Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Shopping again - this time for electronics.

This might be a boring topic for many, but please bear with me....

In our American culture, there is a sexual dimorphism in how females and males shop, and a sexual dimorphism in expected shopping expertises. Women are expected to know the subtle details in making a house a home, while men are expected to know the subtle details about the tools needed to rebuild that house while it becomes a home.  There is an old expression: "You can tell the difference between a man and a boy by the price of their toys."  Electronic goods have been associated with "manly knowledge" - things women are not expected to know, and where women can be treated less than competant individuals.

Although most electronic goods are simple enough that a 12 year old child could understand them (Quick - Get me a 12 year old child!!!), men seem to love treating women as something other than their equals.   I saw this first hand when visiting a female friend in January.  This fellow had set up a new TV, connected all of the wires, and was treating my friend as if she was a 6 year old child.  He got on my nerves, as he told this female friend of mine to use "Remote A" to turn on the TV and change its volume, and "Remote B" for everything else ---- at least 5 times.  I ended up telling him that she understood, and didn't have to keep repeating himself.  (This is an advantage of being a male - we are allowed to be assertive in defending ourselves, while women are expected to be demure - even when being treated like idiots.  Is it any womder why I love Bette Davis?  She never would have taken that crap in any of her roles, and she never took it in real life either.) 

But back to electronics....

I have a 70 year old lady friend who knows about my female persona, and warmed up to Marian in a way she's never have warmed up to me presenting as a male.  So I volunteered to help her buy a new TV set and to set it up this weekend. Of course, this lady is intimidated by electronics.    But the catch is that I'll be helping her shop en-femme.  It'll be interesting seeing how we're treated - especially if it is an older gentleman working with us.  

Now, I had to tell my friend to ask the folks at the cable company for a new cable box.  Then, I had to tell her what to ask for, as she had no clue about HDMI ports or anything else related to connecting TVs to cable boxes, and then to the outside.  So I'll be looking for some coax cable, an HDMI cable, and hoping that all will work as expected.  (The coax connector she mentions on the wall might be for an outdoor antenna, so I may also need a splitter and more coax cable - who knows?).

Of course, connecting the new TV up isn't the only thing I'll be doing.  She's asked me to set up Skype on her computer.  This means I'll be bringing down my netbook, just in case.  (I may be able to cheat a little and use Skype from my cell phone - I'll find out when I'm there.)  Again, I'm dealing with a 70 year old lady, and can't be certain what she has in her apartment.  So, I have to bring a full set of electronic tools just to be safe.

If all goes right, I'll be rewarded with Bogey's face on the TV, and hearing him say:

"Here's looking at you, kid...." 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I'm grateful for the USPS

Often, trans folk who are not yet out of the closet are a little nervous about shopping for themselves - I know I was....  Many of us say we're buying clothes for a sister, a girl friend, or some other female in their lives.  But in reality, the sales help know we're buying for ourselves.

With the internet and online shopping came a great opportunity.  No longer must we go outside our comfort zones to shop.  We can look at the selections from the safety of our computers, in the privacy of our homes, and have our goods shipped to our homes (or another address of our choice).  This is a blessing to the transgendered person who is not yet comfortable being out and about in the world.  And it is how I started to buy much of my female wardrobe before I got comfortable going into stores, trying on clothes, and shopping for myself.

It's amazing how far I've come in less than a year.  Last year at this time, the only shopping I ever did in person for women's clothes was for nightgowns and underwear (with a couple of exceptions while on vacation, 2500 miles away from home) - stuff I could say I was buying for a girl friend, and stuff that could be worn in the pricacy of my apartment.  There was a limited amount of mail order - I knew JC Penney's offerings by heart.  And now, I'm comfortable shopping for myself - as long as I'm in my female persona.  (I won't shop for my female persona while in male mode, and will not shop for my male persona when in female mode.)  Even more, I'm not worried about what catalogs, etc. land in my mail box.  I'm only a statictical blip on some computer somewhere - no one really cares what I do.  And this makes me feel good.

But even now, I'm grateful for the USPS.  It allows me to order goods from stores of my choice (in th middle of the night) and have my packages delivered to my door.  There are still many things that I have to order online due to my size (e.g. Shoes), and I'm lucky to have a safe place where packages can be dropped.

Now off to the Land's End site....  I just saw a frock that would look good on me.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Identification, please....

Over the past few months, I have had the fortune to meet three of the people whose blogs are on the top of my hit parade.  And in two of the cases, we have had a need to share our given first names, so that we could identify each other over the phone in public places.  (No, I won't share the names, but readers of this blog can easily figure out which bloggers I am referring to.)

A problem each of us has is how we refer to each of our personas.  For example, when I'm en-homme, I refer to this persona as "my sister".  (I'm the elder of two genetic males - my mother bore no female children, as much as she really wanted one.)  And in male mode, I try to refer to my Marian persona in the third person, so that each persona's actions and behaviors are thought of separately from the male persona.  Of course, I do the same when in female mode - I refer to my male persona in the third person. 

Now, this poses some interesting issues.  I have friends that I've gone out with in both personas.  Most recently, they have gone out with me in female mode.  And two of them have made the expected mistakes of forgetting in which persona I am presenting and using the wrong pronoun.  This isn't so bad right now - the mistakes have been made in places where I am relatively anonymous, and will be forgotten after a few minutes.  But what happens when I'm ready to socialize en-femme in meetup groups as Meg has done?  This is where caution is essential - one makes sure to not mix gender presentations with groups one socializes with.  If I were to go to a group as Marian, then that group would be off limits to my male persona.  And if I went in my male persona, then Marian would not meet that group.  (My friends in the North Country are an exception - they have seen me in both modes and are comfortable with both modes.)  This is easy for me to do right now.  But it will be harder to do as I find meetup groups to go to.

