Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving Quickie...

Remember, don't eat too much Turkey!

I'll leave you with this peaceful sunset scene from Siesta Key, Florida...


Monday, November 23, 2015

With apologies to Bobby Freeman...

"Betty Lou got a new pair of shoes!"

Finally some cute white flats to wear with my light capris over the summer.  I've wanted to buy some for a long time, but never wanted to spend a lot of money.  Found these for $5 on end-of-season sale at a Payless...and couldn't resist. 

The fit is far from perfect, and they're not as comfortable as my ballerina flats from long ago (that still work nicely) but on the other hand, I won't get to wear them a lot.  Mainly because my wife has always insisted that "Men don't wear white shoes."  I guess she overlooks the minor issue that we're often greeted and treated as "ladies" when we're out together.  Apparently she views that as insufficient reason for me to "get with the women's program" for white shoes to match a white-based  summer outfit.  No problem...I'll just wear them when she's not with me.

Recently we celebrated our anniversary...and that meant going out for dinner.  The place wasn't fancy.  She wore jeans, a blouse and sneakers, with a jacket.  And no purse, as I was paying.  As for me, capris with a top, pantyhose, and my black ballet flats, with my usual necklace and purse, plus the other accoutrements.  From the moment we went through the front door, throughout our whole meal, we were "ladies."  They asked if we wanted one check or two - and placed the one check between us, as is customary for women dining together.  And they made sure to say "Goodnight, ladies" as we left...   Not sure if they were blind, or just well-trained, but it sure was affirming!

I heard nary a peep about usual.

As we were out and about yesterday, she mentioned that capri weather is about over for the season, which is why she wore jeans.  I agreed, but said there still are a few women wearing them, and that with my pantyhose, they still aren't too cold.   "Just wait a few days, and you probably will put them away, too."  But that was yesterday, and today she's right.  I'm about done with them for the season.  It IS getting too cold.

They'll keep till next spring...

More later...


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Into the winter doldrums I go...

Welcome to the winter doldrums...

Normally I would have dressed for Halloween, and probably gone to the annual antique show in a skirt.  And there would be pictures to show.  However, our visit south took that completely off the table.  (For the reason - a new granddaughter - it was OK, though.)  And accordingly, the next possible time for Mandy to shine will be in April :-(   Unfortunately, wishing it weren't so, doesn't make things better...there is an old saying from my father that goes something like this:  "If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride..."

Since we got home from vacation, even my androgynous self hasn't seen much activity.  Too busy catching up on things not done during our time away from home...   Until I went to the lab at the Doctor's office for my flu shot...

There, I sat next to a lady with a baby.  Until our granddaughter appeared, I used to sit far away from women with babies.  Now, I sat next to the pair.  Can you believe I actually started a conversation with her?  Once we started chatting, she shared that the little girl was 3 months old.  That opened the door to a bunch of girl talk about her pregnancy and that of our daughter-in-law, which I was familiar with from having just been there.  It was a discussion "in girl terms," not sanitized for co-ed presentation.  I was dressed casually, in capri pants, a feminine blouse (that I wear around my wife, but which she hates), ballet flats and pantyhose, with my long hair and nails (which needed shortened and filled after 6 weeks.)  There was no evidence that she thought I was anything other than what I appeared to be...and she said goodbye sweetly as she left (being the one just before me into the lab...)   Definitely unexpected fun...

Since I haven't gotten any newer pictures, here is one from Sarasota, FL at "Ca' d' Zan" - the "House of John" - the Venetian Gothic John Ringling home at the Ringling Museum.   Love the fancy artwork and trim!  A human almost looks out of place there...

And yesterday it was my chance to get my nails done.  They needed it, based on the following picture:

This was 6 weeks of growth, and they were close to exceeding their all time length record!  Fortunately, my tech shortened them and made them look good again...

At the salon, several of the women were chatting with me, and showing me their nails.  Did they know?  Doesn't matter...they treated me as a woman, and that's what counts!

Posts may be scarce for a while, but in any event, I'll post when possible!



Tuesday, November 3, 2015

More Mouse tales...

As you saw from the previous post, we took time to visit "the Mouse" - as in Mickey - i.e. Disney World.

A number of years ago, we were there with our son, but not at all in the intervening years.  This time I looked a bit different.  Having just changed out of shorts, I was wearing gray capri pants with a purple pocket polo top, and fisherman sandals, of course with long hair and nails, Mom's necklace, and my purse, which was full of cameras and other junk.  (I often carry two cameras, one for daytime and one for in dark places.)

There were a number of Halloween functions going on at the land of the Mouse, and most of the kids (plus some adults) were walking around in official "costumes."  (Saw one guy in a skirt and one in a full kilt outfit, but no way to talk to either.)

My wife and I were being attentive to the many fascinating childrens' costumes  as we went around the park.   Twice, the tables were turned, as little boys asked me the usual question: "You look like a girl.  Are you a boy or a girl?"  This seems to be a common question...I've heard it a number of times before.

