I needed a haircut. I put on an orange top, a black cardigan, a denim skirt, off-black pantyhose, and my black flat shoes. I went to a new barber shop/salon. I got out of my car and walked in. An elderly woman was seated behind a tall counter. This very polite woman welcomed me. She could not see my outfit. However, the other employees could see me. I received the biggest reaction I have gotten for some time from my crossdressing. I received some stares that communicated slight alarm from them. I sat in waiting room and talked politely with a nice older woman who was also waiting.
Here is a picture from a previous outing of the same outfit:
After a few minutes, a female employee entered the waiting area and invited me back. The salon was busy. All of the other people were. There were five or six hairdressers. Each hairdresser had a customer. There were a few additional customers under hair dryers. In a room with fifteen women, most of whom were older than me, I, the only man, may have been the only person wearing a skirt. (I am unsure about the nice lady at the front counter.
The woman who called me back seated me and began to cut my hair. We talked most of the time. She was very business=like at the start, but she seemed to relax as we talked. When she finished cutting, I asked if she could wash my hair so I would not have to itch all day. She washed my hair. While she was finishing washing my hair, the owner of the salon entered the room to do something. I spoke to her. She was the one who gave me the most alarmed looking stare when I first arrived. She talked politely to me and shook my hand. I went back to the barber’s chair and combed my hair.
I stood up and paid my hairdresser. As I was preparing to leave, another employee walked by and told me to come back. She was the only person to tell me that. I do not know whether I will come back or not. I think it depends on how much I like my haircut.
I left the salon and made another stop at a store. It was uneventful.
Next, I went on to the sandwich restaurant I ate at on a recent outing. I was the only customer. I ordered my food and paid. While I was paying, another man entered and got in line. I filled my drink and sat in a booth. The man sat on the other side of the room and never looked my way.
When I got up to leave, I looked over at the man. He glanced up at me. We nodded, “Hello” to one another. The employees welcomed me back next time as I left.
In a previous post, I described a Day Off Outing that I went on. During this outing, I did some shopping for my wife and I. Later, I discovered that I would have to take a few items back for a different size. So, I planned a return trip. I set off after lunch and changed into a black knee-length skirt, off black pantyhose, black flats, and a red top. I also brought a purple sleeveless top to wear, but I forgot to bring a white, button-up shirt to wear unbuttoned over the purple top. Like usual, I was presenting male — no bra, no makeup. Just a man in a dress. If I had done only the things I had intended to do, then I would not have gone over my planned schedule. But, I did…
My first unplanned stop was a shoe store. I and an older woman were the only customers. She and I shopped on the same row. Other than saying hello to me before I left, we had no interaction. The sales people spoke to me as the walked down my aisle, but did not take any interest in me. At one point, I saw two young men, with piercings and flat-billed hats walk along in front of the store. I thought, “I hope they do not come in here.” I presumed that I would have felt awkward around the two young, “grunge” styled men.
Near the shoe store was a sort of hobby store. I walked in and discovered that the two “grunge” guys were in the store talking to the main employee, a man. There was one other male employee sitting at a table. I looked at the two grungy guys and they looked at me. I discovered that one appeared to be either a trans-man or a woman trying to be androgynous. I heard this person speak in a female voice, but all other indicators suggested that the desired presentation was male. I relaxed about those two! They exited shortly after I arrived. While I was browsing, the main employee came to help me. He was in his 30s. He had a few uncommon piercings. The other man working in the store was sitting at a table. He had a lot of tattoos. Both men treated me with respect. Eventually, we talked about hobby projects that we are working on for about ten minutes. This was also an unscheduled stop.
Ladies’ Wear Store
For my next unscheduled stop, I walked to a ladies’ wear store in the shopping center. I was looking for a cardigan. Due to the time of year, they did not have any cardigans. I left.
Fast Food Restaurant
It was time for me to eat some lunch. Since I was behind schedule, I went to a hamburger restaurant. I walked across the front of the store to the door. Two young men, possibly teenagers, were on either side of a car talking. One was facing my way. I looked over at them and saw that both were looking at me. I waved hello and they returned to talking. In the restaurant, there was one customer. His back was to me the whole time he was there. The employees never looked my way until the counter blocked my skirt. I think they never saw me either. I ate my lunch in peace. That was my first scheduled event.
