Sunday, April 21, 2013

Here is the first of two posts I've held off on posting due to the events of the past week.

I was going to post about my dinner last Saturday with my friend M - the first time we had gotten together in eight months - first.

But after some thought, I decided to post about last Tuesday night's electrolysis session first. Rest assured, however, that both were equally painful. (Juuussstttt kidding, M! lol)

My regular electrologist, M (no, not the same M with whom I had dinner!), was back after a five-week absence due to surgery.

We gave each other a huge hug as soon as she opened her office door. It was wonderful to see her again. She looked radiant, as always; quite frankly, I am VERY jealous of her. :c)

J, M's substitute (hello, Miss J!!!) during her absence, did a wonderful job, and I was very happy with her results. We also became friends; I suppose it was unavoidable, as she is a huge fan of both Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash too. Always great to meet a kindred spirit!

Nonetheless, it was SO nice to see M again. As we started, she told me, in her straightforward way, that I had changed A LOT since we last saw each other six weeks before. I looked different and sounded different. Guess my voice practice is beginning to pay dividends.

As our session was nearing an end, I mentioned that J had recommended asking her about working on my eyebrows. She told me M is an artist at visualizing the proper shape. She was so good that J only sees her, in fact. That is quite the recommendation.

M was thrilled when I asked her.

"You mentioned your makeup artist friend (the artist who did my makeover - and I swear I will post about that experience really soon!!!) had offered, but I was really hoping you might change your mind, Cass," she said. "I'm so glad you did!"

I apologized, saying I had no idea until J told me that you could even have electrolysis on your eyebrows, let alone that is was her specialty. And that of course I would be thrilled if she could work on them.

"Well, why not start now then?" she asked.

"Really?" I asked. "The session is over. And I didn't apply any lidocaine to them."

"I'm willing to stay late if you are!" she said, laughing. "I can't wait to start this! And I can apply some right now. It's stronger than your prescription, Cass."

As she applied the lidocaine, I told her that April had pushed me last week to get started on my eyebrows.

"She double-dog-dared me, M," I said, and M laughed out loud. "I mean, everyone knows that any court in the world would consider that legally binding."

"Actually, I'm pretty sure that isn't really true, Cass," she said. "But I'm glad we're starting anyway."

"Right. Why take chances?" I said. "Otherwise you could be arrested as an accomplice."

"Well, in that case I need to do any extra-good job!" M said. "So let's get going, cutie!"

And so we did.

It was, I must say, a distinctly weird experience.

It wasn't any more painful that electrolysis anywhere else on my face. (I get the sense that it bothers me a lot less than it did some of my friends. Laser, on the other hand, is a different story. [shudder])

Still, it was quite a strange sensation the entire time we worked on them, which was about 30 minutes total. I really didn't feel much pain at all; I would have to imagine the empty space up there contributed to that. ;c) But it was still a unique sensation.

As she always does, M explained what she was doing. She began by clearing out the stray hairs between my brows. They used to much heavier, but I finally got sick of them about ten years ago and started removing them myself. I didn't exactly have a mono-brow, but it was close.

Next she began to define the shape on the bottom of the brows, again just removing stray hairs and creating a nicer line.

Lastly, she did the same with the top of the brows. As she worked, she said she could already see the ideal shape in what I now have, noting that heavy eyebrows like mine lend themselves to this.

"When I work on a Help topic, I always do a brain dump first," I told her. "Because I've found it's a lot easier to take stuff out that it is to try and add stuff in."

"Exactly!" she said. "That's really what we're doing here."

She stopped, and applied some alcohol (ouch!) and aloe (ahhh!) to the treated areas.

And then she handed me a mirror as I sat up.

"So... take a look, hon!"

So I did.

I was astounded.

She didn't remove all that much... but what she did remove was enough to make a noticeable difference in just thirty or so minutes.

I thanked her profusely, and then had to argue with her to let me pay for the extra time. I finally convinced her to accept it - although I declined when she asked if she could take "that cute little nose of yours!" as payment. (I still need it, after all.)

As I pulled my shoes on, and she began to close up her office for the evening, she told me this would be a really important part of her work with me.

"Once we get the shape the way we want, Cass," she said, "I guarantee you very few people will be taking you as a boy after that. No matter how you're dressed at a given moment.

"You already look so much different than you did just six weeks ago. And you're more and more comfortable with yourself every time I see you. It's really remarkable to watch.

"This is going to be a big step for you. I can't wait to get to the end!"

Neither can I!


I thought it might be fun to include a few pictures to give you an idea of M's handiwork. I'm not comfortable sharing pictures of myself, as you may have gathered, but I don't see any harm in showing part of my face.

(A quick side note. A few years ago my old pal M - the M with whom I had dinner last weekend - called me one day when I was still living in Seattle.

"Hey, I was going through some old pictures, and I found a pretty good one of you!" he told me.

"Really? Well, I hope you got my good side," I replied jokingly.

"Oh, absolutely," said M. "Take a look; I just sent it."

I opened his message when it arrived a moment later.

It was a shot of the back of my head. 


Anyway, here's one taken Wednesday evening, just after returning from the session:

As you can see, my hair was NOT cooperating that day. 

