Going Out: The Rules of The Road

An important rerun from a few months back.

For those ladies out there considering their first time out in public, please fear not!  You can do it, just do your homework and relax.  Here are my three rules, the 3 Be’s.

Be smart.  Don’t walk down a pitch dark street.  Don’t go into a biker bar on your first outing.  Park close to the mall and/or in a well lighted area.  Basically, be as smart dressed as you would otherwise.  Just be aware of your surroundings and exercise general rules of safety any woman would.  It’s just common sense.

Be appropriate.  Wear clothes for the occasion.  Don’t wear an evening gown bowling.  Dress as other women do where you are going.  Wear clothes for your body type.  Don’t try to squeeze into that favorite dress of yours if it’s tight or shows off some of your male features.  Dress for your age.  That doesn’t mean you cannot be stylish.  But if you are a 56 year old girl like me, don’t wear what the teenagers are wearing.  Dress your age.  This is an outfit I wore for an afternoon of shopping.  Just another businesswoman out shopping.

Be confident.  Smile!  Be happy.  A recent sign I saw says it all, a smile is the prettiest thing you can wear.  People in general are attracted to happy people.  This is supposed to be fun.  Enjoy it.  This is a very important rule.  If you look nervous, regardless of how you present yourself, people will notice you and they will react negatively.  Walk with good posture, be proud!  Click those heels.  Let that purse swing delicately from your shoulder.  Move those hips.  Own it.  Remember, you do in fact, belong.  You deserve the respect of others.  You are a valued human being with all the rights of any other person.  You are hurting no one.  Walk into that woman’s clothing store and watch the SAs light up!  Order a girly drink at the bar, cross those beautiful legs and take it all in.  Engage in conversation with the other female customers about a dress or a necklace you both may be looking at.

I speak from experience.  I do not and never will “pass”.  I don’t like that word, don’t believe in the concept.  What I do believe in is if you do things right, people, people all self-absorbed in their own lives, won’t notice you.  And that is a good thing!  Once you gain that confidence, then you can go about being noticed (in a good way), wear that pink dress, try those 4” heels, but build that confidence first.  Go get ‘em ladies!


That’s a Beautiful Dress!

The other day, while working at the science center, I stepped away to go to the ladies room.  When I returned, some one had left some food at the desk.  A few minutes later a gentleman (employee) returned to retrieve his lunch, which he had set down.  We exchanged pleasantries and then he said “that’s a beautiful dress!” and he headed back to his work.

“That’s a beautiful dress”.  A comment he made and probably didn’t think about having done so.  It was probably a natural comment he might make to any woman.  A comment he made that he certainly forgot about almost as soon as he said it.  It cost him nothing, it took him no time.

“That’s a beautiful dress”.  Affirmation.  Love.  Understanding.  Support.  Ego (I do have one).  Kindness.  A comment received that meant the world to me.  Made me feel special.  Made me realize, again, what a wonderful world we live in.  Imperfect in so many ways, yet full of such goodness.

Don’t be stingy with your complements.  They mean little to you and the world to some one else.  “That’s a beautiful dress”.  It sure was in more ways than one!

Beach Adventure

By Marie Greene

Another excursion into the world of femininity was my first GIRL experience in the beach environment.  To fully enjoy the sunshine and blend in with the suntan and blonde bikini scene had to tackle finding a good quick tanning cream.  Fortunately, this was not a problem. The greater challenge was perfecting the smooth and even application of the cream.  Also, was lucky in finding an inexpensive wig – Blonde – of course.  Finding a proper outfit or two was a greater chore.  Quickly learned beach communities are not a mecca of fashionable styles.  The typical female style at the time was the very colorful wrap around sarong skirt, sleeveless tops and flip-flops.

These were not my inclination when choosing an outfit to reflect my inner or outer femininity.  However, bowing to reality and prevailing customs, I chose a bikini style Bra and Panties, sand colored sandals, a matching mini-skirt, off the shoulder pink flimsy drape top and matching head scarf.  All of these jewels were found in one small oasis just off the boardwalk. It was a tiny beach-tennis-golf shop specializing in women’s sportswear.  Selected jewelry with a seascape theme of shells and small tingling bells.  The former was a long double tiered necklace.  The bracelets were circled by tiny alternating silver, gold and black bells.  Every movement of the wrist created a delicate and sweet sound very pleasant to the ear and definitely heralded a female presence.  Closed out this joyful shopping high with the purchase of an ankle bracelet.  My first dabbling into this accessory.

