overjoyed with the outcome today.”
Meneses-Sheets and other advocates for the bill said they were hopeful the measure would clear the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee in the next week and receive a favorable vote in the full Senate.
The Maryland Legislature adjourns for the year on April 11, and all legislation must clear both houses before then.
Saturday’s vote in favor of the gender identity bill in the 141-member House fell largely along party lines. Eighty-five Democrats and just one Republican voted for the bill. Forty Republicans and 12 Democrats voted against it. Three delegates — two Republicans and one Democrat — were absent and did not vote.
The House’s approval of the gender identity bill by a sold 34-vote margin appears to indicate that transgender rights, while controversial, hasn’t elicited the intensity of opposition that surfaced over a Maryland same-sex marriage bill.
A bill calling for legalizing civil marriage for same-sex couples died in the House of Delegates two weeks ago when Democratic leaders withdrew the bill from the floor after determining they did not have the votes to pass it. The Maryland Senate passed the bill by a vote of 25-21 on Feb. 25.
Some activists feared that the heated controversy over the decision to withdraw the marriage bill before a vote might make delegates less likely to support any LGBT-related bill, including a transgender rights bill.
A number of House Democrats who wavered over or announced plans to drop their support of the marriage bill voted for the gender identity bill on Saturday. Among them were Dels. Sam Arora (D-Montgomery County), Tiffany Alston (D-Prince George’s County) and Jill Carter (D-Baltimore City).
During Saturday’s floor debate over the gender identity bill, opponents, including Del. Joseph Minnick (D-Baltimore County) and Del. Richard Impallaria (R-Baltimore and Harford Counties) raised concerns that the bill would enable men who “cross dress” as women to create disturbances in the workplace or threaten women in public or workplace bathrooms.
“Every woman should be appalled by this legislation,” said Minnick, who told of once encountering a male-to-female transgender person in a public men’s bathroom at the state capital in the 1990s.
“That left a lasting impression on me,” he said. “The way that person was dressed [he] could have very easily gone into the lady’s room and used the lady’s facility. Now I don’t think that’s what you want with this kind of legislation.”
A few of the delegates opposing the bill pointed to the 1970s television program M.A.S.H., which included a character named Maxwell Klinger. They noted the Klinger character dressed in female clothes at a U.S. Army installation in Korea during the Korean War as a ploy to obtain a “Section 8” psychiatric discharge from the military.
Minnick said the gender identity bill could hurt businesses by allowing cross dressing “scammers” like the Klinger character to create problems at the workplace and file a lawsuit if the employer sought to fire the person.
Del. Dan Morhaim (D-Baltimore County), who served as floor leader for the bill, disputed claims that it would impact public bathrooms, saying the legislation did not include a public accommodations provision and would make no changes in the availability of public bathrooms to transgender people.
When asked by opponents whether transgender employees protected under the bill’s employment non-discrimination provision would have access to workplace bathrooms, Morhaim said that would be left to the discretion of an employer.
Del. Kirill Reznick (D-Montgomery County), a supporter of the bill, said that while public bathrooms were not covered in the Gender Identity Non-Discrimination Act, transgender non-discrimination laws that do include public accommodations protections have not created problems — either related to bathrooms or at the workplace.
“The reality is 12 states have passed broader protections that this bill,” he said. “A hundred and thirty-four jurisdictions — counties and cities across this country — have boarder protections than this bill. And we have not heard of one instance where businesses have had to build a third bathroom, where children or women have been attacked and these protections were used as a defense — not one case in 10 years,” he said.
Del. Joseline Pena-Melnyk (D-Prince George’s and Anne Arundel Counties), the author and lead sponsor of the bill, expressed dismay over what she called “unfounded” assertions that transgender people cause problems at the workplace or in bathrooms.
“In the last few minutes I have heard some things that are truly sad,” she said. “The reason why we need this bill is because of what you heard today. People have preconceived ideas and prejudices.”
Pena-Melnyk said she was troubled that opponents were basing much of their opposition on perceived problems that could not result from the bill, in part, because she removed a public accommodations provision to expand the support needed to pass the bill.
“And I did so because the political reality is that I could not have gotten the bill out — look at the discussion today — if I had public accommodations in it,” she said. “But it gives you protections.”
Del. Maggie McIntosh (D-Baltimore City), one of seven openly lesbian or gay members of the House of Delegates, noted that transgender protections were omitted entirely from a Maryland law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation that the legislature passed 10 years ago.
“It was a calculated decision and one that I frankly regret,” she said, referring to the omission of a transgender provision. “I think it was the wrong decision. And this bill today, House Bill 235, rights a very bad wrong that we need to do,” she said. “And I ask you to support House Bill 235, a very important step forward to end discrimination in Maryland.”
Transgender rights advocate Dana Beyer, who ran for a seat in the House of Delegates last year, called approval of the bill by the House historic.
“We still have two more votes to go to get this bill done and then we need to work on adding public accommodations next year,” she said. “Actually, the only statement from the opponents with which I agree was, you know, if you give them this now they will come back and say they want full civil rights. And, yeah, that’s the case. We want full civil rights, and we’ll get them one step at a time.”

Monday, March 28, 2011

Goin Down the Road Feeling Great

Yeah, another mangled song title.

I had an uneventful drive from the mall to the hotel.  I was considering stopping for dinner on the way.  I had marked a couple of Chinese restaurants near the hotel.  I eat lighter at Chinese or Thai than I do at an Italian or American restaurant so that was my first choice.

There was a little problem.

At the end of my makeover, I could see little chin hairs pushing through.  That kind of shook my confidence.  I thought about it while driving and figured it's only going to get worse over that hour behind the wheel.  So I didn't sit down to eat.

I wasn't sure where the restaurants were exactly, although I had written down some addresses.  As I approached the hotel, I saw a strip mall and figured there had to be a takeaway place there.

Sure enough, there was one of the Chinese restaurants on my list.  I placed my to-go order and was told it would take about ten minutes.  I stepped outside but felt foolish just standing there in my dress and heels so I went back inside, sat on the bench near the cashier, crossed my legs and picked up an In Style magazine.  I skimmed that, admired some outfits and makeup, and picked up another women's magazine and started looking at some of the (mostly visual) articles.

