Sarahjanus's Blog

November 30, 2010

Here I am posting already

So much for pledges to stay focused, I’m writing for the blog already. The pledge may have been a bit extreme. Almost as soon as I posted it, I wondered about the logic of it. I certainly wasn’t about to study 24/7 for the next week. I am too many years past that, although, as so diplomatically pointed out by Sophie, the knowledge is only mine until Alzheimer’s takes it from me. Any reader past middle age who has returned to school knows only too well that their brain has lost much of its elasticity and it is much harder to read and retain information than it ever was before. My fear is not that I won’t study enough but that, come the moment, I won’t have retained enough.

I was going to title this post “Letter from a make-believe woman to a non-existent sister”. The premise is as a result of thoughts I had while driving home today. A series of moments coalesced to trigger a realization that I, as Sarah, wanted to have a “sister” to talk with. The original purpose of the blog was to focus on issues by writing about them. I have been writing about Sarah, what it feels like to be her, what it feels like to not repress the thoughts and emotions. I have included the milestones, the benchmarks of her short life as she has come into being. I haven’t just written as Sarah, what I see in the day, what I think, what I feel. So, if I get to it that will be the point of today’s writing.

Before that however, I have two other anecdotes to share. The first is my humor, which I can’t share at home, at least not in this case. In Ontario and probably Canada there is a Tide laundry detergent commercial playing currently. In it, a daughter asks her mother if the mother has seen the daughter’s green top. The mother lies (by omission) and answers; “it’s not really my style”, because the mother has seen it, worn it and stained it. My humor sees the exchange slightly differently from my world;

Daughter:            Mom, have you seen my green top?

Mother:               It’s not really my style.  Have you asked your father, maybe he wore it?

The other anecdote is not as light-hearted. Over the weekend a conversation took place in which a young man, an intimate of my son’s related how his father had recently left his mother, declaring himself to be gay, after 20 years of marriage and 4 children. Of course, my ever open-minded wife is incredulous that a man can discover himself to be gay after etc. I sat in silence, thinking, I can’t explain it for you but I can understand how it happens. Being a wife herself, mine couldn’t see much beyond the destruction that must have occurred in the other woman’s home and life. I can appreciate that as well and fortunately mine didn’t go overboard in her criticism of those who change horse’s mid-stream. It illustrated the battle that will be in front of me if I ever come out of the cross-dressing closet, or am inadvertently outed.

My blogs are sometimes too long, and this one, because of the anecdote has modified my mood from the giddy girl that sat down to write about her day. So, I’ll end this one, post it and try again for the Letter from a make-believe woman.

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November 29, 2010

I may not write this week

Filed under: crossdresser — Sarah Michelle @ 11:25 am

To those who are kind enough to read my blog; I may not submit anything this week. I have an exam (Canadian Politics) next week that I need to study for. It is the final exam in the final course for my degree, Bachelor in Applied Arts. For the moment, I am focused on studying for two reasons. One, I want to do well on the exam, more than simply pass for the credit. And two, this is my last course. Surprizingly being enrolled in university and working towards this degree has given me a heightened sense of self-esteem and I am going to miss the involvement. So I am greedily sucking up the last of the opportunity.
Cheers to all for now
Sarah..,

November 24, 2010

This is just a girl day

24 Nov 2010

I’m wearing the new jeans with a loose top  and a pair of slip-on flats. I’m about to write about it and post it on the web. I’ve become “a plastic”. I’m not sure if my household coined the term or if we picked it up from the movie “Mean Girls”. The “plastics” were the girls who were obsessed with their appearance to the exclusion of everything-else, and unfortunately, to the exclusion of everyone-else as well. They were devoid of meaningful relationships and couldn’t have conversations that weren’t about clothes, nails, fashion or socially acceptable boyfriends.

So, to the extent that clothes and appearance have become important to me in my opportunistic transformation to my feminine personality, I have become a “plastic”. Typing, by the way, is becoming more difficult because my nails are all long (about ¼”) and squared off. If I had the opportunity, I would buy one of the French tips pencils and paint them. I think they would look divine. I love to look at them as it is. If they were painted they would be a distraction all day long. My face is moisturized but without make-up because I have to go out shortly. I was going to put on a touch of mascara and lip-stain but since I’m going to “the office” later I decided against it. The lip-stain is amazing. I put it on in the morning with the gloss coat and its there all day. It doesn’t seem to rub off onto cups as the old lip-sticks did and it doesn’t seem to blur even without a pencil line.

