The morning after the show, at the new hotel, something woke me up early.
A glance out the window brought sunrise into focus. Mother Nature provided a magnificent "pink-orange with few high
clouds" display in the eastern sky, a very appropriate "book-end" on my weekend of "pink fog." With plenty of
time before I had to check out and start my morning, I took the time to
document it digitally.
sunrise over, thoughts turned to "what to wear today." Skirts - long OR
short - weren't in the picture that day. I would be too close to home, and in an
area frequented by casual shoppers from our area. Plus, the cornfields (for "cornfield changes") have all been harvested! I settled on jean capris, pantyhose, turtleneck tunic, and flats, with lipstick, light makeup and some
easily removable jewelry. Below is a picture of the day's outfit, taken later in the day, against a background of muted fall colors on the western side of Chesapeake Bay...
This turned out to be a great choice! When I appeared at the hotel's front desk to check out (with suitcase and other baggage in tow), the male clerk didn't hesitate a moment about my gender. I was immediately addressed as female, and we even had a bit of lively conversation about the weather and traveling. It all seemed so natural and appropriate to assume the female role in a situation like this. I spoke a bit lighter, and with a bit higher pitch, than normal, but if I forced it higher yet, my voice would crack and I'd cough. What I did seemed to work with this guy. Note to self...it works, so keep doing it!
Got everything stuffed back in the car (it was FULL again) and headed for some errands on the way home. One was to check on some items being sold for me by a third party. Off came the jewelry, but I still was wearing makeup and the outfit in the picture...very feminine. The female proprietor knows me as male and addressed me that way despite my feminine outfit and presentation.
At the big-box store, I had trouble with their self-service register, so a female clerk came over to help. Again, no question as to my gender. She addressed me as female. As did the checker on the way out the door...nice! And I love hearing "Have a wonderful day, Miss (enter my given name here, which is now used by girls.)"
Then it was off to the mall. As usual, I had to walk the mall's center aisle to get to the stores I wanted. Unfortunately I had to pass a kiosk with two aggressive male clerks double-teaming all the women (translation: overt flattery), trying to get to talk to them about their potions. They both obviously believed I was a woman, so it was my turn to enjoy(?) their attention.
"You look lovely, Miss - here's a free sample of our product. " "No thanks, Sirs" in my slightly-modified voice. And I kept walking. One of them said "Oh please, Miss, don't break my heart...just give this a try and you'll be even more beautiful." "Thanks, sir, but no thanks." And I kept walking as they were babbling away. Finally out of earshot of those guys, who by then had given up on me and started to target the other girls, I arrived at the computer store, to buy a cheap accessory. Again, I was identified as female by the male clerk, and he helped me find what I needed.
Now to head for the shoe store...
My recent luck has been good with a certain brand of women's shoes (and they aren't cheap.) So when I got a coupon for 25% off, I figured I'd stop in and see if they fit. "Would you like for me to measure your feet just to be sure you get the right size?" To myself, I thought "Oh, my - he'll see my painted toes. But why not? I'm a woman, and I'm wearing pantyhose..." He picked up the Brannock device and confirmed my size. I told him what I was interested in trying on. He went into the back, and after a few minutes, the short version of his story was "Ma'am, you'll need to order on line, as we don't have your size in stock. But they will honor the coupon." Daggonit, I was hoping to take home a new pair of shoes.
"OK, thanks Sir. But...(and I summoned up some courage) can I try on a pair of these?" I held up a pair of elegant pointy toe shoes, with about 4" heels...something I've never worn before. They surprisingly had a pair in stock, so he had me sit down to attend to me. (That was another new experience - sitting in a chair at the shoe store, having the salesman fit me with a pretty pair of sky-high heels.) He told me that they were very stylish, adding that "they really dress up your capri outfit, and would look beautiful with skirts and dresses. I can put your flats in the box if you'd like to wear these home." Then he added, "You'll be Belle of the Ball in an evening gown with these heels!" (Oh, my - don't I wish I could?)
I thought they looked fabulous, and made me feel even more feminine, if that's possible. (That pink fog was really obscuring everything...) But when I stood up, I knew they weren't going to work...being a bit wobbly was bad enough,, but walking with my toes cramped in them made me long for my Mary Jane heels. So I told him "I just love the looks, but they're not comfortable...I'm unaccustomed to heels this high, so I think I'll stick with the flats I'll order on line..." He offered to put me in some lower heels, but I declined...no point in wasting his time, since there were other women shopping. (None that I noticed were staring as I modeled the heels...a big surprise.)
Well, now that my shoe shopping was complete, the only way back to the car was - you guessed it - past those two aggressive kiosk peddlers. Every girl's least favorite people. And right on schedule, the banter started again..."Hey pretty lady, you're back...can I give you a free sample?" The other said "We don't give up on you, do we?" I stopped walking and said "No you don't sweetie, but I give you a consistent answer every time - No Thank You!" "Won't you please reconsider?" "Sorry boys, not today, maybe some other time. This girl's got places to go. Bye now!" "We'll cry, honey..." "Sorry, sweetie, I'm fresh out of tissues...see ya later, boys!" I looked at them and smiled, winked, and off I walked... (After the fact, I couldn't believe I was that bold! I guess there really must be a girl within...)
The one peddler overdid it so much, that it makes me wonder: could he have been flirting with me? Am I off-base there? Perhaps I was even beginning to respond like a woman playing "hard to get"? Or maybe he thought he recognized my true gender and was simply disguising his "hate?" Don't know, don't care. I loved the attention...and I wasn't even wearing a skirt. It actually was kinda fun!
Once back out in the car, that heavy pink fog (which had thickened significantly during this trip, and even more so during my visit to the mall) finally began to dissipate... Now that my weekend was over, off came the jewelry, and a makeup removal towel removed my lipstick and makeup. Time to go home...and stuff Mandy back in the suitcase. She won't be seeing the full light of day again for quite some time.
This wonderful weekend was almost "advance compensation" for the upcoming long wait for "next time"...my whole experience was fabulous. But meanwhile, thank heavens for androgyny!
PS the flats are now on order, and I got the discount, plus free shipping...will post a pic soon.