Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving - half the fun is getting there

We spent our Thanksgiving at our son's place in Tennessee...and had a fabulous time.  His fiance (with a bit of help from her mom) cooked up a delicious meal for the first big crowd in their new home.  It was a great trip!

Needless to say, my wife wouldn't allow me much sartorial freedom this trip, beyond my normal everyday androgynous outfits.  And there were no "miss-identifications" while in the kids' presence. 
Regardless, there was still plenty of femininity to be experienced, 
wearing stirrup pants, pantyhose, a polo top, womens' sweater, and flats, with purse and my two suitcases...   The assistant conductor (female) addressed me as "Ma'am."  Twice, at different times.

When we arrived in DC, a gentleman held the door for both my wife and me, addressing us as "ladies."  We both thanked him, as our hands were full.  Likewise, the gate attendant "miss-identified" me.   As we boarded the sleeping car on the southern train, the car attendant took over my luggage - "Let me help you, Ma'am."   And he hoisted my heavy bags up on to the train.   "Thank you, sir!"  And then he helped my wife as well.

I casually commented to the wife that in a way, it's nice to be seen as two ladies.   I don't have to horse our heavy bags around, and people hold the door for us all the time.  And I actually wasn't rebuffed.  She agreed that it's not a such a bad thing - someone else handles doors for us, and helps us with our luggage.   And she knows how heavy it is, particularly on this trip, with the things we're taking to our son's.

One of the already-boarded passengers watched our sleeping car attendant pile the bags in our room (we booked the largest room this trip, knowing how much luggage we would have) and said to us afterward:  "Ladies, I couldn't believe how much he put into your room - I didn't think it would all fit."  But it wife showed him the overhead storage, which held the pieces we didn't need.  (But despite that, the room was still cramped.)

Then the attendant came by.  "Ladies, let me show you the room features."  We let him, since it was our first time in this style of accommodation.   Then he asked what time we want to go for dinner.  Since it was already past our mealtime, my wife asked,  can we go now?  "Sure, they have a seating right now.  When do you ladies want the beds ready?"  I said "how about making them up when we're at dinner?"  "No problem, ma'am."

And he did...

When we got back from dinner (rough track didn't throw me out of my seat, and my drink to the floor, in the diner this trip), our beds were ready.  But unfortunately that made the cramped room even more so.   My wife mused that coming back, we will have one almost empty suitcase, and can eliminate one big shopping bag, so we can redistribute our things and better utilize the overhead, which will let the folding seat fold up when I don't need into my suitcase.    Not sure about how that will work...

When the train arrived in Atlanta (our destination) I was dressed once again in yesterday's stirrup pants outfit.  The attendant said "Ladies, let me help you with your bags."   He took them all out to the vestibule and set them on the ground for us....

The rental car place was just a couple miles from the station, but if you've ever been to the Atlanta Amtrak station, you'll know how small and inconvenient the parking lot is.   "Ma'am, do you need a taxi?" (A taxi driver cornered me...)

"Actually, yes sir, for two."  After the driver loaded our luggage and we got in, he ended up having near-fisticuffs with the limo driver who pulled part way in and was honking his horn and swearing, but refused to move to let anyone drive out (which also prevented him from driving further in.)  My wife wasn't as concerned about them beating each other up, as she was about revolvers being drawn, with gunfire ending up in multiple "lead poisoning" fatalities and the whole incident ending up as breaking news on CNN.    Fortunately, the issue was de-fused by several bystanders and neither happened.   We arrived at the rental car dealer reasonably quickly, given all the traffic and issues.  And since our reservation was in my name, I went to the desk.

"How can I help you, Ma'am?"  So we proceeded through the rental paperwork, with the lady clerk presuming I was female.  License and credit card time came quickly, but despite having access to my license, the clerk continued to use female forms of address for me and us.  While my wife was in the restroom, I asked the clerk if she could drive the car, and got an interesting answer.   "As long as you're both legally married in some state, yes, she can, Ma'am."  Hmmm....curious comment.

My response was easy:  "OK thanks, we are, so that's good."   I guess she didn't pay attention to the little M on my license or the "Jr." after my name.  Or perhaps she was just trained to be very politically correct!

Before we left, I asked about the restroom, and she directed me to the ladies' room around the corner.  When invited, I use it...  Especially since my wife had finished up and was out by the car.

There's more to talk about, in part 2, to follow.  Eventually.  Meanwhile, I'll leave you with the following pictures from Tennessee:

 One of the cute kitties at our son's house - catching a "catnap"

A quiet view to the west at sunset...from our son's front porch.




  1. Mandy -

    You're getting there (as in becoming more feminine), whether your wife likes it or not. The way you report things, she'll accept almost anything - until you get to wearing a skirt around her. Very interesting....


    1. I seem to be having a lot of "miss-identifications" - many more than usual, for sure.

      Some of them MAY be intertwined with confusion about the use of my given name, which has become a girl's name. Specifically, at the car rental office and on board the train - though that's tempered by the fact they didn't know my name when they first laid eyes upon me.

