Life is a Journey - Make sure you get the right roadmap to the universe

I'm quite sure I picked up the wrong one on my way out the door....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Holiday Girls Night Out

The holiday lights, the sights and sounds of Christmas and the thoughts of friends getting together for an evening of merriment. These were the makings for our holiday night out at the Crowne!

Joanne and I arrived at the Red Roof Inn around 4:30 on this Tuesday Afternoon with enough time to prepare ourselves to go out that evening. After checking in at the front desk and receiving our key, we gathered our belongings and approached the door to our room. I inserted my keycard and turned the handle of the door only to be greeted by an out-rushing wave of heat as the door opened and I stepped in. It was immediately apparent upon examination of the thermostat, that the last person to vacate this now sultry abode, had taken it upon him or herself, to turn the heat up to its maximum position possible. The room felt as if it were approaching a temperature near enough to a level which would allow it to self combust as I quickly looked for ways to dissipate the heat.

Certainly, I could have made the trek back to the front desk to try to procure another room, but this would have taken precious time - time which I dearly needed in order to ready myself to go out enfemme at 6:00pm. I quickly turned on the bathroom ventilation fan and tried to turn on the air conditioner. Alas, the air conditioner had been deactivated for the winter season and only the fan setting was available.

I lay out my makeup and clothes, turning both beds and the work table into a staging area with assortments of both Joanne's and my own belongings. Makeup and shoes, clothes and jewelry, wigs and hair styling accessories quickly consumed every inch of space in that small place.

I began with the makeup, half dressed en-femme - face to the bathroom mirror and my back to the half open door as I tried to dissipate the accumulated heat still evident in the room. It was an attempt to cool the room as quickly as possible as the layers of makeup on my face began to balk at the high levels of heat. Scenes of the wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz were coming to mind as I heard the silently spoken words coming from the makeup on my face bellowing "I'm Melting - what a world... what a world..."

As I continued in my routine of preparation, it became apparent as a car drove by in the parking lot past our room, that the door had fully opened, assisted by a chilly, cold winter breeze. Joanne, looked at me, half dressed in a pair of pantyhose and a bra, slopping makeup on my puss and with my back side now fully exposed to anyone who might pass by and extolled, "Oh Look, Connecticut plates! I think that must be Susan's Car that is pulling up next to us!". Joanne, who had been busy ironing clothes on the floor of the motel, had not drawn the visual dotted line to connect that my back side was in a linear line to the eyes of anyone who might be passing by. As quickly as she said this, she realized the folly and WHAM - the door was shut in a flash. The only thought going through my head at that point was that my first impression I would make for Susan would be the one that would have her turn her car around and head straight back home! Fortunately, my fears never materialized.

At 6:00pm, Joanie came by and witnessed my scatter brained moments as I scurried to assemble all of my emergency make-up that I might need that evening into my purse. Several moments of piecing this all together and we were off to Susan's room, which was next door. We all jumped into my car and we were off to the Mall for some quick shopping at the MAC store and then to dinner. The GG's were off on their own doing some last minute holiday shopping and we would meet them later at the Crowne.

parking in the underground garage at Nordstroms, we made our way to the escalators which delivered us up and out into the main plaza of the mall. As we were all dressed quite casually (or dressy casual), I was hopeful that we would not attract any undue attention as we promenaded through a bustling mall filled with holiday shoppers. My premonitions became reality as we strode down the main promenade and noticed nothing unusual. There were no glances or glares, stutters or stares as we made our way casually down and through past shop after shop. Any looks we did receive were just as any one might receive at any time, anywhere. We were just three girls out shopping that evening and it felt wonderful and empowering.

Head held high, shoulders back, and with an air of confidence, we rounded a corner to arrive at the MAC Cosmetic Store. As I was nearly out of my favorite powder, I felt this to be a good opportunity to combine our outing with a purpose. Entering the store, we were greeted by a tall and very large, masculine looking man. His facial hair and herculean stature were somewhat daunting as he approached us.

"May I help you ladies?", he inquired.

Well, I asked to do this, so I had to respond...

"Yes", I replied as I reached into my pocketbook to produce my nearly empty container of MAC Powder. "I'm just about out of my loose powder makeup", I explained.

Immediately, his demeanor warmed and became overtly friendly. he began demonstrating and suggesting techniques and methods of blending and concealing. It was obvious he knew what I, and we, were interested in as a primary concern, which was concealment! It turned out that he had been a makeup artist in the past to a number of different transgender organizations and was well versed in his craft and art. He provided us with samples and suggestions as he spoke and gave us thoughts on what we might consider trying in the future to get the near perfect look we might desire.

As we left the store that evening, we were quite thrilled with the positive experience as well as the courtesy we were shown. We rambled on to our dining destination at P.F. Changs, an upscale Chinese Restaurant, where we awaited a table in what was an extremely busy setting. Again, there were no qualms or concerns to be considered as we gave our name to the seating hostess and awaited our turn for a table. Dinner was superb as we met up with Tiffany, who always seems able to get the most perfect parking place practically in front of the restaurant every time!

Dinner was, as always at P.F. Changs, simply superb. We dined on a variety of appetizers which we passed freely around the table. Seared Tuna, Crab Rangoon and Calimari were some of the delicacies we tried. My Blue Hawaiian was an oasis of turquoise on the table and helped to take what little left there was of any concerns I might have had. Our hostess was professional and courteous and provided us with a wonderful meal.

