I’m so backwards; or… Winter is coming!

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I am very often amused by the simple things in life that seem to take on a different meaning to me, because I am living this double-life. Just an everyday comment can make me smile in a way people don’t understand, and usually makes them look at me quizzically. I usually end of telling them they just made me think of something else, and realistically that is what happened.

So that this makes a little sense, you need to understand that I am a huge fan of the Game of Thrones television program on HBO. While the season is in full swing, I can’t wait for each new episode. The Sunday evening show actually completes my weekend, and it’s a routine I have quickly learned to love. Anyway, one of the main utterings in the series is a forewarning… “Winter is coming!” I always reply to myself that I can’t wait, both to see what winter brings in GoT, and because winter is Valerie’s time.

OK, back to (the mundane) reality… Earlier in the week some coworkers were discussing the weather we have had this summer, particularly that it hasn’t been as ridiculously hot as it usually is in Indiana. I thought it had been quite nice not having to be in state of constant perspiration, but even though I know these people would be complaining about the heat if it was a typical summer, they were complaining that they feel “cheated” but not having a summer. The conversation then takes aim at the upcoming winter. Since we “have gotten off easy”, the consensus is that we will now be punished by the worst winter Indiana has ever seen! Oh my! (cue the ominous background music!)

So then the conversation turns to how awful winter is. As they begin to list everything negative about the season, I begin to smile because winter is my favorite season! Winter is when I am the most in touch with my feminine side and when I can transform my body into a more comfortable state without the risk of outing myself. It is right now that I am longing the most to shave every bit of body hair off and to paint my toe nails the brightest red that I can find. I am on the far side of the sun, ready to make that elliptical slingshot back to the winter girl!

So I am brought back out of my daydream by a comment that is absolute and almost angry… “Nobody likes winter, at least nobody normal!” Of course my smirk turns to a laugh, and all eyes turned to me. I said they were probably right for the most part, but that I love the wintertime. The woman to my left (I can’t really say lady) then sort of scowled and said “Well of course you do. You are so backwards; you are in front of yourself.” We all laughed and the conversation went elsewhere, but she was absolutely right. The entire conversation was on a different level to me, and made it much more entertaining.

So later in the week I find myself at the gym, doing my regular workout routine. Many people watch the video screens while working out but I prefer to just gaze out the window into the world. As I was plodding along on the treadmill, literally going nowhere, I noticed a leaf drop from the tree in the middle of my view. A few seconds later another fell, and yes they were yellow/brown and had the look like autumn foliage. I bent my neck to look up into the tree to see if the entire tree was starting to turn, or it was just a few random anomalies. I saw nothing but green and resolved to myself that it’s still too early yet.

As I returned to my workout, the guy next to me said out loud, “winter is coming” and it hit me like a freight train. I had a moment of déjà vu, and must have had an odd look on my face. He quickly followed up with a comment that he had seen the leaves falling also, and thought that was what I was gazing up at. Once I got beyond the initial shock I confirmed that was indeed what I was doing. He continued saying that we didn’t have much time left in summer.

Once again I smiled to myself, as that’s just fine with me. I am SO ready for the fall and wintertime… ready to really let myself ease back into the femme. But then again, I’m so backwards; I’m in front of myself… 😉

-ValS

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere!

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Everyone knows I am all over the place when it comes to topics, and that generally is due to the fact that my mind is all over the place on most days, especially when I am really feeling my femme self gaining strength!

But today I want to switch it around a little and instead of telling you what bizarre thoughts are erupting in my gray (maybe pink?) matter, I want to ask you for some advice. Specifically those in the CD/TV/TS worlds… how do you keep that awful “5 o’clock shadow” from showing through your well made up faces???

First of all I will admit that I hate any (absolutely ANY) aspect of maleness showing when I am dressing. I am definitely and “all or nothing” kind of girl. So when I look in the mirror and see the dreaded shadow, it makes me cringe! Uggh!

Now, most times I don’t get to dress for too long, so it isn’t always a problem. But on the rare occasion that I get to stay femmed up longer, it does start to creep in, and I hate it.

Many of you have spoken or posted about staying dressed for longer and longer times…. days, weekends, weeks, and one even talked about months… When you go away for an extended period of time, how do you deal with it? Now as a disclaimer, I will not accept the answer of “get laser or electrolysis”. That may work for many of you, but not for a closeted cross-dresser. It would be hard to explain laser hair removal on my face away with an explanation like “I recently started riding a bicycle, and need to reduce the wind drag”. (Side note, that’s funny… reducing the wind drag by increasing my drag…Ha!)

Let me start by giving you the gory details of my current routine:

First, I let my beard grow for a day or two prior to dressing. I find that shaving a bit longer growth seems to stunt it for a brief (albeit very brief) period of time, and make it easier to get a close shave.