Going to the grocery store was a planned activity. Years ago, I went to the grocery store in shorts and nude pantyhose and I did our family’s grocery shopping. I was so nervous. I kept the shopping cart between me and most people. As I recall, no one showed any sign of noticing what I was wearing. It was a major event. I loved that experience. While anticipating this far-from-home outing, I decided to do our family grocery shopping in a skirt. I have been in grocery stores in skirts before, but it was only for a couple things early in the day. This trip would be during the day. This trip would be long. I assumed I would keep running into the same people as I traveled the aisles, like normal.
I scheduled my day so that I would go to the grocery store while school was in session. The store was rather empty when I started. It did not stay that way. I had a long list of things to buy. I walked down every aisle. Other than the initial look that people give me to see what is before them, roughly everyone treated me like I was dressed normally. This store is in a small, conservative town. Regardless, they treated me like larger towns in which I have crossdressed.
As I said, I walked down every aisle. Normally, I felt comfortable and welcome. There were a few occasions where either people reacted differently to me than described previously, or where I felt like hurrying away. One time, a man and his teenage son walked down the aisle toward me. The man seemed like a serious or stern man. The boy was rather stoic. Perhaps he was somewhat “stiff” from trying not to react to me. After they passed me and started turning up the next aisle, I looked their way. The man was now looking at his son with an amused look on his face.
Another few times, there were children that I wanted to avoid. The only significant one was when a man with two girls were on the aisle with me. The girls were between nine and twelve years old. I kept the cart between us and they did not see my outfit. Later they were on my aisle again and I could not avoid being seen. I left the aisle promptly. I heard them giggling. I assume they were probably giggling about me. While I was on the next aisle, they peeked around the corner to get another look at me. I saw them and I turned my head toward them. We kind of looked at each other for a second. I gave them a slight smile and a short wave. They stopped staring and “became distracted” by something nearby. Perhaps they took more looks at me, but I did not bother to find out.
That is about all that happened. There was one customer whom I saw on most aisles. She is in the picture below. When she first saw me, she gave my outfit no reaction. She never acted like she minded being around me. We never spoke. I feel like this outing might sound boring. But it was not. I loved it! I want to do all of our grocery shopping in a skirt now! Some customers only nodded a “Howdy,” others smiled and said hello more like normal (I live in a friendly part of the world). I loved this part of this outing because I was a normal guy in a normal place doing a normal thing while wearing a skirt. That was rewarding.
There was one non-normal thing I did… I brought in my camera and took a couple pictures of me in the store. I did this because a couple people have asked me to post a picture. It really feels odd using a camera in auto mode to sneak a picture of myself. When I walked away from my cart for the first picture, I realized that I did not turn off the flash. “Oh, no!”, I though. “Anyone nearby is going to know I am taking pictures of myself!” Fortunately, the flash did not go off.
Small Clothing Store
I was still looking for a cardigan when I went to a small clothing store. Again, this was not scheduled. They did not have cardigans. I walked around the store looking. I came upon a family. There were two little children that I did not anticipate. They were probably two and three years old. I was at a rack and both kids came around the rack on either side of me. The older child, a girl, stopped and looked at me. She said to the roughly fifty year old woman who was with her, “He is wearing a dress. Why is he wearing a dress?” She said it in a hesitant way as though she did not know if it was inappropriate to say out loud. The woman said, “I guess because that is what he likes to wear. Don’t you like to wear dresses?” A few minutes later, the woman spoke to me about the kids, but not about the girl’s comment.
I went to a nearby department store. Again, unscheduled and again looking for a cardigan. At this point, I am not going to get home when I wanted to. In the ladies’ section, a sales girl tried to help me. She was in her early twenties. This young woman was very nice to me in spite of my clothes. While talking to her, I spoke negatively about my extra weight and later about my shoulders, etc.. Each time, the sales girl had something bad to say about her weight or shoulders, etc. In my opinion, she looked like a pretty woman. She smiled a lot, which is the best makeup. If she is so wrong about the negatives she expressed, then maybe I am wrong about my negatives too…
I asked the sales girl if she would take my picture. I mentioned that I wanted the picture for my blog. She asked for the name of my blog. That was a bit of a moment for me. I do not give out my blog name in person. I try to keep my blog more anonymous than that… I gave her my blog name. I assume she forgot it by the end of her shift. What I know for sure is that by this point, I was late, and I still did not have a cardigan.
