When you fall off of or more correctly are kicked off of your horse, by an ass, best to get back on and ride!
The Grand Illusions is restarting.
This time it is going to be much simpler. Social media has grown so much since then.
The new Group will be called The Grand Illusions. I still retain the rights to that name. It WILL be an OUT Group. It is NOT a beauty contest. It is NOT a fetish group. It is all about friendship, acceptance, mutual support, safety, camaraderie. And most of all FUN!
To find out how to become a member, and for more info, contact me via email shown below.
Traveling. More traveling. Boating between the icebergs. When it isn’t raining. Roofing. (Not a typo.)
And going OUT!!!!!!
As usual I found this spring coat at GWs for a pittance. I just wish GWs was more like it was years ago when the employees were handicapped and the prices were affordable to even their employees.
I am standing on a corner in downtown Grand Rapids. People are passing by on all four sidewalks going all four directions. Same for the cars and trucks. And here I am. OUT there. Getting away with something.
If you look on the pavement behind me you can see a change in color. That is because it is starting to rain.
I have a collection of umbrellas. For some reason you don’t see any pictures of CDers OUTnAbout in the rain with an umbrella. Wonder why? Walking in a skirt or dress with shoes that have a mostly non existent top and legs effectively bare is a whole lot different than doing so covered in armor from neck to toes. In a skirt I can feel every errant rain drop that makes it around my moving roof.
These women’s umbrellas are so cool! They protect my hat, hair, makeup, and shoulders. But because the diameter, for some reason, is kept to a minimum, my knees to the top of my feet are exposed to the elements. And I can feel every single raindrop that lands on my skin. THAT is a completely gender based sensation.
So off to the mall. These places have become the town square where people gather to be out. I go there to be OUT. Passing through and going about my CDer business, unnoticed. THAT is so much fun! This dress came from the Younker’s chain which was part of BonTon. They folded a couple of years ago. I loved that store not because I could buy things there. Too expensive for my sensibilities. I just liked to look at the pretty colors and fabrics from the designers. This is a Calvin Klein dress in a HEAVY fabric and it is also lined with a heavy material. So the dress is almost stiff even though the fabrics are soft. Yet it is cool. So when I walk, I move inside the dress which is like a bell. I bought this at the liquidation sale at Younkers.
When I get home from my day OUT and plug my simm card in my PC and look at the pictures for the first time, I am SO grateful that they turn out. Actually I am AMAZED that they turn out so good and that more than one turns out. This day I had almost a hundred photos and it is hard to decide which ones are the best! HOW does that happen? Must be a magic camera?
I found the shoes at The Shoe Department for $17. The shrug was GWs for $3.
I feel sorry for anyone who has not experienced getting all dolled up and going out on the town. I am SO lucky to have experienced the world from a different perspective. OUT!
This outfit is my third for the day but unfortunately not the third dress because the zipper on that one failed. Even though I try on everything the day before. So I have a dress that I must mend. I adapted with the first dress of the day combined with everything else from the third outfit. Everything came from GWs except the boots and hat. The hat was like $2 from Wallyworld. I avoid that place because of their labor practices and predatory behavior. But a friend told me that had these medium brim hats. This and the first hat of the day came white, I painted the second one yellow. The boots came from Payless, now gone. On sale for like $19.00. I painted them white. Shrug from GWs.
OMG I am having a great time with this! It is an adventure thumbing my nose at societies rules in soft fabrics and beautiful colors. I am AMAZED at the fashion caused barriers women must adapt to for the benefits the beauty machine bestows on the fortunate. Meanwhile they must overcome or work around the disadvantages. But for me, because I am escaping the male world to do this, then escaping the fem world the very next day, I get to see and experience while having……………………
A message from the past?
WATCH THE VIDEO! I dare you!
I just don’t get it. HOW can people be so cruel? How can they hurt other people and not care? How can they be so mean? The composite of all that meanness will taint the culture and bite those mean people back. Don’t they get it? As an example because of the visibility: Trump is not a nice person. This is not a political post. It is about him as a person even before he was elected. Read his book. Think of multiple divorces. Multiple lawsuits. The contractors and suppliers he stiffed. Does he have ANYONE in his life that can be a nice person without getting used and abused? Bad attitude does not attract good attitude.
I know what it is like when “friends” turn out to not be friends.
But I still keep trying.
I was in Wendys. The guy in line behind me was looking very defeated. Very depressed. Somehow I can sense that. I asked him if he was OK. With downcast eyes he told me his daughter had died. I told him I knew that very well. He began to cry. I gave him a hug. He held on to me. So I held him, right there in the Wendys food order line, as he wept. Everyone behind was so sweet. They patiently waited.
BTW I wasn’t dressed as Billie.
But I was somehow in the right place at the right time.
Only ONE person hugged me when my daughter died. Maybe people think I am strong. I hurt too. But mean people have forced me to learn how to control my outward emotions. Perhaps that is why I can hug strangers in pain.
