Sarahjanus's Blog

December 21, 2011

New boots and “on being me”

Filed under: crossdresser, shopping — Tags: , , , , — Sarah Michelle @ 5:37 pm

Finally, after what feels like months of searching, I finally found a pair of season appropriate boots. The boots don’t really qualify as “winter” boots for a Canadian winter. They are not lined and they do have a significant heel. The lack of lining means the boots will be worn from the car to the mall and not much further, although I will be able to wear them in the city as long as it isn’t too cold. The heel means they will be treacherous in slippery conditions, especially if the ground is “broken” or uneven. However, the boots fit, and they fit properly. I have been in and out of dozens of shoe stores looking for just the right boot, tall, tight to the leg, and a wide size which is unfortunately rare. Going up a size to get the width has proven to be the wrong choice too many times in the past. The shoes often fail to stay on my feet when I’m actually walking, as compared to just moving about the house.

I’ve written previously about being out during the day. It was a recent milestone and one that can only be described as “casting off a burden”. My spirit was lighter, brighter and consistently happier since that experience. Today I had to do my Christmas shopping and I had a bona fide reason to travel a distance from my home. A specialty item was only available in one store, and once there I remained in the area to do the rest of my shopping. I was making some returns, before the gifts were even given. The items were discovered to be wrong for one reason or another. I also had to do the “liquor run”. We don’t drink much in our house, so when we play host to a couple of dozen people, there is always a healthy list of staples, and curiosities that need to be acquired. All of the guests like to be able to make their “drink of the moment” for the gathering.

Back to the theme; being away from my hometown allowed me an opportunity to blur the lines again. I dressed in women’s jeans, and a top that wasn’t outrageously feminine but wasn’t male attire either. I took a man purse (shoulder bag) and wore a pair of shoes with flat square toes and blatantly obvious heels. What were absent were the breast forms, the wig and the make-up.

My first stop was a Winners/HomeSense megastore, where I had to return and replace an item with one of the proper size. It being just before Christmas, the parking lot was full and chaotic. I had to park far further from the store than I would have preferred. Doing so was a double edged event. It meant that I had an opportunity to adjust to the shoes and heels before I entered the store. I have learned not to assume that all heels are the same when walking. On the other hand, it meant I was clearly visible to cars and pedestrians coming and going, which is somewhat intimidating.

The feeling of being observed turned out to be an irrelevant issue. I’ve written before about the sense of “completeness” that I feel when dressed in a feminine manner. I wrestle with the proper terms to use and I struggle to find a better description than “completeness” so bear with me. I don’t want to say that I feel like a woman when I’m dressed as such because I don’t truly know what a woman feels. But I do feel very different when dressed “en femme” or in clearly female clothing. I feel natural and complete.

Once I was out of the car and had straightened my jeans, shouldered my purse, and taken the first few steps, I was not concerned about the stares of others. I felt “right” and because of that, I was able to disregard the stares. I went into the shop, accomplished my goals, walked the aisles, stood in the impossibly long check-out line and knew that I was the subject of looks and whispered comments. I am so much stronger now, more confident. The looks didn’t make me nervous. I didn’t cringe. I didn’t flush or blush. I simply was and wished that I could continue to be.

I went from that store to a liquor outlet and a major mall and from there to Costco and Wal-Mart. I loved my being for the entire time. It felt so good to be completely natural in my presentation and behaviour. I started this blog on Monday, added to it Tuesday, and here we are on Wednesday and I have no opportunity to complete it properly. So, it will be posted as is. Merry Christmas to those who are Christian, Happy Hanukah to those of the Jewish faith, Happy Holidays to everyone-else.

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December 11, 2011

Walking in the Sunshine

 

Milestones are what bring me back to this blog. If there are no milestones, there are no entries. Sad, but true. I have the same problem with Facebook. Although I check the site regularly and I avidly read the posts of others, I only rarely initiate a post myself. My thought is that what I have to say will not be remotely interesting to those who have chosen to be my friends. So, I choose not to waste their time.

My cross-dressing has settled into a niche amongst my activities. The Last Child Left (LCL), although still at home is now working regularly, so the house is mine all day, Monday to Friday. I can dress in the morning with confidence that no one will interrupt my day. I took advantage of a recent trip to the city to drop in a Wildside, the only store I know in Toronto that caters to cross-dressers and T.Gs.

