Tuesday, March 22, 2016

On Long Term Assignment



It’s been a while huh? Sorry ‘bout that, but I’ve been a tad bit busy with my personal and professional life being a bit tossed about.
We have a service contract with a huge customer in Indiana that requires us to have an engineer onsite every week day. This was all well and fine until the guy that was filling that position for us decided to up and quit. Guess who the only other person in our field service group is that knows that product well enough to go in and pick up the pieces? Yup, ‘twas I! So, for the last six months I’ve been living in a hotel in Indiana.
It turns out that it is a good thing that the guy quit, because he apparently wasn’t devoting much effort to his job, and the customer was pissed off about it. Here our customer was mad as hell, but we had had no idea until this guy quit. Want to hear something funny? This guy turned around and started his own company, then tried to take the service business away from my company. Apparently he didn’t realize just how badly he had pissed off our customer and he had thought he could make his own personal fortune by coming right back in as his own contractor.  One of the managers I work with here flat out told me that if he saw that guy on the facility, he would personally escort him off of the premises.  Yeah, needless to say, he didn’t take the contract from us.  

Despite the fact that they're in a historically masculine industry where you would expect Good Ol' Boys and Red Necks to be in charge of things, this company is VERY accepting. I've met several openly gay people who are happily married here and are clearly accepted, and I've met three TG's that I know of who are open and out here. In fact, this company will actually pay for their GRS, and I don't know of any other company that will do that. Don't get me wrong, no one is running up to hug them all and say "You are SO welcome here!", but they do have good jobs, and are accepted. It is progress. I'd like to share their company's name because I am proud of them and they should be proud of themselves, but I can't risk breaking either their company's policies on social media, nor my own company's. Not worth the risk to me.

The good news is that my company is well aware of the sacrifice my family and I are making. I received a letter and a modest bonus from the Vice President of our company thanking me for going to extraordinary lengths to salvage the situation. The bad news is that I’m not sure their thanks and bonus is worth missing so much of my children’s growing. . . 

Welp, I have a brand new granddaughter, Gwenevere, and she is just a few months old now! Of course you would expect me to say this, but she is one of the cutest critters I’ve ever seen. Funny, but as a kid, I always hoped that someday I would find someone stupid enough to marry me, but somehow the idea of having children never crossed my mind. It really floors me that I have three children and two grandchildren now. How the hell did that happen?!
Where I am staying in Indiana is about half the distance to visit my son and his family in Virginia as it would be from my home in Texas, so I made it a point to go meet my new granddaughter one weekend. It might be a shorter drive from here than it would be from Texas, but it still wasn’t a short drive. It took me 12 hours of driving each way over one weekend to git ‘er done, but I did it! Just to make it that much harder, I even made the trip back to Indiana with a massive hangover, because I’m just that kind of stupid.

I don’t get out much as Kim these days for a few reasons. I’m afraid that my three years of laser treatments on my face failed to kill my beard. It helped a lot, but it’s still there. Since it has been a couple of years since my last treatment, you can now see beard shadow through my foundation, and so it is pretty quickly obvious that I am a guy in a dress. Strike one against my confidence. Just to make things worse, my 50 year old face is rapidly degrading and showing its age more and more each and every day. It surprising to me just how rapidly the wrinkles and the sagging eyes are getting worse. It’s as if my face held out as long as it could, but has now thrown in the towel and said “Screw it! Let that shit wrinkle and sag!”. So at a time when I have to wear heavier foundation to hide the beard, I now have deep wrinkles that are exaggerated by the heavy makeup. Strike two for my confidence. Last but not least, working at this customer site is a major change of physical activity for me. I am used to lots of walking through airports, busting my butt off to do a job, then lots more walking through airports on the way home. My job with this customer? Sit at a tiny cubicle all day long just in case one of their 160 instruments fails. I’ve gained over 10 pounds since being tied down to one customer. Strike three for my confidence.  Let me sum that up for you – fat, old, bearded dude in a dress. Sigh . . .


So I’ve been in Indiana for about six months now and this last weekend is the first time that I got out as Kim, and my confidence was destroyed right out of the gate. I’d decided to go see the latest installment in the “Divergent” series (a mediocre movie by the way) and was standing in line to buy my ticket. There was a mother with two teenage boys in line in front of me. I’d guess one of the buys was probably about 16 and the other 14.  The 16 year old looked at me as he turned around to talk to his brother, and then the whispering started. The 14 year old starts looking up, down, and all around as if he were watching a bee buzzing about his head, before he turns fully around to look at me with a huge grin on his face. That was hands down the worst job of looking while trying not to be obvious that I have ever seen. It was so pathetic that it actually made me laugh a bit, so I thought I’d make the best out of it.
“You know, you really need to work on your subtlety a little bit.” I told the kid with a smile. He looked a bit stunned, but his mother and big brother broke out into a full laugh. 


So I guess here is the way things are panning out. I’ve traveled all over the country as Kim for the last 10 years or so. Perhaps I was deluding myself, perhaps not, but during most of that travel, I have felt as if I were perceived as a woman.  This was gratifying and fulfilling for me. Now, for the reasons that I mentioned above, I am clearly not being perceived as female, not even by myself, and this I do not find fulfilling. Now when I go out, I am clearly being perceived simply as a cross dressed man, and this takes quite a bit more courage and a thicker skin. I’m not sure I have it, and even if I do have the courage, what is the point if it doesn’t make me happy? I’m still contemplating things, but I think that the odds are good that I’m just about done with it. I told my daughter the other day that I was thinking about just being a “normal” guy, and she laughed and informed me that “normal” doesn’t impress her much. Damn I love my kids . . .

