Thursday, September 17, 2015

Life is too short

Where to start? I have been busy for work, but for assorted reasons I've not been able to travel pretty on most of those trips. Yeah, I realize that I say that on more blogs than not these days, but hey; it is what it is.

I turned 50 years old a few days ago and I'm less than thrilled about it. My daughter asked me why I was unhappy that it was my birthday.
All ready.
Damn it, didn't I just have one of these?!
I tried to explain it as best as I could to a 12 year old.
"Well let's see. You look forward to turning thirteen because, hey, now you're a teenager. Girls look forward to their 16th birthday though I'm not entirely certain what that is all about. You look forward to 18 because you are now legally an adult. You look forward to 21 because you can now buy alcohol. After that, you don't look forward to your birthdays so much. At 30 you sort of lose the claim to being young, though you aren't considered old yet. At 40, all doubt is now removed; you are not young any more. This is when a lot of people have mid-life crises and do stupid things like buying little red mustangs when they have two children that can’t possibly ride in it comfortably. 50? Yeah, 50 sucks. You are no longer just 'not young'; you are now officially old."
So. Yeah, I just turned 50. Shit.

You saw the comment I made earlier about doing stupid things like buying a little mustang when you have a family that needs to fit into the car from time to time? Yeah, we fixed that a couple of weeks ago and went out and bought a lightly used Buick LaCrosse. Never had a Buick before but it is a darn fine car - probably the finest car we have ever owned. We once had a Chrysler 300M and loved the hell out of it, and I think that I would put this Buick into the same league with that car. I haven't had the chance to drive it much though, because I have been leaving it with my wife so that she can drive something nice while I'm on the road.

About a week ago, my daughter and her best friend had been out riding their bikes, and they came inside to cool off for a while. After about ten minutes, they went back outside, then came running right back in the door. In the brief period that they had been inside, someone walked through our yard and up alongside our house and stole both bikes. Broad daylight, people in the house, and they walked right up into our yard and broke the hearts of two little girls. I've had bikes stolen before and it has been my experience that you never get them back, so I didn't bother getting all worked up, or go running around the neighborhood looking for them. The other little girl’s father wasn't so fatalistic though, and he spent the next couple of days looking for the bikes. A few days later, we were all sitting around the table talking while we waited for pizza to be delivered, when there was a frantic knock on the door. It was my daughters best friend, and in between gasps for breath, she managed to explain that she and her father had been out looking for the bikes when someone rode right past them on hers. They followed the kid home where her father, a pretty big guy, confronted the kid with her bike. That's where I stopped her.
"Hold on. Your father is there right now by himself?!" I asked her. She gulped before replying.
"Ok, we can get the details later, but let's go. Show me the way!"
She took off in a flash, and I all but ran after her, relieved to see my father in law jump up and head out the door right behind me. I was active duty army for over a decade, but I was a technician and so don't know squat about self-defense. My father in law is over 70, but he does know how to take care of himself so I was happy to have him behind me. As we quickly walked up the block behind the girls, I found myself getting madder and madder and was fully prepared to make sure that the thief went to jail today. They had hurt two little girls, one of which is my little princess, and that is a no-no in my book. Much to my own surprise though, my anger all but vanished as I turned the corner and found four cop cars parked up and down the street and saw two scared little boys sitting in the curb, looking utterly terrified. I remember when my brother and I were about that age and we had broken into a community center and were running up and down the hallways sliding on the floor. We broke nothing, and we stole nothing, but there was no doubt that we were doing wrong. We went slamming though one door too many and suddenly had a sheriff grabbing us by the collar. Right then and there we could have entered the legal system and our lives could have been so different. No charges were pressed though, and we received a second chance. Don't get me wrong, we got our butts blistered by our parents, but we didn't have to tangle with the legal system.
Seeing these two boys sitting there on the curb, all I could see was my brother and I in the back of that sheriffs car. . .
While we waited for the two boys parents to arrive, I spoke at length with several of the officers there and confirmed that the boys had never been in trouble before. As I stood there, i found myself imagining the immediate future of the boys and their families. Getting the kids out of jail today. Tens of thousands of dollars on lawyers and legal fees. Possibly the start of a downhill slide for the kids and their families as these things have a way of snowballing. As mad as I was, I didn't want that, but I wasn't sure that letting the kids off with no consequences was going to be in their long term best interests either. If they learned nothing, then they might continue to do this sort of thing. Since I figured that he saw this sort of thing more often than I did, I asked the officer I was talking to what he thought was in the long term best interests of the boys. He just told me that he wasn't allowed to advise me on that, but he did repeat that the boys had never been in trouble before, so I considered that a hint.
"All right," I said with a deep sigh, "I don't feel the need to press charges. We'll let their parents take care of it, but I do want to see them both apologize to the young ladies that they hurt."
"Oh yeah, we can definitely make that happen!" The officer said with a huge grin that told me that he thought that I was doing the right thing.
I hope that I did the right thing but I'm not sure. With any luck, their parents handled the situation in such a way that the boys didn't get off Scott free. . .

