Near the end of dinner with my parents I texted Lori and she replied they were still at The Grove. I texted back:
[Be there soon].
My phone chirped:
[FYI: Marni’s here].
[Thanks for the heads up. On my way].
The Grove was more crowded than I was used to. I had only been there on Thursday nights, and there was a larger crowd for a Saturday night. I found the table with Lori and Alexa after stopping at the bar and buying a beer. At the table there were several familiar faces from the Thursday night gang, along with a couple others I didn’t know. There appeared to be an open seat saved for me–directly opposite Marni. I laughed inside and thought “this might get interesting.”
As I approached the table several of the women at the table started clapping and cheering and Lori, who was standing next to the table and talking to someone I didn’t know, turned and smiled, and we clanked our beer bottles and exchanged high fives. I said “Thanks” to the group and went to sit down at the open seat, getting a couple more high fives from some of the others.
As I sat, I heard Marni say in a mocking tone, “I hear you’re a regular here. Getting in touch with your feminine side?”
Interesting, indeed. Based on her facial expressions and tone of voice, she was clearly unhappy I was there.
I ignored the last barb and just answered in a low voice, “I come here because I seem to be welcome here. I don’t have that many friends where I can choose to be that picky. What’s it to you how I choose to spend my time?”
Marni then pointed to another table, which appeared to be a group of women somewhere on the Trans spectrum, and she said, “More friends of yours? Wouldn’t you like to join them instead?”
I decided this statement didn’t deserve an answer. I also noticed that Alexa seemed to be listening into our conversation, and she appeared to be no happier with Marni than I was.
Marni ignored the silence and piled on. “I guess you’re not man enough so you can only hang out with women–women who aren’t interested in you.”
I stood up. In a low but firm voice, I answered. “Excuse me. I’ve had too good of a day to let you ruin it. I shared with you my innermost secret because I thought the person I cared a lot about deserved to know. It didn’t turn out how I hoped. But I can look at myself in the mirror and know I did the right thing. I’m not going to sit here and let you insult me, so goodnight.”
I walked over to Lori, told her I was going, and said I would explain when we talked next.
I was watching the NFL a little after one on Sunday when my cell phone rang. I saw it was Lori, muted the TV, and answered the phone with my normal “Hello.”
“Dave, this is Lori. I just want to let you know I read Marni the riot act after you left. Alexa told me what happened and how she was rude to you. I told her that you were my good friend and she couldn’t treat you that way. I want her to apologize to you, but I don’t think she is going to.”
“Thanks, I appreciate that,” I answered. “I’m not sure why she went off on me. I hadn’t even said anything to her.”
“She’s been a little cross with me lately too” replied Lori. “I’m not sure what the deal is. But I am sorry you had to deal with it.”
“I will try not to let it bother me. It’s pretty clear that bridge has been burned” I answered.
Lori then said Alexa wanted to speak to me, and handed her the phone.
“So why haven’t you told me that you’re a crossdresser?” she demanded. “You know we’re a LGBT place, we have many Trans clients.”
I explained the last time I told someone it didn’t turn out well, so I was extremely hesitant to do it again. It wasn’t personal; it was a defense mechanism. Plus, I wasn’t dressing anymore (well, maybe I tried on a few of the items Lori gave me from time to time), so there was nothing to tell.
And then she surprised me. “I owe you one. When you are ready, come in and we will give you the royal treatment. Makeover, manicure, pedicure, waxing, whatever. It will be on the house. You can be a girl for a day and see how you look. My team will be here to serve you. No judgment, just smiles and support. Sound good to you?”
But right then I wasn’t ready.
“Thanks, I appreciate the offer, and it is a wonderful offer. But I’m not ready to start dressing again. Can I take a rain check?”
Alexa answered, “Absolutely” and then added, “You didn’t deserve the abuse from Marni last night. She was mean-spirited. You should know we consider you a regular at the Grove and everyone knows how respectful and accepting you are. I hope you aren’t letting what she said bother you.”