Department Store 2
I said to myself that My next stop needed to be the store where I needed to return some items. However, on the way, I stopped at another department store. I shopped around and found a few cardigans to choose from. I asked another customer for color advice at one point. She politely helped me, but I think she was a bit surprised to be helping a man in a skirt. Her surprise did not limit her help. I selected a cardigan. I worry that it is too feminine for my style. I got in line to check out. There was an older man talking to an older couple. They must have been friends or neighbors. I was standing in plain view not too far from them. At some point, the man, who was talking, looked my way. He totally lost his train of thought. He paused for a couple seconds trying to remember what he was saying. His friend spoke up changing the subject and saved him from the moment. That is a decent friend!
Finally, I made my way to the outlet mall. I changed into my purple sleeveless top and the new white cardigan. I returned my items to the store at the outlet mall. The same employees were there that served me when I went the first time. I was feeling good in my black skirt, purple top, and white cardigan. I thought the outfit was pretty. The sales girl said it looked good. I left the store and took a lap around the group of stores I was in and returned to my car.
When I got home I was over an hour later than I intended to be. My wife was annoyed at me for being late. Getting home on time from outings is a problem for me. I have too many “just one more” moments.
I took a day off from work. I arranged with my wife for me to take a road trip to an outlet mall for a crossdressing outing for the first part of the day. This stuff makes her uncomfortable, but she is still good enough to let me have this liberty.
I had to decide which outlet mall to go to. I have gone to one outlet mall several times. The one I have been to is near a city. The people there are rather liberally minded. I decided to try a different outlet mall. This one is in a rural area. I assume that this town’s inhabitants are as conservative as one would find anywhere in my country.
I dressed in a red a-line skirt, a teal top, off black pantyhose, black flats, long black cardigan. As always, I was presenting male. I was just a man in a skirt. During the day, I asked a clerk for her opinion about my outfit. She recommended that I should not have worn the teal top. Apparently, it would have looked better to have worn something neutral with the red skirt. I am new to dressing in much color. I geeked out on color, or so it appears…
Restaurant With Store
On my way to the outlet mall, I stopped at a restaurant that has a store connected to it. I had already eaten breakfast at home. I was stalling. I needed something to do for ten minutes to make time for the outlet stores to open.
I browsed around in the restaurant’s store. A young, possibly 22 year old, female employee came over to see if I needed any help. She was polite and welcoming. She told me where the sales were and complimented the [feminine] items she liked. She left me to my shopping. I had only entered the store to buy some soft peppermint sticks. Eventually, I went to the cash register. There were two women at the cash register, a waitress and a cashier. I found the peppermints I wanted on the front counter. The two women talked with me while I paid my bill. One even pulled out a coin so that I did not need to break a larger bill.
At the beginning of an outing, I am normally rather self-conscious. However, at opening time on a weekday in this outlet mall, there were almost no people to be self-conscious around. I was so early that not all of the stores were open. As I was walking along the walkway beside store entrances, I heard a security guard and two store employees talking outside of a store entrance. They were farther on ahead of me and across a grassy area. I walked along looking into shop windows. Suddenly, the three women became quiet. When it happened, I was looking in a store window. I looked around and saw them all looking at me. I smiled and waved. They waved back and said good morning.
I went to a couple of clothing stores. Nothing very interesting happened. The few customers I encountered paid me no attention. I believe that many of them never saw my outfit. The store clerks treated me like a normal customer. One clerk asked for clarity when I mentioned my wife. I informed her my “wife” was a normal definition of a wife.
My only planned stop was at a hosiery, etc. store. I needed to stock up. I was shopping for men’s socks, something my wife asked me to pick up, and pantyhose. I was the only customer in the store. One of the clerks was unusually knowledgeable about the products. She was also accustomed to male customers.
Lunch at a Mexican Restaurant
I went to a nearby Mexican Restaurant. As I entered, I found myself in the presence of about ten people. A female Hispanic employee and I almost ran into each other. She seemed to suppress a laugh. There were a couple customers waiting to be seated. One, a woman, was facing me and looked up and down at me. The male employees were completely casual and seated me and served me like normal.
