Monday, January 28, 2013

"I love it when a plan comes together!"

The better half and I recently attended a Conference in upstate New York, where literally everyone attending knows us.  (Sorry, no pictures this time.)   Since I had only nude pantyhose as legwear with my stirrups, denim leggings and flats, the better half lent me a couple pairs of her dark trouser socks to wear over my pantyhose for the three days of meetings and activities.

Enroute by train in both directions, restrooms were all unisex, so there were no issues.  We sat in the first class lounge at New York's Penn Station, as neither of us wanted to spend much time out with the masses during flu season.  Whenever I needed to use the restroom, the first class lounge was almost empty, as the ebb and flow of people occurred  between departing trains!  I used the men's room, but it was vacant, so there were no problems.

I used the Conference area's men's room routinely, with no issues.  For outside activities (yes, it was cold) I wore my women's ankle boots with no issue. I talked with most all the attendees at one point or another, and nothing at all was said about my attire (at least nothing that I've caught wind of.)

Other than during the Conference itself, I seldom-if-ever heard the dreaded "sir."  I got a few "no pronouns" greetings, and some smiles, but by and large, we were generally addressed as "ladies."  Going both directions, we darted out of the first class lounge for a few minutes to get meals at a restaurant in Penn Station.

There, the waiter gave us a new variation - "you girls" - as in, "what can I get you girls for dinner?"
Not sure why the better half said it to the waiter, but she pointed out that "My husband suggested I have some soup with dinner...."  The waiter took her order and didn't miss a beat...presuming that her husband was somewhere else.  He turned to me for my order - "and you, Miss?"   Train conductors helped us put our bags on and off the trains where there aren't high platforms - "let me help you with that, Miss."  And at various times enroute, men were holding the door for both of us.  It's fun to be a girl!

In closing, to quote Hannibal Smith, leader of the "A-Team"  (for those not old enough to remember, it was a series on the telly from '83 to '87),  - "I love it when a plan comes together!"

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Pedicure time again...

Time for my pedicure...since the edges of the polish on my big toes was finally starting to crack and snag my pantyhose.   The pedicure tech was glad to see me - "I figured you'd be back soon!  Six and a half weeks is very good for a shellac pedi."

"Now you'll get to see how we take the shellac off, and why you need to do it at a salon."  After a few minutes in the foot spa, she dried me off, and prepared 10 pieces of aluminum foil and pieces of cotton.  After moistening each piece of cotton with a remover (which smelled a lot like acetone), she put it on a toe, and wrapped the toe with aluminum foil.  Once all of mine were wrapped, she went to the next girl (who had been prepared before me) and started to clean her shellac off, by scraping and then pushing back the cuticles.  Then she shaped her nails and gave them a light sanding with the nail block.   Took her about 10-12 minutes, then she came back and did the same thing on my toes,
cutting them down as short as possible.  With a big smile, she said "maybe in March I'll start letting those toe nail grow nice and long, like Judy has done with your fingers.  That way,  as spring turns into summer, you'll find your flats becoming a bit uncomfortable and you'll begin to spend most of your time in one of the many pretty styles of sandals."  "I'm not sure that'll be quite such a good idea, but we'll see" was my response.

After the rest of the pedicure (massage, etc.) she moved me to a regular chair at a polish station.  There she applied a base coat, 2 coats of polish and a top coat, all with short cycles under a timed UV light.  When that was done, I heard "OK sweetie, you can put your flats back on - you're ready to go!"

It really feels strange to put shoes on over freshly-painted toes, but with shellac, there's no damage to my polish!  And I just couldn't resist putting on a pair of sandals under my housedress, to check out how they look:

Silver polish adds a feminine touch, don't you think?

Now we just need to get some warm weather....

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Just Ducky....and "A High Heeled Girl"

Found this flock of ducks...well, really geese...resting in a field in the area.  It's always fun to see them - though they sure can make a mess on the ground...or on your car!  

Has anyone noticed an interesting contradiction lately...geese are supposed to be flying south for the winter (these are obviously stragglers from the flock.)  But many airborne geese have been flying north.  Has something happened to their internal GPS systems, or is it a local avian forecast of a mild winter here in the mid-Atlantic region?  It was near 50 here today, and yesterday I noticed some of the trees are beginning to form their new buds...  When the weather eventually gets cold, those trees - and the errant geese - will be in for a rude shock!

Isn't this just ducky???? Oh, that's right, they're geese!

Another shopping day - dropped the better half off at a store, and did some shopping on my own, taking a few minutes to stop by a little lake I'd never guess it was January, based on the conditions in these pictures!

A walk by the lake.  And it's winter but you wouldn't know it!

A little warmer and I may find myself breaking out my Capri pants...the other girls have started to do it already, so I'd just be going along with them.

Another day out and about in the sunshine...

The following two pictures are of me wearing a pair of high heels I bought on line several years ago.  I really loved the appearance - very sexy - but when I walked in them, they were so uncomfortable that I couldn't wear them all day, or even for more than a few minutes.  Plus they put significant dimples in our hardwood and linoleum floors...not something I was willing to live with.  "No pain, no gain" is a wonderful statement, but when it applies to your own feet...not so much!   The shoes went to charity...and I haven't worn any shoes so blatantly sexy since then!

Is there any way to stop high heels from scarring the floor  (other than sticking with chunky heel styles instead of stilettos?)   Probably once I'm in dresses,  I'll get brave enough to buy heels again...but till then, I'll be in ballerinas!

Waiting for my hair appointment...

Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

OMG - I cracked a nail!

How many of us have heard that common refrain from girls with long nails?  It hasn't happened to me in quite a while.  However, Monday...

