Sunday, June 30, 2013

Having dated en-femme

I'll be the first to say it about dating to this point.  There have been women with whom I'd have liked for things to work out.  There have been people with whom there hasn't been enough energy to risk making a commitment. But, I've never been in the position where someone on a first date has paid for dinner - until now.

As I've written before, things with K and L went very slow, and even though L is now the only active person in the picture, we haven't gotten to the point where we've crossed the line of commitment. So I felt free to have a date with a new person, M. 

M and I have been communicating for a while, but we never had the chance to meet until today. It was a very pleasant date, and we will likely see each other again - if only so I can return the favor of taking me out to dinner.  Is this lady "the one"?  One never knows this early in dating. But she is very comfortable with seeing me in dresses and skirts.  And this is a big plus!

Quickie: Update on Winery Hopping

Yesterday, L came over with her pooch (he's a sweetheart of a dog), and we proceeded to go out winery hopping.  It was a very pleasant day, topped off with a lobster bake at a local restaurant. By the time we got home, relaxed a little, then walked the dog, it was beginning to get very late. So, L finally had the chance to sleep over.  Of course, I had the chance to break out some of my comfortable nightshirts for her, and I found out a little more about how she feels about this persona.  

It seems that she if comfortable seeing me in the nightgown I was wearing, as this was on the inside.  She's not yet completely comfortable with me on the outside - but is not against it either. I told her that I won't push it, when she's ready to see me this way for the outside world, she'll know it.  So, I'll still try to make my one day per weekend open for my female persona, while leaving a day open for my male persona.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Quickie: One more day to go until my en-femme date

I emailed the woman I'm seeing tomorrow, and asked how she'd rather see me on our first date.  And she responded:

I would only know you as female....your choice however you feel that day!
We can talk Sunday to let you know what colors I"ll have on....

Now, I have not seen her picture.  She could be pretty, or she could be something else.  We'll find out on the date....

As I mentioned earlier, this will be my second date en-femme.  It's not how I usually date, and it will likely never become a habit unless I transition.  But it will be interesting.

Quickie: Winery Hopping

Today, I'm going winery hopping with L.  It'll be nice to sample some of the grapes in the Hudson Valley.  Of course, one can sample only so much - and I'm playing it safe by not driving all over the place, focusing on two or three places I haven't tried before.

To be kind to L's dog, I told her that he could stay in the apartment while we were out.  In one sense, I'd rather not have said this - I'll have dog hairs all over the place for weeks, until my cleaning lady has run the vacuum around a few times.  But, I've owned pets, and the last thing I want to do is be responsible for a good animal's discomfort.  (And this pooch has had to wait way too long before reliving himself due to L's distance in reaching home.  So I'm glad that he'll feel better after today's date....)

As much as I hate the Summer weather, I'm lucky to live in this region - there are quite a few fun things to do in one's free time around here.  And, as long as I have a working car, those things will be easy to get to....

Quickie: Dating Straight and Dating Twisted

Last night, I received a phone call from one of the women who've answered my "Straight" personal ad.  We had been seen as looking at each other's ad for a while, so she opened things up, and we had been communicating by email for a while.  Well, we finally connected - and it was a flop.  I knew this within the first few minutes, simply from the way she spoke and how little she knew about the world.

Contrast the above woman with the type who' have responded to my "Twisted" ad.  These women have tended to be both more open minded and more educated.  Education may not be formal, instead it could simply mean that the woman is well read.  In either case, there may not have been enough chemistry on the woman's part (she has to deal with both sides of me) to spark a relationship.  But in several cases, there has been enough to spark a friendship.

My friend uses a simple term to describe me to some....  I happen to be the "gay best friend" that just happens to be straight.  No wonder why I seem to get along well with women in this persona....

Friday, June 28, 2013

Politics = Many Flesh Eating Insects

I rarely talk about politics in this forum.   Most of the time, bombastic boneheads are slinging mud in a way that will stir up party loyalists and drown out independent reasoning and thought. And I have no intentions of making this blog into a target for activists from either side of the aisle.  But this week, good triumphed over evil, the evil that would deny dignity to a class of people because they don't fit in with one segment of society's ideas of morality.

Yes, I am talking about same sex marriage.   A few years ago, I dated a woman who believed that homosexuals should have the right to civil unions, but not the word "marriage".  Many on the far right would deny even this form of "second class marriage" to Gays and Lesbians, and then treat them as second and third class citizens.  Something is seriously wrong - and it is a set of traditional values being perverted and distorted by the political class for its own ends. 

Obviously, I am in favor of the Supreme Court ruling.  And I expect that the ruling will be used as a tool that (over time) will allow Gays and Lesbians to be treated as citizens with full and equal rights.  But where does this leave the transgendered?  Will the Gay and Lesbian movement remember us as they cross over into the mainstream?  I hope so.  But we must start thinking of how to secure our rights.

Luckily, our children and grandchildren are growing up in a world that is more gender fluid and is more gender flexible.  My niece has a boss who is a cross dresser, and she thinks nothing of it.  Wearing clothes from the other side of the aisle is "just his thing", and not much to talk about. We've seen the media acceptance of Chaz Bono.  And what about Kristen Beck, the former special forces soldier who decided to transition?  Will we see a backlash against us? Only time will tell - but we must be very vigilant.  I don't trust those blow hards on the far right - we are still too easy a set of targets.

So we have an advantage - we're on the path of progress.  But we have a disadvantage - we are not organized.  And we must organize to protect ourselves.  We can't trust politicians unless they prove themselves worthy of that trust.  Our safety can not be risked.  We are fortunate that our children's generation is relatively open minded.  But that might be because they have little to lose by being accepting of those who are different.  What will happen when they have something to lose?  This is something I am very concerned about....        