This leads me to further issues of identification.  The other day, I applied for a credit card at a woman's clothing store.  All the information I gave them was legitimate - social security number, home address and phone, employment history, etc....  But one thing was fake.  I flashed a driver's license which I'd never give to a police officer - it had my female face on it.  (It had my male name, but it's androgeneous enough not to be given a second glance.)  And it was accepted for what it looked like - a woman's license.  (Do this at your own risk - there may be laws against using a fake document in your state - even if posing as yourself.)  Hopefully, I'll eventually have a drivers' license with a picture that is truly androgenous enough to be flashed in both male and female modes.  But that won't be for a few years....

So, it'll be out and about again soon.  And I'm looking towards the weekend, where I can get out in Marian mode once again....

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dim Sum - How About Some?

People who know me know that I love most ethnic foods because of their variety of tastes - especially the Asian cuisines.  Today, I ended up having a date with a very nice lady, but one with whom I never should enter a romantic relationship. 

Before meeting this lady, I knew she was heavy set, but not much more about her.  Once I met her, the weight was the least of her issues - she had serious health issues, she had no job, and she had to move out of where she lived.  There are some problems a person acan easily avoid, and this was one of them.  And yet, I had a very nice time over lunch - each of us choosing a wide array of dishes as they came out of the kitchen.

For those who are not familiar with Dim Sum, it is the traditional Chinese "Tea Lunch".  Wait staff pass by each table with various dishes - dumplings of many types, chicken feet (eaten for texture and not taste), tripe, pork buns, sticky rice, and others I can't name here.  Often, in Chinatown, multiple small groups (2-3) are comingled at one big table - something that facilitates great, light conversations about food.  It's a very friendly atmosphere.  And a Dim Sum joint is a great place to bring a date.

Now, I've been to this place twice - once en-femme, and once en-homme.  Both times, I was treated courteously and professionally.  The only difference was that this time, we had to wait much longer because we went at peak dining time.  And this leads me to something that I consider important - eating out en-femme.

Most of us are not as lucky as I have been - to be able to eat out when I want without thinking much about it.  When I go out en-femme, I try to avoid places where I've eaten en-homme, so that I can feel more safe.  (There are many people who have prejudices against trans folk, and I do not want to trigger any negative actions directed at me.)  I might be over cautious, but it does make sense for a trans person living in two modes to go to different places when en-homme and when en-femme.  First, it provides a wider range of experiences.  Second, there is less liklihood one's en-homme presentation will be connected to a person while en-femme.  Third, one might simply want to eat different things while en-femme than when en-homme.  (For example, a woman will usually gravitate to foods which she can eat delicately with a knife and fork, like a salad - where a man might choose the baby back ribs.)

So, back to Dim Sum....   A "Tea Lunch" is an ideal hybrid of a meal which can be easily eaten in either presentation.  While en-homme, one can take bigger bites of food - each morsel is usually one large, man-sized bite.  En-femme, one would split the morsel in two with a fork, and avoid the chopsticks - unless one is an expert using them.  Additionally, most Asian cultures are less prejudiced about gender presentation than Western cultures, so a trans person will likely be treated with appropriate respect....

Dim Sum....   How about some?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

My closet

I just hung in the closet the clothes that I bought yesterday.  Although there is a significant portion of clothes given to me by other women in that closet, most of the garments came from my shopping trips.  So now I have a pleasant dilemma - I will soon need to make room in the closet for summer clothes.  So now, for the most part, I have achieved one goal - to have built up a complete second wardrobe.  And now to get fully comfortable with being "out".  I wonder how many of us have had that discomfort --- probably all of us at one time or another. 

On some blog, somewhere, the blogger noted that for a crossdresser to be truly comfortable in the role, that person has to be comfortable being in pants - when a natal woman would be in pants.  This is probaly true.  During the recent cold spell, virtually no one I saw in suburbis was wearing a skirt or a dress on the weekend.  In the work week, the figure was higher in NYC - about 1 in 10 (maybe 1 in 7) women were wearing skirts or dresses.  I now have those pants.

Over time, I expect to develop my own style.  My recent purchases were based on input from two or three women who know about this persona.  So, I'll wear what I have and start developing a feeling for what works for me and what doesn't work.  Hopefully, most of what I bought recently will still fit into the style I develop.

But....  I intend one rule to apply.   If I can't fit everything into one dresser and one closet, I have way too much stuff.

Shopping on the way up to the North Country

Well, I've finally done it....

Last weekend, I went to lunch (and did some shopping) with a friend.  She commented on3 key things: my wig (which I've since retired), my beard stubble (which I intend to address tomorrow with an appointment for laser), and the fact that me being in a skirt was a giveaway that I was crossdressing.  So, during the week, I decided to tally the women wearing pants vs. the ones wearing skirts or dresses.  And in NYC, the ratio was 10:1 (pants:dresses or skirts).  Outside NYC, the ratio was much lower.  So today, I decided to go shopping and buy some women's pants (as well as a couple of tops).

