Friday, December 21, 2012

How can you can tell it's not summertime?

If it were, this Ocean City beach on Maryland's Eastern Shore would be teeming with sun-worshippers!  Today, just yards from the end of the "boardwalk," there isn't a human in sight!

This December day wasn't really all that cold or the low 50's.  A great day for a short overnight autumn break at the seashore - off season rates are very favorable.  We chose to "not" go beach-walking this visit...there just wasn't time before checking into the hotel and an early dinner appointment.  For that, I was glad...the first time (several years ago) that we took an impromptu walk on the beach in late fall,  it was fun, walking and talking, hand-in-hand.  But, it's impossible to keep sand out of your shoes on a beach! After shaking the sand out,  and putting my shoes back on, I realized that I was going to have to enjoy the sand for a while longer...a fair amount had worked its way inside my pantyhose, and it wasn't coming out!   But this trip, I was OK with passing up the   beachwalking!

Where are all the people?

When I checked us into the hotel, we were addressed as "ladies" and I was "Ma'am." And at dinner, the girl who was our server was a real sweeetheart - "ladies" was the word of the day.  We had a great meal, and she got a bigger tip than we usually leave. And it was "ladies" at the tram for the huge holiday light display...which was very nice!  This time I didn't have to drive and miss all the fun...

Theme for the holiday light display was "The 12 days of Christmas."  Here you see the maids a-milking.  Kids were everywhere, and having a good time. 

That's the Atlantic Ocean behind me...   

A few minutes before taking this picture, I waved to the good folks across the pond in the UK, since the haze hadn't set in yet...  Bet nobody saw me!

No, it's not a sunset...

I have a "thing" for colorful sunrises and sunsets.  This is a remarkable Atlantic sunrise from Maryland's Eastern Shore...   I was very comfortable, sitting out on the balcony of our room on the 8th floor of the hotel, wearing my ballerinas, one of my housedresses and a heavy jacket, watching the majesty in the eastern sky unfold, from a thin line of color on the horizon, to a technicolor masterpiece, while enjoying the wonderfully soothing sounds of the surf. 

Definitely one of the vacation mornings I look forward to!

Because of the upcoming holidays, this may be my last 2012 post.  To everyone who reads this, I send my best wishes for a very Happy Holiday Season, and a Happy New Year....

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A cute charity shop find....

Following are a couple pictures of my newest Charity Shop find...a cute lightweight denim skirt, for the princely sum of $2.36!  I couldn't pass it up....particularly since I need to add another cue as to my femininity.

I pulled the skirt on over my stirrups for these pictures... fall, wintertime and early spring typically aren't typically short skirt season.  So, for the time being, I can wear it over my stirrups.   Before I retired, some of the girls at work wore similar outfits to work, and they looked very nice.  I realize the outfit would look even better if my skirt were worn over heavy tights.  And if I end up in skirts and dresses next November, that'll be the only way I CAN wear it!

When the weather breaks in the spring, it would look great over my pantyhose, though it's short enough that I''d better be wearing panties too, if I plan to sit down. You may recall that panties are a bit of a problem right now, since the doctor said I should only wear pantyhose, not panties.  The better half donated all of mine except for two pairs (one black and one white),  and a pair of the appropriate color autmatically appears on pedicure or car show days.   Time will tell what happens, but this won't become an issue till the weather warms up next spring.  That's still a long way off...

My new skirt even has an unexpected (and appreciated)  benefit...side pockets!  That's perfect for traveling - a place for a hotel room key, car keys, and some paper money, a credit card, or my ID. Funny how things have come full circle...I gave up all my pants with pockets, but find all the skirts I have now are equipped with pockets -small, but pockets nonetheless!  Is wearing skirts how I'll gain access to pockets again?   That would be so ironic...

 A girly little denim skirt!   From the rear, my stirrups look almost like leggings.  Notice my acrylic French nails... they're very feminine, and as you can see, impossible to hide!

From the front, my stirrups and ballerinas are noticeable.  But it's the same type of outfit girls at work wore to the office last winter....

A couple days ago, the better half mentioned  that my supply of pantyhose is getting low, and suggested that I order some more, since holiday sales are in progress.  But she reminded me to only order nude or taupe more dark pantyhose.  I ordered them online, as usual, then left the printed order confirmation sitting on my desk so she could see that my purchase was all taupe, not dark.

Later on, she noticed the confirmation and thanked me for taking care of that.  "Since pantyhose from the store don't fit you right, and you only own two pair of panties, you sure don't want to run out!   And now that ballerinas are your go-to footwear, light-colored nylons maximize their visibility."

She's certainly right about my wearing ballerinas every day.  A look at my current shoe wardrobe reveals multiple pairs of women's flat open-toe sandals in various colors, two pairs of summery tan "fisherman style" sandals, and two pairs of clog slides (which don't work well with stirrups but will be fine with my skirts.)  Also, there's a pair of low heel booties for winter, two pairs of slip-on and one pair of lace-up women's Keds, plus the driving shoes (which have subsequently developed a problem, so I quit wearing them.)   Keds are only for messy days or tasks - like yard work or the mornings of car shows - since they can be thrown in the washer.   All my other shoes are gone, so ballerinas are really my only choice.

And it seems that they're a non-issue, wherever I go.  Very encouraging!  Whenever I'm near a womens' shoe shop, I check out their inventory, to try to find another pair in a different style, that fits as well as these.  That's proving to be tough....I can find some cute ones, but they don't fit right!  One of these days, I'll hopefully succeed!
In my last visit to the Dermatologist, she gave me some medication for the skin issues on my face, which she advised may cause temporary redness as a side effect, wherever it's applied.  Turns out,  she's does.  So I called her office to ask if anything can be done about the redness.  The assistant, who said she remembered me from my recent visits,  told me that most women just wear a heavier concealer under their foundation and powder.  "That'll be the easiest thing for you, Ma'am, even when you don't want to get fancy with your lipstick, blusher and eye makeup.  That shouldn't be a problem for you, right Ma'am?"  "No, it's not a problem at all, Miss, thanks!"  I guess I should have thought of that...but at least it's the approved way to deal with redness.  So now I'll be wearing some makeup every day.  And that's one more advanced feminine cue for me.

And since the better half noticed the redness, she's fine with my using makeup as a cover-up for it Yes, it was a new experience  for me that first morning, applying my makeup at my sink, while she quickly washed her hands and face, brushed her teeth and then moved on,  "Welcome to the wonderful world of makeup, dear.  You're probably having fun with it today.   But eventually the novelty will wear off for you, and you''ll see it as a chore.  That's why I no longer wear makeup...    I do miss the fragrance of the powder, though.  Since you now have to wear makeup, you're the one who'll smell pretty, and I get to enjoy it, without all the work!  Don't be too long, dear - see you in the kitchen!" 

Guess the shoe is on the other foot now...wonder if (or when) it will become a high heel?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Miss-identified again....

I was at the nursing home visiting Mother, and had an unusual (for that venue) thing happen.  Though admittedly, this type of thing seems to be occurring more often lately.  And I'm not complaining...

It was Mom's bath day, and her regular aide was not on duty.  The temporary aide was Sam (a guy.)   Mom objected to taking a bath and refused to go, which the nurses later told me, has happened before.  When I arrived, I stepped unknowingly into the fray.  Mom confessed that she had refused her bath - didn't want one today.  I knew there was a problem at that point, just didn't know for sure what it was.  So I made a visit to the nurses' station, where they relayed what they thought the problem was: presumably because the aide was male.  I understand that issue completely.  I agreed that it may well be the reason, and suggested getting one of the girls to help out. 

