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My Cousin's Clothes
by: Patricia Marie Allen

 

I guess you could say my Dad was a jerk and his brother wasn't any better. They both worked for the same company and were kind of partners, in that they traveled together. I never knew just what they did for the company. It soon became evident what they did for themselves. They chased women when they were gone, which was more then they were home. The real trouble started when my Dad caught one. That was three years ago. Well, his brother, not to be out done, caught one last year. Well come to think of it, we don't really know when they caught them, we only know when it became evident. Mom says that she thinks they had caught them years before we knew about it. It wasn't until the secretary at Dad’s office forwarded a package home while Dad and I were on vacation fishing and Mom was there to receive it. Thinking it might be important, she opened it. It was from the woman, some pictures of Dad and her at some amusement park. In some of them, they were kissing. She also included some she had taken with timed camera, so the note said. She was in some really seductive poses, nude. Things came to a head real quick. It took about a year, and Mom got her divorce. Then last year, my aunt found out that Dad's brother, my uncle, also had a woman in the same town. I'm not sure just how, but she did. She too filed for divorce.

So anyway, with her divorce final, my aunt needed to move. The idea was to rent a small two bedroom house and rent out the house she was living in to augment her income. Mom and I had done the same thing and it worked out pretty good for us. Between the alimony, child support and rent from our big house, she could get by with working part-time. During the winter, I never really knew she was working. She worked 9:00 to 3:00 and was home making dinner when I got home from school.

That's how we came to be at my aunt's house helping her and her two daughters get ready to move. We had been at it since Friday at four o'clock. We worked packing up things all evening with only a short break for dinner. We went to bed about 11:30 and were back at it by 7:00 AM. My Mom and aunt were real slave drivers. They worked us like dogs right through the day. Isn't there a law against child labor? I mean after all I'm only nine and my cousins are ten and seven. By about nine that evening, we had all the household goods packed. The only things left were their personal things. You know, clothes, toys, jewelry, that kind of thing. We decided to take a break and Aunt Judy rented some movies and drug the VCR out of the box and we just relaxed until about 11:00 and went to bed.

 

On Sunday we didn't start until after breakfast. We were all in Jenna's room helping pack up her things. Mom and Aunt Judy thought it would be quicker if we all attacked the job one room at a time and since Jenna was the oldest, she was first in line.

"Jenna," Aunt Judy said, "you know in our new place you won't have a closet big enough for all those clothes. You'll have to give the ones you don't really wear to the Goodwill or some such place."

"I know, Mom, I was just kind of saving them to give to Lucy. I've only saved the ones she really liked."

"I know dear, but it will be years before she's big enough to wear them. They will probably be out of style by then."

Jenna began digging dresses out of her closet. She held up one and looked at it almost lovingly. It was a soft lilac color, a pinkish purple, only really light. Pastel, I think they call it. The fabric was real lightweight and soft. "Isn't this beautiful?" She said turning to me. "I really like this dress. It's too small now." She explained wistfully.

"Uh yeah." I said. I really hadn't thought about it. But looking at it, it was a nice dress. I remembered seeing her wear it. I thought it looked really good on her. "Yeah, it really is pretty." I said, smiling at the memory of her in it. What I really remembered was that the dress was so lightweight, that I could see her slip through it.

She looked up at me smiling. I think she was remembering wearing it. She cocked her head a little to one side and said. "It's a shame you're not a girl. It would look really good on you."

My mouth dropped open in shock. My mother smirked and Lucy broke into a big grin and giggled.

"I mean, it would be a good color on you. We are almost the same skin tone and hair color and it's the right size. Look." She said holding it up to me.

"You know, John, she does have a point." Mom said, "It would be a good color on you and it is your size." She teased.

"You should try it on." Lucy shrieked and began laughing.

I looked around. My aunt was grinning like the Cheshire cat. My Mom had her hand over her mouth, not successfully stifling a soft laugh. Lucy was about to pop. I looked at Jenna.

"You should," She said, "I think you'd look really good in it… unless you're chicken."

"Pock, poaawck." Lucy said, tucking her hands in her armpits and flapping her elbows in the classic chicken imitation.

I looked at Mom for help. "Don't look at me. If you're chicken, you'll have to chicken out on your own." She giggled.

I looked at Aunt Judy. "If your own mother isn't going to bail you out, why would you think I would?"

"You are chicken aren't you?" Jenna asked.

"I am not!"

"Are you going to try it on then?"

"Just 'cause I won't try it on doesn't make me chicken!"

"If you don't you will be chicken."

"Pock, poaawck." Lucy intoned again.

Jenna smirked. "It's OK, I expected you'd be chicken. I've worn boy's clothes… but then we all know that girls are really braver then boy."

"No they're not!"

"Then prove it." She challenged, holding out the dress to me.

It was a stand off. I looked to Mom. She shrugged, arched her brow and gave a slight nod. I looked back at Jenna. She tilted her head back and stared me coldly in the eye. I looked back at Mom; she was noncommittal. I looked back a Jenna. There was no change. I snatched the dress away from her and started toward the bathroom.