I felt very at ease.  In hindsight, I should have picked up a magazine and sat at a table and eaten there.  It wouldn't have taken long, and I'd probably look no worse when I was done, but I don't think clearly when I'm dressed; I have too much on my mind.  But sitting and reading and waiting felt very natural.

My food arrived and I made the short drive to the hotel to check in.

There were two men in front of me so I waited patiently with my bag of dinner and suitcase.  I left my computer in the trunk; I figured it would be safe for a while.

I checked in, and the clerk had no comments nor odd looks as I did so.

That, by the way, is the norm ~ no-one has ever said anything untoward to me; I haven't caught anyone doing a take or giving another odd look when I talk to them.  I can't believe I've always found people who are amazingly tolerant or I've fooled everyone, so it has to be that the average person is fine with who I am.

This is important, for anyone thinking of going out.  People don't care.  I'll give an even better example in a follow-up in a couple of days.

I went up to my room and opened the bag.  I had an eggroll and realised that there was no utensils.  I had kicked off my shoes but nothing else.  I considered changing and going down, but my food would get cold.  So I put my shoes back on, grabbed my purse (can't forget that!) and room key and went back to the desk.

No-one was at the desk; the clerk was looking at something on the counter.  I said "excuse me?" and he said "yes, maam?  Can I help you?"  That's always nice to hear, especially if it's not a first impression situation.

Showing off my new look and manicure
I told him my situation and he said "can I get you a plate as well?"  I said "that would be fantastic" ~ I was expecting to eat out of the little containers.  He came back a couple of minutes later with a takeaway tray that could serve as a plate and a plastic fork and knife and I went back to my room with another successful exchange under my belt.

After dinner, I took off my dress and wig and realised that I left my glasses in the glove compartment of the car.  I decided against getting dressed again and carefully removed my makeup.  I left my nail polish on and got dressed in my civvies and went to the car to get my computer and glasses, keeping my hands sort of hidden all the while.  I was mildly concerned ~ if I was very concerned I would have removed the polish first.  If anyone was nosy enough to notice and ask about my nails I was prepared to say "I was in drag earlier" and see what they say next.  Nothing happened.

Removing nail polish is not easy.  I get some tissues out, pour remover into the cap and soak each finger for about 30 seconds.  Then I try to get the polish off with the tissue.  Often, it takes two tries.  When I'm done, I put a q-tip into the remover in the cap and let it soak.  Then I scrub the polish out of the cuticles and edges of the nail and any stubborn spots I may have missed.  Even so, the next day I noticed I still had a bit of polish on a couple of nails.  I figured no-one would notice; no-one did.  A few days later, as the nail grew, there was some polish that was hidden in the cuticle.  I pulled out the remover and q-tip and polished off the polish.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

New Look

I told H that I had a makeup lady do "this look" about six years ago, and I thought I'd try something new.  She said "Six years!  It's definitely time for something new!"  She also asked if I had every used Clinique cosmetics and I told her my foundation and powder were Clinique, and I pulled the powder out of my purse to show her.

She treated me as she would any other woman.  She talked about how "some women" do this and it would look good on you too, or "other women" like this look, and so on.

She talked about skin care, and asked what I do (very little) but I had initially asked about eyes and she focused on that.  She removed my old eyeshadow, asked what mascara I was using (she didn't like it ~ it was flaking), said I did a good job on my liner but she had a better liner for me to try.  She drew a picture of how she did my eyes, and explained everything she did.  She complimented my baby blues and tried colours that would work best with them.

After she did my eyes, she said "how do you feel about that lip colour?" and she proceeded to redo my lips.  Then she said "how about a different blush?" and she redid that.

She was never in a hurry for me to move on, and I spent a long time just being a woman in another woman's company.

I bought a foundation, since I do like it and the last time I was at a makeup counter the woman said "your foundation colour is perfect!"  I also bought the eyeshadows she was using.  I thought I asked for the pencil and mascara but neither appeared in my bag so I guess I was distracted by the experience and did not.

I also asked her to take a couple of pictures of my new look ~ she took four.  One plain snapshot, one with my eyes closed so the makeover was easier to see, and another pair without a flash.

I left feeling like a million bucks.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Working Through the Weekend

I mean, no cartoon break this weekend.  I have to catch up before my next trip, which will be to Colorado Springs, CO.  The tentative date is 4 April.

So back to Spotsylvania....

The mall has the usual mix of shops that you find in every mall.  It has a Sears, JC Penneys, Macy's, and Belk department stores.  I knew I'm not going to find a makeover at the first two, but I wanted to get through my shopping list, go back to the Deb Shop and look at shoes, and the order didn't really matter now.  My number one priority, my nails, was done.

I walked into Macy's, glanced at some dresses and headed for Intimate Apparel.  The nightgowns were either short and sexy or hideous old lady gowns and pjs.  I didn't want to just buy hose, and, of course, there were no pants liners.  If it wasn't for Vanity Fair, there wouldn't even be slips in the department stores anymore.  The cosmetics department was mostly vacant and I didn't see anyone I felt like approaching so I moved on.

I also struck out at Sears and Penneys.  I decided Belk was my last chance at a makeover so I took a last walk around the mall.

I didn't think I'd be comfortable for the next two hours or so before I got to my hotel so I headed towards the restrooms, resigned to using the ladies' if necessary.  There was a wide-open door beckoning me to the family restroom and so the mysteries of the ladies' room remain, well, a mystery.  I used the family one, as I have in the past.

I skipped New York and Company, and Express, and Hot Topic and Coldwater Creek and American Eagle and all the stores that are the same in every mall in every town.

I did go to a store called The Shoe Dept.  It had a huge front window and a very inviting selection of shoes luring me in.  I tried on a couple of pair but I didn't see anything I was in love with (like, this was in my size, but it just isn't me).  They had several pairs I coveted (like this and this), but they did not come in my size.  Payless was equally bleak.

I walked through Victoria's Secret, browsing and thinking, if anyone asked if she could help me, I'd say I was looking for a bra but wasn't sure about size and see if I could get a fitting.  But I was a bit nervous about that and decided, if no-one approached me I was not going to approach someone there.

