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Nailing It

The dramatic conclusion of the NC trip and a well-written PSA.

Mon-Dee, day four (and last day) of my trip to Durham, North Carolina to visit my friend Renee and her husband John. My morning started with some boy time, a scheduled run to prep for my 10K race the following Sun-Dee morning. Running, and breakfast at the hotel following my run, were the only boy things I did during my four Dees in Durham. 

Renee and I didn’t have much scheduled, so after lunch at her house, we headed out for some retail therapy. I went pretty simple; my favorite dress and my Red Keds, with an eye towards a comfortable outfit for my plane ride home, scheduled for that evening. We headed to the mall, and this time our destination was Macy’s. 

After both Renee and I tried some clothes, I suggested we wander over to the junior’s section. After all, it was almost prom season, and Renee was the person who previously encouraged me to expand my comfort zones, and I have learned to love fun clothes–and dresses designed for young ladies two generations younger than me are definitely fun.

Macy’s always have discount racks, and I enjoy poking through them looking for something that might fit me. Needless to say, most junior’s dresses are designed for those who are not quite as bulky as me. But I did manage to find a couple of “interesting” options that might actually fit me.

One was a red dress with an exposed back held together by elastic straps. The other was a blue velvet dress with see-through cut-outs mid-torso. I passed the first test; both dresses fit. 

The next question was could I make these dresses “work”? For example, I probably couldn’t wear a bra with the red dress, and could I hide the bra–and my love handles (no Spanx allowed)–with the blue dress?

The last question I was asking myself was “would I be willing to wear these out?” To steal from Renee, that answer was “Hell Yes!”–I would figure out a place to wear them (sneak preview of future Sun-Dee’s–I have). It was a much easier question to answer when the two dresses together totalled about $20 before tax, and the blue dress was $4.96–how could I NOT buy it?

After shopping it was late enough to have an early dinner with John, and then head off to the airport, where Renee and John dropped me off and we said our goodbyes. 

As with my prior two times flying pretty, I had no issues checking in. There was one interesting part though. The TSA agent ran my ID, then looked at it, then looked at me, and then I said something like I dress differently some times. He smiled and waved me through. 

I guess for once I “passed” a little better than I think I do (to repeat: I don’t worry about “passing”. I assume people see a guy in a dress, but they don’t know it’s ME in the dress–and I just want to make sure it’s a pretty dress).

But then my week got a little more interesting. While waiting for my plane, and taking the selfie with the yellow Michael Kors purse my GG friend “Ms. Dee-ism” had loaned me for the trip, I was swapping texts and sending pictures to Ms. Dee-ism (below, my texts are in italics, and Ms. Dee-ism’s are in bold).

Today we went to Macy's. After trying on some dresses, raided the juniors because it's prom time. Bought a cute red dress and a semi-revealing blue dress, far too young but far too cheap to pass up. $23 for both of them.

Gotta love a good Dee-scount! 

(Note: now you know why I call her Ms. Dee-ism).

Never miss a step, do you?
And I need to figure out where Dee should go tomorrow morning before she needs to take off the nail polish on the fingers....

Can’t you think of a reasons to keep nail polish? In support of….against gun violence or Spring equinox or some such silliness? Or Cardinal baseball……..

I would love to, especially for Tootsie Thursday night... kind of a bridge too far...

(Note: another sneak preview to read about in following weeks–attending the Musical Tootsie with my GG friend Karla–stay tuned!).

Disagree. You can just tell if anyone asks…I visited a friend recently and she insisted I tag along for a manicure so I supported her by joining. I don’t see the harm. And it looks like Cardinal red to me.

Leaving it on is outside my comfort zone, but you have me considering it. The visiting a friend, who has health issues, and she asked me to join her and chose Cardinal Red for the home opener angle is one I am seriously considering. The fact the home opener is the same night as Tootsie is convenient too.

Do it….Do it….Do it…..It will feel won-Dee-ful. See who notices! Should be interesting, if nothing else.

Red Keds, Red Dress, Red Nails. OK. You have convinced me. I think it will be an interesting experiment too.

I feel like an Influencer. Ha. But seriously, this is all sensible stuff. Those who notice and ask – tell them it’s an experiment on open-mindedness. It kinda is.

You have convinced me. I will. And I will see what people say.
And at least I'll have painted nails for Tootsie.

Exactly. This is for YOU. Not for others. They need to Dee-l with it. 😀

I will look at it this way. I will keep the nails as my part of the bargain for borrowing the K-Bag so I had good karma.

The flight was uneventful and it was easier carrying my two suitcases up the stairs at the train station in my Red Keds than it was carrying them downstairs in heels the Fri-Dee before (the elevator was not working either time). As my son was working (he works nights), I didn’t have to worry about changing before arriving home. It also meant I could try on my two new dresses and take some pictures (for those wondering, the red dress has enough support built in I could just use my forms without wearing my strapless bra).

I was now, as they say on all the poker shows, “pot committed” to keeping my nails painted until at least Thurs-Dee (Tootsie), and in the end I decided I would keep them for a week.

Yes, people noticed, and they asked. I told my cover story; it was a way to bond with my health-challenged friend, it didn’t involve needles (i.e., tattoos), and yes there was alcohol involved in the decision making process. In some cases, I just explained it up front, to avoid the questions. In the end, people just moved on.

