Saturday, March 31, 2012

Or One Of Us

I think we go way back.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Sharon and Cynthia ~ A Chance Encounter

I returned to my car the same way I went to the nail spa for three reasons:

One, I was emboldened by my walk through the gauntlet of people: no problems, no issues, and lots of pretty outfits to look at while I was walking.  Plus, the more I'm seen, the more I'm recognised as a crossdresser, the more civilians will get used to us and be comfortable around us.

Two, I had new nails to show off.

And three, I know how to find my car this way.  If I went down, I'd be uncertain what level I was on and probably spend more time wandering around the parking garage, looking dumb.

I wanted to shop a bit, but Sharon had called while I was getting my nails done, and I knew I had to hustle so I wouldn't keep her waiting.  So I headed back, past the shops, up the escalator, through the throngs, and out to the parking garage.  I crossed the bridge over the street below and started down the stairs.

As I approached the stairs I saw an elderly lady with an aluminum cane in one hand and a couple of very large shopping bags in the other.  I noticed that the most prominent bag was from Victoria's Secret.  I also noticed she was wearing flip-flop with about an inch thick rubber sole.

As I got closer, a small group of teens was walking up the stairs.  One girl said "can I help you with that?"  The lady said no.  As I walked past, I asked if I could help her as well.  Once again, she said no.  I walked ahead, but looked back.

As I got to the next level, I saw she had managed to get to the landing above.  I called up, "Please let me help you with those bags" and she said "if you want to...."

So I walked back up one landing and picked up the Victoria's Secret and other bag and started walking slowly down.  Now I also noticed she was using a cane and holding a lit cigarette.  The bags were both bulky and heavy.

She looked at me and said "where are you going?"  I was about to say "level two" but realised she meant "where are you going all dressed up?" so I said "out to dinner with a friend and then to a girls' night out."  She said "you look wonderful" and "it's great that you're going out with the ladies."

We chatted a bit more, mostly about where we were going within the lot.  I walked all the way down with her and she said "I hear honking ~ that must be for me" and I left her there.  I went back up the stairs and had an uneventful drive to the Reston Town Centre.  I parked and walked through more large crowds and finally got to meet Sharon Rose, who was standing outside the restaurant.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Therapy the Fourth

Interestingly, my dressing root causes, as my wife saw them, did not come up much this week.  I did mention that I considered last week's session "an intervention, not couples' therapy."  The therapist said nothing in response to this.  After the session, my wife said "did you notice she didn't argue with your statement?"  I said yes, and asked what she thought that meant.  She said "she knew arguing would be pointless."  I said "I read it as agreement."

During the week, my wife said that she isn't interested in helping me dress because she feels she's contributing to my "reliving my trauma."  It seems that so far I have not shaken her belief that I do this because I thrive on humiliation, trying to recreate some childhood abuse.

And I just now made an interesting connection: a few days ago, my wife decided I should try to do stand-up comedy.  She said she thought I'd enjoy it, and I could do it in a dress if I wanted.

There's a story which is attributed to Edmund Kean, a Shakespearean actor who died over a century ago.  He was on his deathbed and a friend said "this must be very hard for you."  The actor said "dying is easy.  Comedy is hard."

I'd love to get up on a stage and make people laugh.  I also know that most likely would not be the result, the stress of trying to get the exact wording of each bit would probably kill me, and the effort to find the right comic voice would be beyond my ability.

But she kept repeating that I should try this and I think I now know why ~ she thinks this is a socially acceptable way for me to humiliate myself.

See?  Writing is therapeutic.  I wouldn't have figured this out if I wasn't writing about it.

With dressing more in the background this week, I think I see much bigger problems, and ones without solutions.

I hope there are solutions, but I think she sees an endgame and she is starting to panic at the thought.  She mentioned a few times how bad divorce is for "even grown children."

I'll be back to writing about the horrors and trauma of going out with Sharon and Cynthia tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sharon and Cynthia ~ A Pre-Meeting Manicure

I had left my car in the garage, so I would have a smaller chance of nosy neighbors seeing Meg leave.  I  made a beeline to the mall.

I almost always park in one of two spots at the mall: by the Macy's (it was directly between my former job and home) or by the Lord and Taylor (it's convenient and the parking lot entrance is by lingerie).  But I was in a hurry and I needed to be on a road that would get me to Reston quickest so I parked in the lot where I drop off my kids when the go to the movies.  The movie theatre/food court was closer to the nail spa than either of the other stores.

I should have thought this out a bit better.

I forgot to mention: I did get to the mall on Wednesday to have my brows waxed and my haircut.  This is becoming my usual pre-going out routine.  I told C, the woman who generally does my brows, that she is the first step in dressing up and going out.

I also told her that I may be back on the weekend for a manicure.  I didn't want to be specific.  I still worry about Things That Can Go Wrong and I'd rather not be at predictable places at predictable times.

So here it was, two days later, and I was back.

Entry to the lot is on the second level.  There are two ways to go from there: down to the street level and into the mall, then up to the second level and down the mall to the spa.  Or I could go up to the fourth level where there was a bridge that led directly to the movie theatre.  I went up.  And in.

