Two Years!!

It’s now been two years Kandi’s Land has been up and running. I frankly could never have dreamed I could keep going for this long. Without the feedback I get, I’d have shut the whole thing down, but apparently this place means something to a few wonderful people out there. So on we go!

Kandi’s Land remains about my life and experiences as a crossdresser out in the public eye. It’s about being smart, appropriate, confident and very visible. It’s about being ladylike in my presentation. Mostly it’s become about giving, giving myself to others and the significant benefits I receive from that.

The single most important thing to me is my writing, the platform this gives me to write. I find simply posting pictures nice, but painting a story, relating an experience, so much more fulfilling.

So let’s get Year Three started tomorrow and see where this all takes us! Thanks for coming along for the ride.

If you have questions or would like to see something different here, please drop me a note through a comment or the “Contact” page.

Seven Days of Dee – Day Seven

Day 7, Thursday–Full Circle

I woke up to find a delightful email from Valerie, the White House Black Market sales angel from the day before (I had sent her a thank you email, with pictures of me and the green dress). Valerie wrote lots of nice things and reviving fond memories of the day before (and an offer of a tasty cocktail should Dee ever make a return visit to Chicago).

With a six hour drive ahead of me, and a bit shopped out from the day before, I took it easy and drove to the Nordstrom at Old Orchard Mall, I decided my new green dress was asking me to wear it, along with some polka dot black hose and my black cover.

I tried on a few Ted Baker dresses (always fun to do, even if out of my price range), and a few others, but I was mostly killing time. I changed into my Ted Baker top and Spanx leggings in the change room (I carried them into the store in a bag) to be more comfortable during the drive, and went to lunch.

While at lunch I realized I had left something at my hotel, so I bit the bullet and returned in Dee mode to the front desk to go to my former room and retrieve it (I checked out as a guy, got dressed, and no one was at the desk when I departed the first time). Oh well, sometimes you just have to own it (and it wasn’t a problem).

Michelle and I had made arrangements for drinks upon my return, and a chance to meet her boyfriend (he wanted to meet me too). I changed into my new favorite dress, I loaned my new green dress to Michelle (she loved it, and damned if she didn’t look at lot better in it than I did), so the three of us headed to a local restaurant for margaritas, nachos, talk, and fun. Our waitress said she loved my new dress too (can’t wait until I have a chance to wear it again).

It was a great end to my seven days out. Can’t wait for my next time out.

One more bonus post next week!

Still Have Those Moments

Let’s take another look at these thoughts…….

Despite the fact that I have done this time and again, safely and joyfully and my wife has no issue with it, I still have my moments.  Many different types of moments.

There are the moments that I wish it would all go away.  I sometimes get that “what’s wrong with me” moment.  Many of those moments are principally due to the secrecy associated with having two different and distinct personas.  There are times I just want to share Kandi with someone but cannot.  The downside risk in being completely open with those that knew me “when” remains too great.  It’s just a simple fact.  Plus, not being able to explain it, even to myself, makes the inevitable conversations difficult.  This is just who I am doesn’t seem to cut it for me.

Also doing this in the fashion that I do has lead to great sacrifices. It takes so much time that I no longer do things I used to enjoy. I can barely get through a book anymore. I rarely watch television, which used to be a good thing. But with the ability to stream educational and interesting programming, I wish I could have some time to relax and enjoy things. This is partly a Kandi issue and partly a me issue as I don’t do nothing very well.

There are the moments that I never want to let this go, want it to be me all the time.  Allow me to clarify a bit, I never would want to become a woman.  But the truth of the matter is dressing daily, either to the nines or casually, appeals to me.  Making certain changes to my body, like piercing my ears, keeping my nails painted all the time, appeals to me.  Yes, I am aware I absolutely can do those things, but the can of worms for me is too great. The questions would be too many, too often.