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Quickie: Looking forward to dating a new lady while en-femme.

Earlier in the year, I had the surreal experience of dating a woman en-femme.  Being en-femme was not the strange part of it.  Instead the circumstances of where this woman lives made the date surreal.  But this time, it will likely be with a woman who earns an honest living, who doesn't care which gender I'm in when I meet her.  And she responded to my ad that has pictures of me in "Marian Mode".   
Now, I normally go out on dates as a male.  So I wonder what will happen if the two of us hit it off.  Do I break my facade of female presentation?  Who knows?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fallback plans - what to do if the cruise doesn't come off?

When I last chatted with L, we were still planning on going on the cruise together.  But L and I have very different relationships with money and "things".  L is the type of person who will try to get me to spend money when I don't need to buy anything for myself, or to eat when I am no longer hungry.  She wants an indulgence partner, who can continue overdoing it when she can't go on.  I am the type who will generally try to eat only until my hunger is sated (just keep me away from buffets, where other triggers get me to eat too much), or will generally only buy things that I need or truly want (save for a minor indulgence or two).   And when we were last together, when I bought the one garment at Lane Bryant I wanted, she continued to try to get me to buy more - pushing shoes at me that I knew were too small by at least a half size.  We'd make terrible long term partners, as her addictions (food, spending) are eating her up in this time of stress.

When L mentioned that she invited another person to go on the cruise with us (if it comes off), it upset me.  I don't know this person, and it'll be even harder for me to be comfortable on the cruise.    So this got me thinking - can I depend on L, given the health of her mom and her propensity to be irresponsible?  If not, what do I do for a fall back vacation?

Now, as I've mentioned before, there are three Canada/New England cruises leaving from New York when I've scheduled my vacation.  One of them is on a cruise line which has had a lot of bad press - for the correct reasons.  But its prices are dirt cheap!  Is it worth taking the risk of going on this line and paying the single supplement?  Do I go on one of the other two lines and pay two or three times as much?  Decisions, decisions decisions....  Or, to I look for something completely different?  What will my cash flow look like in September - it's only two months away?

Any ideas?

Quickie: Just a shrug

My friend L, the jewelry saleswoman, is a little depressed lately.  And given what's on her plate, I can't blame her, as her mom is both old and frail, and suffers from a debilitating disease.  So when I called her to go out shopping, it was something that benefited both of us.

The goal I had in shopping was to find a shrug to go with a maxi dress I bought the other day. At that time, I shaw shrugs, but didn't decide to buy one.  This trip was meant to rectify that error. So I met L at her place, and we went up to Lane Bryant in Poughkeepsie.  Although I didn't find a shrug, I did find a light, open front sweater that would do most of the job I wanted - and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was half price.

As I've noted before, L wonders why she can't find a man, and I think it's because she has low self esteem when it comes to dating and projects an image of desperation when dating.  So, when she asked me the same question again tonight, all I could do is shrug.... just a shrug.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Playing with failed technology

By now, the casual reader of this blog is likely aware that my life does not revolve around my transgendered nature, nor is it the most important part of who I am.  What I might not have said is that I've been playing with computers since I was 12 years old - having seen a technology mature almost from its infancy to where it is today.  I've worked with computers whose boot sequence had to be entered in by hand before the computer was started, as well as having seen the very computer I used at my school on exhibit at the Computer History Museum.  And, I've had the pleasure to have met Grace Hoppera woman who should be a role model for every young lady who wishes to enter a technical field.

So it is not surprising that I would be found playing with some oddball technical gadget, trying to figure out how to get it to work with tools I have at hand.  And last night found me playing with a great accessory that Motorola had for their latest cell phones, that was "too little, too late, and too expensive" when it was for sale - the Lap Dock.   

The Lap Dock, if you haven't heard of it, was a great idea when it was conceived.

One could take one's phone, place it in a specially designed dock, and have a "sort of" laptop computer which you could take on the road.  However, the idea was doomed from the get-go. By the time this product made it to market, Apple had already released the iPad - a much better implementation of portable computing.  To use the Lap Dock, one had to connect it to an external power supply AND place your cell phone in the dock.  You are carrying around 3 items when one item (the iPad) would suffice.  You use the same type of touch pad used on laptop computers, when the touch screen interface used by Apple (and now, Android competitors) made much more sense.  And, this device cost as much as a low end laptop computer - Why would one bother to buy one of these devices at retail?  I certainly didn't.

Now, I have a cell phone with a grandfathered unlimited data plan.  (And I'll pay a full unsubsidized price for my next cell phone to keep that data plan!)  So having a toy like this makes a certain kind of sense.  And, to get one for $60 was perfect - I've spent more in shopping trips to Lane Bryant, The Avenue, and Catherines....  But there was one problem. The Lap Dock I bought was designed for a phone only sold by AT&T, not by Verizon.  And even AT&T's later Motorola phones would not fit in this dock.  Why?  The Micro USB and Micro HDMI ports were upside down in relation to the ports on my phone.  As a result, I wrote off the $60 I gambled on the Lap Dock and put it into my closet.

Recently, I thought - why not try to disassemble the dock's ports and place them in the right orientation?  And then, I looked up "hacking" instructions on how to do just that.  Yes, I found exactly what I needed, and followed those instructions.  Now, I have a fully functional Lap Dock for my cell phone - and may decide to take it on the road with me on my next mini vacation.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Quickie: Making Room in the Closet

As long time readers of this blog will remember, I've been going out en-femme for a little under a year.  And yet, I have a full closet worth of clothes.  Most items were purchased at full price. But a lot of these items were consignment or thrift store purchases, or gifts (new or hand-me-downs).  So tonight, I ran over to WalMart and picked up some storage containers, so that I can free up some room on the clothes rod in the closet....

