Yes friends, here we are deep into the manic month, dreaded and delightful December. The dread has much to do with just how many things need doing, and the generally worsening weather in which they get done.
The delight is abundant though. Contemplative finishing stitches are put on the waning year, loved ones are loved, and one receives a little love in return. Sometimes too in December, we get to witness, or precipitate a random act of kindness, stranger to stranger, the little miracles of humanity that seem most important when the Sun is at it’s furthest remove. Watch for it. Heart warming stuff is nearby, and is a pleasant relief from other year end rituals like spittle flecked, profanity laced shouting matches over possession of the last damned parking spot within marching distance of the mall.
It is a lovely time of year too for people with an eye for style. Women do make an extra effort with themselves even with all the chaos. Whether it’s an office party, a dinner party with friends, or a seething, sullen and uncommunicative custody hearing, you just know that looking a little better, newer, more special is OK, welcomed, even expected. The bigger and later in the day, the bigger the effort, the better the looks.
Most chaps out there look forward to a little harmless ogling. Me? I take notes. There is so much more to pay attention to, to be mesmerized by. The color, shape, glitter and glamour dials get cranked up to 11 (one louder). Nails are brighter, eyes smolder like a tire dump fire, hair is teased out and pumped up, perfume descends like sunset in the desert.
Accessories too, the sparkling little clutch with room enough only for lip gloss, a credit card and a condom is held by a bare arm, draped in a diaphanous tasseled shawl. Rings and bracelets catch light even in dark rooms, subtly and not-so-subtly saying to the world “yes, I am all that, and at least one person agrees with me…”
Comfort falls by the wayside as far as shoes go too. Strappy sandals, beguiling d’Orsays, glittering, beribboned, velvety, metallic, anything but dull, and anything but flat. You see, one wants to drive the height up a bit and really look people in the eye, perhaps from an unexpected angle. Indeed, with the shoes and hair done just so, a 6” change in altitude is not out of the realm of the possible.
This sudden change in presence draws attention to plunging necklines, fabulous necklaces, polished pendants poised just so, nestled warmly upon more brazenly displayed busts, pushed up, powdered, perfumed and proud.
All of this is lovely yes, but for me, the High Holidays are also the time of High Hemlines. And for this, here in the Church of Petra, can we get an Amen? Hell yes.
I was out this past weekend to join friends at the year end Tri-Ess / Sigma Epsilon gathering. I went high of hem, and had a high old time. It was party number 2 of a longish day, requiring a drastic change of appearance during the intermission. I would have like to have taken more time with the maquillage, but December schedules do not always allow the luxury of time.
My party frock for the evening, a foxy little number from Macy’s, picked up for a relative song had been quietly waiting on the sidelines and hoping to be called up to the big leagues since early October. I had such fun with her in the fitting room (story here), I was very much looking forward to her debut evening.
With coat off and over my arm, I followed the wrong party sounds navigating my way through the hotel and wound up in an impromptu chat with a couple of gentleman loitering outside what I took to be a Korean jewelry merchants soiree. My silver accessories attracted positive notice. I did take a look back over my shoulder once they had steered me in the correct direction and can claim a little giddily that the rest of the visible me did too. That’ll straighten your shoulders in a hurry friends.
I soon found the right room. This was only my second social with my local support group, and so most of the faces were new to me, and vice versa. The average attendee, there with a supportive spouse, was an empty nester freed up in later years to better explore themselves without the prying eyes of kids about the house. The ladies of this great generation did go all out for the evening. Lots of glitter in evidence, a very happy celebration.
There were a handful of late Baby Boomers like me in attendance, and a even a young 20 something with a complexion to kill for (I am mad jealous Grace), but I felt as though I was amongst the youngest in the room. It was nice to say hello to a couple of friends I had met at SCC this past autumn too, Phoebe, Heather Anne and Megan amongst them.
Here is a little observation for my fellow denizens of the online world. We (or perhaps, just me) think of the CD/TG world as being a sub set of people who spend countless hours browsing blogs, social networks, chat rooms and the like to learn more about and participate in our gender driven lives. As it happens, there are a lot of nice people out there who managed to get to a comfortable place with themselves (and with their partners too) without much reliance on the Internet. Who knew?
Fellow bloggers will know just how much a nice comment on a post means. Well, to be told in person that ones blog is read and enjoyed goes even further. I was actually recognized as Petra of Voyages en Rose infamy. Some top moments of the evening were provided by people who tottered over to introduce themselves. I enjoyed a good long chat with Milla and Teresa, (killer pant suit Teresa) in from neighboring Alabama who said some wonderful warm things the writing found here. This is a conversation starter absolutely certain to engage my full attention. I was late (and unprepared for) the gift exchange, but new friends are no doubt the better gift.
I was a little surprised, and shouldn’t be in hindsight, that in another conversation, I was asked if I was the person behind “that blog with all the pantyhose posts”. Guilty as charged. You are what you write, I suppose. For the record, this evening I was sporting a lovely pair of Gerbe Sun Satin 8’s, and yes they felt great. I will be doing up a full review of these fine sheers on a more mainstream lingerie/fashion blog in the not too distant future.
It was a lovely evening. Long time readers know that I put pretty good care into wardrobe, and am not shy about clingy, fashion-forward looks. This evening however was really the first time that I dressed for display. One wants to look good always, yes, but typically the Cross Dresser dresses to blend in, to be noticed perhaps, but not to stand out. A holiday party is a nice change from the typical routine. Standing out, standing tall, shining brightly and revelling in the effect is special. I better understand today just how this time of year is celebrated by the beautiful women in my life. Such a feminine privilege, the opportunity to really go all out for a night out.
I do hope that you all get a chance to get dolled up a once or twice over the busy holidays. It is a nice gift to the self, and to all the people around you too, regardless of how you appear every other day of the year. If you have seen and met some nice Holiday Frockers, I would love to hear from you, an consider your comments to be a real gift.