No-one did.

I walked to the opposite end of the mall to the Deb shop.  The shoes were wonderful.  Some were in 11, but none in a style I wanted.  I tried on a few pair but didn't find anything I really liked.

I walked back to Belk and was similarly disappointed by the selection in Intimate Apparel.  I headed to the makeup counter and only saw a couple of people there.  One older woman asked if she could help me.  I didn't think her makeup was in my style, and I wasn't sure what she could do, but I said "yes.  I'd like to know if someone could maybe redo my eyes."  She said "I think H is available" and she beckoned over a pretty college-age woman with blonde hair tied back and the ubiquitous black dress and white coat.  She led me to the Clinique counter.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Spotsylvania Creeper

First, a quick shout out to Linda.  Linda caught the Who reference in yesterday's post title.  The cello chorus from that song is my ringtone for a special friend (and reader).  Nobody is going to catch today's reference!

I parked near the entrance to Belk at the mall.  I changed into my pumps, picked up my purse, did a quick check in the mirror and opened the door.

In case you haven't made that first step out the door yet, or if you're at the driving at night stage (and you will move on) or sneaking out when no-one's around, here's what I've learned: it gets easier.

I remember the first time ~ the first few times ~ I was alone and going somewhere.  I sat in my car for what seemed like forever while my inner voice said "now!  You can do it!  C'mon ~ open the door.  Put Your Hand On The Door Handle And Pull NOW."

And I'd sit there.  I'd check and double check and triple check how I look, convinced everyone will know who I am, or someone I know will recognise my car, or I'll drop my car keys on the ground instead of into my purse, or....

A thousand things can go wrong.  A thousand things can go wrong any minute of any day.  That is the path to agoraphobia.

It gets easier.  I never turned the car back on an went home.  I never sat in the car for long; maybe ten minutes, probably less.  It seemed like the sun went down and came back up several times before I moved, that first trip to Fair Oaks mall.

I stepped out, touched the door handle, and the car locked with it's firm beep.  I headed towards the mall.

I always look at people.  There were several walking to or from their cars.  I don't recall anyone in particular looking back.  As I got to Belk, a woman in her 40s was walking out.  She smiled and nodded.  I did the same.

I walked through Belk, noticing where the makeup counter was.  I wanted to get my nails done first, maybe get my makeup redone at one of the department stores, and I had a short shopping list:

* pants liner.  I'm still looking for a pair.
* hose.  The first thing I did getting dressed that day was to snag my big toenail on my hose, leaving a hole on the inside of my left foot, just at the ball.  It wasn't really noticeable so I didn't change at home.  I had a couple of extra pair with me, but I wanted to have an extra extra pair.  It wasn't urgent, but as long as I was going to be in lingerie....  Yes, technically, I've been in lingerie all day, but you know what I mean!
* a nightgown.  I have purchased exactly one nightgown.  I picked up a few from freecycle, others I inherited from my wife when she outgrew them, the rest... I'm not sure.  I remember ordering one from Macy's many years ago.  It's a long nightie, very pretty.  I wanted something above or about knee length; not floor length, not babydoll.  I had a couple of short nighties with me, but I wanted to buy one I liked.

But first on my list was nails.  I walked into the mall and started looking for nail places.  It seemed there were three.

I headed to the right towards Maxus Nails and Skin Care.  It seemed crowded, and I saw a couple of men working among the women.  I prefer women to work on my nails.  The first time I went for a manicure alone, a male manicurist (I think he was the owner) with what I can only describe as a leer sat down to do my nails.  I said "I prefer a female technician."  He looked crestfallen, got up, and a young Asian lady sat down.  I don't care how I'm dressed.  I don't want to be holding hands with a man for a half-hour.

Right next door was a Deb Shop!  I've been wanting to go to one for a long time, and now I had my chance.

But I was on a mission.  I walked around the mall until I found Nails Pizazz.  It looked better, but there was one more shop: Konad Nail Art.  I found it ~ it looked kind of trendy for an older woman such as myself.  They had a banner on the door telling us commoners what's in and what's out.  I was afraid whatever I wanted would be "out."  I know I'm not 18, but I don't need to be reminded.  I headed back to Pizazz.

It was busy, but there didn't seem to be a wait.  A man (again, I think he was the owner) came up and asked what I wanted.  I told him I'd like a manicure and he steered me towards "station 9."

My manicurist was a Vietnamese woman of maybe 25.  Her English was heavily accented and I could not understand a lot of what she said, when she tried to make small talk (or even to tell me to wash my hands), or when I asked her a question.

In spite of the lack of conversation, it was still nice.  I enjoy manicures and pedicures.  She did a nice job on my nails, offered a pleasant hand massage, and my nails dried cleanly.  The first couple of manicures I ruined almost immediately even though I thought the nails were dried well.  These stayed nice until I took off the polish.

She offered to paint flowers on my nails ~ I declined, but I'm not sure why.

She treated me as she would any other customer.

I've said it before: if you've never had a manicure or pedicure, go for it!  Sit down, let your technician do her magic, relax, and enjoy the procedure and the results.

Before I left, I asked if she would take a picture of me with my new manicure.  She gave a pleading look to the man who I saw when I first came in, and he came over.  She told him what I wanted.  He took the camera, and my picture.  Maybe you can see his reflection in the photo.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Quick One, While She's Away

I normally look at other drivers when I'm driving.  While on my way to Richmond, I did so as well.

No-one was looking at me.

So I had an uneventful drive down 95 towards Spotsylvania mall.  As I approached the exit, I looked in my mirror.

There was a police car right behind me.

I was being a good girl, but you never know why you'll get stopped, do you.

I was in the right lane because my exit was only about a mile away.

I was being a good girl.

I signaled on to the exit lane.  He followed.

The exit ramp merged with a main road.  There was a shopping center on the right with a Marshalls and assorted other stores there.  The mall was about a half-mile down on the left.  For no particular reason, I moved into the right lane.

The police car zooooomed past on the left.  I moved over to the far left and entered the mall, parking in front of a Belk's department store.

I guess I was being a good girl after all.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hit the Road, Meg!

