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Cue Men at Work!

By….well, you know

For about the six weeks I’ve been down under. As a reminder, I’m married to an Australian and since 2015 (except for 2021 and Covid) I’ve been coming here for a couple months during the January to March time period, trading two plus months of midwestern winter for Australian summer (although here in Melbourne it’s been a pretty mild summer).

The degree of difficulty of getting out here is greater here than the U.S. Our apartment complex has nine other units–versus a stand alone house in the states. My (reasonably tolerant) wife made it clear she wants me to take our car when I go out, and change in the car. The car is in an open carport, as opposed to a garage at home. My compromise is to do most of my makeup, sans lipstick, put on my Dee outfit under a boy top and bottoms, jam a big floppy hat on my head so my face (and makeup) is in the shadows, and hustle out to our car. I then drive a couple of blocks, park, finish dressing, and then hop on the train downtown. I’ve been out five times during my time here; the first three I’ll discuss here and the fourth next week. 

The first was a trip downtown; our suburb is about a half hour by train to the main station. My favourite destination is a downtown Melbourne Dangerfield store, across the street from the Flinders Street Station. The staff is ever changing but they are generally young, hip, and fashionably dressed in the various Dangerfield brands, and universally accepting and friendly (the SA at the front desk appearing to be trans, based on my judgment, but I didn’t get a chance to speak to her). I wore the White House Black Market purple floral dress, a nod to my friend Ms. Dee-ism, whose favourite store is WHBM (she also ❤  the hat and red Keds).

The store is usually stuffed to the gills with items, both on the ground floor and the second floor (they call it the first floor here). The ground floor has the newer stuff, so after a quick look, I generally head up the stairs to scour the sales racks. The prices are reasonable, especially after factoring the favorable exchange rates for we Yanks, but we all look for deals. I’m always on the lookout for items I tried on the year before, liked, but didn’t buy.

As I hadn’t been in for roughly ten months, I didn’t see any carryover items from last year. I picked through the racks, looking for my size, doing the mental conversion that sizes are smaller here (a 14 US size is a 16 here). I am generally optimistic I can fit into a smaller size, but all too often my optimism isn’t warranted (especially following the six weeks of Thanksgiving to New Year’s, and the related over indulgence). My M.O. is to pick a number of items, often just fun ones to see the look (the target age demographic for these stores is mostly forty years younger than moi), load up a change room, and try things on.

I kind of liked the black mesh dress over another black dress. I asked a SA of how she would wear it and she said a top and biker shorts (the only bike shorts I wear are on a bike), but she liked the mesh over the dress look. I also liked the 60’s inspired sunflower dress, but not enough to buy either.

My second outing was about an hour long walk on a sparsely occupied beach near Barwon Heads, located along the ocean, in my favourite (read: only) bikini. I went sans makeup but there were only a handful of people on the beach and I enjoyed the stroll.

My third time was to buy Ms. Dee-ism a Taylor Swift t-shirt and bottle. She’s a big TS fan (she’s not exactly in Taylor’s fan age demographic either) and texted me a few weeks ago, that if I had a chance, she’d really like an official t-shirt.  If you are not in the loop, TS played three sold out nights in Melbourne at the largest venue in town. The Thursday afternoon before the weekend of concerts was my opportunity to go shopping.

It was pretty easy to decide for Dee to do the shopping, but I wanted to keep it secret from my wife, so I got creative. I took my bike, so I could ride home. I did my makeup, put on a bra and top, and wore a bike shirt over the top, along with bike shorts. I rode to the train, found a spot at the front to secure my bike, put on my wig and romper, and took off my bike shirt, and added my accessories. I’ve done lots of car changes, but this was my first train change.

I locked the bike near the station, and walked towards the stadium, figuring there would be merchandise vendors near there. A string of people walked past me carrying bags of Taylor Swift merchandise in Taylor Swift bags, so I knew I was headed in the right direction. Once I reached the merchandise tents, the lines were long, but I was on a mission and I didn’t mind the wait. While I was waiting (about an hour), I was swapping texts with Ms. Dee-ism, wanting her preferences as to color and/or design, and trying to get her excited (she was). To fully set the mood, I was listening to Taylor Swift songs on Spotify (not really a fan, but I learned to like a couple of her songs). A long time ago, I would have freaked out at the idea of lots of people seeing me dressed while I waited, but now I don’t care.

I bought her a t-shirt (it’s now a Dee-shirt, and I am pleased that whenever Ms. Dee-ism wears it, she’ll know I bought it for her) and a water bottle. I walked to a nearby area to take some pictures to send to her–and she can’t wait until she gets both, which will be about a month from now.

I strolled back downtown, went into the same Dangerfield store as above, and tried on a few more items. There was nothing I really fancied, so I used the change room to change into boy me, removing my Dee clothes, makeup, wig, and accessories, and donned my bike shirt, and left as boy me (they sell men’s clothes too, so a guy walking out of a change room is normal, but the staff wouldn’t care anyway).

After returning to unlock my bike, I made the ride home, with one detour to have a sundae at the downtown Costco. Once home, I showed my wife the Dee-shirt and bottle, and she approved of my choices. I took better pictures of the Dee-shirt, front and back, and the water bottle, and texted those to Ms. Dee-ism. The next day she happily texted me that she was really excited she was getting both, and that made me happy. A win-win for both of us.


3 Responses

  1. I have never listened to a Swift song all the way through.

    When she starts selling her work for commercials, Swifties will most likely buy that product.

    Then, maybe, and only maybe, I’ll be in the targeted demographic.

    Wait… this is not about TS. it’s about Dee.


    Are you taking requests for swag?

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