There were three Hispanic men at the table next to where I was seated. They turned to see me approach, but they did not stare or even acknowledge me. They simply ate their food. While I was walking to the cash register to pay, I saw the woman who had looked at me as I entered the restaurant. She was seated in an aisle seat in a booth. She leaned out to see my outfit again. We made eye contact and smiled politely at one another. I paid my bill and left.
I changed into a black sweater pencil skirt and a red top and a faux leather jacket with my off-black pantyhose and flats.
I went to a coffee shop to purchase some gift cards. When I walked in, I looked around to find where I should go. The woman behind the counter warmly invited me to the cash register. I made my purchase, thanked her, and left. No one seemed to pay me any attention. I was starting to feel like I was not an oddity!
From there, I went to a hardware store in the nearby town. This is a small, country town. I was a little unnerved. I figured I might have to hold my head up high around a bunch of hard-working, bearded, country boys. They might not respect my fashion choices.
As I walked into the store, the cashier gave me a look that expressed a little surprise. Regardless, she welcomed me professionally. I browsed around the store for what I needed. There were no burly men to intimidate me. In fact, the store was mostly empty. At one point, I passed a group of 50-60 year old employees (“good ole boys”) sitting and talking. I found the general area that I needed to be in. I hunted around for a few moments. A female employee roughly 55 years old approached me offering help. She helped me until I had found everything I needed. She was very nice and social. She even chatted with me for a little while after I was done shopping. We walked together toward the cash register. She left me in order to go work when we passed the employees who were sitting and talking.
At the cash register, there was a pretty woman in dressy clothes talking to the cashier. She stopped talking so that I could pay. She backed away, but paid a lot of attention to me. The cashier was completely normal with me. Later, I happened to look across the store to where the employees were sitting and talking. The pretty woman was standing near there and had her phone out. I wondered if she had taken my picture. The group of employees were all slightly animated like they were amused. I did not love it, but I was not really all that affected.
Walking Around Downtown
I drove into the downtown area. Most of the shops were antique stores. I saw a fancy dress shop. I wanted to go in. I parked my car. I walked down the block to the store and found it locked with the door stating it was “open”. I was in clear view of a man sitting on a bench across the street. I walked back down the block. I passed my car. I visited an antiques consignment store farther down the block. I looked around the store and then left.
I returned to walking down the street. I reached the street corner. A woman had just crossed the street and was standing there. Another man was sitting on another bench. This time the bench was on my side of the street. I assumed that these men were unemployed. I crossed the street. I saw in a store window reflection that the man and woman were talking. Of course, my worried mind assumed they were talking about me.
I went to another antique store. The employee was very engaging and friendly. I looked around and left. I noticed more men on this side of the street just sitting on benches. I decided it was time to get back in my car. I prepared to cross the street opposite my car. I noticed someone had opened the fuel opening on my car. The car that was coming my way stopped. I crossed. I opened the door to my car. The vehicle that had stopped for me was driving past me. I looked and saw that the driver had her phone up and pointed at me. She had just taken my picture. Not cool!
I left there and went to a grocery store to pick up a couple items. Nothing interesting happened.
Office Supply Store
I started heading toward home. I stopped at an office supply store to get some tape. The cashier told me that I had to buy two to get the special price. She was very social and friendly. I told her that I was having a lot of trouble with static cling. She recommended spraying hair spray near your outfit. She said it wears off and you can do it again. She said it works as well as those anti-static sprays in the store, but it is cheaper. She rang me up for two packages of tape. I went to the back and got a second package. No customers seemed to acknowledge me or my outfit. I think the black skirt did not draw much attention to itself as being unusual.
I went to a nearby clothing store. I shopped around a little. I asked a staff member if they had khaki skirts. She said no. She talked to me briefly about what they had and what she likes in khaki skirts. I shopped around some more. I passed a 70 year old woman. She was also wearing a skirt and pantyhose. Later we passed again. We spoke. I told her that normally, I am the only person in a skirt and pantyhose. She laughed in a friendly way. I said, “I am going to think of you as my buddy.” She replied, “OK, I’ll be your buddy. I would be glad to be buddies.” I started walking away, but she started talking to me again. I came back and she talked to me for a couple minutes about how she has trouble finding skirts in her preferred style.