I took wife to the doctor, who was not too far behind schedule.  My goal was to get out of the house by 1, which meant I had to get started on my transformation by 11.30.  I figured, 1 is well before the boys get home and if it took two hours to drive I could stop for three hours and shop and still get to the hotel by dinnertime. 

My Wife wanted to get something to eat afterwards, and I figured I was rocking the boat enough ~ so we did.  I had coffee; it was kind of early for me to have a meal anyway.  I still don't know if she wanted to eat, talk, or delay me.  It doesn't really matter.

We got home around 11.45, and I reminded my wife that I would be changing (although we both knew she hadn't forgotten) and she said that she was going to take a walk.  She asked me how long I would be.  I said an hour to an hour and a half.  I asked her if she wanted me to say goodbye if she was here; she said it was up to me.

She didn't go for a walk, and it wasn't up to me.

Before going to the doctor, I had showered and turned the thermostat down.  I was pretty calm and relaxed as I got ready.  I was surprised ~ I thought having my wife there in addition to the usual going-out-as-Meg anxiety would keep me nervous and sweaty, but I was as calm as I ever was.

Another change from previous outings: I ALWAYS lose sleep before going out.  I wake in the middle of the night and worry about every little detail, about all the things that could go wrong, and I my heart rate goes WAY Up and my sleep time goes WAY Down.

Not this time.

Believe me, I am NOT complaining.  I'm just observing and trying to understand.  I hope this is something new.  And permanent.  Maybe I've reached a new level of comfort as Meg.  This, to me, means I have to do something to shake it up again. :D
I did have a moment of panic: I had a sample of a face primer called "Primetime" that a nice lady at Sephora gave me.  I also purchased a Smashbox eyeshadow primer.  The eyeshadow primer was a medium tan colour and looked fine and worked flawlessly.  The foundation primer ~ not so much.

I washed my face, moisturised, and dried my face thoroughly.  Then I put on the foundation primer.  It was clear, and had the consistency of jell-o.  OK, I'm new to primer.  The last one was more like a cream.

Then I put on a bit of cover stick: under eyes, above lips, below lips, and started to blend it in.  It turned into little strings that stuck to the primer and took a lot of effort to get off.  That's just great, I thought.  My cover stick has gone bad.

After the brief delay and annoyance while I cleaned up I started on my foundation.

It did the same thing.  There were dozens of little strings everywhere I rubbed in the foundation!  It was the primer!  I had to pull off each one, and as I added foundation the strings came back.  I was tempted to start over and skip the primer, but I thought it would take less time to clean up.  I probably should have started again.

If you're considering a primer and you think, "Primetime.  Cute name," forget it.

I was ready just before 1:30.  This was later than I hoped, but not too late. I pulled my tripod and camera out and took a couple of pre-trip photos (the one from Thursday, and the one to the right..  I packed the tripod in my luggage and put the camera (with extra batteries) in my purse.

I put lipstick and powder and the few items I was carrying that morning ~ credit card, cash, driver's license, insurance cards, car key ~ into the purse as well.  Other credit cards and my bank card were already in there, as part of my previous packing.

I have a pretty, patterned glasses case.  My glasses did not fit in the case.  This wasn't a big problem ~ what it did was mess up my Grand Entrance, because my other case was in the basement.

I had already put my car in the garage, my computer in the trunk, and my high-heel pumps on the floor in the front of the car.  I wore my mid-heels for driving, although I changed to the higher heels for my walk in the mall and drove the rest of the way wearing them without any problems.  Next time, it's high-heels all the way!

I grabbed my purse and suitcase and started clacking down the stairs.

My wife was sitting in the kitchen, which meant saying goodbye wasn't up to me.  There's no way to leave the house unseen from where she was sitting.

As I was walking down, she called out "ready to go?" and I called back "not yet.  I need a glasses case from the basement" and I continued down the stairs past her without looking up.

I found the case, came upstairs, posed, and said "well?"  She said, "you should have worn black stockings with that."  I said, "black stockings says 'guy' more than shaved legs do."

That was all she had to say, so I loaded the suitcase into the car and got in.  I took my glasses out of my purse so it would be less bulky and I put them in the glove box.

I opened the garage door and c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y backed out and into the street.  There were no neighbors around that day.  The sun was bright, it was a bit cool but not terribly so.  I opened the overhead sunglass storage and pulled out the glasses that are in that profile picture to the right, set my GPS for the Spotsylvania Mall and hit the road.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Day Before Richmond

As I mentioned earlier, my wife took the boys on a field trip.  This is always at least three hours; usually, it's five or more.  I took advantage of that time and put the shirts and pants that I'd need for work in a suitcase.  I added enough panties and socks for the trip, along with a pair of shoes I would not wear before hitting the road.

I put aside everything I'd need to get ready, including makeup, wig, jewelry, hose, pads, purse, blah blah blah, into a separate bag so I could change efficiently the next morning.  That went into the closet.  I put additional makeup and everything I wouldn't need in the suitcase.

I got my tripod and camera, so I could take steady pictures both before I left and during the trip.  Into the closet.

I took advantage of the additional time to go over every stray hair with my shaver.  I went a bit higher on my arms and legs than I had so far.  I went a bit lower on my chest than I had so far.

I was ready.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Under Construction

I'm sure I have a week of posts sitting in my brain, but my muse is tired and they're just squatting there.  I hope to have some quiet time this evening to at least outline the week, if not to start writing.

I was thinking that I didn't break new ground this trip, but I did: I dressed at home and said goodbye to my wife (as Meg) when I left on my trip.

Her only comment was "you should have worn black stockings with that."  My only comment was "black stockings says 'guy' more than shaved legs does."  I didn't say "if you would have helped me get dressed, I would have worn something more appropriate."  I'm still unsure if that would have been the right thing to say, and I've had a week to think about it.

I took this picture at the hotel ~ I finally had a chance to kick off my shoes.  It's funny: after a day in heels, including a couple of hours walking, it feels strange to not have the heels on.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I was hoping to get out Wednesday night and do a first: meet one of my readers!  She leaves not far from my hotel (I'm guessing maybe ten miles from here).

