It was to be pretty warm, and I had errands to run on the western shore. So I left early, wearing my pink floral blouse and a pair of tan street shorts, with sandals (so I wouldn't have to wear pantyhose.) For safety's sake, I took a spare pair of sandals (straps do break occasionally). And I was wearing my painted nails and makeup (including lipstick), with just Mom's necklace and bracelet. No earrings.
First stop was the computer store with some questions. There, with my now-female given name, pink nails and a purse, I was interpreted as female, with all appropriate forms of address, even though I was in shorts and not a skirt. When finished there, my plan was to research Mom's "final arrangements at the cemetery" which she had made " back in "her better days" in preparation for "that day when the big bell tolls for her." She had brought the topic up, but I couldn't find any record of payment in her records. I wanted to be sure everything is still in order, while I have time to do any necessary financial research or "repair" without undue time pressure on me. My theory was: if the cemetery could find a record of all her arrangements marked paid, my life will be just a little easier someday, at a time of extreme stress.
On the way to the cemetery, I did a "cornfield change" (the corn here is extra-high, and came in extra-early this year) into my tan long tiered skirt, and out of my street shorts. While it's not the first time I've worn this outfit out and about, I really didn't remember it being so totally comfortable, particularly in hot weather. Light and airy, simply a delight to wear.
And that brought to mind a question: if wearing skirts can be this pleasant, why are men still relegated to wearing hot, restrictive pants? Societal binary norms. And those same norms - well, they aren't much of a good thing for us transgender folks, either.
When I arrived at the cemetery office, I went on in, not knowing what to expect. A gentleman in a suit came out to greet me "Good morning, Ma'am". I explained what I needed to locate, and asked if he could help. "I think so. Your mother's full name? Her address at the time? OK, and your name, Ma'am?" So I gave him my now-female given name. "And you're her daughter, right?" OMG - I never really thought of that question being asked...but I managed to squeak out a "yes" without looking or sounding too shocked... so now I'm Mom's daughter in their records. Interesting. The man thanked me for the info, and asked me to wait a few minutes while he researched the matter.
While I was waiting, a lady came out to attend to some details at the reception desk and "Have you been helped, Ma'am?" My answer was "yes, of course - but thanks anyway."
Only about 10 minutes passed before the man reappeared. And, SUCCESS! He had a sheaf of papers with the complete details of Mom's arrangements, proving they were all paid for. Since Mother is in her 90's now, they put it back in the active file, so it will be easy to find when the time comes. I asked for a copy, just in case, and walked away with it, for my file. Now, we're all set! No huge research project will be needed...14 years after the fact. That wasn't something I looked forward to.... "Ms. Sherman, just give us a call when you need us." And he ended with "And thanks for checking in advance, Ma'am. I wish more folks would do that."
Getting into the car with my long skirt proved to require some extra care...I didn't want to dirty it from hanging out of the bottom of the door! But that was quite easy, and I was soon back on the road again. After some lunch at a nearby mall, I paused to snap a quick selfie in the gorgeous (but hot) weather, (The car thermometer read 97....and it was very humid.)
At the same mall was a Dress Barn Woman store. If you recall, I had previously encountered "no luck" with the staff at a different location of this brand (the day I had to stop driving because of a heavy rainstorm.) So I decided to check this one out. Surprisingly, the twentysomething clerk (while busy with other women), actually took time to greet me and offer assistance if needed. I got the impression (though didn't actively pursue it) that I could have used a changing room if I needed one. What a refreshing change from the other store, where once again, the elderly clerk was more interested in talking with her friends about her upcoming vacation than greeting me...who perhaps (with all the end-of-season sales) could have been a paying customer.
Then it was off to my favorite seamstress, to pick up some items she had adjusted for me... She complimented today's outfit more than any other, particularly the long skirt and pink theme of all my nails and my blouse. (I don''t recall having ever worn this complete outfit to her place.) I asked her if she'd get a picture of me, using my camera, and she was happy to help. It turned out to be a bit patriotic, but that's OK.
Nothing wrong with a little flag-waving!
From there, it was an uneventful trip back across the bridge (those really do happen, but during the summer, only occasionally mid-week), ending my excursion. This had clearly been one of my top five girly local excursions! And it's wonderful that I'm able to leave and return to the house fully dressed during my wife's absence...it really does make a huge difference!