Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Got Milk?

My formerly anonymous friend Pat sent me a link to this article in Slate a few days ago.  It's about a man who kind of pretends to make a sincere effort at lactating.  He's not serious.

His research is no more than anyone could find via google, and probably as accurate and useful.  His information on hormones is wrong as well.  Facts are few and far between.

Mostly, I think he wrote it because he wanted to write something few have written before.  I doubt he even did the pumping he said he did for the story.

Pat said flat-out (HA!) she'd take a pass on the breastfeeding.  I would go for it wholeheartedly.  When my wife was pregnant with our first, I said I'd breastfeed if she would figure out how.  I had a pretty good idea as to the how (although I didn't know if it would really work, but it should).  I wanted her buy-in.  I didn't ask for a lot ~ just for her to do something so I'd know she knew I was serious and that I would do it.

She, not surprisingly, never did.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

I never served.  I believe the wars of my lifetime were wrong and misguided and fought for what Eisenhower called "the military-industrial complex," not to better the world.

I think Vietnam was wrong and cost way too many young lives.  The little wars of Ronald Raygun were wrong.  Afghanistan should have been a grab-and-punish-the-bad-guy operation.  Iraq was just plain stupid.

But many of my customers are retired military.  A lot of the people I work with are active or retired.

And I'm a big fan of cartoons.

Maybe some of you remember Snoopy, in Peanuts, having a root beer with Bill Maudlin.

Maybe you don't know Bill Maudlin was a Pulitzer prize winning cartoonist who was unemployed so he joined the army in 1941.  Check out the official website and enjoy some of his (very very dated) cartoons.  It's a good way to respect Memorial Day, when even a pacifist like me can be reminded there is sometimes a need to fight.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Game On (I Think)

The other day, I mentioned that they want to hire someone new, and send him to Arizona for the same two week training I'll be taking.

Apparently the new guy can't make it for both weeks due to personal obligations.  He may not go at all, or may only attend for one week, but the weekend will be mine (and Meg's).  The only issue is if someone from our AZ office wants to "show me around" since my new job is a potential "kiss-up" position, but I'll worry about that if it happens.  I'll assume it won't, or I'll assume I can deflect it without causing ill will among my new teammates.  I'll keep planning for the weekend.

Now, I just have to figure out how to deal with the heat.  Next week, temperatures will be nearing 100.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

"Genderless" Baby

I pointed at an article the other day and said "I like the parents already."  My readers disagreed.

If you haven't followed the link in the article to the original, please give it a read.  I'm slogging through the comments, but I'm not sure why.

I still like the idea of raising a child "genderless," but I also don't think such a thing is possible.  I think it's a recipe for crossdressing, at the very least.

The article says the older boy (5) likes pink clothes and has long hair even though neither parent wears pink nor has long hair.  The article makes the simplistic assumption that the child is going to imprint on a parent and follow that parent's lead.  Maybe that works for ducks.  We're a bit more complex.

Children are exposed to lots of people, in person and in the media.  Sexual preference manifests at a very young age.  Separation of sex and gender is not something that occurs at a very young age.  So a young boy might see girls as attractive and want to imitate them (and vice-versa) but that's strongly discouraged, especially in boys.

Given the opportunity to imitate the object of his attraction, I can see why a child might be attracted to clothes and styles of the opposite sex.

Also, we've all noticed how much nicer girl's clothing is.  It's softer, has more variety, has brighter colours.  Caveat: I'm not sure how much of that is rationalising our love of female attire and how much is real.

I'm not sure how this will play out.  The article assumes it will turn out badly ~ at one point the author writes "When asked what psychological harm, if any, could come from keeping the sex of a child secret...."  No reference to possible good.

I worry a bit about naming a child Storm (or Track and Trig?  Or Moon Unit?  Or naming a boy Sue [really.  a renowned lawyer named Sue Hicks]).  Your name is kinda forever.

I wonder if Maria Montessori had a similar experience when she started her first school.

And I still like the parents.

Friday, May 27, 2011

This May Take Some Thought

I just learned that they're making an offer to someone else to work on the project.  They want him to start ASAP and his first task will be to go to the same training I will be going to.

My weekend might be a problem.  It's a small town, with a few touristy things.  Even if he doesn't want to hang together, it's likely we'll end up at the same places.

We Will See.  So far, I don't know if he's accepted the offer.

As I mentioned, there's a three-day weekend coming up and I'll be away with the family.  I'll try to pre-write, but whether I do or not, please have a safe and fun holiday.

And do something at least a little bit femme.  I have only girl shorts, undies, and socks now, so I'm set!  What are you doing?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Ugh. Hair. And a Follow-Up

update:  the end was messed up.   I fixed it.

My family and I are going away for the long weekend.  There will be sun and water and probable shirtlessness.

So my plan, which was: when trips are close, keep everything trimmed in between, is on pause.

After going back-and-forth on whether I should trim my brows or get them waxed right before I go, I have decided to keep plucking and trimming them myself.

But body hair is growing wild.  My chest looks practically untrimmed already.  My arms and legs are kind of sparse, but definitely not passable.

I don't like it.  Not At All.

Remember the Floaters?

Remember, when I was in Dallas, I said I had a floater problem?  Generally, it's benign and it was.  I went to an eye doctor in Dallas, because it was worrisome.  I went on the day I was going out as Meg.

Possible mistake.  The first thing he did was put various drops in my eyes and when he was done, I looked like this:

You can't hardly see my baby blues at all.  I was afraid if I tried to put in a contact it would fall right into my head.  The doc said it might last as much as six hours, because my eyes were so light.

I thought Meg was staying home.

As you all know, it had a happy ending.  I just never followed up with the diagnosis and I had to show my readers what big eyes you have, grandmaw.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Tad Surreal

Yesterday afternoon, I received a phone call from an unfamiliar number and an unfamiliar area code.  A man with a Spanish accent asked for "Meg."

It took me a second to get past the accent and think "yes, indeed, he asked for 'Meg'."

I said "may I ask what this is about?"

He said he was from Gordon's Jewelers and wanted to follow up on Meg's recent purchase, to make sure everything was satisfactory.

I told him I had not heard any complaints, so could assume all was good.

He thanked me and rang off.