But I'm writing this at 11pm and I'm still not done with my night's work.  That's the bad news.  The good news is, this means I'll be working a full day Thursday and I won't be heading back north until Friday morning.

So my pleasure is just postponed one day.  I am so looking forward to this!

Here's a "before" picture.  I took this at my house before my nails were done and my makeup was redone.

Click to enlarge.  And happy St Patrick's Day! :D

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I was up past midnight and I have to head out in just a few minutes but I wanted to post a photo taken by the woman who redid my makeup at the Belk store in the Spotsylvania mall.  Dani reminded me that cameras often have USB cables.  My camera has one.  I have a cable.  Here we are!  The picture's raw from the camera so if you click to see it full-size it'll be big.

I will get to the stories from this trip, and I hope there will be more tonight.  Remember, there are two types of people: those that finish things

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It's Been A Good Monday

I've said it before: if you haven't gotten out dressed yet, do it!

I need to organise and write and edit but here's the executive summary:
I spent almost three hours at the Spotsylvania Mall.  I had a manicure (and had the manicurist take a few pictures).  I had my makeup redone at Belks (and had the makeup lady take a couple of pictures of her handiwork).  I bought takeaway on the way to the hotel and got "ma'am'd" by the desk clerk ~ the second time we spoke, so he probably knew by then.

Little tiny stupid setbacks, but it was a great day.

Oh...  My new computer does not accept CF cards, which is what my camera uses.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Tad Behind Schedule

It's noon ~ time to change.  I'll write from Richmond later!  Hopefully, with pictures....

I Should Have Left Saturday

I'm trying to keep my fingernails as long as they want to be. Unfortunately, after they reach a not-very-long length, they start breaking. Sunday was the day. Several times I had to reach for the clipper and try to clip off just enough so that the nail isn't going to snag on my hose. I know my nails will only be as long as my shortest one, after the manicure which I plan to get later today. I'm trying to figure out how to get the manicurist to take my picture when I won't be able to reach into my purse and get out my camera. I may ask if I can return in a half-hour so she can take my picture.

Yesterday, my wife mentioned that I need to be careful that my car doesn't break down because "no-one would stop to help you ~ they'd be afraid to."  I said "don't you think I looked pretty good on Halloween?"  She shook her head and said "no.  Not really."

She started today very confrontational, demanding that we go out to eat after the doctor.  I may or may not.  I have a schedule to keep.

She also managed to cost me an extra hour of sleep today.  That's nothing coffee can't cure.

Leaving to take my wife to the doctor NOW.

Just a Bit Cool

It was about 30 when I woke up today.  It's about 40 now.  I was just out to move my car in a t-shirt and jeans.  It's not bad.  Hopefully it'll be ten or twelve degrees warmer when I leave.


No doubt about it ~ I need a better camera.

Here are the three (well, five) outfits I'm bringing to Richmond.  No makeup or hair or accessories, hence the crop.

I expect to be putting on the dress in a few hours and heading south.

The skirt with the print top is a bit different than I had planned (it's cliched, but I changed my mind).  It's still black but it has about three inches of pleats along the bottom.  I've worn this out before; I don't have time to point at the post though.

The other nice black skirt has been switched for the grey one.  It's a bit short but it has panels and looks nice with the blouse out or in.

Wish me luck.  My next post will be from Richmond, tonight or tomorrow!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Morning

My wife wants to go out with the boys for about three hours.

I was wondering when I'd have time to pack ~ This Is It!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

New Tactic

Normally, my wife is very subtle.  I often get blindsided by seemingly innocuous comments.  Not today.

Out of nowhere, she asked if I make reservations under my own name or the company name.  I know she was hoping it was the company name, because how would I explain Meg showing up to my company?

We do our own travel arrangements.  Game on!  She'll try something else though.

Monday forecast:
near 50 at home, some showers and around 55 in Richmond.  That's a bit cool for skipping a coat, but I won't be out much ~ just walking to the mall and the hotel desk.  And it's cool enough that I can keep the house cool while getting dressed.  Getting ready for an outing is, alas, still sweaty work.  

Almost As Predicted

I spoke with my wife last night.  I told her, after I bring her back from the doctor I'm going to change and go.  She said "go as a woman?"  I said yes, and she threw the arguments I expected along with "I was hoping we could go get lunch before you go."  I said "sure, but I need to leave before two so I don't hit a lot of traffic or run into the boys."

Later comments on what I'll be doing Monday were met with an instant change of subject.

She'll try to impose roadblocks.  I'll be ready.  He main tool will be delay ~ I'll stay on schedule, if the doctor stays on schedule.  If he runs late, lunch will go by the wayside.

The only fail scenario is if the doctor says she can't drive yet.  That's unlikely.

By the way, if you haven't checked it out, read Pat's comment on yesterday's post.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Southpoint Shopping center and Points South

These are fairly far south.  I'll almost be at the end of my journey by the time I get there, so I may take a little time to see if it's worth shopping, but not as a place to change.  Furthermore,

Stop the Presses
I Am An Idiot.

New Plan:

I take my wife to the doctor on Monday morning, then I can

go home
hit the road!

All I have to do is to let my wife know I'll be doing that in advance.  I still have a few days.  I need to find some time when the boys are elsewhere.

I can't predict the conversation but I can predict the outcome.

I'll tell her what I plan to do.

She'll tell me it's a bad idea for any number of reasons (jeopardise my job, how can I check in to the hotel like that, what if I get stopped...).

I'll parry them, and change at home late Monday morning or early afternoon.

As long as I'm on the road by 1:30 or so I'll beat traffic, daylight, and the boys coming home.  And I'll have time to shop at one of the many malls I've already described, on my way down.

The only question is, will she stay around the house while I change or make herself scarce?  She might just park herself downstairs in the back part of the house.  In that case, I have to figure out if I should just walk out without her seeing me, or if I should go back and say goodbye.  Either way ~ I can assure you I will make the wrong choice.  I do know she's not going to come upstairs and chat while I'm changing.  I would not consider that likely.  I do not know if that would be comforting or anxiety-producing.  Last time (for Halloween) she helped when asked, and made herself scarce as quickly as she could.