So let's see. Last year my father in laws truck was stolen from my front yard while he and I were working in the back yard. Now my daughters bike was stolen from alongside our home, in broad daylight, and with us all in the house. Yeah, I bought a security camera system with 8 cameras that have night vision and I will be installing them this week.

So I finally got around to making a trip pretty. It had been so long that I'd have to admit that I was fairly nervous about it, but I did it anyway. I wore a pair of heels that I hadn't worn in probably three years or more. They have either 4 or 5 inch heels. I dunno because I've never bothered to measure them. They felt fine the entire day that I wore them, but I'll tell you what - my legs were killing me the next day! I don't recall ever having my legs hurt from wearing heels before, but there you have it. I started to think that maybe it was time to start wearing flats, but then the right answer occurred to me; clearly I need to wear my heels more often to get my legs in shape!

I was impressed when the Avis shuttle bus arrived to take me to the lot. These drivers rarely offer to help these days, but this gentleman insisted and wouldn't take no for an answer. When we arrived at the lot, he again insisted on getting my bags and even loading them into the car for me, despite my repeatedly telling him that I could take care of them myself. Cool!
There I was, riding high and feeling good when the lady at the hotel called me "sir" while I was checking in and almost ruined my good mood.

I was working at Ford on this trip, and almost felt guilty that I had sold my new mustang to buy a Buick. We will let that be our little secret while working at Ford though.

At lunch one afternoon, we got to talking about staying in shape while getting older. The man I was working with is ten years older than I am and looks ten years younger than I do. That just doesn't strike me as fair, but what can you do? Anyway, at some point in this conversation his colleague said something about how you could tell some actors had gotten face lifts, and then he almost spit his food out on the table from laughing at what he was about to say.
"Yeah, like Caitlyn Jenner. Now that's a hell of a face lift!" Hard to argue with that, so I let it slide, but this did move the conversation onto the category of transgender.
"Yeah, I actually know one or two transgender people." I told them, trying not to choke on the major understatement. "All I can say is that life is short, so if that is how you're happy, I'd say go for it!"
Much to my relief and surprise, both men nodded in agreement.
"I know a couple myself," replied Bob, the man I was working with there. "We had one guy that started living as a woman just a couple of months after graduation. I've seen him, well, her, several times since then and you would never know that she used to be a guy. I've got to say though, that I've heard some E.R. stories from my wife that make me shudder. They had a transgender in there just little while ago. She was just walking along when someone decided to get offended about her and just slugged her in the kidneys."
Awesome, just what I wanted to hear. NOT.

I rarely fly home pretty as it is a pain in the butt to change back into boy mode at the airport, but I decided I'd give it a whirl today. I’m writing this blog while flying from Detroit to Chicago where I have a three hour layover, and so far the worst thing that has happened is that a guy in first class kept glaring at me as I was walking past to get into the coach section. Like I said though, life is short. He can spend it glaring, and I'll spend it making the best of it.