Since the store was on the way to the North Country, I figured that I'd stop by the mall, pick out some clothes quickly, and go.  But I was running late, on account of having some car maintenance done in the morning.  By the time I got to the store, I was already an hour or two late, and I ended up spending an hour in the store, trying on outfits --- and ringing up a nice tab.And yes, I did get two pairs of pants.  (Can someone give me a good idea on how to "Tuck"?  I want the front of these pants to show a feminine shape.  Mr. Happy should never be detectable.)  And I now have some tops that will carry me into the summer, where I will be making more decisions on what to wear and buy....  Although I had the cash to pay for everything, the 30% discount they give to new credit card holders was too good to refuse.  So I opened up a new account (which now opens me up to a lot of mailings, etc. - aargh!) and then paid the bill off at the same time it was rung up on the new account. Now, I'll have to be careful - I'm running out of space in my closet.

I ended up getting to the gathering around 7:00 - and hung out until 11:00 pm.  This was one of the times I was glad to get on the road early.  We were expecting snow in the NYC area, and I didn't want to be driving in bad weather.  Driving about 100 miles from Upstate NY, I reached the bridge I normally use to cross the Hudson River.  From there, I planned to get on Route 9, and drive the last 1/2 hour on roads I know well enough to drive in my sleep (and to stop at a gas station that sells cheap gas).  Alas, this was not to be.  Getting onto Route 9, there was a phlanx of police cars blocking the path south.  Obviously, something must have happened further down the road, so I ended up taking the Taconic Parkway (a road segment I hate - Putnam County) to get home.  This cost me an extra half hour, but I made it home safely.

So, it's time to turn into a pumpkin again.  Off will come the wig and other paraphinalia, the makeup will be removed, and then into a comfy nightshirt for some much needed sleep.  And I'll miss turning back into Marian for another week....

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Quickie - Beware of Computer Viruses

Another Quickie...

I must have gotten infected by a computer virus.  It's the only explanation for what happened.  The other day, I posted a comment on Meg's blog, wishing her a speedy recovery from her cold (Have a code in my node) and guess what?  Now I have a code in my node!

Damn, these computer viruses are nasty!!!!

Quickie - Looking forward to some shopping therapy.

As I mentioned earlier, I went shopping with a friend this past weekend.  The more that my female persona is out in the world, the more interest I have in activities usually associated with natal women - like shopping.

This weekend, I must have spent about 1->1.5 hours trying on outfits.  And if I were going to be out more as Marian, I'd have bought more clothes.  And, I'm looking forward to the next shopping trip so I can add color to my closet, and more casual things to wear in the upcoming warm weather.  (Yes, it's coming - and I can't wait!)

If only a certain special someone were here with me now....

Monday, February 18, 2013

Looking forward to the weekend....

It's amazing.  I'm finding that it is easier to open up to people and out myself as time goes on.  Of course, as I've noted before, there will always be some people with whom I'll always be in the closet.  But that's a matter of practical choice, and not much more...

It's the end of a long weekend, and I'm already looking forward to this coming Friday, when I'll get my single chance to spend some time en-femme for the week.  Yes, it's my monthly trip to the North Country coming up.  Given that this will likely be my one time en-femme over the weekend, I'll probably stop into a couple of stores to do some shopping.  No, I do not plan on doing much damage to my credit cards - I just want another pair of feminine pants....  (Given that on the coldest of weekends, few women were wearing skirts or dresses, it makes sense to have a couple of pairs of feminine pants so I can dress as a natal female would....)

I'll make sure that I post a picture of me in pants when I get around to wearing them....

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Neighborly Interactions....

As readers of this blog know, I have a nosy neighbor who likes to be the local gossip.  She knows about my female persona and has not caused me any trouble. But I have to be careful in dealing with her.  People with too much time on their hands can always cause trouble when it is least wanted.

But this posting is not about that neighbor. 

Today, I went on a date, seeing a nice lady for the second time.   We met for Dim Sum in Chinatown, and then walked to Ferrara's in Little Italy for dessert.  It was a pleasant date, and it will be nice to see her again.  However, although we have similar goals, she is the babysitting grandmother who takes care of her grandchild while her daughter is off to work.  So I'll have to do some serious thinking about this relationship if I want to take it further.

It was a frigid day, and walking with my heel spur was not as bad as it was on Friday.  Yet, I was glad to finally get into the subway and warm up a little.  When I reached Grand Central, I decided to stop into the drug store there to pick up some miscellaneous items such as shaving gel, clear medical tape, and nu-skin (the latter two items for times I'm in my Marian persona).  So I was surprized to see a different neighbor of mine in the drug store - and we proceeded to chat all the way home. She shared several things about her family, including the fact that her daughter is gay.  So, I figured that I'd show her a picture of my female persona, outing myself - and she wasn't shocked.   When we got home, I told her that I was next to her in the supermarket one day, and she didn't recognize me.

We've said several times that we should meet for dinner.  Because of this unplanned meeting, it is more likely this dinner will happen.  And now, I have another person with whom I can share my Marian persona....

Shopping.... and some thoughts

Today, I met a friend for lunch and then to do some shopping.   Did I need to put more clothes in my closet?  NO!  But it was fun to be trying on clothes for the better part of an hour and a half, and we found an open front sweater that paired with a cami looked great over a pair of women's slacks.  And that leads to a two-part question I have of my readers -have women transitioning away from wearing dresses and skirts casually?  And is it a giveaway (except for office wear) that a crossdresser is the one wearing the skirt, while a woman is wearing pants?

Mind you, our society has evolved into something much less formal than the society I grew up in. So to be a successful crossdresser (or transgendered person), it only makes sense to ask what a "normal" person of the gender one wants to present oneself as would wear.  Of course, in cool weather, more women will be wearing pants.  But in warmer weather, when do skirts and dresses become casual wear?   The rules are changing very quickly, and they are likely to change again....

