Saturday, May 13, 2023

A day where only one thing went right

 

I had only two things on the docket for today: (1) Lunch with my friend from the Census, and (2) going to NYC to see an Off-Broadway play.  Only the first thing went off as planned.

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My friend reminded me of our lunch date early in the week, and I would have forgotten it if she had not reminded me.  So I was glad to see her again for lunch at the local pizzeria.  For the most part, my friend dominated the conversation. We caught up on many of the things going on in each others' lives. And we finished at the right time - just before we would have stayed too long.

After lunch, I decided to stop by the local LGBT center to say hi to a couple of the "permanent" employees there.  Unfortunately, they were busy in a meeting.  So I waved hello, and left as quickly as I got there.  And then it was off to Lane Bryant to browse the dresses they had in stock.  Again, things didn't go as planned - the one dress I was looking for was not stocked in the stores.  So I'll have to order it online, and return it if I don't like it.

At this point, it was time to go into NYC to see Welcome to Clown Town.  Though I made the commuter train on time, I lollygagged when dealing with the subway and dinner - and missed the play because I got the starting time wrong.  (Luckily, RQS and I will be going to see the play on Sunday afternoon.) So, it was back home as quickly as I came into NYC.  For the most part, I could have gone home after lunch and done something productive.  But, I took it all in stride - sometimes, fortune gets in the way of life, and all one can do is avoid the worst of things that could happen.

Friday, May 12, 2023

Drag Queen Bingo!

 

It's been a long time since I've been to a meetup with this group, so I decided to attend a gathering at a bar where Drag Queen Bingo was going on.  I guess I'm confident enough in my presentation that I wouldn't been seen as anything but a lady (albeit transgender) when in the presence of a man exaggerating feminine mannerisms and styles.

Drag is an art.  And, as such, should be protected by the US Constitution.  Unfortunately, anything that is "Gender Variant" is being attacked in GOP states.  Attacking transgenders is easy for them to consider, as many of us simply wish to be left alone to live our lives and do not yet have the critical mass of defenders to repel these attacks.

Many transgender children are at risk because of laws being passed in the GOP states.  Their religious leaders are preaching messages of hatred, giving their parishioners permission to unleash their hatred at these defenseless children.  Many parents are both taking these children to other states for gender related treatment, and are moving their families so that their children will not become victims of the cultural war.

As much as I would have liked to visit my cisgender female friends from Texas in their home town, I could not assume I could safely take the risk.  Texas has passed a law requiring that people wear "gender appropriate" clothing - and as a pre-op/non-op transgender person, I could get into serious trouble.  So, we're meeting up in Chicago instead.

But back to Drag Queen Bingo....

In a way, it takes balls for a man to go on stage and present as a female.  The art of drag has been with us for ages, and is quite entertaining because it pokes fun at gender roles.  It subverts those roles while allowing us to examine what is real, and what is not.  As such, it is fun to watch when it is done well.  

In the long term, I will try to defend those drag queens - especially when they are reading stories to children at the local library.  Children are not afraid or offended of what drag queens are.  Why should the rest of us be so?


Thursday, May 11, 2023

Thank god for people who confirm lunches and dinners!

 

One of the problems with being retired is that one day can flow into the next, and one can lose track of time.  That often happens to me.  I'm grateful to have a girlfriend, someone who resets my internal calendar by her presence in my life.  But I am also grateful for my other friends who contact me the day before we get together, insuring that I remember our getting together in time to get ready for our lunches and dinners.

I now understand how my father became a large couch potato.  Without friends to visit and things to keep him busy, all he could do is spend time and become ever more lethargic.  The same signs are present in me as well, as I do not get out and about unless I have people to be with.  Maybe, this is why I gravitate towards planning future vacations.  My body knows it needs things to look forward to, and a bucket list vacation is a great way to keep one's mind active - even if just planning things to do on that vacation.

Today, SJM texted me to remind me about tomorrow's lunch.  I had totally forgotten about it, but will squeeze it in - even though I have to drive to RQS later on in the day.  I'd have hated to leave her lurking in the lurch.  At my age, it takes a lot to build new friendships, and I don't want to lose any due to being lazy and forgetful.

Often, great deals are too good to last.

 

Woot.com is one of those sites that offers deals that are too good to last.  But it illustrates why one should be able to spot a good deal when it is available and pounce on it if it fits your needs.