There are moments I am completely happy in my male skin.  When home with my wife and/or children (grown), I am completely at ease in my role as husband and father. Recently I ran a 5K and quite a few of my running friends were there.  That doesn’t always happen as we all run on different schedules and/or different races.  This race happened to be the only race in town that day and I had a ball.  I ran well, competed strongly, enjoyed hanging with my friends, was happy to be the man that I am.  Given the introspection this blog requires, I actually thought about that as I drove home. I love being Dad, “Honey”, Son, Brother, friend, competitor, landscaper, chef, worker and all the other male roles, “me” roles in my life.

There are moments I am thrilled to be a woman.  I had some alone time during a recent Kandi shutdown to assemble eight outfits for a number of holiday events I worked and/or attended last year.  I worked each outfit up from top to bottom, vetting my foundation wear, accessories, shoes, purse and of course the outfits themselves.  I literally had moments that took my breath away.  Moments that teared me up a bit.  Moments of such bliss I cannot describe and do not, nor cannot, exist like that in my male life. There is a layer of emotions that being a woman allows me to tap into, that simply does not exist or is buried deep as a man.

There are moments I wish I were not wired the way I am.  Difficulties from this past year or so still has me reeling a bit.  Things are moving in a positive direction, but the set backs it caused will resonate for the balance of my life.  I am wired to be a provider and feel like I am doing a poor job of that as it relates to our future, our “senior” years. We all face mortality as we age. I see friends and peers retiring and am frankly, jealous. That will not happen for me. Now I also have friends and peers that are in the same boat as I am. Please understand, I am not crying poor. I have it better than most, just not enough to live on for what I hope is many, many years to come.

There are moments I am completely satisfied with my so-called career and moments I wish I had the ability to figure out a way to generate income doing something I actually love and better yet, in the service of others.  I wrote this as I sat in a McDonalds, sipping coffee, killing some downtime before my next pick up and delivery.  I had elderly people sitting behind me who think they are sitting at their kitchen table, trying to solve a health care issue with their insurance company, blasting a telephone conversation on the speaker phone…..in McDonalds.  In this moment, this post came to me and I needed to put it down on “paper” so to speak. I was having a moment.

I guess I have moments when I realize I am human and as such, we all have moments.

As I sat here when originally writing this post, I was fighting the urge (which for me is very unusual) to purchase a dress on-line that I stumbled across (the red polka dot number worn to an art museum party last Christmas season).  I resisted for a few days, but my resolve weakened.  I never buy anything (unless that it the only way to acquire some thing specific) on-line.  I do mean never.  And it’s not like I need yet another dress.  The shopping bug had honestly left me, but this dress, I am having a moment….

Moments, good and bad, memorable and routine, meaningful and run-of-the-mill, life changing and life affirming, loving and anxiety ridden, stressful and blissful, moments……. we all have them.  

A Realization

This post was written on November 6, 2019. On November 1, the world lost a wonderful person. This woman was the Executive Director for The North Coast Men’s Chorus for many years, recently retiring to battle cancer. She was an incredibly giving person, dedicated to helping others. Sadly, the cancer won. Her wake was on a Tuesday evening and the funeral the following Wednesday. I was not able to make the funeral, but did stop by the wake.

I live in a southeast suburb of Cleveland and work in a southwest suburb. I generally work Tuesdays and when I work, it is all day, into the evening. The wake was held near my job. I was on my way home, so I was able to stop and pay my respects. Now understand Kandi is a volunteer for the chorus. She is not a truck driver, I am. And when I am working, I am generally dressed in a hoodie, jeans and a hat with a few day growth. This is the person who walked into the wake. The chorus folks had never met this person.

The calling hours were long, so people had come and gone throughout the day. When I arrived there were only a handful of people I knew (who really didn’t know me). I walked up to each of them and smiled and I could see them immediately calculate who I was and break into broad smiles. Now this is what struck me most. I hugged each one of them. They held me. Not a hug, I was held, for a good period of time. It was the type of gesture that conveys so much with no words whatsoever. This happened three separate times, the same type of reaction from each of them.