The jeans are Hilfiger, classic rise, boot cut. The old boot cut that I remember, my choice as a male for pulling on over boots for motorcycling, were simply not narrow at the bottom. These boot cuts are definitely a flare. It’s obvious in the mirror and when I look down to the patent flats. It doesn’t matter though because I like the flare. The jeans are a 12. Most of my skirts are 12/14 and getting loose because I’ve been losing weight slowly but steadily over the past year. It’s nothing alarming, just the result of better eating, less eating and ‘way more exercise. I’m actually thinking that I need to take the jeans back and get a 10. These are a bit on the loose side for me.

When I was working, and occasionally wore jeans to work, (I’m talking a lifetime ago, two decades) I would be razzed by one of my co-workers. He would accuse me of being gay or of wearing women’s jeans because mine were so tight. I never thought anything of it at the time. I was fit, fighting fit, (trying to keep my weight under 175lbs for martial arts) and the jeans were comfortable. Now I look back and wonder, if my sub-conscious was influencing me even then. Given my love of sheath dresses and leggings, I definitely like tight clothes. Being over 50 though, I’m not as fit. I wonder now, how I could have let myself get to the weight I peaked at, (220 lbs) from my competitive weight of 170 to 175 lbs. I’m back down now to 190 and wondering if I should be trying to drop lower. If I do, most of the clothes that I have will hang loose or need to be taken in, but they may look better on a slimmer frame.

How “plastic” can I get?

I’d love to be able to go out this morning and do all my errands as my feminine self. The jeans are comfortable. The nylons help with the tuck. The patents peek out ever so nicely under the flare. The top is loose and a cowl neck so it shows the forms without being clingy. I’d have to do hair and make-up but it would be worth the time and effort just to be able to go out as I want to.

I am very happy today, exhilarated actually. I’m probably a huge pain in the arse to anyone taking the time to read this. Sorry, but today isn’t an introspective day. It’s simply a girl day.

November 23, 2010

New jeans, another milestone,

I gave in today and bought the jeans that I had been resisting. It’s not that I was resisting a given pair of jeans. I was fighting the idea of wearing jeans versus wearing skirts, dresses or leggings. I have been clinging to the fantasy that I can dress as a woman without regressing to jeans.

In my simple mind, my ideal would always be in skirts, dressed as attractively as possible. I wasn’t interested, or so I thought, in dressing at a level where the lines were so easily blurred. I wanted to be clearly feminine. As it turns out, that was just another milestone like so many others before it.

When I first gained the freedom to entertain my fantasy of dressing as a woman, the boundary was skirts and tops. I wore them because they were comfortable and they gave me a peace of mind that was missing otherwise. Then I progressed to adding shoes. The funny thing is; I had purchased shoes and nylons years ago, worn them when I could and eventually threw them out. I love nylons and shoes. I would spend a fortune on those two things alone if I was free to do so.

After the shoes and nylons, came the bras and the Walmart add-a-cup inserts. Of course, that didn’t suffice for long. I ordered a set of forms from Stephanie’s Bosom Buddies. Those arrived the day I was leaving for a cross-country drive. It’s hard for me to believe that it was only April of this year that I got those. I have grown so much in the past few months.

While I was on the road, I wore the skirts and tops. I was a man in a dress more or less. I didn’t have a wig, or make-up. I didn’t have underwear and I wasn’t completely comfortable with the forms yet. I was comfortable in the clothes.

Over the summer I added a wig, make-up, and enough underwear to last a month, more nylons, more pairs of shoes and four dresses, plus leggings and the appropriate long tops for them. Now I’m not comfortable if I’m not complete.

The transition to wearing bras and forms was a milestone. It took me from being a man in woman’s clothing to someone who wanted to be seen as a woman. The wig was part of that same change in thinking. The make-up was another milestone. It meant that not only did I want to be seen as a woman but I wanted to be seen as an attractive woman, all things considered. I wanted to be seen as someone who cared for herself.

The underwear and tucking was another milestone because it meant that I was completing the picture, even if it couldn’t be seen by observers. I knew that I was working on a complete transformation. I wasn’t a faker, I was trying to be as real as I could.