"Wait," she called. "you'll need this." She said taking a slip out of her drawer. "I know from personal experience the dress is so thin that with a light behind you people can see right though it. I took the slip. I was surprised at how soft it felt. That caused me to pause. "And… " She said. "if you want it to hang right on top, you'll need this." And draped a padded training bra over my arm. I swallowed hard and looked a Mom. She and Aunt Judy were just looking on grinning. I again turned toward the bathroom. "You might as well go all the way." Jenna continued. I turned back and was rewarded with a pair of nylon panties laid on top of the bra. My breath came quick. I had never touched panties before and now she was suggesting I should wear them.

I could feel the color rise in my cheeks. I couldn't look at anyone. I turned again. This time I made it into the bathroom. With the door closed I lay the things on the counter and began to take stock.

"What have I gotten myself into?" I thought. "How did I get myself into this?" I couldn't see anyway out of it. If I didn't go through it, I'd never live it down. Better I should have refused outright then to take the clothes in the bathroom and then not put them on. Oh sure, I'd have been teased, but it would have been over tomorrow. Now, if I didn't put on the clothes, it would be weeks, if not years of "John thought he was brave, but in the end he showed us what a chicken he was."

I walked to the bathroom door and opened it a crack. I didn't want to look at anyone. "If I do this, you all swear that you'll never tell anyone." I waited. "If you don't swear, I won't do it." I stated firmly.

"I won't tell anyone John." Jenna said.

"Me neither." Lucy agreed.

There was a pause. "Mom, Aunt Judy?"

"I won't tell anyone." Aunt Judy weighed in.

"Sweetie, you know I won't tell anyone." Mom assured me.

I closed the door and looked at the clothes. Slowly I stripped off, the last thing to go were my boxers. I let them fall to the floor. With shaking hands I picked up the panties. They were so soft and silky. It took a bit to figure out which was the front and which was the back. Finally I decided the back had to be the bigger side. I slid them up my legs. I was alarmed by the feel. It was… I don't know… exciting. I never knew clothing could be exciting. I could feel my heart rate pick up. My breathing was quick and shallow. Next I picked up that foreign object, the bra. "How do these things work?" I'd seen them showing through some blouses, so I kind of knew where things were supposed to end up. I put the straps over my shoulders and fumbled with the strap behind my back. No amount of stretching and grunting would make those odd catches hook.

Frustrated, I took it off and wrapped it around my chest with the fastener in front where I could see what I was doing. The two little hooks in the eyes, I twisted it around the right way and snaked my arms under the straps. It seemed to be a little high, so I pulled it down, so the cups were centered over my nipples. It felt a little more comfortable there. I dropped the slip over my head. The feeling of the slip was wild. It gave me goose bumps all over. I couldn't help running my hands down my sides over my hips. The feel when I crossed over the panties was exhilarating. I brought my hands back up over my rump. I never knew it could be this good just wearing clothes.

I pulled the dress over my head and smoothed it. I wanted to see what I looked like, so I turned toward the mirror. I was disappointed. I looked like a boy in a dress. Somehow, I thought I'd look more like a girl. My hair was all wrong. It was all flat and looked like brown straw. My face was smudged with something dark.

"Are you alright, in there?" I jumped at the sound of my mothers voice close to the door.

"Ah… yeah, I'm fine." I called back.

"Do you need any help?"

"Ah, no. I've got them all on."

"Well, are you going to come out? You know no one will believe you put them on if we don't get to see you."

"Yeah, I'll be right out." I took a wash rag and dampened it so I could get rid of the smudge.

Walking to the door, I put my hand on the knob. But some how, I just couldn't turn it. I took my hand away and looked at it. It was shaking. I put it back on the knob and forced myself to turn it and pull. I stepped through the doorway with my cheeks burning. Mom was right there. She smiled at me and without warning, she swept me into her arms and hugged me.

"Well, you did do it, didn't you? I made everyone else wait in Jenna's room. If you want, you can go change back and I'll tell them you did it."

I shook my head. "No, I've gone this far. Besides, if I don't let them see me, they'll still say I was chicken."

"Well, I suppose you're right there." Mom smiled.

Together, we walked into Jenna's room. She looked up with mild surprise and grinned. Lucy clapped her hands and jumped up and down in little girl fashion. Aunt Judy grinned broadly and gave a silent laugh.

"I was right, you look really good in that dress." Jenna said.

"No I don't! I look like a boy in a dress. My hair's all wrong and everything. I look silly."

"Here sweetheart," my Mom said, "let me do something about that." With that, she took a hairbrush out of her purse and began brushing my hair. "This would be easier if it had just been washed and I could blow dry it."

Aunt Judy spoke up. "You're right, but I can fix that." She said, taking my hand and dragging toward the kitchen. "Jenna, get my shampoo and conditioner from my bathroom."

In the kitchen she bent me over the sink and began soaking my hair with the sprayer. "Lucy, bring me two big towels from the main bathroom."

Before I knew what was happening I had a towel draped around my shoulders, "… to keep from soaking 'my' dress" and Aunt Judy was lathering up my hair. She quickly rinsed me off and I started to stand up.

"No yet, you have another lathering and conditioner to go."

I bent back and this time; I could feel the volume of the lather on my head. It was so great, it actually had weight. Aunt Judy massaged it deep into my scalp. Aside from being bent over the sink, it felt pretty good to have someone else wash my hair. Finally, she rinsed off the lather and applied the conditioner. She worked that in really good too.