Looking ahead to the possibility of an outdoor stroll and access to the beach, had selected a first-floor room with a walkout veranda facing the ocean.  The slightly tinted sliding double doors allowed easy and graceful access to the wondrous and melodious world beyond my room which included a little pebbled stoned patio island graced with a colorful recliner chase and side table.  Arranged these to take advantage of the mid-day and afternoon sun and assist in cultivating my tan-in-a-tube.  Reclined on the chase topless with only a tall cool drink, quiet music from a miniscule portable radio to keep me company while the sun did its magic.  All set the mood for a calm afternoon and was a great aid to developing a tan.  Initially, did not plan on taking to the beach or the pool and planned on spending the afternoon reading several style magazines and a woman written romance novel. Hopefully, another insight into the female persona. However, the previously purchased bikini style (B&P) easily passed as a swim outfit and for the last hour as the sun began its descent to the horizon, adopted these elements of utter feminine style and with a filmy white cover-up took a stroll on the hard-packed wet sand that remained as the tide receded with the sunset beach.  The breeze tugged at my cover-up and ruffled my honey-blonde crown.

Whiled away the late afternoon until about six and headed inside for a perfumed bubble bath soak and prepared for an evening promenade on the boardwalk.  Had foregone the Flip-Flops for a pair of two-inch wedged style sandals which accented my legs and hip sway along with a slight thumb-clip-clop as I sauntered along.  The red hue of the setting sun flashed off the gold bracelet, dangling earnings and ankle bracelet of twisted gold and silver strands.  All of which were exhilarating to my ears and inner self.  Just loved how the sea breeze felt on my legs and tugged at my semi-see through cover-up.  Had topped off my blonde crown with the silky scarf which was also fluttering in the breeze adding another degree to my feminine image and feeling.  They all combined to cap an extremely ladylike stroll which ended back outside of my room perched on a high stool at the cocktail table with a carafe of Pino Gringo.  The entire adventure provided another delightful memory.

All this combined to satisfy my inner and outer girl.  I had not selected or even given any serious thought to fully christening my inner self.  This was to come later as I gradually and smoothly learned to transition from the traveling businessman to the comely or stunning or highly stylish “girl” who eventually evolved into a graceful and attractive “women”.  However, there were many more sales shows and a long road of “GIRL” adventures ahead.

Happy, Happy, Happy

I was in a dress mood today.  I had a volunteer shift at the science center and then an usher gig at Mercury Theatre.  So here is my photo montage for the day.

My outfit was cute and comfortable.  Love the hounds tooth pattern!  The neckline and sleeve length both perfect for me.  The hemline just above the knee is right where I like it.  It was an easy black and white pallet to work with, going with gold accessories, modest makeup colors and a lovely deep red lipstick color.  I love dresses like this.  Simple, light, cute, requiring no additional clothing to cover myself properly.

I started the day off with a little shopping.  I picked up a new wig and then stopped at a thrift store.  I didn’t get anything at the thrift store.  While touching up my lipstick in the parking lot, an African-American woman tapped on my window.  She wanted to know if we had met at another thrift some time back.  She said she remember me asking her if “she could tell”.  I politely told her that couldn’t have been me, because I would never ask that question, I don’t care if you can “tell”.  As an aside, obviously you can “tell” with me or she wouldn’t have approached me.  She smiled, said “good” and told me I was beautiful, painting a smile on my face that lasted quite a while.

Another sunny afternoon at the science center.  Honestly, I love this place.  Me on my perch, smiling at everyone, chatting with visitors to the city, waiving at employees.  I welcomed a couple to Cleveland from South Carolina today.  The sun came out and I took advantage of it by snapping a few photos on the harbor.  Love that!

Then off to my favorite theater, Mercury, to smile, greet patrons, hand out playbills and walk folks to their seats.  Just another place I am valued and loved.

A full day in a dress, never once thinking about what I was wearing, just happy being me.  Blessed, loved, valued, pretty, all in all, a great day!


Processing Kandi

Part two of this “Ask Kandi” question (Fashion and Me was Part one).

I’d like to read about your fashion choices in general and the process and products by which you use to become more feminine.

Now let’s discuss the process.  It’s not much of a story.  Many of us revel in many parts of our femininity.  Many savor the process of getting dressed.  My guest blogger, Marie, relishes this and well she should.  For me, it’s the payoff.  Just like I hate shaving, but love being shaved/hairless, I find the transformation process necessary work to achieve the objective, being Kandi.  If it was as simple as getting dressed, quickly doing my makeup, grabbing my purse and heading out the door, I’d relish it more.  The whole process takes too long, in some ways limiting my ability to go out and certainly requiring me to manage seemingly every moment of my life to fit in the things I love.  For example, were I a woman and had three hours to go out and do whatever, out I’d go!  Me, that’s just enough time to get dressed and undo everything, not much time left for a new adventure or a simple errand.  Such is my life.