23 comments:

  1. Normal is highly overrated. I've been shown more love and support by family since I've started being honest with them than ever before. And honestly, I ain't normal.
    Sarah Charles

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    1. There should be a "like" button here . . .

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    2. Normal is a town in Illinois about 50 miles west of the Indiana Line.
      [You are closer to Normal than you think!]

      Welcome Back Kim

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    3. Normal is SO overrated! Sounds like you have a loving and supportive family - you are truly blessed, Sweetie.

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  2. Nice to have you back
    hugs Diane in San Jose

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  3. It is good to have you back in the blogoshpere. I have over a decade on you and at my size being perceived as a woman has never been a question but I hope that at some point going forward you come to realize that it is not so bad being out and about as a guy in a dress. When life gives you lemons make lemonade.

    Pat

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  4. Hi Kim it's good to see you back I forgot to tell you it's hell getting old but enjoy the times they are all good just some are better
    Susie

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  5. Don't ever give up - It is too much fun. I have been going out about 30 years, traveling like you for business and fun. There are times when my confidence wains - but just smile and be yourself. Kimberly will always be part of you and cannot be denied. That is our normal. check www.rhondasescape.com "Rhonda's Escape" I enjoy your blog and happy to see you back writing.

    Rhonda

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  6. Hi Kim,

    I am so glad that you have posted again. Your "can do" attitude has always inspired me. Please don't be disheartened now.

    None of your three negatives are reasons to give up. You can have laser hair removal again. You will lose the 10 pounds that you put on. We all age regardless of gender.

    The desire to present en femme ebbs and flows; it doesn't disappear. You have great adventures en femme to come.

    Best Wishes,
    Penny

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  7. Kim,
    Where do I start? Confidence comes from doing and confidence is more than half of passing. So practice makes perfect - you need to get out there. But the other thing to remember is that we don't go out pretty for the rest of the world to give us a score from 1 to 10. We go out for ourselves and we should not let others prevent us from doing what we need to do. If you are typical, if you don't do this, it will eventually catch up with you and what follows is not pretty and needs to be avoided.

    WRT your beard, I have not removed my beard even though I might want to. It is getting gray but here is what I do. I make my own primer (in real time) by coloring it with a deep red dye that really does a good job of hiding things. I then cover with Ben Nye beard cover and a foundation. I have been told that one cannot see my beard. If you would like specifics or even a sample of the dye, IM me on FB. I am glad to help a fellow pretty traveler.
    Best,
    Leann

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  8. Kim, I am SOOO glad to finally read a new blog post from you. I keep checking back periodically to see if I somehow missed one.
    You are still beautiful, and I really admire your confidence, as was mentioned, your "can do" attitude is what keeps you awesome.
    I'm not good at pep talks, really, but I do hope you keep coming back as Kim and I hope that it does make you happy again. You have a lot of people out there and a lot of friends out there that all look up to you.
    Thank you for being Kim.

    Suzanne

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  9. Nice to see your new blog. I think your looking good but I know real live is not the same as pictures. I know for me some days I can pass where ever I go with no problem At least in my own mind but other day I get clocked by blind men at night. So I don't let it bother me too much But I know the feeling of being an old man in a dress. Just keep having fun. Isn't that all that really matters

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  10. "Betya that you can't quit" lol Impossible ! We were born this way !

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  11. I'm happy to see you blogging again. You really underrate yourself because beauty begins on the inside and that's what really matters. Your desire to present en femme won't go away because it's an integral part of who you are. So you need to continue to embrace it, never mind the wrinkles that we are all getting as we get older. We may just need to make a few slight adjustments to the clothes as we age gracefully, and that's all. And keep on blogging!
    xxxxxx
    Davina Liffey

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  12. You are simply amazing! Your confidence and beauty are an inspiration, and your writing is incredible!

    (I'll be expecting my monthly check soon...)

    ;)

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  13. Glad to see your post...and that you are well, even though too busy.

    Very cute granddaughter...you can be so proud of her.

    As for your own pic, you look just as gorgeous as ever! Don't "give up the ship" quite yet...the magic is still there.

    Stay pretty - as often as you can (even if it's not often enough)!

    Mandy

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  14. I suggest getting a professional makeup consultation to get some new ideas and products. You have so much experience and your body frame and features are great. That is more than most crossdressers can claim. Be selective about your public exposure but don't give up this part of your identity. You will always find support from those who follow your blog.

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  15. Don't give up. I'm 7 years your senior, about a century past your weight (if not more), and I don't care; I still put my face on and get out in the world regularly. How much longer are you going to be doing time in-diana? You should get a Derby hat and come down here to KY for a day at the races.

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  16. Kim OMG so glad you are back, I think you proved yourself wrong when going to the Celtic Women concert and having a great conversation with the lady next to you.



    I too do not want to be seen as a cross dressed man I understand completely, you want to be seen as a women. Well it doesn't happen all the time for me but it's like this 33% Pass-> 33% not sure didn't notice-> 33% transitioned transgender.

    I'm good with that

    I also do some method acting exercises and envision my self as Mrs Paula G, married, professional, post op female.

    Keep Pink

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  17. Glad to see you back Kim... go loose a little weight - go shopping, squint when you look in the mirror (works for me) be happy in your femininity - congrats on being a new g-paw/ma your beautiful .........Debra

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  18. a couple years ago i knew a local retired electrolysis expert (now deceased) who had given talks all over the country and had written books on the subject and he told me he had investigated laser hair removal hopping to make it easier on his patients. what he found is that laser was not as permanent as electrolysis.

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    1. Yepper, a reputable place will even tell you up front that it is not permanent. of course they imply that they can't say this because it hasn't been in use long enough to prove that it is permanent, and so you cross your fingers and hope . . .
      If I had it all to do over again, I'd skip the laser and go straight to electrolysis

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