"You can stand up for a little bit if you want." She told me. I took advantage of the idea and stood, holding the towel at my neck. Lucy and Jenna were standing the with big grins plastered on their faces. Mom was sitting at the kitchen table smiling. "Jenna, go get the blow dryer for me." Jenna took off and Judy looked at her watch. "OK bend over young lady." She told me. "Young lady?" I bent over the sink again and she started rinsing the conditioner.

When I stood up this time, Aunt Judy took the towel around my shoulders and began gently drying my hair. "Sit over there by your mother." She told me. I complied. Dropping the towel she gently brushed my hair. "Linda, do you want to finish what you started in the bedroom?"

"Sure." Mom got up and plugged the blow dryer in and started on my hair. The warm air felt good blowing across my scalp. She brushed a little then lifted with the bush and held it up while she blew it from underneath. I closed my eyes and enjoyed the attention.

"I'll never admit it to anyone… but this is great." I thought.

Mom got a comb and started working on my hair with it. I had seen her do the same to her hair. She called it backcombing or teasing. Then she hit it with some hair spray. I don't know where that came from. I guess one of the girls got it. My hair wasn't really all that long, but it would cover my ears if I let it.

After what seemed an eternity, Mom said "Ta-da! All done."

I opened my eyes to see Lucy whispering to Jenna. When they saw me looking, she stopped and they just grinned at me. "You need just a little touch." My aunt said. Taking my chin in her hand she traced a couple of quick strokes across my lips. "Do this." She said, rubbing her lips together. I could taste the lipstick. It tasted just like it smelled.

"Come on," Jenna said, taking my hand. "let's go into my room and you can look at yourself in my full-length mirror."

In her room, I looked at myself in the mirror. It was uncanny. I looked like my sister, only I don't have a sister. I mean, anyone who knew me, would think the person in the mirror was related to me. Not that I was the cutest girl on the block, but I sure looked like a girl. My hair, which I usually just moussed and combed back over my ears, was all fluffed up and nearly, completely covered them. I had no idea that it was that long or that there was that much of it.

"Here," Jenna said. "might as well finish the look."

She handed me some knee socks and a pair of slip-on sandals. I numbly sat on her bed, still in sight of the mirror and watched "her" put on the socks and shoes. I glanced around and noticed that Mom, Aunt Judy and Lucy were in the room as well.

"Well, it looks as if I have a daughter after all." Mom said.

"You really do look great in that dress John." Aunt Judy said.

"Not John, Mama, he’s gotta be Joan, in that dress." Lucy said.

Everyone giggled. I even giggled myself. I looked back a the mirror and thought, "I do look good in it." I turned sideways and watched the dress swirl just a little and felt it swish against my legs. It was kinda neat. I could see why girls liked getting all dressed up. It was much better then slacks and a dress shirt with a tie.

"You know all these clothes I’m getting rid of would fit you." Jenna said. "Wanna try them on to see how they look on you?"

"OK." I shrugged.

The next hour and a half I spent getting into and out of about two dozen outfits. Dresses and different combinations of skirts and blouses. I never had so much fun with clothes in my life. Each time I got through with an outfit, it would go in a plastic bag. I ended up in a thing they called a sundress. It was very light and airy. It absolutely floated when I walked. The next thing I knew it was lunchtime and everyone said I should just leave the dress on while I ate. So I did.

After we cleaned up from lunch, we went to Jenna’s room. Jenna packed the remaining clothes in a suitcase while the rest of us packed up her dolls and stuffed animals. Next, came Lucy’s room. With four of us working on it, it took only about an hour. Aunt Judy’s room was already packed up, except for a few small things that didn’t take long at all. We packed up the bathrooms in short order. When we got to the main bathroom, Lucy pointed and said to Jenna, "See, I told you so." There on the floor were my boxers.

"Shh! Jenna said.

I blushed as Mom picked them up and together with my other clothes took them to the guestroom I had slept in. We stripped all the beds, washing the sheets, and packed away the bedding. We finished up about four o’clock in the afternoon. The whole time, I remained in the sundress and, several times, marveled a how comfortable it was and how good it felt to wear those clothes.

We all ended up plopping on couches and such in the family room. It felt good to just sit down and do nothing. After all, we had worked constantly for two days, except for that little foray in Jenna’s bedroom just before lunch. And even then, we worked sorta, I mean we did put the clothes in a plastic bag when I took them off.

"Well," Aunt Judy said, "The movers will be here in the morning to haul all this over to our new home. One night in a motel, and while you girls are in school, the movers and I will set up the house."

"I’m hungry." Lucy said.

"Me too." Answered Aunt Judy. She picked up the phone and called Pizza Hut. Half and hour later, the doorbell rang and we had pizza.

About six, Mom said, "Well, Joan, time for you to become John again. We’ve got over an hours drive to get home."

"OK." I said, conscious, for the first time in a couple of hours that I was wearing unusual clothing.

I went to the guestroom and changed back. I was reluctant to take everything off. In the end, I left the panties on under my boxers. I couldn’t help myself, they just felt so good to wear. I found the "Goodwill" bag in the front hall and stuffed the sundress and lingerie in it. In the bathroom, I wiped of the light pink lipstick and brushed my stiff fluffy hair back down. I’ll have to wash it tonight to get all the stiffness out of it. When I was through, it looked OK, but not like I liked it.

