The days and nights of Zelda in New Orleans, part 2 Monday, Jan 25 2010 

So we left off with my going out to my car (through the lobby, thus giving the desk clerk a nice view of my backside), driving off and realizing I’d left my room key…in the room. Oh well, get another when I go back.

The sky was overcast, cool and slightly windy at times with rain threatening. Not a typical January day, but what’s a typical day now? The drive to the French Quarter was uneventful, and I found a parking space in one of the lots near the river. I’d even managed to park close to the French Market. Half the Market is an open-air produce market that’s been in business for over two hundred years. The other half is a big flea market that’s stuffed with tourist stuff, music, jewelry, etc. I wandered through the market and found a nice little fleur-de-lys necklace and of course we haggled over the price. Somehow, paying list down there feels wrong…

I did not have any real plan, other than a few places I wanted to drop in on. I sort of wandered up the Quarter towards Bourbon and Conti. If you’re looking on a map, you’d say I was going southwest. Which is right, but wrong. See, directions in New Orleans are based not on compasses but water-Lake Pontchatrain and the river. The lake forms the upper boundary of the city; anything in that direction is Lakeside. The river flows around the lower part of the city and to the eastern side then south to the Gulf of Mexico. Thus, heading along the river’s mouth is Downtown; away from the flow is Uptown. Of course anything directly on the river is Riverside. And the other side of the river from New Orleans? That’s the West Bank; trust me, it’s easier if you go along…

I window shopped, found a plus size shop near Jackson Square that had a cute dress (but not in my size). I found the place on Bourbon I was looking for, but the person I wanted to see wasn’t there anymore so I started heading back down Bourbon to end up on St. Philip and Royal. I was at the corner of St. Ann and Bourbon, and the woman running the Lucky Dog cart asked where I got my skirt. Now, Lucky Dog is a New Orleans institution-hot dog-shaped carts that serve dogs that you’ll eat happily when drunk but probably shouldn’t sober. The vendors are…colorful. Anyway, I started talking to the woman (who called herself Raven) and it was a half hour later before I left. That’s not unusual-you’ll get into a conversation with a total stranger and find out things you never knew. This doesn’t happen in other cities…

I finally got to Fifi Mahoney’s (Royal and St. Paul), which was for many years my wig and makeup source. Marcy, the owner, was in but really busy so we did not get to talk much. The shop’s the same-funky yet fun, with a big wig selection that goes from cheap costume to wild custom made pieces.

I ducked out and went across the street to the Community Coffee House for a latte and cinnamon roll. New Orleans is a city that loves coffee; the native brew is strong, dark, and will jumpstart dead Battlestars. The traditional place for cafe au lait is Cafe du Monde-which also has those deadly beignet (a fried dough sort of like a holeless doughnut) which exist to get powdered sugar all over your outfit. Starbucks has had an uphill battle fighting established locals like Community, PJ’s and Rue de la Course and the indys.

After refreshment, it started to rain, finally. Fortunately I’d brought my umbrella in my bag and managed to not get too wet. Another trip back to the flea market because I decided that the hat I’d seen earlier I just had to have, then back to the car to end the afternoon. Driving back to the hotel I decided to take a roundabout way down St. Charles, which is still one of the prettiest streets but the roads are terrible. When I got to the hotel, I walked up to the desk with my ID and asked for another key; the clerk was very professional and I was off to my room with my bags and time to get ready to go out later and meet my new friend…

The days and nights of Zelda in New Orleans, part 1 Wednesday, Jan 20 2010 

The last time I was in New Orleans was last spring. The last time I went out en femme in New Orleans was the weekend before I moved to Dallas-three and a half years ago. The last time I’d gone out in New Orleans during the daytime to go shopping I can’t remember. So, when I had an opportunity to spend a couple of days in the city, guess what I did?

I drove to New Orleans Thursday, making a few stops on the way. I got a room at a hotel in Metairie, which was cheaper than getting a room in the city. Getting ready took less time than usual, but of course it took me longer to pick out something to wear. It was not very warm out that night, so I decided to for something a little warmer. A white print t-shirt from Seven7, Ashley Stewart jeans tucked into boots with a black faux biker jacket and a pair of fingerless black leather gloves. I couldn’t find my boot socks, so I just forgot about it. Big mistake. Drove down to the Quarter and found a parking space very quickly, which should have been a sign. Tried a few of the bars I used to go to, and they were pretty dead. Also, I was developing a nice blister on my toe, so I gave up early and went back to the room.