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Over the years, I have learned that really good deals do not last long. For example, near the end of 2021, I found a great deal on a cruise from NYC to the Bahamas and back. It was one of the first cruises to take place after the Covid-19 Suspension, and had a price that could not be beat.  There was no single supplement, and I snagged a mini-suite for $1,400.  How could I beat that?

Now that I am comfortable going out in the world as Marian, I will occasionally buy a "Mystery Box" from Universal Standard.  It is like buying a pig in a poke, as you never know what you're going to get until you get it.  There are some items I am comfortable wearing, and others that I don't have the occasion to wear.  On the whole, I have broken even on my mystery purchases from Universal Standard, and will consider buying more mystery boxes in the future.

Years ago, I was hunting for a dress I could wear to a wedding and found a dress that looked good on me. I found it listed on Roamans.com for $140.  The same dress found be found on Amazon.com for $120.  But, on another onestopcom's site, it sold for $50 as long as you purchased a total of garments whose price totaled $75 or more.  That was a great deal on a dress which I've only had the occasion to wear only once.   

Bargain hunting can be fun, as well as addictive.  Now that I'm retired, it pays for me to search for bargains, but not always jump on them.  Luckily, I have the option to buy (or not buy).  And I'm glad I can enjoy bargain shopping to its fullest.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Someone mentioned an opportunity to me.

 

The other day, I got an email from someone at a place I once volunteered.  She asked me about some work that needed to be done at this place, mentioning that this may be a part-time position in the making.  I was pleasantly surprised about this, as I've needed an excuse to get moving each day and to get out of the house.  Assuming I'm the person who fills this slot, I will go to work as Marian - even though key people will know that I am trans.  It'll be nice to have regular interactions with people again.  If I'm lucky, I'll get the part-time position and put some extra cash in my wallet.

Looking back over the past few years, I've noticed that I have fewer reasons to get up in the morning. than I had 10 years ago.  Yes, I was at the end of a 30 year career with the bank I once worked for.  But I had already checked out due to the lack of opportunities left for me in the New York office.  When I was laid off, it was a blessing to me, as it freed me to explore being out as Marian much more often than I could have been in the past.

Getting through the pandemic with my sanity (or, at least, most of it) intact was a lucky thing.  Having lost both my best friend and a girlfriend, and then my father took a toll on me.  I was lucky to have a short term job at the Census Bureau, and then the document imaging firm the year afterwards.  Yet, towards the end, I was having problems getting up when I had no social commitments for the day. Do I miss that friend and the ex-girlfriend?  A little.  But I miss my father most of all. In many ways, the years of the pandemic sapped much out of me that has yet to return.

I have no problems getting up when RQS is around.  Having someone in my life energizes me, and gives me a reason to get up and moving.  Is this normal for an older person?  Many males tend to die within 3 years of retirement.  So, could my TG identity be a factor in keeping me alive?  Or, is it a good romance?  Who knows?  But I know that the idea of having both a solid romance and a part time job may be factors in keeping me alive for another 2 or 3 decades.


Tuesday, May 9, 2023

When I have nothing much to do, I window shop online

 

First things first.  I am not a thin woman.  But this linen dress caught my eye in this color and in a hunter green - and I wish I could budget the money to buy it.  I know that if I go to Universal Standard, I'd buy this dress and more.


Since Universal Standard is having a sample sale at this time, I'm thinking of buying the above garment. For me, it will mostly be used as sleepwear.  I could also use it as a slip in cooler weather, as it might help me stay warmer while wearing dresses.

- - - - - -

Shopping as a female is an art.  As I've said before, shopping as a male is very easy.  I don't have to think much, once I have a formula to work with.  It is much more difficult to shop as a female, as most women, cis or trans, don't always have the imagination to select garments that would be perfect for more than one occasion.  An example of this would be assembling a set of garments to be worn during the day at work, and that could transition easily for a date night/  Not only does a woman's outerwear have to coordinate well, but her underwear has similar requirements.  The other day, a woman made a comment to me about the type of underwear she had just bought - just in case she gets "lucky."  Even at her age, she realizes that the right underwear can contribute to the image she is presenting at the right time to someone special.

When I first started wearing female clothing, I avoided underwire bras at almost all costs.  But I learned that a well fitting bra can make all the difference in a woman's appearance.  Now, I wear underwire bras more often than not, as they give better support to my prosthetic breasts than the no-wire bras, helping me to look better in my dresses.  The same goes for panties as well.  It's both a matter of comfort and coverage - especially when a pre-op/non-op trans-woman has to "tuck."  

