Sarahjanus's Blog

January 3, 2012

Happy New Year & Stereotypes

Happy New Year, these are hollow words that haunt me every year. I don’t expect it to be a happy year. There will be inter-personal conflicts that I cannot resolve without causing greater upset to some in a way that they never asked for, and aren’t prepared for. On the other hand perhaps I am being pessimistic. Perhaps, if I am able to dress in the manner that my inner being wishes, and if in doing so, I am able to grow, even a little bit as a person, it may be a happy year. Perhaps I am confusing happy with joyful. Perhaps I need to tailor my expectations to my reality.

Last night a fight broke out between my wife and me. It happened late in the evening and as she pointed out, my anger was out of proportion to the situation. She quizzed me as to the true cause of the anger and I gave her nothing. I had a cause in mind. I wanted the anger to be the result of the behaviour of the Last Child Standing. I didn’t offer that up as a possibility for a host of reasons. The fight carried over to this morning and she went off to work just as hostile as I was, remaining at home.

My morning processes brought me to the computer, through my e-mail and Facebook, to the blog. I had dressed very simply in a galabeya, catering to the need to dress without really dressing. However, the need was not met and I had to re-dress. The anger, it seems, was based in the frustration of not being able to dress for a couple of weeks through the holidays.

Clareflourish (clareflourish.wordpress.com) responded to one of my blogs, pointing out that many TG people have very narrow stereotyped ideals for the genders. Her point was that (in this case) I need to relax a bit and be more accepting of myself. I accept her point but I also think I need to expand a little on what I was thinking when I originally wrote the blog. My transvestism has been a journey, and it has been a long and slow journey because I don’t really know myself and as an individual I still lack the courage to be myself. A big part of that journey has been finding my own style and manner of dress. I came to this place very late in life so I lost the opportunity to be young and match my outer self to the inner self. I regret that. Part of the regret is for the opportunity lost and part of the regret is for the clothes I can no longer wear. I have skirts and dresses that are not “age-appropriate” simply because they are beautiful pieces of clothing, which when on me, make me feel beautiful. I have said before; if I lived in a house without mirrors I would be a beautiful woman.

So, the irrationality of my thinking begins to appear. I can be a man dressed in women’s clothing, and I can accept myself thusly. But I worry about whether or not the outfits I wear are age-appropriate, appropriate for the circumstances that I imagine myself in, and appropriate for the body that I am putting into them. As a being, I am conservative, quiet, unassuming, generally wishing to not be noticed. That “being” is genderless, so my clothes must match my personality if I am to be comfortable on the outside as well as the inside.

If I were to present to the world as a woman, I would wish to present as a slim (height to weight) middle-aged being with the resources to dress well and the taste and style to choose the right clothes and accessories. For example, I bought a new dress at Le Chateau after Christmas and today is the first day I’ve had the chance to wear it and accessorize it. It is snug through the waist so it emphasizes that I have regained a few of the pounds lost, and I need to lose them again. It is further above the knee than I am comfortable with, but I can imagine it with my boots, so I can live with the (lack of) length. It is snug through the bosom, so that zipped; it gives me an obvious cleavage which I am absolutely thrilled with. Given the right weather or place, would I wear it in public? I probably would not, because it would attract more attention than I would be comfortable with. My dressing is not about “look at me”. It is about; if you look at me you should see a well-dressed person who is comfortable in themselves and in their environment.

Do I have a narrow stereotype of what a woman should look like? I don’t believe so. I have a narrower range of what is acceptable for me to look like dressed as a woman. My standards for being dressed in public as a woman are different than the standards I have for being dressed as a man because when dressed as a man, I was simply meeting the social conventions for being dressed in public. Being well-dressed as a man didn’t make me feel better about myself, so I dressed to a lower more common standard. Being dressed as a woman does make me feel better about myself, so I do aspire to dress to a higher standard. This is not to meet a stereotype but more, to be the best I can be with what I have to work with.

It will be a happy new year, if, through these blogs and the comments they generate, and the forums and support groups, I learn more about myself and grow as a person. For years of my life, I never looked inwardly because the darkness of the unknown made me fearful. I have overcome the fear and begun to turn on the lights. I have caused myself no small measure of distress with what I have discovered about myself, but my acceptance of self is growing. The last huge step is to share my awareness of self with others close to me. Unfortunately I have not yet figured out whether or not the end justifies the means.

Happy New Year to all.

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.

 

March 24, 2011

Shaved legs resolves inner tensions, who knew?

It has been awhile since I have written here.
The absence is due, primarily, to the turmoil of being a secret. It isn’t difficult to find the time during the day, and it is never difficult to find a subject to write about. There is an abundance of daily minutiae that can be commented on. It may not be meaningful to my readers but it does meet the objective of the blog, which is to record my thoughts and feelings.

I have begun to assemble the blogs in some sort of order, to create a volume and perhaps a book. I can see the irony
already. The assembled blogs garner a success similar to “Shit my father said”, and I can’t capitalize on it because I remain a secret. Look at the facets of that dilemma. They are like the sparkles in a diamond, changing constantly as you roll it around and let the light strike it a different way.