And I was having doubts about going out Friday en femme. I didn’t think I’d have enough time to get ready, and if it was pouring rain did I really want to get wet and miserable. And Friday morning, the weather was very gloomy. I got up, had breakfast at IHOP, stopped by Target to get some pads for my blister (thank you, Band Aid!), went back to the room and decided that I’d come this far and not doing the one thing that was going to make me very happy was WRONG! I did my makeup in close to record time. For those who have witnessed me getting ready, you know I can take forever, but I found some shortcuts and got a great look fast. Since I had not really done much the night before, I wore the t-shirt again. A black mid-calf skirt, broomstick style with a lace inset, black mid-calf leather Converse Chuck Taylors (going for comfort if I’m doing much walking today), with black and white striped tights. A black PVC bomber jacket, and the gloves from the night before (I really like how they look, okay?). I grabbed my Sephora/Kat von D tote and stuck a little umbrella and my purse and a few essentials in, checked myself in the mirror and made my way out to the car…

To be continued.

Just a girl out on the town Friday, Apr 10 2009 

After weeks of trying to arrange with a friend to go out shopping en femme, I thought I’d give it a shot last Wednesday. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen going out by myself. Besides humiliation, embarrassment, having an accident…

Oh, nevermind.

Getting ready took longer than I wanted, of course. I managed to do a more conservative daytime makeup look, picked out a nice pink/black mod print blouse (Lane Bryant Outlet) with black trousers (Torrid) and pumps. My first stop was Wigit Boutique in Burleson. I’d been to in drab before. The time I went, one of the ladies said I should have come dressed up-so I did! We went through ten wigs and found one that’s just perfect. Shorter than my usual length, but the same colour (Burgundy Rosa in Noriko). It wasn’t in stock, but they ordered it and will adjust it so it will fit better. A very nice way to start out…

Next, a trip to Valley View Center in north Dallas. It’s a mid-scale mall, not too busy that day. I found a nice pair of jeans at Ashley Stewart; the manager was helpful, even if she slipped a pronoun once. She looked so embarrassed that I took it as an accident, not an insult. A trip through a few other stores, nothing special.

I was going to a resale shop on Northwest Highway, but I totally missed the exit, so I kept going to Town East Mall in Mesquite. I’d never been there as a girl, and it’s much busier than the first mall. A stop at Torrid, found a new t-shirt and tights, and sunglasses at a kiosk (I have a weakness for cheap knock-offs because I lose them all the time).

And then I went back home, cursing silently rush hour traffic, changing back to “boy stuff” and made dinner and reflected…

The good? New hair on the way, clothes, felt totally comfortable, no bad things happened.

The bad? One woman who said something like “Are you a fairy?” to me as I went down the escalator. If she hadn’t had kids with her I would have gotten snarky, but I am not going to put someone’s parent down in front of them. Even if they deserve it…

The ugly? Spent too much :P

I haven’t gone out shopping since Southern Comfort in September. I haven’t been out shopping in Dallas in over a year. I think I need to do this more often…

Last Thursday Monday, Mar 30 2009 

I had wanted to get out Thursday and go shopping but it did not happen. My friend Nikkie had invited me out to dinner, so I went ahead and got dressed. Makeup took far less time than usual; simplified a bit, and I think it came out well. Finding the right outfit took way too long; this seems to be typical. Finally I found a black babydoll dress with tie sleeves (Torrid), pink tights with fishnet tights on top (Torrid), and black dress boots (eBay). Met Nikkie and Christina at the Bronx on Cedar Springs, which as become our place of choice. The food is good, and the servers are great. We have one particular server-Mr. Fabulous-who is fun, give great service, and is cute. A couple of friends of Nikkie’s came by and after dinner we went by Sue Ellen’s, because nobody but I had been there. It’s a large lesbian club, with a big dancefloor downstairs, live music up, and a sitting area and patios. We had a few drinks, chattted, etc. It’s less hectic than Station 4, and a different crowd.

An early night, and the first Thursday in a while I had not gone to The Church. I have not been to Panopticon in a while (since they moved back to Club One) and I missed the “fetish night” Friday (mostly due to a lack of motivation).

Last night Friday, Mar 13 2009 

Wet, rainy, cold. Perfect night to go out. Spent way too much time getting ready. Makeup was good, except I still can’t do false eyelashes worth a damn. Picked an outfit, then picked another, then had issues trying to figure out what to wear. I hate being indecisive, yet it happens all the time.

Finally picked out a black cross strap dress from Torrid, with fishnet stockings and patent boots from Electrique Boutique. Added a jacket that matched the dress that I had bought two years ago at Torrid. Got out of the house way late, drove directly to The Church to meet the girls. I was mad at myself for missing time chatting over drinks at the Bronx, but it’s my own fault. Dancing, drinking, chatting, all good things. Left about 1 AM, got home and overslept this morning (a bad habit I have).

So what have you been up to? Thursday, Oct 23 2008 

After SCC, I had about a week to decompress and try to get back into things. Of course, life has a way of interfering with your mood. I decided to make the local crossdresser’s group’s monthly meeting, more as an excuse to dress up than anything. I’d mentioned on their mailing list that I needed to find a pair of dress boots, and someone offered to bring a pair in my size to try. It was also their Halloween party, but I decided to not bother trying with a costume-I knew I was going to go do some shopping before the party. I could have brought something to wear, but why bother?