Once I have my underwear on, then I have to think carefully about what I wear that the world will see.  And this is where window shopping comes in.  One has to take a critical eye, and look at what parts of a woman's body is highlighted by a garment, and what parts of a woman's body are minimized.  Usually, I try to wear sleeved tops without a deep "V" in front.  This way, my male shoulders aren't exaggerated, and my lack of natural cleavage is hidden.  Ideally I can find garments that give me the illusion of having a feminine waist, but this isn't easy to do. And, I try to wear low hemmed tops, so that any hint of my male equipment is hidden.  This makes it easier for me to find bottoms I wan wear and still present a reasonably feminine image to the world.

I am lucky to have the funds with which I can make purchasing mistakes.  But if I didn't, I'd be spending even more time learning about female clothing and how it can be adapted to a body which has processed way too much testosterone over the years.

 

Monday, May 8, 2023

Seeing TCL for Dinner

 

If I had had my choice today, I would have gussied myself up before seeing TCL for dinner.  But today was the second drab day of the weekend, and I felt that TCL would be happier if I met her as Mario.

- - - - - -

Like yesterday, I didn't do much until I had to get moving.  But I did get to TCL's place on time for a change.  And this was for the best, as the restaurant we went to was empty when we got there, but packed when we left.  

TCL lives in a nice little town in New Jersey, her house being less than 1,000 feet away from the local railroad station.  If the railroad wasn't there, we could have walked to the restaurant.  Instead, we had to drive 1/2 mile to reach the place.  (This is not a problem for us.)   On the way there, she mentioned the purchase of an undergarment to be worn in case she might get "lucky".  (This is something you'd say to a good friend, and she made sure I knew that it was for a "someone else" if he came along.)  I already knew that she had no intentions towards me, and I let her know that, so she could feel more comfortable after saying that.

A minute later, I parked the car at the restaurant. As expected, the place was empty, and we were seated at a nice table, where we proceeded to have a nice Italian meal with some red wine. (The place is BYOB, so TCL has taken care of the wine when we go to this restaurant.)  By the time we left, the place was packed with at least a dozen people waiting by the door. And then, it was the short drive home. 

We chatted in the car for about 45 minutes, and then she had to go in and I had to go home.  I was amazed that she didn't make a comment on my newly pierced ears.  But then, she was focused on something else - how to tell someone something without making that person feel awkward.  I gave her some ideas on how to approach discussing the topic with her friend, and hope she refines them into something she finds she can use for herself.



Sunday, May 7, 2023

Seeing FH for a seafood dinner

 

It's been a while since FH and I got together, Part of me was ambivalent about seeing her, as we do not have too much in common.  But then, I think my ambivalence was related to once dating FH.  Today's post has almost nothing to do with me being transgender, save that I showed FH pictures of me in Marian mode while in Hawaii.

- - - - - -

When I have nothing to do, I relax as much as possible, and relax I did. By the time I was ready to drive to FH's place, it was 4 pm, and I still had to gas up the car, then get cash for the week before proceeding to FH's place.  As much as I tried to avoid some traffic jams, I still took longer than expected to get to Forest Hills.  Once FH got in the car, it was like old times.  No, I don't mean that things went smoothly.  Instead, I mean that it was obvious why I could never have a serious romantic relationship with her, and why she could only be the type of friend I could meet for an occasional dinner once in a blue moon.

We arrived at the restaurant a little bit early, and sat down for dinner as soon as we arrived.  Yes, it was a little bit of sticker shock for FH, but I wanted her to make sure that whenever we get together that it is "dutch treat". She wanted an adult drink, while I could have settled for something a child would drink. Yet, she didn't know what she wanted to drink, and had the waiter suggest a drink.  Too bad that she didn't like it - she had to flag down our waiter to get a different drink.  As for me, I have several go-to adult drinks that I will order, and I decided to have one with dinner.

After waiting a while (and eating the bread, carrots, and celery that was in front of us), dinner came - and we both were filled to the gills. And then it was time for us to go home.  By the time I dropped FH off, I realized how much I missed RQS and wished that she were here with me. 


An early dinner with a friend

  Last night, I mentioned to Pat that I wish I could have been born a cisgender female who looked like this when younger.  If I were younger...