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    1. Loved your story. We have a great deal in common. I too will be turning 50 in a few months. I also spent time in the army, 23 years to be precise. I too have a daughter whose bike was stolen, though we never recovered it. And in a way, I envy you. Had you not mentioned your turning 50, I would have never believed you to be no more than mid 30's. And similiarly, I work in the technology field, but travel little other than to DC on the occasion. If you ever fly to Charleston, SC...look me up. There is a great deal of fabulous restraunts here in the low-country...we could have a girls night out!

    2. Kim -

      First, I love the dress...

      And I'm glad that you finally got the chance to fly pretty. But sad because you got Sir'red...

      Hoping that you'll get the chance to write more soon.


  2. Just as pretty as ever. You look great in both outfits.

  3. Glad that you got a chance to fly pretty. I personally can't go too many weeks without getting some girl time. As far as age, it's all relative. I turned 60 last year so definitely not considered young. The great effects of makeup and a lush red wig is that most people think I'm in my 40's! Just keep your shoulders and muscles flexible and you can at least feel young....some days!

  4. Happy to hear you are doing well and getting a chance to fly pretty. Maybe the guy in First Class reads your blog :)

  5. Wonderful story. I also hope the boys learned a lesson.

  6. Kim you look so good, lovely outfits!
    I agree with the others you don’t look a day over 49 (just joking!). Glad to see you’re still flying pretty, even if it’s less frequent than before. You should do it as long as possible. Flying pretty is important to you, we see this in your posts, it is adventurous and you have had your ups (complements & co) and downs (Sit’red etc) with it, but I think it has overall such a positive effect on you and of course on your readers!
    For us ground folk you fly for us, thanks for that.
    Your right about the heels if you don’t wear them regularly your legs and feet forget how. I agree with Sally age is relative. I hit the 64 mark this year and I don’t feel a day over... let me think ... that’s it, 64! I’ll still buy shoes with 4-5 inch heels and will continue to wobble in them till I need a cane to help me.
    I hope your leg problem is not flaring up so often these days, they look good I must say. My legs are now encased most of the time in compression stockings (see my stocking saga) and for the duration, but one must make the best of it.
    To the stolen bikes. You mentioned that it was a few days between the incident and finding the culprits, fully agree with you about giving the kids a second chance. But I find it a little funny that the boy’s parents hadn’t noticed, before being caught, that they were riding around on bikes that didn’t belong to them. Or did I miss something.
    Let us know if there is a follow up to this.

    1. The failure of the kids parents to note that the boys suddenly had relatively new girls bikes has also been bothering me. The thing that sticks with me is that it was about 6PM on a Friday evening when the confrontation at their home took place, and the police had to hold the boys while waiting for their parents to get to the house. My guess is that these are kids that have parents who both work, and they stay home alone after they get out of school. I'm guessing that they don't have a lot of supervision?

    2. That was the way my thoughts were going. With a lack of supervision and letting the kids run rogue I see little chance that they will be appropriately ‘punished’. Did the girls get their apologies? And if so did you get the feeling it was genuine, one can usually tell. Let’s hope it was a one off prank and that it happened through edging each other on.
      Good idea with the security, systematic crime is on the increase here in Germany with very poor resolution, unfortunately things they are a changin. Can’t wait for you to post your first mug shot of someone or something caught in the cameras.

  7. From a fellow Buick owner (2000 Park Avenue, 124K miles, going strong), I wish you many happy miles in your nearly new Buick, many fewer brushes with crime, and many more trips pretty.

