Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sandals! (No, unfortunately not the resort...)

When we got home from our wonderful vacation in upstate New York, my wife did a ton of laundry.  As she was putting some clothes back in my closet,  apparently she noticed my three identical-except-for-color  pairs of sandals, on the closet floor amongst the many pairs of ballerinas.  I've had them a while, but haven't really worn them much.  Which explains why I didn't remember them, or the fact that they don't have suede insoles.    They apparently caught her attention because of the fact I didn't wear my sandals every day while on vacation.

Here are some archive pix of what they look like:

  Note the pink toe nail color peeking out from under my housedress...that was a one-time thing a couple of years ago, while my wife was out of town.  But it's likely to happen again the next time, too!

Out and about in my sandals and capris 

Another view of my weather-resistant sandals from the archive.

She initiated the following discussion at dinner several days later, by reminding me that on vacation, she'd invited me to wear my ballerinas in the rain the first morning, to keep rainwater from soaking the suede insoles on my new sandals.   The next day, she observed (but said nothing) that I wore my ballerinas all day...which had dawned drizzly but cleared before we left the hotel.  Yes, I know I should have changed, but didn't.  And for 4 more days, when rain was forecasted but the days were dry, I chose my ballerinas - in spite of our agreement when I bought my new sandals, that I'd have to wear them every day for the rest of the summer.  There's even pictorial evidence of my wearing ballerinas in our photo album of the trip (it's the 6th picture of the blog FINALLY TIME FOR A POST, dated 5/22/14.)  Guilty as charged!  Because nothing was said immediately, I wondered if I might escape repercussions from the issue.   Silly me....I should have known better!

"If we'd prepared properly for this vacation, you'd have worn ballerinas only for a couple of hours on each of two evenings, rather than pretty much 'at will.'  The problem was that we both forgot you already own 3 other pairs of cute little sandals, none of which have suede insoles, and you've already worn them in the rain.   They still fit you comfortably, right?"  There was no way I could dodge the question, especially while sitting at the dinner table, so I answered truthfully "Yes - they fit, yes - they're comfortable, and yes - I've worn them in the rain."

"Good. From here on, we're going to be much more prepared around here, aren't we?" My comment was "Yep, and I'd definitely put money on it..."   Then she went into the details of how we'll (or more appropriately, how I'll) deal with the issue.

"Until cold weather hits in the fall, when we're not traveling, you'll wear capris, tops and your choice of sandals - all the time, unless I tell you otherwise.   For any trips or vacations,  I want you to pack and wear ONLY capri outfits,  sandals and a sweater, with a couple pairs of nude pantyhose in case of unseasonably chilly weather.  I'll determine in advance whether any events planned will merit your  most masculine outfit - that's stirrups, polo, pantyhose & ballerinas.   It's my call, and I'll make the choice for you.  Sometimes I'll want you to look more like a guy. You just don't need to know about it till it becomes necessary."

"A 'Yes' decision means your stirrups outfit will be neatly packed in my suitcase, and I'll hand it to you as we dress for the event.  Afterwards, I'll lock it away again, safely out of reach, so you can't possibly make the New York mistake again.  'No' means you'll be wearing capris and sandals our whole vacation.  I'll remind you to make yourself look attractive when we get ready for each evening, and you'll choose an appropriate capri outfit.  That's why you'll always color-coordinate everything!"

She reminded me that on vacation, every morning I'll dress for all-weather shopping and sightseeing, sporting capris/pedal pushers, a sleeveless (or for now, short sleeve) top with light sweater, my choice of sandals, purse, light foundation and makeup, with only lip balm and no jewelry.  "It's a very popular informal style for today's on-the-go women, so most folks we meet will presume we're together, on a 'girls' day out.'"