And here's one more from that night. I think this one does a better job of showing the newer shape. 

And for the sake of comparison, here's a pic from a few weeks ago, pre-brow treatment. I'm not wearing makeup, as this was taken right after returning from electrolysis that week. At least my hair is sort of cooperating for a change:

The first person to correctly count the total number of freckles, crows feet, and blemishes will earn... well, my undying enmity, actually. 

But don't let that stop you. 

(I wouldn't!)


Also, please note that, just for you good people, I managed to get both eyes looking in the same direction at once in all three photos. 

This is no mean feat for your Miss Cass, as I have amblyopia - that is, lazy eye. (I had eye surgery that failed to correct this when I was about four or five years old.) 

Basically, my right eye gets bored with simply looking straight ahead, and will decide to check out what else is going on nearby, usually without me realizing it. This is because I essentially see out of my left eye (amblyopia means that the brain shuts off visual input from one eye). 

This can make for some interesting results when I renew my drivers license. They sometimes ask me to take the test to determine if I need a visual restriction on it. I assure them I do, and that I am hopelessly blind without my glasses. 

But sometimes, a well-intentioned soul will ask me to look through the viewfinder anyway. One time a friendly DMV worker (seriously; she was really nice!) gently encouraged me to take it anyway. So I obligingly removed my glasses and gave it a shot.

"OK, hon," she said. "Just tell me if the red dot is on the picnic table or off the picnic table."

I looked up, genuinely confused.

"I'm sorry," I said. "What picnic table?"

"Oh my," she laughed. "Never mind, dear!"

And that was the end of me taking that particular test!


Shockingly, there are no really cool songs written about eyebrows. How sad. At least there are some good ones about blue eyes, though.

First, R.E.M.'s great cover of Lou Reed's "Pale Blue Eyes," one of The Velvet Underground's most beautiful songs:

I saw them about a month after this for the first time, and they were brilliant. 

(I couldn't see them when Murmur was released in 1983, nor when Reckoning first came out in the spring of 1984. I was too young to get into clubs, and unlike my friends, no one believed the birthday on my *real* driver's license, even when I tried to go to R-rated movies. lol I was still being carded at them when I was 31 - honest to God!)

Here's Pete Townshend's superb demo version of "Behind Blue Eyes." I think this is even better than the official version; Townshend has a much more vulnerable voice than Daltrey, and it is particularly well-suited for this song:

And finally: Willie, from his classic 1975 Red-Headed Stranger album:

Doesn't get any better than that. Man, he sure can play Trigger (his guitar), can't he?


Faline on April 21, 2013 at 7:46 AM said...

About electrolysis on the eyebrows... be careful with that... the "style" of eyebrows goes in and out... you want to make sure they leave enough that you can change the shape of them if need be down the road.

I had very heavy eyebrows as well... actually, had been getting them waxed for years before transitioning. You could get them waxed now just to make them a little less bushy. :)

Oh, and you have gorgeous eyes! Very pretty!

Becca on April 21, 2013 at 10:34 PM said...

Have you been having treatment to make your eyes bigger. You look like Bambii ....

Electrolysis on eye brows, needles ..... Glutton for punishment ....

Cassidy on April 21, 2013 at 10:39 PM said...

Hi Faline!

Thank you for the excellent advice. M said that is her approach: finding and creating the basic shape, and then waxing/plucking as needed.

And thank you so much for the compliment! :#) I wish I could take credit, but they were part of the package. lol (Fortunately I can also trade in the part I *don't* need for the one that I *do*!)


Cassidy on April 21, 2013 at 10:50 PM said...

@ Becca:

OK, I just read and replied to Faline's comment, and was blushing from that. Now I'm ever redder! :#)

On a serious note, the shape of my face has changed a LOT, especially in the past four or five months. When I wear my glasses now, they no longer look right.

I showed my sister a picture of how I looked when I chatted with the gentleman at the coffee shop yesterday (who complimented me for being a woman who knows her baseball). She said the combination of no glasses and the baseball cap really emphasizes my female features. I guess I just can't see it - but apparently others can. :c)

Thank you for the lovely comment, Becca, even if I will turn red every time I think of it!


P.S. I owe you a reply! Apologies for not getting back to you sooner... :c(

Becca on April 21, 2013 at 11:16 PM said...

You can't see it because ..... No glasses ??

Becca on April 21, 2013 at 11:35 PM said...

Leaving flippancy aside, have you thought of getting/have you got a pair of glasses with more overtly feminine frames ?

bashashhazbaz on April 22, 2013 at 2:33 PM said...

cassidy, i think you look beautiful! lovely eyes and i look forward to seeing more of your journey!

Cassidy on April 22, 2013 at 7:22 PM said...

@ Becca: Good to see we share a love of snark! lol I actually am considering Lasik. My last two optometrists told me I'm an excellent candidate.

The clinic I visit offers eye care; I'm making an appointment tomorrow for my blood work and an eye exam. They're affiliated with a laser clinic here, so I will see what they have to say. And I will also likely get appropriate eyeglasses (I'm told I'll still need them for some tasks).

@bashashhabaz: Thank you! You are all too kind! :#) As I said, I wish I could take credit; alas, I cannot. lol I *will* have several additional posts in short order, however!

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