      On the commuter train and at the station, "name" wasn't involved. Likewise, in some more incidents for the next part of this saga...the text of which is still being worked on, and may take a few days.

      Remember, I've been "pushing the envelope" since Mandy was "born" in the early nineties. One thing at a time. Appearing feminine wasn't always as relatively easy as it is today. But seemingly in my situation, persistence is paying off...verrrryyyyy slowly.

      The fact that I've added a few permanent feminine cues over the years (lasered arms and legs, colored - as in "not graying, or now fully gray" - long hair and acrylic nails) hasn't hurt anything. When I can wear nail color, that helps too.

      Marian, what you say is quite accurate...she tolerates almost any attire....until it comes round to wearing a skirt, or anything that resembles a skirt, like a kilt or dress. in public. Knowing that I'm thinking about wearing one - such visiting Mom at the nursing home in a skirt, or wearing a dress at the antique show on Halloween - raises those objections, too.

      Periodically I "run the skirt flag up the flagpole," to see what happens....and so far, she's quite consistent. Some day, persistence may allow allow the flag to not be shot full of holes!

      Till then, I guess it's "Don't ask, don't tell."


  2. I really think that the combination of long dyed hair, manicured nails, pantyhose under your slacks, ballet flats, the purse, etc are giving out only female signals. When we encounter people who do not know us personally they tend to pick up on the visable signs and simply addfress us as a male or female. Sometimes they make their best guess thinking they may be wrong.

    I have been fighting a cold for a week. Yesterday we needed some cooking done and my wife went to lunch with a friend. Even though she cautioned me about being alone in the condo during the day I showered, shaved, put on my makeup, hose, peep toe 3" beige heels, an orange sheath dress and made a big batch of chicken soup. I also chopped up and roasted a pan of root veggies. She was only mildly ticked when she came home to find me fully dressed. I do not think it was a surprise. I told her I felt confident that no neighbor would be ringing the bell.

    Saturday evening I was downstairs fully dressed taking an online program when a neighbor did ring the bell and invite us over. It is the guy whose condo unit adjoins our. We have been there over a year and this is the first time he simply popped by. Normally we just see him in our joint driveway. I did not have makeup on so it was not a big deal to take off my dress and put on slacks and a polo shirt.

    Have fun on the train ride home.


    1. You're right about the feminine cues. And they work well amongst those who don't know me. I just have to be careful around those who do...

      Glad you got some girl time in, and hope your wife didn't stay upset for too long. Here, when we don't want to answer the doorbell (like after dark), we just let it ring. They go away eventually. Is that do-able where you live?

      One can get to be a quick change artist when wearing a dress...done that many times! Wouldn't it be nice to just stay dressed?


  3. In our condo there is a small glass window alongside the front door. It is only 4" wide but just like we can look out those outside can see in. My wife thinks that this window is enough that a peeper could see if it were me in a dress.

    I cannot recall the number of times I have done the 'quick change artist' routine. Once or twice I nearly killed myself rushing upstairs or down to get out of the line of fire.

    1. We had that same issue at a previous residence, as did my mother. She is a private person, so even though she had sheer curtains over the side lights, she had me get frosted "Con-tact" adhesive shelf liner and install it on them for her. That lets in the light, but stops visibility. If you don't get between a light and the door (to cause a moving shadow), it even works at night! And it looks professional if done right.

      You could also go with a stained glass pattern if your wife doesn't like frosted. They have it.

      We did that at our place afterward. Frosted on the side lights works wonders. Stained glass worked very well on a high and inaccessible - but very visible - window that we couldn't do curtains with. Looks really pretty at night...

      That sure would beat breaking a hip or other bone in rushing around to avoid being seen! If you did trip and break something while in a dress, believe me, the medics would haul you to the hospital without removing your dress...what you're wearing would be the least of their worries. In the case of a broken hip or leg, they'd rather you be in a dress - makes access easier, and then they wouldn't have to cut your pants off. They took Mom to the hospital in her nightgown. And she protested all the way - vociferously. To no avail...

      At our new house, we don't have side lights! No chance of being seen!


  4. My wonderful wife is a bit of a weather junkie. We have one thermometer on the back railing of the condo and another small one at our front door that can be seen through this 4" side window panel. Typically only one will be in the sun at any given time. She also watches the weather channel and the local channel for their updates every 10 minutes. We also get the current temp on my phone. I never have to check the weather all I need do is ask my wife.

    We had the frosted contact adhesive over a door in the old house and that worked fine. I would block the thermometer at the front door in this house. To see in one would need the right angle and fortunately we do not get many visitors.


    1. Nice to not have to go to the Weather Channel yourself...that's my job here!

      At Mom's, I left her a small hole in the frosted contact to be able to look outside during the day. And she used it... As for the thermometer issue, I put in an indoor-outdoor unit and move it to the shady side of the house in the spring and fall.

      But it sounds like you have things under control!