It is funny, I hadn’t even thought about this incident until today’s Throwback Thursday.Back in 1997 (when I was a young 26), before I went to college, I worked at Value Village. The place was mostly women (I think two or three guys out of a total of 30+ employees. During that time there was a sales promotion that was advertising using 1950s looks.
During the team meeting before this, the manager announced that he would like to see everyone wearing poodle skirts. Because there was only three guys total in the entire workforce, he always forgot there were boys here). He was annoying some of the women, they wanted to come in dressed as James Dean or one of the other guys that were famous.
He didn’t like that (but he couldn’t disallow it) so before the conversation wrapped up I yelled out “Ok, I will be there in a poodle skirt”. His head snapped back quickly and he started saying no. I then loudly proclaimed it would be sexist and discriminatory to deny me the right to wear a poodle skirt. He shrugged it off (I think because he believed I wouldn’t do it).
I have always had a problem with authority, it is why I have worked at, and quit so many jobs. The husband was also working at Value Village at the time (this was right before he became a nurse). He helped me find a bra, skirt and shirt, which surprisingly was very hard (then again, not really, not many clothes for 6’4″ people).What I never told anyone (not even my husband) was that I was incredibly excited at the idea of being able to wear women’s clothing. I had always thought about it, I had wished before to be born female (and I played female characters almost exclusively in RPG games), but this was the first time I would have a chance to dress up.
I arrived at work that day, things went really well and I even got “ma’am” a few times. I honestly never understood at the time why it made me so happy (I do now). It was an incredible experience, but not one I talked to about people. I find it funny now that one of the older customers told me, that I and that “lad in black” make a good couple. Obviously at the time everyone recognized we were both “crossdressing” but it is funny that if things had worked out perfectly, maybe we would have transitioned together at the same time.
I look at this picture now, 17 years later, I wish I had pursued it then. I don’t really consider it now because I have become even more masculine looking, and I work for the DoD, both situations make it hard to even contemplate starting. However, I can still remember how awesome I felt wearing the skirt and blouse (even the bra).
Oh, and no I don’t believe it was a TV/CD feeling, especially when I found myself so elated to be called “Ma’am”.
Also, to this day I am sad we never found a real poodle skirt for me to wear 😉
Amazing how experiences can make so much sense in retrospect. Whatever the barriers, I hope you can find ways to express yourself that feel right to you.