I began to buy my own jewelry because I wasn’t finding anything I liked in my wife’s. A trip or two to the mall and I had the beginnings of a selection, another mental milestone.

My two journeys out of the house were also milestones because I was prepared to involve myself in the real world as I wanted to be seen rather than as I had been for the past 50 years. The journeys out also drove home the point that real women wouldn’t always be wearing skirts or dresses; that I had to accept the need for slacks and jeans in my wardrobe.

Today I bought the jeans. Now I can wear them with the other parts of my wardrobe and not stand out quite so quickly as the only dress for miles around.

Each of the milestones has been significant for me. Each has meant that I am changing, changing how I see myself, changing what I see as acceptable, acknowledging that this is not a flash-in-the-pan indulgence. Each milestone has meant that I have surrendered a bit of my masculinity and adopted a part of my femininity.

I have a pair of pant shoes with heels that I will be trying on tomorrow with my new jeans. I tried the jeans on “just quickly” when I got home. I have no “behind”. I wonder how I’m going to fix that. I’m looking forward to seeing casual Sarah tomorrow. I thought she was just a business attire or dressy girl. Now she has another facet. It should be interesting.

November 18, 2010

I’m here to stay

After my 5 days of opportunity which included 2 trips out of the house in full dress, I felt like I had reached a plateau, a point that I probably wouldn’t regress beyond. It felt a bit like reaching the high board in diving. Once there, why would you want to dive from the lower board? I think anyone who has progressed through a set of skills probably understands what I’m trying to say.

After Sunday, there didn’t seem to be a point to dressing “just for the house”. There wouldn’t be anyone to interact with. I was aided in this delusion by the number of errands I had, that required me to be in male attire. The delusion of not needing to dress didn’t keep me from shopping for short boots though. I recognized that part of the problem with the leggings (on Saturday evening) was the inappropriate shoes for the season. Leggings and heels are fine in the spring, summer or fall, but for the winter, leggings need a short boot (or a tall one, your preference) so that portions of your bare foot aren’t showing. It’s just my opinion.

While I was out, running from store to store, I stopped into a couple of shoe stores to check out boots. I was deterred from by a really nice ankle boot in Payless, black, decent heel, pointed but not elongated, with a fold-down top so that they appeared (slightly) like they were longer but collapsed. I didn’t buy them because they were $84.00 and I couldn’t justify the expense for something I might wear a couple of times. And, I kept telling myself, when are you going to get another opportunity for a full-scale outing? Probably not for months, there certainly aren’t any opportunities on the horizon.

Here we are. It’s Thursday. Every-one went to work. I did my dishes, tidied in the house and had my shower. Any guesses how I dressed to come to work? Yup, here I am, skirt, nylons, shoes, bra, forms, and top. I didn’t bother with the wig or the make-up because I have to go out again in a couple of hours but I couldn’t resist dressing. I’ve also noticed that I’ve stopped calling it cross-dressing. It may be cross-dressing to those who are trying to describe it or slot me, but it is just dressing to me. At any other point in time, if I am in male attire, I am not dressed. I may be casual, or slovenly, possibly even tidy and presentable, but I am not dressed until I am wearing feminine attire

I guess this means that it is not going away anytime soon. Addiction when it is used to describe behaviour is a recurring compulsion to engage in some specific activity , despite harmful consequences, as deemed by the individual himself, to his health, mental state, or social life. I think this dressing qualifies as a behavioural addiction. If it became public it certainly would be harmful in the short-term and probably in the long-term as well. I can’t see my parents inviting Sarah to their home. However, and I’m clearly not a psychologist, so forgive me, the flip side of this compulsion is the comfort I get from it. I am at peace when I am dressed as a woman. Perhaps the true psychological harm is what I am doing to myself by not being true to what I feel. I was raised by W.A.S.P. fire & brimstone parents. I know Martin Luther died centuries before my parents were born, but I swear he was watching them as he drafted his comments on the Protestant work ethic. I was raised to work, contribute, support my family, raise my children and conform to the expectations of those in whose realms I existed. Pleasure is what you got from doing all these things. It is this expectation of rigid conformity that has shaped my life until now.

 Thanks to all the contributors at Crossdressers with their advice about tucking. Many suggested buying thongs one size too small to hold everything “up”. While it is far from perfect, it does work for loose skirts and it’s effect is reinforced by tight pantyhose. It is more comfortable than tape.