There was a man walking around. He was walking between the ladies’ wear section and another section. I considered changing my path to avoid him. I decided, “No. I will not let fear control me.” I proceeded toward him. His phone was distracting him and he did not look at me.
I had decided that I was done shopping in the store. As I was walking toward the exit, the employee from earlier called to me, “Does it have to be khaki?” I turned around. She had found something for me. She took me to a rack where there were khaki colored knit skirts. Khaki fabric is woven and does not stretch. These skirts were smooth feeling and would fit like some similar pretty skirts I have seen ladies wear.
Ladies’ Dressing Room
I asked, “Can I use the dressing room.” The employee, assured me that yes I can, and motioned toward the nearby dressing room in the ladies’ section. I have been to another store like this and have only tried to use the men’s dressing room. I kept my eyes forward as I walked down to an open dressing stall so that no one would see my tall head looking in any way toward the door of an occupied stall.
I tried on the skirt. It fit snugly. I liked the fabric. I did not care for the style. it had buttons on it for accents and a slit in the front. I exited the dressing area. While I was looking at myself in the three-way mirror, the clerk approached me. She gave me the advice, “It is not the right size. I can see your (short pause to collect the right words) lines from your undergarments.” She resisted saying “panty lines”.
The sales lady also gave me the candid advice, “Don’t wear that black skirt. I don’t like the white part on it. It looks ‘old lady’.” I had some doubts about the skirt. I am going to take her advice.
Just as I started walking back toward the dressing rooms to change out of the skirt, a woman who had seen me and who was shopping nearby said to her companion, “Let’s go to the dressing room and try it on.” I did not really think about it as I walked on into the dressing rooms myself. I went back to my stall (still looking straight ahead in the main area of the dressing rooms). While I was changing skirts, a woman came into the dressing area and walked past my stall. She was not the customer. She was an employee. She was the manager. She passed my stall. On her way back she spoke to me. She, in a polite tone, stated that she might have to ask me to use the men’s dressing room next time because of the lady customers. I told her OK and that I understood.
When I exited the dressing room, I thanked the employee who had helped me. At the rack where the khaki skirt belonged, I found the customer who spoke of going to the dressing room. She did not interact with me. She seemed comfortable. However, I wonder if she complained to management about me being in the dressing room. I did not hear anyone besides myself come into the dressing rooms
As I walked toward the exit, I came upon the older lady in the skirt. I said, “Good-bye buddy!” She responded playfully. As I passed the cashiers, three employees all said their good=byes and come again greetings. One of the three ladies was the manager who had spoken to me in the dressing rooms. She thanked me for coming and invited me to “come again anytime.” That was well played. She politely marked the boundary with me about the dressing room, yet she invited me back and added the word “anytime”. She is good.
After that, I changed and went home. By the time I got home, school was out. I played catch in the yard with me three kids. That evening, I told my wife about all of my experiences. I admitted that going to the last clothing store was an example of me not wanting to stop. It was like when the kids stall so effectively at bedtime. My wife nodded her head while I said it. I think she agrees.
Her final reaction was that she was glad I had a good time.
Once again, I went on an outing during my lunch break from work. I put on my red a-line skirt, a teal short sleeve top, nude pantyhose, and black flats.
I drove to a new hamburger restaurant. When I walked in, I saw the girl working at the counter. She looked at me and I saw no sign that she even noticed my outfit. Several other employees, and there were quite a lot of them, appeared to be distracted by me. One employee walked past me to clean the drink area. Another employee decided to go join him. I wondered if they were just trying to find a reason to walk past me.
There were three adult customers in the restaurant. I am not sure if any of them saw me. There was also a kid with a cell phone. He never took his eyes off of the screen. I was invisible.
I paid my bill and walked over to the drink station where one of the previously mentioned employees was working. I spoke to him and he responded. I filled my cup and then sat down. Later my food was ready and I ate it. It was just a normal lunch.
On my way back to work, I stopped at a shoe store. I was still dressed pretty. The store manager from a neighboring town was working in the store. She helped me. At some point, she talked about other guys who shop from her. She said she had in her clientèle crossdressers, drag queens, and guys who only wear certain garments, like heels. She said, “All of the guys I know love pantyhose and all of the women I know hate them.” I asked her what she meant. She clarified that that all of the men who buy women’s shoes from here are pantyhose lovers/wearers. Interesting.
