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Look Out Cleveland!

A view of our recent dinner from the other side!

By Jocelyn Johnson

I found myself in Cleveland a few weeks ago, and I was wondering what I might do for the evening. Who do I know who lives in Cleveland???? There is someone, but who? I can’t remember! Oh yeah, Kandi Robbins. Maybe we can have a few drinks? I can’t remember if Kandi drinks! Here is a picture of me ready to “paint the town red”. And Kandi was willing.

Just kidding, Kandi knew I was coming to town. We agreed to meet at a restaurant/bar for wine and dinner.

I thought I had got to Cleveland in plenty of time, and I wanted to get a manicure and maybe buy a colourful scarf.

I went to a nearby nail salon in guy mode without a reservation? They took me right away. I was the only male customer. There were some stares. My nail technician was a wonderful Vietnamese women. She spent a lot of time trimming, sanding, clipping, cuticles fixing and buffing. She then asked if I wanted a clear lacquer? No, I want a deep red! She was somewhat shocked that a man wanted red nails. As she painted my nails, twice, with bright red polish she commented that I gave good hands. And she added “You have hands like a woman”. I smiled, little did she know.

Time was running out and I had to go back to my hotel room to get made up and get dressed. But now for the clear lacquer cover over the polish, and 15 minutes under the dryer. My scarf shopping time was gone.

That was my second ever manicure. I surprised myself on how much I love my painted nails. Red is my colour.

I called Kandi and said I would be 15 minutes late.

I wanted to spend a lot of time on makeup and dressing to look my best for the amazing Kandi. Unfortunately all I had time for was a quick job and throw on a skirt and top.

Kandi and I met outside the restaurant and greeted each other with a big hug. OMG, Kandi looked fantastic. What a beautiful woman. What a fabulous outfit, shoes and accessories.

The next two hours flew by with wonderful conversation and great laughs. It was like we were long time friends. But it was the first time we had met. Kandi made me feel so special and welcome.

I didn’t especially feel like a woman or TG. I just felt like me. I was completely “at home”, just the way I am meant to be.

The evening ended with some pictures taken by our waitress. A big hug and Kandi was off to acting class. I “floated” back to my hotel. A very special night I will cherish forever.

The next day I was driving south, so my attire was very casual (see pic). All stops included a trip to the ladies room, with never an issue. And all my encounters responded to me with a “ma’am”.

At a hotel that night the lady desk clerk wanted to know my name. I told her. She then said “you look adorable Jocelyn”. After I thanked her I seemed to glide away, with my feet off the ground.

What a memorable two days, being the woman that I am.


Editorial comment: The pleasure was ALL mine!


24 Responses

  1. Cleveland is so much fun and Kandi is a wonderful host. I met Kandi in September, last year and she is wonderful.

    1. Jennifer,
      Cleveland is a great city. I had been there twice, decades ago, to see some baseball and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

      This time it was all about Kandi. And you are correct, she is wonderful.


  2. I didn’t especially feel like a woman or TG. I just felt like me. I was completely “at home”, just the way I am meant to be…
    Hi Jocelyn,
    You have described exactly the way I feel and I’m curious, how long did you keep the red nails?

    1. Pamela,
      It really is fantastic just being “me”. The fact that I was wearing a skirt, pretty top, black pantyhose and makeup never entered my thoughts while I was out enjoying the evening.

      But, I absolutely loved seeing my red fingernails as I occasionally looked at my hands during the meal. You don’t need a mirror to see your hands!

      I guess the polished nails are a constant reminder that I am “looking pretty”. I kept the nail polish for a couple of days. Sadly, I would have found them distracting while golfing with my buddies.

      Thanks for your comment and question.


  3. Jocelyn,
    Your red nais might have thrown your buddies off their golf game. You could have been the big winner that day.
    But then you may have to paint your nails every you play your buddies.

    1. Good point Cali about throwing off my golf competitors. But I’m sure I would have been admiring my hands instead of concentrating on my swing.

  4. Sounds like a great time was had by both of you, thanks for sharing!

    Now, a question for you – when the nail tech commented on your hands, were you tempted to tell her your secret? You were a long way from home so minimal risk!

    Looking forward to reading part 2 soon!

    1. Amanda,
      It was a blast for me in Cleveland, and Kandi as well.
      I didn’t even think of telling the nail technician about my femme self. I believe the world needs to see more men with painted nails. It then becomes common place. But I think she already suspected by her comment “hands of a woman”.

