Trans Girl in an Antique Mall

Image from Christelle Bourgeois
On UnSplash

As I mentioned in my previous post, there was much more going on as I was searching out the perfect Christmas present for my second wife who is now deceased. After haunting a few regional antique malls for "treasures", I decided I could go it alone and surprise her with an ideal garden themed gift. First of all, I would like to explain what an antique mall is to those of you who may not be familiar. In our region of the US, antique malls are large to enormous buildings along or near major interstate highways. They are not to be confused with flea markets as most are full of quality antiques from many diverse dealers. Big and small. 

Before I sat out on my own to look for my gifts, I need to point out also I was the ultimate Christmas shopping procrastinator.  Literally, more times than I would care to admit I was the last hurried shopper on Christmas eve before the mall closed. But since I enjoyed the leisurely pace of wondering through a maze of terrific antiques, I always did my best to try to gain a head start on my shopping. Cross dressing and experiencing the process as my authentic feminine self just added to the pleasure. For the day or days I was planning to shop of course I needed to dress to blend and be comfortable, since I was going to have to do quite a bit of walking. So bulky sweaters, jeans and boots were the perfect outfits to fight off the December Ohio chill. Other than the wonderful selections to choose from, there was the problem of finances since many of the vintage garden items I was in the market for were quite expensive. 

Other than costs, the positives of the venues far outweighed the negatives. First of all, my chances were good for finding her that one of kind garden gift such as a vintage seed box from an old hardware store. They were rare and expensive but every now and then I could find one in my price category.  I was fond of referring to my shopping as garden binging as I slowly savored the feel of my feminine clothes as I made my way through the mall. I liked it to because of the laid back atmosphere. Except for the occasional floor clerk who would ask me if he or she could help me, I was rarely approached. I never had a negative response so I must have been doing fairly well in the presentation department. I know I felt confident as I shopped and the number of wonderful mirrors I happened to encounter told me I was doing fine. Back in those days at the least, I needed as much assurance as I could get when I saw my feminine reflection in an antique mirror. This was during the time when I was stuck between being a cross dresser and strongly considering if I could refer to myself as transgender and look at living my life fulltime as a transgender woman. 

The best part was I was able to spend the biggest part of the day as my feminine self, before my wife made it home and I had to be returned to my rapidly disappearing male self. I think now she could see through my gender charade and was waiting for the next foot to fall. But, in the meantime, I was able to find, hide and wrap more than a few wonderful Christmas gifts for her. Who knows, may be it was just my guilty conscience coming through when I went so far out of my way to seek out the perfect gift. After all, it was me who held the key to destroy our relationship by wanting to be a woman. 

In the meantime, I was able to learn from my antique mall experiences. I was able to step away from my usual regular clothing store/mall life and see if I could make it in the real world, perhaps even owning my own small vintage shop. In a different way later I was able to accomplish selling vintage items on on-line sites. In fact I was able to keep myself above water financially for quite a while. Mainly by selling the best gifts I had purchased for my wife before her death. It was the final chapter in many ways of our life together. I often wonder what it would have been like for her to join me in antique mall shopping.