I did not buy any shoes, but I found a couple pairs that I want to come back and try on in my size when they have some.
Finally, I changed clothes and went back to work.
Once again, I went on an outing during my lunch break. I put on my multi-colored skirt, a red top with 3/4 sleeves, nude pantyhose, black flats. I also had my black faux leather jacket, but I did not wear it. It was too warm.
First I went to a discount store that sold clothing and more. I went to the clothing section. On my way, no one paid me any attention. While I was shopping, none of the nearby customers detected anything unusual about me.
I found colorful tops! These knit tops were long enough to cover my midsection when I reach up with my arms. The sleeves were shorter than I prefer. One should not see someone’s armpit hair when they raise their elbow. The neck opening was also slightly larger than I prefer. However, these were usable tops. I also found some skirts, some leggings to try on.
In order to enter the dressing room, an employee had to unlock it. I walked over to an employee and told her what I needed. She went to go get a key. I returned to the dressing room area. When the employee approached with the key, she got her first glimpse of my outfit. She did a double take and then proceeded as though nothing was unusual. She took another look at my outfit after unlocking the door for me. I thanked her and that was that.
I tried on several items. I decided to purchase the items I listed previously. I returned to the aisles to put up the clothes I would not buy. A woman in her 50s was riding on an electric cart was shopping near me. We ended up on the same aisle. She was too occupied to look at me. At some point, we started talking. She never paid my outfit any attention, and she was completely natural with me.
I selected a few colors of the good shirts and went to the cashier. She was friendly and professional and never seemed to give my outfit the common up-down-up look that many people give me. I bought a shiny, silky, a-line, below-the-knee skirt; a black sweater skirt with white accents near the bottom; seamless leggings with fleece inside; three long waisted, solid-colored tops in red, green, and teal. All of this was only $30. Perhaps these clothes are cheaply made and will not last many washings.
A significant thing to note about this part of my outing is that most of the people that I encountered were “blue collar” people. Perhaps one would call them “working class” or “laboring class” people. I perceived them to be low-paid, lowly-educated people. Where I live, a lot this segment of the population often would be very conservative and not very open minded. They might consider a man in a skirt to be a social threat. They might scowl at me. They might say something rude directly to me. None of these things happened. Perhaps my expectations are incorrect.
I went to a consignment store. This is the store where I bought the multi-colored skirt I was wearing. I changed into the teal top that I had just purchased. It matched the skirt much better than the red top I was wearing.
I walked into the store and said hello to my friend who owns the consignment store. She smiled and happily welcomed me in. Before she had finished saying her greeting, I had walked into the store enough to see that she was checking out a customer. The customer looked at me as I came into view. She smiled and said hello to me as well. Since she was with a customer, I looked around the store. When the customer was finished, she walked past me toward the exit. She again politely spoke to me and wished me well. She was not passively being polite, she went above and beyond local custom for politeness. Interesting…
My friend and I talked and caught up. I have not seen her in months. She is kind of like my big sister who helps me put together outfits. She takes a lot of interest in my adventures. She had not seen me since I shaved my beard. I tried on some boots that she had in my size, but they did not work out because the mouth of the boot was much too large.
I asked for her opinion about my new jacket. She approved. I still needed to go eat lunch. She recommended a couple places and mentioned that they were busy. I had spent so much time shopping that it was now deep into the lunch hour.
I left her store and went to a sandwich restaurant where they build your sandwich. I could not see into the restaurant very well from the parking lot. That is frightening, because I cannot predict what type of people I will encounter, or if I know any of them.
I went into the restaurant. No one was waiting in line. Only one of the employees looked up from what she was doing. I was at the counter before any other employee looked at me. Therefore, only the first employee knew I was in a skirt. The employees at the counter made my sandwich and spoke with me. I complimented a younger employee on her hair. It was all in braids. I think it was a weave (fake hair blended into real hair). It was pretty.
When my sandwich was complete, I approached the cash register where the employee who definitely saw my skirt was waiting. She asked me if the food was for here or to-go. There was one couple in the dining area. Another woman was behind me in line. I decided to eat in. I filled my drink cup, sat down, and ate my sandwich.
