Eight months have gone by since I last wrote something for this blog. So much has happened that I should have written about. I struggled a little bit. I hesitate to say that because, honestly, many people have much more significant things to deal with in their lives; thankfully, mine are manageable. Perhaps writing about them as they happened would have helped. Maybe sharing them now will.
Pandemic life has been strange for everybody. Christie ended up working exclusively from home, which was wonderful. I inherited a closet full of work clothes, which, with a little alteration, fit me well. We made a very nice home office for her, and got into a good routine. Then, around last February, her sister on the east coast began to struggle. It looked like she was going to lose her house. It took a few weeks to decide, but in the end, Christie moved in with her. Christie’s job paid well enough to cover the expenses, and they both saved a bunch of money.
It was hard, though. Christie and I have been best friends for years. Seven years ago, her dominant side came out, to which I willingly submitted. We still keep in touch, texting and talking a lot, but I miss her. I really don’t gone out socially as much since she left, and I miss that, too.
I still work for Helen, part-time. Since tax season ended, she’s been working mostly from home, and I only go in to the office once or twice a week. Usually the office is mostly empty. Since none of my co-workers there has ever seen me as a ‘guy,” I always take the time to dress, put on makeup and do my hair. If we’re both at work at the end of the day, we tend to go out for a drink. Occasionaly, Helen will get tickets to a show and we’ll go out, along with one or two of her friends.
My relationship with Lauren is more complicated. She is my supervisor at work, and she worked really hard to get me into her division when my company closed down my section, early in the pandemic. We all work mostly from home, with lots of video conferencing and occasional meetings in the office. For whatever reason, all of the people in Lauren’s section are women. It was Lauren who encouraged me to start dressing at work. She (and all of my colleagues) really does support me being whoever I want to be gender-wise. I’m pretty sure she’s let HR know. Early on, I never considered this to be about gender. It was a thing that Christie and I did, and I suppose it’s evolved, especially now that Christie is gone, to something more. I can’t imagine not wearing makeup and womens’ clothes, to work or anywhere else, any longer. It would seem…wierd. Lauren has also encouraged me to spend some time with a counsellor, which has really helped me, honestly.
I did let some of the routine things lapse while I was working things out, and I noticed that some gray had crept in to my hair. I made an appointment at the salon I go to, and found out that Jasmine, my stylist, had left. For some reason, I was really nervous about making an appointment with someone new, but eventually I did. The day before my appointment, I started to really worry about what to wear, so I decided to do some shopping. I found a shirtdress that I liked, and got some opaque black leggings to wear with it.
The next morning, I did my makeup and nails and dressed. I arrived a little early, and had to wait a few minutes for my stylist, Mercedes, to arrive. She was wonderful. She complimented me on how “cute” I looked, and together we came up with a really nice color for my hair for the fall and winter. It’s a little deeper than before, and we decided to forego the highlights.
I’ll show you an “after” picture; there’s no need for you to witness the gray. I apologize for the shot – I am not a “selfie” person. (The picture at the top of the post also features my new shirtdress.)