By Maddie Smith
I figured it was about time I renewed my writer’s license before Kandi ejects me from the team! Not that I have been absent from here; I still read every article and happily lurk in the background, occasionally sending Kandi an email. And isn’t she cool; all that she has shared with us from her life is brave and special. I couldn’t be that open.
My absence is primarily due to life getting in the way. Last year was both awesome and just awful. We got smashed by cyclones and flooding events, and if that wasn’t enough, both N and I had massive changes in employment. The bottom line was that Maddie was conspicuously absent.
And that’s ok, it happens sometimes. But what I have realized in the interim is how big the gulf in my distance is on the gender scale between, as an example, Kandi and me, and yet how some things are exactly the same. Like others of you here, for me its all about letting my inner girl out sometimes, with an end game of being able to go out for coffee or shopping and pass (oh no, there’s that word …) by not attracting any attention or questioning. Obviously, I’ll have to keep my mouth shut … I couldn’t do what Kandi and Dee do, it just doesn’t fit with where I am, nor would I be brave enough. (And yet I am exactly like them. I guess we all are in our own way). What I crave is just the chance to occasionally be one of the girls, look like one of the girls without being conspicuously different, share those girl things for a while (because many of them are part of me regardless) then put everything back in the box and build up until the next chance to repeat. If I could do that on demand, I’d be happy. I love the anticipation, the shopping in preparation, the discussions on clothes and makeup, and all the elements that help create the illusion. I recognize the same in others here.
I was mostly working away from home last year, which adds to the problem. So, over the Christmas period I had 2 days I put aside for all day Maddie sessions. It was so good to have her back!
Day two was yesterday. Something happened that first scared the hell out of me, then thrilled me. You may or may not have read an article I wrote previously about the first time I stayed completely in Maddie mode until N came home from work. It was planned for the first time I was happy with my results, and the day had arrived. But, N freaked out when she saw me. The story has a moral to it, but to summarise, she left me that morning but “then I came home to a woman that I could not recognize” (thank you Billy Joel). Yes, I took the compliment, but it was nearly over-and-out to Maddie on day one. Since N found Maddie, encouraged her, and supported her in every way, it was an unexpected reaction. We figured it out over the following days. It was all due to the two extremes. It even made her feel like she was cheating on me. The next time N was part of the creation process, and it was never an issue again. Nothing like sharing a makeover together.
But back to yesterday. When I put my wig on and looked in the mirror, I felt everything N felt that day. And it really did feel like a hammer blow to the head as I saw something of what she saw that day – I didn’t recognise me … I would happily have stepped outside if that had been the plan, with high confidence that very few, if any, would have made me purely on appearance.
Once I realised I’d hit a new benchmark, it was thrilling! But of course, now I want even better still!
Unfortunately, I’m back to lurking mode again and Maddie is boxed up. From next week it will be 12 hour days at a minimum, and there’s a wedding soon! There is stuff to look forward to, such as the makeup trial with our artist, who has become a personal friend, and the only one to see me go from one mode to the other. She is also invited to the wedding. While she’s doing N’s makeup, I might practice gluing on lashes again. There are also little things, such as the fact we get our brows done together now, and I’m also getting my nails done for the wedding, just because I can!
Which all means 2024 is a year to look forward to and savour. And while last year was just crap in so many ways, it was also fantastic, as the two of us spent every minute together we could, and had fun planning the rest of our wedding. I am so lucky to have someone who gives 1000% support to Maddie, or anything else I’m doing. Mind you, she gets exactly the same back!
So, while I might not be commenting often, or writing as much as I would like to, I’ll be right here reading everyone’s exploits, enjoying them too, and recognising what a special group this is. And also being grateful for the special, unique and hard-working Kandi.
So please renew my writer’s license Kandi. I’m not going away any time soon …
Maddie, you are a sister, always will be whether or not you post here. We are all sisters here!