This is The New Plan, unless her doctor runs hours late.  But I don't expect that and I will have a bit less organising to do (making sure I have everything for the changing room, figuring out what to carry it all in, parking myself in a restroom for the better part of an hour).

This is a better solution, all round. Why didn't I think of it a week ago?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Stafford Marketplace and Spotsylvania Mall

I like the look of the Spotsylvania Mall.  The Stafford Marketplace is about 13 miles further north and looks to be an open shopping center, as opposed to an enclosed mall.  I've never been to either.  An open shopping center is unlikely to have family restrooms.  The mall might but I haven't found direct evidence yet.

I prefer open centers; I may stop to look around if I change at Potomac Mills, since this is on the way.

The Spotsylvania Mall looks like it has a good selection of shops.  There is a DEB shop, which I've been trying to get to since Kansas when I was standing outside but didn't get through the door.  I still haven't gone to the one about 30 miles from my house, and I got sidetracked in El Paso.  I know, DEB is more for teenagers, but I like the look of their shoes and I want to look around.  And I don't have to worry about fitting new shoes into my carry-on luggage this time!

Check out the Spotsylvania directory.  They have a couple of dozen shops listed under "Women's Fashion" another dozen shoe stores, and about two dozen more under the "Beauty and Health" banner.  It's anchored by a Belk, Macy's, Penneys, and Sears.  There is an adjunct that seems to be mostly unpopulated but has a Coldwater Creek, Salon and Spa, a shoe store, and some restaurants.

What I'm saying is, I can probably shop until my feet can't take it anymore.  But I don't know if they have family restrooms.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Potomac Mills Mall

I rarely go to Potomac Mills Mall. It is huge.  Buses of shoppers from around the area come in every day.  It's one of the biggest tourist attractions in Virginia (if not the biggest).  It can be seen from space and covers two time zones.  I may have made that last bit up.

Their website says they have "family restrooms throughout the mall."

I have no doubt that I'll find everything I need here: family restrooms, a choice of places to have my nails done, shops or department stores if I want someone else to do my makeup, lots of places to shop.

Maybe I'll finally sit down to eat somewhere ~ that's on my "someday" list.

It also has ten thousand more eyes than a smaller mall.

If one percent of the people around me notice me (probably realistic) and if one percent of the people who notice me read me (not at all realistic, but bear with me!), then if I'm in a mall with 500 people ~ a lot for a small mall at midday ~ the odds are with me.  If I'm in Potomac Mills with 10,000 people, which is possible, I'll definitely be noticed and read.

So although Potomac Mills is my most likely stop, it's maybe not on the top of my list.

Oh... I did say have "someone else do my makeup."  I'm considering it.  The minuses:

* I have to approach a stranger and say "here's who I am, here's what I want."
* I don't know anything about her ~ how good, bad she is, how transphobic she is.
* I'm pre-read.  She can phone her friends in the mall and say "look for a girl wearing ____.  She's a guy.

The pluses:

* I don't have to park myself in a restroom for 30 or 45 minutes.  The last time, someone pounded on the door.  I'm certain there are cameras and they were wondering why a guy with a suitcase went into a family restroom and didn't come out for a long time.  I don't think I'm being paranoid.  I acknowledged the knock, said I'd be out in a few minutes and that was that.  Answering was mandatory ~ if they thought I was incapacitated they'd open the door.  I do believe if security came in while I was putting on makeup, well, they have no right if they have no reason to believe I'm doing something illegal and changing clothing is certainly not illegal.  But it would be embarrassing and I'm not sure how I should react yet.  I need to figure out how I'd like that scenario to play.
* Having your makeup done by a nice-looking young lady is extremely pleasant.

Based on time, I might search out places in my final choice mall that are likely to do makeovers.  I'll see where they are with respect to family restrooms.  I'll then approach someone who does the makeovers, explain what I want and tell them I'll be back within fifteen minutes.

Then I'll go to the family restroom.  Quickly remove my shoes, socks, pants, shirt and put them in the extra bag I brought along with me.  Put in contacts, if I didn't do that before I left home.  Put on bra, put in forms.  Put on slip and dress or skirt and top.  Comb out wig and put it on.  Put on earrings, bracelet, rings, and necklace.  Depending on how far it is back to the shop, I may put on lipstick.  I do need makeup to pass.  That is a fact.  But in a pinch, I am comfortable with sunglasses and lipstick.  Pack everything away.

Fifteen minutes.  If I have someone else do my makeup.  I think I'm more passable when I do it myself, to be honest.  Makeup ladies have a lighter touch.  I need coverage!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tysons Corner, Tysons Galleria, Springfield Mall

As I head from my office down 95 to Richmond, I pass three malls.  There are two Tyson's malls across the street from each other.  I'm very familiar with both, and have changed in each of them.  But the trip has changed a bit.  I'll be going home, taking my wife to the doctor, taking her home, and then heading south.  Those malls are north.  I thought that they were not the best choices anyway, since they're so close to the office.

The next mall is Springfield Mall, about 8 miles from my house.  It used to be a decent mall, but it's kind of dying now.  There are four restrooms; I don't know if they have any family facilities.  Springfield can also be a bit of a pain to get to and from.  The roads around it are... odd.

But I may stop there first.  Or I may continue on to the Potomac Mills Mall.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Here Comes the Weekend!

Friday was uneventful, at least as far as Meg went.  I left work early to take my wife (who's doing well) to the doctor.  The next visit is with the surgeon on the day I go to Richmond.  I'm hoping that goes smoothly so I can get out early and get on the road as soon as possible.

I did a little preliminary shaving last night.  What I'm doing is, each time I shave I'm rushing through my face and spending my time on other parts of my body.  My legs will be manageable by Sunday night.  I plan to do my arms by Tuesday.  I've been keeping my hands clean.

I hope to escape from work a bit early on Monday and get my hair cut and neck waxed.  I like my hairstylist and I'd like to tell her about Meg, but someone else in the salon knows me somewhat through the boy's school.  I do NOT want her to know, because I believe once she knows everyone will know.

Saturday was TSA day.  I considered going down with my son and dropping off his project, then returning when they had the awards ceremony later in the day.  The conference is less than four miles from my house.  Instead, I contacted the woman who runs the state conference and asked if they needed judges.  So I'll be there judging instead of heading out.  My son will spend the day watching events and maybe figuring out what he'd like to do next year.