We all got on our jackets in preparation to leave. "Oh!" Aunt Judy said, "I forgot about the stuff for donation. It’s so late and I just want to get to the motel and shower. Linda, would you mind? There’s that Goodwill just a half a mile from your house. Could you drop it there on your way home?"

"Oh sure Judy, no problem."

Out in the drive way there were hugs all around and Jenna couldn’t resist, "Bye Joan." She said. I just looked at her and shook my head while Mom chuckled.

"I’m taking tomorrow off, so I’ll see you tomorrow about nine at your new house." Mom told Aunt Judy.

"It shouldn’t take too long. The movers said that they’d be here at seven and at my new place by nine and unloaded by eleven. We should have everything in place by about 3:00. That should give you time to get home and fix dinner like always."

"It should." Mom said, climbing into our car.

* * *

On the way home, Mom was deep in thought and grinning to herself. I didn’t think too much of it. I was looking out the window thinking about my day in dresses. How many different outfits had I tried on? I don’t know. Ha! Imagine, there I was stripping down to girls lingerie right in front of my Mom and aunt and two girl cousins. Now there’s something no other boy has done.

"You know," Mom said, shaking me from my thoughts. "you did look awfully good in some of those dress. Too bad I didn’t have a camera."

"A camera?" I asked, "You mean you’d have taken pictures?"

"Well, yeah."

"Why?"

"Oh, just to remember my ‘daughter’ I never had."

"Well, you couldn’t show them to anyone. You promised you’d never tell anyone I did that."

"I know, but I’d still like to have had pictures. Besides, I could show them to your Aunt Judy and the girls. They were there to see them in the flesh." She paused. "How did you feel, all dressed up like that?"

"I donno… kinna funny at first."

"At first? What about later? I mean after you got all done trying things on and were just wearing the sundress the rest of the day?"

"Well, OK, I guess. It was comfortable and it felt kinda good even."

"Kind of good? Good, how?"

"Well, I just got used to it. Actually, I thought that today, was better then Saturday. My jeans were hot to work in, compared to the dress… and the dress didn’t bind or anything."

"Well, I still wish I’d have had a camera. Would you have minded if I took some pictures?"

"Ah… I guess not… I mean, if you promised not to show them around."

"Oh, I would promise. I’ve got an idea. Since you wouldn’t have minded if I had taken pictures and I really want to have some, we could keep Jenna’s old clothes for a while. That is, if you would wear them again, just so I could take some pictures."

"Ah, I donno, Mom. It was OK today, but I don’t think I want to spend a couple of hours changing clothes and posing for pictures. I mean, that’d blow the better part of a day when you add in the time to take pictures."

"Well, you wouldn’t have to do it all at once. You could just put on one outfit everyday after school and pose for pictures until you have worn them all."

"Just one a day?"

"Sure, that way, you don’t have to devote a big block of time and I’ll get the pictures I want." She smiled.

I thought about it. "I love my Mom. It’s not like she’s asking a lot or that I’ve never worn the clothes before. And besides, I did kinda like wearing them; I was still wearing the panties wasn’t I? When else would I get another excuse to do it?"

"OK, but you have to promise that you won’t tell anyone I did it or show the pictures to anyone but Aunt Judy, Jenna or Lucy."

"I promise." Mom smiled.

* * *

We drove right by the goodwill store. At home, I went straight to the shower. When I got out, Mom was in my room hanging Jenna’s old clothes in my closet.

"You don’t use much of the hanging space in your closet. We’ll just store them in here so the wrinkles will hang out." She informed me. I sat on the bed in my robe while she finished.

"There." She said when she finished. "A closet full of girls dresses. That was kind of dream of mine, but when I had to divorce your father, I thought I’d never see it." She had a wistful look on her face.

After she left the room, I stood and looked in my closet. Jenna’s clothes had invaded. It was like looking into a girls closet. Dresses, skirts, blouses and sweaters as far as the eye could see. And on the floor, there were four pairs of shoes. I opened my drawer and found that my closet was the only space taken over by Jenna’s old clothes. There was lingerie, lots of it. Seven or eight panties, three bras and two full slips and a half-slip. There were some socks even. After a bit of hesitation, I put on a pair of panties. I quickly covered them with a pair of shorts that Mom always said were gross because the legs were loose and you could sometimes see my boxers when I sat down. "Not a problem with panties." I thought.

Throwing on a T-shirt, I headed for the living room to watch some TV. At ten o’clock, Mom reminded me I had school tomorrow. I headed for bed. I stripped, stopping short of taking off the panties, and opened the drawer with my PJ's in it. Jenna’s clothes had invaded in there as well. There were three nighties and a pair of girls satin pajamas. "What’s with the nighties? She doesn’t think she’s going to pose for pictures in nighties, does she? Oh well." I put on a pair of my PJ's.

After breakfast, I got ready for school. I decided to loose the panties for school. After all, a guy has to be a guy. Much to my chagrin, I missed the panties. Boxers just didn’t seem to cut it anymore. Maybe I’d have to switch to jockeys.

School was pretty much the same as always. Mom was home when I got home. What was missing, was the smell of dinner.

