Sunday, December 14, 2014

Random Rambling

The simple truth is that very little of any interest has occurred on any of my trips to bother writing a blog. I guess if I want my blog to survive and continue, I’m gonna have to start making stuff up.

“Holy shit! I was on the way to the Atlanta airport, and in the middle of the flight, a bright beam of light filled the interior of the airplane! Next thing I knew, I was on another planet ran by gorgeous Amazonian  women . . . “
Yeah, sorry – ‘fraid I’ve got nothing that interesting to say, so I’ll just ramble on a bit if that’s all right?

I don’t know why, but it seems like my wife’s feelings might have changed a little recently. She has always cut me a lot of slack, but it’s also always been pretty clear that she doesn’t like my cross dressing. Really, who can blame her? You grow up as a little girl with a clear vision of how you expect your life to play out. No doubt you will ultimately be married to an adoring husband who is reasonably wealthy, built like Chuck Norris, and watches the football games with a room full of his rough and tumble guy friends. Chuck Norris was taken and so you marry a soldier – a fairly masculine man, with a hairy chest, and a decent though not exactly impressive set of muscles. You’re on your way to having something like the life that you dreamed about as a little girl and then one day you find out that you have been suckered into a “bait and switch” scenario, and you have actually married a guy that likes to dress like a woman.  Every single time that he leaves the house as a woman, you worry that your friends and neighbors may see, and the whole gig is up. No, I don’t blame my poor wife for not being thrilled about it – I wouldn’t be happy about it if I were her either. Still, she has always allowed me the freedom to be me from time to time, and she doesn’t give me hell for traveling as I do. Many, perhaps the majority of women, probably would have left me, but my wife has only asked that I be careful and not be too obvious about it. 

A few weeks ago, I was feeling depressed, old, and ugly and I shared with my wife that I wasn’t sure if I should “fly pretty” or not because I wasn’t sure if it was worth the effort.  She kind of surprised me when she looked at me and gently told me that she thought I should fly pretty on that trip because it had been a while and because she thought that everyone should feel beautiful from time to time. I have no idea if she knows how deeply this touched me or not, but it really had an effect on me. Where I am willing to risk my families happiness to spend time “as Kim”, she is willing to risk her own welfare so that I can be happy. Yeah, I’m pretty sure that my wife is a much better person than I am . . .