One container was filled with things such as sweaters and other cold weather gear.  But another was filled with clothes I can't wear, or would not wear.  This container will sit around for a while, and after a few months it will be donated to Goodwill.  I still have two containers left to be filled. I'm not sure of what will go into them, but I'm sure I'll have no problem filling them.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Shopping with a friend, and finding a nice summer dress.

One of the benefits of being a crossdresser or a transgendered person is that one can readily develop wonderful relationships with women - albeit as a girlfriends.  This doesn't sound like much until you realize how much more interconnect the world of the female is in our society. Although women compete with each other, social bonding limits the nature of that competition, and helps women lead fuller emotional lives.

Some men may be saying - What do you mean by that?  But look closely at how women socialize with each other.  Women will share much more about themselves with other women as a means of getting support when needed.  Women will not be as self promoting as men. Women will understate their achievements.  Women will be the diplomats in the family unit.  Of course, each woman is a unique individual.  In short, as they used to say - your mileage will vary.

Today, I decided to wear the dress below for the first time:

Although the dress appears turquoise, it is really more of a soft green.  I wanted to get a shot of this before the sun went down....

When my friend M picked me up this afternoon, she couldn't believe how different I looked.  Her expression was one of a "Wow!" when I opened the door and entered the car.  And it was off to New Jersey, where we went to Globe Shoes,  a store that I know carries women's size 13-W shoes.  Of course, I never pay full price for shoes.  So I went to the discount rack, and found a pair of flats in white.  I had to have them - and they were marked down to $30.    So they are now sitting in my bedroom....

Next, it was off to the Coach diner for an early dinner.  For diner food, this is one of my go-to places.  and then to Bloomies where my friend bought a nice pair of linen pants.  (Would I spend $90 on one pair of pants right now?  No.  But I can see why one can justify the money to buy quality - and M did.)  After that, it was over to Catherines.  This is where I was sorely tempted to do serious damage to my credit card.  But I was a good girl, and bought a pair of pants and a sleeveless maxi dress for $75.  I'll be sure to wear that dress somewhere before summer's end.

I'm glad that I had M along for a shopping trip.  Not only did I find out that some sleeveless styles will look good on me.  But I found out something more important.  If I visit her at her home, she will not have any problems with me coming over in a dress, nor will she have problems with her daughter seeing me in a dress.

So I'll close out with this picture, which gives a better idea of how today's dress looks on me.  I could get very used to staying in Marian Mode 24x7....

Zap, Zap, Ouch....

As a casual reader of this blog might guess, the topic for today is my ongoing laser treatment to kill off my beard.  This Thursday just passed was my 3rd treatment, and much of the forest has been denuded of trees.  And when I looked at my face, for the first time it struck me about how permanent this change is.  No longer am I able to grow a beard if I want to.

Each time I've gone for laser treatment, the zapping seems to get worse.  But my face seems to have less and less hair on it each time I leave.  Two days since my last treatment, I can say that my face no longer feels like sandpaper a half day after shaving - and I'll bet the ladies in my life would appreciate that!

The big question for me is - if I have enough money coming in, does it make sense for me to start laser on the rest of my body?  It would hurt like *^%(%(#, but I'd no longer need to shave to present myself well when showing off my arms or legs....

Friday, June 21, 2013

Quickie: Shopping, an excuse to go out...

Tomorrow, I'll be going out shopping with a new female friend.  She has met me in my male persona, but responded to my personal ad with my female mode picture.  We decided to be "just friends" early on.  But she enjoyed the idea of going shopping with me.  So, this will be our first shopping expedition.

I wonder how many pairs of shoes I'll buy....

Quickie: To cruise, or not to cruise. That is the question.

No, I am not having second thoughts on taking a cruise en-femme.  But my friend's mother took ill, and I'm not sure that if she decides not to cruise that I will want to pay the single supplement to cruise.  What should I do if my friend cancels out at the last moment?  It'll be a bit late for me to plan a last minute trip.  But I need to get away - if only to go somewhere I haven't been lately.  

So on that thought, I'll leave you with this ditty:

Sea Cruise

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Three strikes, and you're out!

This will not be my normal style of posting.  Nor will it likely touch on transgender issues.  But it does touch on something that's "All American" - Baseball.

Tonight, I had the pleasure of going to a minor league baseball game on Staten Island.  The weather was perfect, the setting was perfect and the price was right.  Who wouldn't want to see a ballgame with a background like this?

You will notice lower Manhattan in the background.  The game started at 7:00 pm, and ended shortly after 9:00 pm.  The only drawback was that I had to wait until 10:00 pm for the ferry, and then had to wait until 11:45 pm for my train home.  Still, a ballgame at a price of $55 for two people which included both "all you can eat food" (a limited selection) and a baseball cap, makes for a very inexpensive date.

Of course, the baseball game was Single-A quality - it was easy to notice how the players were screwing up plays that more experienced players would make.  What are minor leagues for, but to gain experience and learn how to play well?

Since I was on a date, having come directly from work, there was no way that I was going to be in Marian Mode.  But it would have been the perfect night to have been in the stands in a summery dress.   I couldn't do that, so I'll leave you with a fitting tune....

John Fogerty

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Out, Out, Out....

It's a nice thing being out...  

Conquering my fear of the unknown has been a blessing.  Tonight, I had the pleasure of outing myself to another person - and developing a new friend in the process.

But some background....

Last year, I was elected to the board of directors of my co-op.  In the past few months, I've developed a good working relationship with our managing agent.  After tonight's co-op board meeting, she took me aside and told me of one complaint made about my cleaning lady and how she disposed of recyclables. We chatted for a while, and I decided to tell her my "secret". She had a great laugh, and then said I look darned good!

