My day was evolving like most in the Groundhog Days of Covid-19 (choose between walking, running, biking, or yardwork; lather, rinse, repeat) when I received the following text from my friend Michelle: “My new doors may be in!!! I’m gonna head to the spa tomorrow and wait for one of my big orders to come in!! You’re more than welcome to visit!!!! I would love to see ya tomorrow!!”
Michelle lives in a world of exclamation points (she’s a lot of fun) and because of a variety of circumstances, including the virus, we hadn’t seen each other for about a month.
Just before the start of the stay at home orders, she had started expanding the salon she owns (yes, it’s good to have a friend who owns a salon). She was using the closure time to rehab the additional space she was renting. Not the optimal time to expand, but she’s an irresistible force moving forward.
For me, it was a chance to get dressed up and out the door, even if was going to be for a short time (she had errands to run so our get-together time was limited). I confirmed the time, and asked her to bring a dress of hers that I had tried on about six months ago. It’s a formal dress that she had worn many a moon ago when she won the “Miss Carlyle” contest (did I forget to mention she’s a former model?). I was hoping that with my recent weight losses it would fit better.
The following morning I got dressed in a Dress Barn dress I had found at Savers, matched with my first pair of long boots, both bought shortly before my departure to Australia. This was my first chance to wear this dress out, and it did fit better than when I had bought it three months before. Given the fabric and color of the dress (almost feels like vinyl, and it’s a dark brown), I call this my dominatrix outfit.
Overnight, a big thunderstorm had arrived. Leaving my driveway, I noticed items blown around and branches down. Crossing the dam across the lake I live on, I looked left and saw a big tree on our property–well, previously on our property–had fallen into the lake. Another (costly) job for the tree company I use (they had been out about two weeks earlier to clean up a fallen tree in our front yard). But I couldn’t worry about that now; I had a few moments to enjoy being out dressed.
I arrived at the salon and was greeted by Michelle and her younger daughter Mila (pronounced “ME-la). I had not met Mila before, but Michelle had shown Mila (and her older sister Cecilia) pictures of me so they know who I am. Michelle had repeatedly told me both sisters wanted to meet me, and Michelle and I had planned a “girls day out” with her daughters, but that’s on hold because of the virus. They both complimented me on my outfit and Michelle commented how much thinner I was.
Michelle handed me the “Miss Carlyle” dress and I went into another room to try it on. It fit better than before, but it still didn’t zip, so I guess I have more work to do on my weight (yes, fitting into smaller sizes motivates me to lose weight). I also put on my ankle strap heels, which do the best job of highlighting my legs.
I also changed into a black lace dress that Michelle had given me (a “Hand-Dee-Down”). A friend had given it to her, and Michelle had given it to me, so I wanted to show Michelle how it fit now (pretty damn well).
As Michelle needed to run an errand, our time was short. I changed into my girl Jean’s and a black t-shirt (one I found running), and my Red Ked’s to go to Costco. I thought about doing it as Dee, but I’m not that brave yet, so I cleaned up in the car (remove wig, makeup, and jewelry) and walked through Costco in my girl clothes (with a sweater over the girl top). One day I plan to visit Costco in Dee mode…I hope.
But, although brief, it was nice to have a chance to dress and get out, and it’s always great to be with Michelle. A few days later I went back to the salon in guy mode and helped Michelle out by assembling four specialty cabinets the nail techs use for their supplies. That day I met Cecilia, Michelle’s older daughter. Even when I’m in guy mode, Michelle refers to me as Dee, and that pleases me very much. That her daughters accept me–however dressed–also pleases me very much.
Plus, I know that when I return to the salon to have something girly done (and Michelle says I’m always welcome), the technician may be using the cabinet I put together. That will put a smile on my face.
I was surprised to read that you are hesitant to go to Costco as yourself. Is it for fear of seeing people you know? I have been shopping at all my local retailers, including Costco, without incident, although I do risk being “seen” by friends and neighbors. Anyway, my first thought upon reading that point in your essay was “if Dee can go to the beach, Dee certainly can go to Costco, because Dee is fearless!”
This was originally from 2020 (Kandi is periodically migrating my posts from the former website from time to time).
Since that time, I’ve been to Costco as Dee several times. Michelle has moved her business to a larger location and has a fabulous salon with multiple associates who work with her.
Over time, I have become a lot more fearless, like buying (and wearing in public) a bikini, as you note. I have definitely expanded my comfort zone of places where I go.
Repeat or not, I love reading your posts.