I left with a new wig, and some double-sided tape, which is what I went in there for, and a plaid skirt. I would say “kilt” but I did see the thread about kilts and plaid skirts on Crossdressers.com, so skirt it is. The skirt became the basis for an outfit that resulted in a new Facebook picture. I still haven’t remembered how to smile so the pictures leave a bit to be desired yet.

The new wig is different from its predecessor in two ways. First, it’s gray rather than the auburn, and second, it is shorter and straight, versus long and curly. I didn’t feel completely comfortable in the first wig. The second is more age appropriate. I got some instructions on how to manage the longer wig, and I bought a foundation recommended for covering beard shadow. I left there a happy shopper only to get back to my car and find a $60 parking tag. I didn’t notice that my car intruded into a No Standing Zone when I positioned it. I paid at the meter but to no avail.

Enough of the preamble. I love the gray wig. It feels so me. I am happy with the foundation. It does a great job of covering a cleanly shaved face. Strangely, when I returned to the auburn wig, I was far more comfortable with it. I don’t understand it really. Thursday evening past, I took the time to sort through all my clothes and put together “an outfit”. I also put on a set of French manicure nails. I wore the outfit all day Friday and I was in heaven. I wanted the day to last forever. It didn’t.

Saturday I had no opportunity to dress, but as you may have assumed, my wife is away, so my opportunities have expanded tremendously for a short time. Sunday was another opportunity. Although it was a cold and somewhat windy day, the sun was shining brightly. Dressing and staying in the house was going to be exceptionally frustrating, so I didn’t. The idea wasn’t completely hatched on Sunday. I had shopped Friday and Saturday for a winter coat, and I found one that was sufficient although certainly not my first choice. I’m learning that I have expensive taste in clothes.

Sunday afternoon, I chose my clothes, put on my make-up and wig, “borrowed” a purse and went out the door. I drove to the city, far enough from home that I was unlikely to meet anyone I knew. For the first time, I walked in the streets in daylight en femme. It felt like it was meant to be. I thought to myself, that this is the way I should always be.

There is a less positive line of thought that goes with the experience. It has to do with how I believe others see me, which is as an imposter, not as the genuine article, but I need to work on convincing myself that I am the genuine article albeit that article is a man in women’s clothing. But that is another subject for another day. Every step along the way affirms that I could live as a woman and be very happy doing so except for the huge hurt that it would cause those who love me and support me.

 

February 14, 2011

Found dress, need money!

Without a doubt, the first order of business is to wish everyone a –  Happy Valentine’s Day.

There’s a Grrrrrr, that goes in here and an apology. The Happy Valentine’s Day is supposed to be in WordArt, colorful and flowing. The four pictures are supposed to be in the body of the blog, but both tasks are beyond my technical capability for the moment. I’ll work on this later. Sorry…

It is a Monday, so it is a joyful day for me. My S.O. has gone off to work and the L.C.S. is still sleeping. I could rush upstairs, shower and dress knowing I have at least a few hours to enjoy being the same on the outside as I am on the inside.

On the other hand, I am happy just in the knowledge that I can do that. The Canadian winter has taken one of its rare breaks for Southern Ontario. The temperature this morning is above the freezing mark. The dogs are enjoying the yard. I was able to sweep the buildup of bird seed from the deck (as compared to it being part of the ice and snow). My spirit is light and bright this morning. Sarah is upon me even without the clothes.

I was shopping through E-bay last week, looking at the dresses. While I do peruse the mainstream stores’ online catalogues, the online catalogues are always more complete than any single store, I also like to sift through the billions of listings in E-bay to see the true variety that is available. Once the mainstream stores adopt a style for the season, you, as the shopper, are screwed if the colours are wrong for your complexion, or the styles are wrong for your age or body. At least with E-bay, if you know what works on your body, you can find the dress.

My indulgence is to dress in the house. I’m not (yet, and maybe never) an intrepid explorer who is going out on the town “en femme”. So, while a few of my dresses are a touch dressy for the daytime, most everything falls in the business-casual category. I could wear most of it to an office job. I also have the casual skirts for summer, and jeans and leggings for other moments.

