Friday, January 31, 2014

Getting dressed - it's not as simple as it seems.

For most of us transgendered folk, getting dressed is not as simple as it is for many cisgendered folk. Yes, getting dressed is very much the same, but we have other considerations that the cisgendered do not have. 

In the case of the M2F transgendered woman, dressing is more than simply choosing what to wear from what is inside a closet. If one has not had GCS (Gender Correction Surgery), one has to find a place to "hide" one's "equipment" so it leaves no tell-tale bulge. So the first thing I do is pull up some support underwear, making sure that my male equipment is tucked - leaving a relatively flat front. Then, after taking care of my bottom, it's time to take care of my top.  Here, it's a lot easier - one first puts on a bra (which often has to be chosen, thinking of the type of clothes I'll be wearing), then inserts her "falsies" (prosthesis #1 and 2). At this point, I could get into a robe and then go on to apply my makeup. 

Once I've reached the point where I'm ready to do my makeup, I make sure that my face is freshly shaven - it wouldn't make sense to apply makeup over beard stubble. So I first apply a thin coat of beard cover, then some foundation before using setting powder. Then I apply dark makeup to the sides of my face for contouring, blush to my cheeks, and maybe some eye shadow if I'm industrious. (The gentleman who taught me how to do my makeup says that I should do my eyes first - and he makes a lot of sense. But I rarely do my eyes, and it is usually an afterthought for me.) Next comes my lips - and I'm never happy with lip liner. I reach the point where my makeup routine is done, and then it's back to the bedroom to choose what to wear. (Please remember that there's no way I could go out without makeup without looking mannish - so I don't have the luxury of the cisgendered woman, most of whom do not need any makeup before going out in the world.)

I now have some problems - whatever I choose to wear can not emphasize my lack of a feminine waist. As a result, I can't wear belts, I have to wear shirts and blouses that aren't tucked in, and I have to find things that give me the illusion of having a feminine figure. As much as most natal women might be wearing pants, I look for the opportunity to wear skirts and dresses - and will wear them when a large enough number of natal women will be wearing them on a given day. In addition to skirts and dresses being truly feminine garments, they actually fit me better than woman's slacks. (One can easily see where being a pre-op M2F transgendered person might be at a disadvantage in getting dressed.)

So once I've made the decision of what to wear, I have to choose the hosiery and shoes/boots to go with it. Only after I've dealt with hosiery can I start the process of covering my torso. Please note that my face already has makeup on it, so I must be extra careful when I put my top on - the makeup under my chin (hiding my beard stubble) would look terrible on my clothes. Once I get top and bottom on do I bother with shoes/boots. 

If I were dressing as a male, things would already be much, much simpler - no makeup, no tucking, a simple choice of underwear, socks, shirt, pants, and shoes - and I'm almost ready to go out the door. But I still have a way to go in female mode - I still must choose my accessories, my baubles and bangles, and then put on my wig (prosthetic #3).

Most natal women will never need to wear wigs. But I have to - my male presentation is mostly bald, and keeps his hair very short. This makes it so much harder to recognize me when wearing a wig.

Although I've left out details, one can see why a typical M2F transgendered person has more work to get dressed than the average cisgendered person. And yet, I enjoy every moment of it. I feel I was born to live this way - even with all the headaches of doing so.

So I pose a simple question of those who are afraid of going out in the world - how much would you like to be doing what I'm doing?  I feel that the M2F transgendered women who really would prefer all the headaches of living this way should try it and find out whether it is just a fantasy or whether this reflects what is really inside their souls. After a while, the extra routing of getting ready to go out in the world will get tiresome. But if you really want to go out, it will be the small price you'll gladly pay to live your life the way you want to live it....

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Late at work, no games tonight


Now that I got my frustrations out of the way, I have to note that Marian didn't get out to play games in Yonkers tonight - I got home way too late to do so.

At the office, I was about to pack it in, zip up my coat and brave the cold outside when my phone rang. A recurring problem (which can't be eliminated) happened on my watch. Within 15 minutes of being notified, I knew what had to be done, and gave the instructions on how to fix it. Unfortunately, it took the bureaucracy of my firm another 1+1/2 hours to run the jobs to finish things up. I got stuck on an unneeded conference call, when all I really needed to do would have been to contact the person to whom I'd give instructions, monitor the first job, and then go home. This was frustrating to say the least. And as the minutes flew by, I saw tonight's chance to get into Marian Mode go Bye Bye as well.

At least Monday is another Games night in Beacon....


Quickie: Occupying myself

Some of my friends have commented that I do a lot of things in my week. I respond that I don't really do that much - I just have a knack of occupying a lot of my time.  

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of doing nothing but sleep - I felt great the next day. But if I did that every night, the only time I'd have to do things would be on the weekend.  Sometimes, I think I should consider doing this, because of how I feel when I don't get enough sleep.

When I worked in the suburbs, this was not an issue - my commute was shorter, and I had greater flexibility in my life. Today, I live around the train schedule - and organize my life with my commute in mind. If I worked near Grand Central, this wouldn't be too bad. But the extra time getting to and from Lower Manhattan is a killer.

But back to occupying myself....

As you can see from this blog, I do find a lot of things to do with my life. Now if only I could find more time (and money) to do them with....

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Quickie: Getting out en-femme for dinner - and some other thoughts.

Tonight, a friend is coming over, and we'll go out for dinner - with me in Marian Mode. I've chosen a place nearby which I've wanted to visit, but have never had the chance to do so. Hopefully, it will be the pleasant experience which I expect it will be.

I may have mentioned this, but Lili is cruising her way South today, and should soon be reaching Florida - where it's warmer than in New York. Although I love her as a friend, I could never allow myself to be anything more - we both share the same food addiction, and we would be our own worst enemies. The other day, she asked for me to come over and help her choose what to wear on her cruise - and she had a severe case of the "I don't have anything to wear" blues. Of course, when one excessively overeats when depressed, sooner or later, the old clothes will no longer fit.