I was at the office at the time.  Even so, I thought "could I ask him to wait, try my best girl voice and say 'this is Meg?'"

I decided that I not only wouldn't fool anyone, I'd be easily overheard ~ I could easily hear the guy across the hall talking on the phone ~ and people would wonder what the heck was going on with the new guy.

Also, check this out.  I like the parents already.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Musing on My Next Trip

It's probably going to be hot in Arizona. I am not sure what to wear.

I still can't go sleeveless ~ there's too much shaving for my wife to watch quietly. I don't like to go without hose: my legs are not the pristine skin they were when I was young. I am thinking about bare legs and open-toe shoes and maybe a pedicure and a long skirt.

I am also thinking about only packing the Meg necessities and buying clothes there (in drab) or maybe buying or bringing one outfit and buying one or more there.

I am thinking about spending the weekend as Meg.

I need to think more. I think.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Back at the Hotel

After I returned to the hotel, I did not want to change back.  In the past, I've come back to my room and started to remove my makeup and clothes and shower pretty soon after.  Then it's drab (if it's early) or my nightie (if it's not).

The last couple of times, I didn't.

As I mentioned, I really wanted to stay dressed forever after flying pretty and my Dinner with Dana.  This time, I just didn't want to change.  First, I didn't want to change to go out; now I didn't want to change back.  I did kick off my shoes, but I wasn't sure what to do next.  I ate in my room, as Meg, when I arrived in Topeka and Richmond.

But I'd already eaten and shopped and my heels were starting to ask to be removed.

But I didn't want to change.  It wasn't the exhilaration I felt after Dinna with Dana, but I just felt... I don't know.  Good?  Right?  Comfortable?  Pretty?  I don't know.

After about a half-hour I decided to grab a snack.  I still wasn't particularly hungry, but I thought I'd like a snack and they have a little snack area near the front desk.

I decided to change before I went down.

So I removed my dress and carefully hung it up.  Then I put on my top and skirt.  Then I slipped my shoes back on.

I considered just carrying money and my key to the desk, but instead I emptied my purse except for some money and my key.  I walked the length of the (empty) hallway, rode the elevator down to the (mostly empty) lobby.

When I first checked in, and when I came in Monday evening, I saw the same woman behind the counter.  She was maybe 40, not at all my type but very friendly and a bit flirty and I returned the mood.  I was hoping she'd be at the desk when Meg came in.  I might have reminded her that she checked me in.  I might not have.

When Meg came in, there was a guy, about 25 or so, at the desk.  He looked up and gave a very friendly "hel-LO."  It turns out he always does that, but it doesn't matter, does it?  Either he's being extra-friendly to an older woman (cool) or he's being friendly because I'm a person worthy of respect no matter how I'm dressed.  I said hello back, and said "how are you?" and responded when he returned the question.

The same man was there.  I was hoping the woman would be there.  I briefly considered heading back to my room, but if I'm going to be an out-of-the-closet female, I kind of have to interact with men, don't I? 

I walked past the front desk (he wasn't looking up) and I picked out an ice cream bar.  I said "excuse me" to get his attention and get that same "Hel-LO."  I wonder if he thought it odd that I changed my clothes.  I wonder if he thought crossdressers just like to change clothes.  I wonder if he thought I spilled something on my dress and had to change.  I wonder if he noticed me at all, really, when I came in.  Fifty-year-old women are mostly invisible, especially to younger men.

I wondered a lot of things, but I really didn't care.  If I can't read his mind or ask what he thought, I really don't care.  After every interaction, I do want to ask "so when did you know?" but I never know if I can expect an honest answer.  And I can only hope for a "when did I know what?" and be disappointed by any other answer.  So I really don't care.  But I do wonder.

One little mistake: I made a phone call before going to the lobby.  When I'm on the phone, I remove my left earring so it doesn't get in the way of the phone.  I forgot to put it back on.

After returning from the lobby, I ate my ice cream, did some organising, did some reading, answered my mail, made a few phone calls, and stayed Meg until shower time when changed into my nightgown.

It was a good evening.  It was a really good evening.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

We've All Thought It

and probably said it.  But we've never done it.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Stop Whining

And shave next time!

Friday, May 20, 2011

More Shopping

Dillards was the focus of my shopping.

As I mentioned, all of my favourites were near the mall entrance.   Cosmetics, shoes, lingerie, jewelry.  The four food groups, providing a balanced meal for girls and wannabes.   I started at cosmetics, but I didn't have my heart in it.  I spoke to woman from Chanel about eye shadow.  She was helpful but disinterested so I moved on.  I knew I could spend an hour and a bundle at a makeup counter.  I have graduated from wanting to be accepted to wanting to be enthusiastically accepted, so I passed and moved on.

I looked at shoes briefly.  I wasn't sure if I wasn't ready to have someone wait on me hand and (literally) foot or if I wasn't ready to waste someone's time just for my pleasure.  My bag was full, my closet was full.  Even though I generally wore the same two or three pairs of shoes, I'm not ready to get rid of some to make room for some more.  So shoes are on hold.

It's tough to pass on shoes.  When they have my size, I want to love them and buy them.  So I didn't get started, but I still want to know how much of the above was from the heart and how much was rationalising.

I looked at jewelry.  I ignored the cases and looked at the little rotating racks.  I was now in "something for Meg" mode, and she wanted to look at everything.  In the interest of time (and knowing that I'll be out again to look at other things), I focussed on earrings.  It's often hard to find the clip-ons without looking at every pair, so I have a shortcut.  Most stores have acrylic racks like the ones here.  Instead of looking at the little cards, I look through the rack.  I remove a pair if it's really crowded.  From the back, it's easy to see which earrings are clip and which are pierced.  Then I look at the earrings themselves to see if I like them.  Then I look at the price.  Then I notice there are seven clip pairs on the rack and I like five of them and I don't want to spend $150 on earrings that I'm not going to wear that much and I spend more time trying to decide which pairs to put back than I did picking them in the first place.