Secondly, using a cloth I apply very warm water to my face to get the pores open as much as possible.

Third I apply a liberal coat of shaving crème to all necessary facial areas.

Fourth, using a multi-blade wet razor, I shave my entire face going with the grain.

Fifth, I rinse the remaining shaving crème off my face, and re-apply the warm cloth/water.

Sixth, I again apply a very liberal coat of saving crème to the face.

Seventh, I shave repeatedly against the grain until I don’t feel any stubble or roughness at all. Sometimes this can get vicious, but it’s the price of beauty!

Eighth, I again rinse off all remaining crème with warm water, and double check I didn’t miss anything, visually and by feel.

Ninth, I take an ice cube and rub it all aver the freshly shaved area, closing the pores around the hair. (I was told this helps reduce ingrown hairs as well as helping to hide the shadow).

Tenth, I dry my face off gently with a towel.

Eleventh, I dot a bit of red lipstick onto the skin of my beard area and rub it in, leaving a red hue to the beard area. Another trick I was told was that the red counters the blue of the dreaded shadow and helps to hide it a bit more effectively.

Twelfth, I apply a base coat of concealer to the beard area.

Thirteenth, I apply my make-up as usual.

That is the normal routine I follow, and a few hours down the road I can see shadow. Sometimes I think it shows almost immediately in an ever-so-faintly way, but more than I can stand. Going for a full day or even longer seems so unachievable to me. Especially when women today don’t wear as much make up as they used to back in my preferred vintage era, so blending in seems even more of a challenge to me.

So tell me… how the hell do you do it?? What are the secrets I don’t know?? What are the tricks of the trade?? Any ideas or discussion is welcome. Comment here, or send me an email… Whatever works for you, just give this girl the inside info!

Really though, I would appreciate your insights and years of successes (and even failures).
Thank you ladies!
-ValS

R.I.P. Betty Joan Perske

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On Tuesday, August 12th the world lost another silver screen legend, Betty Joan Perske… better know as Lauren Bacall. I don’t normally get into the business of RIP posts, but coming so closely on the heels of the loss of Robin Williams, Lauren seems to have been lost in the chaos. So this will stand as my little tribute to her loveliness.

She debuted in 1944’s “To Have and Have Not” with Humphrey Bogart, the man she will forever be associated with. In that film she spoke the lines she will probably be remembered best for:

“You know you don’t have to act with me Steve. You don’t have to say anything, and you don’t have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don’t you Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.”

I will remember her more for a different quote: “A woman isn’t complete without a man. But where do you find a man – a real man – these days?” Well, obviously not here Ms. Bacall, but I think you were pretty well complete.

I also always thought of her as the original/real life “Jessica Rabbit” for this image, she was a beauty like no other! x111

On another tangent, since 2009 Lauren Bacall was the last of the vintage celebrities mentioned in Madonna’s song “Vogue”. They are all gone now, but not forgotten. At least not by me…

-ValS

Lauren Bacall

September 16, 1924 – August 12, 2014

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Moving Valerie ahead a few years

Wow, the future is exciting!

Wow, the future is exciting!

For a cross-dresser that has time-travelled to the present from the 1950s, I am remarkably tech-savvy! For a normal person in the year 2014, I am just so-so when it comes to the modern world. Valerie is just not a girl of the future, but I am getting better!

It’s not that I don’t work with computers and tech gadgets; it’s just that my interests lay in older, vintage, classic things so I don’t tend to explore these modern marvels like some others do. That’s the main reason my wife will not let me help decorate anything in our home, because she’s afraid that we would be living in a 1950’s replica. I have told her repeatedly that while I like those things it doesn’t mean that I would decorate the house like that, but she doesn’t believe me. Once again, she’s right. I wouldn’t be able to help myself and that’s exactly what she would end up with…

One of the things I do when surfing the internet or reading other blogs is read about older vintage things, or explore vintage (mostly 1950’s) pictures and images. I have hundreds of pictures and when I finally finish a blog post, I may spend an hour or so trying to come up with the perfect image to go with my topic. Sometimes it’s completely obvious and other times it may be just a little inside knowledge as to why I select the image I did. Regardless, I hope others enjoy seeing them as much as I like collecting and selecting them.

So while I am a bit slow in getting around to all these tech and social media things (like WordPress, for instance), I am making progress. However, the more I discover, the more I realize that I can use these for exploring vintage things! Look out! My available spare time has just taken a huge hit!

Specifically I am talking about two phenomenons that you will probably roll your eyes at and think “Those old things?? Where has she been???” (you all know the answer to that) I am talking about Pinterest and Etsy! Both are a vintage cross-dressers dream! Since my recent holiday, I have spent hours wandering through these apps/sites gawking at the images I can collect and items I can buy!

