Monday, August 25, 2014

My StampShow Story

I spent Thursday living as a woman.

Up and at ‘em… shaved all over, showered, fed the dog and cats, cleaned the litter boxes, took a coffee break, did my makeup, took another coffee break, dressed, brushed my teeth, and then I tried to decide what to do about my hair. 

I narrowed my choices down to three hairdos: long, short and mid-length. To help me decide, I took selfies of each wig in place on me and picked the selfie that looked best.

Ryan from Noriko won out. It is platinum blond with dark roots and it is the most authentic looking wig I own. In fact, it looks so good that in the past, some people thought it was my real hair.

Checking myself out in the mirror, I thought that overall I looked authentic, too. I certainly felt authentic and was ready to face the world as a woman.

First stop was the American Philatelic Society StampShow at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. I have been to the Convention Center a half-dozen times, so I knew the layout of that venue, but I have never been to the StampShow, so I did not know what to expect civilian-wise.

The half-hour ride to Hartford was uneventful, but the Convention Center parking garage was very full. I only found an empty spot at the extreme end of the fifth level. By “extreme end,” I mean it was as far away from the elevator as possible. 

Big decision time: do I take my flats or try to get through the show in my heels. I decided to be a big girl and tough it out. Amazingly, I was able to wear my heels (Karmen from Payless) all day long, that is, over 12 hours!

I hiked to the elevator and was joined by a 30-something woman who quizzed me about the StampShow. She wondered if dealers would be buying stamps as well as selling stamps because she had brought some very “rare” items to sell.

I told her that I assumed the dealers would be interested in buying if she had something rare. And I asked her what she had.

She said she had mint 22-cent USA commemorative stamps from the 1980s!

I did not want to burst her bubble, so I just said, “Good luck!”

I entered the Convention Center and took the escalator up to the exhibit area. Checking out the crowd, I felt I was dressed appropriately. Outfits ranged from business formal to business casual to casual casual, but not slob casual, which I often encounter at the ham radio conventions. My attire did not seem to attract undo attention, although I did catch a few people checking me out.

The woman staffing the pre-registration booth Ma’am’d me when she fetched my pre-registration package, which was under my boy name, so that was an auspicious start!

I am just getting back into the hobby, so I planned to just get my feet wet at the show and not make any big purchases. Over four hours, I viewed about one-third of the exhibits and attended two First Day of Issue ceremonies (one for new USA commemorative stamps and one for new United Nations commemorative stamps). I scored free First Day Covers at both ceremonies! I did not expect anything to be free besides admission, so that was a nice surprise.

I did have one complaint. For a relatively new building (less than 10 years old), the air conditioning in the Convention Center was inconsistent. The main exhibit area was comfortable, but the meeting rooms for the First Day ceremonies were stifling… so much so that I left both ceremonies early because I was so uncomfortable.

Femulation-wise, the StampShow was without incident. I enjoyed attending as a woman and seemed to blend into the crowd without a problem. No one stopped dead in their tracks to gawk or guffaw. The handful of people I encountered on a one-to-one basis treated me as a woman politely referring to me as “Ma’am.” And some attendees (male and female), who I happened to pass by in the Convention Center smiled and said or mouthed “Hello.”

It was a very good day out for this girl! 

Dinner and a cocktail party awaited me!

Source: Kate Spade

Wearing Kate Spade.

A femulator, circa 1930.


  1. I am glad that you had a great day and I am always pleased when you, or any of us, are able to blend into the crowd without any problems.
    I am impressed about being in those heels for 12 hours. Well done.
    Thanks for the stamp show report.

    1. Those shoes are so comfortable, I bought another pair in black and may buy yet another in another color.

  2. Stana, how could you not blend in with the crowd with the way you look! 100% stunning!
    Ah stamps, one of the "I've got to collect something" phases of my youth. Will have to dig out the album and see if I have any gems in there (of the flat type of course). I doubt it, but one never knows after a half a century of gathering dust..
    Abigale (again.. ;-)

    1. Thank you, Abigale, and good luck finding gems in your collection!