We continued chatting about things, including the nosy neighbors I have downstairs and the trouble they stir up.  I noted that because I'm out, there's nothing these two neighbors can do to harm me or embarrass me.  And this lady, M, loved it!   We talked about another board member, and that she would be great for a ladies' night - but didn't want to reveal my secret. Then, we went back to talking about the nosy neighbors, and I said - if they were to comment about me, just say that you think "he'd" look just darling in a simple black number....

Of course, the two of us will be getting together as girlfriends, for a girls' night out.   And, we'll be sure to get a picture of us....  It's amazing how many doors that being a presentable transgendered person can open up - especially if one is personable AND one's feminine presentation is good....   

So I'll leave my readers with this little ditty....

Girls just want to have fun.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Quickie: An update with K

Well - I should have expected it....

K really does want to see me as a friend, and has suggested we see a Broadway play to celebrate our mutual birthdays.

At least I have a friend out of all this.

Now to make a decision about whether there is enough chemistry between me and L.   I have other irons in the fire, and will be looking at seeing one or two of them soon.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Seeing an Ex-Girlfriend (again) and cognitive dissonance

No, I'm not talking about a breakup with a possible LTR.  Instead, I'm referring to my ex-GF, P, with whom I've been trying to connect for a while.  If all goes right, we will finally be able to have a nice dinner for the first time in months.

To this day, I'll note that P is the only woman with whom I'd have wanted to have children.  And that includes my late wife.  Although P and I were not meant to be, she's the only person who could have mitigated enough of my failings to have helped me raise physically and mentally healthy children.  But why do I mention this?

There are certain people who can help mitigate certain aspects of your personality, and as a result, make you a more effective and more happy person.  One of the reasons I have not been in a rush to "sink the hook" into a woman is that I want for her to know what she's getting into when she enters a LTR with me.  As a result, I spend much more alone time than I would like. Yet, it's better than lying to a woman, and having to hide this part of myself until an opportune time comes to reveal it.


In regard to K, I don't think she'll be comfortable seeing me - even though her break-up said that she'd like to see me.   Why?    She can't get over a sort of cognitive dissonance that she can't put a finger on - and that it is triggered by me.  This is more normal than one would think.  That's part of why I suggest that people see me as two people sharing one body and mind.  By keeping the male and female halves filed in the mind as separate persona, it makes it easier for the mind to accept both views of the same person without experiencing that form of cognitive dissonance.

Only time will tell....


And back to P....

She is comfortable with both sides of me - in part because her own sexual identification is not challenged.  There is no cognitive dissonance with her, as she doesn't see herself as having gone to bed with another woman over a decade ago.  Her gender preference isn't being threatened, her identity isn't being challenged, so she is safe.


So I pose a question -

Have any of my readers found a good way to deal with this issue?    

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Thoughts on feminine presentation, eroticism and transition.

One of my favorite bloggers has announced that she is strongly considering shutting down her blog.  Recently, she simply feels more like a man in a dress, and is no longer getting that thrill as she approaches the world en-femme.  And this got me to thinking....

As I see it (not having professional training), there are three main types of men who cross dress:  

  1. The M2F transgendered person who is finally able to express one's core gender, and may move onwards to transition.  Transition may (or may not) be in this person's future. But the core of that person's identification must have been sensed as female as an early age.  This kind of cross dresser will attempt to emulate a female in all regards of behavior and dress.

  2. The male who needs to use cross dressing as a therapeutic tool to develop other parts of his personality.  When the personality has developed to a certain level, this kind of cross dresser no longer needs to use dressing as a female as a tool, and ceases to cross dress.  This kind of cross dresser will attempt to emulate a female in all regards of behavior and dress.
  3. The male who uses cross dressing as an erotic tweak, something that helps stimulate that male to orgasm.  This kind of cross dresser will identify as male, but will attempt to imitate a female without regard to "proper" taste in behavior or dress.  "Breaking the rules" may be a key component of the erotic thrill derived from cross dressing.
Many of us are composites of all three types.  Although I have no intention of transitioning, I am closest to the first type.  The blogger I reference is likely closest to the second type.  And it is the third type that bothers me, as they are looking for attention, looking for someone to notice that they are different from the crowd, and looking for some type of thrill.  Even though the other two types also get a thrill (to one degree or another), it is not the main reason they cross dress. In fact, a sense of normalcy sets in over time when these males cross dress....  

I find people of the first two types most interesting.  You may ask - Why?  My answer is simple - these are people who have had to ask themselves questions about their core identities. Gender identification is usually at the core of one's existence.  Western culture tends to view life through a prism of a gender binary.  When one doesn't fit in, one wants to know "Why Not?" and "How do I fix this?"   Most of us will have asked in our lives: "Am I Gay?"  And the answer will come back: "No!"  And then we realize something that is often repressed - we either identify ourselves as the gender opposite of our birth genders, or we will simply want to present as that gender - for some unknown reasons.  Since society is uncomfortable with the M2F transgendered person, we repress our thoughts to survive - and often develop addictions to cope with having repressed our core selves.

As I mentioned before, there is a large number of people that attend Fantasia Fair that are in one 12-Step program or another.  It is a tribute to these people that they have survived long enough to finally risk being open about their transgendered natures.   Yet, many of them have to live in a closet.  Two couples I met there asked me not to mention anything about them in my blog - and I haven't, as I believe in keeping their private affairs private.  But there is a common thread - the transgendered are not protected by law, or at least not as much as Gays and Lesbians are protected by law.  So, not only can we lose our jobs because of exposures of our natures to the wrong people.  But we can also lose our networks of friends and families that we depend on to get by....  And there can be no protections for that.