So I went back to Mom's room, and we were chatting when the male aide came in.  He asked me if I could join them in the shower room, so so that there would be another woman present.  You could have knocked me over with a feather.  This was just like the Dermatologist's office, when the clerk handed me the key to the women's room!  (See prior blog "Down the hall, then turn at the first hallway and..." )  Miss-identified again, with no makeup, lipstick, earrings, other jewelry, perfume - nothing other than my normal long hair, nails, stirrups, top and ballerinas.   Fortunately Mom is hard of hearing, thus she didn't hear a bit of all this.

Unfortunately, I had no camera, thus there is no picture.  However, you can look back at my earlier blog "At last!  Feminine Shoes all day, every day... " to see a recent picture taken at the nursing home.  That's exactly how I looked - ironically enough, the very same outfit!

With no time to ponder different approaches (and in 20-20 hindsight, there were at least one or two), I gently and quietly mentioned to Sam that unfortunately, it wouldn't work too well.  "Because regardless of how I'm dressed, I'm her son."  And, I asked:  "Perhaps one of the girls could help you out?"

Sam must be the only staffer there who didn't know - many staffers simply address me by first name to eliminate any need for gender-specific Sir or Ma'am.  (The few elderly residents I talk to - including Mom's roommate - mostly just address me as Ma'am, and that's fine.)  Fortunately he didn't appear to be embarrassed - probably not the first time he's seen or encountered a crossdresser - and he left to go seek help for the task.  As it turned out, one of the girls showed up about 15 minutes later, just as I was leaving, to take Mom to the shower, and she accepted that willingly.

Who knows what the current gossip is about me around the nursing home?  I guess that as long as they take good care of Mom, (and they do) I really don't care!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A look at my purses...

In response to a question by one of my readers, here are some pictures of the purses I carry nowadays.   And to think, it all began with a fanny pack "back in the day."  And I carried purses for many years, even in drab.

It took a bit of adjusting before I retired, getting used to the fact that I no longer owned any pants with pockets.  And that meant I had to start wearing my stirrups and capri pants to work for the last few months.  Fortunately the girls loved - and encouraged - it.  But that's another story...

Breaking myself of the old habit of reaching into my non-existent pocket for my car keys, or for loose change, took a while.  But now I instinctively reach for my purse, and much prefer "my life without pockets".  Purses make a big improvement, something that women have known about for years.  It's wonderful to no longer be required to deal with that huge chunk of leather and plastic that men call a wallet.  Not do I have to worry about bulging pockets from loose change on one side and a huge keyring on the other!

The first purse shown is a Pac-Safe bag, with stainless steel reinforcement wire in the body and handle to minimize the chance of theft and pickpocketing.  I carried this every day (including to work) for years, after some quick ventures out en femme,   At times I even carried this with my briefcase.  No issues whatsoever. 

I tend to still carry this bag on longer excursions, because it has an almost infinite capacity.  (I even have a very small collapsible table tripod which can fit inside, if I'm careful!)  For those of you who "fly pretty," this bag may not be the best choice....    I choose not to fly, so I can't speak from experience,  but  it (with all its internal wires and mesh) might cause heartburn for the X-ray operators at TSA!


The following is a Liz Claiborne bag I picked up for $5 at a charity shop.  It was an emergency purchase, since my above bag broke just before we were leaving town, and I needed a purse since there was no time to get it fixed.  A cheap purse, and pronto.  This one's smaller, and much more feminine, but also much more fun to carry, since it previously was some woman's pride and joy.  Needless to say, it called my name from the rack, and I fell in love with it immediately.

Here is my newest, everyday purse.  It's a Relic brand, bought on sale for about $20 from Kohl's...guess I'm a Kohl girl now!   It goes with everything, and has a bit more capacity than the Liz Claiborne bag.  Here's a picture of me carrying it, from one of my summer excursions,  The clips were added to the handle attachments, to provide a convenient place to clip my key ring.


There's really no reason to delay - get yourself a purse and be comfortable.  Once you get used to the comfort and convenience, you won't want to be without one!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Out and about again today!

Today was another visit to the Dermatologist, and I knew that I wanted to be as femme as possible while still wearing pants.  So I brought out my new, triple blade razor to try to get the beard under control.  A late shave, and some basic makeup (with lipstick applied in the car), and a hot pink button-down tunic top set the mood for the day. 

I had a number of errands to run enroute to the doctor's office.  First was a visit to the bank.  The  female teller noticed, and wanted to know all about, my nails...fortunately she was gabbing with me  when there was no line! And from the nature of the discussion, she presumed that I was a woman:  (...How long have you worn them?   Can you get them in colors?  Do you paint over them when you want to change your color?  And so on.)  Was it my nails, my lipstick or my blouse that was the cue?

Next on my agenda was the grocery mega-store.  After finding the items I needed,  I was Miss-identified again at check out,  Feeling rather pleased with the performance of my new triple blade razor and "the same old makeup I've been using all along," I moved on to Office Depot.  There, several clerks addressed me as Ma'am while helping me locate the needed items.  Bingo...Miss-identified at 3 out of 3 locations!  Next was the gas station...the pump was automated and it didn't care at all about my gender!

But afterward I had to stop for lunch.  Went into a Subway, and was greeted with absolutely no gender specific pronouns at all.  Not one!  At least that was an improvement over the "sir" I usually get at Subways. The place was very busy at this late lunchtime - the only remaining table was back near the restrooms, behind an elderly couple sitting there. They were minding their own business as I walked by.

After I finished my meal, I decided to use the restroom, since waiting till I got to the Doctor's office just wasn't going to work this time.  I chose to use the men's room as an experiment, to see if the woman (whose line of sight I was in) would try to warn me that I was going to the "wrong one."   They really must have been oblivious to the world - nothing whatsoever was said!  Oh, is what it is.

On to the Dermatologist.  Enroute, in spectacularly sunny 70-degree-plus temperatures (72 on the car thermometer), I found listening to holiday music on the radio to be a bit disconcerting - how can it be the holidays, when wearing a tank top, short skirt and flip flops would be totally appropriate?  (And several girls actually were so attired.)  Reminds me of the days from my youth, when, living in the San Francisco area at the time, it was possible to enjoy a pool party on New Years Day, in similar temperatures, among trees and shrubs with foliage on them.  I couldn't get used to it....and while I don't require "a white Christmas" in order to be happy, it's nice to have 4 distinct seasons!

Before going in to the Doctor's office, I snapped a picture:

Once at the desk, no gender-specific pronouns were used by the staff when addressing me.  It was a shame that it had been necessary to use the toilet at Subway!   I had a different doctor this time, who knew me from visits prior to the last one.  After our greetngs, she asked what scent I was wearing.  My reply was that it was Navy, and she thought it was very pretty, a good choice for me.  Then she commented on my smooth, almost hairless arms.  So I told her about my having had them lasered years ago.  She thought it worked very well...

Since they now do laser at her office, I asked about my face.  She couldn't see much because of my makeup (and removed a little to get a closer look), but thought with as much as 40-50 percent black hair it still would be helpful, to remove the black quickly and leave only the gray.  Unfortunately, right now that expense isn't financially in the cards...but a good close shave with this new razor is performing much better than I had expected.  After shaving at 9:30 AM, there was no stubble visible by 3:30, could just feel a little roughness.  With some really good beard cover,  9 to 12 hours without a glimpse of my beard might be a possibility.  Not enough to "fly pretty," but enough for a bit more confidence that my beard won't show in normal activities.

We completed the visit in short order, and I was on my way home, after a very successful day!


Friday, November 30, 2012

A blast from the past...

Below are a couple of pictures from my archives.

The first one was taken as part of a professional makeover, and I'm estimating that it was taken in 2005.   It was done by Hor Shots,  a chain of shops with one in a fairly small town in Ohio.  Guess there wasn't enough business, because that one subsequently went out of business.

