Is everything going well? I hope so… Right now the UK seems to be under a monsoon. Seems the jet stream’s got the hump (Ed: translation – in a bad mood) and it’s chucking it down. Put away those cute pumps and drag out the daisy print wellies. 🙂 Not that I have been, but heavy weather can be a part-time girl’s best friend. Wrap up warm and use that brolly to hide away from the negative elements! 🙂
Anyhoo, I was lucky to get a spot of shopping in earlier in the week. I’d been building up a list of things to look into. I’d seem some fabby suede heels in New Look and I’ve been growing less pleased with my old foundation. I also wanted to see what was going cheap during the summer sales and if any of the new Autumn/Winter fashions were out yet.
Well, the good news is that I don’t need to make any more room in the shoe cupboard. Despite me being able to wear an eight most of the time, the pointy toe or rounded toe heels where not going to go on. Curse you, shoe designer! 🙂 Looks like I’ll need a nine, but there wasn’t any in the shop. Bad times! :-
On the foundation front, I’ve been reading good things about Clinique’s range, so I dropped into a department store to investigate. Seems the two young women on the desk didn’t want my custom. I smiled and did that expectant customer look, the one that usually signals a conversation and then an exchange of money for product. Actually, using the word ‘product’ is now making me think of The Wire. 🙂 Being out, hard drugs? Who would possibly make such a connection? 😉 Moving on….
So, no dice in that shop, I headed off to check out House of Fraser. Well, they had a sale on but nothing I wanted. I did a bit more walking (Ed: think of the calories burned, Lynn!) and reached John Lewis. The young lady there, bless her, didn’t ignore me but was both professional and friendly. After hellos, I sat down and we discussed the types available and after lining up a batch, she proceeded to test run a few of them on my fizzog. I was pleased with the result and she offered to do most of my face. Satisfied, she removed the evidence and I was twenty quid lighter but had some good foundation in my pocket. Yay! We had a quick chat about fingers vs sponges vs brushes in terms of application and that was that. Between you and I, I like good service and when I get it, I’ll say so. 🙂 I also dropped an email to the shop when I got home. I hope the lady in question gets the props she rightly deserves.
All I need now is a night out to give the gear a spin. 🙂
Petra was kind enough to share her tips about a web site called myShape.com. Basically, you measure yourself a million ways to Sunday and pop these gems of data into their system. After a bit of thought, the computer comes up with your body type and a series of suggestions of clothes that would suit you.
Apparently I’m an M shape and a wrap dress is the way to go! Funny, some of the things they recommend are already my favourites. Weird. I would profess to have a fashion sense, but maybe my trans powers are strengthening. “Now I am the master”.
That said, judging by the suggestions for trousers, I should stay away from leggings. Oops. 🙂
I’ve been writing this blog for a while now and I don’t think I can recall a time where I gave you the obligatory trans potted history. 🙂 This will go on a bit, so get a cup of your fave beverage, pop on some tunes and get comfy. It’s gonna have to be cut in places as there’s large chunks of time where F all happened. These would be peppered with tiny sparks of trans activity. I think there’s a giant water drum that acts as a large collector for CERN that measures these events, but I could be wrong. 🙂 But back in the real world… I did mention a week or so ago, I’d tell you about me coming out. So here we go…. Run VT Errol. 🙂
When the Ever Lovely Mrs Jones and I first met, all those years ago, I told her during late night pillow talk that dressing up was something I *used* to do. She was fine with that and said she didn’t like big macho types. Good news for me then! At the time of me telling her, it was true and I thought I’d put it all behind me. It was just a teenage phase right? I’d been clean (Ed: we’re back to drug gags again aren’t we?) about eight months before we met. What women’s clothing I had, had gone; my leg hair had grown back and at least on the surface, I was normal.
Normal, heh! There’s a word to conjure with. Well, okay, not so much rabbits out of the hat, but hopefully you get my drift. So, normal… [sigh] Of course, underneath the facade, a mire of denial and borderline self-loathing seethed within. For the next six years or so, I hid it well.
Of course, over time there was the occasional slip from the wagon. An evening here, an afternoon there when I had the house to myself. In those times I’d be soaring with feeling right, ‘correct’ if that makes any sense…. only to come crashing down to a pit of guilt and often disgust at what I’d been doing. Lying by omission and all that goes with it.
Skip forward a few years and we were married (a wonderful day I’ll never forget). Mrs J was doing well for herself having landed a good job (or so I thought at the time), but I wasn’t doing so well on the work front. It was getting to me – big time. I suppose I could point the finger of blame and say ‘it was the stress that made me start’. But that wouldn’t be true. Despite my efforts to trash and burn, the trans urge never really went away. It would sometimes slip but it would never vanish. The sight of a cute dress, the sound of heels on concrete. I think with the benefit of hindsight, I know that it is part of me: I’m a cross-dresser, a trans person, a part-timer: whatever label you want to pick. It’s wired in my head and it’s a core part of my personality.
Maybe it wasn’t the stress per say, but that I was at the right age. A time where you begin to shift away from nurture and towards the hand Mother Nature dealt you. Again, this would imply that I had no choice. But there’s always a choice, right? Maybe. Rather than live with the pressure of lying, denial and dark moods – I gave up giving up. Looking back, it was a choice, but not one I wanted to make. I’d tried that particular hat on and while it fitted, it made me miserable. So, I saved up and bought clothes, boots, shoes, slap, etc and hid them well. You think a spy or an alcoholic can stash well? Amateurs compared to a closet trans bod 🙂
Eventually the whole thing got too much for me. Work, keeping my dressing up secret or that Mrs J might find my clothes. My moods were bad, I was not in a good state. Now, I’d rehearsed telling the Lovely Mrs J many, many times. Of course, over the years I’d picked up on how I thought she’d react. But, do you really ever truly know? I don’t think you can. Well, certainly I couldn’t. One night, sat in on a dark evening, I told her. I felt my guts churn as I did so. I didn’t want to drive her away, but I also knew that if I didn’t do something about the way I felt…. honestly… I think I would have lost it.
Of course, I upset her – like duh! – and for that, I felt bloody awful. The woman I love and who I married saying ‘forsake all others’. Ahh, but how does it work when in some way, you are the other woman? I had no answers for that one but we worked through it. Somehow, through compromise, taking it slowly and by talking (at the right time) we got through it.
Ten years on, give or take a bit, I look at where I am now: a fantastic (and accepting) wife; two lovely kiddie winks and…. peace. Sure, I have my ups and downs, just like anyone does, but the acceptance and love my wife gave me, it built on top of the help my friends at Chameleons gave. Slowly, the good erased the bad of self-doubt and the guilt, until eventually, I accepted who I was.
It was a long and rough journey. I’m still walking and learning as I go, but some time ago I dropped a ton of baggage at the road side. It’s long gone and I can barely see it anymore. Barely visible behind the curves of the path and through the veils of shared and personal history. I’ve certainly no wish to go back and go through it once again. Guess it’s like being a teenager, going through it once is enough.
If you made it this far, thanks for reading.
[ Today’s lyric: I Say Nothing by Voice of the Beehive ]