That night, I was a good girl.  I had decided that (a) I had been wearing the same earrings and necklace and bracelet the last few times I went out.  That was OK, because they were pretty and black and I've been wearing black shoes and black-and-white dresses.  That meant it was also an easy fashion match.  But tonight, (b) I had a new gold and diamond ~ real diamond! ~ pendant and I wanted different earrings.  I found a gold pair I liked and I took them with me.  I still had to get panties (remember?) and I stopped and picked up some socks on the way to lingerie.  It's been hard to find white print socks lately, and when I saw a variety I added them to my earrings and continued on.  I bought three pair.  They were labeled 3 for $18 (gold toe, which I like) but they rang up at $4.90 a pair.  Score!  Girl socks are softer and thinner and they wear out faster than men's socks.

After I paid for everything at the lingerie counter, I asked the cashier for the earrings.  I told her I wanted to put them on.  She said "what's wrong with the ones you're wearing?"  I guess that meant she liked my earrings or she might have said "good.  I was tired of looking at those monstrosities."  I said "I just bought this necklace and the earrings don't go with it.  I put the other earrings onto the now-empty card and asked her to take my picture.  Which is here, and you can see the earrings if you click-and-zoom.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I'll Go Back

The new job has me jumping right now, but I'll tell the parts of the story I've missed.  The biggest one is shopping at Dillards, and what I did after I returned to the hotel.  I just need time to write them right.

But right now, I'm immersed in the new job.  Things started oddly.  I was supposed to go to our main office (about 25 miles from my home) for an orientation and then to spend the week with the guy I'm replacing.  Then the second week (and thereafter) I would be at the contractor site (about ten miles from my home).  Instead, the guy I'm replacing wrote to say his car broke down in Georgia and he wouldn't be back until Tuesday afternoon.  I got some detailed documents from him about the project and started reading.  I went to the company office Monday, went through the orientation and decided I could read documents anywhere so I went home and read until my eyes hurt.  We agreed that it would make sense for me to go to the contractor office where I could get a computer and some security stuff, so I did that on Tuesday.  I also interviewed someone to work on our team (!).

Wednesday, I was back at the company office where I finally met the guy I'm replacing.  I did a phone interview of someone else and found out there will be a training session in Arizona that I should attend.

Two weeks, in June.

That's why all of this is here.

I'll be travelling for two weeks in June.  It Will Be Hot (alas, I will Not).  It will be in a tiny town, so I'm not sure how this will work, but Meg will be going with me.

So...  Is there anyone in Sierra Vista, Arizona out there?  It looks like it's pretty close to, um, well, absolutely nothing.  Well, it's only 400 miles to Las Vegas, where Glamour Boutique is.  It's just over 100 miles to Phoenix.

Now, I'm going to take a break from reading documents and filling out forms and looking for hotels and flights and I'm going to check out whatever support there is in the Tucson area.  I'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised.  I googled "transformations Tucson" and was disappointed instead.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

First Stop: Gordons Jewelers

At Gordon's with my mew necklace
Actually, I entered the mall through Macy's but I didn't stop. I figured I could stop on my way out, and I had several goals:

* go to the two jewelry stores where I wanted to take another look at the necklaces I saw earlier in the week. I planned to buy one (possibly more).
* buy one pair of panties, probably at Dillard's.
* grab a bite at the food court.

When I arrived it was almost 6, so I had to skip the lingerie store outside the mall. That was probably a good thing, from a budget point of view.

I parked pretty close to the entrance and saw only a couple of people as I entered. Walking towards the mall entrance I saw a woman leaving. She looked at me and gave me a HUGE smile.  Again, I wonder why but don't really care if it's because she liked my dress or she was amused to see a man wearing it.

I walked through Macy's. I kind of zig-zagged through the store, walking on carpeted areas as much as possible. When I enter the first store as Meg, it sounds like my heels are echoing loudly enough to turn every head and bring down some walls and I don't want to be that conspicuous. By the time I enter the main mall that feeling is gone. I don't notice when it goes, but it disappears and I know I'm just another woman out to shop. I'm an overdressed woman, but a woman nonetheless.

 I followed the right-hand wall and soon came to Gordon's.

I went in, expecting to see the same man I saw last time (although I'd have as much trouble recognising him as he would recognising me!).  Instead, a 30-year-old woman came up to me and asked if she could help.  I showed her the card, and she thought it was from one salesguy, who was there but seemed too busy to claim his commission.  I told her there were two guys' names on the card; one helped me and he just wrote the other guy's name on the card.  Once she was certain she wasn't taking someone else's sale, she gladly helped me.

She was a very friendly woman.  She started by asked me if I was buying a treat for myself ~ I'm pretty sure I noticed a wink when she asked.  I said yes.  I was going to add that I had never bought myself a diamond before, but she changed subjects so fast it was hard to keep up.  We looked at my two choices, she gave her opinion of each, she talked about how irresistible diamonds are....  It was great, it was real girl talk, and it made me feel fantastic.  This is why I go out.  And why the heck don't I interact with sales people more?  They got the job because they're friendly, they make women feel welcome and comfortable, and they're the perfect people for Meg to chat with.

As I was paying, a Fed Ex guy showed up.  The saleswoman chatted with him, she told me something about him and I ended up chatting with him briefly as well.  He was an older guy (maybe mid-60s) and he was checking me out ~ honest.

She asked if I wanted to wear my new purchase and I just nodded.  I took off my black necklace, dropped it in my purse, and put on the new one.  I asked the saleswoman if she would take a picture of my in my new necklace.  She did so gladly and in fact took two ~ just in case one didn't come out good.  If you click and enlarge the picture, you can zoom in on my new purchase.

I left the store, went to the other jewelry store (another post) and realised that, although I was wearing my necklace I forgot the bag with the receipt and box!  I knew I left it in Gordon's, so I headed back.  I accused her of hiding the bag so I'd come back and buy something else.  She said she was holding me hostage until I had all of the diamonds she knew I really wanted.

Can you imagine a back-and-forth like that between two guys?

I really enjoy being one of the girls.  It seems like every new experience is one I cherish.  It started long ago with wanting to wear girls' clothing but each new item, each new experience is one I feel is missing from my life and adding it adds to my happiness.

Who knew?

No, Thanks. I'm Not Hungry

I'm going to skip ahead to my last mall encounter, because my new job is requiring me to come up to speed quickly on the main product and I have a lot of reading to do.  Also, I may be travelling next month which should afford another Meg opportunity (yay!).