Here's what I like about TSA: they have a dress code.  That means as a judge I have to dress "business casual" but it means for the kids, that's the minimum allowed.  It depends on the competition.  So there are lots of women and young ladies dressed nicely, always good for wardrobe ideas and for making my eyes happy.

The plan for Sunday was to drop off son at 8:30, visit three clients, pick up son at 1:30.  If the clients were quick enough, I would finish near several shops such as Burlington and Marshalls and I could do some shopping.  I did finish early, but it's a dreary rainy day and I didn't feel like shopping.  I picked up groceries since I'm still the only driving adult in the family, and picked up my son afterwards.

There was nothing else of interest until Sunday evening when I shave my arms and went over my legs once again.  Long hairs are floppy and do not shave off easily.  Trimming first helps a lot.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I Don't Think I Broke My Rule

Alas, Not Meg
But it feels a bit squishy.  And it's all because of a tiny hole.

Thursday, I had a pedicure and my eyebrows waxed.  My regular spalady was off, so I took whoever was free.  C turned out to be very nice.

I had planned to tell her the Meg story: I crossdress sometimes, I'll be going out in about ten days and I need some work done.

But I didn't know her, or know anything about her.  That worried me a bit.  I want to be sensitive to other peoples prejudices, no matter how unreasonable they are.  If someone says "ewww....  crossdressing" I won't talk about that with her.  In fact, I won't talk to her at all, the same if she said "ewww....  black people" or "ewww.... rednecks" or "eww...." anyone else.  I'm not without prejudices, but I beat them down in hopes of stomping them out.

C wanted to get started on the brows before doing the pedicure.  I needed to ensure that she knew I wanted slightly more feminine brows than most guys who get this done.

So I told C a bit of a story.

Keep in mind this was special circumstances.  I wanted her to be comfortable, and I wanted my brows right and I did NOT have much time.

A bit of a story.

I told her that V had cleaned and shaped my brows, because I was going to a Halloween event as a girl.  And now I was going to repeat at a Mardi Gras party.

She understood immediately what I wanted ~ something a bit fem, but something I could live with on not-party days.  She joked about how "your friends are going to be amazed at how far you went for this costume when they see what I did to your eyebrows!" while I couldn't see what she was doing.  I was nervous for a moment, but then I realised she was just teasing and was glad she felt comfortable enough that she could tease.

She asked if I wanted my toenails coloured ~ I said I was thinking about it, but wasn't sure.  She wanted to pick out a Mardi Gras colour ~ she suggested blue; when I said I was thinking red, she suggested purple as a more Mardi Gras colour.  We settled on a deep red.

She also suggested a "spa pedicure" which is the relaxing, feel-good pedicure ~ massage and lotions and one of those secrets that women don't want to share with us.  I considered how I was stressing myself out trying to keep the boys organised and my wife comfortable and went with it.  I also told her about my big toe with the ingrown nail and she said she'd take care of it.  She asked if it bothered me, and I said normally, no, but women's shoes are flatter and they'll press on the toe.  She looked at me sneakers and pointed out that I'd have trouble finding women's shoes in that size.  I said I wear a 9-1/2 W.  She said "in womens'..." and I said "11 W."  She looked surprised and I said "I've done my research."

This is why I hate stories: they smother the truth.  I had to parry questions, and that's why it didn't feel right.  She said "so you had a pedicure for Halloween and now you're having another."  I said "I had a manicure at Halloween."  She said "so this is your first pedicure."  Well, no.  I wrote about one previously.  But I said "I've never had one here before."  There were other things I had to sidestep.

She commented on how expensive this would be; I told her how little I actually spent last time, and I showed her a few pictures from the rally that I just happened to have dug up for her.  She really looked shocked, as if she didn't think it was me.  She then grabbed the pictures and showed them to another spalady who laughed in surprise when she was told who it was.

I did try to be as truthful as possible, within the initial fib.  She asked who did my makeup; I said I did, but my wife did my eyeliner.  Thankfully, she didn't ask how I did such a convincing job.

The pedicure took longer than expected, and I had four clients afterwards.  I had to be at the first by 4 in order to keep any semblance of schedule so I told her we'd have to skip the polish.

Oh... I talked freely about getting dressed last time, how I have a dress for this time, what I paid for things, makeup, etc, etc, all while I ignored the woman was sitting in the next chair.

That morning, I had picked out black socks with flowers on them.  I figured even if she didn't notice I was wearing a women's shirt (she didn't), she'd notice the socks.  Then I saw that one had a hole and I picked a different plainer pair.  I looked for similarly flowery ones but it's dark in the bedroom and that's all I found.

If I wore the flowered socks, there would have been no story.  It wouldn't have been believed.

And it turns out I am sure I could have been completely honest from the start and she would have been fine.  She might have even enjoyed my visit more.  I know I would have.

As I was leaving, C smiled and said "next time we'll go farther."  I said "farther?"  She said "nail polish.  Maybe I can paint pictures on your toenails."  Does she know?  I think so.  It doesn't matter.

I will drop by after I return with pictures and come clean.  I owe it to her, and to myself.  I'll even tell her why I didn't tell her right away, and beg forgiveness.  A promise to me and you all.

Now I have another problem.  I really like V, but I think I like C better than V.  The only solution is to only show up on V's days off.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Heading for the Home Stretch

I wanted to finish my outfit selection sequence so I'll be recapping last week's events for the next few days.  To make sure I don't miss anything, I'll skip the weekend funnies.  Since I'll be travelling a week from Monday, I may skip next weekend as well.

Wednesday, I realised that between work, clients, wife, and kids, I was running out of time.  As I mentioned, I do have some extra time because my wife is basically living on one level ~ and it's not the one Meg lives on.

The boys had an after-school event that kept them out until around 730.  I got home around 6, and my wife had company so I disappeared upstairs.  On the way home I had stopped and picked up pads for the back of my new pumps, so they fit better and do not slide (I hope).  I didn't clomp around ~ not with company downstairs!  Besides, the instructions said to wait before wearing the shoes.