"You'll need to 'up-scale' your presentation for some of our dinners, as well as for unplanned, mis-described or impromptu events, where you can't wear stirrups because I didn't pack them. It's going to happen. Probably often. So, you might want a matched capri set for dinners and a cute, feminine 3/4 sleeve blouse for events, your single-band sandals, full makeup, lipstick, necklace and your purse. The girls at your nail salon could create something really colorful and artistic to look pretty on your fingernails,  but you wear acrylics and those colors are relatively permanent.  That's something I'm not prepared to deal with right now.  But at the very least, we need to find you a bracelet."

"Before you ask, your silver painted toe nails are appropriate with any color combination, but you're going to have to spend more time with the girls at the nail salon.  You don't want ragged-looking nails on display in sandals. They'll make sure your toes always look their best."

My response: "That's all fine with me. Sandals are my absolute favorite summertime shoes - I love how cool they keep me, and it's fun having my painted toes visible.  Yes, I messed up in New York, so I'm really glad you're now making me wear sandals.  Capris full-time will be fabulous - I might even need to buy some more.  They're so playful and feminine, as well as stylish - and much more fun to wear than stirrups.   And, they'll make packing for trips much easier."

At that point, everything was resolved, and my wife decided it was time to change the subject.  So we both went on to other things.

Over the holiday weekend, there was another neighborhood party.  Both of us wore similar white pedal pusher leggings (like the last two pictures above).   White sneakers and a tan blouse (with light white sweater - she's always chilly - completed her outfit.  I wore my white sandals (what a surprise!) and a red sleeveless polo, closely-shaved face with very light makeup, no lipstick, a necklace and a small purse.   We both had a great time, and there were no issues with my appearance.  Those who knew me as a guy, talked to me as a guy, despite my attire.  Others ,who didn't know me, just omitted the "Sir or Ma'am."  I didn't see any of the kids staring at me, but then, I really wasn't looking.  It doesn't matter.

This all seems to be moving along "swimmingly" as they say...and frankly, quite a bit faster than anticipated.  (Maybe like a rocket on a sled?)   Time will tell for sure whether this is real positive movement,  or just another false start.  It could be either.  I don't count my chickens before they hatch.  And I definitely won't "rock the boat" in moving toward skirts - slow, steady progress is so much better than backsliding.  Five years ago, I never would have dreamed I'd be wearing only women's clothes, applying my own makeup, and being accepted as a woman part of the time.

If it takes a year - or two - or three - for my wife to get more comfortable with my feminine side, that's fine.  Because in the event I miscalculate, "rock the boat" too much,  and swamp it, I can't swim!  Nor do I have any life preservers...



  1. "Fast and ready sets the pace but slow and steady wins the race". It seems like you have reached the point where your wife understands that your typical, happy, regular presentation is more female than male and she has resolved to make you present as more un-mistakenly female.
    Capris and leggins are purely female wear and showing pantyhose with painted toe nails is purely feminine.
    It seems that if you are going to be perceived as a woman that she wants you perceived as a neat and well dressed woman of a certain age and style that compliments her age and style.
    I believe that you have crossed the Rubicon.

    1. I certainly hope you are correct! (Let's just hope that the direction doesn't shift at this point...)

      My summer wardrobe has been pretty clearly defined for me now (translation: it's completely feminine, while technically I'm still "wearing pants"). Girly is OK, and I'm fine with it - compliance will be easy. It's something I've been working toward, and hoping for, which has finally arrived. Though it's been accompanied by something I hadn't anticipated - namely, lack of control over what I wear. That's no big matter, though - compliance is easy, and I see it as a fabulous opportunity for improvement in feminine presentation, particularly around people we don't know. Based on my past experiences, this should not be difficult, because strangers typically have been accepting me as a female.

      The uncertain portion is: how will I (or more importantly we) be received by those who know us, in situations described above as "some of our dinners, as well as unplanned, mis-described or impromptu events, where you can't wear stirrups because I didn't pack them. It's going to happen. Probably often."

      While I won't concern myself with it just now, there is always the possibility that my femininity will cause confusion on the part of those who know us. I'm just going to have to trust my instincts as things unfold. Let's hope that: 1. we have understanding, and somewhat liberal friends, and 2. "unplanned, mis-described or impromptu events" don't happen too often. Time will tell.

