My 100th post…

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This is my 100th post. I was hoping to make it a special one with a description of another outing as Valerie, in my new modern “blending” outfit. Unfortunately this post won’t be that, in fact it will end up being the exact opposite.

Over the last several months, I have had a close family member get diagnosed with a fatal condition, and I have been watching as this individual begins to deteriorate in front of our eyes. It is a truly devastating condition, and makes us all feel helpless as it progresses. Most of my time of late has been dedicated to dealing with the situation at hand. Along with a busy work schedule and family responsibilities, there has been been no real time for Valerie at all. To be honest, I have not even had much desire to dress, while dealing with such an unfortunate event.

So I never did finish my “blending” outfit and never did make another trip out into the world… and now I never will.

Full disclosure here. I got stupid. Even more than ever before. I put myself and my relationship with my wife at risk… Over the last few months, I started taking a breast enhancing supplement. I didn’t want to grow large boobs, but did want a little shape to work into cleavage as we cross-dressers do. Honestly, I didn’t take much, and according to what I read online not nearly a large enough dose or for long enough to have any real effect. But I still sought it out, bought it and did ingest some. That is a fact, regardless of the meaning anyone wants to attach to the action.

Long story short, my wife found the supplements and confronted me about them. What could I say? As I said above, I sought them out, bought them, and ingested some of it. Needless to say she was incredibly upset, and rightfully so. I may not have lied to her about them, but I wasn’t honest either. I was embarrassed, ashamed, and completely and immediately remorseful.

My wife was calm and actually composed her thoughts in written form to make sure it didn’t become an argument, so she would not lose her train of thought and ensured she could get her message across clearly.

However, the message is it all has to end now, or we are finished. Valerie has to cease to exist. I have always said my family… my wife and kids come first, so I agreed. So I have now made the ultimate purge… everything, and I feel horrible. For the first time in my life, I have nothing physical that represents Valerie. Just thoughts and feelings that will now go to a deeper level of the closet. A level that until now, I didn’t know existed. I can only hope I learn to live with this void.

So my 100th post is actually my goodbye to you all. I am teary eyed writing this, but I can’t lose my wife/family. I have no other options that I can see.

So goodbye to all of you that I have met, come to know, and have learned to love so much.

Ruth, Kirsty, Cynthia… you were all starting out blogging about the same time I started, and I have enjoyed the posts/talks we’ve had. You are all wonderfully inspirational girls! Michelle, you came along a bit later but instantly became a kindred spirit, and are equally as inspirational as the others.

Mimi,and Ms. Ed, we weren’t always talking gender issues, in fact more often not, but I enjoyed the witty posts you have always shared with the world.

Samantha, Linda, Pat, Sherri and Rose, you weren’t blogging but still had an immense impact on me and So Very Deep. I enjoyed the comments, chats and emails we shared.

I’ve left at least a 100 of you out, but please know I will also miss you all. In the interest of time, I have to cut it short. (I hear the music increasing in volume, like at the Oscars when they are kindly telling you to “shut the hell up, and get off the stage!”)

So this is post #100. Not at all how I anticipated it happening.

Farewell all!

-BobS

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A little bit of this… and then some more of this

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fragment

Noun \ frag·ment \ˈfrag-mənt\

a portion broken off, detached, or incomplete part

Valerie Fragment

Noun \ val·er·ie frag·ment \ val·(ə-)rē ˈfrag-mənt\

a portion or broken thought, detached mental meanderings, or an incomplete selection of rumination

Its been a few months since I bored you all with some of those little blurbs I like to call Valerie Fragments, where I can talk about some thoughts or happenings that aren’t enough for a complete post on their own merit. So fasten your seat belts, I don’t want anyone getting hurt with excitement!

Oh God no… not a pink one!

I was in a store in a local shopping mall when I saw man of about 30 years asking a salesgirl if they had a particular type of item he was looking for. I didn’t hear what the specific item was, but she went to check and came back with bad news… “sorry, no”. She then said if he would write down his name and phone number, she could check around and get back to him, which seemed to please him. She went to a checkout station a retrieved a pen and note pad and laid it on the counter for him. The salesgirl then proceeded to ring up another customer who was waiting. The man picked up the notepad and went around to the other side of the station… and picked up a different pen. He then wrote down his details.

