You are feeling very sleepy….

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So I was recently watching a talk show, as I have been known to do on many occasions. On stage was a group of people who were supposedly volunteers from the audience. One kept barking like a dog. Another was walking/strutting around like a chicken whilst making an annoying clucking sound. Another was searching for fleas or bugs on the person beside her, much like a monkey would do. In the back was a woman singing opera like she was performing at the Met. There were others, but you get the idea.

The guest of the day was a hypnotist, and he was putting on a good show for the audience at the good natured expense of the volunteers. After they were told to forget his orders to behave oddly, the hypnotist woke the group up. They were all fine and talked about feeling a bit odd, but not really remembering doing what they had just done on stage. They were shown video as evidence and they all laughed in disbelief.

After watching, I thought that somewhere along the line in my life, I must have been hypnotized. Somehow the hypnotist had forgotten to remove the orders to want to look and act like a woman, and to think I was living in the 1950’s. Somehow I must have gotten out of the show or performance without that final step being completed. It all makes sense now!!

However, there are a few flaws to this theory. First of all, I don’t recall being on a talk show or at a hypnotist’s performance. I asked my mother if I had ever been on television when I was young, or in the presence of a hypnotist. The only thing she could think of was my attending a children’s morning television show at a local television station. Some clowns, some puppets, and a make-believe farmer and his wife as the hosts. Nothing too suspicious there. I then asked what the farmer’s wife was wearing, and my mother replied she had no idea. She then asked me why would I want to know that, and I quickly just changed the subject.

Another flaw to this theory is that as the hypnotized group was doing all these odd things, they seemed unaware of the fact that it was indeed odd. I get that putting on a dress, heels, make-up, wig, etc. is not typically normal for most guys. I am not just following some cross-dressing orders oblivious to that fact that it’s happening. I am fully aware of what I am doing.

Another thing is that they had no recollection of having done these things once the “suggestion” was removed. Remember they had to be shown a video as evidence. I am aware of the fact that I dress up and typically clean my house long after I return to guy form. Once the femme euphoria wears off and the realization that I now have to wear male clothes hits, it’s generally all I can think of, which would be the exact opposite of what they experienced. However, I am still chasing this ludicrous theory as if the “suggestion” has not been removed from my mind, so there is room for some flexibility here.

So let’s assume it did happen, I was hypnotized as a child to have an extreme desire to look and act like a typical woman from the 1950’s. The hypnotic suggestion allowed me to be aware of the desires, but unable to fend it off for more than 4-5 months. So eventually something triggers the desire in me. The hypnotist on TV said whenever the volunteers hear a bell, they would act out the suggestions. My trigger must be temperature related. Cold winter weather makes me want to be a housewife. This is starting to make even more sense now!!

But who would have me hypnotized in the first place?? I didn’t know my wife back then, so she’s innocent. Maybe my mom had it done so I wouldn’t be a messy child. I had and older sibling that was very messy, and my mom constantly complained about it. I however, was always a neat freak and needed things organized. I also used to stay home from school, dress up and clean my house. Hmmm… free housekeeping services for my mother. Could it be?

My mother and wife get along very well and talk to each other quite often. They are much closer that a typical wife and mother-in-law usually are. Maybe my mother has left the hypnotic suggestion in place so that my wife can now take advantage of my services. As I said, my wife doesn’t particularly love my cross-dressing, but she tolerates it. At least I was led to believe she tolerates it. It is possible that she lets me think she is being accepting of my desires, but is in fact just using me for cleaning services. I clean and love her immensely for allowing me to do it! What a deal for her!

Ok, ok, I am way out there on this one. There is no way this could have realistically happened and I am just being a bit silly again. It actually sounds like the premise of a transvestite fiction story, like what you can find plastered all over the internet. It also sounds like an odd movie that would be shown on the Lifetime movie channel (or as I like to call it, the “Men are no damn good” channel).

The point I really want to make is that the desire to cross-dress and my attraction to all things 1950’s seems like something is planted in my mind. I can’t express to all the “normal” people in the world how strange it is to have a desire that you know is odd and yet you can’t seem to dismiss it. It just eats at you until you either satisfy the urge to dress etc. or you go crazy.