You can see that I had a lot fewer wrinkles back then, and my skin was a lot smoother!  Plus, trowels full of makeup!  But it was then, and still is today, my own hair.  It was fun having the girls at the studio put it in hot rollers, then comb it out.  I have the pictures buried, and other than the crossdresser who was with me the day they were taken, nobody knows they exist!

Haven't had the nerve, the money, or the time, to try a makeover again...  As I recall, the makeover itself wasn't too costly, but the pictures "ate my lunch."  Not sure what the future holds...however, if dresses become my everyday outfits next year, I'll probably need several repeats, to learn how to look as good as possible - i haven;t been able to re-create this nice an appearance by myself.

And I'll end up with some current professional pictures - which can then be showed to anyone. 

Having fun in a dress.

Following is a different kind of fun, and a picture that was taken with me in jeans.  Sitting in the engineer's seat of a steam locomotive would be tough to re-create, with me in a dress.  Actually, just sitting there wouldn't be a problem at all, but climbing up to the cab in a dress and heels would be the challenging part.  Bet a girl would have the attention of every male within eyeshot, waiting for her to return to terra firma.

No, before you ask, I don't run them, I was "just visiting" in the cab.  But, I really do like trains - a lot!

Having fun...but not in a dress...

Monday, November 26, 2012

An Eagle Celebrates a lonely Thanksgiving....

At this festive time of year, even our feathered friends get to celebrate Thanksgiving, though this fellow probably was probably extra happy since the feast was his alone!  It was one of the largest Eagles I've seen...and even cars whizzing by, or stopping 25 feet from him for pictures, did nothing to distract him from the job at hand!

Big Bird....and not the yellow kind!

The day after Thanksgiving was a sightseeing day for our little family...our son was home for the holiday...we took to the roads and ended up having dinner at a little seasonal waterside restaurant which was surprisingly enough, open at this time of year.  Couldn't pass up the chance for a photo.

This is a very short entry...nothing really new and exciting has happened since the last post, and there's no more info about a possible wardrobe change for me.  At this point, I don't plan to bring the topic up again...because I think I'd be comfortable either way.  And I'd rather the better half make the decision to put me in dresses, instead of my "forcing her hand" and later hearing about it.  If her decision is to leave well enough alone, I'll still be able to dress when I'm away from home.

Time will tell how it goes...meanwhile, things go on as usual.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"Sheesh, you guys are all alike - wanting us in high heels and short dresses."

Finally it's my annual out-of-town weekend at an antique show, where I'm "recycling" (translation - unloading) a bunch of things we no longer need.  At these shows I usually am able to go to dinner en femme one night.  But with my most recent wardrobe adjustments, this time things worked out much better than I had expected.

It all began with my suitcase receiving some unknown and unseen packing assistance the day before I left. Then on departure day, the better half set out my "suggested" departure day's outfit while I was in the shower:  a pair of denim jeggings, pantyhose, and one of Mom's turtlenecks, with my clogs.  That was pretty much what I had planned to wear...    But as I was leaving the house, with my suitcase already irretrievably buried under an SUV-load of articles for the sale, she mentioned "You should be very careful about spilling anything on your clothes today.  What you're wearing is the least feminine outfit you're taking along, and that's your incentive to be more careful."

She confessed that she had repacked my suitcase yesterday, so "you'll look your best all weekend.  You'll be able to wear what you have on for Saturday and Sunday as well, if you're very careful.  You'll find two plastic bags, labeled "Dinner Friday" and "Dinner Saturday" in there and the stirrup outfits are for dinner each day.  If you choose to not wear them, you risk spilling on your daytime outfit...but that's your decision.  In case the inevitable happens, I've added two extra outfits for you, in plastic bags labeled "Day Wear Saturday" and "Day Wear Sunday." Each bag contains pantyhose and one of your Mom's color-coordinated stirrup outfits. The ladies you know at the show would find it very appropriate that you've chosen to honor her generosity by actually wearing her hand-me-downs."

"So, if you mess up your clothes like you did on vacation, your "reward" this time will be wearing stirrups and ballerinas all day at the show, as well as to dinner.  I consider it a reward because not only will you look pretty, you'll be introducing your new attire to many people, and preparing them for your dressing in even more feminine outfits next year. By the way, if you end up in reward mode, don't even think about wearing clogs with your stirrups, instead of ballerinas - that combination doesn't look good, and the girls will probably point it out to you."

Then came a big surprise,  totally out of the blue - and one which I would never have expected.  "Here's a heads-up on something in your future. Though I haven't made a final decision on it yet, and probably won't till next summer, I've been contemplating having you start wearing only dresses or skirts.  If I decide I'm ready for that to happen, we'll go shopping for you next July or August, for somewhere between 7 and 14 stylish women's outfits, and have them altered to fit properly.  Just so you know, I'm planning on using our clothing budget for the next couple years 'now' to make sure it will be at least 14.  That may also require a few visits to the thrift shop...   Since fall sales are usually under way by then, it'll keep costs down, and  you may actually find yourself the proud owner of as many as 21 different dress and skirt outfits.  Won't that be fabulous?"

My response was muted...."Yeah, I think so.."

"'If' the process actually begins (or maybe it's 'when,' I truly don't know yet), you'll be wearing your new wardrobe every day, starting the day before you leave for next November's show.  That's because you'll be assigned an important task that day, your very first day in dresses.  First thing after breakfast,  you and I will pack up a big plastic bag with all your remaining pants, shorts and capri's (yes, I know I earlier exempted them from disposal, but I changed my mind), except for your Mom's hand-me-down stirrups.  Together we'll take them to the charity shop, where you'll be the one to actually count the contents with the clerk.  I'll watch and you, in your pretty new dress and and new patent ballerinas, conversing with the clerk about your donation if she should ask questions about why you're voluntarily giving up your pants!  That'll definitely be a Kodak Moment...I'll be taking lots of pictures, so you'll always be able to remember how pretty you looked on your first errand on your first day in dresses!"

I blushed...beet red...while asking if I'd still be able to wear Mom's stirrup outfits.

"Good question, sweetie. Yes, you'll initially be wearing them, but only for her visits, and only for a few weeks.  Then I'll put you in dresses and skirts for three or four visits, or maybe a week.  We'll see how well she handles it.  If she likes your new appearance, and I'm sure she will, from then on, no more pants.  You'll make a second visit at the charity shop, to finish donating the last few pairs!  In addition to giving us a tax deduction, those donations will also guarantee that you'll never be able to "back pedal" into pants, since you won't own any, and mine won't fit you.  After spending a small fortune buying you a complete women's wardrobe of skirts and dresses, plus the accessories, you'll be wearing and enjoying them for a long time to come."

So I asked "Can't I hang on to a couple pairs, for times I need to look less feminine?"   "Why on earth would a girl need to look less feminine?  Most everyone can see your basic femininity - hair, nails, waxed eyebrows, hairless arms and legs - already.  Once you're in dresses, I'll want you to look more feminine, all the time. Period.  You'll dress, look, and act like a girl.  So, no, you won't be keeping any pants."

"By the way, I plan to appropriate several pairs of your newest, cutest capri's, and alter them to fit me.  Your "loss" can be my "gain" - it's less expensive than my buying new capri's.  They're pants, but they'll help me be a bit more feminine.  Whenever I wear them, you'll probably recognize them as formerly being yours.  You can always feel free to remind me that they used to be yours!  However, don't even think about trying to get them back, sweetie. They won't fit you any more!  These are a few of the minor details and "rules of the road" we'll review later, after you've had a chance to experience life in dresses for a few weeks."