The woman in the dining area couple saw me at the cash register. I never noticed her lunch mate look my way. She must not have thought it was worth mentioning. I find that SO intriguing.
The woman who was behind me in line got her food to go. My table was near the door. As the customer was leaving, she spoke to me as she slowed in order to push the door open. She said something like, “It’s a very busy day…” She unnecessarily spoke to a crossdresser! How positive!!
After I finished, disposed of my trash, and refilled my cup. I went to the exit and turned to push the door with my side. The older female employee said good-bye. Perhaps another woman spoke too. I said good-bye. I made eye contact with the younger employee whose hair I had complimented. During that second or two of eye contact, she smiled gently. I felt welcome there.
As I was stepping out of the restaurant, a male employee happened to approach the counter while working. He also said good-bye.
I changed and went back to work.
Hispanic Stores and Downtown
After work, I wanted to have another outing. I put on my red, a=line skirt and the teal top. I was also wearing nude pantyhose with flats. I went to a Hispanic grocery store. I bought a soft drink. I went to another Hispanic restaurant and bought some sweet bread. I drove to the downtown area of a small, nearby town. I got out of my car and walked down the empty sidewalk. I crossed the street in front of a parked car with a woman in it. I looked in at couples learning to dance. I walked up the other side of the street. I passed a couple restaurants where I saw people dining. They could not see me. I crossed the street again. I walked back toward my car. I passed a bar. A woman was sitting in front of it smoking. We said, “Hello” to each other as I passed her. I returned to my car and drove home.
I had some time to run some errands. First, I did one errand in menswear. Then, I went to a thrift store. I was shopping for ladies’ tops and khaki skirts. I found a few items including a black “leather” ladies’ jacket. I went to the dressing room and found that the only khaki skirt in my size did not work for me. I bought the black jacket, a white ladies’ undershirt for layering, and a white ladies’ button-up shirt.
Next, I changed into a knee length multicolored skirt, a black top with a built-in cardigan with black flats and nude pantyhose. I also wore my new, black, faux leather jacket. I went to a small store and shopped for a Valentine’s card for my wife. There was one elderly man in the store. Otherwise, there were only women in the store. I counted at least three employees. As I entered and walked across the store, a few women incidentally saw me and then took a more intense look. After the moment of looking right at me, each woman returned back to what she was doing.
While I was browsing the greeting cards, an occasional customer would walk past the end of the aisle. A couple of them would realize there was a man in a skirt and take a distinct look at me and then move on. If I turned my head toward them, they would glance away as though they felt awkward about looking at me.
I heard an employee talking to a customer on another aisle. She needed a Valentine’s card for her husband. The employee brought her to the aisle I was on. She was a woman in her seventies. She was an educated woman. She needed a second or two to process what she saw when she came upon the skirted man in the card aisle. She talked to me the whole time we shopped together. I perceived from her speech that she was an unusually intelligent woman. We talked about Valentine’s Day, our spouses, the cards, but never my outfit. She was a very positive woman. If she said something, it was complimentary about the cards, or the staff, or about her husband. She inspired me to try to be like her in my speech.
I found the card I would purchase. I said good-bye to the intelligent woman. I went to the cash register and waited in line. The cashier was the same woman who took my money the last time I was in this store. She was warm and welcoming. She did her job and politely welcomed me back.
I drove to my eye doctor’s office. I went to get new lenses put into my old frames. In the lobby, there was a woman on my side of the counter, and an employee on the other side. The woman on my side of the counter seemed more like a sales person than a customer. Later, I learned that my impression was correct. She was pretty and wearing a cute, well selected outfit.
The salesperson turned around and looked to see who was coming into the lobby. She looked at me and smiled warmly (like a sales person). Then she glanced down and back up and kept smiling and spoke a greeting to me. She turned back toward the employee, excused herself, and walked past me and exited. The employee welcomed me by name. I paid my bill. I gave her my old glasses and she walked into another room to work on them. I turned to sit in the lobby and wait. Before I could sit down, she spoke to me. I walked over to the door to the room where she was and responded. She held a conversation with me while she worked. It made me feel valued.