I was touched by what she said, and simply said, “Thank you.”
Alexa then just added, “The offer stands, so when you are ready, just let me know, and we’ll make you pretty.”
I headed to the gym and hopped on the elliptical, trying to concentrate on the two NFL games on the big screen TVs on the wall, and unsuccessfully trying to ignore Alexa’s offer. The more I thought no, the more I thought it was an offer I couldn’t refuse.
I kept thinking about a Peanuts Sunday comic strip I had seen several years before.
In the first panel, Charlie Brown tells Snoopy that he’s leaving him extra food in his bowl because they were going out of town, and the extra food was for tomorrow. The subsequent panels showed Snoopy trying to ignore his bowl.
The next to last panel showed Snoopy leaping from the top of his doghouse, and the last showed Snoopy with an empty bowl, saying, “I would have killed myself if tomorrow never came.”
After dinner I called Lori and asked her to put Alexa on the phone.
“Does your offer still stand?” I asked.
“Absolutely” Alexa said, with a smile in her voice.
“Well then, I accept.”
“Excellent! You’re going to love it.”
Alexa mentioned that Halloween was coming up in four weeks, and The Grove had a big Halloween party the Saturday night before Halloween. We agreed on that date, and she said she would make up a list of services, but it would be a surprise for me. She also told me to pick out a few things I liked of the items that Lori gave me and text her pictures of them, and she would have me bring them to the makeover.
And that I would need to shave my legs.
I hung up and had a big goofy smile on my face.
It was going to be a long four weeks–but it also meant I had four weeks to work on my girlish figure–and to let my nails grow.
The next Thursday at tennis Lori teased me a bit about my “spa day” but then added that Alexa was almost giddy about having me come in. She asked if I was looking forward to it.
“I think I told you I was jealous when I was a kid of all the boys who got to dress up as girls on Halloween. Now, it’s going to be my turn” I answered.
“I can’t wait.”
I played like crap that night, distracted by my thoughts, and lost three lop-sided sets.
At The Grove, I tried to pump Alexa for further info, but all she would say was, “I’m sure you’ll have fun.”
The week of my spa day finally arrived. On Tuesday I stopped at Walgreens and bought a three-pack of ladies razors, a bottle of Nair, some bubble bath, and some nude pantyhose. In for a nickel, in for a dime.
I went home and read the instructions and applied the Nair around my knees and on my arms (somewhere along the line I decided if I was shaving my legs, I was shaving my arms too). I waited the recommended time and jumped in the shower and ran the water, and rubbed the areas I had applied the Nair with a washcloth. I was now a lot less hairy.
I then filled the bathtub with hot water and the bubble bath, and then climbed in and did my best at shaving my legs. It took a while, and a nick or two, but in the end, I was happy with my hair free legs.
I had taken a before picture of my legs and then took an after, and texted both to Alexa.
A few minutes later the response was a smiley face, and the comment “Nice legs.”
All I could think to myself was, “Wait until you see them in heels and hose.”
Yes, I was ready for Saturday to arrive.
On Thursday Alexa texted me that I was scheduled for the spa at 10 AM. I was confused. If the party was at night, why was I going in so early?
Alexa texted back, “We’re going to make you pretty, so don’t you want to be pretty for a whole day, rather than just a few hours?”
A whole day? I was nervous AND excited at the same time.
Then the follow up. “Besides, I have plans for you.”
OMG. What have I gotten myself into?
That night at tennis Lori wouldn’t say anything about what Alexa had planned for me, but merely said “Ask Alexa.”
Later at The Grove, when I asked Alexa for details, she smiled and said “What fun would it be if I spoiled the surprise?” She then leaned in and in a half-whisper in my ear she said, “The next time you walk into these doors you are going to be dressed the way you have wanted to dress for most of your life. I’m planning a day that you’ll remember the rest of your life.” Then she kissed me on the cheek and said, “You deserve it.”
Overwhelmed, all I could say was “Ok.”