My wife was meeting a friend for lunch across town so I had an opening to get dressed and get out. I decided on my croptop/pinafore dress combo (the dress I had bought a couple of weeks before, the croptop last summer), a combo my GG friend Renee liked a lot. As it was a coolish summer day in Melbourne (around 20 for the Aussies, 68 for the Yanks), I wore a light blue cardigan also, and had a carry bag with a pair of brown Payless 11W pumps I had found (and bought) at a Savers a couple of days before.
The original plan was to stop in at my favourite Dangerfield store, hope that Kira or Kendra were in and say hi, and show them the post and pictures from my previous visit (https://www.kandis-land.com/special-ks/).
After the stop, I would wander towards downtown Melbourne, try to find a place with wi-fi access, and listen to my Sportsball team over Tune-in, while multi-tasking by having lunch or perhaps doing some shopping.
However, that plan quickly (nanoseconds) went by the wayside when I saw the red and black corset top Kira was wearing. It (and she) was sexy as hell, and as the Dangerfield staff often wear Dangerfield stuff (I hear working there can be dangerous to their take-home pay because of frequent use of their employee discounts), I assumed it was probably on sale in the store.
First things first. I showed Kira (Kendra wasn’t working) the post and she loved it. Absolutely loved it. Said it made her day, her week, her month. She asked if she could share with Dangerfield management (“yes”). She asked if she could post on Instagram (“yes”; I asked for her Insta name and later saw the post, a screenshot of the picture of the two of us, some of the text from the post, superimposed with the comment “I am crying”).
Another staffer Hannah (“I’m a palindrome”) also saw the post and said she loves narratives and that it was great I wrote posts. I told both of them my frequent answer, I enjoy (very much) writing about getting out, but there are only a handful of people I can contact and say “looky here”, so it’s somewhat of a bittersweet achievement.
With two happy sales angels in my corner, when I mentioned my infatuation with the corset top, I asked if they had it in my size, they quickly found a black version in my size, and the red version a size smaller. They also found a matching skirt for the red, a couple of black skirts, a few other assorted items they thought I might like, and shooed me off to the dressing room, with specific instructions to pop out after I changed because they wanted to see how they looked.
Being a crossdresser is often a solo activity. Most spouses/partners (like mine) are unwilling to go out with us (and a fair number of us have NEVER told their significant others they dress). Many dress but never leave home, buying their outfits (and everything else feminine) by letting their fingers do the walking over the internet. Most of us (I’m a VERY fortunate exception) never get what I call the “girlfriend experience”.
What is the “girlfriend experience”? It’s when two (or more) women go shopping together. They both try things on, offer their opinions, talk, try more stuff on. While I was in my change room, it was happening in the change room immediately to my left! Two young ladies were doing exactly that. One had a pile of clothes, she would try them on, pop out, get her friend’s opinion (and sometimes mine), and do it again and again. Then it was the friend’s turn to do the modeling (and trust me, Dangerfield has tons of cute stuff to try on).
Besides the tons of cute stuff to try on, when I’m at Dangerfield I get the girlfriend experience. The staff becomes my girlfriends for the day, offering their feedback. Usually, I can tell their reaction before they say anything, from either the look in their eyes or by their smile (or lack thereof), at least in the pre-mask days. Words such as “that looks good on you” is amazingly heart warming for someone would can usually only judge by what she can see in the mirror.
The eyes in the pictures of us don’t lie. I’m having fun. They’re having fun. For at least one part of one day, it’s not “retail hell”, we’re all in this together. At one point Kira made the comment of something like “we queers have to stick together”, and I’m definitely proud to consider myself queer, even though I hide it from the vast majority who know me (Kira, on the other hand, proudly embraces the label on her Instagram page).
I try on the black corset top in the largest size; it’s tight but I can get it on (it fastens in the front with a metal plate and five small “bolts” to slide in the slots. Next up is the red, one size smaller. Off with the padded bra, but I can squeeze into the top. I like the black, but the red is better–and it has the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval because of the two, Kira chose it for herself. I had to have a picture with my “sista” wearing the same style top.
Decision made, I’m getting the red–but I would have to walk a couple of blocks to a sister store to buy one in my size. I tell Kira and Hannah that’s not a problem, and they put a hold on it for me.
In the meantime, Hannah had pulled the red and black checkered top, the same material as a similar top with spaghetti straps I had bought my previous trip. I like the look, they like the look, and it’s 50% off. Decision made also.
There is still more to tell about this story (and pictures too!) but that will have to wait until next Sun-Dee.