"Hi John." She said as I came in. "I just got home myself. I stopped at Target on the way home. I needed to pick up some film and other things. Are you ready for the transformation?"

"Huh?"

"You know, for the pictures."

"Oh yeah. I guess so."

"Why don’t you go in and put on that first dress you wore yesterday. We’ll start with that one."

"OK." I headed for my room.

"Oh, John." She called after me. "There are some tights in your drawer. I think that dress would look much better with tights then socks. Just put everything on as usual and call me and I’ll help you with the tights."

"Tights?"

I got to my room and opened my underwear drawer and sure enough there on top of everything was a cellophane package. "Silky opaque tights." It said. "Oh, well." I stripped and gladly put on the panties I had worn to bed. I didn’t want Mom to know I had worn them last night. It was bad enough that I had to hide the ones I wore home yesterday.

When I was ready, I called her, "Mom, I’m ready."

She came and smiled at me as she opened the tights. "Sit on the bed and I’ll help you." I sat, she did something with one leg of the tights, drawing it up in kind of a bunch with only an inch or so of the toe left dangling. "Lift your foot." She commanded as she knelt in front of me. "Not that one, silly the other one." Like I should know which one went on first. She put it over my toes and then slid it up to my calf. "Now the other one." She did a repeat performance on that leg. "Now stand up." I did. One at a time, she pulled them up above my knees. "OK, you pull them up, like I did. Just a little at a time on each side until they’re up to your waist."

I pulled them up awed by the feel of them against my legs. I thought the slip felt great, but the tights were rapturous. As my dress and slip floated back down, I was spirited away for a moment. I don’t know where I went, or who I was while I was there, but everything was ethereal, as if I had been transported to another plane.

"Let’s get your hair fixed." Mom jarred me out of me revelry.

"Ah… OK."

In the bathroom, Mom wet my hair and did some things with her curling iron and a brush. When she was through, my hair was again transformed in to something not in the least masculine. She did the lipstick thing and even added some blush.

"You know, considering the number of times you’ll be doing this, I should teach you to do it yourself."

"Well, how many times will I be doing it?"

"A couple of dozen, at least. Since you only want to do one outfit a day."

"How heard is it?"

"Not very, once you get the knack of teasing your hair. The make up is no big deal, at your age lipstick is very much optional and that’s easy. Tell you what. Tonight, after dinner, I’ll let you practice teasing my hair. Who knows, maybe you’ll discover a career."

"A career?"

"Yes, lot’s of men are hairdressers."

"Great."

My hair and "make-up" all done, Mom took me out on the patio and shot a couple of pictures. Then two more inside.

"Well, that’s enough for now. We’ll get more tomorrow in another outfit."

"Good, I’ll go get changed."

"Aw, leave it on. It was a lot of work to create the image, no sense destroying it so soon."

"What the heck, It does feel kind of neat. I’ll leave it on."

"Well, I have to go to the bathroom." I said

"Don’t forget to sit. Just pull your tights down over your bottom, pealing them inside out until you panties are fully exposed then you pull them down. It’ll be easy to get them back up that way."

That was more information then I wanted to know. I tried it, and it worked. I guess that’s the kind of thing I’ll need to know if I’m going to be doing this for twelve or more days. I finished up and headed back for the living room. I was seriously beginning to wonder about dinner.

As I entered the living room, I froze in my tracks. The door was open and Mom was taking a package from the local pizza guy. He looked up, smiled and nodded. Mom handed him a twenty.

"Keep the change." She said.

"Thanks, have a nice evening." He looked straight at me again and smiled. He turned away and Mom closed the door.

"I didn’t think you’d want pizza again, so I had him bring two chicken dinners and a two liter of Dr. Pepper."

"Mom, why didn’t you warn me?"

"Warn you, but you like their chicken. You said it was almost as good as mine."

"No, about him coming. I could have stayed out of sight. He looked at me twice."

"What? Oh, don’t worry, he just thought you were a preteen girl. He was looking because he thought that in a few years you’d be eligible."

"No he didn’t. He thought I was some kind of dope for dressing up like a girl."

"What did he do when he looked at you?"

"He smiled."

"He didn’t laugh or grin like he was trying to keep from laughing?"

"No he just smiled, kind of friendly like."

"Then, believe me, he’s a teenage lech. He was wishing you were a few years older, so he could put the make on you."

"Oh God. He was." I was suddenly sick at my stomach.

"Come on, let’s eat the chicken before it gets cold."

I followed her into the kitchen and we sat at the table. I only picked at my food. I kept thinking about that guy smiling at me. I took nearly and hour, but I managed to finish my dinner. I worked on homework after dinner, then Mom brought out her comb and brush and had me work with her hair. Teasing isn’t a easy as she makes it look. I’d get it the way I thought it should be and then when I tried to make it look like something other than Phyllis Diller, it’d go all flat. After a few tries, she suggested that I spray it lightly with hair spray before I shaped it. I tried it and could then manage a bit. She still made it look easy. When I complained, she assured me that I’d get better with practice.

We broke off about 9:30. "You’d better get a shower, before you go to bed. That way your hair won’t look like you stuck your finger in a light socket come morning."

I headed for the bathroom. "Remember to put your underpants in the hamper. Your bra and slip can be worn again, but you’ll want to wear clean panties tomorrow. And hang up your dress."