Although being open about being transgendered has its risks (such as my recent loss of a potential LTR), it also has its rewards.  Not having to hide my nature allows me to get dressed in something pretty and walk out my front door witout worrying about what the neighbors will think. Being open about my nature allows me to walk into stores, take my time inspecting the merchandise, and get help - as a normal customer.  Hiding nothing means I can be honest with others, and enjoy my interactions much more.  With this being said, it can be a heady rush at first - until it settles down to a sense of normalcy.   And I like that feeling of normalcy....

So, I advise caution and moderation in all aspects.  Once one is "out", it's almost impossible to go fully back in the closet.  Once one has any body modification (starting with laser or electrolysis), it's impossible to undo things.  Once one commits to this path, one can't go backwards.   Some activities leave no permanent changes.  But unless you are certain of who and what you are, don't make any change that can't be undone (or overlooked).  In the case of the blogger I mentioned earlier, she has had laser on her face.  No one cares if a man looks clean shaven.  But if she took hormones, it would be a very different story for her and her family. No matter what this blogger does, she will be able to have a normal life with wife and family. And isn't that the type of life all of us want?

Quickie: Sadly, one potential LTR ends...

Sadly, I received an email from K today, telling me that the relationship is over - the presence of the en-femme persona is always there, and it bothers her.  Such is life.  But I left the option of having a friendship open....

This simply proves why I found it best to keep multiple options open.....

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Quickie: Where you least expect one....

My plans for today were simple:

  1. Help my dad buy a new computer.
  2. Clean myself up, and go on a date with K.
Well, in the process of buying the new computer, we were helped by a very pleasant sales person.  Something about her seemed a little off.  Was it the size of her hands?  No.  Was it the shape of her face?  No.  Was it her hair?  No.   As you may have guessed, it was her voice - she didn't sound 100% female.  She sounded like a transgendered person who had great vocal coaching - someone who hadn't perfected the feminine way of speaking, sounding a little monotone, where a natal female would be varying the tone of her voice.

Hmmm....   Could there be a form of "Trans-Dar" as there seems to be for "Gay Dar"?????   I'd have loved an appropriate situation where I could bring this up in conversation - and there is never an appropriate situation.  

Who knows?   One thing I'm certain of - I'm glad that I patronize this company's stores....


Quickie: This is the End....

With a title like that, one would think that I had something serious to say.....


Tonight was my one time this weekend to be in Marian Mode, and I spent it by seeing "This is the End".  For those who haven't seen or heard about it, it's the story of 5 buddies in the entertainment industry who were not taken up to heaven during the rapture, and who have to deal with trials and tribulations during the last days of earth.  Who'd have thought that someone could use the "Book of Revelations" as the starting point for a funny comedy?!

Strangely enough, I never expected to be going to the movies tonight.  Instead, I was supposed to go with my friend L to go bra shopping.  (Why she needs company to do some mundane things beats the heck out of me!)  Ideally, we'd have make a milk run (no pun intended) to the store, have her look at a few, and then pick a few out.  But her son came late, and we never made it to the store.

So we decided to go to the movies instead - but first, stopping off at a pizza parlor for a couple of slices to hold me over....   It was nice when the waitress addressed us as ladies.  I'd never say it to the waitress, but she made my day - just in time for the end of the world....

Since this is a quickie, I'll leave you with an appropriate little ditty or two....

Barry McGuire

Skeeter Davis

Thursday, June 13, 2013

More on the fear of the unknown....

Thinking about my first ventures outside in feminine clothing, I should mention that I tried to dress in clothes that could come from either male or female sides of the closet.  The following picture (edited - the original picture had my male face) should give you an idea of how I first ventured outside:

You'll notice that I hadn't yet started to wear a bra filled with breast forms.  From the neck down, the clothing was feminine, but with garments that (in slightly different styles) could have come from the male side of the closet.

A little under two years later, I'm planning on taking a cruise where I'll be en-femme from the moment I leave my house to the moment I get back to my house.   If I'm lucky, there will be a formal night, where I can get dressed to the nines!  Yet, I am a little scared.  All the clothing I'll have with me is what a middle aged woman would wear on a cruise.   I will not have the safety of a male presentation in which to escape.  Not only will I be on the ship for 7 days, but I will also be crossing a national border (into Canada and back).  This would have scared the crap out of me when the above picture was taken.  But now, it's a manageable fear.

The big question that's always in the back of my mind is: How far will (or can) I go with this?  So far, all my experiences have been pleasant.  But I can't assume they will be in the future.  And yet, I'm thinking of ways I can push the envelope even further.  For example, I've started to think of volunteering for a cause in my female identity (if needed, noting that I am a transgendered person.)  I've also thought of regularly attending a GLBT friendly church, where I'd have one morning each week in Marian mode.  There are so many things I can do to push the envelope, and I'm not sure of which direction to go next.

Any suggestions?


Oh No! I've nothing to say!

If a blogger tries to write at least one entry each day, it will be harder on some days to think of something worth saying.  I've reached the bottom of the barrel at times, but have always found something to write about.  Tonight is one of those times....

One of my readers commented on yesterday's outfit, noting that the top didn't look that bad on me.  That's what I thought when I bought it.  But my tastes have changed in the 1 & 1/2 years since then, and I haven't worn it again.  Looking at it, I think I know why I haven't - it makes my shoulders look too broad.

My friend L went shopping with me a few months ago and picked out an outfit with a similar top to the outfit in yesterday's photo, and a pair of royal blue palazzo pants.  Only one problem - the inseam was too long.  Now that I'm comfortable going to a tailor to have the hem taken up, I can't find those pants.  I guess my pooka is at it again!  Of course, I should mention that on the same trip that I bought the outfit with the palazzo pants, I also bought a nice dress.  Sadly, I haven't found the occasion to wear it.  Damn!   So much stuff in my closet, and I can't enjoy it all.