The pen the salesgirl had initially set down for him was pink. I could only assume that being the astute being that he is, he was successfully able to avoid an unwanted feminine contamination, that quite possibly could have resulted in his penis popping off. Clever man! I smirked at the whole episode, but thought it was a good example of a strange fear that most men have of the slightest appearance of feminine behavior… like writing with a pink pen.

I have now come to the conclusion that to keep the average man off something or away from something you don’t want them fiddling with, just color it pink or put a flower on it. It will be considered radioactively feminine from there on.

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Who knew?? And I have none of these in my purse!

Why are women naturally so much closer than men?

Sort of piggy-backing on the previous fragment, I wonder why men are so unwilling or incapable of showing any real emotion around each other. I have watched women who see each other after a long break hug each other with real emotion. I have witnessed three girls out for the evening pile tightly into the front seat of a car (think back to the days of bench seats). I have observed a woman grab another woman’s hand and lead her into a store to look at something. Nothing special in-and-of itself, but could you ever men doing these things? Yeah, me neither…

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I might just have a second career I never knew about.

Once again I have been doing some traveling for work and on a longer flight I had a nice conversation with a female flight attendant. (Can’t call them stewardesses anymore, but I still do.) She said she enjoys her job most of the time, but sometimes it’s a little depressing watching people come and go, moving on to exciting new horizons (maybe) and she is in the same place no matter where the plane is. Kind of reminds me of my life as Valerie. For years I have met trans* people who have found themselves and grown and moved on to exciting new horizons (maybe) and I am in the same place no matter where the closet is. I need to get my hands on a vintage stewardess outfit, makes being in a holding pattern a little more tolerable… preferably Trans World Airlines of course! Coffee, tea, or me?

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Leia and Padme have nothing on Grace.

The hype over Star Wars is on the wane now, but for several months it was the topic du jour everywhere. I did my share of reading since I grew up with the movies. By far the best article I read was on the costumes/fashions and hair styles of the females in that galaxy far, far away… Of course they talked about Princess Leia’s and Queen Amidala’s wild hairstyles and how they were groundbreaking. I suppose they were to a point, but I have seen some similarly innovative hair styles on another princess I am familiar with… a long time ago, but not so far, far away…

Funny how I have not seen any of these styles in the wigs stores…

So, what did you do?

At Christmas time I wished everyone a Merry Christmas and challenged everyone to do something nice for someone you don’t know. Well? Did you do it?? You don’t really have to tell me, but if you didn’t do it (yet) then get on with it will ya??

That’s all I’ve got at the moment… be well ladies!

-ValS

Wrapping up 2015; and looking forward…

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So here we go into year number 3 in the blogging world. 2015 came and went in what seemed like a flash. Many transgender issues were cast into the public spotlight throughout the year… some good things and some not-so good. However, at least they are being “discussed” (I use that term loosely, depending on who is doing the discussing). Years ago the very same topics wouldn’t get the same level of exposure in the media like they do today, and certainly the good people of the world wouldn’t be confabulating about them openly.

I look around at many of the trans* persons I have come to know and I see so much growth and exploration. I am thrilled for these people, and also envious. The only growth I have achieved over the last year was a quick trip out as Valerie with my wife, and I am not sure it had an overall great effect on our relationship. It was personally monumental at the time, but now seems like ancient history.

So here I sit, comfortably huddled in my closet of reclusion, really just being the same person I was last year at this time. Yes, I lost all vestiges of hirsuteness, painted up my toes, and even spent some days dressed in bliss over the last month or so, but I haven’t progressed a bit. I’m not complaining as much as I am stating the obvious… that is the life of a closeted cross-dresser.

I really haven’t had the opportunity to do much more recently, as I have all my children off school and at home over the holiday break. The last will resume studies next week, so I hope to have some more free time back soon. Then I can read and write more without a nosy body saying “what’cha reading” or “what are you writing” as they try to steal a glimpse of my screen. Once, while reading a trans* person’s blog, my youngest plopped down beside me and said “Can I play too?” I just quickly minimized the page and said that “I’m not sure this is something you would like to play”, and the response was “More work stuff?” Sure, that’s it… more work stuff.