And into the biggest cloud of young people I have ever encountered dressed.  There's a TGIF and a food court and the movie theatre.  And a play area for little kids.  And there were a lot of people.  A lot of lot of people.  And I was disoriented and had to walk around a bit to find the escalator down.

And with all of those hundreds of people, mostly 20-somethings, no-one seemed to notice the overdressed lady looking for the escaltor.

I, as I have mentioned, people watch.  I didn't see any people watching the watcher.

Down the escalator, past a dozen or two shops, and to the spa.

I didn't have an appointment because I didn't know what time I'd be there.

C was busy and wouldn't be available for a while.  I said to the young receptionist, "I'm sure everyone is great" and went with N, the next nail lady (after a ten or so minute wait).  I told her I'd like something in the red family to match what I was wearing.  She took out four bottles of lacquer for me to look at.  That's much better than the six or seven million they have in stock.  She put a dab of each on her fingernails so I could see how they looked and I chose one.  She asked if I wanted curved or straight.  I said "my hands are in your hands" and I pointed out the thumbnail that I had split a couple of hours earlier.

N did a very nice job on my nails.  She cleaned up that broken thumbnail.  She was kind of light in the hand massage area, and she seemed distracted.  We chatted a bit, but not a lot.

I mentioned that the polish would only be on for a short time.  I mentioned this a couple of times, when she would comment on how good the colour looked.  Maybe she wasn't thinking about that.  Maybe she was distracted.  Maybe she hates crossdressers and wanted to teach me a lesson.  I'm going with distracted.

She roughed up my nails, which I don't remember from previous manicures, but there have only been a few.  She put on the undercoat, and two coats.  After she put on the undercoat she pulled out this toaster oven with UV lights inside and had me put my hands in there.  I assume this made the polish dry faster.  My hands went into the oven after each of the two coats and the topcoat.  She hadn't done the usual hand/arm massage and I figured I was supposed to ask for that.  Then she surprised me by getting out the lotion to moisturise my hand and forearm ~ after the lacquer was on!  I was shocked that it didn't chip or glob or anything.  It just stayed perfect.
Arms Akimbo ~ Click to Enlarge

I also remember being asked to take out my money before the polish because I wouldn't be able to dig into my purse afterwards.  But it was no problem!  I just reached in and the polish stayed perfect.

I was amazed.

I would be more amazed later.

One more bit of amazement: as I was leaving the nail place, I saw C, my manicurist, working on another customer.  I stood where she could see me and I waited.  She looked at me for a second... two seconds... maybe five seconds.  I just smiled.  Then she said "Oh.  My.  God." and I said "I told you I might be back for a manicure.  I'm sorry you were busy" and I left.  When she did my brows, she asked me to bring pictures of my trip out.  I think this was a bit better.

We'll have something to talk about next time.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sharon and Cynthia ~ Getting Ready

I thought I had everything planned so I could meet Sharon around 7:30 at a Thai restaurant about 20 minutes from my house, at the Reston Town Centre.  If the family left by 3:30 that would leave me until, say, 5pm to get ready.  I wanted to stop by the mall for a manicure and expected to get to the mall around 5:30.  I figured my nails would take an hour.  That would mean a bit of shopping time (I did want to at least buy the hostess a gift).  And there's a new shop in the mall called "Intimacy" or something like that.  I wanted to check it out dressed.  I didn't know when I'd get that opportunity again.

I had asked Sharon to call me when she left her house so we could meet without either of us waiting for too long.  Reston Town Centre, where we met, is very crowded on a Friday night.  There are a lot of popular restaurants and a movie theatre there and plenty of parking.  And it's all outdoors so it's popular when the weather's fine ~ and it was perfect that night.

I showered, shaved everywhere, and finished with my moisturiser.  I started pulling out all of my Meg stuff, starting with my drag bag.  That's a bag where I keep my Meg essentials.  It makes packing much easier, although I still end up missing one essential item and ripping the closet apart looking for it.  Every time, I think.

I came across a corset that a special friend had bought for me.  I hadn't had a chance to play with it yet, even though it was in the closet since January.  Since I had so much extra time, I pulled it out. 

It's purple, it has laces on the back and five heavy duty clasps on the front and two ribbons at the top to tie behind your neck.  It does not cover the bust.

I took a deep breath and tried to close it from the bottom up, as I was told to do. 

Not even close.

I loosened the laces and tried again.

Close, but no corset.

I loosened the laces and tried again.

It was really tight, but I could close it.  I know the right way is to close the clasps and then tighten the laces but that's a two-woman job.

I had never worn a corset before, and it definitely felt constricting and different.  And interesting.  I'll try it further when I can.  I did take a couple of pictures which you will NOT see in this blog!

By the time I was done, a half-hour had passed and I was starting to feel that maybe I didn't have as much time as I thought.

I finished putting on my undergarments and tried on two new dresses.  One I didn't like as much as I thought I would; one was nice but a bit heavy.  I wore the one you all thought was best for my last trip to Tucson (when I didn't get out at all).