Before I left the mall, I made a point to walk back to the food court. I really wasn't hungry, in spite of having had a very light lunch, but I wanted to sit and eat ~ even if it was just in the food court. Sometimes, baby steps are necessary. I did feel, however, that I could have sat in a restaurant that night and had a meal, no problem. I credit Dana.

But I really wasn't hungry.

There were not a lot of people in the food court. There was a Panda Express, perfect for a light meal.

I started looking at the different entrees they offered, and the 20-something Oriental woman behind the counter started asking if I'd like to sample anything. She pulled out long toothpicks and started spearing different items. I said, no thank you, I was just trying to decide which to get ~ the same thing I said when I ate there a few nights ago. She treated me as she would any customer; I treated her as I would any server.  OK, I might have lightly flirted if I was in drab.  Probably not.  So maybe it was the same.  Anyway, I don't really like to sample, even when it's things like Baskin-Robbins flavours.

I bought a single entree bowl: fried rice and sweet-and-sour chicken, and a diet coke, and I sat and people watched and ate. There were some people at other tables. They all made a great efforts to ignore me, and they all did an excellent job. There were a couple of moms and toddlers, and one parents and toddlers. They all went about their business.  I went about mine, which was people watching.

I saw a small group of guys who looked like the gym was their life ~ I avoided them. They weren't my type anyway.

There were a few college-age girls wearing very slinky minidresses and heavy eye makeup. They WERE my type, but I avoided them too. :)

The best part was the girl at the Panda Express. I was another customer, and I noticed no difference between her enthusiastic service for Meg and her enthusiastic service for my drab self earlier in the week.

The second best part was being out, alone with my thoughts, enjoying the feel of my clothes, the feeling of being Meg, the people around me.

The worst part was being out, alone. I wonder what I would have done if someone had asked if they could join me and sat down. I plan everything, but I really don't know. Maybe some day I'll find out.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I'm A What?

In response to yesterday's post, Pat commented that I crossed another bridge.  You ain't seen nothing yet, Pat!

Maybe I was feeling more comfortable as Meg.  Maybe I walked past a paint store and the fumes got me high.  Whatever it was, I was just... comfortable.  I felt I was Meg, not playing Meg.  I know I have a long way to go, but I think it's like that hurdle when you're not translating a language you're learning ~ your brain just understands it.

I didn't care about the woman grinning at me on the way in.  I didn't care about the guy in the jewelry store.  I wasn't playing a part, I was the (female) customer and he could play or not play his part as he saw fit.

Maybe it was the great experience with the woman in the first jewelry store.  Maybe I was high from that.

Whatever it was, I did something I've thought about but never have done.

I was asked the "can I help you?" question in this particular store, and I no matter what I rehearsed, I said "I'm just looking around, thank you."  Even when she'd come back with "just let me know if I can help" or "if you buy two, you get one free" or whatever the follow-up du jour was, I just nodded and said "thank you."

This time, when the saleslady in Victoria's Secret said "can I help you find something?" my brain said "I'm just looking" but my mouth said "I wanted to look at bras, but I'm never sure what size to get."

If she was surprised, she didn't show it.  I hope I didn't show my surprise at asking!

She shrugged and said "I can measure you."  She pulled a tape measure out from somewhere and asked me to raise my arms.  I did so, and before I could even think to move my purse strap, she had taken her two measurements and she told me that they no longer carried my size.  I was a 42B!  Huh?  OK, I know I have little idea as to what I'm doing, but I've been wearing 38C for a while.  It seems to fit well and look right.  I think if I wore a 42B I'd look tiny, bustwise.

She said they started carrying more styles and stopped carrying 40+ bras.  She said I could wear a 38B if I used the loosest band size.  She then proceeded to find all of the 38Bs (there weren't many) and left the each drawer open so I could see what they had.  There were some I liked, and I wondered if the padding would help push up what I had without forcing the forms into public view, but I didn't think I should buy a bra that I was just told wasn't really the right size.

The saleswoman flitted around, showing me what they had and then she... disappeared.  I think another customer came in and she had to greet her, and she figured she did all she could with me.

I did not buy.  But I do want to get a second opinion, and I will, on another day.  If only that lingerie store was open later!

42B?  Really?

Monday, May 16, 2011

That Second Jewelry Store

When I first checked out the mall in Dallas, I saw a non-chain store and went it to look for something nice at a good price.  When I look for jewelry, I look for something different and a good value.  I generally don't like the chains since I see the same pieces over and over, and I might have skipped Gordon's if I knew it was part of the Zales chain.  One exception: I really like Helzberg Diamonds.  They have some very nice pieces, they don't dicker with the price, and their clearance values are incredible!  Look at the clearance items first.

Anyway, earlier in the week I went into this store that had a back display case filled with turquoise and silver, and cases with more traditional stones around the shop.  The pieces were less ordinary, and I saw a pendant with three different-coloured emeralds on it.  I asked for a card with the details and price so I could come back and find it again.  The man said that he's usually there; he owns the store with his wife.  A family business.  I like shopping at family businesses.

Well, Meg came back a few nights later.  I remember seeing someone who might have been the guy I saw a few days earlier.  He had a middle eastern, maybe Indian look.  I wasn't sure.  I figured, this will be a more interesting interaction than the previous store.  I wondered if he'd remember me.

The salesman seemed taken aback by Meg.  He came across as reluctant to help.  He mumbled something about asking if I needed help, but I had to ASK him for help, and we were in an empty store.  Generally people on commission and store owners (!) are more than ready to help, show you something special, tell you about sales (the man on Monday did), and so on.  Look up and you'll have a shadow, if he wasn't hovering already.  Instead he had buried himself in his work behind the rear counter.

I asked to see the piece with three emeralds.  We looked through cases until I found it.  It was not as nice as I had remembered it.  It was definitely not something I wanted to buy.  A piece in the next counter caught my eye and I asked to look at that.  It was more interesting in the case than in my hand though.

I finally showed him the card to make sure that the piece I had looked at was the right one.  He looked at the card and was visibly relieved when he realised his BROTHER had helped me ~ not him.  I would love to have heard the conversation later that evening!