This brings up thoughts on other changes that I've noticed in society.  Years ago, it was only the lower classes who got themselves tattooed.  One could joke that one could tell if a sailor got VD on shore leave in San Diego - if he had a tattoo, he probably was safe, and if no tattoo, he probably caught the clap.  Today, tattoos have spread into the mainstream.  One woman I know has a 12' tribal tattoo on her back, as well as a yin/yang tattoo that is a counterpart to her husband's tattoo.  (Both are very nice people, and I only have good things to say about them.)  In fact, one elderly widowed lady I knew had a small steel magnolia tattooed above the nipple on her left breast.  (I thought it was a thoughtful and elegant tattoo, something befitting this lady.)  She said that she would be the talk of her small Southern town when she died, as the undertaker would be mentioning this tattoo to everyone.  Well, I hope she got her wish....

When my thoughts get to piercings,  I can remember when women would only have one piercing in each ear, and have no other piercings.  Today, I've seen the standard ear piercings, nose piercings, lip piercings, tongue piercings, nipple and navel piercings --- and from there, various forms of genital piercings . OUCH!  

Our younger generation is very comfortable with body modification.  And they are much more comfortable with people outside the traditional norms.  But I've wondered why this is so.  And I've come to the conclusion that this generation has given up on the idea that it will live as well as their parents and grandparents did.  Opportunities that were expected by earlier generations are no longer seem available to the younger generation.  So they have given up trying to fit in to a society (and its norms) that can't deliver much of anything to this generation.  And instead, they have gone back to basics.  They tolerate differences, because it is much less effort to do so than to enforce meaningless social norms.  They modify their bodies, as they live for the "now" and not the future - their bodies are canvasses on which they express their individuality - and they are comfortable with the permanence of what they put on their canvasses.

And that leads me back to shopping and crossdressing....

I've noticed that many of the crossdressers I've met were mid to late middle age.  Many of us in this age bracket fear what people would think of us if they knew we liked womens' fashion.  But many of the retail workers I've met in the stores I've shopped at are of a generation younger than us.  They grew up in a more permissive society, and their attitudes towards individual differences in self expression are markedly different than what we experienced when younger.  They seem to be much more welcoming of us than we might expect from our experiences.  So it makes sense to get out in the world and enjoy it.  And we're doing so in a dress - no one will care much....

BTW...  I've picked up an interesting statistic.  In Great Britain (a nation of over 67,000,000 people) there are approximately 250,000 crossdressers.  That means there is at least one active crossdresser per 268 people.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Quickie - Going out... again

I'm off to go out with a friend.   This is the friend I mentioned in a prior post who I don't mind having as a friend, but is the co-dependant type I don't need for a relationship. 

It's nice to have an excuse to get out again today.  The heel spur isn't bothering me that much, and it'll be nice to have a second "Marian Day" this weekend.

I'll write more later....

Really, Really.....

OK....  Today was a work-at-home day.  And, for a change, I actually felt good, because I had work to do.  The only problem - the focal point of some of this work came around the time I was changing into girl mode, and was taking away from the time I needed to get ready and make the train into NYC.  Well... I did make the train with a few minutes to spare.  But I left a book I wanted to read at home.  And I missed that book in both directions.

This was the first time I have met this friend en-femme.  And I asked her how well I looked.  She made it clear that talking about my dressing (except for a rare mention - it shouldn't be the focal point of our get together) would bore her.  I'm glad she did so. It would have been a boring conversation had this not happened.

We went to an uncrowded restaurant on 7th Avenue.  It was a pleasure to eat there, the food was good, and the place wasn't noisy.  But neither of us feel the place will survive  That's sad - we both enjoyed eating there.  Of course, like most women, I ended up feeding "the girls" dessert.  Luckily, I was wearing a black dress, and I got the stuff out with cold water....

From there it was a short walk to the theater.  Short walks with heel spur irritation can be excruciating.  Unfortunately, my doctor cancelled today's visit (and I have to reschedule it next week), and I missed my chance to talk to him about it.  I'm glad my friend understood this - she also suffered from them in the past. Another unfortunate thing - my knees were acting up.  So they were bothering me throughout the time in the theater.

And now, on to the play.... 

"Really, Really" is a play about the interactions of several people who attended a college kegger.  There is the accusation of rape, and until the end, you don't know whether the fellow did the deed himself.  However, you find out that everyone is out for him/herself, and that no one is acting with any ethical guidance.  And at the end, you get the answer - but feel unsatisfied. 

So, it was a good night. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Dinner and a play

Tomorrow my already be a complicated mess, and the day hasn't even started for me yet.  All my best laid plans seem to be up in the air, and I am not sure if I'll catch the balls without dropping any.

A while back. I scheduled a doctor's appointment for the beginning of the month.  Well, I decided to postpone it so that I'd be able to work from home on a holiday weekend. The next day, I had planned to go out with a woman I once dated (now just an activity partner) to dinner and a play.  (Weekends are the only time I can get dressed up as Marian, and then go into the city for any activities. If I stay in suburbia, I can leave work early, get showered and dressed, and have some late evening Marian time.)   But things changed....

First, my friend emailed to tell me that she double booked things for Saturday, and asked me if I could reschedule things for Friday night.  I said yes, knowing that I had a doctor's appointment - which would allow me to stay home and have the ability to take on my female persona for the evening.  This evening, when I got home, there was a message on my answering machine - My doctor had to cancel the appointment, and asked me to reschedule it tomorrow.   (I'm planning on rescheduling it for next Friday - I've scheduled the day off, and I'll be seeing my friends in the "North Country" again.)

Now, I haven't gotten into my dating yet....