People confide in me. I don’t know why. Complete strangers.
I was at Rumors. A guy had a long face. I asked him if he was OK. He told me how his family rejected him. I gave him a hug. As Billie. He wept freely on my shoulder. I told him that it isn’t much but I accept him at whatever he wanted to be, had to be. That maybe one day he will give someone a hug. He asked me if I was gay. When I told him I was solidly hetero, he was amazed. That a hetro would be hugging him and accepting him. I told him all I cared was he was kind. That is all I hope for in people.
I was in a club. A woman was sitting next to me. All hunched over and looking lost. I asked her if she was OK. She broke down in tears and reached out. I held her, as Billie, as she wept and told me her story. Her husband provides NO emotional support, NO kindness. She has NO value from him.
How Can People Be So Heartless?
How Can They Be So Cruel?
Women give SO much to their relationship.
Men are SO lucky to be with a woman.
Her description made him sound cruel.
It takes the SAME amount of effort for her husband, every morning, just choose a direction. The amount of effort is no more to the right providing a loving relationship to her. Or left being mean. The same amount of effort. BUT one direction, kindness, has HUGE payback.
This connection to people has been going on my whole adult life. It took some pretty bad things happening to me to make me this way. My inside pain.
I don’t know why people open up to me.
But you know what? It hasn’t cost me a dime. Has only consumed a tiny slice of my time. Maybe I helped someone.
I know what it is to be sad. I know what it is like when a “friend” turns out to be everything BUT a friend.
I have been working for the last couple of years in a totally completely extremely altogether different type of job than before I found Billie. Two places.
And OMG I am really enjoying myself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is, for me, CDing at a whole different level. People are expecting me, as Billie, to accomplish something for them. And I have to do it while enfemme because they only know me as Billie.
Plus I choose to make this dressed as fashionable, classy, and appropriate as I can.
In my other life it is so simple, get up and throw on a work uniform. Maybe run a comb through my hair if I remember. Show up and get the job done. No importance placed on my appearance WHAT SO EVER. The only thing that matters in my other life is if the finished job works or not.
In my Billie life I know I could show up in what is a not much different outfit than that guy’s uniform, just fem. I could just throw something on and maybe comb my hair. But I don’t because there is some level of advantage to showing up looking pretty, looking “well put together”. I get some extra good will or acceptance by looking good or at least looking like I made the effort, showed respect for women and behaving in what would be complimentary to them. Certainly I get more acceptance as a “woman” because I look “well put together” than if I didn’t. With caveats about IF I actually do look good, I am not getting full of myself here. So show some respect for the women I am emulating by doing a classy presentation and they respect me because of it. They tell me so.
Can’t get that appearance advantage in my other life. It is ALL about the finished job, it either works or not.
But OMG women have to be competent AND look good too to take full advantage of or fill the requirements of the beauty curse.
Certain CDers do not get the respect what they are emulating. And people do not respect them. How do I know this? Because those people tell me. I get told this nearly every time I go out.
So now I know how much WORK it is to be “glam”. I put it in quotes because really, I am a fake and I know it.
But for me it is all FUN!
This is where I wanted to be. This is one of my CDer bucket list items. To be Billie doing what would be expected of me as Billie, experiencing the fashion and beauty industry handicaps. The challenges different from a guy.
During the winter when I was a kid we used to stand at the far end of a gap like this and throw snowballs through the gap at cars going by.
That was my misdirected youth.
And the snow was melted.
So I was leaning against the wall watching the world go by. A guy walking
past was surprised to see me leaning there. I think he assumed I was working
and he definitely believed I was expensive. He made me an offer but the amount
was too high. No matter how much I negotiated he would not go down even one
dollar! The amount would have put me in too high of tax bracket. I had to turn
Even unemployed I am still having…………………. SUCH FUN!
More distributing of Laugh Fest Fliers downtown Grand Rapids.
Raining. At times a downpour! Between the umbrella and the hat I stayed dry from my head to my waist. But it was blowing a lot so from my waist down I got soaked. HOWEVER I had planned ahead and wore knee boots so my feet and lower legs stayed dry. My exposed knees were dry too but when I went indoors I noticed I was dripping from my skirt. It is pleather, vinyl in real words. It acted like a secondary umbrella keeping my knees dry. But as I walked indoors I dripped off my pleather umbrella. HA! Fashion FINALLY meets function!
So that all happened with another blazer. Red and black houndstooth coarse weave black and red with three big black buttons.
When driving down Michigan Avenue I was trying to go past a Goodwill when —— SURPRISE —— the car took over, jerked the steering wheel away from me, and took me, as I doth protested too much, in to the parking lot.
Sitting there in the car I decided that maybe I had better succumb to forces beyond my control and go in to the Goodwill store. I could always resist the forces beyond my control by refusing to buy. Valiantly I held my ground and thereby only bought three items. Yes it may seem like I gave in but let me tell you it was a struggle of shopaholic proportions!
