Thursday, June 6, 2013

On The Road Again, or, "My Weekend of Many Firsts."

Last weekend was wonderful!

In “Yesterday Was A Phenomenal day” (3/28/13), I described my visit to the MAC counter at a metropolitan area shopping center near Baltimore, and my very favorable encounter with the MAC rep.  Buying some foundation to try in the process, I ratcheted up the courage to ask – and thus find out - that she would be willing to do a full female makeup application for me, at a future date to be determined, and surprisingly, I didn't blush, or even feel self-conscious.

Subsequently, I visited her again, confirmed that she still wanted to do it, and we exchanged personal email addresses so she and I could agree on a mutually good date and time, once her July work schedule comes out in June.  She also gave me a sample of another MAC product to try, which hopefully would provide even better beard coverage.  And since then, we’ve each sent and received emails so we don’t end up caught in each other’s spam filters…

Friday, I drove the antique back to Virginia for another show (different town than last time, though.)  Since my trip was solo, I stopped in at Payless to see about another pair of heels…and found a pair of patent slingback wedges for a reasonable price ($11.00 on sale.)  Needless to say, I bought them.  

Then I drove to my seamstress’s shop, because I needed to get the hem on the pair of "hand-me-down" shorts taken up a bit.  I haven’t visited her for over a year, and she thought I’d disappeared.  But that girl is one of my biggest (and longest-time) supporters.  

She was surprised and thrilled to see me walk in wearing my new heels, capris and a blouse.  I changed into the shorts, and she pinned them up for hemming - an inch shorter than I had planned, but "You need to show more leg, sweetie."  And when she finished, I took them off, changing to a feminine outfit I’d brought, in her dressing room.  She loved it…and didn't hesitate to tell me how much more comfortable and attractive I look as a woman, than I ever did as a man! (My femme side takes that as a huge compliment...and a fabulous reason to dress.)   Plus, she was glad to see I’m finally getting out and about in skirts.  She gave me care info for my outfit,  had me model it for her, and then showed me some improvements she can make in my skirt's fit, including turning up the hem about 3 inches, because once again "You need to show more leg".  And she generously offered to take my picture.  “You look so much more attractive and comfortable as a woman, that you should be dressing like this all the time!  Now go enjoy your day, girlfriend.”  It's so nice that she is very supportive!

Once I left the safety of her shop,  I knew I was "stuck" (I don't particularly care for that term, but it  applies in this situation) in female mode for the rest of the day.  and it was time to ‘go potty.’ I was clearly dressed as a female, even though I'd changed to flats. (I didn't want to end up changing my name to ‘Grace’ due to tripping on my heels...)  So I headed for a local restaurant I knew had “one holer” restrooms.  Even in just flats, the staff addressed me as female my whole visit.  Accordingly, I used the women’s room, with no issue.  While I’m far from confident in my ability to consistently do that, it was a "baby step" forward.

When it finally was time to check into my motel, my outfit was a non-issue.  I was addressed as female.  Since they didn’t ask for my driver's license, my little secret remained safe…

After unloading the car, I set up the tripod to get a couple outside pictures of me in my skirt and new heels.  The gentleman in the next room apparently noticed, because his drapes were open.  Actually, I think his wife saw me – since she was facing the window.  He offered to take one for me, and ended up taking several, for which I thanked him, and we looked to make sure they turned out OK.  You judge for yourself…..

Took an inside picture, just for kicks.  And the light and flash sure changed the colors...

Before dinner, I applied new sample makeup the MAC rep provided, and went out for dinner wearing it.  Finally I was becoming more confident with this new product, which covered my beard pretty well. But apparently the waitstaff apparently wasn’t overly impressed…they simply omitted pronouns!  Bright side of that was – I didn’t hear the dreaded “S” word at all.  That’s always a good thing.

For the car show tomorrow, I’ve finally decided to wear a skort….along with some kind of a feminine top,  and a pair of sandals to show off my pedicure (still only silver, but "it is what it is.")  That should be a cool outfit for a hot day – expecting the low nineties.   I'm not exactly sure about how I’ll handle the restroom situation, but one thing is certain: I’ll have to deal with it at some point.  And I'll worry about it then...

Saturday morning, I decided to wear a short sleeve feminine knit blouse with my skort – a definite all-day-first for me at a car show - or anywhere.  I accessorized with clip-on earrings (ouch), a necklace (Mom’s) and a copper bracelet hand-made by my grandfather back In the 1940’s.  Wearing those items all day was also a major first for me, but hopefully I'll get lots of other chances. My lightweight blouse was lots thinner and cooler than the cotton sleeveless top I had originally planned, and I really enjoyed wearing it in public. 

My adventure began at breakfast.  The old geezer they had working the breakfast shift in the restaurant was “Mr. Personality.”  What a way to be in the morning – grumpy.  At least he omitted pronouns and didn’t call me “Sir,” which surprised me, as brusque as he was with everybody…. 