I then went to the makeup and started the routine: face, eyes, cheeks, lips.  Dress, jewelry, hair, shoes.  I was ready to go, a bit later than I wanted to go.  It was close to 6, but I thought I could still make it without a problem and I could get my nails done as well.

I did skip the "before going out" pictures though.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Learn From My Mistake

OK, first we play Spot The Mistake.

Friday night I went out.  I was to meet Sharon for dinner, but she wouldn't be ready until 7:30 or so.  My family left around 3:30 and I wasn't feeling well ~ maybe.  Everyone else was sick with what seemed to be a different ailment during the previous week and any cough, ache, extra visit to the little girls' room was cause for possible alarm and my hand was poised over the "Abort Mission" button.  Instead, I took a brief nap and still felt a bit odd afterwards, but I decided to go for it.  I showered, shaved everywhere, put on my makeup and got dressed.

So far so good.  I went down to the mall to get a manicure from my favourite spa lady.  She was busy, so I said "I'm sure everyone is great" and took the next nail lady (after a ten or so minute wait). I mentioned to her a couple of times that the polish would come off in a "day or so" but she did the whole rough up the nail, primer, two coats, topcoat.  In between each, she had me put my hands in the UV light unit which I think was different from previous times.  The nails looked great ~ shiny and red and perfect.

The nails dried very quickly, Sharon had called to tell me she was on her way, so I called her back and we made sure we were meeting at the same place (Thai restaurant).  We met up, had a tasty meal, and chatted for way  too long ~ we had a little party to go to which started at 7.  I e-mailed the hostess, telling her we'd be there around 8:30 and it was past 8:30 when we got up to go.

We went to the party and sat around talking until after 11 (and I had promised myself I'd leave after an hour).  We said goodnight and I drove home.

So, I'll be writing more about everything, but did anyone spot the mistake?

It was at the salon.  I had never heard of gel nail polish.  I'll go into a lot of detail about the nail catastrophe later but:

if you want a manicure with colour go for it.  Manicures are a marvelous, intimate experience.  Here they call it a "spa manicure" and it includes a massage with oil and lotion and feels Oh So Nice.
if the spa lady pulls out a UV dryer tell her no, unless you want the colour for a couple of weeks.

In fact, it's probably a good idea, if you're like me and just want pretty nails for a night or few days out, start by saying "where are your non-gel lacquers?" and only choose something from that shelf.

Gel is great, it dries fast, looks beautiful, and does not come off without sand blasting or nuclear explosions.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

New Sports!

Baby Blues (Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott) was incredibly funny when it first came out, especially since it was around the time my first baby came into the world.  Lately, it's been less funny, although there was at least one dress-up cartoon and sometimes there's a solid laugh.  I think now I find Zits, Jerry Scott's other strip (with Jim Borgman) funnier.  Maybe because it's about a sixteen year old, and with 14 and 18 year old boys, I can relate more these days.

But yesterday's strip was definitely the comic pick of the week.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sharing Is Good For a Relationship

Isn't it?  Especially when two people enjoy the same thing.  I wonder if this is what goes on every Easter. :)

Friday, March 23, 2012


As of now, I still don't know what's going on this afternoon.

My oldest kid has something: headache, sore throat but no cold symptoms.

My youngest kid is mending fine.

My wife can't shake her cold/flu thing.

I'm fine right now.  I think.

I'm planning on leaving work early this afternoon.  I don't yet know if it's to change and go out or pack and have an overnight.

Look for an update by noon.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Therapy the Third

Update: Thank you for your comments.  I really appreciate your insights and advice.  I'm too close to this and too confused by what happened.  Your input is really helpful.

I don't know what to make of this session.

The therapist mentioned that my wife called her during the week.  She hadn't mentioned this to me.  During the previous week, she hadn't mentioned any of what follows.  I guess she thought I enjoy surprises.

My wife did almost all of the talking.  The only time I chimed in was to directly refute what she said, which is all nonsense.  As before, I'll only talk about dressing issues, although there's a side issue that I don't want to discuss but I think I need to ~ your wife (or therapist) might be thinking along these same lines.

She started by saying she doesn't like to look at pictures of me dressed (and that's how she refers to it if she even says that much) because it reminds her of "my pain."  I asked what she meant by that, because I never said that dressing causes me pain ~ I said that hiding does.

She also said I was "incurious" about dressing.  The therapist interrupted to ask me what I thought about that.  I said that she has no idea how much reading I've done on this, how many people I've spoken with.  The therapist asked my wife what she knew about t-issues.  She said she had borrowed books from a therapist friend (who they both know).  Great.  My wife is learning about this from a strictly clinical point of view.  This, as my son would say, has not gone well.

She said that it reminded her of my "shame and humiliation" about dressing ~ how I'm ashamed of it and how going out allows me to be humiliated which, apparently, I get off on.

This is all news to me.  I know some folks do get off on humiliation, but I'm not one of them, I've never expressed any interest in being humiliated, and that's kind of it.  If that works for you, that's great and I hope you find what I don't have ~ a spouse who has at least a grain of understanding what you're all about.

She repeated this assessment of me several times, in different ways, during the hour.

I asserted each time that I enjoy dressing and that's why I do it.