So, hello world, I’m Sarah. I exist. I am real and I will continue to be real. Now I have to go and do my host’s work so that he can afford to indulge me with a pair of short boots for my leggings.

November 14, 2010

Some one called me a man in a dress, I’m empowered

Yesterday was my first ever foray out of the house. I posted my thoughts afterwards in Crossdressers, and just as so many wrote, I went back out tonight. To keep a long story short, I hadn’t planned to but there was too much about last night that needed examining.

Tonight, I went to the main street of a nearby small city and went for a walk. Dress, pantyhose and low heels, far more comfortable in so many ways. By the end of the walk I was eager to interact with another human being. Away I went to a convenience store for milk, and gum.

On my way from the coolers to the front, two women came through the door. Both looked at me and one commented “I see the ladies are out tonight”. I ignored them, went to the counter, paid for my purchase and headed for the door.  From my right somewhere I heard, “See I told ya, that’s a man”.

I have never dealt well with embarrassment. it has kept me from doing many things in my life, but a funny thing happened on the way to the door. I honestly didn’t feel embarrassed. I didn’t flush. My heart didn’t race. I didn’t shake.

I am empowered. It was my choice to go out dressed as I was. I knew the facade was a weak one, in need of work and practice, but I didn’t crumble and that makes me happy.

All the way home I slammed them for being candidates for Walmart People. …

It started with; How can you tell?

  • I’m in a dress, you don’t own one.
  • I use foundation to mask my beard, you don’t.
  • My hair is clean and brushed, yours isn’t.
  • I’m wearing make-up, you don’t own any.
  • I’m driving a truck, you’re driving a 92 Bonneville that hasn’t been washed anymore recently than you have.

 That aside, I know all my physiological signs of distress and embarrassment. There wasn’t a single one. I entertained the thought for a moment of a counter-comment but realized quickly that I had brought this on my own head. I wasn’t even remotely passable and I went out into a public place. The two women, neither of them appearing to be stellar citizens of the city were entitled to comment. That is the cross that I chose to bear when I went out. But I can’t say it enough, I didn’t panic. I wasn’t shaking, that’s one of my very first “tells”. If my voice shakes or my hands shake, I’m nervous. When I used to speak in public, people often commented on how composed I looked. I always said; watch my hands, I’m not composed. I always used a podium so the notes didn’t magnify my hands shaking. I would hide behind it until I got underway. Today there was no reaction to being commented on.

I didn’t blog about the first night out. It wasn’t auspicious in any way at all. I went to a small town, artsy, with pretensions, and walked their main street, looking in the shop windows. I wore a pair of heels that were too high to be comfortable on the cracked and uneven sidewalk. My wig is wrong for me, I can’t keep the bangs out of my face and I can’t pin them back without looking like something from the Little Rascals. Because it was my first trip, all of the minor things that were wrong were exaggerated by my state of nerves. I didn’t last very long before I was back in the truck and on the way home.

When I got home, I set up my camera to take pictures of my different outfits. I learned that; a] I don’t know how to pose for the camera; b] I’m never going to be a supermodel. The pictures were nearly laughable. I put everything away and decided to take a break from dressing while I did a reality check.

My post at Crossdressers generated over a dozen comments, many of which said that I under-estimated the value of what I had done and that I would be back at it soon, seeking more. My thought in response was; I doubt that.

The evening arrived and almost without thought, I knew I had to dress in a different outfit, different shoes and try it again.

I knew going out the door that my make-up was horribly applied. My foundation is the wrong color for my complexion. I don’t think it was properly blended. My beard still showed as a different skin tone than the rest of my face. My wig isn’t right for my face and the long bangs hang in my face too easily and too often.

But I choose a different dress and away I went. I was the only skirt on the street. Every other woman was in pants. Some were in wool caps and mitts. I wasn’t going to blend. Arguably, a woman in a dress, alone, could be walking from or to a restaurant, so I toughed it out. I had to go by a number of pubs. Most had men outside smoking as I approached. As I closed in and passed by, I would either look down and let my hair fall into my face, or reach my hand up and fiddle with my hair, effectively blocking my face. None of them gave me a second look that I was aware of. None of them said anything.

