Monday, April 14, 2008

Kimberly Racks up some frequent Flyer Miles / Shoe Shopping with the Wife

Got home from Indianapolis Saturday evening just in time to read my little critter a bed time story and snuggle with her for a few moments. It’s funny, I can be so exhausted and tired that I feel empty inside sometimes, but just a few moments hugging that little critter makes me start to feel human again.

Sunday was a mixed blessings day, but predominantly positive I think!
The down side – Gotta be on a plane first thing in the morning and so had to spend a good deal of time washing clothes to be prepared.
The good side – My wife and I went shoe shopping together to DSW Shoe Warehouse!
No, my wife has little to no interest in going anywhere with me dressed, so I was drab. A LONG time ago I got fed up with playing games when I go shopping so I pretty attack the place looking for shoes I liked! Not to be outdone, my wife headed off with admirable zeal herself! Cheeky woman! Imagine the nerve of her cutting into MY shoe budget! (ha ha ha) Found a pair of pink pumps I REALLY liked (shown in the pictures below), a pair of red pumps I really like but that didn't fit, and a pair of white shoes with 5 inch heels that I know I will never wear anywhere, but hey, they were cute and $90 shoes on sale for $17.
Get back to the house and find a couple of significant emails waiting for me.
One from an On-line Acquaintance living in the area of Huntsville AL. We had agreed to meet but he is on a tight schedule as he has to drive about six hours away tonight for his job.
The next email was from Delta telling me that they had approved my free upgrade to first class. It was at this point my brain started putting it all together:
- Meeting with friend in peril because he’s gotta head out for his trip and I will need about three hours to get my luggage and rental car, find the hotel, and then get dressed.
- The customer refused to see me Monday afternoon and insisted on Tuesday morning so my entire day was devoted to just getting to Alabama
- The airline had just upgraded me to first class where they treat you very nicely.
My heart started to pound as I said to myself “Self,” I said, “I think it’s time to let Kimberly take a flight!” The urge to try this has been killing me for a year or so and it just wasn’t gonna get any better than this! Early flight so I can be out of the house before my daughter wakes up, don’t have to see the customer that day, and I’ve got an upgrade to first class! My wife, in her usual show of confidence and support told me I was (and I quote) “Stark, raving, mad, and nucking futs”. Bolstered by her show of solidarity and support, I started making plans to deal with the worse case scenario. I packed a small carry on with one change of guy clothes, a wash cloth, and a bar of soap. I figure if they wont let me board the plane, I can run for the mens room, wash it all off, put on my boy clothes (YUCK) and THEN head out. Figure odds are real far against it coming to this, but still have that NCO trait where you always at least try to be prepared. I am so excited and nervous that I am literally going around in circles and getting nothing done. Lets see, what do I have to leave out for making up my face in the AM? Do I have the little baggie for carrying on lipstick and foundation? Did I pack the right stuff in my carry on? What time have I got to get up to get ready and get to the airport early enough that I can clean up and go male if I have to? What if they wont let me board?! What if this, what if that, what if . . . and right about there my brain just locked up.
So I take a break and read the critter a night time story “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” and taught her how to spell “and”, “on”, and “bed”. I got to bed around 10PM with my heart pounding I was so excited at the idea of flying. Finally get to sleep and woke up at 2:30AM – ten minutes before my alarm went off.

You know it’s a lot of fun dragging a 50Lb tool box, a 30 Lb large suitcase, purse, and a carry on bag while wearing a floaty skirt and heels . . . NOT! Head off on the 40 minute drive to the airport still scared to death that it’s going to go badly. I take back/Farm roads to get to the airport and am therefore a little surprised when my radar detector starts going off. I make sure I’m doing the speed limit WAY before the detector says I’m close to him. Finally see him parked off on a side road with all his lights off but I don’t worry about it as I am doing the speed limit. That is, I didn’t worry about it until he turned on his headlights and got on the road behind me. Funny, even knowing that I’ve done nothing wrong, I’m still nervous when he follows me for a few miles. At last he turns off and I continue to the airport. I usually park in the “Close In” parking lot cause the shuttle service sucks and the this lot is close enough to walk. I’m grinning like an idiot walking to the terminal in my cute pumps and flirty skirt – dragging 100 lbs of baggage.

Delta gave me no hassle what so ever, not a comment, not a look.Got to security where they compare your ID to your Ticket and the gentleman takes both, looks at them, looks at me, looks at them, looks at me, and then slowly starts to hand my license back to me. As I reach for it, he pulls it back away from me! It goes without saying that I’m nervous through all of this, so I react with humor.
“So, is this gonna be a problem?” I sort of laugh as I ask him. I say “sort of” laugh because I really am nervous as hell.
“Nope,” he says with a smile, “no problem at all!”, and this time hands the license and ticket both to me with a smile. Still not sure if he was screwing with me or not.

Get to the x-ray machine, pull my laptop out of the bag, pull my baggie with my makeup out, and then once again grin like an idiot as I take my cute pumps off and put them in the box too!
After walking through the metal detector (which thankfully did NOT go off) yet another TSA official takes my ticket. He looks at it and starts to hand it back to me while saying “Have a nice flight Matthew”, when HE pulls the damn thing back away from me like the other guy had done with my license. He grins from ear to ear, and quietly says “Matthew? Where is this Matthew?” Then quietly and with a very kind voice he says “You have a great flight Matthew” and then hands me my ticket back. You know, I might be nuts, but I think he was flirting with me.