There is a part of me that wishes I were on that cruise (and I had the opportunity to do so.) I'd have been en-femme every day of the cruise, and interacting with everyone as a woman - especially for dinner. However, to do so would have meant destroying whatever career prospects I have with my present organization, and that is something I will not do.

One of these days, I will be successful in losing weight again. But when this happens, I will likely be connected to a new group of people who have better habits than I have now. Until then, I'll be fighting to lose a dress size or two before my next vacation - even if it's a quick trip South for a few days....

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Men never make passes....

A couple of weeks ago, I broke my pair of "stage prop" glasses while up with friends in the "North Country". I immediately ordered a new pair, although I was able to use super glue to make the old glasses "good as new". (It doesn't make sense to go out without them, as they might be the one thing that keeps some people from recognizing me that I don't want recognizing me while en-femme.) Today, I received the replacement glasses, and now I can retire the old ones for use as a backup set.

Several days ago, I noted that someone made a pass at me (while en-femme) on a date with a woman who responded to my personal ad. Today, I looked back at that night as a humorous quote came to mind....

"Men never make passes 
 at girls who wear glasses,"
 As Dorothy Parker hath said.

 She said it quite rightly,
 They're very unsightly,
 But no one wears glasses to bed."

No, I did not write this. But it does reflect my sense of humor. 

This lady noted she'd have recognized me even if I were en-homme because of my eyes. Of course, I responded

"They are my father's eyes, and I won't give them back!" 

I can only imagine what lines I could have come up with if I had the chance to meet Charles Addams. He had a great sense of humor that came out in his work. And the picture below is one of his best.

Wouldn't you secretly enjoy it if you saw this happen?  Really, wouldn't you?

So I'll leave you with a little mood music, introduced by the master of suspense himself....

Music to be Murdered by.

Monday, January 27, 2014

I'm sitting in a railway station. Got a ticket for my destination...

How many of us grew up hearing "Homeward Bound" on the radio? It still has a special place in my memories, because it takes me back to a frame of mind where I'm both mellow and alert. But enough talking about music for now....

Tonight, I couldn't wait to get back home. It's not because I'd have a chance to get into Marian Mode. No, it's because I really need to rest - I didn't sleep well last night, and I wanted the option of relaxing at home. We are entering crunch time at work, and I don't expect to have much time to schedule for relaxation until my project goes live. As it stands, I might not be able to make it up to see my friends in the North Country next month, as we may be scheduling the system implementation for that weekend.

When we finally make the go/no-go decision, we must be absolutely certain that things will work as advertised. This means that we will be dotting I's, and crossing T's until the day after we are live. And even then, we will be keeping our fingers crossed. I'll be glad that the project is finally done, as everyone on it is burnt out and ready to go on to something new.

I have some trepidation about the future - if I'm not assigned to a new project shortly, I will likely be on the chopping block. But I have some plans to occupy my time - such as volunteering my time at a local organization. And I feel like I'm on a train heading for a destination - the only thing that will prevent me from getting to the end point will be some unexpected event along the way that delays the train. In my case, it is a "something" which prevents me from being labeled "redundant."

But I don't have that much left to say - I'm tired....

So here's a pretty little ditty.....

George Harrison and Paul Simon - Homeward Bound

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A date with the second lady - and a chat with Lili

Today's agenda was to meet with Lady #2, and then go into NYC to see a play's last performance.  Of course, the latter did not happen - I ended up seeing Lili, as she needed help choosing clothes for her upcoming cruise. But first, some information about this date...

I arrived on time, but my date was late. When she arrived, she took an immediate like to me - probably too strong, and I was getting the vibe that what she had in her background was a potentially very important deal breaker. So it made sense that she was trying to set the hook early on if this was the case. (And yes, there was a deal breaker - and I won't go into the details here, for her privacy.) But the date was pleasant, and I'd enjoy seeing her again - as a friend.

In the middle of the date, Lili called me and told me that she needed help choosing clothes for her upcoming cruise. So I made a note to call her back after I was done, and it was off to Lili's to help give her the self assurance she needed to pick out the clothes she needed. I mentioned the deal breaker with Lili, and even Lili said NOT to get involved other than as a friend - when Lili says NOT to pursue someone, you can tell that the problem surpasses even her threshold for being in a relationship. And then we talked about GFL and GFL's issues....

Both Lili and I get the feeling that GFL is has not invested her heart in my relationship with her. Maybe it's my friendship with poly-amorous people. Maybe it's my friendship with so many women. Maybe it's my transgendered nature.  Who knows? But I have a hard time letting my heart go the distance as well, as I haven't gotten the signs that she wants to go further with the relationship.  One would think that after one has handed a key to the house to a boyfriend, that she would consider him important enough in her life to keep him aware of events when her immediate family is sick. (And I won't go into the details here either, as she also has a right to her privacy.) If she's reading this blog (and I doubt it), she knows about what has been going on in my life. What she doesn't know by direct evidence is that I haven't stepped over the line in regard to the intimacies expected in a relationship. 

What do I think will happen?  First, I must finally have a conversation with GFL, and ask her directly - where does she see our relationship going? I am invited to all her family functions. So my situation may be a result of a complex combination of issues, or it may focus on a single issue. If she is not able to go further and take the next step, I may just need to reconsider my situation. As it is, I've been keeping my eyes open - just in case. And I don't like having to do that anymore.

So, I'll leave off with another ditty, this time about choices....

George Jones - Choices

Quickie: Meeting a new person for a look-see.

This afternoon, I'll be meeting the second of the two women who responded to my personal ad which has pictures of me in Marian Mode.  I have no idea of whether there will be any chemistry between us, but it will be fun just to meet someone new.

Why do I do this? The answer is simple - unless GFL sees me in Marian Mode in person, neither of us know whether she can deal with me in Marian Mode in person. After K, I know that I have to play out the scenario of introducing any woman to me in Marian Mode very carefully. With the lady I met last weekend, this was not a problem - she wanted to meet me first this way, and she is not bothered by seeing me this way. But this lady may not be as open minded. So, when she showed a preference for a first meeting, I'll honor it.

