I typically am a little sad this time of year when so many of my sisters are meeting each other and enjoying Fantasia Fair out on Cape Cod. However this year, although I didn’t attend, I had a great time while I was a broad (I’m sorry couldn’t resist the pun). It’s a shame my sense of humor never evolved past the 2nd grade.
I was lucky enough to find myself traveling to the UK for business last month and had such a great time there last spring when I went out several times as Paula that I decided to give it another go as the Brits say.
I kept my clothes packed in a separate garment bag on the bottom of my suitcase. I had no trouble whatsoever with customs while traveling with wig, makeup, breast forms and women’s clothes. I brought along a new wool Pendleton suit that I found in a thrift store for the remarkable price of $10. I truly couldn’t wait to get out as Paula; my last time out was in June and I just needed to get my girl on.
My plane landed at 6:30 AM London time and I was in my hotel by 9 AM. I took a two-hour nap and when I woke up, jumped into the shower. When I went to the closet to get dressed I had my choice, Dockers and a cotton Henley or Black Liz Claiborne slacks paired with a Pendleton wool blazer. So I thought about it for about 1/1000th of a second and then pulled out the slacks and blazer. It just felt so right, sisters; why wait until tomorrow as I had planned. It just seemed so right this way.
There was one little kink (pun intended) in my plan, the Lee press-on nails that Stana recommends and which I always use, were nowhere to be found before leaving home. Instead, I bought the glue-on type. I had packed only one box and needed them for Sunday evening when Jenny and I planned dinner and a concert. The French manicure looks fabulous and the glue-on nails looked great as a finishing touch. Little did I know I just painted myself into a corner and would be forced to spend the whole weekend as a woman?
I didn’t have any adventures planned for the day, just a list of errands that needed to be run in preparation for my week ahead. My first stop was the supermarket (Sainsbury’s) to buy some groceries for the week. I navigated the aisles of the grocery store like a veteran housewife would. Stopping to ask for the location of the yogurt and being assisted with a smile.
Back to the apartment and unload the bags. Fix my hair and makeup and out the door riding the elevator down with another couple. This time I was off to the train station to buy my tickets for my daily commute. My heart sank when the woman behind the glass finished our pleasant transaction with a quiet, “Thank you, sir.”
I had ridden into the train station on a pink cloud, and now I stood there stunned feeling foolish. She handed me the tickets and I chirped out a thank you. Shaken I decided to push forward and take a trial ride to my office on the train. I was a bit unnerved as I approached the turnstile where one inserts their ticket.
To my dread the ticket was rejected and the gate didn’t open. Here came a railroad official, I’m sure to arrest me for a multitude of imagined offenses. However, when he approached he asked for my ticket “Ma’ am.” Yes, he said “Ma’am” and then after he reset the gate, he bid me well with a “G’day Madam.” Off I went with faith restored in my womanhood.
It was fun sitting on the train shoulder-to-shoulder with other travelers and being perceived as a woman. Using the reflection of the window to check the reaction of others sitting near me, I notice nothing. Noses buried in books, bored looks, and the iPod stare.
Arriving at my stop after a short ride and changing platforms, I rode back with the same uneventful excitement.
Arriving back I realized that I hadn’t eaten in over 20 hours. I stopped at a delightful sidewalk cafe and was greeted once again with a Ma’am by the hostesses and then again by the waitress. Wow, that was four feminine pronouns in a row, one more and I get a free set of steak knives!
Riding the crest of this pronoun wave, I ordered some pasta and a glass of wine, then another glass of wine. I felt wonderful as I watched crowds of people moving to and from the train station. Seeing so many fashionable women and knowing I was finally one of them was a joy.
By now my feet were killing me, so I went back to my apartment to freshen up. I checked email, called home and did some general housekeeping. Usually at this point in my outings, I would shower and change back into boy mode, then go out and have dinner. However, I realized that my nails were glued on and if I took them off, I wouldn’t have a pair for my outing the next day with Jenny.
I was between a rock and hard place here and felt kind of trap. I drummed my nails on table and realized if I was going to eat dinner that night, it was going to be as girl. Oh well… a good problem to have!
I went over to the mall and bought some black hose for the next day and then perused the dresses at Debenhams. Finally I made my way over to a local Italian restaurant and had pleasant dinner along with a few glasses of wine. Finally exhausted and weary, I headed back to the apartment, showered and undressed.
Coming out of the shower I put on the satin PJ’s my wife had bought me for Christmas a few years ago and replayed the days events as I slipped into a peaceful sleep.
Wearing Julia Jordan.
Paula, a British professional femulator, circa 1930.