Fortunately, each time, the boy's parents were right there, so I approached it this way to make it easy for them - and me.  "It's Halloween time again, right?"  Of course, the boy answered "Sure."  "So, you're a boy who looks like Batman, and I'm a boy who looks like a girl."  Each boy universally said "Oh, OK - bye!" We did a high five, then he and his parents went right back to doing whatever it was that they were doing when the kid first noticed me. Though I'd be interested to know what, if any, questions were directed at the parents later,  my looking like a girl must be OK with the boys...  Girls, on the other hand, seem to be a lot more reserved.  None of them asked...or even stared (that I noticed.)
My wife was with me, but not right at my side. And the time was not right to go into the transgender issue with strangers.   Not sure whether she heard, or what she thought, of these encounters -  perhaps simply "toleration?"  She never said.  So I may never know.

Monorail train near the Disney World Transportation and Ticketing Center

 Grand Floridian Lodge in late afternoon sun.

A portion of the Polynesian Lodge at night

This was turning out to be a fun vacation, for sure.   And with the advent of "miss-identifications," in addition to frequent omission of gender specific greetings, it was even better.  Unfortunately these were interspersed with instances of the "S" word being used.  Not a problem...since I wasn't trying to present as female, any feminine recognition I received was a big bonus.

More later...


Monday, November 2, 2015

Visiting our son and his wife..

We recently stopped to visit our son and his wife...always a fun time.  And this was particularly so, since they have had a new baby - our first grandchild...a girl, and in the future we'll call her LM for privacy reasons.

On this trip, very little noteworthy happened.  However one relatively significant event came along.   A neighbor visited my son''s house, with a present for the new baby.  Daughter-in-law was not home, so I answered the door, and we chatted a bit before I introduced myself as her Father-in-Law.  She kept glancing down at my ankles - ostensibly at the kitty at my feet...or was it the polo, pantyhose, denim capris and fisherman sandals? And then she glanced back up at my hair.   Guess there was some sort of indecision or confusion going on in her noggin!

When they returned later in the evening to give D-I-L the present, the kids introduced us officially, and all seemed well.  No further stares...even though I was wearing shorts and pantyhose, this time with flats.  Maybe by then (8 PM) my beard shadow was pronounced enough to make my natal gender obvious?  There were no further glances noticed, and both seemed fine with my appearance.  Wonder if our son will update us on their questions?  (Probably not, since he often gets addressed as female from the back, because of his long hair, and knows that I do, as well.  But when he turns around, his full beard and mustache usually elicits an "oops, sorry Sir."   My expressed preference is to have no facial hair...

I was researching hotels for a possible future car event in the area, and chose to pull up and bobby-pin my hair into a ponytail, to go with my capri pants, pantyhose and flats, before meeting the hotel rep.  When I stopped in, both the desk clerk and sales rep addressed me as "Sir" even though I gave my now-female given name.  As some have suggested,  hair seems to be a major cue, perhaps more so than  clothes...

And the last event on the last day of our visit was to a local sight north of Nashville - Fontanel.  Those of you old enough to remember Barbara Mandrell may recognize that as the name of her former estate.  You'd be right.  D-I-L with the baby, my wife and I visited for lunch at one of the restaurants.  (Great food, by the way!)  And with me dressed as in the picture above, from the time we went in until the time we left, through 3 different buildings, we were "3 ladies with a baby."  Neither of the girls said anything to me about is what it is.   That was nice.  

All too soon it was time to head back to our son's place...and preparing to leave our little baby granddaughter was really tough.  My wife and I both had tears in our eyes. She's a cute princess, and I melt when I'm holding her...   Nice thing is that she can grow up knowing men can have long hair, long nails, and generally look like a girl.  That's one more person, who won't hate us...

In closing, enjoy a picture of a Florida sunrise, in the Orlando area...


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Quickie about being androgynous in the land of the Mouse

It's been interesting...and rewarding.

At Disney, someone must have been playing with the "political correctness switch."  First day, I heard the dreaded "S" word only a couple of times despite many contacts with "cast members" - translation: staff.  On the second day, I was treated to "being addressed as a female" every time I had contact with officialdom...from the security folks at the entrance, to the cast members at the different rides.

Come the third day, I heard a combination of "Sir" and "Ma'am,"  with a few "no gender specific" greetings thrown in for good measure.  For instance, the first bus driver of the day (female) addressed me as female.  When I was looking for a restroom,  I came across the ladies' room.  Two unrelated women invited me to stand in line with them.  I escaped that issue by saying I'd lost my friend - who was wearing a white jacket - and was just looking for her.   They advised me that she hadn't gone in that restroom.  Numerous staffers addressed both my wife and I together as "ladies."

I was selected by one of their male researchers to answer a few questions about my experience with a particular ride.  It was legit...they had ID and a Disney tablet.  Wish I could have seen how he identified me - as male or female, but he used 'Ma'am" to address me.   And by the time I saw how the tablet was being used, it was too late to determine.  Very interesting.

On the way out of the park ("alone," as my wife was several people behind me), two security officers addressed me as "Sir" - though I was wearing ballet flats, pantyhose, gray capris, pocket polo shirt, Mom's necklace, and clearly carrying a purse.  But the bus driver (a female) addressed me as "Ma'am."  The only "difference?"  By that time my wife had caught back up to in two females traveling together.

This has been an interesting experiment,  as it confirms there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to why some people interpret a given person as "male" and others see that same person as  "female."  Except the for my "two females traveling together" theory.  And I plan to pay more attention to this in the future...

I'll leave you with a dusk view of the easily identifiable Cinderella's Castle at Disney World.  Enjoy!