I’ve always maintained that my style was conservative and age appropriate. I can’t and shouldn’t emulate Britney Spears or Lady Gaga, and although age appropriate, I shouldn’t copy Madonna either. I’ve wrestled with what I should look like if I wanted to make an entrance. If I ever had the opportunity and/or summonsed up the courage to attend a cross-dresser’s event, like Xpressions in Toronto, or one of the multi-day events in the States, what would I wear? Would I dress ultra-conservatively and try to fit in with all the other mature women? Or would I break out and make an entrance?

After Friday’s excursion through E-bay, I know what I would do. I would wear a “Betty Paige” dress. In my mind these are the epitome of the inner me. Setting aside that three of the four dresses displayed are black, I’m still wrestling with that past habit, the style of these dresses truly “speaks to me”. This is what I want to look like, (sans the tattoos, I’m not a fan of tattoos for either gender). If I were going to dress for dinner, this is what I would want to wear. If I were on a cruise, like the one out of New Orleans, that is cross-dresser friendly, and wanted to walk the decks in the moon-light after drinks in the bar, these are what would be in my closet.

As I write, I’m chuckling with the irony of reality vs. fantasy. Yesterday, I sat through the movie, Sex and the City 2. It was a rental chosen by the L.C.S. No one is yet clear why. He wasn’t asked to get a movie when he went out, but he returned with SATC2. It became Sunday night’s viewing.

I was invited to join my S.O. as she watched it. It was a bit of a Godfather style invitation, “make him an offer he can’t refuse”, so I got my drawing materials and settled in. I never watched the original series, probably because I was still in my testosterone stage, reluctant to watch anything that didn’t include guns, ships or aircraft. My S.O. describes it differently. According to her, unless it crashed, blew up, burned or sank with mass casualties, I wouldn’t watch it.

I didn’t enjoy the movie. I will admit that from what I know of the program, Charlotte York (Kristin Davis) is my favorite character. She is probably closest to the ideal that I would aspire to, if I were to transition to a woman. I qualify the choice, because if I were a genetic girl, I may have a different opinion. I found the movie loud and contrived, but I did identify with Charlotte and her sense of style. Although I didn’t watch the series, I was exposed to television reviews and clips of the program, as well as some of the thousands of tabloid articles, and Charlotte has always been my favorite. As you can see from the dresses on this page, her style is a big part of that choice.

When you look at the Betty Paige and Tatyana dresses, you’ll see that the models are all wearing (fairly) clunky shoes. The shoes look big and heavy. They’re probably not a good choice for a cross-dresser whose feet are already at the wrong end of the scale. I’d have to pair the dresses up with something much lighter-looking in style and material, something that I thought would make my foot look smaller.

Funny thing, this is something I’ve done all my life. Here’s another realization brought on by writing. I have always shopped for shoes that could be described as gender-neutral. My S.O. has commented on more than one occasion that, even though I choose men’s shoes, I regularly choose shoes that she thinks are effeminate. She will say so when I buy them and she will say so when I select them to wear out. I have been told (asked) to change my shoes because she thinks the ones chosen are not manly. Her favorites are the big heavy man shoes; mine are the light, small, less gender-specific ones. So, again, although my journey into cross-dressing is relatively recent, it appears that the preferences have been there forever.

Once upon a time, while I was working, and on the occasions that I had the opportunity to wear jeans to work, I remember one particular testosterone-fueled little rooster in the office who could never let me pass without commenting that I must be wearing women’s jeans because mine were “way too tight” to be men’s. Again, at the time, I didn’t think anything of it, other than I didn’t think my jeans were too tight and I wore them as I liked them. They weren’t women’s jeans but they were tight. I ignored him about the jeans because most of his time was spent judging others and pointing out their deficiencies.

Now, I have two pair of women’s jeans, one pair stretchy and tight enough to nearly be leggings (or jeggings, to be accurate). I know what he meant now. I also know I prefer women’s jeans over men’s, and I like them tight. Tight is comfortable for me as long as the material isn’t stiff and heavy. Again, obviously my preferences were finding ways to reach the surface even when I wasn’t aware of them.

I just wanted to write a short note to say that I had found a source of clothing for the style that existed in my head and my fantasies. I’ve rambled on and on. I apologize to anyone who has struggled through all of this in the hopes of finding something meaningful. This is just me; Sarah. I can ramble on at length about inconsequential things. This last dress is my favorite. I can live without the flower but I love the dress. Did I ever actually get to the irony of watching and disliking SATC2? I dislike the characters with the one exception. I’m not wowed by the storylines. But, in my own way, I am (or would be) as much of a fashionista as any one of them, if I had the chance and the money. I would be a shopaholic. I would need a walk-in closet for the clothes and the shoes. I could end up being a high-maintenance effort.

