Monday, March 12, 2018

A Very Good Day

A Perfect Size 12
A Perfect Size 12
My favorite girdle has seen better days. It is old and showing its age, so I shopped around and found its clone on the JCPenney website. After recently returning girdles and bras to Amazon because of sizing issues, I am not anxious to order online again. So I measured old reliable with a tape measure and took my figures to JCPenney in West Farms Mall after my lunch with Diana on Friday.

Entering the store, I found a vast unmentionables department, but searched high and low for the girdle without success. Revisiting the website when I returned home, I noticed that the girdle was available online only, a small, but critical detail I missed going in.

C'est la vie! So I started perusing the dress racks.

I found a beautiful green blazer on the clearance rack. Tried it on and it fit perfectly, but the sleeves were too short (or my arms are too long). Either way, I hung the blazer back on the rack. A 50-something woman noticed me trying on the jacket and made a sympathetic sad face when she saw the sleeve/arm-length problem.

She struck up a conversation with me as I checked out a beautiful to-die-for black and white dress, mentioning that she has so many black dresses, but she can't resist buying another. I said I am also a black dress girl. She commented that the dress I was wearing was also beautiful and I thanked her for the compliment.

The dress I was checking out was not available in my size, but considering that my last dress purchases (all size 14s) were a few months ago and that I was still losing weight, I thought that maybe size 12 would fit. So I took a size 12 to the dressing room.

I thought to myself that I was dreaming, that it would not fit and that I was wasting my time and I almost hung the dress on the discard rack when I found all the dressing rooms were occupied. Just as I considered abandoning it, a woman exited a dressing room and I took it over.

When I slipped on the dress and zipped it up, it fit perfectly (see photo). I was so happy! It looked great on me and even better, I have achieved something I never thought possible: I was now "a perfect size 12."

I took the dress to the cashier and found a half dozen people in line. While waiting patiently for my turn, a 30-something woman behind me said, "Hi" and held up the dress she was purchasing.

"Purple, right?" she asked.

"Yes, that is a very purple dress," I replied.

She was very excited about her find, told me how she was planned to accessorize it and asked me what I thought about her accessorizing plans. She complimented me on the dress I was buying as well as the dress I was wearing and we had a 10-minute conversation about fashion that ended when it was my turn to pay for my purchase.

The cashier, a 30-something woman, also complimented the dress I was buying. She asked if I was going to use my JCPenney credit card and I said, "Yes." However, I had not used the card in ages and the store had cancelled it.

She said if I applied for a new credit card, I could get a 20% discount on all my purchases that day. How could I refuse? So I began entering pertinent information into the mini-terminal next to the cash register. When there terminal asked for my annual income, I remarked that I had just retired and was not sure what my annual income would be.

She said, "You're too young to be retired."

I retorted, "My birthday was yesterday and I just turned 67."

She said I looked much younger than 67 and added that whatever I was doing, keep it up.

I thanked her for the compliment, finished applying for the credit card, paid for the dress, exited the mall and drove home.

I would say that I had a very good day out. I have had brief conversations with cisgender women in the past, but never had extended conversations like I did on Friday... not to mention I had three extended conversations on Friday. During each conversation, there was never that aha moment when the person you are conversing with suspects something is up. I am sure the cashier realized I was not cisgender female when I handed her my photo id to apply for the credit card, but she never said anything about it.

And so it goes.

Source: Madeleine
Wearing Madeleine (Source: Madeleine)

Janek Traczyk
Janek Traczyk femulates Anna Wyszkoni on Polish television's Twoja Twarz Brzmi Znajomo.


  1. you do indeed look much younger than 67...happy belated!!

  2. At the last count I had 12 black dresses, and I know I will still buy more.

    I have found that women are much more likely to strike up a conversation in these situations than men. I find I now have conversations at the supermarket queue, clothes shopping, bus stops, and anywhere that women congregate.

    1. For obvious reasons, I am a little gun-shy when it comes to striking up a conversation, but if someone strikes up a conversation with me, I become a little chatterbox!

    2. I find the same thing as Paula. I would much rather interact with women as a woman -- or at least as Claire. It's funny, but women who know me both ways seem to prefer my femme self. Maybe it's because I'm more me when dressed?

  3. Julie M ShawMarch 12, 2018

    Double congratulations - your birthday AND the Size 12!

  4. That dress is so flattering and cute. Like you I am always pleased when it turns out I can wear a smaller size. Happy Birthday

    1. Thank you, Connie. My shoe size has shrunk, too!

  5. I love the scent of fresh, new Lycra-Spandex.
    My first girdle experience was when I 'borrowed' my moms (circa 1967). The experience was exhilarating! I loved the taughtness and the smooth sensation. Most notably was this garment had smooth, satin back panel, and I dont seem to find such girdles on the market. Anybody know where the legendary 'satin back panel girdle' went?
    Velma Dinkley