"How odd is that? Not many mothers say that to their sons."

That night, I thought about the nighties and decided I’d see just what they felt like. I wore the blue baby-dolls to bed.

The next day after school, things were more normal. At least there was the smell of a roast in the oven when I came in. That’s always a good sign.

"Dinner will be in about an hour, hon, why don’t you get changed. That way, we can get the pictures while the light’s still good."

Down the hall I went. In my room, I was surprised to see some clothes laid out for me. It was the blue, sleeveless shift. A little dressy I thought. The slip she chose today was really lacy and the bra a bit more padded. The panties were lacy and silky as well. Next to it was another pair of tights. "No, not tights." The package said "Little Leggs.’" Mom got me nylons. The shoes were black flats; they looked new. I guess Jenna didn’t have many places to wear dressy shoes.

I stripped and put on the panties and then the pantyhose. I followed that with the bra and slip. It still was exciting. The feel of everything gave me a real charge. "I might just be sorry when we’re through taking pictures. A guy could get used to this. Whoa, what a strange thought. This is the kind of thing a girl is supposed to get used to, not a guy."

I slipped the dress over my head and struggled with the zipper. "When I tried this on Sunday Jenna zipped if for me. I’ll just have to leave the zipper undone and have Mom zip it for me. Now there’s an ironic twist. How many zippers have I zipped for her?" The answer was quite a few. What with Dad on the road so much, I started as soon as I knew how zippers worked. At first I had to climb up on a chair to do it.

In the bathroom, I worked with my hair. It didn’t turn out quite as good as Mom had done, but it was passable. I found Mom’s lipstick on the counter along with her blush. I guess she left them out for me. I touched the blush lightly to my cheek. "Less is more." I remembered her saying. A little lipstick and I was ready, well, except for the zipper.

"Mom, can you do up my zipper?" I said turning around.

"Sure honey… There! Dinner’s ready, let’s eat."

After dinner, Mom got out the camera and did three pictures outside and three inside. I posed on the back porch, and in the yard. I was really shaky about the yard. It’s not like our yard was private or anything. There was an elderly lady, Mrs. Larson, on one side and a young couple, the Johnson’s, on the other. Mom assured me that the couple didn’t get home until late in the evening and the other lady didn’t see that well. If she looked out and saw me, she’d just think I was a girl.

"Well, you’d better get started on your homework. You can change later." Mom said, putting the camera away.

I was until about 8:30 with my homework. I caught an hour of television and went to bed. I opted for the baby-dolls again.

And so it went for the week. Each night after school I’d get dressed in an outfit that Mom would lay out and we’d have dinner. Then we’d take pictures, I’d do my home work and go to bed. Each night, I wore a nightie of some sort. On Friday Mom suggested that I get dressed up as soon as I got up and we could get the pictures out of the way early. So as soon as I got up, I put on the sundress I had finished up the day in Sunday.

"Hi Joan." Mom had been calling me that all week. "Wanna help get breakfast?" She asked as I came into the kitchen.

"Sure, what are we having?"

"How about scrambled eggs and ham?"

"Sounds good to me."

"Fine, you whip the eggs and I’ll chop the ham."

I got the eggs out of the fridge and cracked a half a dozen in a bowl. Using a wire whip, just like Mom taught me, I whipped them until they were the color of lemons. I poured in a shell-full of milk for each egg and whipped them again. Mom had whacked off a couple of big chunks of ham and had them pretty much chopped when I was done. I got out a skillet for her then sat the table. While she scrambled the eggs, I started toast. Before I knew it, we were sitting down to eat. I liked helping with breakfast. It sure tasted good that morning. After we did the dishes, it was time for pictures.

"You know, the Johnson’s will be home today. How about we take the outside pictures someplace else?"

"Where?"

"I thought we could go down by the river. You know where the houseboats used to be. The playground equipment is still there."

"I don’t know. How would I get there? I don’t want anyone to see me."

"You could get in the car while the garage is still closed. I’ll open the door and back the car out and off we go. While the Johnson's are home, I seriously doubt they are anywhere near the front of the house."

I wasn’t too sure about that, but the prospect of going out like this was both exciting and frightening in nearly equal portions. I have to admit, when I saw how good I could look and as I became comfortable in dresses, the thought did occur to me. I guess the exciting part must have outweighed the frightening just enough to tip the scales.

"If you’re sure I can get away from here without any one seeing."

"I’m sure."

"We’ll go straight there and straight back."

"Well, I’ll have to follow the roads." She teased.

"You know what I mean."

"Yes, no unnecessary side trips."

So that’s how I found myself in a car headed across town. The houseboats had been moved because the waterway was crowded with commercial traffic. But the playground equipment was set in concrete so it was still there. Mom and I knew about it because someone where she worked used to live there.

We got to the parking lot. It seemed rather forlorn. But it was perfect for our purposes. I posed on all apparatus. I was on the slide; the swing and Mom sat on one end of the teeter-totter and took my picture while I was up in the air. We walked along the river and Mom got some pictures with the river in the background. Another with me leaning against a tree. She took more then the usual number of pictures.

On the way home, we got a flat tire. Mom had no choice. We limped into a service station near a shopping center.

"Mom, what am I going to do? I’m afraid if I just stand around here, someone will figure out I’m not a girl."

