Typically, after a day out as Paula, I’m good for a while. Work got real busy on Tuesday and Wednesday and then all of a sudden the place is empty --- the boss and all the others are out on vacation. So when I woke up to a cool day with a weather forecast predicted to not go above 65 degrees, I debated briefly, but knew that I couldn’t let an opportunity like that slip by.
What to wear and where to go?
I tried on everything in my closet and settled on my favorite Jones New York suit. I love this suit and have worn it all over the country. Although, I do like to try new outfits and looks, I feel so pretty and womanly in this suit and that was just what I needed that day.
As I made my way down the driveway, I decided to visit my favorite thrift shop about 30 miles from home. I debated about whether to make my daily stop for coffee at the Dunkin’ Donuts drive through. The ladies there know me well.
I was leaning toward not doing it when I received a phone call from work and pulled into an Extra Mart parking lot. After finishing the call, that morning cup of coffee called and I was curious to see what reaction I would get.
The Dunkin’ Donuts is about 15 miles from home and I felt confident no one there knew me because I would be outing myself to the crew there. What was my motivation I don’t know, but before I knew it, I was embedded in the drive through line with only one way out. I ordered in my best female voice, and when I drove up, there was Stacy handing me my coffee as she has done every day for the last three years. She handed me the coffee instinctively, no sense of recognition or things being amiss. It may have been my body language or combination of cues, the car, the “coffee-just milk,” but when I turned back and handed her a dollar tip, it clicked
“Oh….Wow!” her mouth a gasp
I wanted to keep the banter light and fun, so I volunteered, “How do you like my new look?”
She leaned forward perplexed and spoke softly, “You look awesome. Who did your makeup? It’s beautiful.”
Perhaps I should have come right out told her I was transgender, but I concluded this was not the time or place, so I decided to tie it up with a little tale.
“It’s our annual sales meeting, our group has to put on a sketch and I volunteered to play this part.”
Putting a hand on her chest she said, “I never would have known.”
With the sound of anxious customers behind me, I blurted out, “Thanks, I better go” and off I went.
When I went back on Monday, she exclaimed, “You looked stunning. I couldn’t believe it!”
It was gratifying to hear her kind words. It made me realize that since I’ve started going out en femme, I have always received a positive response from the people I meet. Fear of other people’s reactions kept me wallowing in fear and self-loathing for years, but now I find just the opposite where ever I go.
My next stop was my favorite thrift store. I stop here once a week and have found beautiful designer suits and skirts for a fraction of their original cost. It was pleasing to walk the two blocks from the municipal lot over to Main Street passing other businesswomen and men and fitting in as one of them. With my heels taping on the sidewalk my heart soared a bit when I remembered how I would daydream about being able to do this and never believed that I ever really could, yet here I was!
My friend Elaine wasn’t at the store; it was her day off and I didn’t find anything good. It’s the summer time and donations are off. However, I did find a beautiful gold bracelet for $2. I savored the cool air as I walked back to my car --- a welcome respite from 105 degrees the week before.
Next onto another thrift store, Savers in Framingham where all the clothes are arranged by size making it a quick stop. You never know what you may find, but this time, I struck out.
My next stop is a must on any transgender girls list: Nordstrom Rack and their shoe department. “Girlfriend” (and I say that in my brassiest voice), I have never seem such a wide selection of large size shoes and if you like high heels, then even more so. They have a huge selection of 11s, almost as many 12s, and a whole rack of 13s and 14s. Yes, I said 14s! There were plenty of shoes that I liked, but none I could really justify buying. I did have fun trying on all types of pretty and sexy shoes, though.
Next it was off to the Natick Mall and another visit to M·A·C. Going into a M·A·C store can be damaging to the purse. I love to go in, meet the girls, chat and try new makeup, but I wind up often buying too much makeup for a part time girl to use. So I decided to ask for help with lip liner as it is one of the cheaper items they carry.
It was early, the shop had just opened, so I walked into an empty store and was greeted warmly and pleasantly by young woman named Erin. As with most M·A·C sales associates, she was cute and her makeup was flawless. She had one of those vivacious personalities that made you feel welcomed and at ease. I told her that I wanted to match my lipstick with a liner and then said that I was a bit nervous because this was my first time out in few months.
“Oh,” she said, “You look so at ease and confident. I can’t believe that.” She swore that she had met me at the Burlington Mall M·A·C store where she previously worked. Well, I must have a transgender twin because I don’t remember meeting her.
She sat me down and worked on my Cupid’s bow with the liner. She did a fantastic job in extending my upper lip, an essential feminine facial feature. You can see the great job she did with my makeup in the accompanying photo.
I wandered around the mall checking on dresses in Nordstrom, ladies suits in Lord & Taylor and then I made my way out to my car and headed over to the Glamour Boutique in Auburn. Located in a strip mall off Route 20, the Glamour Boutique is run by John Warrener and has been an oasis to the transgender community for years.
I have been going there for over ten years and it was a key part of my journey. The siren in me wanted to try one of their Sexy Club Dresses . That was a big mistake! I was embarrassed by my photo and will not show it here.
The lesson learned is dress age-appropriate, girls. My club dress days are behind me. It was fun to visit John en femme as I always go there in drab. I tried on a bunch of wigs and bought a pair of opaque tights.
It was three o’clock and time to head back to the ranch. This was my second day that week en femme and was sad to have to go home. The more time I spend as a woman, the more time I want to spend as a woman!
American prisoners of war femulate in a German prison camp during World War II.
Wearing Lisa Perry.