As luck would have it, I was on an airplane on Veterans Day a few weeks ago, and was fortunate enough to get an upgrade to first class. I had chosen not to fly pretty for a variety of reasons and I suspect that this was probably for the best on this trip. As I boarded the airplane, there was the distinct air of tension with the flight attendants and it soon became obvious what the problem was. The young man sitting in the seat next to mine was seriously intoxicated. Everything he said was at a very high volume, and this had clearly begun to irritate those that were seated around him, and this of course greatly concerned the flight attendants who were all looking at him and conferring amongst themselves.
The young man had the look and feel of someone in the military, and so much to the regret of those seated around us, I struck up a conversation with him. It turned out that I was right – he was in the navy and this was his first trip home in years.  The airline had shown their respects to him by giving him a seat in first class, and he had taken advantage of that to start celebrating early. At this point in our rather loud conversation, a flight attendant walked up to me and gave me the “I am SO sorry look” and then asked me what I would like to drink. I looked at her for a moment, thinking that this trip would go a lot easier if I had a drink or two my damn self, but then I decided to take a different route instead.
When I first joined the Army at 17 years old, I was very much like this young man.  If I drank, I always drank way too much, and of course this resulted in my making a complete ass out of myself on several occasions. Through the years, I had many people go out of their way to help me when I was being stupid, and so I sort of figured I owed it to the Universe to see if I could help keep this kid out of trouble.
“You know what? How about I set the example and get a cup of coffee?” I told her with a grin.
“I’ll be right back with it!” she told me, patting me on the shoulder as she was turning to walk away, pointedly not asking the drunk young man next to me if he wanted anything else.
“MA’AM? MISS?”, yelled my seatmate as she was just turning away. “Can I get another . . . “ he paused, apparently looking for the name of the alcohol that he was drinking. I guess the name didn’t come to him, because ultimately he just held the little bottle up for her to see. “Another one of these?” 
I continued to talk to him, and this is how I learned that he was going to be met by his brother and his mother when we landed in Detroit. I nicely suggested that he might wanna consider slowing down a bit with the alcohol, because “you know you don’t want to be too far gone when you see your momma!”
Right about then, I can hear a different flight attendant on the phone to the gate agent.
“Yeah, he is REAL drunk – I think I need some backup down here. . . “  A moment later there are two additional airline employees standing at the door, and all of them are watching my seat mate as people continue boarding. You didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that they were considering taking him off of the airplane, and so I figured that it was time to be a bit blunt with him.
“You mind a little advice from a former NCO?” I asked him.
“I’m an NCO too!” he said, once again at full volume. Apparently someone had reached their breaking point, and I heard a very loud “shushing” from someone in the area.
“Well, you have clearly had a bit to drink and you are being awful loud. Unless I miss my guess, they are thinking about taking you off of the plane, and believe me, no one wants to see that happen to a service member on Veterans Day of all days. “
“Nah?! I’ll just wait until we take off – then they can’t throw me off!” Once again, this was nice and loud so there was no question the airline folks heard him.
“Well, that’s where you are wrong, because they will in fact land the plane if they feel that they have to. You really might want to keep it down a bit, you know? Then you wont have to worry about it.”
“Well that is just the way I get when I drink. I get loud.” He replied apologetically. I guess I was finally getting through to him though because his reply was at a normal volume and he did sound a bit apologetic.
“No worries man, just keep it down and everything will be fine.” I told him with a smile. We continued to talk throughout the boarding process, now at a much lower volume. I was greatly relieved when after about ten minutes or so, the flight attendants all seemed to relax, and the two men that had come down from the gate area left. I guess that I was a little premature in relaxing though, because as the aircraft started to taxi to the runway, he decided to go sideways again.
“Where is that drink I asked for?” he loudly asked no one in particular. Then he took off his seatbelt and started to stand up, apparently intending to make his way to the flight attendants to get his drink. If you don’t fly much, you might not know this, but it is a big deal when someone stands up while the airplane is moving, so things were about to get really ugly, really fast.
“Petty officer, you need to sit your ass down, and you need to do it NOW!” I told him, surprised to hear that I still had that “NCO” tone of voice after all of these years of being a civilian. Much as I expected, he reacted exactly as most enlisted people are trained to – he did exactly what he was told without stopping to think about it.
“But I want a drink” he just about whined.
“Well you need to suck it up and drive on my friend, because I can guarantee that she is not going to bring you more alcohol.” I replied with a laugh. We continued to talk for much of the flight, because at some point he confessed that if he fell asleep, he would end up vomiting. I figured that most of those around me would prefer a somewhat loud conversation over puke any day, and so we talked. When he later got up to use the bathroom, about four people turned to me and to thank me for keeping him calmed and quieted down. When he got out of the bathroom, I took a turn at it, and as I made my way back to my seat, the flight attendant briefly grabbed both of my arms and looked into my eyes
 “You poor poor man . . . “
I just laughed and told her the truth.
“I was that young, and God help me, I was that dumb. This is just Karma coming back around to me bite me in the butt.”

I’ve made several trips while “flying pretty” and very little of interest happened on any of them. I took a trip to a major customer of ours in Peoria IL, and if you are from the area, I’ll bet that you can guess who that customer is. My customer is actually pretty good at working on our instrument himself, he is just lacking in confidence and wanted someone there to help make sure that he was doing things right. Between the two of us, we managed to repair 11 instruments in only two and a half days.  To put that into perspective, I usually tell customers that it is not reasonable to expect that I can do more than two instruments per day. Yeah – we were busting our butts off.
I had to laugh when the man behind me in line at the airport counter commented on the size of my luggage.
“That looks like more than a weeks packing to me.” He said with a grin while pointing at my huge bag.
“Yeah, some people travel lightly. I’m not one of them.” I replied with a laugh.
“This bag is for a week in Japan.” He said, holding up a small bag, no larger than my backpack.
“Amateur!”  I scolded him with a laugh.