"Don't look so shocked over all this...if it happens, I know you're going to love it." My response was, "But what if I don't?"  She replied, "Since you'll be wearing skirts or dresses every day, whether you like it or not, as time goes on you'll simply get used to being feminine.  And trust me, it's not so bad....half the population is female!"

"Once we've started buying your new dresses, you must realize that your wardrobe WILL be changing.  You'll permanently lose the privilege of wearing pants starting in November of 2013.  I just can't let you confuse our friends and neighbors by switching apparent genders willy-nilly.  And then there's the matter of the money we spend for your new girly things - once we've started buying them, you'll just have to wear them."

"So for the time being, be patient, enjoy wearing those stirrups and capri's while you still can, and please don't bug me about my decision on this.  Asking -  even once - between now and the time I discuss it with you again next summer, will assure your future in dresses.  Instead, think about all the positive benefits a pretty new wardrobe would have for you, how many new female friends you'll gain, and realize that once it happens,  you may need several months of practice to feel totally at ease socially, as a woman. But in any case,  'the new you' WILL look fabulous while you learn!"

"Think about what you see girls wearing.  Skirts are perfect all year around.  Just-above-the-knee skirts of various fabrics are modest, and appropriate for everywhere you go, particularly in Fall, Winter or Spring.  During the summer, girls look much cuter showing off their legs in casual denim mini-skirts than shorts and capri's...and so will you, come the summer of 2014. You'll have so much more fun at car shows, sporting a mini skirt and flip flops, like other girls.   I know how much you love wearing house dresses around the house and yard.   So, you're part way to your goal already.  Meeting new people, selling things at shows, vacationing, touring, and socializing with your (and our) friends, all while wearing skirts and dresses, heels, nail color and full war paint, should be a complete non-issue.  And in the event any consulting jobs come your way, your knowledge is the same, whatever your presentation.  Dresses and heels will be professional enough that you'll look just like any other working woman."

"I'm really looking forward to seeing you all dolled up for your first party, wearing a short-but-classy evening dress and sexy stiletto high heel sandals, with beautiful red nails all around, matching lipstick, and your long hair fresh from a morning with Jessie at the salon, sprayed and pinned into a glamorous, girly up-do!  Another big step forward and another Kodak Moment, so we can both remember how nice you looked!"

"You'll soon come to realize that losing your pants is not actually a loss.  Instead, it's a big gain - you'll develop a much more attractive, feminine appearance and personality.  You'll eventually get used to dealing with your daily makeup routine, and showing off those legs 7 days a week, all year around - whether they're bare, with rubber flip-flops and painted toes under your mini-skirts, in sheer nylons and ballerinas or heels any time of year, or in opaque tights and booties under your dresses for additional warmth when you're shoveling snow or otherwise must be out in wintry weather.  And you're absolutely going to love the freedom skirts and dresses give you - the only way to describe it is that it feels like you're almost naked in public, but in reality, you're appropriately clothed!"

I blushed again...even redder this time.  "Sweetie, if your cheeks always flush that much, and stay that way once you're in dresses, it'll mean less time applying your makeup!"  And, my blushing continued even after she reminded me that it's the last we'll talk about this till she decides next summer, and promptly changed the subject...
So, I won't even begin to contemplate next November...since wearing dresses may, or may not, happen.  And I'm not going to inquire at all - that way she can make the decision.   In the past, things have often "heated up" like this, then melted away just as suddenly.  But if not, November 2013 could be my time to transition...I'll find out next summer.  If it happens, she becomes the one "wearing the pants in our family."  Time will tell.       
Right now I 'm just concentrating on "not" spilling anything on my clothes any time or place...  In years past at the show,  I've already been reminded by men that I should be using the women's room.  Wearing outfits like these would probably mean I'd have to use the women's room - and since some of the folks know me, that might be a problem unless I'm fully dressed.  Like next year?


 Here's how I looked for dinner Friday night...yes, I love wearing this outfit!

A self-portrait - the rich colors in this blouse are gorgeous!  No wonder the better half included it.  And "blue is for boys" certainly doesn't apply in this case.  My eyebrows got waxed recently, and my tech told me afterward that she shaped them to look good with the stirrups and ballerinas I was wearing at the shop that day.   Translation - nice and thin, just like a girl's!

Ready for dinner Friday evening.  No way these legs belong to a guy...

Saturday morning at breakfast I managed to spill some scrambled eggs on my turtleneck and denims...but cleaned them up quickly, with no major stains.  That was a close call!!  At the restaurant, there was also some confusion over the signature on my bill for breakfast, and the clerk ended up calling my room for "the lady who just ate breakfast there. " I gave my name, and said I'd be right down to straighten it out...  Another Miss-identification!

As Saturday wound down at the show, a couple of the guys I know invited me out to dinner, as usual.  We always have a nice evening, and agreed to meet in front of the hotel, after showering and changing clothes, to go find a restaurant nearby. Shortly after getting back to my room, I remembered I'll be wearing stirrups and a blouse for dinner...there's no way I'm going to risk staining my clothes tonight and ending up in one of Mom's outfits all day tomorrow. Since I don''t have any choice but to look girlie tonight, I figured I might as well do my makeup, too, and make myself look as pretty and feminine as possible for the guys.  But they probably won't even notice, since it'll be dark when we meet!

Here I am, ready to go for dinner with the guys Saturday night.  How do I look? 

As I was putting on my makeup and lipstick, I wondered why I was given two pairs of tan stirrups.  I'll have to ask when I get home!  (The better half's response was: "Because you look attractive in them.  Don't worry, you'll get to spend lots of time in those outfits this winter.")   Before going downstairs, I snapped the above picture for this blog... and then went to the elevator.  Much to my shock, the guys were waiting for me right at the elevator door,  instead of out front in the dark.  And, with plenty of light in the hallway, even these two typically-oblivious males did a double-take.  There was no way they could avoid noticing my apparent new gender.

Both smiled broadly.  One told me that I make a very attractive girl, looking probably 10 years younger than I did at the show.  And the other said "I didn't realize we were going out to dinner with a lady...but you look pretty, so it's fine.  You really should dress this way every day - it makes a major improvement in your appearance!" Gee, thanks guys - I think!

Then off we went - the driver took me by the arm, escorted me to the car, and helped me into the back seat.  They took the front seat. One of them noticed my engagement ring, pronounced it beautiful, and asked if wearing it helps to fend off the guys... My answer was "Yes it does.  In my younger days, I never approached a girl wearing an engagement ring." They agreed that they didn't either.   There was no more discussion about my attire, except I noticed that the guys arranged for me to sit between them at the table, and they cleaned up their language a lot.  Was it my appearance?  Or maybe the engagement ring?  (You can see it in the photo.)

Our female server Miss-identified me for the entire visit, but that wasn't a real surprise - it happens all the time.  I think the guys enjoyed having dinner with what-appeared-to-be-a-girl, and we talked about the same things we would have if we were three guys, not two guys and a gal!  Unfortunately, they were "cheap dates", and didn't buy my dinner...the server was even surprised that the guys made their girlfriend buy her own dinner!  But in any event, it was an exciting evening, even with me unavoidably stuck in girl mode.

The guys' parting comment was: "Next year, will you be wearing dresses and heels to the show, instead of pants? You'd look very pretty in them..." I responded "Thanks for the encouragement! Yes,  I'll be here next year, so come see me, then we'll both know. And if I am, you guys better plan on buying my dinner both Friday and Saturday nights!" "OK, It's a date, then! Just make sure you're wearing high heels, with your dress above your knees!" I laughed, and replied "Sheesh, you guys are all alike - wanting us in high heels and short dresses.  How on earth do you expect me to know what dresses I'll wear?  Maybe I haven't bought them!  So, we'll all have to wait and see, OK?" As we got on the elevator to go upstairs, I blushed deep red at what I had just said - my answer would have been  perfect, coming from a girl!  And as the guys got off on their respective floors, each gave me a good-night hug, putting that bright red back on my cheeks again... Thankfully we were alone on the elevator.

