Fourteen minutes later I steeled myself and stepped out the door, hoping I wouldn’t encounter any incoming clients. I had read stories of others walking in clicking heels feeling the air on their legs, and I had to mentally pinch myself and realize it was happening to me. The lunch place was a block away, and despite the Saturday lunch crowd, I managed to open the door, enter, walk to the pickup counter, and say in my softest voice, “Pickup for Dee.”
One minute later, “Sandy” behind the counter handed me two large paper bags, and said, “Here’s your order. Have a nice day ma’am.”
I floated back to the salon.
I delivered the orders to each of the staff, giving the same answer when they offered to pay that it was on me, and getting thanks. I saved the last for Alexa, and told her the same. She said, “You didn’t have to, but I’m sure all my team will appreciate it.”
As Alexa was on a break between clients, we sat together in their break room and ate our sandwiches. As I wasn’t used to eating wearing lipstick, I was trying to be extra careful not to ruin my look. She asked me how my day was going, and I just answered “Amazing.”
She then said that I could go, or if I wanted to, I could stick around for the afternoon and be the receptionist for the salon, greeting clients when they arrived, letting the staff know when their clients arrived, etc. I decided being the receptionist for the day might be fun, so I said I’d do that. After finishing our lunches, Alexa then guided me to the front desk, and showed me a brief introduction to their computer system. She also asked if I’d be willing to balance their checking account, and after I said yes, got me access to their online banking account and business accounting system.
Every work day I sit at a keyboard, but this was the first time with beautiful nails. Perched on the stool at the elevated desk, swapping windows between a spreadsheet, their accounting package, and the bank website–with a goofy smile, while trying to sit ladylike with my legs together.
Customers would enter about every ten or fifteen minutes, and I would welcome them, enter their names in the computer, then carefully hop down from the stool and walk to their service provider and let them know their customer had arrived. I was a bit nervous for the first two or three arrivals, but after that I became comfortable with the routine.
Between the interruptions for the arrivals, I managed to find the missing items to balance the account. Alexa then gave me some additional paperwork and bills so I made the payments on the internet banking website and then updated everything in the accounting system. As she usually did all of the bookkeeping for the salon, she was very happy to offload it to me, and during the afternoon I cleaned up the entire paperwork backlog.
I also managed to take a number of selfies with my phone, so it wasn’t all work and no play.
Before I knew it, it was almost 6 o’clock, closing time for the spa–the old adage “time flies when you’re having fun. ” Several of the patrons complimented my look, saying I looked cute, and many offering “Happy Halloween” when they left. The last customers left a little after six, and the other staff a few minutes later after doing their final cleanup. I got hugs from Julie and Michelle when they left, and both told me to come back again, and to have a fun night out.
That left Alexa and me as the last two to close up. Alexa then informed me we were meeting Lori at a local restaurant for dinner, before heading to The Grove after eating. The restaurant was an unexpected turn for me, and I wasn’t sure I was ready for that, but she just said it’s Halloween weekend and I would be fine.
Then Alexa said she needed to change into her costume–and I needed to change into my evening outfit! She walked into a closet and came out holding Lori’s red off-the-shoulder bridesmaid dress, a pair of strappy red heels, a strapless bra, and a pair of devil’s horns, adding “Why do you think we waxed your back and chest?” She handed them to me, told me I should leave the pantyhose on, and pointed to a room where I could change. She then went into another room to change into her costume.
The dress was as beautiful as I remembered it. I carefully pulled my top over my head, trying my best not to mess up my wig and makeup. I kicked off my black heels, then unzipped the skirt and let it drop to the floor. I managed to unhook the bra behind my back, then donned the strapless bra, fastened it in front, spun it around, and placed the foam inserts in the strapless cups. I then turned away from the mirror in the room, unzipped the dress, and stepped into it. I held my breath as I pulled it up, put my right arm in the sleeve, adjusted it for fit, and then reached behind my back to try to zip it. I got it about halfway up, then it stuck for a second, but I stretched and inhaled and zipped it all the way up. Yes!
I gathered the red heels and walked over to a chair to put them on. They had about a 2 1/2 inch heel which I figured I could manage. I slid them on, fastened the buckle on each, and managed to stand up without too much difficulty. I put the devil ears in place, then closed my eyes, walked over to the mirror, and counted “three, two, one”–and opened them.
Loved the look. Loved it. Loved it.
I had left my phone at the desk and I desperately needed to take a picture, so I walked out to get it. At the same time Alexa emerged from her room, dressed as a very cute Robin from Batman and Robin. She saw me and said, “Damn girl, you look great!”–but the beaming look on her face told me how she really felt.
I told her I needed pictures, and handed her my phone. She answered that I had to wait a few more minutes because she had a few more finishing touches, and went back into her room. She came out with a red clutch purse–the same one Lori had at the wedding–and started pulling accessories out of the purse. Alexa had me turn around and attached a pearl (or fake pearl, how do I know?) necklace around my neck. Next was a pair of silver clip-on earrings, which she showed me how to put on. Finally, a couple of silver bracelets to complete the accessories.
Next she grabbed some brushes and eye makeup, and added several shades of red to my eyes, and then rouge to my cheeks. Finally, she pulled out a bright red lipstick, and went to work on my lips. With that final touch, she said she was done–and stepped back and said that I was “One sexy devil.”
We spent the next five minutes with Alexa taking pictures of me in various poses using multiple backdrops in the salon. All the time she was smiling and I was smiling and I couldn’t believe this was happening.