The holidays were wonderful really. I enjoyed the time off work and spent with family and friends. All dressing desires aside, everything was very enjoyable… even a Christmas family dinner event…

Somehow during dinner, the conversation turned to politics. Not surprising really, as my wife and family are very politically aware and yes… opinionated. Where I live in the US, it is the norm… very conservative and vocal people. As I have said before, I love my family, friends and neighbors, but we have somewhat different beliefs and attitudes, which is fine.

On the other hand (the one with bright red, long fingernails…), both Valerie and my “Bob” are not overly political. In fact I rarely discuss politics in either world. In this blog, you will not find I am out to change the world or push an agenda… right or left. Many of my trans* sisters and cis friends do that, and I support their right to do so. It’s just not me.

Anyway, back to dinner conversation…

The whole gun control topic came up and it was a rather one-sided conversation. I think besides myself, there was only one other adult male there who didn’t own a firearm. Actually, some of the women there have them and a few have concealed-carry licenses. Not a revelation to me.

I have mentioned before that many in my wife’s family are active hunters, and frequently I will get asked if I want to go hunting with them. They know the response will always be no, but they will say “Just checking to see if you changed your mind.”. This time around, one of my brothers in-law asked me when I was going to get a gun, to which I replied “never”. But it was his response that made me smile… he said, “We can get you a small one that you can fit in your purse.” suggesting that a man without a gun is not a man (feel free to flex and grunt accordingly). I know he was just kidding, but I wanted to say “All my purses are pretty small, and with my make-up and things I carry I just won’t have room.”. Then as quickly as the topic came up, it changed to something less volatile. Overall, it was a very enjoyable holiday.

So now I turn my attention to 2016 and moving forward., hoping for some of that growth myself. I only have so much winter left and intend to take advantage of it. I am continuing to build a more modern Valerie wardrobe and am truly enjoying the shopping so far. Turns out I might just have a modern side after all!

The most limiting factor at the moment is money. Once I got over the vintage bias and started to find some current fashions I liked, I spent more money on Valerie than I have for quite some time. It’s worth it though, and I’m not done yet. It’s a good thing I will be winning $1.3 billion in the powerball drawing this upcoming Wednesday! Haven’t you heard?? It’s all part of the Valerie South plan!

-ValS

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…with boughs of holly

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It’s my second Christmas here on So Very Deep, and so it’s also my second opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas (or Happy Christmas, depending where you are)! Just like last year, and every year really, I want to wish everyone peace and good fortune in your lives and with your loved ones.

In the spirit of the season, take the opportunity to do something kind for someone that you don’t know. It doesn’t have to be something major, just something that you wouldn’t do in your everyday life. Go above and beyond your normal generosity. Make a point to do it. Pay for someone’s meal, offer to help someone in need out in some way, etc. Don’t overthink it, an opportunity will present itself and you will know this is your chance. Just do it and you can cuss me later.

The point is I always feel that people have the power to generate a positive spirit and it becomes infectious, and right now the world could use some extra goodness!

So once again I will leave you with some fabulous Christmas images, Valerie South style!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Love you all,

-ValS

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Casa Susanna

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By now, most of you know some of the main things that make Valerie South tick. Unless you are new to So Very Deep, everyone knows that 1) I am a cross-dresser 2) I love 1950’s fashions and vintage items, and 3) I constantly search for (and collect) vintage/1950’s photographs and images of women and clothes… many that I feature in my posts.

When you combine all of these things and add in the power of the internet, it’s no surprise that I regularly happen upon references to ‘Casa Susanna’. I decided that it was time that I further immortalize the Casa in my blog, and introduce everyone to the support group I was meant to be a part of, but somehow missed by about 60 years.