Facts don't seem to have a place in this world.  She upped the ante at one point by announcing that she understood why I enjoyed being humiliated and shamed: it was because I was sexually abused as a child.

Steven Hawking tells a story:

A well-known scientist once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: "What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise." The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, "What is the tortoise standing on?"  The old lady replies, "he's standing on the back of another tortoise, of course."  "And," asked the scientist, "what about that tortoise?"  "You're very clever, young man, very clever," said the old lady. "But it's turtles all the way down!"

When I denied any sexual abuse, her answer was "there is such a thing as 'repressed memories.'  It's very real."  What can I say?  To her, it's tortoises all the way down.

She started telling me of all of the "clues" that led her to this diagnosis.  I won't repeat them here.

Suffice it to say, I think there's a bigger problem than I thought there was.  What do you do when your spouse thinks you're fundamentally flawed?  I really don't know.  I don't know what the way forward is now.  From the hour in the office I realise that I'm not understood at all, and there's probably nothing I can do that won't make her think I'm acting out the trauma of my childhood.

And now I'm wondering if her agenda is to lay the groundwork for custody.  She clearly has no interest in letting Meg come out further ~ that would just encourage my personal perversion and keep me from letting go of my horrid youth.

I feel like I've walked into the Twilight Zone, one of those episodes where nothing makes sense.

I used to enjoy those episodes.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Weekend Update Update

It looks like my wife is going with the boys to the concert.

This means Meg can go out Friday afternoon and evening.

Except there's two possible problems.  They're not really problems, but I don't always look on the bright side of life.

First, I need something to do, or someone to do something with, or both.  I don't want to just go to the mall and walk around and go home.  I may visit the local synagogue (although not my synagogue).  If I have time, I'll see if there are any local ladies on URNA who might want to get together.  I'd like to go shopping, dinner, a movie... but not on my own.

Second, last weekend my youngest and my wife were sick.  They're still hacking and coughing.  My oldest was home for spring break; yesterday, he sent me a note: he's sick too.  I'm hoping I either dodged the bullet or it'll play itself out before the weekend (or wait a few days).

I have been preparing.  I don't mind ~ it's all stuff I like to do anyway.  I'm pretty hair-free right now.  I'm trying to make time today or tomorrow to get my haircut and eyebrows waxed.  I went to TJ Maxx and bought two new dresses.

Update: I have a brow appointment for 3:30.  I'll get my haircut afterwards.  There's a Sephora, a VS, and an H&M  in between the two salons.  I may pick up something.

And I have a schedule:
* the boys leave from school around 2:30.
* I plan to arrive home around 2:30.  I would take off earlier, but maybe someone forgot something and they have to head home first.  So 2:30 it is.
* shower, shave, dress and I should be ready to go at 4:30
* IF I decide to go for a manicure, I can be at the mall at 5.
* I should be done and dry by 6.

Now all I need is something to do.  Shopping is looking better, but if that's all I'm doing I'll skip the nails.  At TJ Maxx, the price of a manicure can buy a top and skirt.

AND, even if I don't get out, I have two new dresses.  Yay!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Daily Deals

I check Woot and DailySteals and Giveaway Of The Day (and Femulate and A Perfect Luv and Reflected Wisdom [which NEVER changes, Liz] and Raising My Rainbow and Gwen and Jessica and a host of other ladies).  I haven't checked out any of the other local/daily deal sites like Groupon or Amazon Local yet.

But I found out about a couple that bear a second look and I'll add them to my daily list and see if they live up to their potential.

The first is ShoePrivee.  They have a shoe deal a day.  You tell it your size and it shows you today's deal in that size.  My problems:

* shoe sizes only go up to 12, which may not work for some of my readers, and they don't specify widths.  I need 11W, or 10-1/2W. 
* you have to register and log in.
* the shoes I've seen so far are uniformly outrageous.  I want everyday shoes.

The second is Cheap Undies.  I've only been there once so far.  They change their featured deal at noon Eastern time (that's generally GMT-5.0 for the rest of the world).  They feature one men's and one women's underwear item a day.  The featured women's set was nothing I'd buy, but there's also a "last chance deals" link which had bras for as little as $5.

As I said, I'll keep checking.  And I'll check out ideeli while I'm at it.

One little trick that I use: I bookmarked all of my "daily" sites and open them in a single Firefox window.  I usually have several Firefox windows open, each with way too many tabs.  Once or twice a day, I go to my daily sites window and right-click on a tab.  Firefox has a "reload all tabs" feature.  One click and everything's up to date.

And if you have not seen Raising My Rainbow, you must check it out.  It's the ongoing story of a "gender nonconforming" boy being raised to be himself by an incredibly loving and articulate mom.  Must read.  I'm going back to day one now and I am loving this story.

And a note to Anonymous: I appreciate your comment on Weekend Update.  I can't edit it, but I can't post it with the f-word in it.  If you'd like to self-edit and resubmit....

Monday, March 19, 2012

Weekend Update

Last week, I mentioned that the boys have tickets to a concert a fair distance from the house.  I said there were four options:

* trust the boys to go alone, stay in a hotel together, and make it back the next day.
* I go with the boys
* my wife goes with the boys.
* we all go.