I was only there a brief amount of time. I was glad I stopped and even more happy that maybe, just maybe, I make a very small difference in the lives of those I meet along the way. They were clearly happy that I (me, the real me) stopped by. So was I.

A Rather Full Day

November 6, 2019 – I hadn’t been able to get out for a bit, since my Toast of The Town escapades. So on this day, I had coffee with a friend, attended a Plexus event and was scheduled to work a chamber music concert at the art museum. The issue was that I had to be out the door early and would not be returning until later in the evening. Also, since I was ushering, I needed to assemble a black and white outfit. I kinda liked what I did with this one!

A cute floral skirt and the perfect peplum top, tights to keep me warm on a rather cool day and simplicity in my accessories. I was in this one for about 10 hours.

My day started having coffee with the wonderful woman who is the Executive Director for Plexus (see the link on the Links page for background information on the association). We had a lovely discussion about my place in the world, my background and (as I learned) how much I need to understand about this world of ours! She spoke eloquently about identity (however you wish to define that) and how important that is for every individual. I learned quite a bit, she offered some great suggestions and I very much enjoyed our chat. Thank you Amanda!

Plexus is housed in a shared office space, so I was able to spend some time on my computer after coffee (writing this and another blog post) prior to the luncheon I would be attending. Just me in a skirt, working among others, enjoying being out for the day.

The event was a Lunch & Learn and we had about 15 folks in attendance. The LGBT alphabet was discussed and how our identities (whether they be gender, sexual orientation, race, heritage or any other definition you can imagine) mean so much to each person. It was about an hour or so and I just relaxed, learned and felt a part of the community and discussion.

Now the challenging part. It was 12:30 and I had five hours to kill before my ushering gig. I thought about canceling, but didn’t feel good about that so I gutted it out. I knew I had zero interest in clothes shopping. I need nothing and didn’t want to spend the money on something I might wear in a year. So I headed over to Walmart and really took my time shopping for things needed around the house. I always enjoy doing “regular” things when dressed. After that, I stopped at the library to write a bit more and read some. Again, just being out.

With more time to kill, what would I do? Find a Happy Hour, of course! So I plopped down at a local bar (many in the area where I was) and ordered a drink. Seated next to me are two obvious regulars, we’ll call them Norm and Cliff. How do I know they were regulars? When you are drinking Strohs’ (“Cliff”) and Rolling Rock with a shot chaser (“Norm”) at 3:00 in the afternoon, odds are pretty good you do this frequently.

I overheard them having an innocuous conversation, me listening and laughing. They included me a bit, no problem. Then “Cliff” leaves and me and “Norm” discuss the dumpster fire known as the Cleveland Clowns, me making salient points, Norm not wanting to blame the players (typical Clowns fan, head up their behind). I bought him another Rolling Rock (set me back a good $2) and off it went!

As I was driving away something caught my eye at a local boutique (probably the “sale” sign in the window). So long story short, I bought a new wig (I LOVE it!!!!!!) and then headed to the art museum. I hadn’t been there is a few months, so it was good to be back and I saw many of my security guard friends. Made me feel good. Ends up they booked twice as many ushers as necessary, so I stuck around a bit and headed home early. Before I did, I took the first picture in my new wig.

Made me happy! A full day, wonderful people, lessons learned, bar talk (despite me in a skirt) and a new do! Does it get any better???

Shopping With a Friend – Part 2

By Tina Davis

November 1 – After I got my daughter off to her job, I opened my packages that my friend had held for me. The first box held a roomy handbag (they called it a satchel), a gold link bracelet, a little black dress, and a pair of white faux-leather pants. Unfortunately, the pants that I received were a size small instead of the large I had ordered. The slip said “large”, the bag containing the pants said “large”, but the pants themselves were labeled “small”. No way I could get them past my hips, even without any padding. Since I had not picked up the order from my friend for a couple of months, the return period had expired, and since I got them for almost nothing, I simply added them to my donation bag and a much smaller woman will be very happy with them.