"Why didn't you tell me about the crossdresser who came in the other night?"
"What are you talking about?"
"The guy who came in dressed as a woman and asked for your card so HE'd remember this piece!"  [I had left the card with him.]
"Are you nuts?  No guy came in dressed as a woman!"
"A you sure?  You mean that WAS a woman?  No.  It couldn't be.  He must have fooled you."
"You probably don't know what a woman looks like.  I hope you didn't insult HER.

I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Just... Kidding?

 I said goodbye to J.  She was really the first person I met at the company and I wanted to come full circle.  I mentioned I won't be repeating my Halloween costume and she said "and I missed that!"  I said "but you saw the pictures..." and she said she hadn't.  I told her I'd see if I could find them.

Not surprisingly, I did, and sent her an e-mail with a couple.  I told her "if I couldn't find them, I would have sent some pictures from my other trips out."  She ignored that, but wrote back that she hates it when "guys look better in dresses than I do" (in this case, it is true.  Sorry J).  I just wrote back that I had lots of practice.  She ignored that too.

When you have a reputation as a joker, no-one knows when to take you seriously.  I also saw her Thursday and said "cute, huh?"  She gave me a big wide-eyed smile and a big nod and said "you looked fantastic."  I repeated my "I practice a lot" line and she laughed and I left.

I also spoke to L, and she mentioned my Halloween "costume" there and asked what I did last year.  I reminded her of the rally and sent her a picture.  She said she would never have known it was me if I hadn't told her.  I used the "lots of practice" line again, and again it got a laugh.

Finally F said "Halloween won't be the same without you."  I suggested I might put on a dress and crash the big user conference next month.  She said something about my wearing "the dress" and I said "the dress?  The big problem will be deciding which one to wear!"

No-one took my "practice" line seriously, or my reference to more dresses, or anything else.  I did wear all girl clothes on my last day, but I wasn't dressed as a girl.  Girl jeans, polo, socks, sneaks, and panties along with my bracelet and necklace.

I also showed S (who knows) my pictures from Dallas ~ don't worry.  They'll be coming here soon.  I did tell her about my flying pretty and she had a lot of questions, mostly about my going through security.  I told her I had a couple of people tell me I had the "wrong identification" and about the fun I had with the security lady, wanding me.  She's in charge of the user conference, and if she can sneak me credentials, I'll see if I can sneak in.  It's probably a bad idea to go as Meg.  Some of the people I helped will be there, and it would reflect poorly on the company.  I meant to mention to S that all of my clothes were girl, but she was rushed and I forgot.

I know.  I said "next up, the second jewelry store" but this and the blogger outage kind of interrupted.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Goodbye (But Not To You)

Update: I wrote this Friday but Blogger was down most of the day so....

Today, I'm busy cleaning my computer, and saying goodbye to a couple of people here.  I'm also going to tell S about my "flying pretty" adventure.  I promised I had something to tell her on my last day ~ this is it.  I will not be pointing her at my blog.  There are two people who know my male self and about the blog.  Neither know anyone else I know ~ although they do know my home address and phone number.  My true friends are people I can trust without even thinking about it.  Maybe that's why I have so few.

One of the two, Amanda, wrote to say she couldn't really see the pendant, even when zoomed, so here's a closeup.

Although I did seriously think about coming in as Meg, I really would have had to mention that to a couple of people here, and I didn't have a chance to do that.

I would have loved to show up as Meg for my exit interview and security debrief!  I can picture me sitting across the desk from HR and security, legs crossed, doing final paperwork, saying goodbye and "it's something I do, sometimes" to the other people there.  I think that would have been the Best Day Ever!

It's probably better that I did not.  Especially since I have three customers right after work.

Next up: my trip to the second jewelry store.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Abort! Abort!

I almost didn't go out Thursday.  As I said, my schedule got just a bit messed up.  I wanted to leave at 5 but I had a conference call at 5 instead.  There was No Way I was going to stay at the office for the call.  First, there was really nothing I could do at that point, other than convert coffee to urine and miss my Meg time.  Second, I had plans, and I wanted to keep those plans.  I even left the office a bit earlier than I expected.

Once I was back in my room, I wanted to change so I could take my time and still be ready to leave right after the call, but I just couldn't get started.  I don't know why.  I felt nervous, which I thought was a thing of the past.  I was figdety; if I sat down I noticed I was standing and pacing without knowing when or how or why I jumped up.  I kept looking at the clock, knowing I had to get ready but I wasn't getting ready.

It was almost like a panic attack.  I had one once, under different circumstances.  I dealt with it by not doing what was panicking me.  It was to be a recurring event; I never did it again.  I felt bad because I had skipped out on an obligation, but I felt calm which was more important than anything at that moment.

I did know I had two options: decide it was a Bad Idea to go out that day and stay in my room, or start my Meg transformation.  As soon as I do that first step that is a Meg-only step, it's a frieght train.  I've never stopped in the middle (well, once, when someone walked into my house.  I don't think I told that story!) although there's a switch and a siding at the end of the transformation.  I look in the mirror as critically as I can and decide if I want to stay on track or turn onto a siding and spend a peaceful day indoors.  I don't recall ever taking the siding, although I've been tempted.

I finally shaved close with my electric razor, went over my arms and legs and hands for the last time, showered, and did a final facial once-over with a hand razor.  At that point, I could feel no hair but I still felt nervous.

I put on my moisturiser.  The train had left the station.

I thought my eyeliner looked horrid, I did a poor job with my eye primer (which is tinted so it's important to colour within the lines), and couldn't decide on a lipstick and lip gloss (I should only bring one.  Sometimes, I'm not good at decisions). 

It was almost five and I was still in my slip.

My salmon-coloured skirt was wrinkled.  I liked the top-and-black skirt combination I had.  The black skirt was the one I considered for my last outing, and the top is the one here.

I decided on the dress I had brought instead.  I thought the neckline was a bit high (especially considering all of the shaving I had done!), and, yes, it was another black-and-white outfit, but I liked it and it looked nice and I felt pretty, and pretty good, once my hair was in place.