I said I liked option 3, because that means a Meg day (Friday night to go out, Saturday morning to put everything away and comfortable nightwear in between).

My wife is leaning towards option 1.  She thinks it'll be a good experience and teach them a bit about being on their own ~ something schools do not teach well.

I'm still nervous, but maybe she has a point.  And it also occurred to me that I can use that weekend to see if my wife is interested in walking the walk: I'll do Meg anyway.

Thursday night, I started preparing.  I shaved my arms so they'll be easier to keep clean by week's end.  Last weekend was a mess because of chess, but tonight I'll touch up my arms and shave my legs.  I'm going to see if I can find something new to wear this week, and I may see if I can take a bit of time to get my hair cut and brows waxed.  If I can't get those grooming events, I'll spend some time on my brows (I've been neglecting them) and make an appointment with my favourite spa lady ~ the one who usually does my brows ~ to give Meg a manicure Friday afternoon.  I think she'd like to meet Meg.  I talk about her a lot.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

We Eat Ham and Jam and

Spam a lot!  I went to see it a few days ago.  I enjoyed it, but if you're a huge Monty Python fan, you won't be surprised.  I laughed three or four times, because I knew a lot of the routines and songs well enough that I could have been on stage doing them.  I bet many of you could too!

The original work was derivative, but enjoyable.  Eric Idle wrote the book and lyrics, and had a hand writing the music.

It followed the basic plot of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" until near the end when it just went a bit nuts.

Frankly, my hopes were raised by reading the playbill (honest).  Before getting into the genuine playbill, they had three pages of a rather different play.  I've copied the sheets below, but you need to click on them to enlarge them and really enjoy it.

Now I think I have to sit down and watch Fawlty Towers.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Something's Going On In Kapupu Lagoon

Kapupu is the geographical name of Sherman's Lagoon.  This is, the third t-reference in two months.

I wonder if Toomey is trying to tell us something ~ I'll know for sure if I see a tilde in his strip!

Be sure to click to make it readable.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Days Are Just Packed!

This weekend is the Virginia state scholastic chess tournament.  This means I'll be sitting in a hotel waiting for my son to emerge from the game room, hopefully grinning broadly.  I'll be doing this from 6pm until 9pm Friday, then 9am until around 7pm on Saturday, and 8am until around 2 on Sunday.  Then we'll stick around for the awards.

It's a long weekend.

The following weekend, my oldest son bought concert tickets for himself and his brother.  That's OK; they've done this before.  Except the concert is about three hours away.

Being a teenager, my oldest saw no problem with driving back after the show.  Being an adult, I did.  My wife's first idea was for the four of us to go and spend a weekend near where the concert is.  I told her I didn't want to go there ~ I've been there before and it is a boring place.

So we have four options:
* trust the boys to go alone, stay in a hotel together, and make it back the next day.
* I go with the boys
* my wife goes with the boys.
* we all go.

I don't like option 4.  I don't see it as a holiday and I do see it as overkill.

I like option 3, but there's always a spanner in the works: she'd like to go to a conference the next day and would have to skip that.

I will put up with option 2.  I'll hole up in the hotel, or go walkabouts if the weather's nice.  I can spend some quality time with the internet, or work on a computer project I've been trying to make time for for a while now.

But option 3 also means I'm alone from mid-afternoon Friday until, say, lunchtime Saturday.  Meg would love to get out.  But I'm afraid that my wife will put off any sort of decision until it's too late for me to get properly ready and find someplace to go and I'll miss out.

Plus, I'm concerned that she'll use this as a "I'm giving in a lot and letting him go out so now he has to give a lot."

Things are complicated.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Therapy the Second

Before the session
This week, we saw the therapist separately.  I got to go first, just because I was available the first time she was available; my wife was not.  I'm not sure if it's better to go first or second.

I had a list of about a dozen points broken into three categories: sex, marriage, and general.  Trans issues fit into all three categories.  I also decided that I needed to start by asking what she knows about trans.  Although my wife is a therapist, she is woefully mis- or un-informed about trans issues, to the point that she said to me "you're not transgendered!"  My reaction was limited to my jaw dropping.  Later, I asked if she knew what transgendered meant ~ she didn't really.  She equated it with transsexual.

It's going to be a long, uphill fight.

After the session

I didn't get to my points, but I did address some in response to questions.  I didn't know what to expect.  It was, "she asked questions, I answered same."

I answered most, anyway.  There are things I have issues with, within the marriage and I talked about those.  I addressed disagreements, different ways of seeing the same thing.  There were a couple of times I stopped short and didn't say what was on my mind.  I'll admit to you, my friends, that I have some serious issues with the way my wife acts.  I don't criticise my family to strangers.  I may hint to friends.  I think if I said "I can't take it any more" to friends, the general reaction would be "I didn't know anything was wrong!"

T-issues kept coming and going throughout the session.  I asked her, near the start, what she knew about trans stuff.  She said "I know a little.  And I have some clients with crossdressing issues."  Not exactly inspiring but I'll make lemonade.