The LBD looks very nice with a slight bell sleeve and an A-line skirt, but it is somewhat wrinkled, so I have hung it after taking pictures to hopefully smooth it out. I love the handbag and the bracelet, they are perfect accessories for many outfits. I opened the second package for the two dresses from Venus, my first order from them. This dress had caught my eye many times, but when I saw the sale for less than half the original price, plus I was getting free shipping, I ordered the same style dress in pink and navy blue. I put on the pink dress, added my gold accessories and the handbag, and I was ready for a day in the office – even though it was my home office!

At lunchtime, I had to go to the grocery store, so I thought about what I could do. I wasn’t going to wear the pink dress and heels to the store. but I didn’t want to take off my makeup either. So I put on this cold shoulder baby blue top and my skinny jeans, changed into black flats, and simply walked out my door and drove myself to the store. I pushed my cart down the aisles, got some lunch meat at the deli (didn’t care that the deli cutter realized I was male), and checked out with a cashier, who said “Have a good day, ma’am” as I left with my recyclable bag of items. Since the temperature in Massachusetts had changed from the previous night’s warmth to colder, windier conditions, I wore my women’s black trench coat as seen here. After I got home, I put my heels back on for more pictures.

While I did actually get my work done, the day ended far too soon, as I had to get ready for an evening event where I was the emcee. So the new dresses and accessories were put away, the male me reappeared, and I had an enjoyable evening and dinner. One more day of dressing awaited me on Saturday, where I would meet my friend and her wife for more shopping after I had my nails done. That day was the most wonderful I have experienced in a long time!

To be continued…

Shopping With a Friend – Part 1

By Tina Davis

I have had a fantastic few days dressed while my wife has been away. I took her to the airport on Thursday afternoon (Halloween!), then came home to get out my wardrobe. I was meeting my CD friend at a local shopping plaza (with Dress Barn, Ulta, and Nordstrom Rack in a single row – heaven!). I put on a gray-and-black illusion dress – the black is supposed to make your waist look smaller – with black tights and my Fergalicious heeled booties. I did my makeup, put on my new wig (!), and slogged through the late afternoon traffic to get to the plaza. Silly me, I didn’t take a picture of that dress.

However, we went into Dress Barn, were greeted warmly by the SAs (I overheard one say she loved my coat, and my friend’s boots were complimented too), and I attacked the racks to find possible dresses to try on. I ended up with two that the SA took to the fitting room for me. The first one, pictured here, was a fit-and-flare sweater dress in Medium (I wanted a snug fit). I loved it, but my plan was not to buy anything that day as I had to keep my budget open for Saturday’s adventures. The second dress was a ladder-sleeve party dress (the strips of the dress across the arms had crystals on them) – again, we didn’t get a picture, but the SA loved the way it looked on me. We were chatting about possible events for wearing it, as well as the fact that she had on a knee brace and our similar leg issues. Of course, I did not tell her that my accident was in male mode.

I thanked her so much for her help, and then my friend and I went to Nordstrom Rack. Again, I found an armful of dresses and confidently walked into the fitting rooms. The pink Trina Turk and the blue Eliza J dresses were okay, but the flutters on the shoulder made mine look a little bit wide. I liked the Vince Camuto leopard dress with the black sides (again, a slimming effect), but my friend and I agreed that the red Calvin Klein was the best. Again, no purchases were made, but I sure had a lot of fun.

I would have continued, but the time was late and both of us needed to get home, so I took the packages that my friend had been holding for me, went to a secluded business parking lot, and transformed back into my male self to head home.  I had two more days of dressing ahead of me, and I was excited to try on the new clothes and accessories I had bought.

To be continued…

I am certainly happy Tina was able to get out and be happy and appreciate the post. We’re here to share….