When I got back to the room, my blushing had subsided, so I tried another self-portrait.  Unfortunately, this one didn't turn out nearly as well as the last one!

So as of Saturday night, it looks like I've made it through the weekend without messing up my original outfit...or either of my stirrup outfits...and that's a good thing!  I'm not going to eat anything sloppy for lunch on the last day, so I shouldn't have to change in the men's room and spend the rest of the day at my table, looking like a girl without makeup.  Trying to apply makeup in the men's room would be way too embarrassing....

Sunday morning went well, and when I got dressed, I took the initiative to pack my clogs and wear my ballerinas...which was a noticeable clue to the ladies that I was wearing feminine clothes.  In fact, a couple of girls wanted to know what brand of shoes I was wearing!  And when I got home, the better half was so pleased to find me wearing them on my own, that she handed me a package containing another pair, for me to break in and then wear for dressy occasions.  I suspect I made a few brownie points....

Friday, November 2, 2012

"Down the hall, then turn at the first hallway and it's the second door on the righrt"

There are a number of errands on tomorrow's agenda, for me to run - to the Primary Care Physician's office and then the Dermatologist, the shoe store (to look for peep-toe ballerinas) and the air pollution inspection station.  And the better half has already picked out my outfit...a pair of gray stirrups and a turtleneck, one of several outfits which come to me "with a history."  Or maybe more appropriately, a "her-story."  They formerly were my mother's, but no longer fit her when she went into the nursing home.

Since they were still in great condition, the better half put them in my closet, along with some of Mother's turtleneck blouses, rather than the charity box we had from our time cleaning out and selling her house, though I didn't know at the time.  And if I had, probably I wouldn't have agreed to it.  But recently she's begun to improve my appearance by integrating Mom's outfits into my everyday wardrobe.

I cheerfully admit that they're comfortable, fit well and look very feminine. Mom is thrilled to see that I'm now wearing her old clothes on a regular basis - she enjoys seeing them again, even though they don't fit her any longer.  And she thinks it's a shame that none of the dresses she owned which would have fit me, survived the house cleaning when we sold her place,  She'd have loved for me to be wearing them...    But the better half hinted that, if they'd actually survived,  by now I'd be wearing them three or four days a week!

It's an unusual feeling to recognize that my newest pants outfits, ones that the better half not only approves of but insists I wear two or three days a week, are all hand-me-downs from Mom. Back in the day, I envied her for wearing her cute stirrup outfits (yes, including ballerinas) for her daily activities.   Now, I just have to look in the mirror, to see myself wearing them (with my new ballerinas, since hers were too small).  Every time I notice my reflection in shop windows and glass doors,  I'm reminded that I now wear those very same outfits that I once envied Mom for wearing!

It's easy to predict what I'll be wearing for my doctor appointments tomorrow, since "You'll need to look like Ms. Sherman at both Doctor's offices.  And besides, Mom's outfits really help you display those cute ballerinas you've started wearing every day."

My day out began with a stop at the pharmacy for a purse-size bottle of perfume.  Then it was on to the shopping center for a visit to Radio Shack.  From there I walked down the street to Payless for some shoes.  I tried on some of their flats, but the fit wasn't quite right, and there weren't any with peep toes.  They had a pair of cute white pumps with 2" heels (but no peep toes) that fit reasonably well and which I actually considered.  But I doubted that they'd go over well because the heel was higher than 1-1/2" and the better half definitely wants me showing off at least a couple prettily painted toes on each foot.  And worse yet, they were white.  If they had stocked black, I'd have bought them on general principles and held them for later.  So I'll have to try another Payless in the area.

Then it was off to the Primary Care office to pick up my referral.

How I looked at the Dermatologist's office...

With referral in hand, I proceeded to the dermatologist's office for my appointment. When I got there, first things first. I had to use the restroom, so I asked where it was.  The lady at the desk looked up at me, with my purse on the counter and French manicure in view,  grabbed the restroom key and slid it over the counter, while reciting "It''s down the hall.  Go out this door, go straight, then turn right at the hallway and it's the second door on the right, Ma'am."

I followed her directions precisely, thinking only about the traffic I'd hit on the way home, and not even contemplating what was about to happen.  When I got to the second door on the right, I was surprised with the "Women" sign on it.  I tried the key in the men's room door on the other side of the hall, but it didn't work.   Miss-identified again, by a woman, and this time it seems to have resulted in my having to use the women's room.  The staff-approved invitation was in my hand.

I was well past the point of walking back to "right" the situation - guess I shouldn't have had the extra glass of tomato juice at breakfast!  Figuring it was a one-person restroom, I put the key in the door and pressed on.  Was I ever wrong - four stalls and a really comfortable looking couch, in a very clean looking-and-smelling restroom!  Fortunately I was I took care of business (yes, I sat) and quickly washed my hands, so I could leave before another lady got there.

No sooner had the door closed behind me as I left, when a clerk I recognized from the doctor's office came around the corner.  She smiled and said hi as we passed in the hall, and she let herself in using her employee key.  She could tell I came out of the women's room by where I was as she came around the corner, and when the door slammed behind me.  But, she didn't say anything, and my timing really was excellent!

Once back in the office, I noticed that the waiting room was full of women.  Not a man in sight, and all the clerks were female.  They eventually pulled my file, but never let on that they had Miss-identified me.  No gender-specific pronouns or comments were made by the girls - well, other than the doctor and her assistant (for some reason, my female Primary Care doctor always refers me to female specialists when possible) complimenting my French acrylic nails, which they thought were nicer than their own...even though I was somewhat in need of a fill.  And they both told me how nice my hands will look with pretty red nails instead of the French...has my better half tipped them off?

From there it was a smooth return prepare for a solo weekend out of town.  More on this to follow...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"Those cute ballerinas really make the girl, you know!"

And it all began with the first of about 4 days of sightseeing, among a group of acquaintances...

First time out wearing my new girly shoes "among a large group of people who know me", on the first day of what was to become my most feminine vacation so far...

My ballerinas (the better half prefers to call them that, since ballet flats sounds too masculine) and a pair of skimmers were the only shoes she allowed me to bring. "You won't be wearing any others, so why carry them? Just leave them at home."  That was fine with me.  And she "suggested" that I wear a lone pair of womens' denim leggings, in addition to bringing a good assortment of my stirrups.  OK, fine, mind said "no point in making the change to girly all at once..."   So, it appeared that denim would still an option, at least a couple of times during the trip..  She apparently was anxious to see any reactions by our acquaintances to my feminine footwear, before I started wearing them with my stirrups.

Happily, I wore my ballerinas all day and evening.  And, it turned out to be a complete non-event! There were no consequences, no comments to either of us, and at least to my face, no "looks."  So far, so good...

But, at dinner, I managed to spill food on my leggings (as I mentioned, they were the only pair in my suitcase), making them unwearable again till washed.  Spilling food isn't normally a big deal - you just change clothes, right?  I wonder if anyone noticed my red cheeks while I was trying to clean myself up?  I already knew what I was going to be wearing for the rest of our vacation...

The second morning, my better half actually got dressed first (jeans and blouse, with sneakers), while I snoozed.  That prepared her to become an enthusiastic observer as I pulled my turtleneck blouse over my head, rolled my usual suntan pantyhose up my legs, pulled on a pair of black stirrups, and stepped into my ballerinas. "Honey, I love your cute new ballerinas, and I'm thrilled that you're now wearing them every day.  It shows me how much you really like them!" I didn't think it would be particularly tactful to remind her that she really had left me no choice, since they (and my skimmers) were the only shoes she let me bring.  But I love wearing them, and like how girly they look, so it didn't matter.  I simply replied, "Thanks!"

