18 June 2011

Instant recognition

Last week, I mentioned that I was wondering whether the new casual girl at Tree of Life in Charlestown Square would recognise me in boy mode. Well, the answer was yes. Unlike the manager, Sharon, the young woman (whose name I'm embarrassed to admit I still can't remember in spite of being told it about 10 times so far) did a double take the first time she looked at me when I went there in boy mode, and I thought that I saw a hint of amusement. When I spoke to her she confirmed that she had recognised me instantly.

Going from a blonde wig to male is about the biggest contrast in appearance that I do. If I had been there with my own hair in girl mode or with an auburn wig, recognition would not have surprised me so much.

Sharon, like my sister-in-law's mother, knew me in boy mode first and didn't recognise me in girl mode. If someone knows me but doesn't know about my crossdressing, there's a much larger mental leap to make to recognise me in girl mode. I suspect that seeing me in girl mode first (and probably reading me) makes it much easier to recognise me as a guy.

17 June 2011

Snoozing and losing

Things fell apart somewhat for me again this week. We had a long weekend last weekend, and I spent most of it sorting out computer related issues that I had been putting off for far too long. In the back of my mind, I had wondered if I'd get what needed doing done in two days and have a chance of getting out on the holiday Monday. No, not a chance!

As it turned out, I was still sorting things out late Monday night, meaning that I got to bed fairly late in spite of having an early start Tuesday. By Tuesday afternoon, I was exhausted. I intended to lie down for a while before getting ready to go out for dinner, but the little while ended up being all of the time that I would have needed to get ready and then some. I got up briefly, had some dinner then went back to sleep, missing out on going out. :(

Some time after 9pm, I got up and got ready for bed, then sat down in front of a computer to check emails, facebook etc, and then realised that I'd blown it yet again as it was after midnight by the time I went to bed.

I'll just have to get myself organised and get out again as soon as I can. :)

10 June 2011

More often than not

In my last post, I mentioned that I intended to go out on both Tuesday and Wednesday. It wasn't until Wednesday evening that I realised that I had been out 4 times in the first 8 days of the month. Then I realised that the last day of last month was Tuesday, and I'd been out to the cafe that night as well, making 5 outings in 9 days.

Of course, I didn't get out Thursday or today (Friday) and won't be getting out Saturday, so the frequency has dropped back a bit, but that little burst of activity was interesting.

On a side note, after getting my nails done on Wednesday afternoon, I went to Charlestown Square for a little while. I dropped into the Tree of Life store to say hello, and they had a new casual girl there in addition to the manager, Sharon, who didn't recognise me a couple of years ago. As far as Sharon and I know, the new girl didn't read me at all, so it will be interesting to see what happens next time she's working when I happen to be there in boy mode. :)

On Wednesday, I was also wearing the same pink top as I wore when I had my photo taken in the Tree of Life store in Charlestown last year. Do I look thinner as a blonde? :p

06 June 2011

improved frequency

I noticed after Saturday's outing that my frequency of outings is finally better than once every 6 days for the first time since January, just before things fell apart.

This week, I plan to go out to the Tuesday cafe night, and to a nail appointment on Wednesday en femme (I forgot to mentioned it, but I promised last time that I'd go blonde this time). I've also applied to re-join Seahorse NSW, a support group that I was a member of up until a few years ago, when I chose to let my membership lapse because I didn't believe that I would ever go to their meetings again.

I've been out twice so far this month. If things work out, I may get to the Seahorse meeting late in the month, as well as all of the cafe nights and two nail appointments 3 weeks apart. That would total nine outings for the month. I don't really expect to get to all of those, but there's no harm in trying. :)

05 June 2011

Daytime wigless shopping with the girls

Choosing a title for this post was quite difficult. I really wanted it to emphasise the fact that I had a really enjoyable day out with a great group of cisgender women who accept me as the woman that I present myself as, but I also wanted it to reflect the fact that I went on a daytime outing without a wig.

It was quite a long day for me, and as I mentioned yesterday, I painted my nails on Friday night in preparation for Saturday. Aside from that, I chose my outfit in advance, deciding to wear the same outfit as I had worn to a nail appointment a few weeks ago, but add a jacket because the weather is cooling down.