Happy Valentine’s Day from a happy Sarah..,

December 7, 2010

Under-dressed and wore women’s jeans shopping

I wrote a quick post this morning out of frustration. I cannot convey to anyone other than those who also dress, the feeling of peace and comfort that I am imbued with, when I dress. This morning started as a near perfect day. The house emptied and I dressed. I wore pantyhose under the leggings because it is winter here and my feet seem to feel warmer in shoes with nylons, than without.

The sweater top was clinging to me. The wide belt at the waist was snug around me. I felt like I was securely wrapped in my own clothes. Not to mention, the snugness of the bra and the light weight of the forms. I put on a pair of heels. Even for walking about the house I wanted the pleasure of the heels rather than the comfort of the flats.

I was the complete picture, truly at home in clothes that match how I feel. I began the tedious task of sorting through e-mail and either saving it or disposing of it. That’s where I was when I was summonsed to be the taxi again.

I wrote the short post and went off to change. Now, I’m sure there are many cross-dressers out there who saw the option before I did, so I’ll let you have your “told you so”. I put away most of the outfit. It’s in a drawer rather than its storage box because I will be back into it tomorrow. As I was about to peel off the nylons, the penny finally dropped. Why am I not under-dressing? So I left the bright red panties with the bows, on. I left the nylons on, and I took out my women’s jeans to wear over them. I grabbed a pair of gender neutral runners and was out the door before I could take it a step too far.

I gathered up the last child standing and off we went to comparison shop for something he is intending to buy. We shopped through 4 big box stores including a Walmart before we returned home. I don’t think a single person took note of the jeans in any way, shape or form. I know this isn’t much to mention but it does show where my mind is going as my dressing progresses. I get more and more comfortable with female attire and accoutrements, so I very gently push the boundaries of where I am prepared to wear them.

I would have been in trouble today if my wife had decided that I needed to bring the last child standing to lunch. She would have picked off the jeans in a mille-second and I would have been on the hook for an explanation that doesn’t exist.

I will have to try the jeans again with a camisole and/or bra under the coat to complete the effort and, maybe the pants shoes that I have and have never worn.

My exam is over, my course is over, and my program is complete. I’m a bit lost. The continuing education has been a part of my life for some time and has always been present during my retirement. I have always had a pile of textbooks that need to be read, posts that need to be written for discussion boards and so on. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the extra time in every day.

There are some sharp rocks ahead in the river that is my life. Next week, all of the children (and their wives, significant others, interest of the moment and children) arrive home for the Christmas holiday. Not only will the peace and tranquility of the house be shattered on a never-before-seen level, but the chance of every-one being out at the same time, providing me with an opportunity to dress, is infinitesimal. It is so small that it counts for nothing. And, there is not going to be an opportunity for me to gather up my clothes and flee for a few hours. People will be arriving and leaving from next week until after the New Year.

Once the New Year is over, I have only a few weeks of regular absences of the last child standing before he is home during the day full-time and working evenings and weekends. With him home during the day and his mother home in the evening, I don’t see any easy opportunities in the foreseeable future. I can see myself running away on the filmiest of pretexts to get time dressed.

The alternative, of course, is to out myself and establish some time to exist. It’s an option that once was beyond consideration. Now it is a possibility that lives in my thoughts every day. What would my life become? How would I live? Would I find the happiness I am seeking? How destructive would my wife be in her hurt and anger? Can I avoid this forever? Isn’t it inevitable?

I don’t think I can put the genie back in the bottle but I am worried that this is just another of my self-destructive fixations. The therapist that we went to during one of our efforts to understand me said I had a pattern of sabotaging anything that looked like it might produce happiness for me. Apparently I don’t believe that I am entitled to be happy and when happiness appears on the horizon, I do what I can to sink it long before it can arrive. Sucks, but there is a ring of truth to it, I know from long experience that I am afraid to allow myself to be happy because as soon as I do, something nasty happens.

December 1, 2010

Letter to a sister lost; for now

            One of the facets of being neurotic, (apparently) is that your emotions are unstable. A neurotic is easily knocked off whatever emotion they are experiencing by minimal stimuli. This is what happened to me yesterday. I was driving back from my painting class and I was in a wonderfully relaxed mood. I have been making progress in this particular class and I find that the pastime causes the hours to fly by.

