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!"