Alexa’s phone pinged with a text from Lori, saying she was at the restaurant, so we needed to get going. The restaurant was about a ten minute drive, and Alexa offered to drive. She then gave me a silver sweater to put on to ward off the chill, and the red purse. I put my wallet, car keys, and my phone in the purse, and then Alexa handed me the red lipstick, and I added it to the purse.
During the drive, Alexa asked me if I was nervous. I merely answered “Excited.”
I was very happy we drove together because the restaurant was crowded and I would not have wanted to walk in on my own, but Alexa helped me relax. We approached the reservations desk, the staffer told us to follow her, and I tried to look straight ahead and not see how people were reacting. She led us to a booth, said “here’s your table” and then turned to me and said “I love that dress!” I softly answered “Thanks.”
As I expected, sitting on one side of the booth, dressed in a Batman costume, was Lori–and she was smiling and said I looked great.
Before I had a chance to thank her I saw another person at the table, sitting on the opposite booth, dressed like Charlie Chaplin.
Alexa sat next to Lori, and they said hello and kissed.
I was still standing, in shock, wondering what in the hell was happening, when Charlie Chaplin said, “Please have a seat. I won’t bite.”
So I did, as gracefully as I could in a slinky dress and heels.
The best I could muster was, “Can someone tell me what’s going on?”
Both Lori and Alexa pointed to Marni.
Marni started in. “First, I want to apologize for being a bitch the last time. I wasn’t happy with Richard and I took it out on you. That wasn’t fair to you, and I’m sorry.”
Not what I expected to hear, but then again, today was a day of surprises, so I just added it to the pile.
“Apology accepted” I answered.
“Second, I found out a couple of weeks ago that Richard was also sleeping with someone else. When I found out and confronted him, let’s just say I didn’t like the answers very much.” Marni then added, “Richard is now my ex-boyfriend.”
At which point our waitress appeared, dressed in a pirate costume, and asked if we wanted drinks. Batman and Robin ordered beers, Charlie Chaplin a white wine and I asked for a frozen margarita. The waitress left after saying she’d be back for our orders when she delivered our drinks.
After the waitress left, Lori and Alexa once again pointed to Marni.
“Lori invited me out tonight to come along. She said I needed a night out and to have some fun,” Marni said. “She told me you were coming, and that you were going to be dressed up, and that if I came I would need to apologize and behave.”
She went on. “Lori showed me the pictures from today. I could see one thing from the pictures. You were happy. You obviously enjoy doing this.”
I answered as honestly as I could. “I do enjoy this. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time. This has been one of the best days in my life”–and I pointed at Lori and Alexa–“and they and Alexa’s team made it possible, and for that, I will be forever grateful.”
Both Lori and Alexa reached out and squeezed my hands and smiled.
I went on. “I’m a guy and I like being a guy. But for whatever reason, I like dressing as a girl too, and I have since I was very young. So yes, doing this definitely pleases me.”
I then turned towards Marni and said, “My only regret is that it cost me you, but I had to tell you the truth, because you deserved it.”
Of course our waitress reappeared with our drinks, and took our food orders. She left, with the 900 pound gorilla lurking in the background, but I figured we would move onto other topics….
…until Marni reached out and took my hand. “I appreciate you being honest with me. Three years ago, I couldn’t deal with you. I then met Richard and thought I was happy. Then I discovered what was happening and I crashed. Thanks to my BFF”–Marni smiled, and then reached out and held Lori’s hand–“I’m beginning to recover.”
“That’s great. I’m happy for you” I answered.
Marni then turned again to face me, and softly said, “I think my recovery includes you too. Would you be willing to try again?”
OMG, OMG, OMG. Am I hearing what I think I’m hearing?
All I could say was, “I think I would like that”–and I hear Lori and Alexa clapping and whooping.
Marni then leaned over and kissed me on the cheek, laughing “I don’t want to ruin your makeup.”
She then added, “You look better as a woman than I would have ever expected.”
I’m not sure I tasted my food at dinner. I was buzzed from the frozen margarita and from the events of the day. I ordered a salad to best co-exist with my makeup, and tried desperately not to spill anything on the dress. I also seemed to have some extra bumps that I needed to avoid spilling food on.
Alexa explained at dinner that she arranged with one of her transgender clients for the foam inserts, the heels, and the accessories, and the client was happy to lend them–but wanted to see some pictures. I said I would be glad to pose, and to thank the client for me.
I paid for dinner, and then realized I needed a personal comfort break. Marni had sympathy for me and said she would go with me. I was sure every eye in the place was on me as I tried to gracefully walk to the ladies room, but maybe I was imagining things. Before I opened the door Marni teased me in a low voice, “Remember to sit and not stand.” Even sitting–after the difficulty of lowering my hose and undergarments–was a challenge, as with the heels I was several inches taller than I was used to. I did my business, rearranged everything, and stepped out of the stall. I walked to the sinks to wash my hands, and couldn’t resist admiring the view in the mirror. Marni was patiently waiting for me to escort me back to our table.
We got ready to leave and the waitress came to the table to pick up the credit card slip and bus the table. She told us thanks for coming in, and have a good night. She then turned to me and said “You look hot!” I’m sure I turned as red as the dress–and the other three just laughed hysterically.
Marni was the designated driver so we all walked to her car for the drive to The Grove. When we reached her car, she busted my chops a little more and went and opened the passenger door for me. I responded by doing my best girly imitation, plopping my butt in the seat, holding my knees together, and swiveling my legs into the car. Marni merely said “Bravo” and closed the door.