"Yes, ballerinas really make the girl, you know? And your feminine stirrup pants display them so nicely.  The only thing more attractive, would be for you to wear short, casual denim skirts to show off not only your ballerinas, but also your legs!  But...that will come later." (This is added in retrospect:  Re-reading my blog, those last two sentences were a sign of things to come, which escaped me at that particular moment!)

If the truth be known, I blushed...deep red. Wonder how (or if) she's referring to my denim skirt - the one I have stashed away, in a locked suitcase? Fortunately there were only a couple of lights on and she probably didn't notice my red cheeks. "Now grab your purse, honey, and let's get moving. We have people to meet and places to go." And together, we walked downstairs to meet the others.

During the day's activities, I got a few looks from some of our lesser-known acquaintances, but there were no comments. Everyone in our group was as nice as usual. We socialized with many people. Miss-identifications were only from folks who didn't know me...people other than those in our group. 

A female friend in the group took this picture for me. She thought it turned out quite well, and told me that my outfit was very cute! "With your beautiful long hair and pretty nails, you really should be dressing like this all the time." I didn't bother to tell her it was already under way - she's probably figured that out. 

If not, she's going to find out for sure in due time, especially if (or maybe it's when) I end up in dresses. Out of the group of 45 couples with whom we were sightseeing, nearly half the women wore a skirt or dress at some point during our vacation, mostly for dinner. During the day, I'd definitely be one of the few girls with my legs on display.  But as the girls at the nail salon keep telling me..."Once you wear dresses every day, you'll eventually learn to love having guys (and gals) staring at your legs.  And, when you've reached that point, you won't go back into pants even if you're allowed to."  And after rereading, this may also have been an unrecognized-at-the-time forecast of things to come.  Time will tell.

There were no restroom issues...most places had unisex toilets, and the few others that didn't found me talking with the guys as we walked right in the men's room door. So there were no real problems.  The only issue at one place where I was not with friends in the men's room - a guy came in, saw me, and made a generic comment, to nobody in particular, about the "woman in the men's room" - just as I disappeared into a stall.  I said nothing, and he "took care of business" and left, with no further comment. 

Late in the evening of the third day of the trip, my better half mentioned that I finally looked like I was no longer self-conscious of what I was wearing. She asked for my thoughts on my new everyday appearance. "Yes, I'm fully comfortable wearing these outfits, and yes, I'm enjoying our vacation, even dressed as I am. Having no choice but to look this feminine has taught me to go about my business, respond as a woman, and quit worrying about what others think. That's what I'm doing, and I've really been enjoying getting compliments from the girls."

Judging from the big smile, I think she liked what she heard!

Maybe a split-window Corvette for my next car???   No, probably not...they're a chick magnet. Oops, it slipped my mind - I seem to have become one of them! Guess I'll have to stick to looking at
Corvettes belonging to the guys!

The better half surprised me by bringing a pair of black pantyhose along for me to try. Notice my ballerinas and stirrups with sheer black pantyhose underneath? Look again, they're hard to see! 
I personally like the look of dark stirrups with black nylons. But, apparently she didn't. Her "suggestion" is to save them for cooler weather, when can I wear them under my white or tan stirrups, or those very few occasions when I may need to appear a bit less feminine, since they help disguise my exposed ankles and girly shoes. "But once these are gone, rest assured you won't be getting any more dark pantyhose."

"Honey, today you look too much like a guy. Since you're a girl wearing ballerinas and stirrups, from here on, you need to make sure the shape of your ballerinas, your instep and the backs of your heels are always plainly visible to everyone under the arches of your stirrups. Wearing black nylons and dark stirrups, they aren't. I really want you to stick with nude or suntan pantyhose." And she may well be right...while I was wearing dark pantyhose with dark stirrups, there were no Miss-identifications!

I assured her that henceforth I'll only wear dark pantyhose under my light-colored stirrups, during the fall and winter, (at least till they're all worn out) and always wear nude pantyhose with dark stirrups.

Next Bus to Harrisburg!!!!

Love this bus...very stylish and retro! And it would make a fabulous motor home conversion!

Our friends were fine with my attire, though by now, I noticed them starting to use a few less gender-specific pronouns for me.  I wore these skimmer flats to dinner a couple evenings, during the day once, to try out some different shoes, and to the big banquet at the end of our vacation.  On the way down the hall at the hotel this morning, every female I encountered smiled and said hi.  Plus, one of the girls addressed me as "Miss," while we were walking down the hall and chatting.

It's great to be a girl!

Another Car Show

Since having the vacation described above, my antique car and I recently attended a fairly large car show.  There, I wore one of the same outfits pictured at the top of this blog (turtleneck, black stirrups, nude pantyhose, and ballerinas) plus light makeup.

As has happened before, the first time I used the restroom (in this show, they were porta-pots), the guys certainly didn't hesitate to remind me that I was in the wrong line.  One of the more chivalrous younger guys was apparently tired of listening to the comments, so he decided to help me out of there, and gently took my hand in his. What surprised me was that he interlocked our fingers (like I've always done with girls) to make it clear he was the one in control, not me.  Standing there with him firmly gripping my hand, I wasn't in any position to object, so events unfolded just as he planned - we walked shoulder-to-shoulder and hand-in-hand, to the end of the long line for the nearby women's porta pots.  That was definitely a first for me! Then he released my hand, stopped for a moment and smiled, then returned to his spot in the line for the mens' room.

Once he left, the girls were chattering that they thought he was an attractive enough guy, and that it was very gentlemanly of him to make sure I got into the proper line.  Several girls suggested that in the future, I should forget about using the men's room, and just go to the line for the women's room.   One of the younger girls whispered in my ear "Missy, dressed like you are, you belong over here with us instead of with those rude, crude guys.  Your Mr. Right did you a big favor, and you should have rewarded him by wrapping your arms around his neck and planting a lingering, passionate kiss, right on his lips...didn't you notice his hesitation there at the end?  That was his way of giving you the chance, and it would have made his male friends so very jealous!  It's too late now...but these are thing you'll need to learn about."

"You're much safer over here, and we don't mind.  Just remember - our restrooms and even porta pots are much cleaner than theirs, and we like them that way, so you ALWAYS sit.  Got it?"  Not sure how I should answer her, about all I could say in response was "Yes, ma'am, I promise!"  Her response:  "Good.  By the way, those are cute ballet flats.  Where did you get them?"  So, with the girls attentively eavesdropping, I told her how they ended up becoming my everyday shoes.  After hearing that, the girls included me in their conversations: which cars their husbands or boyfriends had entered in the show, fashions, hair styles, etc. The line was long, so when my turn to use the restroom eventually came, I respected their wishes and made sure to sit!  For the rest of the day, I used the women's porta pots, without issue.  And a couple of the girls came by my car to chat...since their guys were preoccupied with their own cars.

I wish I had some pictures, but didn't have the camera with would be fun to have a picture of me in line for the women's room, with all the girls around me!

More adventures later...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

At Last! Wearing feminine shoes...all day, every day.

As I mentioned earlier, a pair each, of T-strap women's driving shoes and round toe ballet flats showed up in UPS the other day.  The box had my name on it, and both pairs were my size.  Guess who ordered them for me?  I was asked to wear them around the house to make sure "your new shoes fit, since you're going to be spending quite a bit of time in them."

So, with both pairs fitting acceptably,  I wore the driving shoes to visit Mother, and she loved them.
But the next day I wore these:

She was thrilled to see me wearing them.  They're cute, very comfortable...and I'm really enthusiastic about wearing my new ballet flats.