Getting up before 6am meant I was up before dawn, having had less than 5 hours sleep. I worked my way through all of the things that needed doing, including straightening my hair for only the third time. I'm happy to say that I'm starting to get the hang of it and it's taking less time than expected.

The only thing that I forgot to do while getting dressed was to put the shoulder straps onto my convertible strapless body shaper. Until yesterday, I had always worn the straps with this type of shaper because the previous ones that didn't have straps would inevitably roll down and bunch at the waist. While I did have to hitch the top edge up a few times during the day, it was nowhere nearly as bad as expected, and gives me hope that I might yet be able to use this shaper with halter neck tops and dresses once the weather warms up.

The plan was for a group of us who had met through Beauty Heaven to meet up at noon at the front of the Estee Lauder Staff Shop in the Sydney suburb of Rosebery, a few kilometres south of the city. Three of the girls live in the city area, and one of those, Jasmine, offered to collect me and another girl from Central railway station and drive us there. Unfortunately, the other girl who was to come by train from the south coast was unable to make it on the day, and as I mentioned a few days ago, there were trackworks planned, which would affect the Newcastle trains, so I decided to drive to Wahroonga, right near the end of the freeway and catch a train from there to Central.

That led to another little first for me. The first time putting fuel in my car en femme. I know that it's a trivial thing, but for whatever reason, I've always planned things such that the car was fuelled up before I went driving anywhere en femme.

The drive down, including putting fuel in the car and going into the shop to pay was uneventful, as was the train trip in (on the train before the one I planned to catch). There was a little confusion meeting up with Jasmine, as I was at a railway station exit at the acute intersection of 2 streets, expecting her to be on one street when she had stopped on the other, just out of sight of where I was standing. That was sorted out by SMS, and we set off for the shop. We drove along the street, spotting 2 other factory outlet shops and a church fete before finding the place in between the other 2 outlets. We were the first to arrive, and aside from Magda, who messaged to say that she was running late, the rest arrived within a few minutes of us. We went in, and shopped enthusiastically. :)

Both Su and Christine, who I went to Fashion Weekend Sydney with a few weeks ago, were in our group. Christine finished in the shop first and decided to check out the fete while waiting for the rest of us. She found that there was a table there with unopened cosmetics that had been donated, and bought a few. When the rest of us had finished at Estee Lauder, we walked up to the Swarovski outlet, which we found out is only open 10am to 2pm on the first Saturday of every month, so we fluked it! After admiring but not buying anything there, we wandered across the road to the fete, where Michelle found the bargain of the day, an unopened Dr Lewinns facial set. We all wandered back past the two shops that we'd already been to, to get to the final shop, which was on the next block. That shop was also only open 10am to 2pm on the first Saturday of each month! Several of us bought a few things there, then we wandered back to the front of the Estee Lauder shop to take a few photos while Michelle and Christine waited for their lift home. Jasmine gave Su, Magda and me a lift back to the city, dropping Su near her home then driving us to Central.

Just as I said goodbye to Magda and started to make my way to the platform to catch my train, an old asian man gesticulated wildly at me and shouted excitedly to his friends in a language I don't understand. I assumed he had read me and was telling his friends. Then again, maybe he thought that I was someone famous. Nicole Kidman, perhaps. Same height and hair colour. :p Once upon a time, this would have been a devastating blow to my self confidence. Instead, my reaction was to think that he was a rude, stupid so-and-so, ignore him and continue on my way.

The train trip back to my car was a bit delayed because the train was faulty, which meant standing for about 15 minutes on the platform waiting for it, then delays at several stations on the way. I wasn't aware of anybody taking undue notice of me in that whole time, including a boisterous mixed group of 6 teenagers who were standing right next to me on the platform.

In spite of my earlier concerns, the combination of makeup, straightened hair (including the fringe) and hair spray was successful in hiding my widows peaks even out in the wind. If anything, in spite of my hesitance to go wigless because of my widows peaks, I am now starting to feel that I actually pass better without a wig. Of course, passing is very much a state of mind, and being increasingly comfortable in public in all sorts of circumstances seems to be making more difference than more effort with my presentation ever could.