Yet, I consider myself very lucky - I am not now living with someone.  Any woman I date has to be told about my transgendered nature AND she has to make a decision for herself before we settle down together. If I were to decide to live in Marian Mode full time, she would be aware of the risk beforehand. That's very different than if I were to be in a relationship for 30 years, then to announce that I want to live as Marian 24x7 - it might be an act of betrayal if I did that.

I'll write more later today.....

A visit to my former hypnotist, P.

Around 4:00, I decided to get off my duff and look out my window at the weather outside. After looking, I thought - The predicted 2-3 inch accumulation isn't that much. So why not go shopping and update parts of my wardrobe? And I had no good reason not to do this, so I got showered, dressed, and went out in Marian Mode for the evening.

I had originally thought of going to Green Eileen, and thought - if I start spending there, I'll really risk racking up some serious money - and would want Vicki by my side to advise me. But Vicki wasn't available, and I had a good idea of what I liked from what the Avenue has in stock. So I trucked over there and did some damage to my store card buying two tops, two necklaces (one replacing another that lost a pendant - and then got lost itself) But I now had a necklace with a pendant I would wear with a bland outfit (which triggered the idea of buying a couple of new tops) and was ready to go to P's place.

Now, I knew that P had someone over at her place helping her declutter the apartment, so I told her to introduce me as Marian and let things flow naturally.  (I wanted to see how well I presented from someone who had no knowledge of my natal gender.) Well, this 20 y/o woman responded to me as she would with a natal female, and even invited me to go shopping with her. (Mind you, thrift store shopping is not my style, and I don't need to pinch the pennies that tight yet.)  I showed F some of my photos, and mentioned that I keep a record of some of my outfit choices, so that I can improve my look by seeing what worked and what didn't work....

Alas, F (P's helper) eventually had to leave, but wanted to hook up with me via my Facebook page. And until I have to reveal that I am transgender and not a natal 50+ y/o woman, she won't have access to my page. After F left, P and I had a conversation. And P told me that F probably wouldn't have invited me to go shopping with her had she realized that I was not a natal female - F is a practicing Catholic. From there, the conversation touched on many bases including the wiring harness of the human body, and how things differ between the genders. P thinks that we should record some of our conversations, as there is often a lot to chew on that she wouldn't have thought of, unless she were in the presence of someone who crossed the gender line so well. And she may be right.

So, I will be meeting the second of the women who recently answered my personal ad in Marian Mode. As I discussed with P, I need to keep some options open until GFL makes a decision about whether she can accept me in Marian Mode, and see me this way in person. If she can't, there are at least two people who have responded to my ad recently - and gives me hope that there are others out there who'd appreciate a person like me....

So I'll leave you with this ditty that references a personal ad (which also serves to date me....)

Rupert Holmes - Escape (The Pina Colada Song)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Quickie: I never thought that the snow could be such a nuisance

This Winter, it seems like the snow has chosen to come on weekends and interfere with my time en-femme. Of course, this is all the luck of the draw. But knowing that there is no conspiracy against me doesn't make things any easier when one wants to go out in the world en-femme.

So, now it's a quarter to four in the afternoon, the snow has stopped for a while, and I'm thinking of finally going outside.  I'm not sure of what I'll do or where I'll go. But if I can, I'll try to get pictures of me en-femme and the snow.....

Friday, January 24, 2014

It looks like I'll have an unexpected free weekend.

For the past couple of days, I've been trying to reach GFL, and got no answer.  When I mentioned this to Lili, her anxiety came up and immediately thought that GFL may have someone else in her life already. This is Lili's projection of her own fears - that she'll be abandoned, and have no one to be with. A few years ago, I might have acted in a similar way. But now, I can let go of a failed relationship if it were to fail.

So, today, I spent the entire day at work filling out paperwork that needed to be submitted by today, so that we have a chance of getting my project done "on time". It was mind numbing and error prone - and I made more than my share of errors.  Since I had a dinner date with Vicki, I was rushing to get this paperwork done - and I barely was able to get out the door by 5:00 pm.  And even then, delays at Grand Central (actually, the Park Avenue tunnel) caused be to be another 15 minutes late getting out of NYC. But I was able to make it to Vicki on time, and was at the restaurant earlier than she was.

As usual, Vicki and I talked about many things, and all too soon, it was time to go home.  However, as I was leaving, GFL called.  So, I waited to call her back until I got in my car, and  finally found out what happened. with GFL. And, although it is upsetting, not hearing from GFL has nothing to do with my relationship with her. I found out that GFL's daughter has been very ill since Wednesday, and went to the hospital on Thursday - while GFL stayed with her grandson. I can only imagine how mother and daughter were feeling when the ambulance came, and mother couldn't go with daughter because of the baby grandson. And today, GFL was running all over the place for her daughter and busy taking care of her grandson while her daughter recuperates.

Will I see GFL this weekend? Probably not. But she knows that I'll drive to see her if she needs me. Until then, I have a free weekend - and again, for reasons I'd gladly do without.

The game that lasted way too long

Considering how cold it has been outside lately, I thought it wise to dress warmly for the evening. So, just like a woman, I thought - "I have absolutely nothing to wear!"  Of course, no man would say THAT.  But how many clothing choices do men have to make? So, I settled on the following outfit before going out to play games....

I feel I look better in a dress, but it wouldn't be practical in this weather. I'd have loved to have a black sweater, so that the red of my shirt really would have popped with my little pendant. (Even Lili liked this pendant - even after she found out that I bought it at one of the crafts stores.) After giving myself a once over in the mirror, I noticed I was late (as usual) for my Thursday night games group in Yonkers, and stepped outside.

When I got to the door, I noticed that there were several fire trucks over at the next building in my complex. God knows what they were doing there (I could see no fire), but I didn't want to be blocked in by a fire truck and not be able to play games this evening. So, I backed out very carefully, snaking around a fire truck or two, and made it to the laundromat (I had a week's worth of boy clothes to be cleaned) and then to Yonkers.