After the walk, as I wrote, I was eager to interact with a stranger. I went to a coffee shop drive-thru. The girl who served me showed nothing on her face to indicate she noticed anything unusual. She may not even have really looked. I scouted out a grocery store but it was Sunday evening and the one I looked at was far too busy for me to struggle into and out of. The milk is always way at the back and there were bound to be line-ups. I wasn’t ready for that. Besides I was still close enough to home to cross paths with people I know. A slim possibility but a real possibility, so I passed on the grocery store.

I chose a convenience store and in I went. I picked a parking slot away from the door so that I could get out of the truck and walk across the lot. I worried, as I reached for the door, that the attendant may think I was a robber-in-disguise and hit the hold-up alarm, but he didn’t. I crossed paths with my fate and carried on. I walked out calmly, returned to my truck, took off my outer coat before getting back in, and headed home.

This was quite frankly, an amazing experience. Now I look forward to improving my make-up, working on my feminine traits versus my male pattern behaviour. Now I’m wondering when and where I’m going to get the chance to do this again.

I am exhilerated, me, the absolute master of deadpan, the one accused of not having emotions, I’m thrilled to the core of my soul.

November 9, 2010

Am I man or woman?

The insanity of life is often worth mentioning. I have made mention before, of participating in university courses. I’m trying to complete a degree program. The insanity of that exercise is that I’m retired now so the degree itself will not be of any concrete benefit. I returned to the program when I retired, because I promised myself I would. I quit the program when I was working because I couldn’t manage work and the schooling. Working towards the degree when I was still employed was supposed to give me a “leg-up” in the competitive promotional process. I had the educational component looked after but I never managed the political side of things.

All the “silver lining” people out there will be saying that I can congratulate myself for returning to undone business and finishing it. But the degree itself is not the subject of this blog.

One of the exercises in a course recently completed was an introspective essay based on the theories of behaviour studied. The essay was worth over 1/3 of the total mark for the course. I put what I thought was a decent effort into the work.

I know what my mental state is. I am no longer confident that I am a male. I may be a “woman at heart”. This is a state of mind that has flowed from the urge to cross-dress. As the cross-dressing progressed so did the gender confusion. What I’m not sure about is the why of it. Is it because I truly believe that I am a woman living in a man’s body? Or is it because I so detest my male life and behaviour, that I want to commit the ultimate escape of changing my sex. Then I can deny my history and my mistakes, and start fresh.

My libido is next to non-existent. This is a fact that I live with every day. I have no urge to engage in sex with my wife. She has adapted and accommodated my short-comings so far, but she warns that sex is an integral part of her drives and it must be.

My wife is a beautiful woman and a beautiful person, I would dearly love to have her as a friend, woman to woman. She has made it clear, in the conversations about sex, that she doesn’t want a room-mate. She wants a man as her partner. If (or when) I am exposed as a cross-dresser, latent homosexual, potential transsexual, I’m sure it will mean the end of this relationship. This relationship doesn’t have the strength to be that flexible.

In completing a variety of personality quizzes and in being assessed (at a different point in time) I know of my lack of caring and compassion for others. I know of my conflicting traits of lacking self-confidence but engaging in high risk behaviours. I suffer from clinical depression. I’ve been diagnosed as ADD but high functioning. I’ve been assessed as having a Borderline Personality Disorder. Personally I wonder if further testing might have changed the diagnosis to Schizoid or possibly Schizotypal Disorder.

But enough about me, knowing all these things about myself, I wrote a reasonably accurate introspection. I set out the quizzes I had completed and I “ball-parked” the scores. Honest accuracy might get me barred from the school. I applied the theories and provided my recommendations.

The feedback for the essay complimented me for my use of humor to entertain while still making it clear that I understood the work and could apply it to real-life examples. In spite of the issues I have with self-confidence and self-esteem, I was complimented on the display of confidence apparent throughout the paper, a confidence that was credited with being integral to my success.

I know I’m a bag of broken toys. I also know that I can put on a hell of an act, given a chance to get the lines and cues right. The world doesn’t see it. The world only sees what it expects to see. I could go on acting until I die and no one would ever know the person under the clothes. I can appreciate what actors mean when they talk about taking a role home with them.

Now the question for me to ponder is; what is real? Am I acting when I portray the man or have I slipped a cog, and I’m acting when I cross-dress?

