Well, on this weeks trip, I only spent about 30% of the time female as I had planned on spending. The night before my trip to Madison Wisconsin, I was getting my things together for the mornings flight when my wife started to get kind of sullen. I wouldn’t go so far as to say she was angry, but she was clearly not happy and dropped a few hints.
“I’m not feeling good. I’m tired and exhausted, and wish you weren’t going anywhere,” she told me two or three times, at least once with the classic boo boo lip sticking out.
For those of you that don’t speak the “wife” language, or my wife’s language in any case, this was a hint to say “If you spend all night picking out and packing things for your trip, and doing your nails, I’m going to be hurt and angry.” Being the selfish and thoughtless person that I am, I at first blew past this and kept getting my stuff together, but within a minute or two, the guilt got to me.
“OK, no problem. Sorry but I still have to pack what I need for the trip, but I’ll fly the old fashioned way so I don’t have to spend a lot of time getting everything together tonight. Once I get it all packed I’ll come sit down with you.” I told her with a smile. She then assured me that she didn’t want to ruin my flights and it was fine with her if I got ready, but it was clear that her heart really wasn’t in the words and so I stuck to that plan.
As I was packing, my wife’s uncle from San Antonio called me to ask where I was headed this week. These are the folks that kept asking me if I was Transgendered until I finally admitted it to them recently. They are fine with it and maybe even a little fascinated by it. As soon as I told her uncle that I was on the way to Madison WI, he got all excited and handed the phone to his wife. Who would have thunk it – that is where she is from!
“OK,” she says, “If your going there you need to bring me back some cheese turds!” What the hell??!! I must have misunderstood her.
“I’m sorry, you want me to get you what?” I asked her
“Cheese turds!” she repeated. I paused, waiting to see if something will click and this will suddenly start to make some kind of sense. Apparently I paused too long.
“Are you still there?” She asks.
“Yeah, I’m just trying to figure out what the hell ‘Cheese Turds’ are!” I told her.
“Not ‘turds’ you idiot, ‘curds’! Haven’t you ever heard the Christmas song about eating curds and weigh?” she asks, sounding irritated with my dim wittedness.
“OK, curds and not turds – got it. Yes, I’ve heard the song but never did have any idea what ‘curds’ were. What he hell are cheese curds?!” I asked her. She quickly launched into an explanation, sounding excited the entire time that she was about to get her hands on this apparently delectable cheese product from home. Frankly, I figured there was a fair chance that she was yanking my chain and sending me on the equivalent of a snipe hunt, and so I was a little less than enthusiastic.
“Cheese curds. Right. Got it. No promises, but I’ll try and look for them.” I told her, still wondering if she was yanking my chain.
“Try hell! You better bring me back some!” she said, and then paused for a bit before continuing. “You know, on second thought, forget it – they will never let you in to the state anyway.” she says with the smug attitude that makes it clear that now she is yanking my chain.
OK, I’ll bite. Why wont they let me into the state?” I asked. She listed three reasons, but for the life of me, I can’t recall what they were. The one I do remember is that you have to be a fan of their football team to get into the state, and as sports bores the hell outta me, I wasn’t gonna make it past that part of the entry exam.
“Oh, one more thing.” She says, suddenly sounding serious. I waited but she didn’t continue, and so I had to prompt her.
“What’s that?” I asked.
“Don’t do the Kimberly thing there.” She says, with the tone that makes it clear she is offering heart felt and honest advice.
“I do the Kimberly thing pretty much everywhere I go.” I told her. “Not only have I been out in places like Oklahoma city and Little Rock Arkansas where people warned me I was crazy to go, but they treated me better there than in the cities well know for supposedly being more progressive and open minded. What makes you think that Madison would treat me any poorer?” I asked her.
“Well, it’s a college town, and they don’t tolerate that kind of thing there – you just shouldn’t do it.” She warned me. Now I travel to most of the cities in the United States, and I long ago discovered that the area’s around a university or college are almost always the areas where diversity is welcomed and well treated. Still, she was giving me heart felt advice, and I very much appreciated the thoughts behind it. It didn’t change my mind or my plans in any way, but I did appreciate her concern. You know what the funny thing is though? I had nightmares all night long about the trip. I had the Transgender or cross dresser version of the ‘I went to work/school with no clothes on’ kind of dream. Nightmares where I was “dressed” with no wig or makeup, and everyone around me knew what I was and was laughing at me. Nightmares where the airlines refused to let me board the aircraft. Nightmares where the customer took a look at me and started laughing. We are talking about dreams, and they don’t have to make sense. All I know is I had nightmares all night about the trip and so my 5 or 6 hours of sleep felt more like 2 or 3.