In the 1950s through the early 1960’s, Casa Susanna became one of the first retreats for transvestites. It was located in Hunter, New York, which can be found in the Catskill mountains of New York state. Located on a 150 acre property, Casa Susanna consisted of a main house, surrounded by several bungalows/cabins. These bungalows were originally let out to summer vacationers (think Dirty Dancing maybe?) and occasionally to some hunters and other groups in the off-season. As the location began to lose favor with those summer patrons, that is when the “ladies” began to visit most weekends.

In an era when gender roles were extremely narrowly defined, Casa Susanna provided many cross-dressers and trans* persons a safe place to escape to. A place rarely found in the time period, that allowed them to express themselves without the negative pressures of 1950’s/60’s mentality. I love the time period, but as we know there was little to no tolerance for any flexibility in the gender binary.

Casa Susanna was run by one Susanna Valenti, who’s wife coincidentally ran a wig store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan. It was through the store that the ladies began to find each other and eventually found their way to Casa Susanna. Others found Casa Susanna through a home-made magazine called “Transvestia”, which was founded and mainly written by one of the initial visitors to Casa Susanna, known as Virginia. Susanna reportedly also contributed articles to “Transvestia”.

Besides Susanna Valenti ( a court translator) and her wife Maria (wig store owner) , we now know the main group of regular visitors to Casa Susanna included a professional pilot (Felicity), a businessman (Cynthia), an accountant (Gail), a librarian and editor (Sandy), a pharmacologist (Virginia – founder of “Transvestia”), and a newspaper publisher (Fiona).

Casa Susanna largely stayed a secret for years, and after shutting down in the early 60’s remained hush-hush, with the former members keeping knowledge of Casa Susanna to themselves. Then, sometime in the early 2000’s, an antiques dealer named Robert Swope came upon a box at a flea market in Manhattan. The box was full of pictures taken of the ladies at Casa Susanna and he ended up publishing them in a book around 2005.

Much of the inside story of Casa Susanna remains secretive, but after the publishing of the book of photos, several former members came forward to tell some stories. Most remained anonymous, but told similar of similar experiences… just being able to dress up and do normal things such a cooking, playing games, and sitting around talking with others of similar mindsets.

I may not have all the facts perfectly straight, as the photos are much easier to come by than the history and story of Casa Susanna. I keep looking deeper for more details because I am fascinated by the entire existence of Casa Susanna and the ladies who visited during its heyday. I will leave you with some of the images to peruse. I can’t help but feel that I missed out on this experience. Sometime in the future I may find myself traveling through the Catskills, dressed as Valerie, just to pay homage to these ladies.

Enjoy…

-ValS

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Where’ve you been? or… Valerie’s home

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It’s a common, age-old story we have heard countless times before… A young boy grows up taking advantage of any opportunity to do his makeup and hair oh so pretty, and put on his favorite dress and patent leather heels, with all the accessories. What male does not experience this fascination with, and proclivity towards all things feminine?

Well, apparently the vast majority of males do not, but I certainly do and have done so for as long as I can remember. And for the last two days I have had my first opportunity in several months to become 100% completely Valerie and it was Oh. So. Wonderful!

Body hair gone again, fingernails and toenails bright red, makeup done to perfection (standards vary), hair looking fine, foundation garments doing their jobs, petticoats providing to necessary poofiness, dress looking so classy and vintage, accessories adding their detailed allure (pearls wherever possible), and a pair of heels that provide that final thrust into an unavoidable swish.

I find myself in such an intoxicating state of mind that I wish I could just live the rest of my life this way. It just makes me feel so good, both mentally and physically, and dare I say it… it makes me feel complete. Yes, I said it.

In truth, I don’t think I could function in life being Valerie all the time. When I am Valerie I don’t think about the burdens of everyday life. I just want to focus on the extreme feeling of being whole. I have said before, and I will say again now… I wish everyone could experience the absolute peace that I do when dressed as Valerie. I need to do this more. So now the femme season is here in all its glory. Everyone knows this is my favorite time of year and my mile-wide smile proves it.

I spent the first day completing what I will call the “Bob” elimination procedures. All those tasks that are more considered the maintenance of a cross-dressing persona. You know, all the not so glamorous tasks… body hair removal (quite a task after 9+ months), laundering some Valerie items that have been in storage for awhile, painting toe -nails, brushing out and styling my favorite wig, etc, etc. These are all the things I want, well need out of the way so that day two has more time dedicated to just being Valerie.

