First among unequal’s was of course the Sears Catalog. I would keep my thumb in the fishing tackle pages near the back, ready for a click flick in the event of sudden company while studiously absorbing the every detail of the confounding and compelling foundation garments featured rather near the front. The geography of the female form, and the sorcery with which it was concealed and enhanced held me in its gentle grip for happy hours at a time.
A close contender, reading-wise, was The World Book of Nations. Geography of a different sort, this book stirred in me my other great life long passion: beating my passport into a bloody, pocket-bent, dog-eared pulp, inked over, stapled and babel-tongued by renewal time.
The Jesuits say, show me the boy of seven, and I will show you the man. True often, and, in my case a 10 point bulls-eye: a vagabond in strappy sandals.
The World Book of Nations was of course rich in maps, but replete also with statistics, notes on languages employed and gods prayed to, commentary on social organization, currency, political systems, key economic drivers, and compelling illustrations of faces and robes typically different from my own. Go ahead, ask me for the name of the capital city of even the most obscure county. I have it still.
I do not have the book though. I think I hollowed out the pages to stash my vintage Playboy collection sometime in the early 70’s. Decisions, decisions.
Not travelling now so much as I used to, I now get my geography jolly’s in part through Voyages en Rose as illustrated by Google Analytics. Pretty, pretty maps, and good heavens look where all of our friends live. Never ceases to amaze me. I was waiting for some tile grout to dry out the other day, and went travelling as far North and South as Voyages en Rose had ventured in your hands. I wanted to think and learn about the lives of this blogs' Peary and Amundsen. Here presented as part of my periodical series of whimsical quantitative analysis are notes on our North and South-most outposts.
Northern Hemisphere: Tromsø, Norway, 68 º 69 N
Dear me, Tromsø is up there. This city of roughly 75,000 residents gets 2 months of midnight sun and mid-day dark both. Evidence of human settlement goes back as far as 10,000 years, and so clearly cross dressing has deep roots here. On the conservative assumption that perhaps 3% of the male population has a penchant for women’s clothing, our one visitor from this remote hamlet is surely not alone. There are 2 post-secondary institutions in Tromsø, and so with young people huddling and drinking for warmth, the nightlife (all-nightlife?) is reputed to be thriving. Opaque tights and tall boots are never out of style north of the Arctic Circle. I think I would love it.
Southern Hemisphere: Invercargill, New Zealand, 46º 42 S
The southern hemisphere, being the water hemisphere does not provide so many comfy perches for a cross dresser to perch upon. That said, you have to work pretty hard to get south of Invercargill. Ushuaia, Argentina is the only city on the planet further south (54 º 47 S) than this pretty Southern Island outpost. New Zealand as a geography has benefitted from a relatively short acquaintance with humans, with the original Maori settlement beginning only some 700 years or so ago.
Invercargill is of course a lovely Scottish name, true to the roots of the second wave of human settlement in the 1700’s. The Scots are uniquely possessed of an almost wretched love of homeland and an unsurpassed drive to get as far the hell away from it as possible. You have to love that. Prior to this pale wooly settlement, The Maori had made a nice home of Waihōpai for a good while, but given their famous martial traditions may not have seen a man in a skirt before the Scots pitched up and hitched up their kilts.
In any event, this city of roughly 50,000 is oddly a hotbed of competitive cycling. There is a velodrome in Invercargill. This fact provides our one visitor with a perfect cover for the shaving of legs. Nobody would bat an eyelid. Really. Go ahead!
I want to thank my Extreme Cross Dressing, Polar Opposites for visiting these Voyages en Rose, and for giving me the impetus to take a little virtual trip to your fabulous homes.
And how about you? Even more extreme? Remote? Drop a line anytime. My Passport is sadly fresh looking.
Small Editorial Postscript …
On the matter of font size, the very slenderest of margins came out in favor of keeping things just the way they are. Closed poll results presented are displayed here. Click to enlarge.
I am relieved for a couple of reasons. First, it saves me from adapting to another newish thing, at a time when my capacity for adaptation is already being pressed. Secondly, it indicates that a slim (final figure flattering metaphor of the day I promise) majority of you figure I made an acceptable decision somewhere back in the perfumed mists of time. Thanks for the encouragement, and as well for the thoughtful commentary.
And for those of you in the slightly smaller vocal and hopefully not bi-focalled minority, may I suggest that if a post looks like you might want to enjoy it, simply copy and paste into your word processor, and just add a font size or 2 for your reading pleasure. I do appreciate your forebearance with the will of the sorority.
Happy Dressing, and everything else...