Arriving at the venue, I was already late to participate in the first round of games, and decided to kibbitz with the boys. (The table with the two ladies was too close to the fireplace, and I didn't want to sit with my back to the fire.)  Shortly after I sat down, the host had to take care of his son, and I took his place playing a game called "The Village".  A little later, one of the ladies took off her sweater, and she was wearing a tank top which showed off her ample cleavage. (I couldn't say this to anyone there, but she made me jealous - I'd love to have those breasts on my chest.) Two and a half hours later, we were still playing the same game - and I missed my chance to hang out with the ladies. In fact, the game didn't break up until 11:30 - over 3 hours after the game was started.

I made my way back home knowing that I wouldn't get the chance to study tonight, and that I will be dragging tail trying to make the early train in the morning.  (And when you factor in that I have a 9:00 am class followed by 3+ hours of filling in paperwork, I expect that Friday will be a grueling day.)

So it's off to get the makeup off my face. And I'll leave you with this little song....

Dan Hicks - The Piano has been drinking.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A visit to the therapist

I probably have mentioned that I see a therapist on a bi-weekly basis. But it has been for issues other than my transgender nature. Today's visit was noteworthy for one reason - my therapist totally forgot that I had rescheduled the appointment because of the snow storm. 

My therapist works out of his house in the Northern suburbs of New York. And over the years, he has told me simply to walk into his house, enter his office (after making sure that no one else is there for a session), and sit down.  Of course, I've added a shout upstairs to let him know I've arrived, as he spends his free time in other areas of his house.

Today, I was running late, and cut every corner to make up the time to get to his place. When I got there, I walked in the door as usual, shouted upstairs to let him know I had arrived, and waited for the usual answer back to know that he knew I was inside. Today, he didn't answer back. So I shouted again.  No answer. Although I have been in some of the private areas of his house, I won't go there unless invited in. So I had to figure out how to let him know I was there when I wasn't going into the private areas of the house.  

So, what do you think I did....?

As usual, I was carrying my cell phone with me. So I rang his home from within it.  He picked up the phone, and I told him I had arrived. He apologized, and said that he had gotten the rescheduled appointment mixed up - he thought we were supposed to meet on Thursday, and then realized that we agreed to meet on Wednesday. 

In our session, we discussed many things, noting how much I've changed in the 12 years I've been going to see him. And it was a good session.... But I am not yet comfortable (and may never be comfortable) with telling him about my transgendered nature.  


So, I think it's time for another ditty.  

Melanie Safka - Psychotherapy

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Reminiscing about a failed relationship

I wonder how many of my transgendered readers ever look back on failed relationships and think: "There but the grace of God go I." Last night, I had reason to get curious enough about a relationship I had for 8 years, and look at her Facebook page.

Although I never gave this woman any reasons for the breakup, save for "it's broken and can't be fixed," I'd have to say that my ability to be more open about my transgendered nature was a factor in the breakup. But it was not the main factor - I needed a relationship where neither person was the be-all and end-all in each other's life. I needed someone with enough interests of her own to have a life of her own, from which she has something to share with me.  In this former relationship, this woman had nothing better to do when she came home other to eat and watch TV.  (I'm painting a harsher picture than I should, but I'm trying to convey how we interacted, and not the complexities of the failed relationship.) I felt very frustrated, as I felt I had no control over my life.

Why does this have any importance in regard to being transgender, you may ask?  

Most of us may repress key parts of ourselves for unhealthy reasons. In my case, it was being afraid to stand on my own and live life without carrying a "safety blanket". I had to grow up and accept myself for who I am. And I think that may be part of the process of "coming out" for the rest of us as well.  

Are there any healthy reasons to repress key parts of ourselves, if any exist?  If we repress things, we have to be aware we are doing so, and open about doing so with others. In my case, I am not open about being transgendered when I'm at work, or with my immediate family. With work, my sexuality and gender preference have no effect on how I get along at work, and bringing it up when my career is at risk would make it a liability. (Remember, I am comfortable enough in male mode to spend a lot of time this way.)  And I've discussed family issues elsewhere, in prior entries....  In short, I had to ask myself - what is an acceptable risk, and what risks do I have to mitigate?  And I think this is common to all of us.

But what can other reasons be to repress key parts of ourselves, and are any of them healthy? Again, situational context is very important. I read several bloggers on a regular basis. And I think that the degree of risk is a factor here. What are the trade-offs of staying in the closet? One person I met at Fantasia Fair in 2012 was there with his/her wife, and this was the only chance the couple had to be somewhere and have the transgendered spouse be able to express herself en-femme. (They live in a very conservative community, and it would be a big risk for them to be "out".) But they are "out" with each other, and seemed very comfortable this way when nothing was at risk.

When I first started my process of coming out, I could only talk about my nature with a limited number of friends - and talked way too much about this subject until I could get comfortable with my transgendered nature. Now that I am not repressing things, my conversations are back to a new normal - where my transgendered nature comes up as an aside, such as when I mention which persona a friend will be meeting on a given day.

But what does this have to do with the failed relationship I mentioned earlier?

Like me, this woman sacrificed a lot in her past, and was not aware of it. In her case, she really wanted children, and couldn't have them for many reasons. (This was not the only thing she was repressing.) When circumstances kept her from having those children, she pretended that she didn't want any responsibilities for pets (a common child substitute) until we broke up. Now, she has two rescue dogs in her house - and I hope they are giving her a lot of pleasure....

Does she realize the meaning of what she has done on a conscious level?  It's not up for me to say - I haven't been in contact with her in years, and don't want to be in contact. But I'm pretty sure that she is repressing fewer things than she has in the past.

So, what should this mean to the rest of us?

The answer to the above question is simple - we must strive to understand ourselves as much as we can.  We must be on a continual journey of self improvement, never accepting second best in ourselves, yet knowing there will always be others further down the road than we are. We must strive to be as open about ourselves as possible, and to make sure we have an adequate supply of friends and acquaintances to nurture our souls when we need it.

And now for another little ditty - something that my ex might have played when I left her....
Paul McCartney - For No One

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Snow, Snow, Snow and More

So, this entry's title isn't that original.  Big deal. I've been working from home all day, and am too tired to think of anything more original.