My gate is number six but I stop at number five because its empty (hardly surprising at 5AM) and I get into my carry on for my bangles and bracelet. Just get them on and am trying to mate my camera to the tiny tripod I now carry with me so I can take some pics for my blog when I hear the intercom from gate 6.
“Matthew <INSERT LAST NAME HERE>, please report to the Delta ticket counter at gate 6!” Holy Smokes! Remember I got here REAL early just in case I had to clean up and go boy mode, so my flight isn’t scheduled to leave for more than two hours. What can they possibly be paging me for? I’m thinking this can’t be good, they must be about to tell me they can’t allow me on the plane or something. Toss my stuff back in my bag and go to the ticket counter, trying not to be too obvious as I look to see if there is anyone I know in the gate area that would have seen the crossdresser answer a page for “Matthew XXXX” Don’t see anyone I know so all's good. I am informed that since I am there so early, they can get me on the earlier flight and get me into Alabama by 930AM instead of 1PM!
“Sure! I’ll take it!”, he prints me out a ticket for Austin and a “Seat Request” for Atlanta. Oh Goody, this means I get to go to the ticket counter in Atlanta and have a little face to face time with yet someone else! You might recall that I’ve always been honest about passing – I think I pass well enough from two or three feet away, but as soon as I have to speak to someone it’s one clue too many, so I am not fond of the idea.

Soon it comes time to board and it is at this point that I notice that I am literally in the first seat of the airplane. Everyone boarding is gonna walk right past yours truly.
“That’s all right,” I think to myself, “I can deal with it” . . . and I did.
The flight attendants were just darlings. Two ladies I’d guestimate in their early 50’s, and they both went out of their way to chat with me. One of them told me she loved my skirt and I laughed and told her she better BACK away from it, ‘cause it’s one of my all time favorites! She laughed and continued to chat with me for some time.

At last the plane is loaded, the door is closed, and Kimberly is about to earn her first frequent flyer mile . . . except it didn’t happen that way. The pilot comes over the intercom and tells us there is some sort of engine problem, they can’t tell if it is the engine or a sensor, and will have to ask us to de-plane! While I’m grabbing my carry on out of the over head, the clearly “no nonsense” “Senior Director” type guy sitting across from me is just giving me the bored stare that you give something that is clearly beneath you, like a slug or a worm you just found on your shoe.
“Hmmpph,” I thought to myself, “I don’t like YOU either. Besides, the cute flight attendants thought I was worth talking to and they ignored you, so there!” 
Get back off the plane and return to the gate area where I start to consider what I’m going to look like if this goes south and I’m stuck in airports for 16 hours. Fortunately it didn’t come to that, and we had a new plane and were boarded in about an hour. Once again as I boarded the plane the attendant went out of her way to BS with me, and once again the guy across from me stared down his nose while I put my carry on back up in the over head. By this time I was over the worst of my nerves and started to imagine just how high he would jump of I faked a lunge at him while shouting “BOO” as loudly as possible. Figured that would probably get my happy a$$ chucked off the plane so I just smiled and took my seat.

Landed it Atlanta at 10AM, which was just really amusing since my next flight had left at 940AM – 20 minutes ago. Got rebooked on a later flight and had two hours to kill so I took a seat and painted my nails. You might recall the night before was pretty hectic for me what with the shoe shopping, doing the household laundry, putting critter to bed, packing, and running around in circles, so I had not had the chance to do them the night before.

Arrive in Alabama, get rental car, and check in at the hotel with no more excitement. (Thank Goodness!) Got some real amusing looks from some of the cleaning staff but nothing is said. Took the camera out to the parking lot to get some outside pics. While I was setting the timer to take a pic, I saw a movement and looked up at the hotel to see three of the hotel staff peeking out the window watching me. I smiled and waved – no one waved back, they just left the window.

Got a call from the desk clerk at the lobby – it’s the guy I was gonna meet.
The clerk say “There’s a customer here that would like to talk to you?” and he puts the question on the end of it.
“A customer? You mean I’ve offended or pissed someone off already?” I said.
“No no no, I didn’t mean customer, I mean you have a guest!”
“Phew! That’s good then, please put him on!”
He’s got one of those jobs where it really would be remarkably bad if they had any idea he might crossdress, or if he was seen with a crossdresser, so I invited him to the room instead of meeting him in the lobby. I can’t say much about him because I am not sure what he would be comfortable with my sharing, so best not to share much. Suffice it to say, we talked about an hour and I liked him. He was a very nice, polite, and chivalrous gentleman who even opened the doors for me! 
When it came time for him to leave, I was starving and was gonna go get something to eat, so we walked out together. As I opened the door I see one of the staff about three feet away and I’d swear he’s blushing. It’s then that I figure out what this might look like to someone. Let’s see:
- Tgirl checks into hotel.
- Shortly after, gentleman visits
- An hour after arriving gentleman leaves
“Ah shit!”, I’m thinking to myself, “I bet I just shot my good girl reputation all to hell!”

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