That's a good thing, because so is my better half. "They're perfect with all your stirrups and Capris, and will look fine with dresses and skirts once you're wearing them.  So, you have absolutely no need for loafers.  Since you're going to be a girl, shouldn't you be sporting cute, girly shoes all day, every day?" It's tough to argue against that type of logic, isn't it?  And it would be quite an issue for me, if I weren't willing to go down this road!

"Check your closet, you'll find that I've already collected them and packed them up.  They're beyond your reach now.  When I decide the time is right, or the first time you ask about them, they will go in the charity donation bin.  You might as well forget about them - they're gone.  Just concentrate all your efforts on becoming totally comfortable wearing your ballet flats, all day, every day."   So, that evening, I looked in my closet.  And by golly, she's right, they're all gone!   Fortunately I love wearing my ballet flats.

Meanwhile, I got my next clothing check thrift shops and on line, for two different brands of ballerina flats with the more feminine string ties on the vamp, and two different styles with the string ties AND peep toes, to put my pedicures on display.  This will insure that I have enough girly shoes for any occasion, now that my loafers are no more.

I guess dresses and heels will come later...

           At the nursing home...showing off my everyday feminine look and my new ballet flats.

And that's where Mother confided in me that she loves my ballet flats, even more than the driving shoes, and that I should be wearing them all the time, including with dresses.  I asked her why she likes them so much and she told me that they are a cute, timeless style that reminds her of the shoes she wore many years back. Then the zinger..."and you look much more attractive in them than those loafers you sometimes wear."

I was able to reassure her that "my better half agrees completely with you, and has already collected  my loafers for donation to charity.  I won't be wearing them any more.  Ballet flats are my new every day shoes."

My comfy new driving shoes...are mostly for longer trips, though.  Even my better half says that ballet flats will be fine for local driving.

The T-strap and elastic band are great to keep them from gapping at the sides, which has been a problem for many of the ballet-style flats I've tried on over the years...  And I just love the pattern in the leather on the vamp...   If you look, you can see a stylized triangle, pointing forward on the vamp of each shoe.  If you include the two t-straps which intersect the elastic band,  you have an arrow, pointing forward.

Every time I see that, I consider it a reminder of the girly direction my new shoes are leading me...and the better half says these look enough like mary janes to let her see that those might be another feminine option for me, down the road.

                                             I'll try to get a better picture as soon as I can....

Monday, October 1, 2012

Hey Lady! The Doctor. And, My New Footwear.

It's been a while since I last posted...unavoidably, life has been hectic, and it remains so today.  But I will continue to post as often as possible!
On our recent vacation to Yellowstone National Park, my suitcase was packed with Capri and stirrup pants, Keds and various tops.  This was a perfect combination, with the promise of maximizing my chances of being "Miss-identified."  Fortunately, it often had the desired result!

Denim Capri pants with pantyhose (not a fashion statement, but just plain comfortable) and turtlenecks were perfect for cold mornings and cool days. It was a bit chilly at nearly 8,000 feet of elevation, hence the jacket:

Lightweight white Capri pants, or white stirrups, with short sleeve tops were just right for warmer climates, like Salt Lake City. Keds, both lace-up black, and slip-on white, were my only shoes.  For possible use in cooler weather, there were several pairs of dark stirrups, which came with a history.  Or maybe more appropriately, a "her-story. They formerly were worn by my mother, but no longer fit her when she went into the nursing home.

Since they were still in great condition, my better half simply put them in my closet, along with some of Mother's turtleneck blouses, instead of the charity box from cleaning out and selling her house.  I've recognized and managed to avoid wearing them up to now, and I'm not really sure why.  But she insisted that I pack them, since I'd "be needing to wear them."  And it turned out that she was exactly right. Wonder how she knew it would happen that way?

On the train enroute home one morning, I discovered that the only pairs of clean pants left in my suitcase were Mother's stirrups.  With no other choice, I put them on, and found that I loved the way they felt.  The better half smiled knowingly: "I thought you'd like them! See what you've been missing? You really should have been wearing these all along - that slim fit and high stirrup arches make your legs so long and attractive.  But you'll look even better once you're wearing skimmers or ballet flats, which will keep your bare ankles, insteps, and heels on full-time display, as intended by their designer.  I just wish you'd bought some skimmers on your own initiative..."

Anyone want to bet AGAINST my shoes becoming skimmers or ballet flats for our whole next vacation? Or even, bet AGAINST them soon being my everyday shoes?  To me, neither bet would be safe...

Back to our memorable vacation travels:  it was wonderful to be addressed as female, and that happened over half the time, whenever we were away from the tour groups in which we participated. The better half took it well, and amazingly, that particular topic was never mentioned in any discussion.  She seems to be getting accustomed to my being recognized as a woman.

I learned - quite quickly - that I need to respond as automatically and quickly to "Miss", "Ma'am" and most recently "Hey Lady" as I used to for "Sir" - back in the day when that was the more appropriate greeting!   This important fact came to light as I was out of the car, wandering around the Roosevelt Arch at the Yellowstone entrance in Gardiner, MT taking pictures, with nobody else around, or so I thought.  I heard "Hey Lady...Hey, Lady!"  I turned around to face the caller, about 20 feet away.  "Honey, you need to walk over there right now, and get a good picture of the elk family."  So now, I respond quickly - regardless of the gender used to address me!

And yes, I got a picture of  Mr. Elk, relaxing in the shade....

Mrs. Elk and Baby Elk were both nearby as well.  Though they were a bit shy -  hiding in the shade of a picnic pavilion, I got a picture of both.  Needless to say, I thanked the gentleman profusely...

This trip, I seldom had to open a door for myself...or for the two of us. Men were automatically doing their duty for us....and it was fabulous.  However, applying makeup on a moving train was tough, and after the first day, I simply didn't wear it, for the rest of the trip...just a close shave and some light lipstick.

Needless to say, "girly is good."  And it was one fine and memorable vacation!

Now to "after we got back home".  Day before yesterday,  my better half "suggested" that I wear one of Mom's stirrup-and-turtleneck outfits and flats to visit her at the nursing home.  Couldn't think of a valid reason not to, the weather was certainly cool enough.  I generally go along with "suggestions" since it isn't usually worth arguing.  So, I just put them on.  The staff is used to my girly things,  since that's all they've ever seen.  But, I enjoyed so many positive comments about my new feminine finery (Mom's gray stirrups and red turtleneck, my black flats and purse, with a lightweight black jacket casually tied around my waist, looking almost like a skirt) that I'll be wearing them often - on my own!

Much to my shock, when Mother saw me, she instantly recognized her stirrups and blouse! At first I thought she might be upset, but then in front of the aide who was sorting her laundry, she said  "it's wonderful that you're enjoying my old clothes, and I'm amazed that they fit you perfectly.  But you look so nice that, instead of my pants,  I'd really love to see you wearing my dresses and skirts - there's so much wear left in them.  And, with your long hair and pretty nails, they'd be a natural on you." 

"My skirts and blouses would be perfect for you to wear around the house, for shopping, and on vacations.  Plus, you and your wife socialize a lot.  There are some pretty dresses just waiting for you to wear them out to dinner, and you'll look gorgeous for your friends at your parties and get-togethers.  You'll find some benefits to wearing them.  They were all expensive, and paid for by your Father, for the many company parties he took me to, over the years.  Though I doubt he'd have figured they'd ever fit you, he'd be pleased that you're going to enjoy them.  I found them really comfortable, and you're going to look elegant with a pretty hairdo, appropriate foundations and 4" heels like I used to wear.  Dresses are lots of fun...since they make it impossible to hide your nylon'ed legs, you'll find many male heads turning your way.  As a girl, you'll love the attention.  And dresses are great conversation starters for other women.  But you'll learn about those benefits of dresses for yourself, once you're wearing them."

