Saturday dawned dreary, but at least it didn't rain. I got to the show early, and obtained a close-in parking place, away from the oak trees, which at this time of year are helping feed the squirrels by dropping acorns. You can hear them raining down on the cars unfortunate enough to arrive later and parked under them.
The lady vendor at the outside booth was there, and since a lot of customers hadn't arrived there (yet), we began to chat - naturally about dressing. She thought I should go ahead and plan to dress for Halloween next year...whether it's a period costume or not. And she has seen "the witch" at this show before, dressed, with nobody having a problem with it. She "passes" (I hate that term, but it's quick and easy), but unfortunately wears a name tag with "his" male name. (BTW, that issue could be overcome...) The lady vendor pointed out that in my own case, that won't be a problem, since my real first name is a girl's name.
I outed myself again by telling her that I dress occasionally, and in fact was out dressed last night, though just for dinner. She asked which I wore - a skirt or dress. and I told her my black skirt with blue floral blouse. She went on to say that it sounds pretty...but she doesn't wear skirts or dresses, because most men have better looking legs than hers. (I heard that comment before - yesterday at the nursing home.) "Plus, they're too cold and drafty in the winter."
I told her that with pantyhose on, that hasn't been a problem for me yet. "Sweetie, just keep wearing skirts - you'll eventually get to experience being half a mile from wherever you need to be, in cold, windy, or snowy weather. And it will seem like forever, walking with frozen legs, snow on your ankles and calves, and a cold tushy. I simply eliminate that chance by wearing pants."
Strangely enough, two of her women friends appeared. I just stayed with them for about ten minutes, instead of going with some guys. The four of us stood around, talking about knitting, kids, and other girl things. They made me feel right at home with them...and included me in their conversation. (All while the guys were gathering nearby in their little groups to talk, with nary a woman in sight.) It's one indication that I've found where I belong - playing in the girls' sandbox!
From time to time during the day I talked with several of the women near my table, and they all endorsed my plan to dress. (Maybe they all like the idea of guys in skirts? Or want a leg show?) I also mentioned it to the guy whose space I share. After explaining, he said, "Why go through all that bother?" My response was simple: "Why not?" End of discussion. So at least at this point, from other peoples' viewpoints, it sounds promising. Of course that could crash and burn if I don't get my host's invite back next year (probably not an issue), or from the "main viewpoint at home", the one which I definitely expect will be an issue.
I didn't see the "guy in a skirt" at all on Saturday - and found out subsequently that he had stayed in Gettysburg over night. So he didn't get back to the show. But I managed to obtain his phone number. That proved to be a very good thing. And the show management didn't see a problem with two "girls."
After the antique show closed for the evening, I went back to the hotel and changed for dinner. This time I drove to a nearby Applebee's...where I usually go. Interestingly, the greeter initially used the dreaded "S-word." But she immediately corrected herself...when she saw what I was wearing. "Right this way, Sir - uhhhrrr - Ma'am."
Since I didn't have to deal with her any more, who cares what she thinks? The female server addressed me properly as "Ma'am" every time, was VERY attentive, and did her job well. That attention earned her a 30% tip - in cash, in her hand - fortunately for me, it was on a less-expensive meal. But little rewards like that may help some pave the way for other TG folks who follows in my footsteps.
On the way back to the car, temperatures had dropped to about 45 degrees, and the wind was blowing at about 20 mph. It's the first time I've experienced a chill from wearing a skirt, even though I had pantyhose on. Gee, the girls were right! Note to self: time to get out the black opaque tights! Maybe even a pair of leggings for underneath! And I found myself pushing the remote-start button for the car as I started hiking out to it...yes, that made it toasty warm inside!
Back at the hotel, I recruited the female desk clerk (a different girl from yesterday) to take more pictures of me....and she was happy to do it...another quiet night.
Anything for a diversion.
And she liked my skirt. Though she, too, commented that she never wears them - or dresses. "They're too cold in the winter, and I feel so exposed when I'm wearing them." I admitted that I felt very exposed, like I was walking around with my bottom half naked. But I'm getting used to, and beginning to enjoy, that feeling. And I confessed that I'd been chilled for the first time after dinner that night, but plan to start wearing tights instead of stockings in the winter. She told me "Good plan, girlfriend!"
Back to the room I went, and got the courage to call the number I got for the guy in costume at the show. Fortunately, he was home, remembered me, and we talked about dressing for over half an hour.
Now, here is the amazing part. Based on my wife's past performances": I expected a ration of crap about it on the phone tonight and SHOCKINGLY did NOT hear "Not My Husband."
My gut feeling is that she will just wait till I get home to rain on the parade. I highly doubt she'll be OK with it.
I'll find out tomorrow and will certainly let you know!
I'll find out tomorrow and will certainly let you know!