I knew her knowledge was limited when I was talking about telling the boys.  She tried to tell me about a movie she had seen a couple of years ago about someone who was "changing" and how. ~ I'm still not sure here; she kept jumbling pronouns ~ she dealt with telling family, including children.  I think she considered what happened in the movie to be typical.  I don't know what movie so I don't know for sure, but I do know that there's no typical.  I didn't mention that.

I also let her know that the proper word is "transition."

Later she asked if I wanted to transition.  I said no, and told her the standard joke about the difference between ts and tv.  I told her that didn't apply to me.

She asked if I'd like to go "full time" and I said no ~ and that's true.  It is a LOT of work.  I told her it typically takes me two hours to get ready.  I didn't mention that, when I've changed in mall family restrooms I cut that down to about 20 minutes.  But that means I was already showered and shaved and had some degree of underdressing done.

She asked how often I wanted to dress.  I gave her my golf analogy: ask a guy who golfs twice a year how often he'd like to play if there were no limits.  He probably doesn't know.  Maybe he'd be playing every day.  Maybe twice a month is all he could take.  It's something you really need to try.

I also gave her my criminal analogy, while trying to explain how I want to get out more and how I'm not satisfied with what I was satisfied with a few years ago: criminals get caught because they get away with a small crime and get confident and the rush of it all and they try something bigger and bigger until they get in over their heads and get caught.  She, unfortunately, took this to mean I'm "afraid of getting caught."  I told her I wasn't really, although I'd prefer not to.  I mentioned that my wife is afraid I'll get caught and she does not want me to tell anyone and that she said she would be "embarrassed" if I did (her word).  She asked me what I thought and I said my only problem is, I can't untell someone who doesn't like the concept.

I got the feeling she thinks I should tell the boys.  I also got the feeling that she's not a save-the-marriage-at-all-costs therapist.  She's keeping options open.  Frankly, I think am as well.

My wife went for her private session Tuesday.  I haven't spoken to her about that yet.

Also, the more I think about it, the more I suspect my wife has an agenda that I don't understand.  When I do, I'll share.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Is Anyone Paying Attention?

For the past few weeks now, I've been wearing lip gloss.

I have about a half-dozen sitting in my desk drawer downstairs.  For the first week or so, I would put on a clear gloss right before I left the house and put it back into the drawer.

For the next week, I started cycling through the glosses, picking a different one each day and putting it back in the desk after applying.  Most of the glosses are tinted, but in a shade close to my natural lip colour.

The next week, I changed my routine a bit: I put the gloss into my pocket and touched up my lips a few times a day.

Starting last week, I decided I liked one gloss better than the others: MAC Viva Glam V Lipglass (yes, they call it "lipglass").  So I've been bringing that one in daily, and touching up as needed.  I touch up in the men's room, as long as no-one is clearly present.  I will touch up if someone's in a stall.

I have a distinctive coffee mug.  It now regularly has a gloss lipmark on the rim.

No-one has said a word.

My plan going forward: finish this lipglass, then switch to one I don't love so much.  I'll probably pick up another of the Viva Glam V's but put it aside while I use up my other glosses.  As I use up the other gloss, I think I'll get a different brand and try that, instead of getting the same one ~ I want to see if I can find a new favourite, but I like the MAC so much I want to make sure I have a tube in case they phase it out.

If someone mentions the shiny lips or the lipstick mark on my mug, I plan to say, "it's probably the chapstick I'm using.  Or the lipgloss I put over it."  I'm not sure if I'll add the second sentence for everyone, but I suspect most people know me well enough to assume I'm making a joke.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hanging with Meg

A couple of weeks ago, my oldest son asked me to join "Hanging with Friends," his new internet addiction.  He's discovered word games and knows I'd be a challenging opponent.  We play Scrabble, Quiddler, Boggle.  We've been fairly well matched, which is fun.

Anyway, I agreed.  "What do I need to do?"  "You need to download the app and get a user name."

Bah.  I know what username I want to get: Meg, CallMeMeg, Megabuttons... Something Meggish.

But that would be hard to explain, so I found something non-femme.

And my son and I have been fairly evenly matched, which is fun.  Now I'm also playing with a couple of on-line friends of Meg.

I sure wish I picked a different name!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sunday School Redux

I met with the principal who gave me a one-page summary of the class.  She said she sat in on the earlier session so she could see what it was about and give me a good review.

She never asked me what my interest was; she did thank me for my interest.  I did mention that, although I always discuss the class with my son, I had a particular interest in this class.

After class, I met with the teacher.  He went over what they covered although mostly I was interested in what my son thought of it.  He really had no good insight.  "Fine," "nothing negative," "he participated...."  Things of that nature.

Neither asked what my interest was, although I made it clear that I knew more than the average civilian, and had interest in this particular topic.

My son, for the record, pronounced the entire session "stupid."  He did like the previous one on Jewish ethics.

He didn't comment on the FtM guest, and I didn't ask specifically about him.

I'm thinking, while this is fresh in his mind, we should have a little talk, starting with "do you know anyone who's transgendered?"

Sunday, March 11, 2012

See the Story Unfold!

Elderberries again.
As I wrote last week, I've been reading The Elderberries for several years.  The strip revolves around a group of residents and workers at a retirement home (Elderpark).

