No better way to spend an afternoon during these strange times! I’ll keep doing this until we all get back to normal. The first dress on this post, which was also on the previous post, is my favorite (and I am a gal that owns or has owned well over 250 dresses).
Additional pictures from this photo shoot on my Flickr page.
I am continuing my new normal of having a weekly (selfie) photo shoot with a theme. The last one was the haul I made at the consignment store before we were on put on house arrest. This week I will be featuring some spring dresses to lift the mood a bit. Just so you know how this works, I’ll pick out seven pieces, in this case the dresses, for my morning fun. I get ready just like I would if I were going out (with a little mercy on my face, the closest of shaves is not required). I use a neutral makeup pallet so nothing clashes with any one outfit.
I select a few props for fun. I then put the outfits in order as it relates to my ability to get out of them easily. Then the fun begins. I put on that piece, have access to my and my wife’s closets and assemble the outfit. I pick my accessories, shoes and a purse if I want, slip the wig back on and start taking pictures. I look for different camera angles and change things up from outfit to outfit. It’s quite a bit of fun! Then I share one outfit daily with anyone on Flickr and post them here as you have seen. My next session will be business outfits for the working woman!
So here is Kandi’s spring collection:
More on the next post!
Additional pictures from this photo shoot on my Flickr page.
One Sunday in December 2018 the stars aligned. I had a tennis match at 5 PM at an indoor club about a mile away from the other Nordstrom in town (about a 45 minute drive from my house). My wife had her own match at noon, so she was out of the house (sometimes I tell my wife I am going out dressed, and more often I seize opportunities to get out without her knowing about it; this day it was the latter).
At Nordstrom there were lots of dresses to try on and a nice SA named Terri (I’ve met lots of friendly SAs at Nordstrom and recommend shopping there highly).
I had been stalking a bare shoulder dress for a few weeks. Often I will try on a dress, like it, but just can’t convince myself to buy it. It was on sale, but I still have to justify the purchase in my mind. First, it was a bare shoulder dress, and I have boy shoulders. Besides having boy shoulders, I also almost always wear shirts when I am outdoors, and I have visible tan lines (a/k/a a “farmer’s tan”, or in my case, a “tennis tan”, because I am outdoors coaching high school tennis about half the year). The second hesitation was wondering where I could wear it; as I thought my opportunities would be limited.
Nevertheless, I tried in on again, as I had tried in on previously.
I left the change rooms and walked out into the store, getting Terri’s opinion. Terri said it looked good–and I agreed. Taking pictures in the mirror in the store (the lighting and backdrop was better), a man sitting about 25 feet to my right, who was waiting for his wife (who was in the changing rooms), said: “Your legs are phenomenal; you might as well show them off”.
I was extremely surprised but thanked him. I don’t always like to talk because my voice gives away the game, but I assume he knew anyway. It’s always nice to get compliments. I have heard from some GGs that I had great legs, but that was the first (and only) time I have heard it from a man. There was also a magenta version of the same dress. I tried it on, walked back into the store to show Terri, and I loved the look on her face (I showed her the photo). We agreed the blue was the better look.
Despite the compliment, I didn’t buy the dress (then). But I cleaned up, drove to the tennis club, and won my match in a tie-breaker, which clinched a 3-2 win for my team. A win all around!
A week later, I returned to my usual Nordstrom at the St. Louis Galleria. The blue dress was still there, so I had to try it on. One of my GG friends (via text) told me it was a must buy the first time I tried in on. My SA friend Karla said I needed to buy it too. The third time was the charm and I bought the dress, figuring if nothing else I could wear it to the December meeting of our local transgender group (which I did). I also got to wear it out for a memorable dinner with my friend Michelle, which I wrote about here about a year ago.
I run and bike a lot to prepare for the shorter distance triathlons that I do and the multiple running races I do (from 5Ks to half-marathons). The byproduct is my legs are pretty muscular. Now when I run (although not as much as Kandi) I occasionally take my shirt off to even out my tan, to be ready to have another opportunity to wear this dress.
Note: First a thanks to all of you who read these posts. Kandi tells me that I seem to have a regular readership, and I appreciate knowing that. So thank you.