Today, the lower Hudson Valley is experiencing a snowstorm which will drop between 6-10 inches of the white stuff before the sun comes up in the morning. And I am very glad that I was able to stay in my apartment. But it is interfering on my ability to get things done at the office, and I don't like being alone when I have to work.

I'm very grateful that this snow didn't come last night.


Late last night, I received the following comment from the woman I saw the other day:

My daughter thinks you could be perfect for me. She says I need someone quirky because I'm quirky too and not to push to meet your brother because you are your authentic self, your brother is just the guy who goes to work. She told me my being sexually attracted to a deep voice and masculinity is just conditioning and that I need someone who understands my weirdnesses. 

In regard to my female persona being the more authentic self, I feel that both persona are authentic. It's just that I prefer the side of my personality that is encouraged to come out when in this mode. In male mode, I'm expected to have more of a dominant set of traits. In female mode, I do not need to dominate, and it would be a liability if I did so. (I wonder how I'd have been like had I been born a genetic female and had raised children?)

I don't know how true the last sentence is.  There are reasons why a man having a deep voice and a masculine image will attract women, but I can't attribute it to cultural programming or conditioning alone. If one buys into the concept that sexual dimorphic characteristics of the human are selected by the sex which doesn't possess them, there must be both conscious and unconscious reasons why deep voices, hairy chins and bald heads attract women. Could these be simple signs that a male is pumping out enough testosterone, and will likely produce healthy sperm?

As I've said before, I'd love to be able to go 24x7 and still have someone who cared enough for me to live with me. For the most part, this is a fantasy - but for some very small and extremely lucky group of people, this is their reality. Right now, it is simply not my reality....

Game night in Beacon - with Maria

Whenever I schedule anything with Maria, something always seems to go wrong - and she is always late. Tonight stayed with the normal pattern - I was at the gaming venue early (only to remind the hostess that I would have a guest), and Maria was 45 minutes late. So I knew we were going to be late for the first round of games, but had a very enjoyable dinner anyway.

The last thing I want to do on a cold night in Beacon is to walk any great distance. The neighborhood is still a little iffy in some places, and I didn't want any cold winds blowing up my skirt. So we settled on eating at a nearby Italian joint, where the food was better than I expected. (Mind you, I have to take points off the chicken/seafood dish I was served, as it used Surimi - but the milder taste of Surimi probably was better suited for the dish than the crab listed as the other main ingredient.) And it was very nice to be recognized as a woman when patronizing the restaurant....

After dinner, we walked back to the Games venue, and we proceeded to play a few games. No game was played more than twice, and the pace was quick. I was surprised to find myself falling out at 10:30 pm. But this was OK - most of the people were leaving early this week. So I paid my fee (along with Maria), and I will likely see Maria there again.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Weekend Recap - Ever changing New York

Last week, I noted that they were setting up a squash court at Grand Central Terminal, and holding a championship event. This weekend, on my way to be with GFL, I had the pleasure of seeing the players practice before their game. If I had the time, I might have bought a ticket and watched their match. 

Alas, I had an appointment to meet GFL after "The Gazillion Bubble Show", and have dinner with her daughter, grandson, niece, and her offspring. So I didn't stay long - I took the shuttle over to Times Square, and then over to the theater where I waited for a while for the show to end. On the way there, I couldn't help but go out of my way to hear this group play.

If I recall correctly, they were playing a great rendition of "Amazing Grace". And as much as I'm not religious, I do enjoy hearing this song played, when it is played well. When I made it to 50th street, I saw this fellow playing "Take Five" - another song that attracts me, the way the pied piper attracted rats with his music.

After the show, the nine of us made our way to an Irish Pub where we had dinner. The thing I found most notable about this place was the repurposed neon signs in the place.

There were other signs of note, but these two had a history outside the place - and the sign to the left had a picture of it in its original place of use.  (I can only imagine what Las Vegas's Neon Museum is like....)

I won't bore you with the details of the rest of my weekend with GFL, save that we saw "American Hustle", and I highly recommend it. Alas, the weekend ended way too soon for us, and I had to make it back home in time to see Maria and to go to games night in Beacon. So it was off to the ferry, and seeing the tourists try to  get views of the Statue of Liberty and of Ellis Island.

I highly recommend the ferry for the relaxing one hour round trip - it's free, and will give the casual tourist an idea why New York's harbor is so important....

But now, it's time to get into Marian Mode and get ready to play some games.
So I'll leave you with some music....

Royal Scots Dragoon Guards - Amazing Grace
Dave Brubeck Quartet - Take Five

PS: I haven't forgotten about Martin Luther King Day - I'll have something to say about that in a later posting.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Quickie: Beard Removal

A while back, Kim posted what her face looked like after a few sessions of laser.  It's been about 9+ months or so since I've started on this process, and this is what I now look like after shaving (with an electric razor) but without makeup.

Although you can see the obvious traces of beard if you look closely enough, for the most part, what you might see is gray, not black.

Friday night, a question came up - "What would you do first, if you didn't have to worry about money?" And I responded that I would likely remove the rest of the hair on my body, save what little is left on the top of my head.

Of course, this would be both painful and expensive at my age. But then, I thought - why stop there?  Might it be worthwhile to consider a variant on facial feminization surgery to give me an androgynous face?  I'd love to be able to get up in the morning, choose my presentation the way some people choose their clothing, and go out in the world  Who knows, someday this might just be possible for me....

Saturday, January 18, 2014

What would you do if you were "hit on" en-femme?

What would you do if you were "hit on" en-femme?

This is a question that has been asked of me, and I've noted that I'd have my answer when it happened. I never knew that I would get an answer to that question sooner than I thought.

But first....

Most natal women ignore comments made by men hitting on them - it's the simplest way of not offending a man, and it is often the safest thing to do - unless the man is a little bit unbalanced. So it is not uncommon to hear men make comments about a woman's activity, and if the woman is interested in the man, to reply.

Last night, I was sitting down with a woman at a local diner, and talking "of shoes, and ships, and sealing wax..." when a couple of middle aged men came into the diner.  At the time they came in, I was looking for a picture I took of Seward Johnson's statue - Forever Marilyn in Chicago. (See picture below.)  So I didn't notice it when one of the men noted that "this woman is so busy texting someone" (or something like that) as they passed by my table. I was totally oblivious to what was going on.