After the conference call, which I made as Meg with an un-Meg voice, I put on my earrings and necklace and bracelet and heels.  I made sure everything I needed was in my purse.  While I was fidgeting earlier I make a stack of money, insurance cards, driver's license, credit cards, room key, car key, camera, so it would all be ready for the purse.  All I needed was a bit of makeup in case I wanted to do a touch-up.  I never have, because that would require a trip to the ladies' room.  Maybe someday I'll sit at a table or on a bench in the mall and touch up my lipstick there.  I love watching women put on makeup.  I could be one of those women!  For the record, I just had this thought while I'm writing.  I need to figure out if I really think it's a Good Idea, or just an idea.

I walked out of the room into the (empty) hallway, down to the first floor in the (empty) elevator, across a sparsely populated lobby and out to my car, which was parked on the side of the building.  A couple of cars away, a man was leaning on his car, smoking a cigarette, looking at me.  I glanced but did not look.  When I was pulling out I glanced ~ he was still looking.

I drove to the mall.  The train was still on track and only a little behind schedule.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

More Panties!

I know, I wrote No More Panties back in February.  It seems like I always forget something when I'm travelling.

It's never anything really important, like my phone or ticket or wig ~ things that would ruin my trip if I forgot them.  It's always something though.  Maybe it's intentional, so I can justify making lists and other obsessive-compulsive behaviour.  (I am considering joining a program to help cure obsessive-compulsive behaviour.  It's a five thousand step program.  Most of the steps are the same.)

Recently, I forgot my moisturiser.  That's easy to rectify but not when you're on a schedule, just out of a shower, and ready to put your makeup on.  On my last flight I didn't forget anything, but one pair of socks had a hole large enough to be annoying, so I had to shop for a pair of socks.

This time I just miscounted.  MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday ~ six pairs of panties.  Got it.

Except I always take a shower before going out and after returning.  I try to cool myself off before going out, since I'm usually sweaty when I'm planning to go out, and I like to get all of the makeup off afterwards.  I also hate to put on the same underwear after a shower.

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayThursdayFridaySaturday ~ one pair short.

The really dumb thing is, it took me a bit of thinking to figure out the obvious solution: I'm about to go to a shopping mall, dressed as a girl.  Duh.

At Dillard's, the lingerie was right by the mall entrance.  Here, they seem to bury it near the back of the store.  In Dallas, they put them by the entrance.  Macys had the 'Intimate Apparel' department near the mall entrance as well.  Makeup straight ahead, lingerie to the left.  Keep the rest of the store.  I'm happy.

Generally, I shop in department stores when I don't want to be bothered.  The salespeople usually just ignore me, except in specialty departments like cosmetics or jewelry.  Here, as I looked for panties, a woman came over and asked if she could help me.  I had seen a rack of panties and a counter display, among a sea of bras.  I didn't see anything I really loved.  Normally, I say "I'm just looking, thank you" in my best barely girl voice.  Instead, Meg took over and said "I'm looking for panties.  I saw some here and here.  Did I miss something?"  She seemed apologetic and said, no, that was everything, and we walked over to the rack.  She asked what size I was and I said "seven."  She asked if I was looking for briefs or hi-cut and she pulled out a couple of sevens she thought I might like.  I admit I did enjoy talking woman-to-woman about panties; asking for help was a good decision.  I finally found a pair I did like ~ she hovered by my side the whole time.  I'll assume she thought I needed assistance because I looked lost.  Frugal girl that I am, I found it hard to pick up a single pair of $10 panties when they were three for $25.  I found $6 (five for $25) a bit more to my liking, since I felt I was "throwing away" less money.  If they had been a familiar brand, one that I knew fit, like my favourite Jockey spandex or Vanity Fair, I might have bought multiple pairs (or maybe not ~ remember: No More Panties!), but they were not.  I bought a pair of beige bikinis with a lace waistband.  I wore them the next day.  And I was so focussed on panties I forgot to ask about pant liners!  Or to look to see if they had slips (I have more than I need, but I haven't crossed the No More Slips line yet).

The waist elastic on the panties is very weak.  They did not stay in place well.  I gave them a C, and will place them in the "not for general wear" bag after they are washed.


Lesson learned: next time, bring enough panties.  And buy another one, just to chat with the nice salesladies.

Monday, May 9, 2011

I Caught My Error

After Meg goes out, I have two blog options.  One is to write Very Long Posts so I get all of the details into the blog soonest. The other is to write more shorter posts.

The second option is better.  I don't take up so much of your time in one day, and I get some time to figure out if this blog is going to be more than a chronicle of the roller coaster that is Meg: spend some time coasting, then up the ramp of planning an outing (going or coming), the apex of the actual event, then the high speed follow-up that is a tumble of blog posts, heading towards another low-level coast.

I think about crossdressing a lot ~ I think it's similar to how a chronic dieter thinks about food.  I've written several posts and received thoughtful comments on those.  I have some more, but I'm afraid they're just turning into turns in the roller coaster, something to fill space while getting ready for that next up and down.

Anyway, I'm still collecting thoughts, editing posts, and the Dallas high-speed drop will occupy about a week, starting tomorrow.

Today is about a little oops before going out.

I wore my pink shirt (and socks) on Thursday.  I usually wear a pink camisole as well.  I have a couple of cotton ones that look like regular undershirts, except, of course, they are pink.

But I didn't bring one of those.  I brought an almost-tunic length cotton/spandex thin-strapped one.  My pink shirt is fairly new and the weave is fairly heavy so my camisole should be invisible.  I put it and my shirt on and happened to glance at the mirror just before I left my room.  Meg looks in the mirror a lot ~ sometimes just to be amazed that she's looking back at me, sometimes to make sure she still looks Meggish, with clean makeup and a straight wig, sometimes, well, just because.  I rarely look in a mirror.  To borrow a line from Lou Costello, why hurt my own feelings?

But I glanced.

Oops.  I could easily see the outline of the camisole under the shirt.

No camisole Thursday.  That's OK.  It was kind of hot anyway.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Saturday, May 7, 2011

That Old Time Religion

A flurry of posts is coming.  They may be out of order though.  I'm trying to fill in vignettes as the muse strikes me, and they aren't all in order.

Friday night was spent unwinding and packing and watching Real Time (I don't get HBO at home) and filling in my notes.