So far I haven’t let anybody-else see my work because I recognize the very juvenile nature of my efforts and I prefer to develop some skill before I open myself up to criticism. I guess that’s another facet of being neurotic.

Anyway, I was enjoying the drive home yesterday and feeling particularly girly even though I wasn’t dressed, not even under-dressed. The mood was on me. I wanted to have a conversation in the car with another woman. I wanted a woman to woman talk. I wanted to have someone in the car who would accept the far-fetched premise of me being a woman and just run with the moment. That was the basis for yesterday’s blog; a letter from a make-believe woman to a non-existent sister. When I got home, the feeling was still present and strong so I opened up a page and began to write. It was going to be a gushy almost Valley-girl narrative. I used the opportunity to tell my little joke, the one I have been dying to tell but never remember when I am writing.

Then I told about my wife’s not being receptive to the idea that a man can declare himself gay after 20 years of marriage to a woman, and that spun me off-course, as it is beginning to now. I lost the girly mood and wasn’t able to recover it. It has taken until now, almost 24 hours for me to recover it.

So, my letter to a sister who loves me as I am; I missed you yesterday. I really wanted to have you in the car with me. I was coming home from painting class, I know you’re laughing already, me painting. My skills require a small roller and a big drop-cloth, but I’m trying to learn. And no, you’re not going to see the paintings until I’m comfortable with the result. But the effort put a song in my heart and you know how rare that is.

I wish you had been with me. We could have shared a latte from Starbucks; I know you’re a sucker for those. They’re more fun in the summer when we can sit outside and carve the passers-by for the fashion faux pas. You make me laugh with that dry wit of yours, so quiet, so cutting.

And then, I drove by Winners. I drove right by. I didn’t stop to even browse the racks. When I think of how much stuff I’ve bought in the past few months, I almost feel guilty. So much of it is summer stuff so it’s going to sit in the drawer til next year.

But we could have gone in, just for the walk-around. You have a pretty good eye for stuff that works for me. Have you seen all the shoes I’ve accumulated, I mean, what am I going to do with them?

I have to end the letter here because it isn’t flowing the way the mood did for me yesterday. Yesterday I was light-hearted. I did have that song in my heart but I didn’t have anyone to share the moment with. I’ve been diagnosed as being clinically depressed and I am on a prescription for that. I am a flat-line emotionally on a day-to-day basis, apparently due to PTSD. I have forgotten how to laugh and I don’t even know how to smile anymore.  When I was taking the photos that I posted in Crossdressers.com and Facebook I struggled (and failed) to find the muscles that would let me smile.

So, having a song in my heart was a “red letter” day. I wanted, really wanted that accepting sister to be with me and share the moment. I am a closet cross-dresser whose wife will not be accepting and understanding and facilitating. If she finds out I will be alone. This is the cruel irony that passes for my life. As a female, I can find the joy in moments that I cannot find as a male. As a female, when I dress in the morning and set about my chores and my work, I am at peace with myself and I am lighter in spirit. As a female, I can open up and let emotions bubble to the surface and across my face.

When the mood is upon me again, I will write my letter from a make-believe woman to my sister who understands, and I will post it here because sharing is something that Sarah does. Friends are important to her. Thank you for reading

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.

October 29, 2010

The difference a day makes

It’s hard to believe the difference a day makes. Today I am at peace. The first days of this week were not the same. I’ve written before that my world begins when every-one in my house goes off to work or school and I’m relatively assured that they will abide by those schedules. That has been complicated this semester by our remaining student finishing the 09/10 school year one credit short of the requirement for graduation. He is completely unfazed by the matter. Like many of his friends, he doesn’t know what he wants as a career so he doesn’t know what college (or university) he should enroll in. Like his friends he planned to return for “a victory lap”, one semester in which he gets the required credit and not much else. Personally I think it has as much to do with a low stress semester in which he can party without consequence and troll for girls.

The end result for him is school from 9 to 11am and his part-time job. His work hours are all evenings or weekends so he has been underfoot more than he has been absent. Fortunately he prefers to spend the day with his contemporaries whose parents are both at work, so he often chooses not to come home until late in the day. I get a few risky hours from these social outings of his.