It started eight years ago.

The final strip ran a week ago.  Now they've decided to rerun the strip and I am looking forward to enjoying this (alas, probably totally non-tg) eight-year story from start to finish.

It was started by Phil Frank, and taken over by Corey Pandolph a few years ago when Mr Frank took  ill.

You can find the first strip here.  If you wish, you can catch up to today and start reading forward.  I sure will.

Friday, March 9, 2012

I Think I've Been Insulted

I received an e-mail yesterday.  The subject: 

NOW CASTING: RuPaul's Drag Race 5!  

It was from RuPaul's Drag Race Casting

My first thought was, Wow! Somebody noticed me!  My jaw literally dropped.

My second thought was, that's drag queens, isn't it?  I'd probably be way out of my element, but this is incredibly flattering!  I starting thinking about whether I could do something like this, if I would be way outclassed by the younger queens, if I'd feel like an outcast because of my unusual sexual orientation (for this group, anyway).  I thought I'd better see the show.

I was excited, to say the least. I read on:

Hi You Can Call Me Meg!    
BIG ANNOUNCEMENT from RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE Casting Team!  Casting for SEASON 5 officially STARTED!  We are on the hunt for undiscovered drag queen talent.

Sounds great!  I was imagining me being a tv on tv!  I couldn't believe they would contact me!  My imagination ran wild but I continued reading:

Would love if you mention the casting in your blog.  I've attached a flyer for you and there is a website for the drag queens to go to for audition information.

Thanks in advance for your support!

Well, now I felt like a schoolgirl.  A schoolgirl who is approached by the football hero who starts talking about the upcoming dance and says "and I wonder if your cute friend Candi has a date yet."

Well, I'm not one to hold a grudge.  So if any of my pretty friends want to try out for this, here's the contact information:

RuPaul's Drag Race Casting- Season 5
World of Wonder Productions 
6650 Hollywood Blvd. Suite 400
Hollywood, CA 90028
Fax:  323.603.6301

But if you think I'm gonna put up their flyer, well, I still have some pride!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Therapy the First

I leave work around the same time most days.  I get on the highway which is designed by maniacs.  The entrance ramp joins with two lanes, which join two other lanes, which join four more lanes.  Then the rightmost five end, one-by-one.  The first exit is at least three miles up the road.

As I committed to the entrance ramp I could see that all nine lanes were completely clogged as far as the eye could see.

When I got to that first exit I took it, but that meant I had to go past some major roads and major backups.  I was about ten minutes late.

My wife was already there and was giving the therapist some background on our families and relationship.

I let her talk, to give the background because I wanted to hear her take on things.  She brought up crossdressing very early on, very matter-of-factly.

We spoke of other issues I won't go into here.  We did keep going back to the dressing, which my wife thinks is key.  Maybe it is.

I did make my point that I would not just like to be more open in my dressing, it's becoming critical to me.  I challenged my wife when she said she understood what it's like.  I said what's becoming a mantra, "closets are for clothes, not for people."  I explained some of what I do ~ going out when on travel and such ~ but only in response to questions.  My wife mentioned my "Christine O'Donnell" costume and said my friend made the comment "he's way too good at this."  I wish I'd heard that before ~ I would have built on that!  And maybe admitted to how I was way too good at this.

My wife also re-asserted that she doesn't want her friends to know.  She told the therapist about her friend, M, who was at the past-life regression where I admitted to being a crossdresser.  I said "and I bet she's never brought it up since."  My wife said "no, but it's awkward."  I think that's in her imagination.

There are a lot of points I did not make.  I will.  Next week, we meet separately: I'll be there Monday, she'll be there Tuesday.  I would have rather reversed that, but this is OK.

At home, my wife was incensed at something the therapist said: she mentioned that we need to examine whether the issues can be worked out or whether it's a dealbreaker.

Frankly, I'm not sure.

Also at home, she asked about how many gg's knew and if I was "attracted" to any of them.  I said "there's always something special about a woman who's accepting, but I'm not planning to jump into bed with any of them, no."

I also straightened out my wife about one thing: I forget the circumstances, (it may have been in relationship to the Sunday school thing) but she said, "well, you're not transgendered!"  I was taken aback, and then interrupted and the conversation ended.  I finally had a chance to explain some terminology to her.  She confused ts with tg.  I would have thought that, as a therapist, she would have the basics down.  She also mentioned not long ago that she thought using "her" for a dressed male was "wrong."

We have far to go.

I need to start making a list of talking points for Monday.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Or In School But not Attending Class

I'll be able to meet with the principal to go over the class material during class and with the teacher after class.  And I'll drive my son home and I always ask him about class, so that will be normal.

One interesting note: they will have a special guest ~ a former student who is now transitioning from F to M.

Meanwhile, my wife has "a request:" if anyone asks why I'm interested (the school personnel, or my son) I'm to not tell them.

I ignored her request.  If she presses for an answer, I'll tell her I make no promises.  I don't tell stories, so the only other answer is "I can't tell you."

