Bermudas and Breakdowns

A few weeks ago an incident occurred which really made me think about my assumptions about “passing” and what it really means. My wife and I were on the way back from visiting relatives when our car began to lose power and buck wildly. I managed to get the car off the highway and into a nearby garage, but I was concerned with more than our vehicle. As usual for me, I was dressed more or less en femme. I was wearing a pair of acid washed, distressed Bermuda shorts, a cute red top, and my pink Converse sneakers. I had just shaved my legs. My nails were done up in pink, and I had all of my rings on, as well as some new bracelets I had picked up earlier that day at a flea market.

I was seriously worried about how the men at the garage would react to my appearance. I mean, I dressed like this everyday with the loving support of my family and colleagues at work, but not only were these men strangers but they were mechanics and as such, notoriously “manly” men. As we walked into the garage’s office, I had visions of heckling or worse, but I decided I would just have to tough it out. I tried to be as confident and assured of my femininity as I could without being exaggerated or “in your face.” I simply acted like, as a woman, this was how I was supposed to dress. And it worked! There were no rude comments from the mechanics, actually no comments of any kind. They even called me “ma’am”, as they tried to help us.

As it turned out, our car couldn’t be fixed right then, and we had to call for a truck to tow us home. We ended up having to wait over three hours for the truck, and we spent a sizeable chunk of that time at a nearby fast food restaurant. There I had the same experience as at the garage. I was totally sure of being a woman, and the fast food workers simply accepted me as such. I even joked easily with them as I repeatedly ordered drinks and such during our extended stay. Later when the tow truck finally came I wondered how the driver would react to me, but by that point I had lost all my concern and inhibitions. Just like all the other “normal” people I had encountered so far, the driver simply treated me like any one else. Actually, he was more concerned with getting our car where we were going as fast as possible to care about my Bermuda shorts.

So what’s the moral of the story? I don’t want to get all preachy, but it seems to me that when I faced my fears of discovery and derision, and simply acted like what I am (and was dressed as)– a beautiful woman– that’s how the people I met responded to me. I still fall prey to my fears sometimes, but this experience has given me a tremendous amount of confidence in myself and others. I hope your car breaks down sometime while you’re wearing Bermuda shorts.

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SimoneRosaliy LynneKaryn LobeliaJanetskippy1965(Cynthia) Recent comment authors
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Dot (Donna B)
Ambassador

Nice story. I’ve wondered what would happen. I sometimes go for coffee driving using a drive through after midnight. Or what would happen if had car accident. Hope it would go as well. Congratulations on your nice trip.

Hugs

Janet
Guest
Janet

I’ve gone out as Janet many times after dark completely EnFemme. I enjoy being a woman driver. I love seeing my long polished nails (always red) on the wheel and check my makeup and lipstick in the mirror often. I’ll stop and get out for a short stroll and love feeling my dress or skirt brush against my nylons and hear my high heels clicking as I practice my womanly walk. I’ve never had an issue and hope I never do.
I enjoyed your story and like hearing how much girls like me can enjoy themselves as females

Cookie JessicaLynn (Irish)
Lady

What you have just told so eloquently is something that I have been preaching since arriving in our community. Be confident in who you are….and smile.
Thank you for sharing your story.

Abbie Simons
Lady

Thanks Hunny

JaneS
Guest
Member
JaneS

Simone your story is another example that most people in the world just take others as they are. We tend to be far more fearful of imagined reactions and thus create in our minds scenarios that just don’t happen.

Thank you for sharing an encouraging tale, though I hope the breakdown part doesn’t affect too many of us. 😉

Dionysus (Captain Di) The Corsair
Managing Editor
Member

I was thinking you meant that you “hope” others have a car breakdown not literally but in the same way as the theatrical “break a leg.”

Cheers.

Kayla Jameson
Lady

Very encouraging story. Thanks.

Janine
Lady
Member

I am in complete agreement with you about being the person who you are dressed should be. As long as you look like a woman and act like you are one, I have found that when you get in a situation that is unforseen ordinary people will treat you as such. It always makes me feel feminine when someone calls me ma’am because I know that all the time that it took me to transform myself into a passable looking female was worth it. I haven’t had a experience like you did with your car problem but I’ve been addressed… Read more »

*skippy1965(Cynthia)
Ambassador
Active Member

Hmmmmmm…I gotta get myself some of hose Bermuda shorts!! 🙂
Seriously, though, I too have found your point valid-the reality is rarely as scary as my pre-journey fears! IT is that thought which will get me safely through the SCC TG conference this fall!

Janet
Guest
Janet

I’ve gone out as Janet many times after dark completely EnFemme. I enjoy being a woman driver. I love seeing my long polished nails (always red) on the wheel and check my makeup and lipstick in the mirror often. I’ll stop and get out for a short stroll and love feeling my dress or skirt brush against my nylons and hear my high heels clicking as I practice my womanly walk. I’ve never had an issue and hope I never do.
I enjoyed your story and like hearing how much girls like me can enjoy themselves as females

Karyn Lobelia
Lady

I had a somewhat similar experience in wearing white Bermuda shorts in Florida . I had my nails and toenails done in French nails and was wearing light makeup and lipgloss and a white halter top in Daytona . My wife ask me to drive over to the mini market to get a few groceries we need for a party at our beach house on the ocean as she was preparing a dinner for several of our friends . Normally I do not drive if we are going together but this time I was going for just a short quick… Read more »

Simone
Guest
Member
Simone

Karyn,
Your experience with the police is my nightmare when I drive. I am always doubly careful to obey all traffic laws when I do so, but the anxiety takes a lot of the fun out of the driving experience. I am sure most male officers would react the way the policeman you met did. Just read some of the stories in Patrick Califia’s “Sex changes”. (Sorry, I’m a librarian. Books are part of my life.)

Rosaliy Lynne
Guest
Rosaliy Lynne

Actually I wasn’t wearing shorts of any kind – it was a skirt and blouse and the engine simply died. The driver paid me no mind even when I had to show him my AAA card with my male name on it.

Like you I have seen that, generally, people see what they expect to see and most won’t look deeper. Those who do can be easily thrown off guard with a simple smile and go about your business attitude.

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