After the two men were out of earshot, my companion commented that she didn't know how to feel - she was the natal female at the table, and the man was hitting on me. I commented that I didn't notice being hit on - and she explained that I reacted exactly as many natal women would - by completely ignoring the comment.

In many ways, I realize that my social skills are not always that sharp - and maybe this is helping me in my trip towards femininity. Not noticing every social cue, I may have a naturally "thicker skin" than many people who might cringe if they thought someone disapproved of them, their behavior, or their presentation.  On the other hand, I don't pick up on cues that could help me - such as noticing when a woman is truly interested in me. Luckily, I've had other skills and talents which have helped compensate for my underdeveloped social skills.

So I learned something last night, something invaluable - if I get hit on while en-femme, the safest thing to do may be to ignore the man. In male mode, I have gotten used to having females as friends - but this has come over time, and it's not because I'm picking them up with friendships in mind. 

A while back, Vicki described me in these terms - "he's my straight, 'gay best friend'."  Last night, I finally could articulate why this is true. My female companion noted that unlike most men, I listen to women. (Yes, she was saying this while I was en-femme....) She also noted that I moved like a woman while en-femme, and would never have guessed that I wasn't a woman unless she was told first.

Looking at the statue again, I am reminded on how in the moment Marilyn was when she filmed "The Seven Year Itch". I feel she she was unselfconscious filming this scene. (Or, she did a damned good job of making the viewer feel this way.) And that's how I'd like to get while en-femme. I'd like for it to feel totally natural, and to be conscious of who and what I am only when it's appropriate I be so.  

Quickie: Looking at a wig

Lat night, I got home very late, and fell out. I was in Marian Mode, and only did a minimal cleaning of my face before laying down for bed. All I could do was to write a blog entry, take off my dress and stockings, and use moist wipes to clean my face. I didn't have the energy to take off my bra or put my breast forms away.

So my goal for today is to look at a wig (if it's in the store), and maybe run down to Green Eileen to see what high-end second hand clothing I can put in my closet. But I have to get moving if I want to do any of this before changing into boy mode so that I can see GFL this weekend.

It'll be nice to see GFL again. It always feels good being with her, and yet (last night aside) I'm not sure if she will be the last stop on my search for a long term mate - simply because we've progressed at a slower pace than I think most people would take. In short, whose ambivalence (if it is that) could be affecting the relationship, can it be overcome enough to allow us to go to the next step?

But enough of this for now - I must get in the shower....

Exploration, but not to worry.

As I may have mentioned, my en-femme personal ad has received a couple of responses from women interested in meeting me. Well, even though GFL is at the top of my list, I haven't yet given my heart away - I can't do that until the woman I want to be with is comfortable with me in Marian Mode.

So I went out on a date - and was chatting with this lady for over 5 hours. If GFL weren't in the picture, I'd probably be in a rush to get to know this woman some more - even though she has not made the best of choices in her life. There is one strong thing going for her - she has now already met me in Marian Mode, and is very comfortable with me this way.

Please note that all we did was talk.  I could very easily leave things the way they are - two people who like each other, who want to build a friendship. Lili would have me make this the primary relationship if the chemistry was there, and accept an economic basket case for a mate.  (I dealt with that with my late wife - I don't need the same (or similar) problems again.)

This makes it the third time I've met a woman for the first time en-femme. I could very easily get used to living this way 24x7, and this woman would be comfortable with this too. But, as I've noted before, I'd rather make trade-offs and be with a woman who I relate well to in more ways than just physical chemistry and acceptance of me being transgender. I simply want more from a relationship than Lili, and am willing to make the trade-offs needed to have the relationship I want....

Friday, January 17, 2014

Does it matter if I'm fooling anybody?

When I first started going out en-femme, I worried about what people would be thinking when they saw or heard me. And given how transgendered people are treated in many places in this world, having fear of this kind of unknown can be very reasonable.

As noted in an earlier "Quickie" post, I noted that I was going to have my face zapped today. Well, this lady's operation is moving to new digs - about 10 minutes closer to home for me, and easier to get to. She suggested that I have my hands zapped, and offered me a 5 visit deal. I just might take her up on it. She also suggested a separate session between full face visits to zap my upper lip - and I might do that as well, as that's the last area of my face where dark hairs seem to make their appearance.  I can soon see the day that I'll be able to skip the beard cover, and do a much simpler application of makeup.  YAY!!!

But before I left today, she commented that my presentation (based on recent pictures I showed her) was good enough that no one would pick up on the fact that I was a natal male. (I know I'm not THAT good, but it's nice to know I'm much closer than I was a year ago.) And this leads me to something I picked up on when I went to my weekly games meetup....

I've never met any of the people in the Yonkers meetup in male mode.  To them, I am simply "Marian", a middle aged widow who is only interested in meeting new people for friendships, and not for dating. And I get along with all of them very well. There were several people sitting at the table and playing games, and she noted that two women weren't able to make it tonight. If they had, we might have had the first meetup (at their place) where there was an equal number of women there. It was nice to be seen (and treated) as a woman - not special, just as part of the group.

Do they pick up on me being transgendered? Maybe. But I won't ask. To them, I am Marian. If "my brother Mario" has to come up in conversation, I will control the topic when it does. And I think I will be accepted as Marian - even if they know Mario exists.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Quickie: Zap, Zap, OUCH! ... In a new place.

I just got back from laser, and my face is clean.  It'll be another 3 weeks before I go back for a full face. But before then, I might get my upper lip area zapped - and even cut a deal for my hands. But if I do so, it will be in a new place - the laser technician is moving her business to a new salon - and it will be much easier for me.

But I must run - I have to transform myself and go off to games night in Yonkers.  

More later....

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Dating, Mating, and Off-Broadway Shows

It's been a while since I've seen GFL in person, but unlike some people I know, I'm not antsy. I know I have other options if I were to need them, and have grown comfortable knowing that GFL is available when I need her. 