There are three ladies actively circling around.  Lady #1 comes from Staten Island, and she's a pleasant woman.  Retired from her job, she now spends a lot of time taking care of her grandchild.  We're meeting for a second date, and going to one of my favorite NYC Dim Sum parlors.  Lady #2 called me last weekend to chat for a while (I wasn't sure how interested she was in me) before going out of state for career training.  (If I recall correctly, she's never been married, and took a retirement package from a major firm.)  And now, Lady #3 responds to my personal ad, and she's interested in meeting.   I can only imagine what might happen if I get to the point of intimacy with any one of them. But I'll deal with the issue of discussing my female persona with a woman when the time comes.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Quickie - Movie ("Amour")

I went to a "meetup" last night and saw the foreign film up for Best Picture awards. 

"Amour" is a depressing film about a man and his dying wife.  It is totally unsentimental, and shows virtually nothing of the couple's happy life together.  Although it is a solid, good film, I am hesitent to reccommend it - you leave the theater thinking, but you're in the need for a pick-me-up of almost any type.

Next time, it'll be something more upbeat....

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Another Quickie - Dinner with another friend

This Saturday, I was supposed to see a friend for dinner and a play - and she knew that I might go en-femme.  Well, she sent me an email to tell me that she double booked the date. 

No.....   It's not what you're expecting.   She asked to see if I could change things to Friday night.  So, I'm very lucky - I was going to work from home (as I have a doctor's appointment in the morning), which will make it very easy to get dressed and go into the city en-femme....

I'll report more later in the week....

Monday, February 11, 2013

Feeling sad - a quickie

This season't bad weather has been depressing.  No, it's not the weather itself, but the effects of that weather.  So far, several get-togethers I had planned with friends had to be cancelled on account of heavy rains, snow, or in one case, a hurricane and in another, a blizzard.  As they say, life sucks - but the alternative is worse.

This weekend, I was supposed to go out on a date, and spend the next day with a couple of friends - neither of which came off as planned.  One of these friends said she was still going to meet up in spite of snow the day before.  And yet, when I tried to reach her - I couldn't.  She has been becoming less and less dependable as of late - and I have commented on the troubles in her marriage.  So I'm keeping my fingers crossed....

But back to being sad....   I've noticed that when my female persona comes out, it's a great lift to my spirits.   And I'm hoping that next weekend is better than the one that just passed - I need my girl time....

Sunday, February 10, 2013

And the survey says....

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I planned to give you my answers to the Trans survey I found on another site.  Well, here goes....


AWARENESS: When did you first feel trans? How did it make you feel? Did you embrace or run from it?

I remember wanting to trade swimsuits with my female cousin in the wading pool we were in when we were both about 4/5 years old or so.  Sadly, I wasn’t able to think about how I felt at the time, as there was much more going wrong with my life at the time – so it was something pushed into the background that would later pop out at unexpected times.

ADOLESCENT COPING: How did you cope with growing up? What about puberty? How was school, or teenage life?

This is where it becomes much more interesting.  Not having a sister, I ended up sneaking into a friend’s house to try on his sister’s clothes.  I eventually got caught, and it was a great embarrassment.  It also caused me to lose a good friend – and that saddens me. Friendships have always been hard for me to establish, especially with people of my own gender, and it was the sign of many disappointments to come.  And again, I pushed the issue of being trans into the background, as my home life was a mess. 

Being trans had little to do with an inability to socialize normally at this age.  But this inability did affect my ability to form friendships, as well as my understanding of the opposite sex.  And it took me years to get over these issues – issues that needed to be dealt with before addressing being trans.

EARLY LIFE/ UNIVERSITY / COLLEGE: Having grown up – at least physically, how was life? Did you fit in or fall out? Did you stay home, work away or go to University, college or work?

I was working full time by the time I was college age.  And that gave me many advantages.  But I had little experience with women, and my dating was focused on finding someone, just any someone who could accept me for who I was – and being trans was so far in the background that I couldn’t even be aware of it.

CAREER: What you do and how you think it has shaped you (for better or worse). Is there something you long to do?

Being trans didn’t affect my career at all.  I was lucky to work in a technical field where technical skills were valued over personal skills.  But I did learn that I had to cover my tracks when it came to sexual discussions.  I couldn’t afford to have co-workers find out that I was far from the perceived norm.

Even now, I do not blend the genders – my male presentation is all people see at the office, and it is all they will see until after I retire.  Unfortunately, I have a career that’s now at risk due to technological change, and I’m in a rush to make a career shift in middle age.  For this reason, I’ll avoid the problems of age and gender presentation discrimination, and take the safe way out for the next 10 years or so….

RELATIONSHIPS: Single, married, long term relationship, divorced, happy to be single? How is family life?

Widowed.  My late wife knew about my transness, but didn’t know how deep it was in me.  On our wedding night, she asked that I not wear her nightgown.  Any other time would be ok.  This is where my lack of knowledge of the opposite sex came back to haunt me – I could have had the skills to make her life more pleasant, had I a normal socialization.

My family does not know about me being trans, but I am hoping that one day I can tell my niece about it.  In regard to the women in my life, I’d say about half of them have accepted or tolerated my transness, but I avoided telling others because the “water tests” I did weren’t positive.  Only one woman openly betrayed me – and my social group of Widows and Widowers said that this woman was better lost than found.  Sadly, I was no longer able to date from this circle afterwards.

Lately, I’ve opened up to my closest female friends – and they have been more than accepting.  The problem is obvious – women usually want different things in a friend than they want in a lover.  And my needs limit the pool of people with whom I can have a successful relationship.

COMING OUT: Have you? Would you? If so, how was it? If not, why not?

