Hair Apparent

Sunday, March 24, 2013

So, another super-busy week is in the books.

Follow me for details of seven days that started off less than perfectly and ended up with me having yet another goofy smile on my face for what felt like hours. :c)

 It started off with a bit of a meltdown on Monday evening. I can laugh about it now - well, I could then too, sort of - but at the time it wasn't so funny.

Thanks to the clocks changing recently, my already shaky sleep patterns were totally off-kilter. As a result, I've been having a horrible time sleeping, often finally drifting off at 3:00-4:00 AM. Since I typically wake up around 5:00, this is a bit problematic.

I've been going in to work much later than I prefer, which means battling rush hour traffic both ways, having little free time after work, and generally feeling out of sorts.

I didn't arrive home on Monday evening until after 9:00 PM. I was already exhausted from a long day of work and an intensive workout. I was hoping I could squeeze in even a half hour of me time, when I could be Cass. That isn't nearly enough, but I have to make do, given the limitations of my schedule and commute.

Because of yet another in a seemingly endless string of major snowstorms here, we were expecting - and received - nearly a foot of snow that evening into Tuesday. When I got home that Monday night, I was being pelted in the face by stinging ice pellets and sleet as I tried to find my keys while standing at the door. 

Rather than make multiple trips up the stairs in this misery, I decided to try to take everything - my backpack, laptop bag, gym bag, lunch bag, and toffee night iced coffee - in at the same time.

This proved to a be a mistake.

I struggled with the weight of the bags the moment I picked them up. (My upper body strength, never exactly robust, has nosedived the past few months.) In fact, I nearly toppled over. My legs were literally shaking.

About halfway up the stairs, my right ankle, the one injured in the hit and run, simply folded - quite literally - under the load. The ankle buckled, and I collapsed to my knees, but somehow I managed to keep my balance and retain control of the various bags and my iced coffee.

I managed to half-hobble/half-drag myself up the stairs to the kitchen - only to stagger into the trash can when the ankle rolled again. The trash bin obligingly toppled over along with me as I flopped to the ground, covering me with damp coffee grounds, less-than-aromatic food wrappers, and worse. Much, much worse.

I sighed, managed to pull myself up, and in a few minutes had the worst of the mess cleaned up from  the floor and from myself. I threw my dinner in the oven, and then noticed a tear in the trash bag. So I decided to put it all into a new bag.

But first I remembered I needed to put the coffee into the refrigerator. Naturally, when I picked it up the top came loose and sploshed out, soaking me from head to toe in the process. 

Trying to keep my composure, I told myself to put the excess trash into the new bag, then attempt to sweep and mop the floor as needed.

And naturally when I tipped the can upside down to load the contents into the new bag, my ankle barked again - just as said new bag ALSO spilt - and the trash spilled all over me - again - as I landed on the floor with a thud. Again.

No sooner did that happen than I smelled smoke.


My dinner was burning.

I managed to reach up and turn off the gas before the smoke detectors went off, but that pushed me over the edge. 

There I was, sitting on the floor, drenched with iced coffee, with coffee grounds and various substances slowly dribbling down my chest and legs, as I broke down, sobbing. All I wanted was to get to be myself, for just a few minutes, and I couldn't even manage that.

Fortunately, I knew just what to do in such an situation.

I texted April.

It worked like a charm.

Within moments she had me recognizing the humor in the situation, and shortly we were both laughing in our usual un-lady-like fashion.

(Well, I was, anyway. My out-of-control laughter, which April seems able to draw from me with seemingly no effort, is not now, nor will it ever will be, graceful or feminine. lol)

I don't know how she can do that... but I certainly am grateful she can.

Thank you, sis!


Let's dispense with the other unpleasantness before we get to the happier events of the week.

 I was only able to get to the gym twice this week.

It drives me crazy not being able to exercise as regularly as I would like. I've been trying to get back on track for nearly a month now. While I've made some progress, this was one of those weeks when random events conspire to ensure that I couldn't exercise for five days in a row.


I finally managed to go for a walk yesterday. In spite of the howling winds and bone-chilling cold, I did a brisk two and a half hours (pun intended). I was still shivering in the coffee shop where I wrote the bulk of this nearly an hour after finishing, but it was worth it. 

We're finally, finally supposed to have a stretch of relatively peaceful weather next week. (Other than the snow showers on Monday evening. And all day Tuesday. And all day Thursday. Sigh.) Hopefully I can finally, finally, finally begin to get back to my usual routine.

Okay, enough kvetching. :c)

On to happier matters: my latest salon adventure!


As previously chronicled ad nauseum, I have been trying to find someone who can work with my, uh, challenging hair to get it under control and give me some semblance of an androgynous style I can manage.