When I arrived in Madison, my first order of business was to find a grocery store and look for ‘Cheese Turds’ . . . err . . . I mean ‘Cheese Curds’ for my aunt. I stopped at a grocery store and found cheese curds in a variety of flavors. Having no idea what she may have preferred, I gave my aunt a call.
“OK, I’ve found cheese curds! They’ve got Pizza curds, they’ve got Ranch curds, they have this kind of curd and that kind of curd. They have yellow cheddar curd and they have orange cheddar curd. What kind of curd do you want?” I asked her, being sure to exaggerate the word ‘curd’ each time I say it. As I’m speaking to her on the phone, I see a lady standing next to me break out in a huge grin as she hears what I’m saying. Clearly my sarcastic attitude has not gone unnoticed by her. I just glanced at her, pointed at the phone in my hand, and then circled my ear with my finger in the universal “this person is crazy” sign. She busted up laughing and was still grinning as I walked away.
The next day I completed my repair at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and was back to my hotel at around 2PM. As I considered getting dressed and going out, I still had a feeling of unease left over from the nightmares the previous night, and kept hearing my aunts voice over and over in my head:
“Don’t do the Kimberly thing in Madison!”
‘Well damn!’ I thought to myself. ‘If I give in to this fear, I’ll be back hiding in hotel rooms soon!’. With that thought on my mind, I got ready and forced myself to go out the door. Just for giggles, I decided to try the new hair I had bought at SCC back in September. The last time I’d tried this hair I really hadn’t cared for it much, but this time I devoted a lot more time and effort to it and I think that I managed to make it look a bit more to my style and liking.
I started off with a movie, and so went to see the new Sherlock Holmes. The young man that sold me my ticket didn’t bat an eye and I’m not sure he even realized what I was. The young lady where I bought the candy and a coke though, most certainly did catch on, and very quickly at that. As the family in front of me moved out of the way, clutching their assorted snacks and with the father herding the children away, the young lady behind the counter took one look at me and her face broke out in to a huge grin. Soon, I was clutching my snacks and walking down the hallway towards my movie. As I approached a group of teenaged boys standing outside another theater, they suddenly got quiet and watched me walk by. The entire time, I continued to hear my aunts words in my head – “Don’t do the Kimberly thing in Wisconsin!”. I honestly have no idea if they realized I was TG, or were just watching an older woman walk by, but my aunts words had made me hyper aware and paranoid, and I felt like everyone was staring at me.
As I entered the theater, I stopped dead in my tracks because the place was packed and had very few open seats. Well, damned if I was gonna stop now, so I picked my way into the crowd, took a seat, dug my candy outta my purse, and started throwing “Buncha Crunch” in my mouth and washing it down with coke. It was a fairly good movie, and with some very well done costumes, scenes, and backgrounds of old London, but it is still not going to make my list of favorites. Sherlock Holmes love interest is a bad girl, which of course makes her that much more interesting. She was gorgeous, as you would expect, and she wore a couple of gowns that I would cheerfully kill for the chance to wear. I will never, ever, have the kind of money it would take to purchase a gown of that quality, and I can’t think of any place you would ever have the excuse to wear it in any case, so I suppose everyone is safe. Kimberly wont be killing anyone for gowns today.
By the time the movie got out, it was almost 8PM, and so I decided to just return to my hotel and take advantage of the assorted coupons they had given me on account of my Platinum status with them. The waitress was a doll, very friendly and with the good sense to know that a good waitress checks with her guests just often enough to be sure they have the chance to ask for something if they want it, but not so often as to be an annoyance. As I was finishing my dinner, I noticed that my throat was starting to hurt, and my nose was starting to run. Uh oh – not good. It looks like I’m getting a cold. Still, I planned to fly home pretty and so I packed most of my stuff away, leaving out the outfit and makeup that I intended to wear. I guess the joke was on me though, because when I woke up in the morning, I was in no doubt that I now had a cold. I just couldn’t picture spending the day wiping my makeup off over and over as I blew my nose, and so decided I’d be better off flying drab, and I sullenly packed away my skirt and dug out the damned blue jeans.
I was half way out the door and headed for the airport when I realized that I’d forgotten something! I left my bags in the hall and went back in to my room where I opened the refrigerator and grabbed the bags of Cheese Turds.