If I were going to advise a person in my position of a year ago, I'd say - start with one casual outfit and one dressy outfit, and build on both bases.  If you have the time, shop the thrift outlets or consignment shops - where making mistakes won't be that costly.  I figure that in the past year, I have spent way too much on a second wardrobe - especially on shoes.  With that being said, I've had a hell of a time, and found it worth every penny I spent.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The fear of the unknown.

Today's entry focuses on the fear of the unknown.

During my 2011 vacation in San Francisco, I was told that no one would bat an eyelash if they saw what was obviously a man in women's clothing.  Knowing that San Francisco was a very GLBT and Crossdresser friendly town, I decided to experiment by going to a museum looking like this.  (I've edited the picture because it was too easy to see what I look like in "Boy Mode".) 

This is how I looked before I went out in an all female outfit for the first time.  As you can tell, the top is not right for me.  But learning a style that works for you takes time. (More on this later....)   However, learning confidence takes one good experience to get you started - and this one day experience was perfect for me.

When I stepped out the door, I was very afraid.  What would people think?  I reminded myself that it didn't matter - I didn't know anyone there.  What would people do?  I reminded myself that people are too busy to get involved with "Outliers".  What happened?  Nothing!  I was able to go out and about as if this was perfectly normal....

As a result of this trip, I had a full year to plan for my next vacation, again in California.  I still worried about having things shipped to my house - what would the neighbors think?  But I eventually got over that fear, and stopped caring enough to take the risk of having things shipped to my door.  And I went a little nuts buying things that I thought would look good on me. Not all my choices were good - At least, I tried to always buy things on sale.  

When I finally went on my 2012 trip, I was much more ready to go out in the world.  I had outfits for every day of the week. I had my prosthetics (wig, breast forms, etc.), my makeup, etc.. I was much more prepared, more confident, and more comfortable in going out and about in the world.  Although I was afraid of letting on that I was transgendered, no one cared - I was always treated with respect.  And I had some great conversations once I was forced to open my mouth.

Fast forward a little....  I saw that one blogger I read regularly was going to attend Fantasia Fair. It was the perfect excuse to get away en-femme - and I did for a few days.  I developed more confidence.  (Even when a child was confused about me being a boy or a girl, it was a pleasurable experience.)  Over the next few months, I became fearless, traveling to several places, visiting new friends en-femme - and am now very comfortable going out in a blouse and a skirt, or maybe a LBD and heels....

So what did I fear?  First, I worried what people would think.  Since I'm lucky to live in the NYC Metropolitan region, most people don't give a damn what others look like - except, maybe, when trying to pick someone up at a bar.  Second, I worried about how I'd be treated.  Again, I've always been treated with respect.  And lastly, I feared the unknown.  I feared that dread, that void, that set of unknown unknowns that haunt us all.  I punched through that fear, and am enjoying my transgendered nature.  Punching through that fear has made me a better person.

On that note, I'll leave you with this tune....
I hope you dance

Monday, June 10, 2013

It looks like I'm going on a cruise....

I may have mentioned that I've been hit with a few unexpected expenses.  Of course, this put a big dent in my vacation plans.  So I decided to take a cruise from New York to New England and Canada (and back) just to get away from it all.  And I've been convinced by my friend that I should take it en-femme.  Can you imagine me in the formal dining room dressed like this?

Add a little bling, and I might be stunning.   (Or, I hope so....)   Of course, this trip will be a leap of faith in my ability to blend in as a woman - I will have no way to get off this cruise once I'm on it.  On the other hand, it will be a great opportunity for growth.  

I will be traveling with a female friend - a platonic friend.  We were discussing the three cruise lines that are offering this type of cruise.  Cruise line "A" has the most limited and expensive options available to us, but they have the itinerary we want.  (Also, this is the line my friend usually takes.)  Cruise line "B" has more affordable options (in the same league as the first cruise line), and I have taken this line before.  Cruise line "C" would cost us half as much as line "B" and less than a third of line "A" for the accommodations we want.  But its itinerary leaves much to be desired, substituting one mediocre port for two good ports.  Here are the three itineraries:

  • Cruise line "A":  NYC - Halifax - St. John - Bar Harbor - Boston - Newport - NYC
    $1400 pp (Balcony)
  • Cruise line "B":  NYC - Newport - Boston - Bar Harbor - St. John - Halifax - NYC
    $800 pp (Inside cabin)   $1400 pp (Balcony)
  • Cruise line "C":  NYC - Boston - Portland - St. John - Halifax - NYC
    $350 pp (Inside cabin)   $750 pp (Balcony)
Neither of us are impressed by balconies.  But both of us want good service.   What options would you choose?

I'm a fan of the New England coast, and I love lighthouses.  The following pictures will give you an idea of the shots I like to capture (on film and) digitally:

Yes, I do love the shore and I do love lighthouses.  And I'm looking forward to visiting them again.  If I'm lucky, I'll have the pleasure of seeing the lighthouse below.  (Can you guess where it is?)

This is a special place to me, as it brings back memories of a trip I took with my late wife.  

I just hope that she'd be smiling if she saw me like this....

So I'll leave you with this musical clip by James Taylor....

An Almost-Summer's Day

Today was a day where there were not enough hours in the day.  I could have gone out to Long Island to see my dad.  I could have gone (with adequate notice) to a fund raiser K was at.  I could have gone to the city with my friend L (the costume jewelry saleslady), and I could see my friend P and get some hypnosis.  What do you think I did?

Since I'm seeing my dad next weekend, I figured that I could hold off on seeing him until next weekend.  K didn't try to reach me early enough, and I was already dressed en-femme, committed to spending the rest of the day this way.  L went into the city very early AND then to her mom's - that would have occupied too much of my day.  So it was a visit to P's place, and a chance to help her clean up her computer.