My wife says that I’m never happy. She asks if I know why, or if I know what it would take for me to be happy. I have to answer that I don’t know why and I’m not sure what it would take. Silently I wonder to myself if everyone is entitled to be happy. Is everyone even mentally capable of knowing happiness? Are some of us destined to be morose dark individuals who can only ever look in on the laughter and never be part of it? Or, would I be happy if I could express myself as a woman and all the conflict in my life is due to never being what I should have been?

These are just some thoughts or today. For what it’s worth, I’m leaning towards “I could be happy if I lived as a woman” but nothing in this world is sure except death and taxes, and that’s the easy answer.

November 3, 2010

Time is my adversary & work must be done

Time is my adversary today. It is one of the few days that everyone has gone off to work in the morning as they are expected to. So it is one of the few days that I have the luxury of dressing completely. I can take my time out of the shower to make sure my shave is close. I can layout my make-up and take my time with the application and I can choose the clothes with the knowledge that I am going to spend the day in them. It has to be something fitted. I have to feel them around me, on me, wrapping me. But later, I have to take it all off and go out to work-related appointments. So I’m relishing the moment.

It is my yoga, to dress in women’s clothing; it brings the same calmness of mind that I expect is the goal for yoga. I’ve tried it but it never clicked for me. I probably wasn’t giving it the effort and focus that it requires and deserves. Regardless, I slip into the same state as I dress. The body relaxes, the breathing is deep and slow, not the quick, shallow breaths that otherwise keep me alive. I’m sure, although I’ve never measured it, that my blood pressure drops and my pulse slows.

Today’s treat is a new pair of gray tights to complement the balloon dress. The shoes are the high (for me) heels. Once dressed, and while working, I will find reasons to get up and get things, so that I can walk about the house in these heels. The balloon dress is loose-fitting but my tuck is in place, another milestone. I’m sure that if I were in leggings, my front would be smooth as is expected. I wore a tuck yesterday while hiking. I was in men’s casual pants so it was invisible to everyone but I knew I was tucked and it stayed in place for an hour long walk. I consider that progress.

With my coffee in hand, I settled in to do some work for my host. I really messed up his month of October. He has very few billable hours. I think I was having a mini-crisis of some sort. It’s too long a post to go into here and now, but for most of October, I was at the forefront. My host was relegated to the background, even when we weren’t dressed. At some point in the last week of the month, I adjusted to the “state of being”.

What I mean is; I can exist, I can continue to be present in greater and greater measures but “the work” still needs to be done. Felicity commented on this when she read one of my earlier posts; how (for me) Sarah wants to do “Sarah” things when she has the opportunity, rather than simply spend her day doing the “same old” for the host. If Sarah is going to be present for the greater number of waking hours, then Sarah has to do the work. In the real world, the work still needs to be done. The mental adjustment is that the work cannot be thought of as “the host’s work”. It is Sarah’s work, done in the host’s name. It pays the bills and it buys my clothes. So it is my work and it needs to be done by me.

Another little side-note to all those who think that they are successfully deceiving their spouses; my wife has always said that I have two voices on the phone, (when she’s listening to me talk to others). I have my man voice and I have my woman voice. According to her, I talk to men with my man voice and women with my woman’s voice. I always thought she was hearing weirdly, but, recently she has raised an eyebrow when I’m on the phone because my woman’s voice has become the predominant. She commented that I am speaking more softly, less aggressively, not as commanding or directive. Something for you to consider when you think you are getting away with it..

November 1, 2010

Angst, under-dressing & camisoles

Angst, (n) an acute but non-specific sense of anxiety or remorse, is a good word to begin today with. Angst is what I am feeling, but out of angst comes under-dressing, a first for me. My Saturday and Sunday were spent in close company with family. These are the people from whom I keep this greatest of secrets. Although I’m sure that once it is out, my wife will say it is not entirely a surprise.

I tolerate the male attire over the weekend frankly, because there is no alternative. They do not all go away at the same time and in fact because it is their weekend, they tend to stay home. Teenagers with part-time jobs will stay home and watch television or play video games before they will go anywhere entertaining that costs them money. My wife has been in a pressure cooker environment for 5 days so she isn’t going anywhere either.

