I've had a relatively good month this month. I got out a total of 7 times, so the month averaged once every 4.4 days. I had hoped to go out again yesterday, but was too tired and got up too late to be able to.
The highlight of this month was a day in Sydney last Saturday. After spending about 3 hours getting myself ready, I drove to the Balmain offices of the website Beauty Heaven as one of about 18 guests for an open day. The unusual thing was that it was an organised event where I was the only transgender person there. Normally, I'd either go out shopping alone, or I'd go to an event with other TG people.
As far as I know, everybody else present was a cisgender female. I've been active on that site for quite some time, which is how I came to get the invite. I've also been open about myself, so everybody present knew about me. Because of that, I didn't pass, but it didn't matter. Within minutes of meeting, people who I'd talked to online became friends who I felt like I'd known for years.
It started literally from when I parked my car. The woman who had parked next to me only a few seconds earlier was one of the other guests, so we walked from the carpark to the building together. Being the first two to arrive, we were immediately sat down at the manicurists' tables and given manicures using Orly products. The photo above shows the beautiful job that my manicurist did. Almost as soon as I'd finished there, someone dragged me off to do a brief video blog, which I'm praying never sees the light of day!
There were so many brands and so many products, I don't really remember them all. Looking back, I think that the highlight of the day wasn't the pampering or the products given to me during the day, or even the remarkably heavy goodies bag given to me at the end of the day, but getting to sit and chat with a group of girls including members and staff from Beauty Heaven, and the acceptance that was part of that. I was told by one of the staff that I was courageous (which I've never really thought I am), and another appeared genuinely shocked when I mentioned that I am 40. I'm still wondering how old she thought that I was. :)
After the open day, I drove to a friend's place in Hornsby to visit for the first time. After parking in the street around the corner from her apartment building, I realised that I couldn't find the piece of paper that I'd written the instructions on. Fortunately, I'd already used google maps to wok out which building it was, and the only possible problem was whether I remembered the unit number correctly or not. Happily, I did get it right, because I punched the number into the keypad and she buzzed me in without any drama. We sat and chatted for several hours, catching up on many years. I finally left around 10pm, arriving home at 11:30pm, a full 12 hours after I left home.
Obviously, there was no way that I was going to take that beautifully applied nail polish off, so it stayed on Saturday night and most of Sunday. I had an unexpected visitor on Sunday afternoon. My brother, who I mentioned back in February 2008, didn't speak to me for 9 months after he found out that I was a crossdresser. It was somewhat funny making an effort to keep him from seeing my nails, because I have no idea how he would have reacted if he had seen them. If he did see them, he didn't say anything, so the "don't ask, don't tell" status quo was maintained.
Sadly, the impending return to work on Monday meant that the nail polish had to come off Sunday night.