But first, P had a lunch appointment - which meant I had to kill some time.  So it was off to burn some miles, and find the Catherines in Orange, CT.  It's a shame that both The Avenue and the Lane Bryant/Catherines stores have cut back the number of outlets they have - I now have to plan when I'm out to buy something in my size.

After my time killing shopping expedition, it was off to P's.  There was a traffic jam on the Connecticut Turnpike, and I lost a half hour or so in slow moving traffic.  But I did make it to P's at a reasonable hour.  While there, we got into out usual routine - some political chat (which tires me) and my usual photo session, where the following photos were taken.

As you can tell, P liked my sandals, which were a little too small.  (They felt good in the store, but things change when you wear them for a while.)

Of course, I had to get my picture taken in front of the loo.  The culotte I was wearing looked better on-line than in person - the colors seemed a little weak when holding the garment in front of me.  At least I had a top that would work with the culotte....

On the whole, it was a very enjoyable day - the weather cooperated with me, as well as having choices of what to do.  Next weekend will be much more hectic than this weekend.  And on Sunday, it's Father's day.....

So I hope you like this little ditty I've chosen....  (It was my earworm of the day....)

Another Day

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions - Again!

It's a typical June day, and I'm not sure whether it will be comfortable enough to have Marian come out and play.  Yesterday, I felt very warm standing outside in my typical male outfit - long pants and a long sleeve shirt.  (Yes, I'll wear the long sleeved shirts all year round, if only to minimize sun exposure.  But if the weather hits the 90's, even I will switch to short sleeves, and lather on the sun block....)  It'll be slightly warmer today, and I know how I feel with a wig and breast forms on....

Yet, I haven't had a chance to get dressed yet this weekend.  And it's an itch I have to scratch. So I have to make a hard decision - do I put up with the discomfort of not getting into Marian mode, or do I put up with the discomfort of the heat.

Did you ever have to make up your mind?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Personal Ads for the Transgendered

For the hell of it, I just looked at the number of visitors I average each week on my two personal ads.  The older ad, with me en-homme, gets about 10 hits per week.  The newer ad, with me en-femme, gets almost 50 hits per week.  So I ask - Wouldn't it make more sense for us to place ads that get the greatest volume of hits when we look for mates?

Mind you, being "out" does carry its risks.  Do you present yourself well enough that women looking at a picture of you say - "That can't be a male!"   I've had a couple of women say that about this picture:

To me, it only indicates that I did a good makeup job that day, and that the photo captured no harsh shadows.  

So, what strategy should we use?   May I suggest mine - two ads, one en-homme and the other en-femme.  (Of course, this means you'll want to use a free service.)   Be honest about yourself in both ads, but do not link the two ads together.  (You may break the terms of service for your membership - so read those terms carefully, and do it at your own risk.)  Make sure you use different zip codes for each ad (you want to be seen as different people for casual viewers), but answer any questions the same way for both profiles.  After a while, you may notice some women visiting your ad several times.  Write to them!  What's the worst that could happen, except to find someone is not interested in you?  And if they can't connect the two profiles, your en-homme life is not affected.

Now, if you plan to transition, state it in your en-femme ad.  I can't advise you too much about that situation - you will need to "wing it".  But there are services out there such as that may be useful to you....  

In any case - be honest about yourself, your wants and your needs.  

Quickie: Flat Tires

Today was one time I was glad to be in drab....

I found that my car had a flat tire today, and I'm glad I wasn't yet on the road, 50 miles from home and a change of clothes....  So I'm glad I could call AAA from the comfort of my own home.....

Of course, it got me thinking about this song....

Uneasy Rider '88

My old flame.... (Yes, I remember her name.)

Some of you may remember an old tune called "My Old Flame".  Tonight, I had the pleasure of receiving an email from the ex-girlgriend that I'll be seeing next week, and it triggered some very pleasant memories of the times we shared together.  

Why do I mention this lady?   Maybe it's because I was very lucky to have her around in a critical period in my life, and that I'll always be grateful to have shared that time with her.  Not all of us are lucky enough to be able to have friendships with an ex.  But I'm glad to have her and her husband in my life as friends.

Of course, I had to give her the link to my Flickr page - and she complimented me how I looked at the club....

Now if only I could drop a few dress sizes!

When I read my ex-girlfriend's email, I was leaving another friend's place - she was lonely, and I dropped by on a rainy night to see two films with her.  The first was the latest Schwartzenegger flick - a totally predictable shoot-em-up, where you check your brains at the door and enjoy the ride. The second was an oldie, "But I'm a Cheerleader" - where a girl's parents perform an intervention to keep their daughter from becoming a lesbian, and by sending her to a special school, help her realize that she is one.  

Most of my friends know that I love old films.  And if I could have chosen a second career in time for me to start in it by the time I turned 50, I might have become a film curator.  Mind you, there is a branch of library science that's growing - media management.  Too bad that I lost the contacts I made at Fantasia Fair last year....

As you can tell, I'm rambling on - it's almost 3 am, and I'm ready to fall out.  Given my appearance in the above picture, and the nature of the place I was in when the picture was shot, I'll leave you with the following music clip:

The Stripper

Friday, June 7, 2013

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

One thing us M2F transgendered folk are affected by is the weather.  If we have to wear prosthetics (read: Wigs, Breast Forms, Fanny Pads, etc.), we get much warmer than a natal woman would in the same circumstances.  So the spring and summer weather in places like New York City can impact our chances to present ourselves en-femme - especially when one weighs as much as I do.