On day two I woke early and waited patiently (yeah, right) as each one of my family prepared themselves and went out into the world. Once I had the house to myself, I was on it! Showered, shaved, and suitably perfumed, I went about meticulously doing my makeup. Unlike many women, I absolutely love the process of applying my makeup. It is as enjoyable as being totally femme and dressed. I spend far too long on it and treasure every second of it. It is like a painstaking archaeological exploration wherein Valerie first begins to show through in my face. Once I was done with makeup I just stood and looked in the mirror and admired the look. I could only smile and think “I am only just getting started!”

So off to select my outfit I went. I have a closet of dresses and skirts that are all adorable and all clothes I could not bear to lose. So I looked at them all one by one, and then went to build the body foundation… bra, panties, stockings, shaper, padding, slip, and of course petticoat. Even at this point in dressing, I was already in heaven. When it came time to finally pick my outfit, like a creature of habit I selected the same black dress I have worn the last three times Valerie came to visit. I can’t help myself, it is just so perfectly me. So then came the pearls, rings, bracelets, earrings, fingernails, and finally the wig. Valerie was physically back and I could have cried. Not sure why, that’s not a feeling I have ever had before upon getting dressed, but I could have literally sat down a just had a good cry. I stopped myself before ruining my makeup.

So I selected a good purse and found Valerie’s coat and I went down into the house to surprise the animals. No real reaction this year, I think they know who I am pretty well anymore. Just a little tail wag and back to sleep they went. I went about doing various nothings throughout the day, just enjoying the circumstances. I was less cautious around some of the open windows (less caring) and didn’t bother planning an “escape route” in case some one came home or a visitor popped in. It was a true que sera, sera day.

After several hours I decided I needed to try on a few different outfits to see how they fit still, and to try on a new skirt I had yet to wear. So like a little girl playing dress-up, I ended up dressing in several different outfits, remembering why I loved each one so much. What I noticed is that not a single outfit is what I would call a “blending in outfit”. So much more to do on that quest!

The new skirt is one I just recently bought while trying to find some suitable blending in outfits. I have been searching for some acceptable everyday outfits, but find they are just not Valerie. I am getting better, but there is such a distinct Valerie style that I have to force myself to look at clothes outside my comfort zone. The new skirt itself is still far from a blend in garment, but it was so Valerie I just had to have it. Now I am forced to buy a cropped cardigan and top, and the perfect heels to go with it. There’s no petti needed for it, but it still screams Valerie (as well as a few other things according to my wife). I’m mean, how can any girl not buy this???

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Roll your eyes if you must, but we all know this close to perfection in the form of a skirt!

So I tried it on with a few tops and just love it. Cant wait to wear it with the complete outfit put together. That will likely happen after the first of the year. Not because I don’t want to wear it yet, or that I don’t have the perfect top… it just so happens that the damn thing is just a little too small. So I have resigned myself to losing the extra “Bob” and fitting into the skirt by February. It’s a perfect motivational reward (and also allows me time to find the top and heels).

Speaking of new things, my wife received a purse as a gift from a very good friend this last week. Now my tastes in purses (much like my tastes in clothes) tends to differ from my wife’s immensely, but not this time. She loved it and so did I. She received a purple (if not slightly electric blue) Coach purse that had to have cost a pretty penny!

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My wife’s new purse.

I liked it so much that I told her I was envious of her new treasure, which caused her to cradle it close and say “this is mine, got it?”. Anyway, I am happy for her good fortune, and I will leave it alone. Unfortunately, I can guarantee that no friend of mine will be giving me a lovely purse anytime soon. Maybe in one of my frequent dreams…

Anyway, this has been another posting big on words, but small on content. I just wanted to express my absolute joy of getting back in full feminine form I and am looking forward to many repeats over the next few months.

And I wondered for the first time whether ‘feeling feminine’ just meant feeling good in your own skin.” – I.W. Gregorio, None of the Above

-ValS

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