We topped off our night with a trip to the Crowne, where we met up with the GG's for an evening of merriment and chatter along with many others, a few of whom are also (or will now soon be on...) PE.

It was a great night all around and one that will be warmly remembered by all.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Night Out to Dinner En Femme with our Spouses...

My latest foray out en femme was a wonderful experience for both my wife Joanne, and I. It was wonderful because it was affirming and supportive and it disposed of many of the pre-dispositions we held inside of us and paved the way for further exploration.

For Joanne, it was primarily her fears of how I might be accepted and her worries for my safety. For me, it was more a concern towards how she felt and in our ability to blend in with a mainstream crowd.

We started the night with a repeat visit to a local P.F. Changs Chinese Restaurant. The last time did not include the wives in the adventure so this was a new wildcard to add. This particular restaurant is most easily accessible from within the mall to which it is attached, and so, with this knowledge in mind, we parked underneath the Nordstrom's anchor store as a base of entry. Joanne and I along with another couple were ready to begin our entry into the mall. There were some moments of panic and distress from both SO's when the full extent of our foray through two levels of a department store and out across a considerable distance of the main promenade of the mall was realized.

We alit from the garage escalator and sauntered out into the store. As it were, we happened to be in the women's department which allowed for some quick browsing as we moved through and out into the mall. Dressed stylishly but subtly, we seemed to blend in quite well. Our SO's were holding back several paces as I specifically wanted Joanne to monitor what was going on as we passed by the crowds of people out shopping that evening in the mall. What was amazing was that not only were we not being clocked, but rather that no one was paying attention at all - until - we stopped.

We had been to this restaurant before but we were somehow lost in the myriad of corridors that made up this mall. Fortunately we stopped right at a crossroads where we were presented with a large, lit store directory. As we pondered over where we were, we were rifling visually through the entries to try to discover what corresponding map number the restaurant was referencing on the large vertical panel presented before us. We apparently were looking so distraught at the blur of numbers on the map that a sales woman in an adjacent store came out of her shop, approached, and asked if she could help. We turned toward her and her facial expression, to my own amazement, did not change. We asked in a feminine voice for directions to guide us through the maze and she directed us politely and succinctly. Again we were on our way and no issues.

Approaching the restaurant, we peered through the glass windows and realized that the place was packed to capacity. Unlike last time when it was quiet, the holidays seemed to be materializing hordes of diners to this one venue. The entrance we happened on was mistakenly on the side of the restaurant that had the bar and this was like a cattle car, standing room only, patrons waiting, huddled around the entry podium with their pagers, awaiting for a table to open. This was suddenly becoming a concern for Joanne as it meant that we were going to be rubbing shoulders in a closed and close environment about 11 seconds from now.

"Hold head high, maintain composure and look assured", I thought to myself. Opening the door, we decidedly commanded our entrance and worked our way through the crowd to the seating hostess at the podium. Using a most feminine voice as we could, we requested a table, half knowing what her reply would be. "About 20 minutes is the wait", she said. "But you are welcome to sit over at the bar".

This seemed a good option as it got us out of the rush-hour like crowds. We made our way to the only four contiguous and open stools at the bar. Sitting down, I took a moment to look around at the clientele. The diners seated around us were ranged in age from teenage to late middle age. None were gravitating their attention to us and even the teens were absorbed in whatever they were discussing at their table.

The bartender, whose name we learned was Matt, came over and asked our orders. I ordered a Blue Hawaiian, which he was not sure how to make. I explained that it was a drink made with curacao, and with just that knowledge, he said he could figure the rest out from a reference guide. We had no problems at all in our chat and he seemed more enthralled to have us stay at the bar for the evening. "You ladies aren't leaving the bar for a table are you?", he asked when he saw the pager.

Joanne was feeling comfortable at the bar and didn't want to move at this point, so when the pager flashed, I opted to take it up to the hostess to return it. Walking past the teenagers and several other tables presented no problems what-so-ever. I approached the hostess and presented her with the pager, letting her know our intents to stay put at the bar. Her conversation did not break although I did catch the eye of a waiter from the corner of my own as I spoke. His look was one that I could only define as confounded amazement - almost a look of "something does not compute" in his mind and I don't think he blinked once while I chatted with the hostess for a bit longer. It really felt that I had some wonderful control of the moment just then and it felt great.

Back at the bar, we ordered an array of appetizers for dinner to go with our drinks. The first round of drinks consumed, we were beginning to start in on our second round. Most of the concerns of the SO's were rapidly sinking into the murky depths of the Mai Tais and Blue Hawaiians being consumed. The bartender was starting to really enjoy our company and offered that he would buy us a round of spare ribs for the table. We had a great time and really made the evening special for him I am sure. It was equally a success for all and helped both Joanne and I dispel many of our remaining fears that we had imagined for the evening.

Walking back through the mall later that evening, we passed two guys who Joanne thought would "make" us. She saw it coming as we apparently were oblivious to each other's collision course approach being that I was in a "femmy" chat mode at the time. Joanne said later that she was amazed that they didn't even turn a head or bat an eye at us as we crossed paths. I asked her later - "Do I really look that far off to be made?". Her reply - "I guess its just because I always only see you". Having been happily married for 16 years, I'll take that as a big compliment for sure! It's nice to be seen as just "me" - I'll take that any day!