Last weekend, the hot weather got in the way of me having some Marian time.  This weekend, it may be the rain.  The weather man has predicted that we may get 4" of rain in the next 24-48 hours.  I know it has already affected my two dates for the weekend - heavy rain may make it impractical to see one lady tonight, and will likely affect where I meet the other lady tomorrow. Strangely enough, the one day that I'll not be able to see either K or L will likely be dry -  Sunday. And I'll be visiting my dad (if all goes right) for a little while - there goes the rest of my chances to be in Marian mode.  But who knows?   I might squeeze in a little time after all....

Quickie: Meeting a new friend - en-homme

Yes, I find it amazing that my personal ad with pictures of me in Marian Mode gets more hits than that of me in male mode.  Tonight, I met one friend from online in the real world for the first time.   M's a sweet lady, a very attractive lady who I hope will meet a nice man soon.  And it was a pleasure to finally meet her, although the venues we chose left much to be desired.

Not much else to say right now....

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Quickie - Seeing an Ex

Years ago, I broke up with a wonderful woman.  (No, it had nothing to do with my transgendered nature.  But it had everything to do about a relationship being built on a poor foundation, and me not being able to communicate my needs well.)  Luckily, we remain friends, and have seen each other throughout the years since we broke up.

Earlier this year, we had the chance to get together, and I saw both her and her husband en-femme.  We had a great time, as I noted in a prior entry.  It's been a while since we've gotten together, and I'm looking forward to it - no matter what presentation I'm in that day.  

Where am I going, you might ask?

True caring for others, true friendship, true love (whatever the underlying nature of a relationship is) shouldn't (in general) be affected by one's presentation.  Sadly, our nature can be that which will affect the nature of relationships - especially when it comes to pair bonding.  I've been lucky that it only affected me with potential relationships which weren't meant to last.  How many of us can say that?  So I'll close this entry with a link to a tune that many of us can identify with....

I Wish You Love

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Looking back over some blog entries

When I started writing this blog, I was very strict in how I referenced my persona.  I tended to write as if there were two people, strictly segregating references to my male and female persona.  I've noticed an interesting change, in that I do refer to two separate persona, but treat them as integrated halves of the same person.

What does this mean?  For me, I am much more comfortable in my own skin than I was when I started journaling my life in two genders.  Although I still reference the two persona as separate entities sharing a single body, it's only a tool to reduce the likelihood that one of my friends will make the classic mistake of using the wrong pronoun in referring to me at the wrong time.  With this being said, my friends have noticed that I feel more natural when presenting as a female - and one of them has asked me if I could be heading towards transition.

Transition....  As far as I can tell, that's not in the cards for me.  It's hard enough finding a mate as it is.  Do I want to virtually eliminate the chance that I will find someone special?  Probably not....  But it is a question that people will ask, and I do answer it as honestly as I can.  But this blog has chronicled a form of transition - my self esteem has grown since I've been out in Marian mode.  I've been forced to challenge my fears, and have discovered that most of them are totally unfounded.  

So, where am I heading?  Only heaven knows.  But it will be a much prettier path than I was before....

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Alternate Lifestyles

There's an old saying - "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."  That certainly has been true for me over the past couple of years.  First, it was the sense of freedom that I found in San Francisco on one vacation, where I learned that I could dress the way I wanted, and no one would bat an eyelash.  The following year was a preparation for me to go out in the world en-femme, and that I did for the better part of a week.  Since then, I have been more and more open about who and what I am, not worrying about what people think of me when I'm out and about.  Am I completely passable?  Probably not.  Has anyone said anything negative to me about my dress?  Not that I've noticed.  And most importantly, have I had any problems from anyone because they read me as a transgendered person?  Definitely not!

In a recent post, I noted that people who live alternate lifestyles are much more accepting of the transgendered person.  For those looking to go out in the world for the first time, one may want to consider seeking out these communities.  Although BDSM may not be my thing (even if I have a fantasy or two), I find the people fascinatingly well balanced and a pleasure to be with. Due to the risk factor inherent in their activities, virtually all the clubs I've heard of prohibit alcohol or other mind altering substances on premises.  Although I may not be Polyamorous by nature (I consider myself "poly friendly" and would consider being part of a poly relationship.), I also find the group I hang out with  well balanced and a pleasure to be with.  

What do these communities have in common?  First, both communities depend on its members having well developed communication skills.  Bullies (or other troublemakers) tend to be isolated and go elsewhere.  It's hard to cause problems for people when they choose not to be victims.  Second, relationships in both communities depend on prior negotiation.  There are "rules of the road" that are developed by the participants to guide the relationship, and they help to  prevent (or lessen the effect of) many of the problems that more traditional relationships tend to have.

Encountering these groups has been a great learning experience, one that I wasn't ready for two years ago.  And since I posted a link to "The Masochism Tango" in a prior post, I figure you might enjoy this little ditty from one of my favorite singers....  Chef!   (It may not directly relate to polyamory, but it should bring a smile to your lips....)



As almost anyone can tell from a casual examination of this blog, I am overweight.  My friend, P, has been trying to find time where the two of us could regularly meet for hypnosis sessions - and tonight seemed perfect for the task.

Of course, I try to see P en-femme whenever possible.  It seems like we relate to each other better when I'm presenting as female, than when presenting as a male.  And tonight, I was able to keep my voice in the lower end of a female register throughout a stressful conversation without dropping into a male register.  Now to finally start the voice training program I bought 5 months ago....

What I found interesting was that after my hypnosis session, I was so relaxed a part of me let down my guard and slipped back into the male register - which I used for the rest of the night. Before I left, P snapped a couple of pictures of me, saying that she liked this outfit most on me, over the other things I've worn there.  What do you think?

Of course, the latter picture is in our "Mandatory setting" - in front of her bathroom.....


As an aside....  I had to pick up a couple of things at the local A&P tonight, and a person I've met a million times was behind the register.   I wonder if he recognized me in female mode?