The other weekend when I fell in love will an old orange pagoda style umbrella, I knew I could never use it. Being in the closet means never needing an umbrella for Valerie. I could never carry it in guy mode. It was completely feminine (and oh so lovely!) and there was no way a guy would carry it anymore than he would carry a purse. So the umbrella made absolutely no sense to a closeted CD. None what-so-ever, I know that. So why do I feel so compelled to own it?? What is this “hypnotic suggestion” that keeps telling me I NEED that umbrella??? I would feel more complete just owning it and having it with me, even if I never got to use it.

It’s just another example of the illogical desire that makes Valerie into a distinct personality. Maybe one day someone will snap their fingers and I will “wake up” from the hypnotic suggestion, and I won’t remember ever having worn all the dresses, etc. I will just look around and wonder why I have so many women’s things from the 1950s and beyond. I won’t believe my wife when she tells me I used to wear that stuff and prance around the house doing housework. Hopefully there is no video for her to prove it to me… that would be evidence… a “no-no” to us closeted ladies.

All that being said, I hope and pray that person never snaps their fingers, because it will erase a big part of me. As nutty as I know I am, I like being Valerie. …and I will buy that damn umbrella if I ever see it again!

-ValS

Those ‘oh so subtle clues…

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I have been thinking lately that I just may not be as covert as I think I am. I have always taken steps to blend in as much as possible in the traditional male world. There are many times that I am literally faking it, just to avoid the possibility of being labeled a sissy. I do this mostly out of fear, as I have discussed before.

But every once in awhile something happens or someone says something that makes me wonder if I’m the only one who thinks I am under the radar. Several times I have asked my wife if I come across as effeminate or gay to the outside world, and she has always said no. I’m sure she would tell me if that wasn’t the case. But I never feel totally secure, and these little “questionable” occurrences always make me wonder.

When I was in high school, two female friends of mine asked me directly if I was gay. I absolutely denied being anything close to gay, and honestly protested the question too much. I should have just laughed and said no, but I sort of panicked since they were getting close to my secret. The point is I was giving off an effeminate vibe, and they picked up on it.

On another occasion, a coworker came into my area and began to show some of the other women her wedding pictures. They ooh’ed and ah’d and I just kept on working. She then said loud enough for everyone to hear, “I haven’t been showing these to guys, but YOU might be interested…” After that comment, I didn’t want to appear interested, so I said maybe later. Truth is I would love to have looked at them, but the defense of my closet is too important.

On another occasion in that same work setting, a female co-worker came into the area and began to describe an outfit she was planning for some occasion. She immediately stopped when she looked at me almost as if she hadn’t realized a guy was there, and she began to say she would finish up later. One of the women said “Don’t worry about him. He’s just one of the girls… keep going”. I’m sure I turned red, but just kept my head down and kept on working.

I had another female coworker years later that would show me her nails every time she had them professionally done. I never saw her show anyone else her nails, but she showed me on at least 10 occasions. I would just nod my head an say something like “nice” or “looks good”. I really couldn’t say “I’m so jealous”, but that is what I would be thinking.

I have been asked by a woman if I liked her shoes, or if she should switch to a different pair. I have even been asked if I had a nail file with me. These are not things that guys get asked, but they happen to me once a year or so. So frequently that it makes me wonder if I do give out a femme vibe. Yet, so infrequently that I have to wonder if it is just coincidence or random innocent comments that bring about that paranoia I have described.

Usually, after it happens, it bothers me for about a day or two and then I will begin to forget about it. It just so happens that something similar happened to me last week at work. A different setting and different people than previously discussed, but that same paranoid feeling of “do they know?” A group of ladies were talking about sports, specifically a game that just happened and a player was hurt. I wasn’t directly in the conversation but heard enough to know what they were discussing. One of the ladies finally had enough and said the injured player should just “suck it up and be a man”. Then she began to leave and walked right by me and said “some guys just aren’t made as tough as they used to be”. Then she looked straight at me and said “Isn’t that right?” while giving me a sideways glance.

I should have said something more masculine, or anything masculine for that matter. Instead I just shrugged and kind of smirked. No matter how many times it happens, I never seem to be prepared to fend it off. An hour later I always think of a great comeback. “Day late and a dollar short” or “hindsight is 20/20”… whatever saying you prefer.