Lili has been prodding me to explore dating with one woman - a lady who dated (and lived with) a cross dresser for 6 years or so. I find this woman might be someone interesting, but have other things I need in a woman - and GFL seems to fit those needs better. When I told Lili that this woman didn't have a job and was living with her mother, even Lili had to see reality from my point of view - the lady would be nice to have as a friend, but would be a drain on me when I don't need any more headaches.

But back to reality as I see it, to Lili, and to GFL, with a stop at the wig store and then to Manhattan....

This weekend's game plan will have me stopping by the wig store to look at a new wig ordered just for me.  I will not buy it unless Lili approves.  But Lili won't be able to do so until next weekend, as she will be at her mom's this Saturday for her mom's birthday. Once I've examined the wig, I will change back into boy mode, catch the train, and then meet GFL (post show) at the Off-Broadway theater where she will be going to for an afternoon show with her daughter and grandson.

GFL and I missed our shot of seeing Janis Joplin on Sunday - she didn't act quick enough to get us tickets. But that's OK, as she needs to be home to monitor the work of the construction crew finishing off the basement. If she's really lucky, all but final trim work may be complete by the end of next week. YAY!!!

Hopefully, GFL and I will get the chance to see the Janis Joplin show soon. But until then, I'll sign off with this little ditty.

Janis Joplin - Me and Bobby McGee

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Being bored on the board

Tonight was my monthly (and sometimes more) night that I serve on my co-op's board of directors. Without going into all the mundane details of what we discussed (property maintenance and enhancements, shareholder complaints, corporate finances, etc.), I felt bored for most of the meeting. My complex is a naturally occurring retirement community (NORC), and most of the board members in attendance were retired (or of age to do so). And you can only imagine the problems one can get with an older set trying to come to agreement on minor details....

I really didn't want to go to this meeting - I had only 3.5 hours of sleep the night before, and have been running on empty all day. So I was grateful to be mellow and relaxed while in the meeting AND to have my Android Tablet with me to keep my mind occupied. Even then, it was all I could do to stay awake until the meeting was over. So after the meeting, I got into a conversation with the managing agent for the co-op (the one with whom I'll be going to a hen party soon) and talked about many things.  It's very pleasing to know how open minded she is about my feminine persona.

The more exposure I get to the world, I notice many things I'd have never noticed before. For example, I've never noticed as many people afraid to take chances in life. And yet, I see my niece, and know that she will have the life she wants, and not the life that is handed to her. I'm seeing a balance to things, and picking up on the effects of Karma in our everyday lives. Although the balance may not be perfect, in general, things tend to even out over time - what you put into life, you get back from it over time.

I feel sad when I see my transgender friends and acquaintances having troubles in their lives. Being transgender is not a choice, and for many, their need to be their preferred, internal gender is causing havoc in other areas of their lives. (For lack of better terms, it's like seeing the sky being blue - while everyone else is telling you that they see green. There is a cognitive dissonance between how we see ourselves and the bodies others see us in - and it hurts some of us more than others.) All I can do is try to be there for them, to give a word of encouragement or two, and let them vent.

But it's time for me to rest - I can't afford another night without enough sleep....

So until then, another ditty...

The Beatles - I'm only sleeping

Quickie: One has to run the race once the entry fee is paid

As I've mentioned in prior entries, the career I've had for almost 40 years is gradually dying. And I have been running for daylight, taking courses and preparing to be certified in a new specialty before the old career dies.  Well, today, I found that I am on the right path - when one of my coworkers noted that by having this certification, that I should be able to find a new position without any problems.  

I hope he's right.  If not, then I'll find ways of making do. Who knows? I might be able to live 24x7 for a time, while between interviews....

Keep your fingers crossed.....

Monday, January 13, 2014

Commuting for fun and profit?

There won't be much transgender stuff going on in my life until Thursday, but this doesn't mean I don't have much to say....  Today, I decided to work late and clean up some paperwork I should have been doing for a while. It'll never be complete, but I realize that even if the worst happens at my job, I will have still learned a few things. However, that's not where I want to go right now.... Instead, I'm focused on commuting and my trip home through Grand Central Terminal.

On my trip hope via the subway, I am usually accosted by performers who can't carry a tune, can't maintain a beat, and who have absolutely no talent to speak of. Today was very different - when I reached Grand Central, there was a single gentleman on an amplified acoustic guitar playing "Memory" (from "Cats"). The simplicity and elegance of his playing made me want to cross from my platform to the other platform for the shuttle, and drop some money in his basket. I hope this fellow makes enough money to come back again, as I really enjoyed hearing a snippet of a song that holds meaning to me.

Years ago, I was married to a woman who had a thing about cats. In certain ways, you could call her a "cat lady". Her sheets had cats on them, a music box or two had cats on them, and (as you would expect) her favorite musical was "Cats" - which we had the pleasure of seeing on 3 separate occasions. When she died, I would break into tears when "Memory" was played. And even now, it has a sort of hold on me.

So back to Grand Central....

I exited the subway and killed some time in the main hall waiting for my train. But I decided to explore the place a little, and I came upon these scenes....

These gentlemen are setting up a squash court for a yearly competition. Supposedly, this will be the most visible squash court in the USA.  (And I do not know of many squash courts which have places where spectators can watch the games.)

Years ago, your friendly blogger used to play the sport before she became as round as the squash ball.  Even then, I moved a large mass around and still kept up with people of a more normal size. Sadly, I can no longer play and would look ridiculous if I tried to play the game.

Eventually, they announced the platform from which my train was leaving, and I had to go. Hopefully, later on in the week, I'll be able to see the game being played....

A day doing nothing - I needed it.

Your friendly blogger, "Lazy Bones", ended up doing nothing all day - until the sun went down. Not only did I not call GFL, but I also did not call Lili to find out what she was doing. I needed to relax, to chill a little, and that I did.