When I look back over the past few weeks, I see that I was probably in one of the so-called “pink fogs”, buying clothes
that I desired without acknowledging that the opportunities to wear them would be next to non-existent. I was pushing my own boundaries, finding out where I was comfortable, and what I was comfortable with. The answers were, not surprisingly,
not surprising. I have a deep and abiding desire to present to the world as a woman. In my mind, at the moment, that doesn’t extend to surgery and transitioning, for a couple of reasons. The greatest of these is my age. At my current age, retired as I am, it would be far too much effort for far too little gain. I could accomplish most of my goals by simply dressing well and
presenting to the best of my abilities.

As has been written before, there remains, in this house a last child standing, (LCS) that is, one who has not yet moved out
either permanently or temporarily. The former would be for work and the latter for post-secondary education. The LCS is, however, finished high school and lounging through a year of rest and reflection while he contemplates his future. His employment is part-time. This is not a reflection, (necessarily) on him. Few employers in this area hire labour full-time anymore. It is easier, and with fewer regulations to employ everyone as part-time. He works between 25 and 30 hours a week, enough for a perhaps-someday student, but not enough for someone to live independently, in the style to which he has become accustomed. The net result is that he is here, lounging, in the house far more than he is absent.

It being the end of winter, the transition of seasons, my significant other is also home more than normal. Christmas shopping
has ended. Shopping in general has been suspended while the financial damage of the Christmas holiday is repaired. New Year’s resolutions to work out more are slipping so attendance at the gym is down. The social calendar is in the same doldrums of seasonal transition. Her favorite television shows are in full swing, so she makes an effort to be home to watch the glory of success and the despair of rejection and elimination.

The sum total of all this domestic bliss is that there is no opportunity for me to dress and feel like myself. There hasn’t
been for a while. It became apparent to me over the week-end past. I was exceptionally grumpy, irritable, and restless. I actually undertook house-work with a measure of motivation to try and burn off some of the tension. I wasn’t entirely clear on the reasons for the grumpiness and irritability but it was obvious to all and to me. I for once brought it up and acknowledged it before anyone-else could.

When Monday arrived, I used a hair remover to cleanse all the hair from my legs. It was the act of a madman, obviously. How
could I possibly keep such a thing unnoticed? I loved the feel of my smooth legs when I was done. I loved the act of putting on lotion to moisturize. I was dying to feel a pair of nylons slip on. I was eager to see my legs in beige or sheer nylons, without the hair that normally so destroys the look. The act made me feel immensely better.

On Wednesday I took advantage of a rare few hours of privacy to put on leggings and a blouse while I worked away around the
house. I was relaxed and at ease. I felt whole, even without anything-else. This morning, after my shower, after feeling,
again, the smoothness of my bare leg, I wished for the chance to slip on my bra, add in my forms, feel the weight of them, and feel the snugness of the straps. But it is not to be.

Yesterday I returned to my email (sarahjanus@live.ca) for the first time in weeks. I went back to my Facebook page and caught up on everyone’s writings and comments. Now I am writing for the blog. I cannot deny who I am, that is apparent. There is no putting the genie back in the bottle. Days spent in denial are obviously going to come with a penalty. For the moment, I am not
prepared to admit (to others) to who I am either. Perhaps there is middle ground. Perhaps Sarah and her host can each live reasonably well in some form of accommodation.

I wish you all well. I am not unhappy. I don’t need sympathy, empathy or condolences. I’m just writing to express myself, to
feel better at the end of it, to admit to this limited audience that I am a cross-dresser. I am happy with knowing who I am. I am just not yet able to be who I am.

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..

October 7, 2010

Want your pity, share my pleasure

                              I need your pity and I’ll share my pleasure. Pity first; this morning I wanted to try on something new so I grabbed a bra, the forms and panties. I tried on the something new and was putting everything back when … I reached back into the closet to return the storage container (I’m a closet crossdresser) that holds my bras and panties. I was hurrying because I always let my own intensity wind me up too much. As I wrestled the container I was leaning forward and over-extended for my arms, (hindsight is wonderful, and if I could go backwards my life would be perfect). The result was a twinge in my lower back which quickly became a pain. I ended up on my knees, doubled up for about 5 minutes or so until I could get back to my feet. Thankfully I have a dentist who over-prescribes pain medication which I keep for moments of intense stupidity like this. I’m sitting here, carefully placed on my desk chair, bum to the back of the chair, back fully pressed against the chair, feet flat on the floor. I’m moving in and out of the chair very carefully, and walking about the house like someone who should be in a home. Pity me, I’m in pain.

                              The pleasure on the other hand is; a new bra, (black demi with lace edges) which is a beautiful thing to behold when it is on and the forms are in, and a new dress from Smart Set. I just bought the dress last night. There is a “Big Box” plaza that I go to frequently for the restaurants. There is a string of shops, La Senza, Reitman’s, Smart Set, Mexx and Addition-Elle, which have been a successful shopping territory for me. This morning I rushed for the clothes as soon as I could and tried on the dress. It’s an Empire line which is not my favorite because it doesn’t compliment my body shape as well as some others, but … I was quite pleased with the overall look so I think I’ll keep it.

                              Later today I’ll have a chance to do the whole dress process and I’ll make the final decision then.  Share my pleasure at the joy of my two purchases. I just love the way the lace edge of the bra shows ever so slightly above the scoop neck of the dress. It makes me giddy.

                              I’ve got to go now. My host has appointments for the morning but I’ll be back later. Funny thing, once upon a time it used to be a special moment when I got to dress. Now it is just frustrating when I can’t. What’s that line in physics; no two things can occupy the same space at the same time?

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