Ever notice it always takes you twice as long to get ready as you think it will, even if you know what you’re wearing? Exactly. I drove to Electrique Boutique to see if they might have a pair of dress boots. I knew they’d have stripper boots, and fetish thigh-highs, but anything less dramatic they don’t normally carry in my size.

And I was right. So off to Kroger’s for snacks for the party, then to the Gay and Lesbian Center for the meeting. I wasn’t the only person who didn’t dress for the holiday. But some did, including a new person who I didn’t recognise. When we started talking, we realised that we knew each other from online. Small world?

The turnout for the meeting was not bad, there was more socializing than anything, though nobody seemed to want to go out afterward and I wasn’t going alone, so I called it an early night. In the past, that would have bothered me but somehow tonight, it didn’t. I did talk to Anna about going shopping the following Friday at Allen Premium Outlets for the boots. She was interested in going out shopping, and I like spending time with her.

So, the following Friday, I do my best casual girl look (black ballet top with 3/4 length sleeves, purple and black print broomstick skirt) and called her on the way. When she realised we had made plans, and I took my time getting there to give her time to get ready. We went to the outlet mall, and walked the entire thing (it’s a big outdoor mall in a circle). And NOBODY had a pair of boots in 12m. I mean, really! I did get a sweater at Lane Bryant Outlet, which is one of the best places to shop. But I was cranky enough over not finding boots that I went back home earlier than I’d planned, fighting Friday evening traffic which made me more cross…

I talked to a friend online about my problem, and she suggested looking for a particular boot on eBay. And I found them, at a good price. They came in today, and fit perfectly! THAT made my day!

Saturday afternoon I fly to DC for a wedding of two good friends. Andrea I’ve known for a while, since we were commenting on each other’s LiveJournals. I’ve seen her romance with Brooke blossom for a while, and when I was invited to attend I was truly touched. Which is why I needed the boots, because the outfit I’m wearing wouldn’t work as well without them.

So, that’s what has been going on. More or less. I’ll post something from DC…

Zelda and the therapist Wednesday, Oct 17 2007 

So, anyway, Tuesday I have an appointment with my therapist. She’s done some good, and I like her a lot. During one session, she asked me if I wanted to come en femme sometime. I said I’d think about it…

I’d thought about it, and decided that I was going to do it. I mentioned it to the spouse last week; she didn’t seem to object. But by Tuesday, I was rethinking the idea, because I have a tendency to over think things. Which is part of why I’m in therapy.

I did decide it was time, and managed to get ready faster than I had in a long time. And I was ready just as I needed to walk out the door. Checking the look out in the mirror: purple knit top (a Target find from a couple of years ago), jean skirt (Torrid), black tights, and black boots. Just a little bit of jewelery, checked the hair, out to the car, and a half hour later I was at the therapist’s office building. One last check, deep breath, cross the parking lot…

Walked into her office, and she gave me a big hug. She said I looked great. I thanked her, and I did think I looked pretty good. Not really flashy, but not too demure. It was a balance, and I thought it worked. She offered me a soda, and I sat down on the couch, crossing my legs under me. It’s a little thing, but it’s part of the subtle things you have to do as a girl. The session went well. I talked to her about some things my spouse and I had discussed, some things I’d talked to my friend Sabrina about, and my own feelings. I know I still have a lot of work to do on my issues.

One of the things we both agreed on is that, when I’m en femme, there are some differences in my personality. Zelda is a bit more self-assured, open, and doesn’t agonize over decisions as much. It’s those positives that I need to find in myself the rest of the time.

After the session, my therapist gave me a big hug and told me how happy she was I had come, and that if I wanted to do it again I was certainly welcome. I got back in the car, and since I had some time left until I had to be home, I did the logical thing.

I went to the mall.

Well, the closest mall I could get to in a short period of time, which was Irving Mall. I had never been there, and I thought I might as well…The mall was a bit dead, surprising on an early afternoon during the week I thought. The only thing I bought was a couple of pairs of cheap sunglasses (hey, girl’s gotta have them). There were some shoes that I liked, but not in my size (of course), and Lane Bryant didn’t have anything I lusted for.

For the most, it was positive, but then I do not usually worry about being out in public. I was not trying to attract attention, but when you are as tall as I am, and not the most feminine person out there, you do get noticed. Though most of the time, people don’t really pay attention. If you’re confident in yourself, if you don’t act or feel like you do not belong there, things go a lot better.

One thing that did happen was I needed to go to the bathroom. I have gone to public restrooms before, and never had a problem. Yet. And my choices were limited. I didn’t want to try going to the public bathroom in the mall; wanted a bit more privacy and less chance to run into someone. So I went to Macy’s, found the ladies room that was off the beaten path, and ducked into the closest stall. Because there were a couple of women in the other stalls. Did what was necessary, waited until they’d left, then walked out. Just like any other woman…

I drove back to the house, changed, and thought about the day…I think things went well, I felt better about things, and Zelda got some time out.

All good things.

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