As much as there are many things that needed doing, I needed to rest and take time for myself. This means that I didn't do any reading (though I should be studying one book for an hour each day), I didn't keep in contact with people (though it would make sense to confirm plans for the week), and didn't do any cleaning around the apartment. So, when Lili called around 5:00 pm to get together, it was a no-brainer - I was already getting dressed en-femme to go out somewhere, and given the choice, I'd rather see Lili than P, the hypnotist.

After a quick dinner at Panera Bread with her son and future daughter in law (if Lili has her way), we went back to Lili's to watch an old movie on cable - Soapdish. On the way back, she talked about the boyfriend she broke up with, and commented that everyone at the table save her had a relationship with someone of the opposite sex.  She is down - and needed a friend to be with - and I was that friend.

On the way home, I had the chance to chat with GFL - and she told me that she did some damage to the credit card buying basement tile. But what worries me is that she is still sick, her daughter is also sick, and her grandson is sick with pink eye.  As much as I'd have liked to be with her, I'm glad I wasn't there to reinfect myself....

So tomorrow it's back to work, and back to being en-homme....

16 Tons - Jeff Beck and ZZ Top
16 Tons - Merle Travis
16 Tone - Tennessee Ernie Ford

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sleep -The real pause that refreshes

No one likes snoring, so I say that I "sleep enthusiastically".  Arriving home at 1:30 am, I expected that I'd have fallen out by 3:00 am or so. For some reason, I was awake until 4:00 am. So, I wasn't surprised that I didn't wake up until noon - a full 8 hours or so, a rarity for me.

Lili was supposed to call me today, as she wanted company for her weekly trip to her mother's place. It's getting harder for her to deal with the emotional stresses of seeing her mother waste away from Alzheimer's. But there are some stresses she should not have to deal with, and it involves feeling that she NEEDS a romantic relationship in her life. If she focused on developing her links to other people, she wouldn't get over invested in one relationship, a type of relationship that she doesn't do well....

So, my next course of action will be to call GFL and see if she is available to go out for a movie. In a way, I'm hoping that the construction in her basement is going on (today's task was buying floor tiles at Lowes and starting the installation), so that she will be unable to meet - I spent way too much yesterday on miscellaneous things on the way to the North Country (and back) that I don't want to raid the ATM again this week.

No matter what happens, I have to prepare for 5 months of study hell. I have joined a study group at my firm that will be meeting every week to cover material for a certification exam we will all be taking. They expect that we will need about 5 hours per week to cover all this material, and I don't know where I'll squeeze out this 5 hours of time. I certainly can't sleep any less.

"To sleep, perchance to Dream; Aye, there's the rub,"

It's hard to believe that I am not that familiar with Shakespeare given my familiarity with phrases like the above.  Sooner or later, I will have to get around to seeing some of his plays performed - but not yet.  I have other things to do - such as study. 

Another trip to the North Country - in fog and rain.

Your friendly neighborhood blogger loves to sleep late whenever possible, and today was no exception. However, I had an appointment to see a lady on the other side of the river, and I knew enough to get moving early enough to make it on time. Well, I didn't need to do so - she had to cancel on me, as the memorial service she was going to was earlier than she thought, and we wouldn't have enough time to talk with each other. So we postponed our get together, and will figure out when we can meet at some later date.

So, I decided to change my plans, and see if I could make a run up to Woodstock and meet one of my old acquaintances to the local Post Office. Alas, he wasn't there. And, it probably was just as well - I don't know what he would have had to say if he had recognized me. (It would have been a low risk meeting anyway, so I would have only been satisfying my curiosity.)

After Woodstock, I decided to finish my trip to the North Country. I had noticed that virtually no adult females of my age were wearing skirts or dresses, so I changed into a pair of woman's slacks I had with me at one of the rest stops on the thruway. As I arrived at the North Country early, I decided to kill some time by going in to the local mall, and bought 3 scented sprays at Bath and Body Works. Walking around the mall, I noticed that I was getting very warm - the temperature outside was in the 50's, and I'm glad I wasn't wearing anything even warmer than what I was wearing. So I took a note, that when I picked up a Cheesecake at the local supermarket, to pick up a pair of knee-his to reduce the amount of skin that was being insulated....

The party was very nice, as I expected - and there were 5 people there that I hadn't seen before. And it was nice to be able to strike up a conversation with one of these people.  (I wonder if she realized that I was transgendered and not a natal female.) Hopefully, I'll see her again. But before I left, the hostess took this picture of me.

This gong had a rich bass sound when it was struck - I almost wish I had one of these for my own!

My plans for the return trip were to make a quick stop at Walmart, and pick up a few items on my shopping list, and then get home.  One problem - I knocked my glasses off my head, and they broke on the hard pavement. So I had to look for some Super Glue to repair the glasses in order to use them as a prop until new glasses arrive later this month.

So I'm getting tired, and it's time to take off my makeup. Until I write again, I'll leave you with this little ditty.

T. Rex - Bang a gong (get it on).

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Quickie: Noise in the background

Normally, I don't pay much attention to my TV, except when watching movies or when I'm watching documentaries. Other times, the TV acts as a noise maker, and this morning is no exception - I have a shopping channel making the noises, and I've occasionally turned my head when it sounds like there may be something pretty I might want to buy for my female wardrobe.

Unlike my late wife, I do not find myself being a regular customer of the two main shopping channels. However, I once got a good deal on the makeup I use on my face - and hope they again put this makeup on sale. On the other channel, I got a good deal on one of the dresses I wear. But there is only so much room in my closet.  Then why, you may ask, do I leave the shopping channels turned on? The answer to me is simple - when they are trying to sell clothing, they sometimes have some good ideas that I can use with the clothing already in my closet.

How many M2F transgendered folk unconsciously apply the same rules to their female wardrobes that they have applied to their male wardrobes? I know I tend to do so, and I don't have enough patterns in my closet to make my wardrobe pop. New rules can be learned. But who can we ask to help us learn?

Everyday we are out in the world, in female or male mode, we see examples of women wearing things that work, and things that don't work. Yet, they may only be noises in the background, because we weren't socialized to notice these things. Hopefully, we all have friends who are good enough to sensitize us to take notice of these cues, so that these noises become potential information streams we can use to improve our appearances....