There is so much too do!  There is routine maintenance, keeping my face moisturized, managing and maintaining my hair growth, facially and all over my body.  In respect to my wife, while I have much of my stuff around, I keep it put away.  Yes, I have my own lingerie drawer.  I use my wife’s purses, but always put them back when finished.  So I spent quite a bit of time pulling things out and putting them away.  Just to consider going out, I have to select my wig, select and pack my purse (requiring taking things from my male wallet and moving them to my female wallet), pick my accessories, get the outfit, select my undergarments and finally lay out and select the makeup I wish to use.  What eye shadow color?  What lipstick color?

None of this talks about what I do to keep my body looking feminine in shape, weight management and my running, which allows me to wear a size 2 skirt!

The process:

  • Set up by selecting the outfit, wig, shoes, purse and accessories;
  • Brow and nose hair grooming;
  • Shave my face and entire upper body (except back);
  • Shower, where I reshave my face (to achieve the necessary close shave) and my legs;
  • Repair (mostly applying lotion to the legs and face and perfuming myself);
  • Getting dressed in as much as I can, allowing me to do my makeup without getting it all over everything;
  • Laying out my makeup;
  • Primer, beard cover, powder, foundation, powder, highlight, blush, contouring, brows, eye shadow, eye liner, mascara, lipstick and finally, setting spray;
  • Jewelry and the rest of my outfit;
  • Shoes; and
  • Finally my wig and all that goes with that.

Now I’m dressed and I take the pictures you see posted here.  I always want to do this to document my outfit and outing as I never know if I’ll be able to do so when out.  I then grab my purse, put on my sunglasses, one final check in the mirror and then it’s time for The Great Escape, which was a separate blog post.

We Overthink It

I just returned from my 35th college reunion.  It was a wonderful weekend, no real stories relative to the subject matter for this blog.  But allow me to make two points from my experiences this weekend.

My last reunion was five years ago.  I was overweight, covered with hair and had a cheesy mustache.  Fast forward five years.  I am close to 40 pounds thinner, mustache a distant memory and all of my body hair has been removed.  When looking at pictures from both reunions, the change is striking.  Do you know how many people suspected I am a crossdresser?  No one.  Do you know how many mentioned the hairlessness (they all commented, positively, on my weight loss)?  No one.  And understand, we are not polite people.  We love each other dearly, but are ruthless in how we give each other shit (sorry, it’s just the right word).  We treat each other more like brothers and sisters than friends (even all these years later).  I’ve read frequently about fellow CDers who shave their legs only in the winter in fear of being outed when wearing shorts in the summer.  Unless this is a request of one’s spouse, it baffles me why this is an issue.  I speak from significant direct experience and an understanding that men do indeed, remove body hair.  I have shared a room with an old roommate, hairless.  I have been to a friend’s pool, in just my trunks, hairless.  I have utilized locker rooms at the gym, hairless.  All complete nonissues.  No one said a word or treated me any differently.

Always be smart, but don’t overthink it.

About two weeks ago, I told a story of working the science center information desk and an old college friend of mine coming to the desk with a question.  Now we are not friends in the context of keeping in direct contact with each other.  But if we were to run into each other, an extensive, warm conversation would ensue.  She didn’t flinch in terms of speaking with a man in a dress and she had no clue it was me.  This past weekend, when we first saw each other, we immediately greeted each other with a hug and caught up.  The point, she had no idea who I was that day at the information desk (and believe me, it would have come up if she knew), nor did she care that I was who I was at the time.

Always be smart, but don’t overthink it.

Top 10 All-Time Favorite Songs #6

The Breakup Song, The Greg Kihn Band. We had broken up for good just an hour before, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh uh, uh, uh……..

Best know for the song “Jeopardy”, this catchy song is pure pop genius.  Like most of my favorite songs, this song always takes me back to a specific bar my freshman year in college.  This and Pat Travers “Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights)” always seemed to be playing on the juke box.

I’m a bit of a Greg Kihn fan, he had four songs that are absolute favorites of mine.  He was playing locally a few weeks back, an acoustic show.  Tickets were pretty cheap, so for the first time I went to a concert alone.  It’s pretty close to my house, so I had a short drive, no traffic issues and was in bed by ten.  Kihn has plenty of personality and I really enjoyed his stories.  However his song selection was lacking.  He only played two of his hits (he did do the subject song), so I did leave quite disappointed.  Oh well…..