I will continue to act as if there is nothing going on, but I will always wonder if that femme vibe is out there. I think women will pick up on it more then men will, because the average man is oblivious to subtle clues. I can be guilty of that myself at times, especially when not feeling the feminine side of myself.

I’m sure it really is partially coincidence, but I am not the total man’s man that would prevent some of these questions or comments. Just to be clear:

No, I am not gay.

Yes, I would love to look at your wedding pictures.

Yes, I would love to hear about your outfit.

Yes, your nails look great, and I am totally jealous.

Yes, those shoes are perfect. Classy and feminine, but still professional.

Yes, I actually do have a nail file.

No, I’m not as tough as some guys.

And finally, YES I believe I am still under the radar! (At least I hope so).

-ValS

Some gray fog; and a possible second time around

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It is now mid-May, and I am officially in to the “off-season”. This is the time of year when Valerie takes the summer off, as she is a definitely a “winter girl”.

The summer can be a depressing time for this closeted cross-dresser… my body is hairy, I can’t wear toe nail polish, and I generally can’t hide my feminized self underneath the accommodating winter clothing. However, even though the desire to dress and look like a woman is still present to a degree, it is greatly reduced. I can’t truly explain why, it just doesn’t occupy my mind as much as it has, and will again this fall/winter. This mental, as well as physical break from non-stop feminine obsession gives me time to step back and take a more objective look at my self. It is this time of year that the “pink fog” lifts as much as it ever will.

So now I have what can be best described as a gray fog. When the pink lifts, it doesn’t just bestow upon me a clear masculine mindset, it more-or-less leaves me in a bit of a state of confusion. Not quite either gender. It hit me hard the last few weeks. I sat down to write a blog post at least 10 times and just couldn’t get my head around the topics well enough to meet my personal standards. So I kept writing gibberish, and then I deleted it. Each time I got a little more depressed and decided to try again later.

One thought that became very apparent to me over the last month is that while I am very similar to many of the other CDs I have come to know here on WordPress and other websites, I am clearly different also. I love to look feminine, but I don’t need to dress 24/7. I also can (and will) go for several months without dressing as a woman. I don’t feel I am as close to the transsexual side of the spectrum as many are. Wherever we all happen to be on the spectrum is fine. I am not judging, just coming to terms with my femme being in comparison to others. To need to be a woman all the time is not something I experience, although I can completely understand those that do have that constant desire.

I will still do a lot of femme reading, shopping, and exploring in guy mode, but I won’t get to express my femme self by transforming much for the next several months. I will have some “bad days” when I have more of a desire that usual, but mostly Valerie is gone for awhile. Hopefully the initial gray fog will clear enough for me to keep up the blogging at a reasonable pace. It was a desire to fill the summer break with some feminine release that led me to this in the first place. It seems to be a bit easier after the initial gray meltdown.

One thing that did accommodate my femme persona a bit was that I spent several hours at a huge antique show this weekend. Many of you know I am a time-warped CD, and looking at some of the things from the 40’s and 50’s was wonderful. I had my whole family with me, so I didn’t get to really dig through the clothes, aprons, and costume jewelry like I would have liked to, but it was still very enjoyable and almost relaxing. Truth is I would love to quit my job and just own antique store. Doing that dressed up as Valerie would be incredible! But I’m sure I would go broke as I would buy, buy, buy, and have trouble selling most things.

The antique show experience got me thinking again of the “reincarnation/cross-dressing” theory again. For those who are unfamiliar, it is a general idea that attempts to explain cross-dressing or transgender desires as a result of cross-gender reincarnation. That is, I WAS a woman in a previous life and that it why I have some tendencies or preferences for feminine things. For me, it also helps explain why I am so drawn to things from the 1950’s. Maybe I possibly was a 1950’s housewife???

I was strangely drawn to two particular items… A 1950’s style girls bicycle, complete with a cute basket, and also to an oddly shaped umbrella (orange for God’s sake) with a Bakelite handle. I kept thinking that these items aren’t clothes, so why do I feel such an attraction to them? Cross-dressing alone doesn’t explain it. (Damn I should have bought the bicycle and umbrella, LOL)

Honestly, I don’t tend to believe much in reincarnation, but I haven’t yet had a more compelling theory as to my 1950’s cross-dressing desires. I mean, obviously we are proof that conventional wisdom and rationale don’t hold up when trying to explain ourselves, so who’s to say reincarnation isn’t a possibility? Never say never!