Mom's aide smiled knowingly, and reminded me that retro clothes are right in style now.  "Her dresses and skirt outfits would not only look lovely on you, sweetie, but enhance your wardrobe nicely, particularly if you wear some cute heels.  You really should be wearing things other than just Capri and stirrup pants with flats.  Be bold, and look feminine!   I can speak for the other gals here...we'd love to see you model one of your mother's dresses every time you visit." (That entire exchange came as a complete surprise to me!)

The reality is that we shouldn't have many of her clothes left...they mostly went to charity.  Mother's forgotten that a lot of them dated way back to when she wore a size 6 dress. There's not a chance in the world that any would have fit me.  But when I reviewed the events of the day with my better half,  and in answer to her questions, admitted that I'd like to give it a try, she volunteered to go through Mom's things in our basement again,  this time moving into my closet anything that will fit.

"But before I go to all the effort, I just want you to know: if there are as few as two dresses and/or skirts that fit, I think you'll start wearing them out in public, fully made up like other well-dressed women, when we're out of town.   Even before I go down to the basement to look, I plan to donate your remaining few women's dress pants.  I won't let you wear them any more - your Mom's stirrup outfits have completely replaced them.  Her stirrups fit you very well, you always wear them enthusiastically, and they're very attractive on you.   For each of Mom's skirts that I locate, your jeans and shorts will be also be donated, at the rate of 4 for every skirt.  Finding you as few as five or six skirts will eliminate all of them.  But don't'll still have plenty of stirrups, Capris and Mom's skirts to wear, as well as lots of room in your closet for the stylish new dresses you'll want to buy."

"With all the changes that soon may be happening in your life, don't think for even one second that I'm going to start wearing dresses.  Not a chance - this gal just isn't a girly-girl.  I'll be sticking with my jeans or slacks and sneakers, thank you very much!"  Then she chuckled: "I never thought I'd become the one who wears the pants in our family - but I believe I'm really going to like the idea.  As new head of this household, I'll gain at least part of the "male privilege" you're willingly forfeiting by taking on the female role!  How about you?  Will you enjoy exploring your new feminine place in society?  Are you ready for the pluses - and the minuses - of being recognized as a woman?"  My response was "I'm really looking forward to all aspects of it.  Living a female lifestyle will require big adjustments, and a lot of effort, on my part.  But I want to try it."

"Just a second, sweetie.  Remember, this isn't a trial run.  Once we've met our friends, with you standing beside me in a dress, heeled sandals, and makeup, with bright red finger and toe nails, there will be no turning back. You'll become a woman, permanently.   No way will I embarrass myself, or allow you to confuse anyone, by switching back and forth between genders.  Our friends will mostly accept you as female, as will the general public, who doesn't know you.  And since I'm with the program, you should have no problems living as a woman for the rest of your life."

"In fact, since you're retired, once you assume your new role as a woman, we'll get you involved doing women's community volunteer work for a couple of agencies.  They'll keep you busy each weekday!  You'll work in dresses or skirts and heels daily, with stirrups or Capri pants on casual Fridays, to establish yourself locally as a civic-minded woman, and build friendships with your female co-workers.  You know, do lunches and gossip with the girls, go to hen parties and girls' nights out, etc.  Start to have some real fun!"

"Here at home, we'll be sharing some of the "woman's work".  Since we're responsible for doing your mother's laundry from the nursing home, you can do all our laundry, as well as her.  It's 6 or 7 full loads of wash a week, dried, folded, and put away, with about 3 hours of ironing, and some occasional mending.  Each load takes about 90 minutes from start to finish, so doing a load a day after work will keep you current.  I'll show you how to do it, and I'll continue to do everything else. That's only fair, right?"

"Plus, I want you to get used to a new womens' style - flirty little mini-skirts over your stirrups, leggings and Capris.  I'll buy you some stylish - and very short - mini's, to get you started.  Since they're over your Capris, your modesty is protected, but they're adorably girly outfits, which you'll look cute in, and they're totally acceptable anywhere, so you can wear them every time you wear pants if you wish."

"It's fine with me if you continue to maintain and enjoy your antique car, your flea marketing and other hobbies..  It's just that you'll be doing everything as a female, wearing dresses or skirts every day, and mini-skirts over your Capris.  Plus, don't forget you'll be responsible for keeping the laundry current."   I chuckled as I told her "The laundry can be done of an evening.  And wearing dresses at car shows and flea markets isn't a disadvantage at all...I'm often seen as female. Several times the guys have ushered me by the arm out of the men's room line, and put me in line with the girls - who welcomed me!  I'll be much more comfortable at summer events in cool, floaty sundresses and rubber flip flops, like other women.  I'll fit right in, so bring it on!"

"Mother's stirrup outfits and stirrup leggings are all safe from disposal - permanently - since she likes to see you wear them, and they make your legs look fabulous.  In fact, her stirrups, worn with cute skimmers or ballet flats,  tucked-in V-neck white fitted sleeveless blouses over amply-padded A-cup foundations and pantyhose, fitted ladies' sport jackets, long silver-painted acrylic fingernails and a handbag or purse, will be the most masculine attire you'll ever own.  You'll be seen as a very feminine male whenever ID is required, like the voting booth, DMV, and passport renewal."

"Capri pants and pedal pushers are cute, and also permanently safe from disposal.  Yes, they're pants, but they seriously enhance your feminine look and you should have lots of fun wearing them under mini-skirts.  The rest of your stirrups are safe for now...till you acquire enough new dresses that you can wear a different one every day for two weeks." 

From my own standpoint, in retrospect I never dreamed that I'd end up in Mother's hand-me-downs, and with her total encouragement, no less!  Yet, here I am, wearing those very same stirrups and tops that she wore to visit us years ago, as well as to travel and run her daily errands with Dad.   HER old stirrup outfits have become an important part of MY everyday wardrobe, that I now wear to visit her in the nursing home.  And I might soon be wearing her dresses.

This has take ages to actually occur, but my wish to wear Mother's stirrups outfits has finally come true.  And there's a good possibility that I'll end up taking this much farther than I had planned, with the better half's blessing.  So, it's a good thing my male given name has become one for females.  I won't have to change ID's!  Moral of story: be careful what you wish for - it might just happen.

 Today (October 2) was bloodwork day at the Doctor's office.

 I chose to wear Mom's stirrups outfit again, but this time, with flats...  I wanted to see what the effect would be.   And as soon as I arrived at the Doctor's office, they addressed me as Ms. Sherman.  Not just once, but every single time they spoke to the entire staff.

Whether they truly thought I was female, or were just being politically correct with a transgender patient, I'll never know...but I was in heaven!  I prefer to think the former, because the phlebotomist (sp?) complimented my outfit and asked about my purse...she wants to buy one like it.  Since my records indicate my born gender, it probably was the latter.   But it made my day, week, and is well on the way to making my year!

Well, I told the better half to go ahead and look through the basement for anything of Mother's that will fit me, knowing full well that if there are any, I'm likely to end up a full-time girl.  And that really can't be too bad...half the world's population is female!

On Oct. 4th, a pair each, of T-strap women's driving shoes and ballerina flats showed up in UPS today.  The box had my name on it, and both pairs were my size.  I didn't order them...guess who did?  I've been asked to wear them around the house tonight and through the weekend, to make sure "your new shoes fit, since you're going to be spending quite a bit of time in them."  And as of Sunday morning the 7th, they really do fit fairly well...   I told her that, so today I wore the driving shoes to visit Mother, and tomorrow I've been told to start wearing them, or my new skimmers, every day. "Since you're going to be a girl soon, you'll have to get used to sporting girly shoes every day!"