      My thoughts on part two of my Cleveland visits will be posted on KL on March 27.

      Thanks for you comments Amanda.


  5. Jocelyn,

    To me there is nothing more satisfying than looking down at my nails and seeing manicured and painted fingers! Awhile back when my non approving wife was out of town for an extended period I decided to give myself a manicured along with a beautiful deep red color. At the time my nails were just a wee bit long for guy mode, but not that long. Once I shaped them up and painted the looked spectacular. I had originally only planned to keep them painted for the rest of that day and possibly overnight since I did not have to present anywhere in guy mode. When the next day rolled around I was saddened by the thought of taking that polish off, then I thought why take it off? Not wishing to get any weird stares when I had to do normal errands, I figured that’s a great reason as any to be dressed as “her”. So, for the next 5 days I had my painted nails all the while going out looking pretty. I even went to my electrologists appointment dressed with the nails. She couldn’t believe I had done such a good job on the nails. After the 5 days I received an invite that I just could not refuse, not that I would have such a great time it was just a refusal might be looked at as something odd.

    After that little social interruption was over, I thought that would be all for at least another week. So this time I went to the nail salon and got a real manicure… paint and all! Of course I did not have the courage to go in guy mode, but I enjoyed ever minute of it and walking out with some very deep red nails. Sheer joy! The down side is that first invitation that I could not easily refuse seemed like the opening of the flood gates and the invites just started to come in, none I could easily avoid. The real manicure only lasted less than 48 hours :(( It was still worth it!

    Nice of you to pinch hit for Kandi, I read her blog often, it would be a pleasure to meet you both, just don’t have any believable excuse to get up Ohio way.

    All the best,


    1. Lee,
      Great to hear from you, and as Kandi said, “welcome aboard”. Your comments to me and any of the Contributors would be wonderful (all appropriate of course).

      You and I, and I am sure many women (CIS or TG/CD) really love getting a manicure. As I said in the post, painted nails are just a constant reminder that I am looking pretty. And not requiring a mirror to be reminded.

      I also like doing my own nails, but not as professional looking as the salons. Try not to worry about getting a manicure in guy mode. I have had it done both ways and either way is enjoyable.

      Thank you so much for the comments and reading my post.


          1. Lee,
            I do get to Kissimmee for a week most winters. I might be going there in 2024.
            Maybe ….

          2. Long way off, but that is what plans are for! You can contact me at pml..westat.. mindspringdotcom Just remove the double periods

      1. I have done my own nails enough that I have at least established a level of proficiency that they are passable, although now they are way too short. But, there is nothing more divine than having them done professionally… the piece de resistance, cherry on top or what else?? I also related to to your experience of a road trip and checking into a motel. A good, different experience!

        All the best,


      2. Lee,
        I’ve been getting regular manicures with gel polish in “guy mode” for almost 10 years, only break was during covid. I do know that my salon has many men they do pedicures for, but only seen on other guy in the salon getting a manicure. I’ve been told they have several guitar players that come in for arcylics. But it’s a small operation.
        Tomorrow is my pedi/mani day. Now what color(s) and /or design will I chose?

        1. Cali,
          Manicures are easy-peasy to get and fairly cheap, $20 – $30.
          I’ve done red and brown nails before, but never a pretty pattern. Why not try that tomorrow!


          1. Jocelyn,
            I currently have “pink alabone” gel on 6 (larger) fingernails and gold flake glitter gel on the other 4.
            However, this time my fingers will be clear. I have a medical procedure coming up and they want my fingers without color. So my fingers will get acrylics and clear gel. The pedicure is what I need to decide on only this time.
            I have a pedicure post, a manicure post coming, and maybe a heel post – stay tune. There is so much more than just pretty patterns.

  6. What a great time you had, Kandi brings out the best in all of us I think.
    I’ve not had my fingernails painted for many years
    Maybe I will do it again
    You look wonderful my dear

    1. Rachael,
      Thank you very much for the compliment. I felt wonderful that evening, and the feeling is still lingering to this very day. Kandi certainly does bring the best out in me.

      I have had my nails painted twice professionally and twice by myself, and each time I was vey happy about how I looked. It just adds an extra “sparkle” to my feminine look. As Kandi says, the small details really matter.


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