For my next service call, I made the drive from Austin to a customer in Tulsa OK. I decided to wear a medium length wig that I had bought a couple of years ago. I have bought at least half a dozen wigs looking for a good replacement for the long Raquel Welch wig that I wore out, but I have yet to find one that impresses me as much. I found myself wondering if maybe it is me and not the wig. By this I mean that maybe it doesn’t look bad, just different, and I just need to get used to it, and so I gave it a whirl. 
About mid-way through the eight hour drive, I eventually decided that I needed to use the rest room, but God help me I didn’t have the confidence or courage.
I stopped at a Loves truck stop and just couldn’t convince myself to go in. I kept picturing some rough red neck getting offended and getting in my face. I started the car and continued on. . .   
When I made it to the Texas/Oklahoma border, I stopped at the huge rest area there to use the restroom, but there were quite a few women making their way back and forth, and for some reason, I just couldn’t find my courage. 
Once again, I started the car and continued on. Yepper, due to me lack of confidence, I made about half of that eight hour drive distinctly uncomfortable.
Ah the joys of this crazy and messed up life I lead . . .


  1. For some strange reason, I would have loved to hear your yell out your "order" to that drunk guy! :P

  2. Well if that's your idea of nothing happening! If I wore one I would take my hat off to your wife, I am pretty sure that she does know just how much that meant to you. I know that for many wifes it breaks their hearts everytime we go out, but they are the people who should know us best and will know the impact of abstinence on us.

  3. Your wife is a wonderfully sensitive person, to be able to accept both sides of you...cherish her and be thankful...there are many of us who wish our wives were half that accepting!

    Glad to see that you're still out and enjoying "traveling pretty"...and you still have that fabulous look, girlfriend...even if one day your confidence took a little vacation. There's no reason for that, though - you still are gorgeous!

    Happy Holidays...


  4. Kim -

    First, you have a great wife. I've recently dated someone who is comfortable with me as Marian, but thought I needed more Marian time - which would get in the way of romance. Aargh - we are of that class who are comfortable in both modes, but need to express both. That is something precious that your wife understands and accepts.... lucky you!

    Second, you should be proud of how you handled the drunk.

    Third, you say you didn't have enough to blog about on a few trips pretty. Why not look at how men and women are being treated differently when traveling? You are in a unique position to observe things that most men never notice.


  5. They do say that God looks out for little children and drunks. Perhaps much like "Clarence, the angel second class" came to visit with George Bailey at his time of need in Frank Capra's classic "It's a Wonderful Life", you were there to help safely sheppard this young soldier through a rough edge in his time of need.. You were the right person, in the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing.

    You are wise to know that you are blessed with a wonderful wife. Like you, my wife is the most important thing in my life and, I suppose that I am the most important thing in hers. She never realized that she was marring a guy who liked to wear dresses but she has accepted that my being a CD is part of the overall package and we have found ways to accomodate things. I would like to get out more and she would like my time in dresses to be limited but we recognize that we have a wonderful marriage and are so lucky to be in love with each other after over 4 decades.

    Peace to you and yours.

  6. An inspiring story yet again - but from a totally different angle! You just keep doing what you do, Kim, and I wish I had a wife like yours.

  7. The things you do when you're not "pretty" are interesting, too. Hope your wife continues to be understanding. This posting was a great example of "following your hunches" when deciding when and when not to dress up. We've all had times in our lives when we had an opportunity to get dressed up, but something tells us it's not the right time, and it ends up being a good thing we didn't.

  8. I would read your rambles even if you wrote them in Klingon... which I don't speak. I'd find a translator! You rock THAT much!

  9. I certainly agree to some points that you have discussed on this post. I appreciate that you have shared some reliable tips on this review.

  10. Kim- Oh my... thank you so much for this post. :) Appreciate your thoughts on your wife. My wife tolerates me pretty well, bless her! But you hit the nail on the head about wives' "dreams" and how we have sort of turned out! Made me feel good.
    And i felt better with your story on the plane and the NCO! i get it, and that is hysterical!! :)
    You look wonderful, as always (the opposite of "old and ugly")!
    hug, sara

  11. "...she thought that everyone should feel beautiful from time to time."

    I loved this quote from your wife. It may not cure all ills, but it certainly raises the spirit.

    Thanks for sharing.