21 May 2011

Resolution at last

When I was in 1st class, a girl moved to my school. She was the most attractive girl I'd ever seen, and we were in the same classes all the way through infants and primary school. Because we were both in the top classes for most subjects, we remained in some of the same classes all the way through high school. I started to take an interest in girls around the end of primary school and this turned into an infatuation with the girl who I thought was the most exquisitely beautiful girl on the planet. Yes, I really did think of her like that.

Unfortunately, around the age of 5, when I was in kindergarten, I realised that I was different. I was weird. I was a freak. I wanted to dress up, look and behave like a girl, and I was absolutely certain that I was the only one in the world who was such a screwed up freak. Hence, I was a social misfit. I was also a geek. In 1978, my father built a microcomputer around a Signetics 2650 CPU evaluation kit. By about 1980 (age 11) I knew how to load programs either by hand from printouts, or using the cassette recorder that plugged into the computer.

So what happens when an extremely self conscious geek who is paranoid that someone will discover his dark secret of wanting to cross dress is infatuated with one of the most popular, attractive girls in the school?

Of course, I did things to try to make her notice me. Of course it all went wrong.

Virtually everybody who knew me knew that I was infatuated with her, but I could barely even talk to her. She was out of my league and I knew it. About the only thing that I was successful at was hiding my crossdressing from everybody except my mother (who didn't let on that she knew until years later). I later came to believe that I caused that girl a great deal of embarrassment over the 6 years of high school.

The last time I saw her was about 8 years ago, when my then pregnant wife and I got up and danced with belly dancers in a Turkish restaurant which has long since closed. I saw her, but didn't know whether she realised who I was or not. My feeling at the time was that she recognised me and looked away.

Today, I was looking through "people you might know" from high school on my male facebook profile and realised that she has recently joined facebook. I wasn't entirely sure how she'd react, and I sent her a friend request with a message attached, in part saying:

One of my biggest regrets in life is the embarrassment that I caused you in High School, and I'll understand entirely if you don't want to add me as a friend.

A few hours later, I went back on facebook to find that she had accepted my friend request, and had sent me a message in response, in part saying:

Please don't worry about high school that was such a long time ago. Happy to accept you as a friend.

It's incredible how those few words have lifted a feeling of guilt that has been in the back of my mind for over 20 years.

Now I have to decide whether to send her a friend request from my female profile or not. Perhaps not straight away. :)

18 May 2011

Opportunity lost

Because I've been struggling to get work done, due to a combination of way too much of it and ongoing headache problems, I decided yesterday that if I was able to get a particular job completed, I'd go to my nail appointment today en femme, and if I didn't, I'd go in boy mode.

Sadly, by the time I got home from the cafe night last night, organised myself and showered, I got to bed after 1am without touching the paperwork. I slept poorly and ended up sleeping in a bit, which helped my head a bit, but meant no girl mode outing today.

While I was at the salon, several things happened that made me regret the decision. Firstly, unlike the time I went there en femme last month during school holidays, the daughter of the woman who does my nails was there because she was off school sick. I think that seeing me en femme would have cheered her up. The second thing that happened is that a woman who I have spoken to a few times before because she often has her appointment after mine on a Wednesday afternoon was there, and she still hasn't seen me in girl mode yet, either. One of the staff who had been in hospital recently was back, and she also missed out on the twice that I went there en femme...

The final thing was a little more complicated. The salon sub-lets a room to a remedial massage therapist, so a wide variety of people come to see her. Today, that included a client of mine from work, who I've only done one job for but it was fairly recently. If I had been in girl mode, he would have been very unlikely to recognise me but in boy mode, he almost certainly did. He didn't say anything to me, but given that I was sitting at the nail technicians' station waiting for my nails to dry, it's a fairly safe bet that he realised what I was there for.

I don't mind coming out to people on my own terms, but something beyond my control like that worries me a bit. Of course, there's nothing that I can do about it, so I'll just have to live with it.

The ultimate irony of my self imposed missing out on going out en femme is that I probably didn't get much (if any) more work done than if I had gone out en femme. Yes, I'm kicking myself!

16 May 2011

Pushing boundaries

Yesterday, I did a few things that pushed my comfort zone. Surprisingly, things that I feared so much that I simply hadn't done them turned out to be remarkably easy.

On Thursday night, Su, one of my friends on Facebook who I originally knew from the forums on Beauty Heaven, asked who wanted to go to Fashion Weekend Sydney, on Sunday afternoon. My immediate reaction was that I'd love to go but wouldn't have time. After some lively discussion on Facebook, I decided that I'd try to get there. At least one of the other women that I met at the Beauty Heaven open day last year, Christine, was going, and another two of my online friends might also have been going.

I considered driving, catching a train or perhaps a combination of the two by driving part way then catching a train from there. Like my former fear of using lifts en femme, I had never used public transport en femme for fear of being abused or assaulted by somebody and being unable to get away from them. That's also why I still haven't managed to get to Sydney during the week for a shopping trip that I had planned to do in January!

By the time I went to bed on Saturday night, I had chosen my outfit and decided that if I went at all, I'd walk to my local railway station and catch the train to Central station in Sydney, then walk to the venue at Moore Park rather than try to figure out buses. It was less than 2.5km walk each way, which really isn't a problem for me in flat shoes. I set my alarm for 8am Sunday. The goal was to make a 10:50am train, which was supposed to get to Central at about 1:12pm. Walk a fairly flat route to meet up with the others around 1:45. Easy!