Now this is a tricky question.  I’m not out with family.  And I’m not out at work, as I’m trying to make a career change *and* preserve the position I have, with its associated paycheck.  So I doubt very much that I’ll be out with this circle of coworkers until after retirement, if at all.

I’m out to many of my friends.  A handful of neighbors have seen me in my female persona and have said nothing.  (There is one who knew about me being trans before coming out – but I don’t trust her, so I’m very careful not to give her more information.)  For the most part, being out is a non-issue. 

However, I am not out when I first meet women I date.  Only after we start getting ready to be intimate will I breach the subject, as this will be a show-stopper to many.  Since I have no plans to get “the Operation”, I can always be the man she saw in me when she needs him most. 

THE WAY FORWARD: What’s next for you? What are your hopes – trans, or otherwise?

My hopes are to be out in the world much more so than today.  Ideally, I’d like to be much more gender-fluid, and be able to spend much more of my time en-femme as possible.  Ideally, if I were lucky enough, I’d meet a gal (like one TG I met at Fantasia Fair) whose lady friend met her en-femme and prefers her that way.  (This is unlikely.)  But I still have the hope that I could spend most of my retirement en-femme with a GG female companion.  (Just don’t yet say that to my family.)

Right now, I’m starting the process of going out in the world en-femme, visiting places, meeting people, and generally seeing the world through a woman’s eyes (or as close as possible to this).    Soon, I’ll be working on my voice, so I can move about much more easily, interacting with people without an open mouth giving me away.

WORDS OF WISDOM: Anything you’d like to share to a younger you or to other trans people?

What would I say to a younger me?  If talking about the person I was at 25 – go for therapy, and find the one or two support groups that existed at the time.  (Sadly, this was before the internet connected all of us together, so good information would be very hard to find.)  If I was talking to a person who is 25 today, find a local support group, get some therapy, and determine how far you want or need to go.  Ask whether you need to be as physically female as possible.  And if you need to transition, do so while you are still young if possible and it is affordable.  You’ll need to do the yearlong real life test – but that’s simply a hazing ritual designed to ensure you are really serious about this goal.   

Most of all, I’d tell a person to treat yourself with respect and expect others to do the same, accepting nothing less.  Too many trans people suffer with low esteem and develop substance abuse problems.  (I deal with food issues – and probably will do so for the rest of my life.)  If one can get therapy and treatment before the addiction monster attacks, one can be a more whole person – whether or not a full physical transition is made.


The Quantum Eye.... A Quickie

Strangely enough, this post is not about planned (or unplanned) "Marian Time".  For a change, it is about a little advertised hour and a half worth of fun, family oriented entertainment in NYC's East Village.  

My male persona was scheduled to go out on a date and see something called "The Quantum Eye" ( on the ( deal that ends on February 10th.  (Since TQE is only scheduled for Saturdays, this was my last chance to see it for $20.)  The snow put an end to those plans, and this lady and I will go out some other time.  But, being bored as hell, I decided to drive into NYC, as I missed the last train which would allow me to get to the theater by 5:00 pm.

Well, the show was well worth the $50 normally charged for a ticket - the "Mentalist" was very entertaining, and it seemed like half the audience was brought up on stage to assist him.  It was a great thrill for the kids in the audience to be called up - being on stage, in front of 150 people was probably new for all of them - and they all seemed like they had a great time assisting the Mentalist (a.k.a. Sam Eaton).

So if you're in NYC on a Saturday, I strongly suggest that you catch this show.  The theater is intimate enough that there are no bad seats, and there are many good and inexpensive restaurants of all types in the area.  (Just don't expect to park on the street - especially the day after a snowstorm!)

Now onto other items....

I may have mentioned that I've been going out on dates, looking for someone reasonably compatible.  One woman who I thought was not too interested in me called me today to chat - and we had a nice conversation.  Hopefully, we'll be able to go out for a dinner date sometime after she gets back from her business trip in mid-week.

Tomorrow, I was originally scheduled to go into NYC for the last day of the 20at20 deal with two of my female friends.  Because of the snow, one of them (Vicki) cancelled, as her husband would be at home, and she'd want to spend time with him on a rare weekend that he's not working up at the farm.  So that left me with another of my friends (who I'll call "M" for now) who still wanted to get together.  M and I said we'd talk and finalize details over the weekend (read: Friday or Saturday) - but I haven't heard from her.  This usually means that she is having husband troubles, and she has no privacy to talk. 

Now, I am on the "up and up" - and will not do anything with M that I could not talk about with her husband.  But some things he's been doing lately lead me to worry for M.  (I won't go into them here, as I have to respect her privacy.)  She has been getting some help, but not enough to protect her if things really go sour with her husband.

So it looks like I won't be going into NYC during the day for the last 20at20 deal.  If I haven't heard from her by now, I'll be making other plans in the morning.  If she calls early enough, I'll go into the city with her.  But I expect to be sleeping until noon....

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A weekend devoid of opportunities

In the Northeast, we had a doozy of a storm. Approximately 12" of snow fell in the NYC area, with much more snow falling to the North and East of me. Although the roads are clear, the ground is sloppy. As a result, I will not be able to go out in my female presentation this weekend.  Hopefully, by next weekend, enough of this slop will be cleaned up so that I can go to the theater with one of my female friends.

Tomorrow was going to be another trip to NYC for the last day of the 20@20 deal.  One of my friends still wants to go, despite of the slop.  And if so, it'll be another day that I planned to go en-femme, that I now have to go en-homme.   Another opportunity missed....

And now, something completely different....