"Let me talk to them and see what we can do."

She got out and talked to the station manager. After a few minutes, she came back to the car.

"Look it’s going to be about an hour before they can even start on it. The manager suggested that I take my daughter to see a move at the mall cinema."

"In the mall?"

"Well, it’s that, or we can stand around here and have people stare at us. At least in the mall, everyone will have something else to do and you won’t be the sole thing to look at."

"Well, OK, if we go to a movie, it’ll be dark."

I slide out of the car with my heart pounding. I think my chest was shaking with each beat. Mom smiled and took my elbow. We walked our way to the corner, crossed the street and into the mall. My eyes were furiously scanning the crowd, looking for any sign the some one was noticing anything strange. I don’t think I breathed more then twice the whole time. Much to my surprise, everyone was too self-occupied to even take a second glance at the mother and her daughter walking through the mall.

The line at the box-office was short, thankfully. But even at that I was shaking like a leaf at being in such close quarters with other people. There was one other mother there with her daughter, about six years old. They were in the other line. She kept looking at me. "She knows. I know she knows." It was evident in her eyes. Mom bought the ticket and we went on in. She never said anything, but I know she knew. Some how she saw whatever there was about me that no one else saw that identified me as a boy in a dress. I waited in a relatively quite spot while Mom bought popcorn and drinks for us. We saw "A Bug’s Life." I don’t think I’d have chosen that one myself, but it was kind of good. I mean, I’ve seen movies that I’ve enjoyed less.

We left the movie and started back toward the service station when my stomach growled at me. Mom heard it.

"We kind of blew our lunchtime didn’t we."

I spotted a clock it was 1:30. We normally had lunch not later the 12:30 on Saturday. "Yeah, I can hardly wait."

When we got back to the station, the car was still on the rack. The mechanic came out and talked to Mom. I hung back just a little.

"Ma’am, bad news. Your rim isn’t in good enough shape to take a new tire. It’ll have to be replaced. I could put your spare on or I can have another rim here in about forty-five minutes. Either way, you’ll need to take care of it before you drive too far. Your spare is one of those compact spares. It’ll make your car handle funny."

Without even looking my way Mom made her decision. "Well, if it has to be replaced, we might just as well do it now. We were just thinking of lunch anyway." She turned toward me. "I see a Shari’s across the parking lot. We might just as well go get something to eat."

With that, she turned and walked back past me; I turned and followed. I was totally dismayed. I couldn’t believe it. "Mom," I caught up with her, "I can’t go into a restaurant dressed like this!" I hissed at her."

"Why not? You look great just like any other nine year old girl."

"But I’m not a girl. I just look like one."

"Well, if you don’t tell anyone, they’ll never know."

"But what if the do figure it out. I mean I could do something dumb and give it all away."

"Well then, you’ll just have to be careful. Look, I’ll tell you what. I know the kind of thing you like; I’ll pick something and order for you. All you have to do is sit there and look pretty, eat slowly and I’ll do all the rest."

"But…"

"Look, our other choice is to stand around the service station for forty-five minutes. It’ll be OK, you’ll see."

We went inside and just what I was afraid of, happened. There were already people waiting for a table. I stood nervously next to Mom, looking down as she gave her name. We sat on the little bench by the door. I tried to look like a piece of furniture. My knees were clamped together so tight the color was receding. I know, because I was looking straight at them. I didn’t want any eye contact with anyone. While we waited, another family came in. They had two little girls. They sat on the bench opposite. Only there wasn’t enough room for them all so they told the oldest girl, about six years old, to sit next to me since there was room there. She climbed right up on the seat and smiled up at me.

"My name is Sally, what’s your name?" She said in a friendly voice that couldn’t be ignored.

"Jo… j… Joan." I managed, sounding like I had speech impediment.

"I’m six." She said proudly, "How old are you?" The little twit was making conversation. Didn’t her parents ever tell her not to talk to strangers?

I took a breath, trying to calm myself. "Nine." I managed in nearly a normal tone.

"School’s almost over this year, I’m gonna be in first grade next year."

"That’s nice." I could hear my mother, smirking ever so softly. I glanced at her and she looked away, suddenly interested in some thing out the distant window.

"I go to King school. What school do you go to?" She was full of questions.

"Do all little kids talk this much?" I thought. "I go to Jackson." I said, making a real effort to hold my voice steady.

"You’re pretty." She said.

That took me by surprise. For the first time, I really looked at her. She was really cute and had on the most darling dress. "Darling? Now there’s a word I didn’t think I’d ever use in a sentence."

"You’re pretty too, and I like your dress." I returned the complement.

"I like yours too."

"Oh boy, now I’m leading the conversation." I felt really awkward. I just couldn’t ignore her now that we had been talking, but I didn’t really want to talk to her and I didn’t know what to say.

"Linda, party of two." A nicely dress woman said and my mother stood up. "Whew."

"Bye." Sally said.

"Bye."

The lady showed us to a table and asked if Mom wanted any coffee. She did. I shook my head when asked if I wanted anything right then.

"You handled yourself very well back there." Mom said smiling at me.

"Why was she so talkative?" I asked.

"Some little girls are just naturally friendly."

"Mom, this is really scary. I thought I’d die when that little girl started talking to me."