I look forward to Monday morning and an empty house. I have an opportunity to come out of the shadows and into the light of day. Last week I wrote of our house guest, a young man in need of a refuge from the results of his own actions. I expected that he would resolve his situation over the weekend and be gone by today. It isn’t so. To make matters worse, his employer, a construction company is slowing down for the winter season so his hours are being reduced.

This morning I got up to find him already reclining on the couch watching the Military channel. My wife wouldn’t let me change the channel to our normal morning news and talk show. This is the beginning of angst. She caters to him because it feeds her maternal drive to mother and protect whether it is right in the circumstances or not. I believe it is time for us to draw his attention to the difference between refuge and habitation. This is ground zero for an argument. The irony will be if she decides to allow him to live here for the next few months and I end up with two teenagers hanging around the house all day. My privacy will be completely gone.

Once I realized that I was going to have company for the entire day, I had to control my reaction. For observers, it is out of proportion to the issue of a teenager being in the house. I muted it, something that I have been doing my entire life, if you’ve read anything I’ve written about living my entire life according to social expectations. Then I adapted. I was just going to tuck and put on a dressy thong (versus day to day plain) because I need to practice the tuck. I’ve read a host of different web-pages and tried a couple of different ideas but I need practice. I need to be sure the tuck is effective and secure for a reasonable period of time and that it is easily repairable if it un-tucks. Once the thong was on, I yearned for the feel of nylon on my legs so out came the pantyhose. I thought about putting on tights and hoping they passed as socks but I guessed they would be too warm under pants. After the nylons, I went for a camisole under my tee-shirt. There isn’t any bra, no forms, no make-up and there isn’t any wig but that is only rational under the circumstances.

There is a sense of comfort in under-dressing. This is something that I’ve rarely done. On a couple of occasions I have worn pantyhose under pants at work, maybe twice in over 30 years and for a period of time I wore women’s panties instead of men’s underwear, while at work but again that was mere weeks in the face of years.

I was a police officer before I retired. I believed the work environment to be narrow-minded, harshly judgmental and un-accepting of overt homosexuality or cross-dressing. I was always fearful that if I slipped up and was discovered, that I would probably be ridiculed out of the job. I don’t mean to say that the derision would be enough to drive the average person out, but I score high on neuroticism in any personality quiz based on low self-esteem so I wouldn’t (probably) have had the ability to deal with the embarrassment.

For those who are gay, cross-dressers, transgender or transsexual; within the G.T.A. (Greater Toronto Area), these attitudes have changed significantly over the past decades. Organizationally any kind of bias or prejudice is not tolerated and for the most part, the street officers themselves are far more open-minded and accepting. There still are Neanderthals out there but even they know that their attitudes are out-of-line and they have to conform to organizational norms or expect sanctions. I know there are still incidents but at least the offenders can be expected to be sanctioned now when the issues are reported.

So, I’m under-dressing in my own house. I will close with an amusing anecdote from the weekend. Early in my shopping, I bought three camisoles, varying in color and the amount of lace edging. After some time, I put them away because I didn’t wear them very often. Later again, I sorted through my clothes and took some wrong size, wrong style clothes off to the Goodwill. More recently, I went looking for the camisoles and couldn’t find them. I hunted high and low with no success. I’ve written before about being diagnosed as ADD and being certain that my un-doing will be my lack of attention to detail. I thought this was going to be the detail.

On Saturday morning, I was in my closet, (a walk-in) getting clothes to wear for a morning appointment, talking to my wife who was in the other room. I chose a shirt that I rarely wear because I don’t like the effect of the pattern. As I unbuttoned it and pulled it off the hanger, there was one of the camisoles, hanging from the inner hanger hooks. My moment of panic was followed by a hasty grab and the camisole was shoved away in a drawer.

Once my appointment was done and I was back home, I dedicated some time to “tidying up my closet” and “sorting out summer and winter clothes” but you know what, I couldn’t and haven’t yet found the other two camisoles. It just constantly lurks in the back of my mind, that if I don’t find them under circumstances of my choosing, I’m going to find them under less suitable circumstances.

I know the Commandments say thou shalt have no other God before me, and I’m good with that, but if any of you happen to be praying to the Saint of clothes or closets, could you ask him (or her) to pass along a hint to me, as to where those other two camisoles are. Thanks, much appreciated.

And now, (big drum rolllllllllll), I’m going out shopping (groceries) under-dressed just for the self-satisfaction.

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