A while back, I noted that my "Noisy Neighbor" wanted a photograph to look at, so she could figure out what was wrong with my presentation.  Well, her intent now seems to be benign - she told me yesterday that she had figured out what was wrong.  I do not have a feminine waist.  (You can see that best in the pcture below....)

Now, if I weren't so heavy, waist nippers/cinchers would help provide definition to a waist, and clothes would look better on me.  To avoid this problem, dresses can help.  In the picture below, my lack of a waist isn't as pronounced, due to the draping style of this summer dress.

The use of the single button on the sweater helps a lot in providing an illusion that there is a waist hidden in there somewhere.  (Mind you, it's easy to see through the illusion, but.....)

So - what am I to do?  Considering that I probably have 10 months left on my job (unless I am lucky enough to get a transfer to a new position), I figure that I'll have to lose weight NOW, and upgrade two wardrobes simultaneously while still employed.  Hopefully, I'll have the funds to continue my travels en-femme.  But if not, I will be seeing my friends - and will have experiences in both my personas....

Friday, February 8, 2013

Across the river - Dinner with a friend

As I've mentioned elsewhere in this blog, I have several female friends who know both sides of me.  Tonight, I had dinner with one of them.  No, it wasn't much different than if I was en-homme.  But it was nice to be treated as a lady when ordering at the restaurant we were at.  Sadly, I won't be able to spend that much time with this friend - she has her own life, and is at a different stage of it than I am.  (It's amazing what 9 years can do....)

So, when I left for home, I stopped at the local Walmart.  (They are almost as ubiquitious as McDonald's franchises, but not quite....)  Unlike the one near me (whose aisles are only clogged with goods during the overnight restocking), this one seemed to be packed to the gills, with almost no aisle space to walk through.  Yet, it was busy - people were stocking up on goods before the blizzard comes.

Afterwards, I went home - and found a message from a friend....   Please call.    After checking (via email) that she was still up, I called - and we chatted for 45 minutes.   She's a lonely person, and wanted me to go on a cruise with her.  Even though she would be happy to have a companion, I would not be happy being in a warm climate - I'm a cool weather person.  Add to this that management is looking at my project at work (I'm still hoping that they will find a new spot for me as a project manaer), the last thing I need to do is take off from work during the busy phase of the project.

Now it's off to sleep, and I'm hoping to dream of mushers, some huskies, and snow on the ground....  Let's just make that snow fall in Alaska and not the Northeast as they're expecting during the day and into the evening....

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Snow, snow go away.... a quickie.

Usually, I enjoy snowy weather.  But this year, bad weather is cutting into my "Marian time".  Already, it has once gotten in the way of me going out en-femme, and it looks like it will happen again this weekend.

So, tonight may be my only chance to go out this week - and I'm looking forward to cutting out of work early, getting pretty, then going out to dinner with a friend.   Hopefully, this too will not be cancelled on account of weather.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Habits, behaviors, and changes

As I might have mentioned elsewhere, I did not have a normal childhood.  However, the issue of me being trans had nothing to do with the problems I faced then, or the problems I have yet to overcome from that period of my life.  Today, I discussed some of them with my therapist - and am now aware of one that I can work on.

A lot of crap was dumped on me as a child, and I learned many dysfunctional bahaviors and ways of expressing myself.  I grew up having few friends.  And recently, I found out that someone who knows me en-homme (having no connection to or knowledge of this side of me) was deliberately avoiding me because he really didn't want a friendship.  (This is what triggered a discussion I had with my therapist today.)  This wouldn't be so bad, except that he accepted my invitation to dinner, postponed it, and isn't returning phone calls.  It would have been better had he not accepted dinner in the first place, saying he was too busy. So I decided to write him a quick email.  No, I wasn't angry.  I simply said that if he didn't want to see me, it would have been better not to have accepted the dinner invite.  I'd have felt less hurt had he done this.  I left things open, but doubt I'll ever hear from him again.

So, today I discussed things such as body language, etc. as factors in my lack of personal charisma in male mode.  Every time I think I have conquered the demons from my past, another comes up to haunt me.  It's very depressing to say the least!  Rest assured that this topic (body language, etc.) will come up in my next session.

Now, what does this have to do with my being trans? 

Strangely, I feel that when en-femme, that I am developing a slightly different personality for my female persona.  But it's one that I now have to watch out for, to prevent from feeling handicapped by not having a "proper" female voice yet.  I don't want my female persona to develop in the same way my male persona has - where my mannerisms may be saying "stay away" instead of saying "welcome".  My female persona is already a little more nurturing than my male persona.  When one acquaintance from "the North Country" was under serious emotional stress (when discussing a sensitive topic in front of our group), my instinct was to rub her back, to do something to show (in body language) that all will be OK.  (I'd have hugged her as a family member would hold someone who is hurting, but that would have been going too far at the time....)  And there are other subtle differences as well.  I've been told that my female persona pays more attention to her appearance than my male persona pays to his appearance. 

No, I am not developing multiple personalities.  But I do treat the two personas as separate entities - each a unique mode of expression for part of my soul.  And it's easier for me to refer to brother or sister when in the alternate persona - it allows me to keep the two persona separate and distinct.  But in one sense it is a little more tricky.  I do mention to my friends whether they will be meeting the brother or sister that day (as well as asking if they have a preference). And by nurturing one side, I can also help the other side to heal any wounds it may have from the past....

Monday, February 4, 2013

Questions from another blog....

I just ran across these questions from the "A Different Journey" blog.  And I'm posting them to see what my readers have to say.  (I'll publish my answers soon....)