These are fantastic! Why didn’t anyone tell me what I was missing?? …oh, yeah… I am stuck deep in a closet and don’t get to discuss such things with other people. What was I thinking??

Truth is both of these gems have given me the opportunity to be Valerie in my day-to-day life. I can sit and peruse vintage purses, shoes, dresses, jewelry, accessories, house-wares, etc., etc. to my femme hearts content, while I am sitting at the tractor pull (kidding about the tractor pull). I can search through virtual store fronts for an actual vintage or replica dress that would make both June and Grace proud. I haven’t bought anything yet, but just window (monitor?) shopping a bit while my mind is fully Valerie is such a wonderful outlet!

I just sit and smile as I look at these wonderful things. So much that I keep getting asked what is making me smile. Besides my wife, I can’t really tell anyone but it must be apparent I am enjoying something quite nice.

On the dark side, these apps/websites are also very addictive. Now I have to consciously avoid looking into them at every waking hour and can’t allow it to become a complete distraction. Initially, I was definitely in a cyber pink fog, but as the newness wore off, I have learned to contain myself a bit.

Another thing that concerns me is the more I get into these apps, the more connected I become. These are definitely forms of social media. You can share your pins on Pinterest and follow sellers on Etsy. While not as social as say Facebook, they are still connecting dots, and that is a concern for someone resigned to living a cross-dressing existence in the closet. Probably just more paranoia on my part, but it does cross my mind.

I have thought about having a Facebook account for my femme persona. However, without pictures (which I’m not doing) can it really be beneficial? Not sure I would get anything out of it that I don’t already get from my discussion forums and my blog. I could “like” someone checking in at a Starbucks, or wish them an online happy birthday! But in the end I think it would just suck up too much of my free time, and connect me a little too much for my own comfort.

But WordPress, eBay, Pinterest, and Etsy are here to stay in my world… at least for the time being. Well, until I discover something equally wonderful?? Truth is, it may take a while to get me to move to anything else. If you haven’t noticed, I tend to be slow (stuck) when it comes to moving to the future! 😉

-ValS

I am not invisible! (Yes I am)

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I listen to a lot of music. I listen at almost every opportunity during the day. More often than not, I would rather listen to music than watch television. I would rather go to a concert than to go to a movie. I am largely impressed with musicians and the talent it takes to master their craft.

I also tend to listen to music at a much deeper level than your average person. I hear every detail, every note, and sometimes every flaw. I hear the leads, the rhythms, the back beats, the lyrics, and the subtle touches that can sometimes make a song a work of art. I could go into details about how a single note or sound just pleases me to no end, or how including a particular note in just the right spot completes the piece. Likewise, sometimes leaving things out can also perfect a song. Anyway, if I haven’t been clear, let now be blunt: I love music.

All that being said, every once in awhile I come across a song that it seems the lyrics seem to be written just for me, or simply express what I am feeling at a given moment. It’s not really déjà-vu, but I get that same sensation when it happens… sometimes to the point of getting goose-bumps.

I’m sure many lyrics could be interpreted to mean almost anything, and probably something different to each individual who hears them. Therein lies the beauty of writing something above the basic level of consciousness.

Yesterday I really listened to the lyrics of U2’s “Invisible”, and yes… they hit home. Probably not what Bono and company had in mind when they wrote the song, but there is quite a bit of Valerie in there.

So, for your consideration, I give you the lyrics to “Invisible”:

INVISIBLE

It’s like the room just cleared of smoke,
I didn’t even want the heart you broke,
It’s yours to keep,
You just might need one,

I finally found my real name,
I won’t be me when you see me again,
No, I won’t be my father’s son,

I’m more than you know,
I’m more than you see here,
More than you let me be,
I’m more than you know,
A body in a soul,
And you don’t see me but you will,
I am not invisible,

That’s right,
I’m leaving the invisible world,

I don’t dream, not as such,
I don’t even think about you that much,
Unless I start to think at all,

All those frozen days,
And your frozen ways,
They melt away your face like snow,

I’m more than you know,
I’m more than you see here,
More than you let me be,
I’m more than you know,
A body in a soul,
And you don’t see me but you will,
I am not invisible,
I am here,

There is no them,
There is no them,
There’s only us,
There’s only us,
There is no them,
There is no them,
There’s only us,
There’s only us,
There is no them,
There is no them,
There’s only you,
And there’s only me,
There is no them.

Maybe the reason this spoke to me so much, is the fact that I AM INVISIBLE, at least Valerie is. Truly, “I am more than you know…”

-ValS