When I arrived at the show’s registration, I showed them the acknowledgement letter they sent me, addressed to "Ms. Sherman."  So I became “Ma’am.”  And many times during the day, I was addressed as “Miss” and referred to as “she.”  Such as “Wow, this car used to belong to her father…”  And the owners of the surrounding cars didn’t have any problems chatting with/sitting by me.  And though I wasn't wasting my time looking to see who stared at me, people walking by seemed to pay no more attention to me than they did to the woman I was sitting with, talking.  We both got "hi" and mutual pleasantries. So I guess momentum was in my favor.  And sitting there talking with a genetic girl is always helpful.

At lunch I visited one of the local bookstores which had a coffee bar and light pre-prepared foods, where I bought a light lunch.   When asked about a restroom, they directed me to the ladies’ room,  which fortunately was a “one-holer.”  Baby steps again, in that regard!

Since I prefer wearing skirts, I really should get a skort that looks like a skirt "all the way around", for future car shows (so I don’t have to worry about showing my undies when I clean the tires or wax lower edges of the car.But what would probably be even more fun than that, is a floaty sun dress or a long, gauzy summer skirt and a pair of strappy, skimpy sandals, like a lot of the other girls were wearing.  They looked so feminine and comfortable, gliding by and showing off their hot pink pedicures, that I truly was envious. Gotta put an outfit like that in my plan…

There was no surprise in "not" winning a trophy…this was not one of those shows where quality rises to the top.  There were 3 trophies in each class, but mine was a huge class of really, REALLY pretty cars.  It was crowded at "the top," since that's where we all were, quality-wise.  And the judges had their hands full.  (I’m just glad I didn’t have to judge!) 

But, as you might have already deduced, competition for a trophy wasn’t my motivation for attending…not in any way, shape or form.  To quote Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a d**n!"  By the time I arrived on the show field, I had already accomplished my weekend goal - namely, to attend my first car show en-femme.  Admittedly I'd chosen the show carefully, to minimize the risk of encountering people I know (only ran into one, whom I met at the previous Virginia show.  After seeing me at this one, he said he hopes "to see you at next year's show, Miss").   Something else I discovered was that I'd really enjoy wearing a dress to a car show, at some point.  I'm hopeful that I can make it happen sometime this year...but one never knows.

Afterward, another quick shower and shave (to wash the day's perspiration off), with re-application of makeup, then back to the restaurant for dinner.  Same waitstaff as the night before…and this time I was “sweetie” the whole time I was there.  That’s quite OK – particularly when you’re wearing a skirt and blouse!  But no pictures...   At the show, it wasn't convenient to set up the tripod or ask someone to take them for me.   And I certainly wasn't interested in asking the 2 twentysomething males who were also having dinner at the same time as me (and who seemed to be checking me out when they walked in), for obvious reasons.  I was crossing my fingers under the table and praying that they wouldn't ask if they could join me...  My prayers were answered: they didn't!

After dinner, I headed back to my room to wrap things up for the day and pack for departure in the morning.  I was planning to head back early, as the recently-rebuilt carburetor and choke had started acting up big-time.  You youngsters may not know about those finicky contraptions, since modern cars are all fuel-injected.  But trust me, they are an antique pain.

So, Sunday morning I decided to put on my most masculine outfit for the trip home, in case of car trouble, but discovered that I hadn't included any stirrup pants, just a clean pair of capri leggings and my skirts and blouses.   So, white pedal pusher leggings over nude pantyhose, solid red sleeveless blouse, and ballerinas comprised the "pants outfit" I'd wear home.  (Very comfortable, yes indeed! Masculine?  Not so much!)   I was on the way home by about 6AM.  This allowed me to be able to bypass DC on Interstates 95 and 495 before traffic became an issue...and I arrived home safely, even with a poorly-running car.  Now to get the car fixed, and figure out when the next car show will be...and where!

When I arrived home, I discovered that there was a cruise-in (informal car show with no trophies or awards) being held nearby.  That was fun for an hour or so, and I met a number of folks I know.    Those who knew me, knew my gender.  But several attendees didn't.  And while in conversations with friends, occasionally I would overhear a reference to "it's her car" from someone, with a point in my direction.  Nice to know the new makeup still works well...even after about 9-1/2 hours and a long car drive without air conditioning (which I left off intentionally.).

My biggest concern (beyond the restroom issue) is wearing heels.  I need lots more practice around the house before wearing either the wedges or heels out to dinner, or for the day.  But at the cruise-in, I watched a genetic girl managing a pair of wedges almost like mine.  She was a bit wobbly, too.  So perhaps that's normal, and I'm not far off track?

That's about all for now...I leave you with the following, which is a phrase we can hope none of us ever hear - from spouses, employers or friends:

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