The whole thing went from bad to worse last week when one of his friends had an outburst of anger towards his mother that caused him to be temporarily ejected from the home. It is an entirely justified reaction by his mother. The young man has some serious mending to do before he goes home. However, being a life-long friend, he is staying with us. You guessed it; not in school, working part-time hours on an as-needed basis. When not sleeping he is reclined on our couch with the TV remote. Worse yet, he likes horror, scream flicks and the Military channel, so he alternates at every commercial break. My at-home office is on the main floor of a semi-open concept home so there is neither privacy nor quiet.

From Monday I have struggled with my mood. There is the base of frustration caused by losing my privacy. This aggravated by the noise levels, which I am reluctant to speak out about because he is a guest and under his own stress. My own children were always aware of my distress over loud music, television or video games. In crowded noisy social settings I’m allowed to escape occasionally to let the noise seep away and the silence seep back in.

The first two factors are severely aggravated by not being able to wear the clothes of my choosing. I wrote a post from my host’s point-of-view, saying that when I was present his work didn’t get done properly. I would have thought that not being able to dress all week would give him an opportunity to catch up. It didn’t. I was irritated all week and he accomplished nothing. I paced. I shifted from room to room, from chore to chore without actually finishing anything. I was an absolute horror all week, except for the trip out yesterday to shop. The intensity of the distress was startling. I cannot be denied for days on end anymore. I have to be out in the light of day or his life is miserable. I am in control of his life.

Last night our guest went out to a friend’s and he hasn’t returned yet. I’m guessing he is at work today. Although I wasn’t able to dress last night because I wasn’t sure where everyone-else was, I was more at peace and I did some work around the house. I would have been in slob clothes for housework anyway.

This morning, everyone was gone by the time I finished my shower. I already knew what I wanted to wear, the new shirt-dress from yesterday, and the leggings. I have a pair of black pumps with a rounded toe and a little bow on the front. The heels are decently high. These shoes have always been sloppy on my feet so when I bought the new shoes recently I bought the foam stick-on pads for the inside backs of these. They made all the difference. The shoes sit comfortably on my feet now. I took the time to do my make-up but I left the wig off. I added a nice pendant necklace that sits high in the open neck of the shirt. I know it’s over-dress for the house, but it is work-dress for me, and it is my only opportunity. I’m dressed appropriately for a trip to the mall. At least, it is appropriate for someone who cares about their appearance. I wouldn’t wear sweats or track pants to the mall even if I was going as a male.

I came downstairs relaxed, comfortable in who I am, at least while I am in the house. I cleaned up the breakfast dishes, did a quick tidy-up on the main floor and sat down at my computer. For all the years we have been together my wife has commented that I am always searching, that I never seem to know happiness. How tragic it is that she now tells her friends that I seem to be at peace these past few months. How tragic that I cannot tell her that I’ve found a greater, more consistent happiness that I have ever known before. For me to bring her into the world that I am happy in would shake her world to its very foundations. It would be a travesty. Even if I was myself during the day and returned to being her man when she came home, she would be distressed about how long I could live in two worlds. She would be distressed about how far my transition would go. She would be worried about her future, about ending up either alone or in a sexless marriage.

These are in the background for this morning. This morning I am gloriously calm, peaceful, and joyful in just being. Today is a beautiful day for me. I hope each of you can find some joy in your day as well.

October 28, 2010

I’m not the same as the other boys,

This is not a new thought, nor is it the first time I’ve mentioned it. Today I just want to explain it. The thought came back to me as I was driving through town on my way to a mall that is miles from where I would normally shop. I have been dispatched on a mission; to acquire an elusive size 10 top that is without a stitching error in the front shoulder seam. Most men would probably rebel or at least resist the request. It’s going to be nearly an hour of driving each way. I’m not the same as the other boys. I went willingly because it gave me a chance to shop in mainstream outlets far-away from home. I gave some thought last night and this morning to going “en femme” but that’s another story. Suffice to say, I didn’t.

The main road out-of-town to the highway is under construction. Today, they are paving, so traffic is sent weaving through rows of pylons like some downhill slalom for drivers. And just like the sport itself, some of us are good at slalom and others can’t quite see the line, which results in them either going really slowly or driving off the path and into the construction. The latter is much to the consternation of the green glowing workers who would like to go home at the end of the day. The former is much to the frustration of those of us who can see the line and the sweeping second-hand on the dash clocks of our cars. I am one of the former.