I asked her for her opinion of my new jacket. She offered a polite, non-insulting opinion. Personally I am not sure if I like the jacket yet. She said it would look better with a colorful top under it instead of black.
I told her that I do not go out dressed pretty all the time. It is something I only do occasionally. I told her that two years ago when I came into her office for the first time, that it was the first time I had ever given my full name to someone while dressed. She laughingly replied, “Yep, we have got all your information.” And they do. I told her it was a big step for me to do that and I told her, “Thank you.”
I do not think that I can reasonably explain what I was thanking her for. I know her participation was passive, but it was participation in a big moment in my life. Therefore, I feel gratitude toward her and the whole office.
I went on a lunchtime outing. I left work and changed into a black and white striped skirt, a red pull-over top, a thick black cardigan sweater, nude pantyhose, and black flats. Like usual, I was otherwise presenting male.
First, I went to the barber shop. In truth, it is more of a salon. Normally, if I get there early, there are few or no other customers. Normally, all customers are women. Often, I get my hair cut while the other customers are waiting for their color or perm to set. This time, when I arrived, there was only one customer, a man, and he was getting his hair cut. I sat down and waited.
Another customer arrived. It was another man. He greeted the owner of the salon. He greeted me. He made a few glances to my face and down to my skirt. He never stopped presenting a friendly face, but he needed a few seconds to perceive what I was wearing while he took off his jacket.
The man sat down on another couch that was 90 degrees off from my couch. Then, he commenced to hold a light conversation with me about the weather, etc. He took another glance at my lower half a couple times, but he never mentioned it and never seemed uncomfortable with talking to me.
I was called back for my hair cut. It was uneventful. The owner’s daughter arrived eventually and she politely greeted me. When my hair cut was finished, I paid and said my good-byes. The man got up while I was paying. He walked past me and asked me if I was not cold and made a hand motion to communicate about my exposed legs. I told him, “No, I am in warm buildings most of the time.”
Next, I went to my eye doctor. My insurance says that I am now eligible for new glasses now that it is a new year. I went to the office to discuss frames, etc. I arrived and was the only person in the waiting room. While I was waiting at the receptionist’s counter, the door opened behind me. In walked a mother and a little girl that I would estimate to be an eight year old.
I am uncomfortable around children. I do not want to give them ideas of things to try, and I do not want to force the parents to have uncomfortable conversations with their children about me and my crossdressing. Since my back was to them, possibly neither the child nor her mother noticed me. They came in and walked around the corner of the counter. I kept the column on the counter between my face and the little girl.
I got the impression that the mother was an involved, engaged parent. She corrected the child with, “What did I tell you before we came in?” The child obeyed. Then the child came around her mother and saw me. She stood there, five feet (1.5 meters) away from me. I awkwardly and quickly turned my head to glance at her and back. She was standing there facing me just looking at me. She smiled and raised her hand to wave. I had glanced away too quickly, so I glanced back to acknowledge her wave. She waved again. She stood there for at least a full minute just looking at me.
The mother and the employee walked over to a display case to look at frames, the girl went with them, but I think she was looking at me as she walked away. Then, she started looking at frames and I never saw her pay me any more attention. At one point, the mother decided that she would go to another store to find the frames the girl wanted because they did not have them. I worried that she saw me and decided to get out quick.
The employees helped me find my frames just like last time. I was treated with the same respect I would have received in menswear. During this process, another customer, a man, came in and sat down. Then he was called back to the doctor. I never paid him any attention, so I do not know if he ever looked at me.
Finally, I went to a restaurant. I was going to go to a sandwich shop, but the restaurant next door had no customers. This one had a glass front where I could see the entire serving area. There were two young, pretty ladies at the counter talking. This seemed more inviting than the sandwich shop which appeared to have some customers at the tables.
I went to the empty restaurant. One of the women immediately went to the kitchen to be ready to serve me. They had watched me approach the door. I was served like normal. I got my food to go. I sat in the dining area while I waited on my order. I received my food and went to my car.
When I got to my car I looked back into the restaurant. The two women were back at the front counter, but they were not looking at each other this time. They were watching me. I got into my car. They turned toward each other. I could not tell, but they might have shared a laugh. It was not easy to see their faces. Their body movements were inconclusive.
I left there, changed back into my work clothes, and I went back to work and ate my lunch..