So I'll leave you with a Saturday cartoon and hopefully have something more current starting tomorrow.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Catching Up On Y'All

I'm writing this Wednesday night.  I don't know if I'm going out while in Dallas yet, but the plan is currently to go out Thursday.  Update: I actually wrote three posts yesterday.  Please enjoy them while you're visiting.

Oddly enough, other than my "underdressing" and nightgown, I haven't worn anything while I'm here.  My dress, top, and skirts are hanging in the closet where they've been all week.

I'm not sure why.  I think I have too much to do, and if I put on anything, I'll want to put on everything and I don't have time yet.  There have been some glitches at work and I've been working late each day, and then kind of collapsing in my room after a late dinner.

My headache is gone, on schedule.

Wednesday, I mentioned to Michelle that I had lied about the picture on the flash drive.  I said "it wasn't a friend.  It was me."  She did a head shake and shrug which clearly meant "I have no idea what you're talking about."

I hate when things end like that.  I had a dozen scenarios in my mind, and that was none of them.  (They ranged from "really?  Why on earth would you do that?" to "Can I see it again?  Didn't you have a bunch of pictures on there?" to "Some girlfriends and I went to a drag show a few weeks ago and we talked about how much fun it would be to dress up a guy.  Are you game?"  OK, that one's not very likely but, well, see below.

I think this is kind of typical of many of us.  We go into a panic, afraid of what people will think or say or do and they say or do... nothing.  And who cares what they think?  I haven't met anyone who can hurt me with their thoughts.  I will admit that, using the power of my mind alone, I can raise my arm anytime I want!  

I didn't bring up the "wear a dress to work day" again, although I think that would be a day I'd never call in sick for.  Maybe my next company has one.

Tonight (Wednesday), in addition to writing Friday's post (this one), I showered and did a final body shave.  I shaved in the shower, and I took a very long shower.  I just kept going.  I took off more chest hair than usual, and I did my arms up pretty high.  I can't go sleeveless but I think cap sleeves are OK.  I don't know why I did this, except it felt good.  I'm not planning to try on any clothes.  I'll go to work the tiniest bit scruffy Thursday because I get a closer shave if I have a bit more hair to shave off.  That'll be after work.  I am still planning on the mall.  My flight is mid-morning on Saturday, so I hope to write a Meg trip report before leaving Dallas.  I have my camera and I'll put it in my purse, in the hopes I can get someone to take my picture.  Maybe the jeweler, showing off my new necklace.  If not, well, I'll have some hotel photos.

Now, I have a few comments on comments.

Anonymous but not Pat (as well as Dani) suggested inviting Michelle out for a drink with Meg.  That's really tempting, but if she didn't even notice the picture....  I guess not.

Pat suggested using Meg's picture as a screensaver, but this place is locked down tight.  I have no reason to bring out my machine (and I'm trying to clean that machine out anyway!) and it's almost impossible to load anything on their machines.  I couldn't even get to a tech site I needed to go to because it was blocked because it has freeware on it (sourceforge.net for you techies)!

By the way, when I'm logged in, if I go to google anywhere the background becomes one of the Meg-at-Clinique photos.  I just enjoy seeing it come up.  It's almost as good as a glimpse of Meg when I walk past a mirror.

Penny suggested coming clean with Michelle.  Actually, that was the plan.  I was going to skip the "Halloween" canard and say "it's something I do, sometimes."  If asked if I planned to do that here, I'd say yes, I'm planning on it.

Halle suggested that going to the office as Meg sounds like the start of a TV fiction story.  I agree.  Maybe I'll start writing.  Now that I think of it, any time I plan to tell (like Michelle and the pictures) at least one scenario is a story seed.  Alas, I'm not much of a fiction writer.

And, off topic: Yes, Penny, I got to judge video games.  I've been doing that since 2008 at the state conference.  I also judge SCT once.  That's their name for their lego robotics event.  Because I have a middle schooler, I was judging high school and there were three games that I urged the authors to publish.  The middle school games are generally uninteresting.  And Dani, the TSA has chapters in 49 states and the conferences are well attended.  One downstate Virginia school has TSA membership as a requirement, and had 100 kids at the state conference.  And somehow, no-one's ever heard of it!

My kids are in 4-H as well.  And my oldest was in Future Business Leaders of America for a bit.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fourth and Final Post Today!

Meg back at her hotel with her new earrings and pendant.  Click to supersize!

Life's Little Victories

Not knowing how this evening would come off, I wrote a prelude to it late last night and I'll post that tomorrow.

This is my third post today.  Either I have nothing to say or I have too much to say.  There is no happy medium.  Over the next few days, I'll hopefully have some pictures and vignettes for you to enjoy.  I broke one wall and Meg ate out by herself!  It was at a food court, but still, it was new.  I didn't have lunch today and I really wasn't hungry for dinner, but I wanted to be able to sit down and eat, so I did.

I bought a pricey necklace at Gordon's Jewelers and wore it back to the hotel. Gordon's is really Zales, and I normally eschew those chains but they had two necklaces I liked so I bought one.

I passed on getting my makeup redone.  I'm not sure why.

I looked at some clothes but not closely enough to buy anything ~ just closely enough to tell the clerk "no, I'm just looking."

I got a bra fitting at Victoria's Secret.

I bought a pair of panties and some socks and new earrings at Dillards.

I almost didn't go out.

And I'll expand on all of these things over the next few days.

It was great, as usual.  And I just had a thought....  If any of you went out for the first time because of something I wrote, I would love to hear about it!

Right now, I feel so good I may go out again, even if it's just to buy a snack at the front desk.

I Should Know By Now

Planning never works.

I told Michelle that my goal was to let her leave by 3:30 today.  That's her normal exit time, and I have been keeping her away from her family all week.

My plan:
3:30 go to the hotel and change
5:00 go to the lingerie shop that closes at 6.  I'm not sure why.  It is very expensive.  I may ask for a fitting, but if I do, I'll feel obligated to buy something.  Did I mention that it's very expensive?

From the lingerie shop, around 530, go across the street to the mall and look at that jewelry I looked at the other day.  Buy something if I still like it.  Wear something expensive out of the shop.  I've never worn expensive jewelry as Meg, and I like the idea.  Window shop, maybe buy something if I find anything I love, and maybe have dinner at the food court.  I plan to leave the mall around 7.

