Tuesday, November 18, 2014

It's been a "bad hair two weeks."

Since Halloween, there have been a few fun incidents, but also things "not so much fun..."   Occasionally, people have "bad hair days."  We've just finished a "bad hair two weeks."

After my wonderful Halloween weekend, the memory of which remains strong, I had the pleasure (if you can call it that) of preparing myself for - and enduring - a medical procedure.  Just thinking about it gives me the chills, even now.  That alone was enough to ruin the week after Halloween.  However, the end result was satisfactory...I picked up the report Friday, and there are no issues requiring further medical intervention at this time. That's a huge blessing! 

Fortunately, there were several "smile" moments during my procedure.  The receptionist, and two different nurses, all addressed me as "Miss," and one even reminded to take off my bra.  (The one I wasn't wearing.) The doctor in the procedure room initially called me "Ma'am," though I finally heard the dreaded "S" word from the doctor in the recovery room.  (Wonder why the change in opinion?)  Interesting, right?  Or, maybe they were mostly being politically correct?   But I'm not complaining about those"miss-identifications."  It's what I want to hear.  I'm just surprised, because my medical records clearly state "M."   And fortunately, my wife ignored it the one time she was within earshot...

When we got back home, about noon, I was still groggy from the anesthetic which I didn't want (and for which I had to sign liability waivers relieving them of all responsibility in the event I died from it - or any other thing.).  Not a happy camper about that, but they wouldn't do the procedure without the signed forms and anesthetic...and the procedure needed done.  No matter that I was awake last time they did one of these on me, about 7 years ago...it wasn't particularly painful.  And I've been through a root canal without novocaine...   At least the IV site they put in, didn't leave the back of my hand bruised!

"Life after procedure" was destined to go on:  the antique still had to be taken to the shop for an antifreeze leak which developed on the outing in October.  Turned out the problem wasn't nearly as bad - or expensive - as the mechanic originally believed.  The fact that parts were not frozen in place from 47 years of use helped a lot - those things had been worked on 10 years ago, during its repaint.

He agreed that bringing it home for repair was the best plan...a shop on the highway probably would have replaced everything he didn't have to - and that would have also solved the problem.  Or if they were unethical, they could have done what he did, but charged for replacing everything - they were so far away they'd never have had to live up to the alleged "warranty."  In any event, that would have added multiple hundreds of dollars to the repair bill.

A major trauma this week was that the photo program on my laptop crashed.  No, it wasn't a virus.  But up to now, I didn't realize that could happen - found that out on the internet.  After quite a few hours of time, it's almost completely restored now (only a couple dozen loose albums floating around), with very little loss of content.  But I'll need our son's computer expertise over the holidays to finish the job.

And the fact that the allergy/sinus issues I'd been having, blossomed into a full-fledged problem the night I got home from the procedure.  Heavy coughing fits and all...the next morning I had no choice but to be seen by the doctor.  I've been on antibiotics and for several nights,  I needed a strong prescription cough syrup at night, so I could sleep.   And during all this turmoil, we had to go over to the mainland for my wife to get some emergency dental surgery.  Definitely not fun...

There were a few bright spots, however...   At the medical office where I picked up the hard copy of the report from my procedure, I was addressed as "Ma'am."  And I was in androgynous mode...no makeup.

A couple of the aides at the nursing home hadn't seen my outfit from Halloween...and I was certainly willing to show them pictures!  They loved both the black skirt and blue blouse I wore there, as well as the pink blouse I wore that evening.

And when I went in to the Director's office to discuss a matter, I casually asked if she had seen my costume.   She hadn't.  Once again, out came the computer...and she thought I looked great.   I showed her the pix from both evenings as well, and her comments were very complimentary.  She asked if I had any other pictures I could show her (maybe a "fishing trip" to see how often I dress?)   So, I clicked into my makeover pictures from last August and explained it to her.  She was completely amazed, and said while all my pix were good, these two were definitely her favorites:

From the Director:  "Elizabeth Taylor is a talented photographer...first she puts you into a sexy outfit, then into a very seductive pose. Look at those legs!   And your shoes - I couldn't begin to wear them!   This is perfect - I love it!   You're a very attractive woman,  (and she inserted my now-feminine first name here, instead of her usual Mr. & last name)."

The Director said: "Looking this feminine and pretty, you can go anywhere with confidence."   I hope she's right.  We'll find out in January...

She wants me to be sure to dress again next year - and I said I definitely plan to do it.  If our paths don't cross in the halls, she wants me to stop by the office to see her...she wants to meet me in person.   Sounds like a plan!

She's hoping for Halloween activities on two days next year.  But since Halloween is on a Saturday and staffing levels are lower on Saturday, many things, including the party, probably will be on Friday.  That would let me repeat this year's procedure and show up dressed Friday!  YAY!  With both the Director and staffers encouraging me to do it,  how can I disappoint them?  Now I have to find something pretty to wear!

One of my pictures from Halloween is on my laptop screen, and Mom smiles when ever it comes on...I'm further "out" to her than I ever thought I would be.  She's seemingly fine with my dressing on Halloween, but still not comfortable with any other times.  Nor does she seem to be OK with the concept that I'm "what her daughter might have looked like if she had one."  And she keeps reiterating that she didn't want a daughter, only a son.  Since she has trouble remembering time frames, these issues are not a problem.

But she's actually made some good comments.

One of them is related to my "passability" - there's that awful word again.  She pointed out I have male shoulders - and she's right.  I love sleeveless things, but in the future, I'll probably soft-pedal them as a possible obstacle.  But she tells me that I have good legs for skirts - "fortunately you took after me, not your dad."  When she wore skirts back in the day, she really DID have good legs.   So we at least have a dialogue going.  And I plan to have her tell me what she thinks I should wear to minimize my shoulders...

Trouble is, she forgets what she said today.  No problem, we just go over it again the next day...like Groundhog Day!  But at least it's exercising her mind...and it's an improvement over  the topic of "wondering when (insert long-dead relatives' names here) are coming to visit her."  This is something she's been mentioning recently.   I'm going to try to keep her busy for a while, perhaps with girly topics - such as looking at dresses and skirts on-line when I'm there...

Let me leave you with a peaceful sunset scene, taken a quarter mile from our house...out in the recently-harvested cornfields of the Delmarva...




  1. I agree with the comments and the sentiment of the director. It seems that she, along with the other workers would all be pleased to welcome you regardless of the extent of the feminine nature of your presentation. While the Elizabeth Taylor photos are great your regular femme presentation is, as the director noted, pretty and while dressed 'You can go anywhere with confidence'. I am certain that if on any given day you arrived at the home while wearing a skirt or if you changed there like you did on Halloween so that you could leave while fully attired that it would be fine with the staff and appreciated by all you encounter as providing them with something just a touch out of the ordinary to make their day.

    I would even take the comments from your mother on your 'passability' as a positive sign. I think that she would be fine with the occasional visit from the daughter she never knew. Being passable is a good thing.

    Your mother is very luck that she has a wonderful and attentive child to see her during her senior days.
    Keep on keeping on.


  2. Pat,

    Thanks for the nice comments...and yes, I'm planning to encore next year. Not sure yet about dressing at the sale itself. (I have lots of time to make that decision.) I just need to find one outfit (preferably a dress) to let me out-do myself!

    And that should be fun...

    I notice older folks at the nursing home who never get visitors, or if they do, they're C-E-T visitors: Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving. I try to be there for her 4 or 5 days out of 7...except when I'm out of town. Though she has little concept of time, she does look forward to my visits, and misses me when I'm not there. How many will be as her son, vs her daughter: well, that remains to be seen!