I do hope readers will forgive me. Here I am, a busy week later recollecting events at a too slothful pace. Undoubtedly the contents of my mental purse will topple out crazily, and I will lose some of the pretty details. Too busy with the rest of life I suppose. Nevertheless, when I hit the pause button on last weeks trip out for a little facial treatment, I was just strolling out into Lennox Square, looking pretty well in my estimation. At the very least I was feeling well. Lets rejoin the moment here now.
Shoes are all important, and while I do have a penchant for a perilously perched pair 4 inchers (love what they do for the calves you know) I had my mall-ready 3” closed foot pumps, easy on the hard tile floors and for the long distances ahead. The rest of the ensemble, DK sheers, a very high waist stretch lace skirt, and my old favorite Danskin body suit, back-zip turtleneck top. Clingy would be the correct adjective.
Toute l’ensemble is pictured below. Please be kind. I am not much of a photographer, for starters. Take that truth, add a new camera with a flash with a mind of its own, a moody timer mechanism, impossibly small operating buttons, me hampered by false nails, and the results are predictable. I even managed to make myself look like I have a belly, which friends would tell you is simply not the case. And the smile, someday I will learn, I promise.
First stop, Neiman Marcus. Now don’t think for a moment that I am on this kind of a budget, but I must say the aisles here are wide, and the shop is never too, too crowded. This is a great setting to get into the moment, and really fully occupy your best feminine mind-space before really wading out into the busy world. Plus, they do have very nice things there, and not all of them requiring a 2nd or 3rd mortgage.
For instance, the highly desirable Wolford Flora Tights (pictured right), which typically retail at $55.00. I managed to pinch a pair for a mere $19.00, and had a nice chat with sales assistant about leg wear and maintaining ones appearance in the midst of a sad economic decline. Courage my dears.
Now friends there is a lesson – do pay attention here: If you want a little more comfort and ease swanning around in a mall en femme, I can tell you from personal experience that having a needlessly big Neiman Marcus bag slung over your shoulder goes a good long way. This is the shopping equivalent of spinning up to the valet station in a Bentley I suppose. I felt good before. Now, I felt bulletproof.
A little scour of Ann Taylor yielded nothing from the racks, but pure gold from a human interaction perspective. The unfairly beautiful sales assistant, six feet tall in socks at least, and happily perched on the 4” pumps I referred to earlier, as I was nearing the door on the way out hailed me:
“psssst … your outfit, is that a dress or a skirt”
“skirt, the top is a separate”
“gorgeous. I love it!”.
Well, we simply had to chat. She was surprised to learn that the skirt came from JC Penney, which I took to be a complement, even if the folks at JCP don’t. She was happy to report that the AT spring line was going to be just stuffed with things that she thought I would love and that would look beautiful on me. Just a nice, genuine, warm welcome, which seems the norm at this lovely shop, however I am dressed.
I am not sure though that I could have had an equally easy and natural chat with her in guy mode. This towering African beauty was an absolute stunner. A traffic stopper. "Drab" me would have stammered or perhaps gaped in a daft and offputting way. New discoveries about this cross dressing life it seems are always just around the corner.
The much vaunted Victoria’s Secret Semi Annual sale was either fully picked over, or fully stocked with unwearable, unattractive dreck. Moving quickly on, and towards the exit out of Macy’s. I paused to pull my coat back on." Thanks for visiting Ma’am", in a very friendly way from the Macy’s staffer. My first Ma’am! A milestone of sorts, and one that I think I wish upon you all. It was high time for a glass of wine.
Paris in Decatur is a little bar not too far off from home that, until recently catered to the Lesbian set but, unknown to me, had recently switched current and been reborn as a Gay bar. Welcoming of thirsty and sociable people of all denominations of course, but pretty uniformly male on the evening I dropped in.
Travis, the operator of this fine establishment lamented a little about how difficult it is to create a setting where all the different tribes just get along. It is a shame. I tend to like rooms with variety, but here at least there was entertainment.
A regular Paris Thursday fixture is live karaoke, featuring a super-skilled pianist with an inexhaustible inventory of Great American Songbook standards at the tip of his fingers. Of the half dozen songs I stayed for, at least 4 were performed by guys who really knew how to belt out Gershwin, Rogers and Sondheim, and other personal favorites. No cover charge, just a tip jar for the Piano Man. Superb value.
One of the hosts of the evening was an Elton John impersonator whose voice ran to more octaves than I have shoes. He actually makes a living doing Elton, perhaps not in the way he dreams, but doing Elton nonetheless. We traded notes on music in general and chatted between sets. It was one of those encounters you really can’t plan to put in your life, a little surreal and weirdly natural all at the same time. A professional impersonator chatting with an amateur one.
I am going to make Paris an occasional stop – you simply cannot beat live music, and anyone looking for tips on skin care could do worse than taking notes from a well preserved fellow at an upmarket gay bar. Really, I need all the help I can get. If you do live in Atlanta, go visit. You will feel welcomed. Work on getting a song down well, and some nice man will buy you a drink.
More nice stuff soon.
Happy dressing and everything else…