      Thanks for your continued encouragement, Pat!

  2. Even when they are past menopause women can be moody and tempermental and it is not always easy for me to figure out my wife's mindset even after 40 years of marriage. This is true for all things including her tolerance/acceptance/understanding of my CD proclivities. I suspect it is much the same for your wife and that you have experienced mixed signals from time to time.
    Stirrups are very feminine but just not seen very much. I think that the capris are always considered girly...especially with the aging women. The key items are the pantyhose exposed ankles and the polished fingers and toes. These are conventions that apply only to women. Combine that with your hair and it is easy to see why most will perceive you as female.

    You have never mentioned whether you wear a bra or breast forms of any type but from your pictures it seems that you have a figure that is not unlike some women of our age. I think that one important item is the style of your hair. While it is now longer than most women of our age wear it you still have it in an androgeneous style. You may consider a more feminine style at your next cut.

    I am sure that you will find all people, both those you know and those you meet for the first time, will accept you at face value. When my younger son was in college he joined a frat and we would go to the frat house for parents weekend once a year. There was one parent that I thought had been the mother of one of my son's friends until I was introduced to him as the friend's father. He had long straight blond hair that I think was colored with some highlights. He also wore bangs. The CD part of me seemed to sense that he wore light makeup consisting of a sheer foundation, modest blush and perhaps some lip gloss. I started to wonder if he had his beard removed since his son had black hair and even after a shave looked like he needed to shave. He wore ladies cut khaki slacks, penny loafers and a pink oxford shirt with the buttons on the ladies side.

    Everyone related to this man like they did to every other parent who was there. He was a really nice guy who worked as a chemical engineer.

    My point is that there are all sorts of folks out there...folks like us just add to the spledor of the array.

  3. Pat,

    While we've only been married for about 32 years, compared to your 40, I agree with your analysis. Moodiness (as well as the ebb and flow of health issues) may be causing the swings in her toleration for my feminine attire.

    While stirrups are feminine, with black pantyhose and ballerinas under black stirrups. the ankle arches disappear to the point where theu look almost like a pair of leggings. But I haven't worn black pantyhose for a long time. Nude, suntan and light taupe, in that order, are the colors she wants me to wear, when I wear them. And that makes the stirrups very noticeable. But that won't be happening this summer.

    I don't wear breast forms or bras - my figure is that of a relatively flat-chested (A-cup, almost B - though I've never been measured), plus-size woman, without an hourglass figure. I'm not into corsetry, so that isn't an option right now. Marian has expressed a similar opinion to yours about my hair... long is feminine but not what women of my age are wearing. I just can't bring myself to get it cut, without a "trial run" at home. And that's in the works.

    My wife will be out of town visiting relatives for a week in August, and I hope to buy a wig that my stylist can cut into a shorter style (like a bob or pageboy) while she's gone. Then upon her return, one day the stylist can neatly pin my real hair up under the wig, and I'll wear it home from the salon to show her what shorter hair (that she has been wanting on me) will actually look like.

    Pat, my biggest fear is that if I simply have it cut into one of the shorter styles, that she'll rebel against it, and force me to cut it into a typical male hair style, just to keep the peace. I'd much rather look like a old woman with unfashionable long hair, than a guy with a masculine hair a dress, Mary Janes, makeup and female jewelry. And there's no possible way I can hide a wig. So, no matter how unfashionable long hair may be on an old woman like me, you probably would agree that blindly shortening my hair may well result in a far worse outcome!

    I'd love to have met your son's friend's father...he definitely sounds like one of us, and dresses the way I used to...before I retired. But I really do prefer the increased femininity of my current outfits. Yes, I love my sandals dearly and enjoy wearing them with capris. But I also appreciate the sleek appearance and total comfort of a pair of cute ballerinas. They look good with anything girly, including capris, the dresses and skirts I'd like to wear, and my stirrups, which are off-limits for the summer.

    Your closing statement is so very accurate...thanks for coming up with such perfect wording. I love it!