I think I finally succeeded.

My substitute electrologist recommended a nearby salon that is much closer and far more convenient than trekking 90 minutes each way to see my old stylist. Wonderful as she is, I simply don't have enough time to squeeze in yet another long trip in addition to my two-hour plus daily commute and semi-monthly three-hour jaunts to see my therapist.

Also, I absolutely loathe driving, with the white hot burning intensity of a quintillion burning suns. Always have, always will. There is absolutely nothing pleasurable or relaxing about it for me. I sigh with relief when I shut off my car for the last time each day.

To put it in baseball terms, I hate driving with the venom I reserve for the New York Yankees. Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, and Joe Torre excepted, of course. (Some people have so much class that even their Yankeedom cannot besmirch it. Curtis Granderson and C.C. Sabathia, this goes for you as well.) 

So overall, we are talking INTENSE hatred, folks.

But I digress. :c)

As I wrote last week, I was struck by how far I've come in just a few months when I recalled my terror the first time I told a stranger I was trans with how matter-of-fact I was in setting up this appointment.

That carried over to the appointment itself.

When I arrived, a different receptionist was at the desk. I was in boy mode, having come straight from work. I said I had an appointment at 6:30 with J. She glanced at the computer screen, then looked up, confused.

"It says the appointment is for <my boy name>."

"That's me, actually," I said, trying - and failing - not to grin.

She looked at me for a moment, then glanced at the computer screen again. This time she laughed.

"I'm sorry, Cassidy! For some reason this doesn't use your real name for the appointment."

I thanked her for saying Cass was my real name.

"Well, you look like a Cassidy, not a <boy name>!" she said with a grin.

I knew I was going to like it here. :c)


Shortly after J, the stylist, came up to greet me.

As we walked back to the sink area to wash my hair, she was studying my hair.

"Please tell me you don't want me to cut this!" J said as she ran her hands through my hair.

I replied that I was trying to grow it as long as I could.

"Oh, good! It would be a crime to cut this! I'm already jealous, missie!" she said, and mock-punched my arm. 

I thanked her, and told her I would love it eventually be as long as hers, which reached nearly halfway down her back.

"Oh, good!" she said, clapping her hands. "This is going to be so much fun, Cass! I wish we could start playing with it now!"

I laughed, then explained what I was looking for: a cut that got the top back in shape, and was androgynous enough that I could use it while it grows.

She asked if I had any pictures of what it looked like before I started HRT, so I pulled one up on my phone.

She did a double-take.

"When was this taken?" she asked.

"The summer of 2011," I replied.

"And when did you start on hormones?"

"Just before Thanksgiving 2011."

She shook her head.

"You look nothing like this now. You know that, right?"

"Umm... well, some people have told me that."

"Some? If I didn't know, I would say you were possibly his cousin. His female cousin. You really look totally different."

"Your hair has gotten wavier since this was taken. That's good - the curls you have in that picture must go crazy in the humidity, don't they?"

"Now that's it wavier that won't really be as much of a problem. It might even look better. I really do hate you!"

We both laughed.

"Has anyone told you it's also lighter now?" she said.

"Actually, both of my electrologists mentioned that recently, and so have a few other people."

"In that picture it's sort of medium brown, but now it's more dirty blonde. Maybe that's from the hormones? It definitely looks and feels a lot thicker. That's definitely the hormones."

"You hit the hair jackpot, that's for sure. We can do so much with this as it gets longer! I already have a bunch of ideas, especially if you're willing to experiment a bit."

I told her I was, and mentioned a few of my ideas - which she said was what she was going to suggest. That made me feel good; perhaps my instincts are sound!

As J worked, I gave her what has become my now-customary description of what transsexualism means, my story, and what the transitioning process entails. I also mentioned my recent excursions to get a makeover and go shopping for the first time for Cass stuff. 

(I promise I will write about those adventures soon! Things are a bit disjointed at the moment in my narrative, and for that I apologize.)

She said it was all new to her, and had some interesting observations on what was involved in stealth, dating, and more.

As she was finishing up, she asked when I was thinking of going full-time. 

I replied, essentially, not for a while. 

She stopped cutting and looked at me in the mirror.

"Why not?"

I wasn't expecting that.

After a moment, I said that I still needed to tell my parents, needed to continue electrolysis, and be reasonably sure I could pass most of the time.

"Can I tell you something, Cass?" she said. 

"You're so matter of fact about telling me about all of this. And I still can't believe you went from being afraid to tell a stranger you were trans in September to walking into a MAC store and getting a makeover barely three months later. That's pretty amazing."

"When you came in, if I hadn't been expecting you, I would have taken you for, at most a tomboyish woman. And that's with you dressed in - what did you call it? - boy mode. You just seem... comfortable."