I'm working on perfecting my feminine hand movements and that's helped me avoid a lot of cracked nails.  (You know the drill, pushing elevator buttons with knuckles instead of fingertips, and not prying pop-top cans open with my nails.  Typing is still a challenge - thank heavens for spell check -  relatively long (for a guy) nails have affected both my speed and accuracy!   But sometimes, we relapse to old habits. Monday, it only took a couple absent-minded seconds and a simple push of the car's trunk button with the tip of my fingernail, to crack the end of the nail on that finger.  So, I made an appointment at the nail salon for Thursday - it was time for my pink-and-white fill, anyway.

All my nails have grown to nearly 1/4" beyond my finger tips, and the tech generally smiles knowingly at me each time I ask her to shorten them.  She then proceeds to trim about 1/16" off and proceed with the fill.  Since they grow about 1/8" between fills, it seems she's devised a painless way to insure that I end up with long, very feminine nails.

Last fill, I asked long she plans to continue to "grow my nails out."  Her answer was that once they all exceed 1/2" beyond my finger tips, she'll keep them between 1/2" and 5/8"permanently. "I initially considered giving you long extensions, but everybody would have noticed that big change. Instead, I'm forcing your nails to grow out slowly, over a period of months. By doing it this way, you'll find yourself getting lots of comments from girls about your pretty manicure, but be fairly insulated from comments about how long your nails are."

So far, she's been exactly right!  It happens whether I'm alone, or with the better half - women tend to comment on the appearance of my nails.  But I just don't hear from anyone about their length,  probably because they're an appropriate length for a woman.  Men never notice, or simply ignore, them.  "So, if they keep growing like they have, by the holidays in 2013 you should be sporting lovely, feminine hands with gorgeous French-manicured talons that women everywhere will envy. Maybe then, we'll think about having you paint your nails in colors, to coordinate with the following day's outfit.  It's something many of us girls enjoy doing. Won't that be fun?"

"I guess so...particularly if I'm wearing dresses instead of pants by then.  But I'll probably need help with picking colors.  How long will it take for me to polish my nails each night?"

She was very helpful. "With our selection here, we'll find you some color numbers you can buy at your local pharmacy, or we can get them for you from our supplier.   You can figure about a half hour a night to remove old polish, push back the cuticles and apply the new color.  But don't forget another half hour or more to let it dry.  On second thought, the best option for next fall may be for me to switch you from French to a pretty medium red acrylic.  That's a wonderfully-feminine every-day color for your nails.  Many women wear it.  Like your French acrylics, there's no effort required on your part, but to come in for your fills."

"And you won't need to be in dresses every day.  Red nails will look fabulous on you, whether you're still in stirrups and capri's, or have switched to skirts, dresses, bikinis, and so on.  When you need to coordinate your nails with a dress for a special event, or with an evening gown, you polish over the red with another color."  I said, "Why don't you make the decision for me, once my nails are grown out?"  And she agreed...

My pedicure tech is really getting into this feminization, too.  Last time I got a pedi, she tried something new on my toes, called shellac polish, to stop the way the regular polish wears off between pedicures.  (It's a hybrid of regular polish and UV cured gel.)  Another big benefit is that "you don't need to wear sandals on pedicure day.  You can put your flats on and walk right out - your new polish won't smudge, and it will still look good for at least a month, probably more."  I told her that was a big advantage in the winter - I've never liked having to wear sandals on pedicure day, just to keep my nails nice.  Sandals in the snow are particularly inconvenient.   "That's why the girls all love shellac, and you will, too!"

She picked a bright silver color for me, and that's what I'm wearing now.  After it was on and cured, she assured me that she'd keep them silver (a winter color) for the next several pedicures, to get me used to seeing my brightly-polished toes.  After that, she'll stick to seasonally-appropriate colors, like  medium browns for fall and pastels for spring.  "What color dress and peep-toe heels will you be wearing on Easter Sunday?  Once you decide, let me know and I'll see if I can match it with shellac polish."  Then she reminded me of the last product characteristic.  There are special removal techniques (which I haven't experienced yet), so I won't be able to remove it on my own.  Not that I'd want to try...they look too nice.

A pic of my pedicure with shellac polish, after a month.  As you can see, this color shows up nicely in pantyhose...

And, as for wear, she was right.  It's now been a full month, and all my toenails still look pretty good, don't you think?  Yes,  some growth is showing at the nail bed, but that's to be expected.  No visible wear, no chips. I should easily go another two or three weeks, maybe more, before needing a pedicure - as long as I don't whack a toe on a piece of furniture!  (Been there, done that - it can really mess up a nail - hard on the nylons, too!)  A big bonus is that the silver color is plainly visible under my pantyhose.  Looks like wearing sandals (or open toe shoes) should become much more interesting this coming summer!  More on this topic with my next pedicure.

Today (it's now Thursday) Judy gave me a pink-and-white fill on my fingers.  Definitely another fun visit!  I didn't have to ask her to shorten them this time...she had to take a bit more than usual off to make the nails even, after Monday's "Oops."  It's at least a month's setback for reaching the proper length.  But even so, the finished product always looks really pretty.

Palm side of my left hand during a break in her work on my right hand...which needed to hold the camera!  Notice my ballerinas and stirrups?  I'm still wearing them...every day.

Judy's hard at work again, and I'm having a great time!

The tech and I were discussing another customer's Michael Kors handbag with her.  We all agreed that it was beautiful, 100 percent sequins, and very shiny.  While I would never say anything out loud, for my current situation, it would have been a bit too "over the top."  But, she looked very pretty carrying it.  Bet it cost a fortune!  Hope her boyfriend got it for her as a holiday present...

Stay tuned for more as it becomes available.