I made good time on the drive home, arriving home around 5:15pm. I immediately changed, had a quick shower and went out for dinner with my family in boy mode. We were sitting in the restaurant before 7pm. I did, however, choose to leave the nail polish on. I asked my wife if she would object and she said no, she didn't. Because it was cold, we all wore gloves outside, but my nails were visible while we were in the restaurant. Nobody said anything. I'm tempted to leave it on until my next nail appointment on Wednesday, but I don't think that I'm quite up to dealing with work clients for 2 days and my inlaws over dinner on Monday night, so it's probably going to come off tonight.

04 June 2011

Nail clippers

After Wednesday night's cafe night outing, I decided that I had to take the nail colour off and I didn't have time to apply another colour and wait for it to dry before going to bed, because I had an early start Thursday. Given that my nails look fairly natural now that they just have gel overlays on real nails with no extensions, I decided that I could get away with just having them plain, so that's what I did from Wednesday night until Friday night, when I did my nails in preparation for Saturday's outing, which I'll write about tomorrow. I'm too tired to write it up tonight, but thought I'd share this little comment from Friday, by a long-term work client.

This particular guy was one of the very few who commented about my pierced ears, doing so every time I saw him for the first couple of years after I had them done. He insisted that I should have had more piercings one side or the other to identify whether I was "tough" or gay. I told him that I wanted them balanced because I was too unbalanced as it was. :p He also commented on my long hair many years ago.

While my nails were unpainted, I visited that same client. He noticed my nails, and made a passing remark about needing to get some nail clippers onto them. Knowing that he was kidding, I simply let it slide. While I've known him for well over a decade, I really don't know how he would react if I came out to him, and I don't see any benefit in doing so at present. Given the things that he has noticed, he may well have guessed but chosen not to say anything. In hindsight, I'm not sure whether it was a good thing or a bad thing that I had no colour on my nails!

02 June 2011

More wiglessness

I finally had another go at using my hair straightener yesterday. I straightened my hair before 2pm, wrote yesterday's blog post, did my nails, did my makeup, etc before heading out for dinner. I don't think that I did that good a job with the straightener, but it was mostly okay. I'm sure that it will improve with practice! Sadly, by the time I left home, my hair was well on the way to frizzing again due to the humidity. :(

Regardless, I brushed my hair to give me a centre part and a fringe, similar to my wigs, and went out wigless for only the second time. Unlike last time, I was far more comfortable with how my hair framed my face, although I did find that the top was a bit flat and the back of my hair tended to annoy me a bit. In spite of using a heat protection spray, it felt a bit dry and straw-like from straightening (a lot like how some of my older wigs feel), and then as it frizzed, it became more bulky, and that's when it became annoying.

In spite of the fact that my wigless appearance is a lot like my male appearance because I have the same fringe both ways, I'm a lot more comfortable going wigless after last night than I was after the first time. In fact, I'm seriously considering going wigless for my trip to Sydney on Saturday. If it's cold, I might even break out the beanie with pom-pom on top that causes my wife to crack up every time I wear it. :)

01 June 2011

A seven outing month

May ended up being an okay month for me. In spite of at the missed opportunity to get my nails done en femme plus one other day when I had planned a week in advance to go out but got too busy with work, I ended up getting out a total of 7 times including the train trip to Sydney.

The seventh outing was achieved because there were 5 Tuesdays in the month. I am still a long way behind my target for the whole year, but I've caught up a bit from where I was up to last month.

The coming month is looking promising, too. Tonight is a Central Coast cafe night, and I'm planning on another shopping trip to Sydney on Saturday with friends who I met through Beauty Heaven. Due to trackworks, I plan to drive to the northern side of Sydney and catch a suburban train into the city and back this time.

I have to keep this short or I'll run out of time to paint my nails before getting ready to go out tonight. I want to try out a Face of Australia limited edition molten metal nail polish. :)