So if you think this post was some directionless rambling, it’s bound to get worse over the next few months. Bear with me until Valerie has an opportunity to come back in full force. I am counting the days… well sometimes I am… I think… Damn gray fog!

-ValS

I’m pulling my hair out! (Well, off really)

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I want a new wig. I actually have three, but I still haven’t found that perfect one yet. Somewhere out there is that perfect Valerie South model, but I just haven’t located it yet.

The first wig I ever bought was a mail order wig, bought straight from a catalog. It was long and full of curls, and in that perfect shade of brunette that I loved so much. It was also pretty cheap… $39 I believe. Right out of the package, it didn’t look like the picture I had from the catalog. I’m sure it could be styled to get that look, but I never mastered it. I sometimes even struggled to get a brush or pick through it to even try to establish some control. In the end I just used to shake it out and put it on with minimal care, and it looked like I put in minimal effort.

Still it was the best I had and I wore it a lot for the first few years. It ended up looking like the hair you would see on most the guys in the 80’s glam rock bands. I liked many of those bands, but it wasn’t the femme look I was going for. Here’s a visual for you:

Brittany, from Paula Young catalog:

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What I ended up looking like:

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So after I tired of the mess that was the Brittany wig, I decided I needed to move a different direction with wig #2. Instead of those hard to master curls, I thought I would go with something straight. I also wanted bangs as I was starting to really like the looks of some of the vintage pin-up girls. This time around, I decided I would go blonde for a change.

At the time I bought the Brittany wig, mail order catalogs were the only real option for us closeted girls. It was that or go into a wig store yourself, and that wasn’t going to happen. This second time around I had the internet at my disposal. There was this new website called “eBay” that people were auctioning things through. There I found several wig shops selling through an eBay “storefront”. I found what looked like the perfect wig called Pamela, by a brand called Mona Lisa, and it was selling for $29. Cheap was good (for my purse) and I bought it.

I was excited to get it and try it out. I wore it many times, but truth is I could never really get it to look natural. Even being a straight wig, I had trouble getting a brush or pick through it and it frizzed up at the ends pretty quickly. I liked the idea of long hair, but honestly it rarely is a “blend in” look for us middle aged girls. However, never going out means not caring if I blend in, so the length was attractive. I was looking for a longer, blond, Betty Page look. What I realistically ended up with was an Alice in Wonderland look, that is if Alice quit taking care of her hair for weeks on end:

What I bought (only blond):

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What I felt like:

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So then came wig experiment number 3. This time around I was convinced that longer isn’t necessarily better and I had also learned that you get what you pay for. So this time I wasn’t going to rush in and just buy anything. I wanted something mid-length that could be styled with some curls and hopefully some 50’s flair, but didn’t need to be a 50’s costume prop. I kept watching television and looking through magazines trying to find the right style. Finally I saw what I liked, it was actress Christine Baranski (as my wife pointed out again… “another old lady look”). She is sort of the type of woman Valerie is, so the style naturally appealed to me:


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So that was the look I was going to look for. I found wig #3 via HSN… the Home Shopping Network. Why not, I’ve done catalogs and the internet, so now I’ll try television shopping. It was the Iman collection and there was one I thought could be the one I was looking for, called Luscious Layers. I liked the highlighted blonde version and I bought it. This time I spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $160 for this wig:

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It is a lace front, which gives it a more realistic hairline look and is a much better quality wig than what I have had before. There are just a couple of problems with it…

  1. It just doesn’t hold the fullness an ends up just laying flat against my head. I want my wig to have a little body to it. I can style it that way and it looks great. It looks great once I put it on and then “deflates” over the next half-hour.
  2. It truly makes me look like my mother.  I didn’t realize how much this style is my mom’s! When I look in the mirror, it gives me an eerie feeling of my mom watching me.  Maybe this is another subconscious/psychiatric moment, but I don’t want to explore it while I am dressing up.  I just want to be Valerie.

So I am in the market to buy a wig again. I may ask my wife to help buy one at an actual wig salon, since the catalog, internet, and television shopping angles have not been ideal. I have seen a few that other CDs here in the blogging world have and like the overall look, but of course Valerie is much more “high maintenance” than the standard blend in CDs are.