My difference lies in my own comparison with the laborers on the construction site. Dressed for the Canadian outdoors, quilted coveralls, banded with green reflective safety strips, liners under their construction hats, gloves for their hands, they have a rough-hewn quality about them that I once aspired to. I never worked in construction but I enjoy being outside working and when I dressed for the fall or winter, I felt manly, ready to go and hew wood or draw water. With worn jeans on my slender frame, tucked into high lace-up work boots, and gloves, folded and strategically placed in the back pocket of my jeans, I stirred more than one woman to bat her eyelashes and sashay by.

Unfortunately it wasn’t real. I would come back in the house, looking for something comfortable and in hindsight, gender neutral. It was all part of my life according to expectations.

Now I look at construction workers, truck drivers, gas station attendants and I accept that I am not like them. My sex drive has diminished as my cross-dressing has flourished. My wife is not happy. I look at “the men” I cross paths with and wonder why it is that they are comfortable being rough-edged, rough-spoken, and chauvinistic. I wonder what it is like to look at a woman and feel a “stirring in your loins”. I wonder what it feels like to be quickly aroused at the sight of a naked woman, your penis erect and ready. These days I rely on drugs, thank goodness for Viagra. The job gets done but it is without passion, it is function and release.

If ever freed from the bounds (not bonds) of this relationship, I would probably explore homosexuality as an alternative. I don’t have a physical yearning for sex with a man but I do have a chest-tightening, stomach-tingling desire to be loved as a woman by a man. On the other hand, perhaps, if I walk down this path, unencumbered by expectations and fear of judgments I may find that I am destined to be chaste, unable to bring a meaningful libido to any intimate relationship.

Post-script; The store I was sent to had the right top, and the store next door (Reitman’s) had a denim shirt-dress in my size that will look wonderful over black leggings. It was on sale and I couldn’t pass it up, so I have another new top.

October 26, 2010

The devil is in the details

The devil truly is to be found in the details. I bought a pair of plain low heel pumps on Saturday. I don’t really need another pair of shoes. I have seven pair as it is. I mean, really, how many pairs of shoes does a closet crossdresser need? That’s one of the riddles of life, how many is too many. Apparently seven isn’t too many.

I was shopping in a mall that is on a path I travel every few weeks. The mall is familiar but the chances of running into “one of the old boys from work”, or “that girl that we know, you know the one, she’s friends with” … are slim to nil. So I shop there feeling relaxed and with purpose. I don’t look over my shoulder to see who may be watching me go through a rack of blouses one by one.

I don’t want to get side-tracked here but men, when they are shopping for their wives, scan the displays and then ask the clerk for the right size. The clerk, if she is on commission, will then suggest two or three things that go with the first choice. This is a double bonus because the man has now done all of his gift shopping in one quick stop and the clerk has boosted her sales. I scan the displays, find my size, and then, I try to decide if it looks as good in an XL or 1X as the S does pulled tight over the mannequin.

The shoes, I tried them on (size 10) in the shoe store. I got a few looks, because I had to pull off my clunky great man shoes and socks to put the pump on a bare foot. It was snug but I figured they would stretch. I also probably got a few looks because I was in a predominantly visible minority mall and I’m white. The mall was probably 95% visible minority, Indian and South-east Asian, so I stood out, a bit. I may have been looked at a second time because I was trying on women’s shoes while dressed as a man. I’m not sure; it may have been a factor.

I bought the shoes. When I got back to my car, I put them on for the drive home, thinking they would stretch while I wore them and the discomfort wouldn’t be too much because I wasn’t standing in them. Surprisingly (not), that didn’t work. By the time I had driven 45 minutes, my feet were in pain. Off came the shoes, but I really liked the simple conservative look of them and the low heel was appealing. The next day, I was the first one up in the morning, so I went outside, to the driveway, and put the shoes on so that I could walk up and down the driveway to see if they stretched. No luck, my feet still hurt.

Yesterday, I gave up and took them back. Unfortunately (in terms of risk) I was going to the mall closest to my home, where I shop as a man and a husband but that mall has a Payless Shoes. In I went and returned the shoes, trying not to attract too much attention. Just before the transaction was complete, I asked if the store had the same shoe in a 10W and lucky me, they did. The 10W fits like a dream but I’ve now purchased shoes from a store my wife frequents, and in a size she couldn’t possibly wear. I’m betting on the greater world’s indifference to anything that I do.

