Close this search box.

Frequently Exhilarated, Often Exhausted, Now Frustrated


I wrote this a while ago, pre-COVID. Things have changed, I have changed, the world has changed. This is a bit of a summary of where things have gone. In fact, things have continued to change, my life, who I am and what I do, continues to evolve.

I cherish each and every Kandi outing I get.  Still do and I have done so quite a few times now. While I often do the same thing when out, every experience is so different.  I have talked about my desire to get my mug in front of as many people as possible.  On a three hour art museum shift at their monthly party, for example, I could have seen at least 1,500-2,000 people, maybe more.  Attendance for these parties are around 3,000 people. People that I greet, speak to, smile at and/or engage in a conversation.  I don’t skimp on presentation either, so I am usually in heels.  Most volunteer gigs have me standing.  It is rare that I am just quietly out.

Also when I am dressed, I am “on”.  I never let my guard down.  I am at minimum aware of my surroundings for safety reasons (be smart).  I am also aware that I represent all of my sisters when out, I always want to leave a good impression.  Kandi is a bit of a performance.  Yes, she is me and I am her, no doubt.  But I am also more outgoing, a bigger personality that I am in my every day life.

Things often hurt when I am dressed.  Clip-on earrings (or my adapted version that appear to be pierced), over time, become painful.  I have made some changes to make them more comfortable as I have learned. I sometimes have this Clark Kent thing going on.  I wear glasses, bifocals.  Kandi often wears contacts, purely for vanity purposes.  My eyes are not conducive to wearing contacts long term.  Eventually, on a long outing, my eyes tire or on occasion, become very uncomfortable.  I have focusing issues in contacts.  You have seen me frequently in glasses over the past year or so as a result.

When dressed, I treat my body differently that I would otherwise.  While I am 100% comfortable using the ladies room, I avoid doing so whenever possible.  Also without getting graphic, I am, shall we say, not as loosely underdressed than I would be otherwise.  I don’t eat as much as I would normally when out and chose only items that I can consume in a “put together” lady-like fashion.  I am often slightly physically uncomfortable when dressed.  At my age, when you deny yourself the opportunity to “go” you sometimes don’t get that opportunity back again and when you do, let’s just say it’s a struggle.

We have talked before about the time invested in just being out as Kandi.  The work and thought associated with the day’s outfit assembly.  Shaving, shaving, shaving…… Makeup and getting dressed.  The commute to wherever I am going (usually at least 30 minutes one way).  Returning home and how I do that.  Getting cleaned up and putting everything away.  That point was driven home to me as I spent a good two minutes getting ready for Mass with my wife the other Sunday, while she was still applying makeup in the car after 45 minutes in the bathroom.

Kandi is a labor of love.  She lifts me to highs, different than highs associated with family and friends, but highs nonetheless.  A simple compliment or sometime touching and deeply meaningful compliments, lift me, thrill me to no end.  I am honored, blessed and exhilarated by my Kandi experiences.

But…….I am often exhausted.  Tired.  Beat.  I still have a job, still have household responsibilities, still cherish my time with my wife, children and friends.  No day is complete without daily exercise, usually a run or at least 45 minutes of activity (now up to an hour and a half on a non-work day).  My male interests have gone nowhere, I still love a good game (when available).  And oh yeah, I am old! Now I am working three jobs, trying to build a business and establish myself in the apparel industry. Why kill myself? I want to be able to allow my wife to retire. Uncle Sam took a large chunk of our nest egg, as we have discussed here. But selfishly, I absolutely love my apparel jobs (despite one of my “bosses” being an a-hole). It allows me to foster creativity ion many ways and I get to perform. Every sales call, every trade show interaction, every webinar, is a presentation. As such, there have been markedly fewer Kandi outings, my daily workouts have been cut to the bare minimum and my pickleball play, feeding a competitive and communal need that I have, have been sparse.

Kandi, The Great Time Sponge, frequently exhilarating and often exhausting!

These days, I long for the ability to do some of the things I used to be able to. We all do. I am still evolving myself, focusing more and more on my presentation, trying new and different things. Making changes in my basic presentation. You certainly have see some obvious changes. I am getting more serious about permanent hair removal, slowly. I am mentally exhausted frequently, inactivity being my personal worst enemy. Now, it’s the way of the world.

I have also thrown myself into trying (generally with modest or disappointing results) to create some sense of community. It is not at all easy. The old Supper Club was a failure. I have focused this blog as trying to foster community.

I have bad habits. I drink too much. I am intellectually aware that I should cut back and have done so enough that I know it is possible. But I like it, I also feel like I need it and as many here can attest, it is a center piece of our getting out on occasion.

Just know, the smile will never fade, but please do not construe it for someone who lives a carefree life. If dressing didn’t make me happy (like the first 50 or so years of my life), I would just stop doing it. I believe I now have that ability when the joy fades, but it hasn’t yet and so I move forward. I live the same difficult life we all do. I have blessings and curses, advantages and difficulties like everyone else. I just have this platform.

Be well, all! Stay well, everyone! Now excuse me while I go and take a five minute nap….


4 Responses

  1. Kandi,
    Your sharing is always appreciated. Thank you. You are an inspiration to so many of us.

    But the most important thing for any of us is to look after ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally. Your well-being is crucial for your wife and children, and yourself. The rest of us are secondary.

    Be well dear friend, and get some rest.


    1. I have started just resting more of late. I used to take advantage of any opportunity to go out, and now I am simply taking that time to do nothing. This weekend my wife is working both days, which usually meant going out both days. Now…..two days on the couch! You can see the effect here, many fewer adventure posts. Thanks Joc!

  2. Kandi,
    As the saying goes , ” No pain , no gain !” I get it about clippons but I’ll take the pain as I have so many lovely ones . For most age brings on arthritis , my biggest moan being my feet but again I’ll take the pain as I love my shoes ( mostly heeled court shoes or wedges ) .
    Otherwise comfort is important , women dress far more for comfort these days , long gone are corsets and body shapers . Sadly for many modern women it often means sloppy dressing but that’s not for me , I still give my look some thought but take care not to overdo it .
    Male hair is a pain in the butt , I accept I’m stuck with it so I give myself the time to deal with on a daily basis , I’m told hormones might help but that’s not a good enough reason to go down that road .

    Do I still get a thrill being fulltime ? The simple answer is I feel so bad not being dressed male mode gives me nothing , it feels alien , the clothes are course and uncomfortable and basically boring . The last time I had to meet my ex-wife with my grandsons it was at an adventure playground , as I waited for them I felt very uncomfortable ,I sensed people were staring at me far more than as Teresa .

    So you ask yourself how long can I sustain Kandi , is she sustainable ? It’s the one aspect I fear the most , where do I go if or when I can’t sustain it ? I have to admit it’s the sticking point for a formal name/gender change . During a conversation with a very good transgender friend I asked how would she prefer to be placed in her box when her time is up , what would her family do , the fact we won’t know isn’t really the point . I hope I would be given enough respect to remain Teresa but then should I still respect their needs to retain their father ? Perhaps the subject of a separate post .

    All we can do is take the best care of ourselves , be the true person we are and keep smiling .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured Posts

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Sign up for the first look at Kandi’s outfits, blog posts, and product recommendations.

Keep Reading

More From Kandi