AWARENESS: When did you first feel trans? How did it make you feel? Did you embrace or run from it?

ADOLESCENT COPING: How did you cope with growing up? What about puberty? How was school, or teenage life?

EARLY LIFE/ UNIVERSITY / COLLEGE: Having grown up – at least physically, how was life? Did you fit in or fall out? Did you stay home, work away or go to University, college or work?

CAREER: What you do and how you think it has shaped you (for better or worse). Is there something you long to do?

RELATIONSHIPS: Single, married, long term relationship, divorced, happy to be single? How is family life?

COMING OUT: Have you? Would you? If so, how was it? If not, why not?

THE WAY FORWARD: What’s next for you? What are your hopes – trans, or otherwise?

WORDS OF WISDOM: Anything you’d like to share to a younger you or to other trans people?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Quickie - Watching Law and Order....

Just a quickie today...

I never made it to NYC for the Off-Broadway play.  My friend was unreachable over the past few days, and then called me this morning - saying we'd have to postpone things, as she was unsure on her feet and couldn't take risks with even a skight covering of snow on the ground.  (She was laid up for weeks due to a leg injury a while back, and is very cautious now.)  So, I decided to stay near home....

With that being said, I am totally bored by football - and am watching Law and Order tonight.  I've seen most of these episodes before, but it's better than football to me. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Silence! The Musical. An unauthorized parody of Silence of the Lambs.

Off Broadway has some gems - and"Silence!" is one of them.   But first, a little about being in boy mode last night....

Last night, I decided to see an off-off-Broadway performance of a show called "The Accidental Pervert".  It's a man reminiscing about his sexuality, having access to his father's porno collection, and how his views evolved in regard to sex.  If you want a good laugh - see this fellow while he's still doing this show.  (   Normally, I'd have taken one subway line to Union Square,then walk to the show.  But with a water main break, I walked much more than expected - getting the exercise my doctor wants me to get. Yet, I still needed to kill time -   and Starbucks was closed due to the lack of water.  So I ended up walking another block to get a cup of coffee from Mickey D's, and then walking back to the show....   And it was worth the inconveniences of being outdoors on a cold day, as once the caffeine kicked in, I was laughing my ass off.

On my way back home, I have to go through Grand Central Terminal.  However, it was a madhouse.  Grand Central Terminal turned 100 years old yesterday, and I was there for the closing of the day's celebratory activities.  The picture below doesn't do the place justice.  The main hall was packed from the temporary stage on the east end to the information desk in the center.

The next day the same place looked like this:

It was crowded, but all traces of the night before were gone.  (You'll notice the "1 0 0" in the 3 window areas above - I expect that to be in the windows for a while....)

But back to the story.  Today, I started my car, and again had electrical problems.  The radio didn't go on for a second time, and there was a weird noise coming from under the dashboard.  (I'll have to ask about this problem the next time I take the car in for service.)  But the car got me to the station (and later got me home) - so I can't complain.  After 108k+ miles, I've more than gotten my money's worth out of the car.

So, I took the train into NYC and met my friend Vicki for lunch, and then a play.   Since my monthly commutation pass has a big "M" on the ticket, the last thing I want to do is accidentally show the "M", and then prove I'm the person authorized to use it.  So I ended up buying a single off-peak fare to NYC.  Vicki and I met at an Asian restaurant for lunch, and both of us ate like women - both of us fed our "girls" some of our lunch.  (You might notice the stain on my shirt in the picture below....)  Afterwards, we went to next door to "Times Scare" - a horror themed restaurant.  And while having dessert and coffee, we met two nice people from the Southwest - and ended up taking pictures of each other.  The gentleman will be coming back to NYC in March/April - I hope he looks us up.  (If I receive the picture of the four of us together soon, I'll edit this posting to include the shot of the four of us.  If not, the picture below will have to do.)

Now, Vicki and I are friends from way back.  And we are partners for things such as theater and concerts - we may not look like sisters, but when we get together it's like having another sibling - in many ways, she's the sister I never had, and wish I had. 

But back to "Silence!"...

The restaurant we were at was in the same building as the theater.  (Since Guiliani cleaned up the Times Square area, many former adult entertainment venues have been put back into the mainstream - and this site was a creative use of space.)  By the time we had finished dessert, I figured that I'd go downstairs and get tickets.  Well - there was a line.  But I had an out....  I told a couple of people on the line a white lie - "we were told that we could wait upstairs, have dessert, and come back down for tickets at the front of the line."   Luckily, that line was accepted - I'd have hated for Vicki to come into NYC, park the car, and then not be able to see the play.   So, I was able to buy our tickets to see "Silence!"  ( and a few minutes later, see the play.  If you liked the movie, you'll enjoy the satire.  Just expect some profanity and one case of simulated nudity.

Vicki still mixes up her pronouns when seeing me en-femme.  I know she is trying to get it right.  But she's only human - and too used to seeing me en-homme.  And she does not see gender as a binary - so she'll always be mixing things up when she relates to me.... 

So, next weekend, it'll be another $20 dollar play - the last day of the "20 at 20" deal.  And I have no ideas of what we'll be seeing yet....  One thing I know, it will be en-femme.

Off to the theater

This post is more of a quickie today - it's as cold as a witches'.....

Today, it's off to the city to see a musical satire inspired by "The Silence of the Lambs".  This will be the first time going to a theater en-femme, and it will be a challenge keeping warm.  I'm grateful that I have appropriate cold weather gear. 

Of course, I'll try to get pictures.  What good is a recreational visit to New York City be without a picture or two?

Puxatawney Phil did not see his shadow today. 

Maybe it'll start getting warm soon....?