  8. 50 is when I lost weight and started going out as a woman, a re-brith, because as you say life is too short

  9. since i just turned 58 and didn't know you were even close to 50 (i thought 7 years younger) the same mid life thoughts crossed my mind too. it made me realize that a lifetime is not enough to learn everything we need to know in life. and that includes or professional life as well.
    a few years ago when i got my ears pierced and had a problem and ended up at the ear dr office the temp nurse said " why didn't i get a little red convertible for my midlife crisis" (she didn't realize it wasn't that wasn't the reason LOL) and i said "oh i already have one of those" LOL

    i bought a buick century a few years back. with it's newer styling i had a young lady sales rep in a parking lot ask how i like the car because she wanted to get one. they have a nice ride a bit heavier in the bad weather than an olds i owned previously. and mine now has over 100,000 on it. best choice i could have made. the only thing is the windshields posts cause a bit of a blind spot when pulling out into traffic. this series was made in canada and i actually wrote buick and complimented them on the car and asked they not discontinue it (LOL like they'd listen to little ol') me
    once again thanks for sharing. i was starting to go into withdrawal symptoms LOL since you hadn't been able to do a blog entry for awhile :-)

  10. Kim, you are lovely as usual. I wish I could look half that good. The story bothers me, too, My 1966 Mustang was stolen and I never saw it again. Perhaps the police talked to the parents a bit about their kids being home alone, I hope. On the other hand, if they both work, it is tough to be home when your kids get home.

    I'm way older than you but most of the time I don't feel old. Keep doing the things that you enjoy Deedee S.

  11. Kim, nice to find your blog and see your smiling face (past: old CD forum). You look way younger than 50, absolutely!
    And you look awesome in those dresses! If i were the Avis driver, i'd drive you anywhere you wanted! (and then probably lose the job... better i'm not working for Avis!)
    hug, sara elise

  12. Kim,

    Thinking about ya as i was traveling through Charlotte last friday. ..Where i caught up with you before. Anyways fly usair the last day they officially ended flights as usair and was thinking about you. Hope all is well, stop to say hi when you swing by albany, ny again.

  13. Yes Kim ... life is too short not to live it !! - glad your girls saw justice, and always enjoy your adventures.....................Debra

  14. Earlier this year I flew pretty from Austin to New Orleans.I left my house pretty and stayed that way until I was in my hotel room. It was a wonderful trip. I even got people to take pictures of me along the way.

  15. Earlier this year I flew pretty from Austin to New Orleans.I left my house pretty and stayed that way until I was in my hotel room. It was a wonderful trip. I even got people to take pictures of me along the way.

  16. i appreciate your work this is really incredible i have get a lot of information from here thanks for providing such kind of information.

  17. Kimberly,
    Just to put things in age perspective, I turned 59 in September 2015. I have been crossdressing since preteens. Just finally got enough nerve to go shopping as Lacy about 3-4 years go. And just finally got out to meet and party with others like you and myself in September on my birthday. Waited way to long. I take how I look very seriously and try to always look presentable and passable when dressed. I have done some traveling dressed but only when driving. Would love to hear about your experience flying since I fly weekly. 125 flights on Delta this year alone. I try to time my trips with some groups who are on in the cities I visit. Orlando being my favorite group. I appreciate you a lot. Have a great day and thanks, Lacy

  18. Really great and inspiring post. Life is sort and we don't have time to worry about not important thing. We just have to do what is most important for us, or something that really have values for us.

  19. Detroit! I'm up in Utica! It would have been fun to get together in either mode. I can't exactly remember how long ago I started following your blog, but I love to read every post. I have flown pretty in the past, but stopped because the TSA I felt was getting too restrictive and petty. I may do again in the future as it seems you aren't having any problems. It is good to hear your adventures and thoughts, keep on writing!



  20. I hope you are doing well!! i miss your blog updates, hearing about your trips has given me the confidence to start traveling pretty my self!!

  21. Another 50+ "woman of a certain age" here! I always find it amazing how I suddenly look 10-15 years younger when I finish my makeup and slip into my hair.

    I had a chance to 'drive pretty' this past weekend (9 hours!) and having forgotten a mobile device charger, stopped at a major mall and bought a replacement at the Apple Store. First time in a mall en femme, and no dirty looks (a few double-takes, but then I'm 99th percentile female height!).

    Thought about you, Kim, as I was driving and walking the mall.

  22. Hi Kim- Just want to say hi and hope you're well!