2016 07 27
The Grand Illusions meets for scheduled meetings twice monthly. The first meeting is an IN meeting at a place where we can be ourselves and away from the public. We have three rooms that gals can use to transform in private should they choose to arrive and/or depart in guy mode. You can wear anything you want at the IN meeting as long as it is in good taste.
The second monthly meeting is an OUTing on which we meet at the same place and go to dinner, back to the meeting place to change in to clubwear, and then dancing in a club.
I always go OUT the whole day of a meeting, IN or OUT. It takes me so much time to make a “silk purse out of a sow’s ear” that I might as well get some time in. I usually have lunch at around 1:00pm and then do some bargain shopping.
My wardrobe is at a point now where I only buy something if it is different than anything I already have or way better than something I already have. So I already had a red long winter coat, but it was kind of plain. It was double breasted with brass buttons and straight with no flare, about mid calf length. Because it came from GWs it only cost me about seven bucks. Over a year later I found and purchased red long straight winter coat with black buttons and black piping at GWs for about eight bucks. The black piping really sets it off. But then another year later I found a red dress length winter coat that has big lapels and buttons and is flared at the bottom sort of like a skater skirt. It works very well with any flared skirt or dress. So I bought it at the princely sum of $7.99 at GWs. So I have two red coats. Then I found the cutest red dress length spring coat for eight bucks at GWs. It is double breasted with a large collar and a belt, perfect condition and BTW cheap. You get the idea of how I shop now. It has to be different, really special, cheap, fits just right or minimal alteration, great condition or minimal repair. Oh and did I say cheap.
Today I started out with a lime green summer blazer (GWs $4.99) and a flowered multicolored tulle skirt (GWs $2.99). This skirt was mid calf length when I bought it. I shortened it and made a sash out of the left over fabric. I use these pieces of fabric as sashes on hats. They tie in the outfit with the hat very nicely. I did a bit of shopping and became one with yet another blazer. An adorable hot pink short sleeve summer blazer that has white polka dots, white buttons, and white accent piping. For $2.69 tax included at Salvation Army. It will be in the next day’s OUTing pictures. I hit two GWs on my way to the meetup but didn’t find anything that met my criteria. Besides I was pretty happy about the blazer. It is going to look SO cute! It is so empowering to be OUT in the General Population and be all but ignored!
We had dinner at a locally owned pizza joint. It is highly likely that we are the first and only CDer group to dine there. Amidst the local General Population. Largely ignored. Just like everyday life.
These gals are part of The Grand Illusions CDer Social and Support Group. We are outside the restaurant. The two gals on the far sides are absolutely wonderful additions to The Group. Amy and Kayla are about the nicest people you could ever meet. The gal in the white leggings is Stacy, at her first OUTing. After spending just a few hours with her I can say that I anticipate she will also become a valued member of The Group of friends.
The freight place buys out the whole content of a damaged or destroyed store or what is in a damaged semi truck. They sell at about 1/2 to 1/4 the retail price. These green lace dresses had serious problems. If you are looking at anything lace on hangers in the store, be certain to examine the shoulders very closely as the hangers tend to rip the lace. Every one of these dresses was ripped at the shoulders. Most were ripped both sides.
I waited for the store to reduce the price down to 1/10 the original price. I bought thread and made the lace with the thread where it was ripped by the hanger on both shoulders. It really wasn’t that difficult and only took maybe two hours. So an $80.00 dress for $8.00, a $2.69 spool of thread, and some labor. I like this dress because it is relatively cool and the sleeves hide my summer farmer’s tan.
Note that throughout the day I wore similar colors so I could carry through my earrings, necklace, bracelets, watch, rings, shoes, and purse. BTW, these shoes are from Shoe Carnival for about $10.00. But they were gray with black misted on them when I got them. I used acetone to remove the black and the dark gray. Then I used leather paint and made them white. They are very comfortable.