I found a really fabulous heavy weight fabric bodycon stretchy to-die-for dress with a cutout neckline crisscrossed with straps. Fits like a glove, moves with me like a glove too!
AND a cute brown/black mini houndstooth mini pleat hem skirt.
And, OMG, this blazer. Which fits perfectly.
So I bought all three for the whopping sum of $13.00.
Yes I gave in to forces beyond my control.
I liked the blazer so much I used the store fitting room to change, with their permission, and wore the blazer out.
yes I already have too much, yes I don’t need anything more. BUT there
are so many different styles, skirts, dresses, so many fabrics, colors.
So many possible outfit combinations?
How Can Anyone Resist?
I was delivering the fliers to the offices, a whole lot of women and
one or two guys complimented me. The guys don’t have a clue how much
work this is. But the ladies do. And it is THEIR compliments that mean
so much. When they tell me how nice I look or how nice my outfit goes
together, something like that. I take that as a professional artist
complimenting an amateur artist. Really validating.
men or women, in a non bar/club environment, when I am out in the
general public, I get the impression that when they say something nice,
compliment me, that it is really more them saying that they accept my
nonconforming and wish to express it in some polite way. In the
bar/club environment there are always some, not all, some, usually guys,
who think that a compliment is the first step to what they want.
isn’t that I am some beauty queen or fooling anyone – maybe from thirty
feet away I might, but I am not fooling myself. I know what I am and
what I want to be and that is my wife’s best friend with benefits. But
maybe, maybe, by being out there, not looking like a stripper, not
doing the minimum, but putting some effort in to it, maybe by honing my
presentation, maybe I can give them something easier to compliment,
something maybe believable. Then they can say something nice and maybe
it is a way to say they accept me, accept what I am doing, my non
conformity, and maybe I might have opened a door just a teeny bit more.
for the woman in the lobby that sneered at me and made an unpleasant
sound as I walked by? Well there has to be some kind of a base level to
measure from. A starting point where the work began. I don’t care how
she feels, her ignorance, her needing replications of herself. I care
that maybe fifty other people that day said something nice to me.
The numbers of supporting people are looking better and no matter how you look at it, my being out there is having an effect.
Who would ever guess that having SUCH FUN really is more than just that?
BTW I figured out how to add a photo where I want it in the text. This is a new program provided by the web host. This new program is clunky compared to the previous version. As I use it maybe I can get proficient enough to get back to where I was. “upgrade” HA!
Laugh Fest is ten days of comedy ranging from nationally known comics to first timers. In everything from a huge ballroom to a church. Much of the sows are free, some are reasonably priced, and one is ridiculously expensive.
I volunteered to distribute Laugh Fest brochures in downtown Grand Rapids.Pretty much everything from 131 to Lafayette and 196 to Wealthy. For those unfamiliar with Grand Rapids, this is about 1/2 square mile where all the large office buildings and six urban hotels are located. Many restaurants,clubs, condo buildings, courts, police department, some stores, arena,convention center, performance halls.
It took three days to do.
The last day I had to do a scattering of places which were closed the first two times. Since it was very close to Christmas I decided to wear something Christmassy.
I got a LOT of compliments on my outfit. For laughs maybe one out of four, when they said “OOOH Cute costume! Merry Christmas!” I replied with a chuckle and some flair “Humbug”. THAT always got a big laugh. It was for Laugh Fest after all!
On the last day four people wanted to take or be in pictures with me. Here are the two who wanted to be in the picture with me. BTW I always ask permission to post.
Here I am right in the middle of Monroe Center! Lots of traffic and some hardy souls out in the cold.
My way of combating the lemons nature gave me. Doing my best to have…………………………
Such Fun! Billie Anne
Side note. This web page hosting site used to have easy to use programming that allowed pretty easy manipulation of photos and even easier use of text. They have changed their program and SURPRISE! It is VERY difficult to do this page, and I can’t do what I could before. Like putting more than one photo on the page. I don’t even KNOW how I got the second photo on this page. There is no longer a simple “Upload Photo” function. So what you see here is my starting all over trying to figure out their “upgrade”. Wish me luck!
Distributing fliers to every storefront, restaurant, bar, hotel, everything downtown. Probably delivering well over 2000 of ’em. That is a LOT of interaction between me and the rest of the (my) world.
Can’t get much more OUT there than that!
The people have been rather nice. Even when I went in to a barbershop FULL of guys. Had to have been twenty of them in there. Went up to a barber at his chair, he was covered in tats. I asked like I do in all the places if I could leave some fliers. He agreed, reaching out. I placed them in his hand. I got some stares there, a total looking over. Probably the closest they ever got to “T” —– That They Know Of. Because T people have been with civilization since the beginning of time. The others just didn’t notice.
No critique quite like going out in the midst of the real world and interacting.
I love doing that. Pushing the limits, my limits anyway.
But it was COLD!!!! From the tips of my toes. Even women’s dress boots let the feet get old. But aren’t as comfortable for walking as these heels. Flats? No way!