When I woke up and looked at the clock in the bedroom, it was 7:59. I turned off the alarm so that it wouldn't disturb my wife and got up. I started with the usual morning things of washing my face and having breakfast. I could have wimped out and gone back to bed, and seriously considered it several times. Fortunately, I continued instead. I did my makeup and dressed, and walked to the railway station with 6 minutes to spare. I took a seat on the surprisingly busy platform while I waited, and boarded the train when it arrived. I took a seat and was almost universally ignored. It was a bit of an anti-climax. On the way down, I had 2 women sit next to me at different times along the way. Neither spoke to me, but that's fairly normal for the majority of people on trains around here.

At Central, and on the walk from there to the event, it was the same story. Everybody was too busy with their own lives to take any notice of me.

When I arrived at the venue, I walked to the main gates wondering whether this was where to go in or not, and looked to see both Su and Christine standing waving to me. We went in and had a brief look around on the way to the 2pm fashion show, which I think was a first for all three of us. The tickets that Su had been given were for front row seats about half way along the catwalk, so I'm probably in the background of a lot of photos. :)

After the fashion show, we spent over an hour wandering around looking through all the stalls, and generally not spending money. Su bought one dress for $10 that was probably originally priced over $100. When she and I went up to the VIP lounge so that she could pay without queuing, we discovered that we were supposed to have received VIP goodies bags and could get complimentary mini-manicures (a new coat of nail polish). Even though I'd been slack and was still sporting my 18 day old nail polish from my last salon visit, I decided against the manicure since it would take a while and I'd have to clean it off and go back to boring beige before the morning anyway.

When we found Christine outside, we explained about the goodies bags and she went back in to get hers. There was a little mix up, and we stayed outside waiting for her to come back out, while she thought that we had gone back inside and waited for us just inside the door. While there, she bumped into Olivia, one of the staff from Beauty Heaven. We chatted briefly, got a few photos then Olivia headed back inside while we set off home.

After a little confusion trying to find the bus stop for Christine to get back to Central, I decided that it would be better to spend $2 to get a bus to Central with her than walking and risking missing my train and having to wait a full hour for the next one. We got a bus, and were very fortunate that the driver told us at a stop that this was the stop for Central, because we wouldn't have known and would both have missed our trains. As it was, I got the train with just a few minutes to spare. When I arrived, there was a large crowd on the platform as there was a 4-car train at the platform and another 4-car set was being shunted and coupled to form an 8-car train and nobody could get aboard until the coupling was completed. I waited in the crowd, again finding that nobody paid me any undue attention.

The trip home was as uneventful as the trip there, but it was a bit cold on the train, and even colder on the walk home. Because I had the VIP goodies bag on the seat next to me, nobody sat next to me on the way home.

While it was quite a long day, I accomplished several things. I met Su, who I'd known online for years but not met before, I took two quite long train trips totalling about 5 hours, and a bus trip of a few minutes in Sydney en femme, I sat in the front row at a fashion show, browsed a large fashion sale amongst hundreds of people and was treated as the woman I presented as for the whole time. I know that a few people looked at me funny from time to time, but there was no direct negativity and certainly no aggression aimed at me in the whole time.

I'm also finally starting to shake a feeling that I've experienced when I'm en femme with other people. I've often felt like I'm an amusement or a diversion to people, or that they are just humouring me. It's not something that I've ever put into words before, and I know that I don't get that feeling from some people, such as Marian, who works at the cafe where we go for dinner on Tuesday nights. With other people, I'm not so sure. I really didn't feel that way with Su and Christine. Instead, I felt like I was with real friends who accept me as I am. The part of my mind that has been telling me for years that I'm a freak is getting shouted down, and that's probably a bigger breakthrough for me than overcoming my fears. :)

There's already an indication that Su and I might meet up with Jasmine, one of the other girls who didn't make it on Sunday, to go shopping sometime in a few weeks. Don't worry, I'll be sure to post about it if it happens. :)

09 May 2011

Some people just don't get it

I had an interesting little incident happen yesterday.

A couple of days ago, I attempted to enter an Estee Lauder competition on Facebook, only to find that in order to enter, you had to have picked up a free sample of their new lipsticks from David Jones or Myer first, as the competition requires you to enter a code from the packaging.

On Sunday, I was in boy mode taking my wife and son somewhere else, and on the way we stopped by David Jones at Kotara to visit the Estee Lauder counter so that I could pick up the free sample. This is the same place where I bought a bottle of foundation last month, but the Estee Lauder rep there was not one of the 3 that I've dealt with there before.

I walked straight up to the rep and told her that I was after a free sample of the lipstick. There were no samples on display at all, but she knew exactly what I was talking about and opened a drawer and got the sample out, only to turn to my wife and present it to her!

My wife immediately handed the sample to me. At this point, I still don't think that the rep had realised that it was for me. Perhaps having my nails about 10mm past the fingertips and painted, long hair with a fringe, both ears pierced, etc was too subtle for her.

I wasn't finished though, as there was something else that I needed to ask her, which left her in no doubt as to the fact that I was there for product for myself. I asked her whether there has been a problem with the Double Wear foundation, as the last bottle that I bought there recently is noticeably paler than the previous ones. When she assured me that nothing has changed with the product and that she was not aware of any problems with it, I informed her that I'd used 3 or 4 bottles of it over the past few years and that the current one is noticeably paler than the previous ones. I told her which shade it was, and when she suggested that perhaps my skin tone has changed, I said no, the foundation is different. Her response was to get a small sample bottle out and fill it from the bulk bottle of that shade that they use in the store.

After all of that, she appeared indifferent, as if she just wanted to give me the sample so that I'd go away. I got the impression that she didn't care about whether I wore makeup or not, her attitude appeared to be that I and my family didn't look posh enough to deserve to be at the Estee Lauder counter or to be served by her.

I'll try that sample against the bottle I'm using and see if they are the same or not. If it's different, I'll take the bottle back and see if they'll replace it. Whether I'll go in boy mode or girl mode, I don't know yet. :)