Again, I am tempted by some length, but am very cautious of quality and the care necessary. I am also tempted to try a little bit of red color this time around. I won’t say money is no object, but I do want a realistic looking wig.

The ideal situation would be to go into a wig store myself and try some on until I find what I really like. Easy to say, hard to do. I would be nervous, but could get through it (I think). But I still need to stay in the closet, so it would have to be done with great care and at a location far away from home. Still, after my many wig failures, it may be the only way to get the results I want. If anyone has any suggestions as to types or brands, or any relevant experience, please leave a comment or shoot me an email. I would appreciate the help!

-ValS

Uh oh… I don’t think we’re alone in here Val…

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If you haven’t figured me out yet, don’t feel bad… I haven’t figured me out either. But I tend to bounce between thoughts that can be very serious in nature to the just plain silly. Even worse is the fact that sometimes I am not even sure which is which. That is largely why I say this blog is made up of the “ramblings of a life long cross-dresser”.

I’m sure I have said it already more than a few times, but I tend to think of myself as having multiple personalities. Not like one of those overdramatic schizophrenic movies where one personality takes over another and makes him/her do their bidding. I don’t want to make light of schizophrenia or any other condition, as I know it is a huge struggle for these individuals, and Hollywood rarely does them any favors. They rarely do us cross-dressers any favors either, but I’m sure you understand my point.

It is obvious that I have a guy side, which seems to be diminishing over time, but never-the-less is still there. I have a huge feminine side known as Valerie, who is sort of the dominant personality in my life anymore. On the outside, she barely exists, but on the inside she’s on top.

In additional to the male and female side of myself, there is a third personality that does rear its head up every once in awhile. I don’t have a name for this personality, but it’s the over-emotional me that wants to save the world, climb above the superficial crap, and help those who truly need help.

In my male life, I work in business. I work in an industry and for a company that makes millions… actually billions, and I like what I do. I do it well, get results, and have progressed well up the ladder.

In Val’s world, there is nothing more I would rather do that take care of my house and make myself pretty for my wife (who really doesn’t desire me looking pretty, but that is how my housewife fantasy goes). It’s all makeup, dresses, shoes, and all things superficially feminine with that oh-so-obvious vintage twist.

But every once in awhile I have a desire to do something just to help. Something that Val or guy-Val just wouldn’t think of. Those desires hit me at the most inopportune times and usually are brought on by outside stimulation, such as television, music or just something I witnessed.

Sometimes I step back from both guy and girl personalities and my third self (which needs a name) rules my head and heart. Sometimes I ask myself what have you done that really amounts to anything substantial to benefit the world? Most days I have to answer nothing. Maybe I went to work and did my job well. It means nothing to those living in poverty. Maybe I stayed home; femme’d my self up and did some housework. All those animals being abused or living in shelters are no better off.

This idealistic and charitable personality is getting stronger all the time. I commented in an earlier post that if I won the lottery, I would make a lot of changes. A lot of that post was tongue-in-cheek, but some was very accurate. I would quit my job (assuming I won enough), and I would dress as a woman much more. However, I would also fill my days doing something “bigger” that had real meaning. That would truly be the best part of winning the lottery, just having the means to make a change.

I do donate to charity, and while that is satisfying to a degree, it feels like I am just buying my conscious off. Sort of like saying “here’s $xx.xx, now leave me alone.” I still don’t get the satisfaction of really contributing. I also don’t have a lot of free time to volunteer in anything much. I work a lot! Lotsa hours! I’m not whining, it just comes with along with the job I have. I also have many family time demands that pull me in different directions. Truth is I barely have enough time for Valerie, I have no idea how I can fit this additional personality into the mix.

One way or another I need to figure it out. The lottery angle is probably not gonna happen anytime soon. I can dream, but I am not without common sense. Somehow I need to be able to satisfy this growing “hippy” personality without sacrificing my male self and Valerie. My dream is to live a life that allows me to keep all three personalities satisfied. I spend many hours thinking how or what I could do to make this happen. Hopefully I will come up with the solution soon.

In the meantime, Valerie has started looking into some tie-dyed skirts and sandals. Sorry, but June Cleaver would never wear these, and they simply don’t go with pearls!

-ValS