"You said you're working on your voice, but I only noticed a difference when you coughed or cleared your throat. And that was only once or twice, and probably only because I was tuned in to it."

"I"ll tell you something else, hon. If we spent just ten minutes doing your makeup, right now, you could walk out of here dressed like this, in boy clothes, and no one would think anything of it. You would have no trouble passing."

I was really taken aback, as you might imagine! 

I thanked J, and said how flattered I was.

"Well, it sounds like you've been working hard, Cass. I think your work friend (S) was right: you're passing a lot even when you're dressed as a man. You're not attempting to draw attention to yourself; you're just being who you are."

"That's just one girl's opinion. I hope you go full-time sooner rather than later. I want to get to work with you on your look! You are going to turn some heads!"

I thanked her again and joked that that I was already a big tipper by nature. She just laughed.

"I'm only telling you what I see in front of me, Cass!"

I'm still trying to process how often this seems to be happening. 

I know I have a long way to go, and it won't be easy by any stretch, but it's sinking in that I might really, truly be able to do this.

It is a bit frightening, I admit.

But mostly... it's exhilarating. :c)

As always, stay tuned!


Billy Bragg's wonderful new album, Tooth & Nail, came out this week. As always, he is a one-man storm front of optimism and hard-won wisdom, just daring negativity to try to stop him - and, by invitation, all of us.

Here's a great tune from the new album:

He looks quite dashing with the beard, I must say!

And a personal favorite from 1988's Worker's Playtime:

Out of the way, pessimism... Billy is back in town!!! :c)


A on March 24, 2013 at 2:19 PM said...

Dear Cass,

You forgot to mention I was having my own bad day and our text chat was equally cheering for me.

I still don't think Billy Bragg is very upbeat! But the beard suits him.

Cassidy on March 24, 2013 at 5:01 PM said...

Dear April,

Consider it mentioned. :c) It must be genetic, sis!

Part of your re-education from the dark side will be bringing you to a Billy Bragg concert. He is incredibly uplifting - and funny. And now he is bearded! What more could a girl ask for, really?


Stace on March 25, 2013 at 4:33 PM said...

You know... I read that and could see everything happening in front of me!

Can I repeat your comment from my post? I can imagine it was wholly unfunny at the time, and have had days like there where all I wanted to do was find a dark corner and cry. I just hope that you can look back on it now and smile at the imagery you wrote! (Except for the pain, obviously!)

As for the hair appointment... I read this first at lunch in the office, and after the morning I had it was great to have something to smile at!

Oh, and I hate you! I have horrible straight hair that I can do nothing with! ;p

Take care,

Stace on March 25, 2013 at 4:34 PM said...

Oh... And hopefully at some point after Wednesday I may get 10 minutes to send you a mail!


bashashhazbaz on March 25, 2013 at 5:21 PM said...

i do feel badly for your bad day but hindsight is 20/20 some say and i must admit i got a good laugh just because i could PICTURE all of that happening! similar things happened to me in the past so i understand--in the best way i know how, i suppose.

i reiterate what a said before, cassidy, that 9 out of 10 blind folks can't be wrong. you are one lovely and charming lady, and i only know what you wrote about other people's impression of you. i can also say i get that impression from your comments to us here as well!

thanks for sharing it all with us pretty lady!

Calie on March 25, 2013 at 9:57 PM said...

Cass, I absolutely love hair stories. Actually, it's an emotional subject for me and this one was really nice. Love the title, too!

Oh, and thank Goddess for April!!

Calie xxx

Cassidy on March 31, 2013 at 6:21 PM said...

@ basashhazbaz: Thank you very much! :#)

@ Calie: Is it good emotional or bad emotional? Or both at different times?

I'm glad you liked it; it was fun to write. :c) Since I started to transition, I've uncovered a long-hidden hair obsession, and now I can finally indulge it! Can't wait until my hair is long enough to really play around with it!!!

I love puns - hence the title. :c) Oh, and yes... thank God for April!!!!

@ Stace: I *do* laugh when I think about it now. :c) I knew even at the time how, well... girly I was being lol, but I also was genuinely upset. Now I know I have a good story!

As far as your hair, I've only seen the photos on your blog, but in those your hair looks like the rest of you: adorable! (Just my opinion, sweetie!)

Also, if you saw my hair when I woke up this morning, you would not be so envious. lol It looked as if it was having a party all night. Hair sticking out all over, hair licks gone rogue, and an indescribable tangled mess in the back. Even my baseball cap can't hide it. God help me when the humidity arrives!

Got your latest message, btw. I will send a response forthwith, Miss S!!!!


BTW, coffee grounds are a pain to get out of your hair!

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