The devil is in the details was a reference to tucking, but I got side-tracked to the new shoes. Of the three new dresses I bought last week, one is snug and one is form-fitting, (think sheath). I took some pictures of the form-fitting one and realized that I had an inappropriate bulge. I returned to the Crossdresser Forums for a quick review of the tucking lessons and was quickly and easily successful in hiding the bulge. It was too quick and too easy but that’s another story for another day. Today in the snug but fitted houndstooth, I am tucked. It is freaky easy to put the junk away and still not feel any discomfort.

October 25, 2010

A little bit about my day and the inside of my mind

I’m alive. In my mind the words are spoken in the shadowy chamber that saw Frankenstein come to life. He lumbered about absorbing stimuli and being amazed before being terrified. It’s just a bit of dramatic illustration to start off my day.

It’s followed by; we’re not alone. I’m not, not today. So I’m in male attire. I have difficulty with the “in drab” phrase used by many, although for most of my days in male attire, it is the most accurate description. If I’m not going out to meetings or appointments, I’m in slouch clothes, loose, shapeless, comfortable, and mismatched. Given the opportunity to dress as a woman, I am quite particular about my combinations of clothes and the neatness of the overall appearance. It is another of the idiosyncrasies of my personality.

I commented on someone-else’s blog earlier this morning and described myself as a crossdressing traditionalist. Even I had to smile at the conundrum that conjured up. It would probably have traditional traditionalists turning over in their graves.

Last week was consumed with completing assignments that were part of a university continuing education program I am enrolled in, followed by a couple of days in class. I had to write extensively and intensively because I am a protagonist. I’m also a procrastinator. So, while I had volunteered to take the lead in much of the research and writing for the groups I was assigned to, I also left a lot of the work until the last moment. Did you roll your eyes and think I’d made a mistake? I’m sure I have, it just wasn’t there.

I had hoped that today being Monday, the house would be empty, and I would be able to dress to my comfort level. I bought a third (new) dress last week and a pair of shoes on the weekend. The sales are killing me; I can’t stay out of the stores. The dress came from a trendy store. Once I got it home and tried it on; I found it to be shorter than I would normally be comfortable with. On the other hand, it is a good fit, very nice on, an Empire line with cap sleeves, a knit with a bit of stretch. My wardrobe is beginning to worry me. I have so much stuff squirreled away that I’m bound to make a mistake and leave something out.

Did I mention that I’m adult ADD? Yeah. My safety net when I’m not being secretive is to tell people that I’m going to overlook one or two significant details in pretty much anything I do. So, if they are working collaboratively with me, it’s in their best interests to proof my work carefully and not assume that I’m as careful as I am productive.

The house is not empty, house guests. They have been here since last week and I thought they were leaving this morning. I was wrong and now I’m frustrated. I have been dressing so regularly and for hours at a time that any change in the opportunity is resented. Last week I felt so good in my women’s clothes that I had to struggle with myself to not go out the door, get in the car and go to the mall. Clearly I am heading towards a crisis of some description. My self-esteem is so much more positive when I am dressed as a woman, than it is when dressed as a man.

Sitting in a notebook is a reminder to write about the evolution of my cross-dressing. Unlike so many that I read of, my cross-dressing as a youth was next to non-existent. I only had moments throughout my adult life when I would try on women’s clothing. Here I am now, fantasizing about being able to dress as a woman full-time and go out into the world.

In a recent conversation about “bucket lists”, I was taken to task by my wife because my list of “deeds done” was significant. I have dabbled in many fields. The question that she eventually came to was; why aren’t you satisfied with what you’ve done? The answer is probably blatantly obvious to anyone who reads these blogs. I am not satisfied with what I’ve done because I am not satisfied with who I am. I cannot be who I want to be while I remain in this life. So, I am always moving, always changing, never at peace. I am looking for an escape from the life I created for myself when I didn’t recognize who I was as a youth, and instead began to live to the expectations of others. A part of me screams that I want to run away and put all of this behind me but that isn’t completely true. Running away is just the simplest way to completely detach myself from my past and begin anew as a crossdresser with a potential for transitioning.

So, how is your day? Is the sun shining in your world? Actually, the sun shines more often in mine now. The more I realize who I am, the less dark my days are.

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