Also, a personal update. I have written several posts about my time out in Melbourne. I have returned to the US, without any of the delay issues that many suffered the day after I returned (like the multi-hour delays at O’Hare in Chicago). The last thing you wish after a 14 hour flight from Melbourne to Los Angeles is have to wait in line five or six hours to clear immigration and customs.
My wife has remained, as planned, in Melbourne. She generally stays longer to visit with her sisters and travel with her friends. However, given the current global situation, her return flight to the US has been cancelled, as Qantas has cancelled all international flights from April 1 until at least the end of May. We are unsure when she will be able to return to the US. I guess we are doing a different type of social distancing.
Normally her being overseas and me being in the US means Dee has more opportunities to get out, which I use to my advantage. However, these are not normal times; all dressed up but no place to go. Until I have more times out, I will revisit some of my past outings over the next Sun-Dees.
In an effort to reinforce certain beliefs and the knowledge that I have evolved, learned, seen new things, as you know I am “rewarming” some leftovers. This is one of my very first posts and one that resonated with many and was referenced in Thursday’s post.
Prior to my self-acceptance, as I now look back, there were three definite triggers that fueled my CD desires. There are no longer triggers, per se. These is nothing to “trigger”, this has become part of my life (except under unusual circumstances. like we are all experiencing now). There are days I am 100% male, days I spend a great deal of time dressed and some in-between. Portions of my female wardrobe is interspersed with my regular wardrobe. But this is a little trip down memory lane and what it used to be.
First let me explain, all of my life CDing was an impulse, nothing joyful or happy. It was never at all satisfying. I hated it and I hated myself when I succumbed. It was never, ever complete. It could be simply wearing a bra. It might have been getting completely dressed, covered with my then voluminous body hair, and dressed only from the neck down. I looked ridiculous and felt the same. Shame and guilt, always. I have now experienced more joy and happiness in one day dressed then I had in the previous, almost 50 years doing so. Literally. I cannot recall one single time that I did it and felt great during or afterward. Never.
There were three separate triggers. First, opportunity. Being alone for some period of time as well as having access to some article or articles of women’s clothing. That might have been a sick day when I was young or simply access to my wife’s lingerie drawer on a then rare afternoon home alone. When any extended period of time became available to me (not very often), I might purchase a few items. This was always done like a shoplifter, moving quickly from item to item and looking for just the right cashier and the shortest line for the check out (in the days prior to self checkout). There was a bit of an adrenaline rush doing this, but it soon faded and turn to guilt. The purchased items became toxic to me, like nuclear waste.
A second trigger was an idle mind. When my mind is engaged in whatever, life, my career, the children, friends, sports, etc., the thought never entered. When the kids were small and I was building my career, I could go months and months without even a single CD thought. As I grew older and my career deteriorated (another story for another time, maybe), the kids became more self-sufficient, the mind wasn’t spinning 24/7. CDing always rushed in when there was mental downtime. You can read about it in the “About” section, but eventually my mindless job, and frequently idle mind, was the breaking point. That was where the possibility of Kandi started to germinate.
Finally, intense stress really fueled the fire. I went through a business failure earlier in this century and it created significant collateral damage to my life, ripples still being felt today and will do so beyond the grave. Work days felt like a daily trudge to the electric chair and I often would have preferred the chair during those very dark times. My morning generally begin with a quick vomit before I got into my car and ended with more than a few stiff drinks. Every moment of every day was torture. During this period, buying various items or articles of clothing, wearing them usually briefly and the headache-inducing guilt afterward at least distracted me from the misery I was living. Buy, wear, purge, sometimes that same afternoon. Hell on earth. I rationalized the purchases as distractions, I certainly wasn’t a crossdresser! Yeah, right……
So we fast forward to that day of self-acceptance referenced above and there is a convergence of all three triggers. The nest is empty, the girls grown and gone. My absolutely mindless job has my mind as idle as it has ever been and idle for days. My wife’s work schedule varies, which means I was home alone quite a bit. I ate and drank too much. I’d run through a bottle of whiskey in a few days. I thought about these wretched urges all the time. Trapped inside my own head for hours at a time, I finally broke. I finally accepted who and what I am and the rest is history. Everything from that moment forward was a step in a positive direction, a step toward happiness. Go and look at my blog posts on days out. Look at those smiles. You cannot fake those. Those smiles come from the heart and they come from someone who stopped the fight and is blessed beyond words to have such a great family. Can you do it? I sure hope so and am happy to at least offer my support along that difficult path. Reach out through the “Contact” section as I am a very good listener. God bless anyone going through gender identity issues. They are very real and even more misunderstood, even by many going through them.