Instead, we finished early!  I thought I could leave the office about 2:30 and move everything up an hour.  No rushing, and maybe an extra hour at the mall!

So as I'm about to leave, I was told that there will be a conference call at 5, and I have to be on it.  I did manage to get approval to call in remotely, but NO lingerie shop at 5, NO extra hour.  In fact, I'll have less time than expected and the shop might be closed before I get there.

I considered postponing until tomorrow, but if we get crunched I'll be at the office late to try to finish up.

So it's now almost 3:30 Dallas time and I'm about to shower one last time and shave my face and moisturise and get ready to go!


I told the customer that my goal is to be out today by 330 or so.  I'd rather go out tonight, I think, than tomorrow.

My headache has left on schedule, but I have a scarier problem: floaters.

I am quite nearsighted, which means my eyeball is s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d.  This makes it susceptible to ripping.  If a tear is caught early, it can be fixed.  If not, it's not good.  There are several symptoms to a possible tear, and an increase in floaters (those little odd splotches you might see when you look around, even when your eyes are closed) is one of them.

Mine increased a couple of days ago, and then leveled off, but it's worse than it normally is.  I'm really hoping to get back home before anything serious happens (if something serious is happening) but I decided any change for the worse will mean an immediate visit to an eye doctor (if I can get an appointment) or optometrist (if I can't).

This is a bad time for this.  With a changing job, my insurance will change.  I may have to delay the start of my new job, which could jeopardise it.  I'm several hours from home right now.  I have a job here that's not quite done.  And I want to get out tonight, although that's way down on the list of why it's a bad time.

My goal is still to leave the office by 330 and head out as Meg by 5, but that may have to change.  Stay tuned!

I also have to tell y'all what happened with Michelle and the flash drive explanation.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Still Planning

As I mentioned, on Monday I went to a mall for a look around and quick dinner at the food court.  Since I've been in Dallas, I've been the owner of what I think is a mild migraine headache.  They usually last three days and I hope this one runs true to form and ends today.  The pain is particularly bad around the eyes, and I don't think wearing my contacts is a good idea when I have one of these pains.

So Meg was not out last night, and probably won't be out tonight.  But tomorrow....

My goal is to get out by 330 or so, and head back to the hotel.  I hope to change and be back at that mall by 5.  It's only a few miles away.  On Monday, I spoke to salesmen at two stores as I looked for jewelry ~ something the boys might give mom on Mother's Day.  I asked for cards and information on the pieces so I could find the stores and return later.

I would have preferred saleswomen, but I don't mind too much, I think.

I plan to return to one or both of the stores and perhaps pick up one of the pieces I was looking at.  I'll take the card out of my purse and ask to see the particular pieces again before I decide to buy.

I'm trying to decide if I should have it gift wrapped, or wear it out.  I've never had the experience of buying nice jewelry and wearing it out of the shop.  I think the pleasure of doing so will outweigh the pain of having to wrap it myself.

I also don't think Meg has ever bought anything from a male salesperson.  Also a new experience.  My goal is to be out more.  I can't be out more if I force myself to limit the people I interact with!

And maybe I'll grab a bite at that food court.

And maybe I can get a new dress to wear to the office on Friday.

Oh....  Right next to the mall was a Catherine's (clothes larger than my size) right next to a very large lingerie store.  It didn't look open though.  I do want to investigate and if it's open, Meg will go in.  Who knows?  Maybe she can get a bra fitting.

Update: I checked.  It's only open until 6, and it's very expensive.  $40 and up and the sky's the limit for bras!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Are You Mad?

Monday was a much longer day than expected.  I left work after ten hours and went to check out a nearby mall and catch a quick dinner.  My evening was spent planning how I'll make up time on Tuesday.  There are a lot of pieces to this project, and some require people in Sacramento.  That means I can't get their attention until around 11am.  I get there at 8 and I need to move forward.

Two interesting things happened Monday and I really want to follow through but... well, see the subject.

Big Oops and Little Lie

I could not get a program to install but I had a copy ready to go on a flash drive.  I have about five flash drives with me (one of my To Dos is to clean them up).  Two look similar, with a metal "handle" that swings over the front to protect the plug, or swings back to get out of the way.  One is from the company, and is blue.  The other is from TSA and is red.

I put in the red flash.  I meant to put in the blue.

As Michelle, my main contact, looked over my shoulder the contents popped up on the screen.  The contents were about ten thumbnails that I brought to work to show my friend S.  They were from Richmond and Colorado Springs and you've seen most of them here on the blog.

I tried to hastily click the window closed and instead clicked on a picture which opened to its full glory.

I said "wrong flash.  That's a friend of mine" and closed the picture and the folder and ejected the drive.

I think today, I will tell her I lied and who the picture is, but I may still lie and say it was for Halloween 2009 (when I did go to work dressed, but not in that dress).  So it'll be a bit less of a lie.

I Know I Shouldn't

Later in the day, Michelle said "I should have told you sooner, but we're a jeans-and-sneakers shop."  I wear business clothes (never a tie though) and sneakers to clients.  (They're women's sneakers, but that's not important.)  I said "Ah.  And I was thinking of wearing a dress tomorrow."  She said "go for it.  We were rated as one of the top companies by Out magazine."  I said nothing.

But I'm thinking of taking her up on it later in the week.  I am seriously thinking of taking her up on it later in the week.  I am really truly seriously thinking of taking her up on it later in the week.

I know I shouldn't.  I know it's a bad career move.  But haven't you ever had the urge to do something you shouldn't?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Packed And

my goal for tonight is to unpack, hang up my dress, top, skirts, and that other clothes I brought with me.  Then I want to grab my Tool of Torture and rip hair from my legs, or arms, or both.  I doubt I'll be out (as Meg) Monday, but my hope is for maybe Tuesday and Thursday.

Oh, and I have to organise all of my material for Monday meetings.  I expect to spend the day trying to explain our products, what they did wrong in setting it up (I know they did a poor job ~ it's a difficult product), and learning how they want to use it so we can do it right.

And did I mention that this will be my final trip for this company?  My last day is Friday the 13th.