I started moving my stash around, and (don't be surprised) making lists.

By the time her friend left, I had three bags, corresponding to three lists.

Bring into the mall: wig, wig brush, makeup (I double-checked and realised I had no eye shadow.  That's been rectified), bra, slip, jewelry, makeup remover  and q-tips (in case), sunglasses, purse.  Not yet in the bag: shoes, outfit, forms, moisturiser.  Still unknown: what the bag will be.  Everything's in a plastic bag right now.  I may get a department store bag, or maybe a backpack.  I don't want to use a suitcase.  A computer case is too small and subject to being grabbed, if someone thinks it's a computer.

Bring to the hotel: nighties, other outfits, contact solution, contact case, glasses, some other makeup.  I haven't put any other jewelry in there ~ the items I bought are black, to go with the mostly black-and-white I'm wearing.  Maybe I'll grab something in silver in case I go with the greys.  This will all go in a suitcase with my regular clothes.

Wear: panties, hose, band-aids on my toes, contacts (which I rarely ware when I'm not Meg), and a cinch.  This will be mildly tricky ~ I will go to work in the morning and with my wife to the doctor before heading to Richmond.  I may put it on after I bring my wife home and before I leave ~ but that wouldn't be as much fun, would it?

I called my favourite nail place.  In the past, I've had V wax my brows (I like her work) and give me a manicure.  I wanted a pedicure and brow wax Thursday.

Sadly, V is on holiday until the end of the month.  I have strongly hinted to V that this is a hobby, not just a Halloween thing.  I don't know if she believes me.  I was considering nail colour with my pedicure.  I made an appointment with someone I don't know.  I don't like putting my eyebrows in unknown hands.  The women at the Haircuttery who did them, did not do a good job.  V, I think, did.  A bad brow job will put the whole outing in jeopardy.  And I wanted to shave my feet/legs before the pedicure!  Also, I strongly considered getting my nails coloured.  I'm not sure if I will, with a new person.  I also may or may not share "Christine" pictures with her.

But I'm running out of time.  I may or may not get my haircut after the wax; it depends on the time and if my haircut lady is in.  I like her and I'm not fussy about haircuts.  And she'll wax my neck too.

Here's the run-up to the trip:
Wednesday: start shaving some bits, and do some and retouch each night.  It's just easier that way
Thursday: waxing: brows, maybe neck and haircut.  I have a customer after that.
Friday: half-day at work; I have to take my wife to a doctor's appointment
Saturday: I'll be at the TSA all day.  Is anyone familiar with the TSA?  Not the one at the airports!
Sunday: home stuff
Monday: haircut, if I didn't have a chance Thursday.
Tuesday: at work, a guy from our British office is coming over to work with me.
Wednesday: at work, I'll be in training all day with the UK guy.
Thursday: concert at night.  The coolest thing: the performer is a client.
Friday: nothing special yet
Saturday: all-day 4H event.
Sunday: home stuff
Monday: work for a few hours, get my computer and gear packed, go home.  Take wife to doctor who will hopefully say she can drive and will be 100% in minutes so I can go from there to Richmond.

I know some of that has already happened, and I know what hapened now but I'm writing this last Wednesday evening.  My goal is to finish each day with a recap and catch up to real time in a few days.  So when you're reading this, I know how my eyebrows turned out, but when I'm writing this, I don't.  Yes, I'm confused too.

So... what should I wear?

Friday, March 4, 2011

Going Visual ~ Part IV

I'll be taking this dress with me.  I tried on the two grey skirts I like ~ one is tight and very nice, except it might be a bit too tight and show features Not Normally Found In Women.

The other is a tad short but I like it and it may come to Richmond with me.

I bought this dress not long ago at Burlington Coat Factory.  I was looking for this particular dress and was lucky enough to find one in my size.  The checkoutlady commented on how pretty the dress was, and the more she looked at it, the more praise she had for it.  She then asked where I found it and did I notice any in her size (somewhat above mine).

If y'all would like to help me ~ let me know what you think of my choices and which I should wear on my travels, down and back.  You can either add a comment or write to me directly.

I'm going to skip the weekend comics ~ I have some catching up to do!

Ten days to go!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Going Visual ~ Part III

Here are the two tops I'm planning on bringing.  I like the casual feel of the coloured print cotton top.  The black-and-white print is prettier, I think, and it's a silkier material (but it's just polyester with a hint of spandex).

The more I look at the tops the more I think I was wrong ~ I now think either would go well with a grey skirt, and I have three I like a lot.  So now I have to see if I can get a few minutes to pull out and try on the grey skirts.  Normally, I need to ensure everyone is away to do that.  For the next few days, I just have to make sure the boys are away ~ my wife (who is home and recovering wonderfully fast) can't climb stairs easily and will stay downstairs while I try on (and perhaps photograph) the grey skirts.

I think I'll be happy with what I have chosen, but I'm not sure what I'll change into on the way, or wear home.  I know it won't happen this way but....

Monday: change on the way to Richmond.  Go out that evening.
Tuesday: go out after work.
Wednesday: go out after work.
Thursday: go out after work.
Friday: drive home dressed.

It might turn into:
Monday: change on the way to Richmond.  Go out that evening, if the neighborhood is safe.  The places I go are often in bad neighborhoods.
Tuesday, Wednesday: work until way too late
Thursday: finish late but go home anyway, too tired to change and besides I've already given up my room.

We will all see together!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Going Visual ~ Part II

My other black skirt.  I *may* switch one out for a grey skirt, but I'm not sure grey will go with the print top (coming soon to a blogpost near you!).  This skirt is made to be worn over the top, I believe.  I lightened it for the detail picture so you can see the buttons and pockets.  That, to me, says "tuck in that blouse!"

Simple, elegant, nice "office woman at lunch" skirt.

Remember to click to enlarge (like you don't know that already.)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Going Visual ~ Part I

Not too much prose for the next few days.  I'd like to present you with my outfit choices for Richmond.  Let me know what you think.

First up is a black tiered skirt. You've seen this skirt before ~ here and here.  I like this skirt.  I have a pleated bottom black skirt I also like a lot, but that's not making the cut this trip.

Click to see it up close and personal.