Finally, here are the blazers I picked up. I’m a pretty good shopper, huh?
The photos don’t do these blazers justice (I need a new photographer). The first blazer fits as if it were tailored for me.
I essentially bought the principal components for eight different outfits. This was quite a bit of fun. I took each piece from that purchase and assembled a complete outfit on the fly, including accessories, shoes and props for the photo shoot. I would pick up the item, think through what I have in my inventory and put it together. Then I took a bunch of selfies, tore it all off and went to the next outfit. Three hours of great fun! I’ll keep this up, the next shoot will be spring dresses!!
In the grand scheme of things nowadays, this is not important. But at least for my metal health, it moves me forward one more day and I hope brings you all a little smile. Reach out to one other person every day, if you can.
I shared a part of the Virus Diary 2 post with Sherry well before it posted. She raised some interesting questions. When you describe your desire to be a woman what does that mean? I know you have been very succinct in your femininity and had no desire to be anything but a CD. Is there a change?
Good questions. Before, for the majority of my life, when I didn’t admit all of this, the triggers pushed me to CD. Now I CD all the time, so when these triggers hit (and it’s now really only because of the current situation), the next step up is to become a woman. The trigger pushes me forward. Not to become a woman in the medical or TG sense of the matter, just to live as one. I have no desire to “go all the way”, just a desire to be that way more often and more meaningfully. But again, all of this is hyper-triggered by current situations. Under normal circumstances, I am able to stay busy, keep happy, stay balanced and get my release in all of my usual Kandi activities and social interactions. Now, as you know these feelings just lay on you. Like a wet blanket.
Saturday I will rerun my trigger post.
March 24, 2020 – Day one of Ohio House Arrest and a work day for me. It is flat bizarre. There is little traffic and I just seem to be floating around in a soup. I am thankful to be working, thankful for any activity. I’ve reached out to friends to make sure they are well and have lined up a walk, a hike and a run with various friends. I have been successful in maintaining some type of a normal flow to my days, something I need. But the downtime between scheduled runs in the truck is much greater and the things to do to kill that time almost all gone. I am sure you are all experiencing the same thing, much more difficult for some, the same for most.
I look back at all the deleted messages and the flurry of activity planning for the North Coast Men’s Chorus concerts, going to Keystone, The Prom to Remember and the first gala for The Courtney Jones Care & Cure Foundation. Now……….nothing. And the contact with the people who have become friends……nothing. They even shut down our outdoor pickleball courts and I had a bunch of people lined up to play later this week (I am kind of an organizer). I had tickets for six killer concerts. I was training for a marathon near the end of April. I know, you all can make the same kind of list. This crisis will be a fatal blow for many charities as well as countless small businesses and those who can least afford the financial hit. The collateral damage will be significant.
March 26, 2020 – Two long walks this day. I hiked about 5 1/5 miles, through many trails, with a couple who are friends. Then I drove near home and hoofed another 6 1/5 with another friend. I left the house at 9:00 and returned about 3:00, only driving or walking the whole time. Killing time……
I have made it a point to text at least two friends every day, I run my daily fashion show on Flickr and try to lift spirits here. I wish I could do more. I just want to help however I can.
March 27, 2020 – I’ve told stories here about my iPod screwing with me (“Comfortably Numb” as I finished a half marathon with temperatures in the mid-teens). Today was no different. I have a 12,000+ song library and as I was running, it shuffled up “Too Much Time on My Hands”. Coincidence or something else……. If it shuffles up Tom Petty’s “The Waiting (Is The Hardest Part)”, then I’ll know it’s something more!
We’re blessed. There are four of us in my immediate family. All four of us continue working. My wife and I are part of the essential supply chain, business as usual. One daughter is in health care and the other is able to work, business as usual, from home. As painful as this is, speaking strictlyfinancially, we’re actually benefiting. But as is the case with everything, including the solution to this problem, one aspect of it is not and cannot be the only consideration. Two of my family are on the front lines of this.
I hope you are enjoying my daily fashion show on Flickr. This week, spring dresses!!