Thursday, January 8, 2009

Through The Looking Glass

Our dress up games became almost a daily ritual. As soon as Mom was out of the house my sister would find something pretty for me to change into. Once dressed in a frilly little outfit I was the happiest little girl in the world. I was tutored on all things feminine. Things like sitting correctly in a dress, body movement and speech. I never knew that girls talked differently then boys. I soaked it all in. Walking wasn't that important at this point as I had yet to graduate to wearing high heels, but that would come. One of my favorite things to do was to sit in front of her vanity and apply my lipstick. When my lips were a pouty red I was in heaven! Of course it wasn't all fun and games. We had a list of chores we were responsible for. It made it more bearable for me to be able to do them in a pretty dress. We talked a lot about me being Rita. At this point I had no idea that there were other boys who wanted to dress like girls. A revelation of sorts happened when we stumbled upon a book that my mother had called "Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex." We were both curious, especially my sister who was in the midst of budding adolescence. It was then we both learned what a transvestite was. I thought it was a weird sounding word but I liked it. I guess I was a transvestite but I felt like much more. I mean the clothes and makeup are great but there is a certain mindset that's just hard to put into words. Oh well!

If my Mom ever suspected what we were up to she didn't show any sign of it. We were feeling some guilt for being sneaky about Rita. Should we tell Mom? What if she freaked out and forbid me to wear pretty things? We had to figure out a way to bring Rita out in the open, at least to Mom. Should I just appear to her in a dress and try to pass it off as a joke? I didn't care for that idea. My sister came up with the idea of using Halloween as an excuse. That seemed perfect to me. Everyone dressed up on Halloween, right? I asked if I could wear the communion dress again as I was just about outgrowing it. She didn't want to take a chance on it getting ruined so that was ruled out. She came up with the idea that instead of just dressing like a girl I could dress as a girl's character. This way it would be like I was a real girl dressing for Halloween! Great idea but which character. We had to improvise from her closets. I always loved Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz so i thought we could try that. The problem was that the only wig we had at that time was a shoulder length blond number that I had been wearing at the time. (My hair just wasn't long enough at yet.) We made a list of "blondies" and settled on Alice, the one from Wonderland. It worked out because she had a blue dress that was similar in style to the one that Alice wore. We had a plan!

Halloween fell on a Saturday that year and Mom would be off from work. As the day approached we knew we had to be sneaky about what we were going to do. I had to pretend to be indecisive about what costume I was going to wear that year and my sister said, with a fake tone of impatience, that she would have to make the decision for me. Early that day my Mom went out to do the food shopping for the week and we got Alice (really Rita) ready for her debut. Panties, frilly ankle socks, lacy Cammi top, pretty blue dress, my crinoline (yes it was mine now) and white Maryjane's with a bit of a heel, long blond wig with a pretty bow and of course a bit of makeup. I loved it but I was feeling very anxious. Did we overdo it? There was no backing out. When Mom came home I remained in my sister's room so she could "set the stage" for my debut. When she called for me to come down I was practically shaking in my Maryjane's. As I walked into the kitchen (with my eyes on the floor) my sister yelled out "Surprise! Doesn't he look so cute"? I looked up at Mom. She had a little smirk on her face and asked me if this was my choice for a costume. I wanted to say it was my sister's idea and I just went along with it. But I didn't say that. I just looked at her and simply said "yes". She just looked back at me and simply said "okay". My sister was all smiles and giggles. It was infectious and pretty soon we were all giggling like school girls. My mother asked if I was sure I wanted to go out like that and I said yes I was. She looked at my sister and said "well, at least do his nails". She then mumbled something under her breath and left the room.
After my nails dried we hit the streets. What a revelation! My first time out in a dress, as a girl. Breathing fresh air! The feeling was exquisite. Sure, I was nervous! We rang some bells, got some candy but who cared about candy. After about an hour it dawned on us that nobody, not one of our neighbors recognized me. Then someone did. My buddy Danny. When he saw my sister he came over to us. He looked at me and began to laugh. "Is that really you"? My sister jumped in to say it was all her idea, a kind of a dare. He just told me I had a lot of guts. I just smiled. I didn't care for the fact that he laughed though. Nobody else laughed and I thought I looked pretty good, with the emphasis on "pretty". We said we'd all hook up at the annual party at the local VFW hall that night. So, walking on a cloud, we went home for dinner.
Mom was busy in the kitchen when we came in. She told us to wash up and help her with the meal. She often had us help with the food so we can learn to do more on our own since she worked such long hours at the hospital. She had me put on an apron so "you don't dirty your dress." She said it smiling though but I was getting odd looks from her. Maybe more curious looks. Over dinner we discussed how the day had gone so far and we related the fact that no one (except Danny) recognized me. Mom said how could they have recognized me looking like a real girl. She had me blushing but I felt a glow all over. She asked me point blank if this was the first time I had worn a dress. I just looked at my sister and she looked back at me with guilty expressions on our faces. Mom said, "just as I thought." We then told her all about the way it happened. She just listened. She was a bit tickled that I chose the name Rita. She told me if I had been born a girl that would have been my name anyway. Then she layed down the law with us.
1) Never, ever try to deceive me again!
2) I could dress, but only in the house.
3) If my grades in school slipped then she'd take that privilege away.
4) I would be responsible for more household chores. (That made my sister happy!)
5) When dressed in my boy things I was expected to act like a boy.
I could live with those rules. After thank you's and love you's and after the dishes my sister and I freshened our makeup and headed for the party. It felt strange fixing my lipstick that first time in front of my Mom. The party was no big deal. There were actually two other guys there dressed as girls. One was ugly, he made no effort at all but another guy, although not passable, looked pretty good. He was decked out kind of retro as I remember he had a mink stole. What got me though was he was wearing shoes with a fairly high heel. I was impressed. And I was envious.
Danny was there and we hung out for a bit. He just kept on smiling at me telling me I had guts. Little did he know. We left at about nine for home and all I talked about was high heels. My sister kept telling me I was too young for high heels. She had only gotten her first pair at age 16. I wondered if they'd fit me? When we got home Mom was already in bed as she had a very early shift the next day. I took of my dress and things and washed my makeup off like a good girl. We couldn't find any nail polish remover so I left them alone. When I went into my room I noticed something lying on the bed. It was one of my sister's old nighties. It was a babydoll in a soft peach color. On it was a note that simply said "For my new daughter." I was excepted.

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