Another set of swapped texts with Ms. Dee-ism. 

One of the guys at tennis tonight (playing, not coaching) asked me about my nails. I did a version of doing it with my friend. He said that's the story and you're sticking to it and I said yes ..

Hmm, he sounds a bit like a smart ass. And there’s nothing wrong with the story. He’s jealous. 😀

He`s actually a pretty nice guy, So is his wife whom I've also played with.
If I need to embellish the story I may add there was alcohol involved and it didn't involve needles and tattoos....but it was our bonding moment....and of course, you know I loved it.
Usually it's Renee telling me to expand my comfort zone. This time it's you.
And I don't mind one bit.

Yes, I did love having painted nails for an extra week. I was glad Ms. Dee-ism pushed my comfort zone. I realized that if people thought I was hiding something (like being a crossdresser), I probably wouldn’t be so open about it and having painted nails. Plus, my reputation is pretty much being a straight arrow, so that helps too.

I left them painted until Sun-Dee, and ran my 10K with painted nails (although it was cool enough I wore cotton gloves). The nails were my good luck charm; I won my age group (out of seventeen), and finished just out of the top 100, out of over 800 entries. All my prep work–hundreds of miles run–paid off. I did send Ms. Dee-ism a picture of me with my award AND my painted nails. That picture somehow did NOT make it into my Facebook post about my run. Funny that.


Kandi has written about her health issue. On a similar note, here is my public service announcement. 

As I write this, it’s almost two months after my trip to Durham. I’ve had a bit of an up and down experience in the interim.

If you notice the two photos with the mirror showing my back, if you look closely enough, you will see a purple circle about the size of a quarter on my left shoulder (as it’s a picture of a mirror, it’s actually on the right in the picture). A few months ago, I sent Renee similar pictures, and she asked about the spot. I thought it was scarring from a bike accident about twenty years ago.

Then I had a dental appointment and the hygienist noticed a small bump on my head, and suggested I get it checked. Having been to a dermatologist before, and having some precancerous cells frozen off then, I decided to make a return visit to the dermatologist. 

The dermatologist noticed the colored patch, did a biopsy, and the bad news was I had two small melanomas. I was referred to a surgeon, met with him, then had the surgery to remove the melanomas, and to also have the nearest lymph node removed, to determine if there was any spread. For about three-and-a-half weeks, from the biopsy until the lab report for the surgery (which showed no spread, so very good news), I had to consider the possibility I had a serious health issue. It’s not fun.

I have a seven inch incision and twenty-four stitches (yet to be removed, but that will be soon), but I am cancer free. Hopefully, no scar, but even if there is one, it won’t stop me from wearing the spaghetti strap dresses and tops I’ve learned to love to wear.

I’m also thankful to Renee for raising the question, and to Ms. Dee-ism for getting up early and driving me to the surgery and her emotional support, and to all my friends and family who wished me well.

Let’s face it, guys (and most of you reading this are guys, with a handful of exceptions, like those who have transitioned, or Renee and Ms Dee-ism) often tend to ignore health warning signs. Often they ignore them until it’s too late, and it’s a serious heart issue, or cancer–or a mole that happens to be a melanoma that has spread. Don’t be stoopid; if you have an issue, get it checked. Have those annual physicals (free under Obamacare in the US). Get your blood work done, so there are early warning signs of potential issues. 

Because I was proactive, and got things checked out, I had a good outcome. Yes, I might be lucky, but I also didn’t ignore the signs, so in large part, I made my own luck.

Make your own luck. If you need to, make that appointment today.

Doctor Dee out.


7 Responses

  1. It meant a great deal to me you keeping your nail polish on. As you remember, I can’t wear nail polish. Thus my nails are buffed.

    You wearing polish was like me wearing polish without the allergic reaction. I appreciate not breaking out in hives.

    We have always been supportive of each other.

    I thoroughly enjoyed our time together.

    1. As did I.

      There was some arm twisting to keep the polish on but it’s not like that’s not what I wanted to do anyway.

      I appreciate that you accept and encourage both sides of me.

  2. I’m dee-lighted that you dee-cided to keep your nail color for the week. It’s so dee-lightful and fun to wake up with colored fingernails. I’ve had colored (gel) nails for 5 years now. Some people get tattoos, others piercing, or wild hair color, I get nail color. To me it’s all body art. I can change the color of my nails faster (and easier) than changing a tattoo or piercing, and much less painful.
    When asked why my nails are colored, I like to say, “Because I like it that way.” If the person has tattoos, I’ll ask “Why do you like tattoos?” When pressed future, I’ll tell them that I ruined several nailbeds (and how) and I need to have my nails covered with acrylic to keep them together. The gel then seals the acrylic.
    Dee, I’m glad you sought medical advice sooner than later and dee-alt with when you did. I had Mohs surgery a few years back. They only had to take two slices out of my head while others where having 5+ slices.

    Kandi – I want to see a post from you where you are sitting in a hospital room after your surgery.

    Take care.

    1. Cali….really? Since I am being anesthetized, I doubt any photos will be taken. It’s an outpatient procedure. I will talk about it because that is what I do.

      1. Kandi…..I didn’t say I wanted to see a photo, I just want to see you deal with this asap. I spent 11 days in a hospital’s urology ward and the common tread I over heard from my roommates was they waited too long.

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