Any day is a good day, when I’m wearing a dress! Not long ago I was at a convention and was riding down the elevator when one of our sisters got in. She was tall, Asian, drop-dead gorgeous, impeccably dressed and had the most perfect long legs I’ve ever seen. I wanted to hate her immediately, but I was too in awe. (I’m often described as ‘cute, with a nice personality’ and we all know what that means.) I said hello and asked how she was doing. She replied, “Any day is a good day, when I’m wearing a dress.” She is so right. In the beginning and over the years I’ve been like everyone. I dressed once or twice a year. Then it got to once a month. I’d often under-dress, just to be doing something. As I progress to full-time, I still get a thrill every time I put on a dress.
The reality of everyday living The cruel mistress, life, forces us to mow the lawn, take out the trash, change the oil in the car and one hundred other mundane, but necessary tasks. My grungy work clothes, paint-spattered t-shirts and sneakers come out on the weekend so I can take care of business. No one is going to pressure wash the driveway in heels and hose. However, having been born and raised in the 1950’s and 60’s, my mother was of those bullet bra, cocktail dress and patent-leather pumps wearing women. “No matter what,” she explained to my sisters, and me too, unbeknownst to her, “always wear a little lipstick and a squirt of cologne.” She wouldn’t hang up the laundry on the clothes line (remember those?) without a touch of bright red lipstick and the ever-present scent of Taboo.
The lessons passed from generation to generation Skip ahead to the early 2000’s, to my beautiful daughter and at-the-time college student in Zoo Technology. She would brush her hair, apply makeup, check herself in the mirror and then run off to jump on alligators, handle venomous snakes and feed monkeys and African animals. All of it important work that needed a beautiful, talented and fearless woman with her makeup in place. As a dad, I’d see the chaos left in the bathroom and wonder why it had to be thus. Now, as I prepare for work or going out, and as I scramble to make it out the door, I look at the mess all over the bathroom vanity and I understand. My lovely daughter, you have my most sincere apology for complaining about the mess.
The little things that got me through Remembering many of the things I learned from observing the strong women in my life got me through the rough periods when I was still so deep in the closet, light couldn’t get to me. A little lipstick would change the whole way I saw myself at times. A pair of panties instead of my tighty-whitey’s always felt good under my jeans. If a dress-up day isn’t in the cards, there are always ways to get you through. It just takes a little creativity. Try it, you’ll feel much better.
Any day is a good day, when I’m wearing a dress! I’d love to find the woman I spoke to in the elevator so I could thank her. In less than a minute, she sent me a clear message and reminded me that anything I did that helped me on my way to where I am today was a very good thing. To all the wonderful people from whom I learned, either unintentionally (Thanks, Mom) or my new and experienced sisters who have shared and cared, I am ever so grateful and I thank you. Now I’m off to fertilize the roses, where’s my Chanel No. 5?