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Or Not Back to School

The principal for the Sunday school suggested I not sit in on the class, citing the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (although not in so many words)...  You know, the one about observing something changes it.  I had considered that, and I agree.  But I wrote back and said I'd like to meet with the teacher right after class because I'm interested in my son's reaction.

At 14, mine would have been threefold:
* turn bright read
* crawl under my desk
* die

But it's a different world, and my boy is a different person.  I don't want to make a big deal out of what might just be another boring Sunday school to him.  I don't want to make a big deal about any t-feelings he might have about himself, and I don't want to put myself in a position where I'm divulging myself to an unreceptive son.

I requested to meet with the teacher after the class, and with the principal during the class, so she can go over the materials with me.

This is very unexpected, and I'm definitely treating it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  I won't let it escape.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Back to School

My 14 year old has Sunday School once a week (guess what day), from 6 to 8 pm.  The class is broken into three parts: a core subject (this semester, it's comparative religions), a pizza break, and an elective (this semester, he's taking "diversity").  The instructor sent an e-mail describing the final session topic in one line:

Trans 101.

Interesting.  I thought, I may want to drop him a note asking for details.  I guess other parents did because I received a follow-up e-mail:

Subject: Trans 101 explanation
Hi All,

I hope this e-mail finds you well. Next week's topic will be on Transgender topics and Judaism.

The topics of the presentation will be:
- The Gingerbread person diagram discussing gender identity, gender expression, biological sex, and sexual orientation
- The Trans umbrella
- Terminology
- Gender pronouns
- Video clips of the Schmekels and Joy Ladin (Transgender Jews)
- Transgender policies and programs in the Jewish faith
- Transgender etiquette
- Transgender Jews
- Transgender Rabbis
- Resources

Please let me know if you have any questions regarding this presentation.

Well, yeah.  I have a question.  I wrote "Can I sit in on the class?"

I'm waiting for an answer.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Goodbye. I'll Miss You All

Even though I've never seen any T-content, I've enjoyed The Elderberries since I first stumbled upon them, as Corey Pandolph was taking over for Phil Frank.  It followed the exploits of an odd band of retirees in a retirement home.

A month ago, the strip involved the home's management being told the home will be closed in a month.

Today, The Elderberries retire.  The residents have found new lives among friends and family, except for Dusty (the cowboy) and the professor, who have moved into a New York apartment together.  The Odd Couple is obviously the "Neil Simon play" they're referring to.

Actually, following that pair would make a good strip.  Click to make the last Elderberries enjoyable.It was great to have a month to say goodbye ~ as good a sendoff as the final Calvin and Hobbes strip, I think.

In other comics news, I noticed Richard Thompson's Cul-de-sac looked a bit odd last week.  I did a bit of digging and found out that, as he's being treated for Parkinson's (I wish you the best!) his strip is being drawn by a series of artists, one a week for six weeks.  And last week's was Corey Pandolph.  The Norm's Michael Jantze took over the week before and I didn't even notice.  Lincoln Pierce ("Big Nate") and Stephan Pastis ("Pearls Before Swine") are coming up.  The first Cu-de-sac cartoon is below.

And just because it's great, the final Calvin and Hobbes follows.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I Beat You, Stana!

I used my time machine and plucked Sherman from tomorrow's on-line version.  Jim Toomey is, um, showing his feminine side?  In any event, he does it in a very funny way!

Friday, March 2, 2012

When You're a Huh?

While thinking about MTV, I remembered that there was a great David Bowie video for Boys Keep Swinging.  At least, I thought it was great.  It seemed like every time I turned it on I only caught the last few seconds and was never quite sure what I was seeing.  I finally thought to look for it on YouTube and, of course, it was there.

And now it's here, for your enjoyment.  And here, if the embed doesn't work right.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My New Schedule

I seem to have settled on weekend comics and freeform weekdays.  Comics get pre-empted if something interesting is going on.

Well, something interesting is going on, but I'd like to confine it to Thursday.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, my wife has opened a tentative dialogue about Meg.  She also offered the possibility of seeing a therapist to discuss her, among other things.  I worry that the "other things" will overshadow what I need to talk about, but time will tell.

One of my readers mentioned a local couples therapist who is an active part of the community and has an accepting partner.  I haven't mentioned him to my wife; I think she'd feel I was stacking the deck and be turned off by the idea.  I may mention him in the future.  I say he because that's how he presents as a therapist.

In the meantime, my wife spoke to some of her therapist friends and found someone they all recommended.  Our first appointment is next Tuesday, and that's why I'd like to write about it on Thursday.  Tuesday night might be taken up with a "couples recap."  I'm not sure what form that will take, but knowing my wife she will not stop talking when the hour is up.  So Wednesday night would be a good time to write, and I can give a progress report on Thursday.

I think what's going on between my wife and myself and my other self might be commonplace, and it might help others who are at the same stage in their relationships.  I'd love to hear from readers who have been here, and what happened, and how it turned out.

One of my issues that's bubbling to the surface is, I am just tired of hiding.  I don't know how this will be resolved.  I suspect the only way forward is to continue hiding.

Already, my wife is in her "anxiety mode," which manifests itself in random arguments.  She doesn't recognise it but I sure do.

And it's something else to talk about.