My goal in mentioning the prices is to encourage the gals with modest budgets to be resourceful in finding pieces as I do in the resale shops, GWs, and Salvation Army. And if you have a choice, consider the mom and pop resale shops because you are helping support the person that waits on you. Also consider the Salvation Army. The internet data says that the SA returns around 98% of their income to charity. Or just figure most. On the other hand Goodwill returns only 2% of what they take in to charity. Or just figure the least. I remember when I was young and GWs had visibly handicapped people working there. Now I rarely see anyone working there who has a handicap.
Grand Rapids has four Salvation Army resale stores. Three are nice to me when I go in there. The third I avoid, it is on east 28th Street.
Crossdressing is such an adventure, so much fun. I feel like I am a different person, my other self is completely hidden. I can go OUT and experience a world very different from that of my other self. I love to experience the way this changes me when I am enfemme. I lose any aggressiveness, my steps are shorter, I sit differently, think differently, eat differently, everything changes outwardly and a bit inwardly too. And then I get to tear apart something the next day or weld or wire something up. It makes the next time I am enfemme all that more sublime. I fly, ride motorcycle, and sail. Oh and yes the bland driving in a metal box (car, truck, whatever), dull compared to a plane at two miles up or a boat out on a lake eighty miles across, or a motorcycle with wind in your helmet. Note the extremes in the methods of transportation. Those extremes are what makes each have a flavor all it’s own. The extremes are the reason to do each. That is why I love doing them. The variety.
Yet when I talk to a professional pilot, a ship captain (I have not met a professional full time motorcycle rider yet), every one seems to be bored with their occupation. I guess it is the opposite of something like “absence makes the heart grow fonder”. Please note: I have been contacted by a person who taught motorcycle safety and tells me she spent enough time with motorcycles that she lost the glow for them during that time in her life.
So it is for me with crossdressing. I have me in guy mode, an everyday like the metal box ride in the car or truck. At 85.71428% of the time my wardrobe becomes uninspiring. Then for just 14.28571% of the time, if other responsibilities don’t eat away at the percentages, I get to experience the extremes of being enfemme. Women’s clothing, shoes, nails, bling, everything is VERY different from guy. It is the experiencing of the difference that is so entrancing to me and that I see the extremes because I do it so little of the time.
When I talk to a woman about this, usually I get a blank look, or an incredulous look. Since they “have to” deal with it every day it probably just becomes work to them. And I completely understand. It IS a HUGE time commitment, the beauty regimen. Yet they do it. So there is NO difference to them being in enfemme or being enfemme, obviously it is the same. Like me being in guy or a guy. Perhaps women get their escape, if there is any, by throwing on sweats and flip flops. I can imagine a woman who must be dressed up for work, for relaxation, to get out of the makeup, heels, dress, and in to the antithesis. Women have the choice to be VERY made up, minimally made up, or in grunge, at the same dance club. A frilly dress, a basic dress, pants, or shorts at the same dance club. Sky high stilettos, mid heels, kitten heels, flats, or flip flops. And the colors! Everything from the brightest to sequins to the LBD. Fabrics!!!! from the coarse to sensuous silky tothose that feel like you are wearing air!!!!! Bliss!
Guys can be in a suit, pants and shirt, jeans and T, shorts and T. And shoes, athletic shoes, or flip flops. Nearly all as manflats. Kind of dull especially when you consider the few colors. And pretty much cotton. even more dull.
So for me it is the difference that makes the fun in the things I do.
And the differences are why I have been SO VERY busy!!! I had to replace the engine/transmission, shaft, shaft seal, cutlass bearing, exhaust, through hulls, muffler in my boat. Then splash it. Here in the frozen north a boat sits on the hard about seven months a year, covered in snow for or to five of those. And I had to do a top end and annual on my plane. All since spring. Plus all my regular planned projects. Whew! But I still found time to get OUT. And so you see the extremes in what I am doing.
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