"Well, relax. You’re doing fine. Let’s order." She picked up a menu and started perusing it. I picked up mine. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to eat. My stomach was all butterflies. Mom ordered me soup and half a sandwich with raspberry iced tea and she had a cob salad. All in all, we spent about an hours time. As we were getting ready to go, disaster struck. I had to go to the bathroom.

"Mom, what’ll I do? I have to go."

"I should powder my nose before we go too."

She stopped long enough to pay the bill and, taking my elbow, she guided me right into the women’s restroom. It was like some kind of dream. My mother was taking me right into the women’s room. "What if there’s someone in there?" My mind raced. Before I could react, I was there. It wasn’t like I expected. It looked pretty much like any other restroom, only it was a little bigger. It had a baby changing station attached to one wall and there were two stalls and no urinal. Mom gestured towards a stall said softly. "Sit." I went in and hiking my dress and pulling my tights and panties down I sat. I was in the middle of relieving myself when, to my horror, I realized, "My Mom – my own Mom – is in the stall next to me." I didn’t want to think about what she was doing in there.

I was through before she was and I was at the sink washing my hands when she came out. She washed her hands. I thought we would leave but Mom had other ideas. She opened her purse and got out her lipstick and the light lipstick she had put on me. She took my chin in her hand and reapplied lipstick to my lips.

"You should always put more lipstick on after eating." She said turning her attention to her own. As she was putting lipstick on an elderly woman came in, looked at us and nodded then went straight into a stall.

Finally, we reached the relative safety of the parking lot. Walking back to the station I could see our car parked along side. That was a relief. I was half afraid that something else would go wrong and we’d have to spend more time with me out in public dressed like a girl. "I’m never going out of the house in a dress again!"

Back in the car we were finally on our way home. My body was kind of tingling all over and I felt a little lightheaded. I began to giggle softly.

"What’s so funny." Mom asked.

"I don’t know. I just feel like giggling." I smiled. "It’s over. We’re finally going home. I can breath again."

"Too much excitement?"

"Yeah, sort of. I’m just glad it’s over. It is over, isn’t it?"

"As soon as we get home." She said.

We were really just a few blocks from home. Mom pulled into the driveway and got out to open the garage. Inside, I waited until she closed the door before we went inside.

"Well, you’ve had quite an adventure today." I nodded. "Looking back on it, what did you think about it?"

"Well, from the time we had the flat tire until we were in the car again, I was scared to death."

"What about when you were in the movie?"

"Oh, I guess I kind of forgot about it then."

"What was the scariest part of the day?"

"Well, I’m not sure. It was either when that little girl insisted on talking to me or when we went into the ladies room." To my amazement I was smiling when I said this. It was like telling someone about a great vacation.

"Well," she said, "to spite all your fear, nothing bad happened, did it?"

"No, I guess not."

"Looking at you now, I think you had a good time. Kind of like riding a roller coaster. Scary, but fun."

"Yeah, that’s a good way to put it. Every time I thought there would be nothing more be scared of, the was something." I smiled.

"Why don’t you relax and watch some TV. I’ve got some work to do in the kitchen."

I did just that. I didn’t change clothes, I sat on the couch and watched television. Dinnertime came and I was still "Joan." I helped set the table and after, I helped clean up. After dinner, did some reading. At bedtime, I opted for a long nightie. As I lay in bed, I wondered about sleeping in nightgowns. I mean, I knew why I was wearing dresses, Mom wanted pictures, buy why sleep in nightgowns. Mom didn’t even know I was sleeping in them. What’s more, I didn’t really want her to know.

In the morning, I got up as soon as I woke up and quickly stripped out of my nightgown. Donning my robe, I headed for the shower. Doing the girl thing with my hair meant that I had to wash it every morning. I decided that if I was going to wash it every day, then I should use Mom’s shampoo and conditioner instead of the Ivory bar soap that I usually used. Mom told me once that she used the special shampoo and conditioner because washing her hair every day, it needed the added protection offered.

When I got back to my room, I found Mom had laid out what she expected me to wear that day. The top was a white sleeveless shell in a really fine cable knit and instead of skirt, there was a thing they had called a skort. I hadn’t worn that at Aunt Judy’s. I guess that Mom thought that since it was there, she would like a picture of me in it. The skort was a pair of shorts that were about mid-thigh with a panel of fabric in front and another in back so that when you had it on, it looked like a mini-skirt that was slit on either side all the way to the hip. But, you could see the shorts, so you could tell it wasn’t indecent. She laid out some anklets and a pair of Keds. I hadn’t worn the Keds either. Of course there were panties and a bra as well.

Once dressed, I joined Mom in the kitchen and at the breakfast she had made. After cleaning up the dishes, Mom asked about today’s picture taking.

"You know," she said. "we still have the same problem today that we had yesterday about the neighbors."

"Yeah, I know." I said nervously.

"Do you think you could stand another trip like yesterday."

"I don’t know. I mean, what with the flat tire and ruined rim I got a lot more exposure then I wanted." I could feel some of the excitement building inside of me, just thinking about what we did yesterday.

"Well, it’s not likely that we would have flat tire again."

"Where would we go?"

"That’s a problem. I was thinking that maybe we could pack a picnic lunch and go down to the beach. It’s only an hour and a half drive to that little beach that I like. You know the one south of Depot Bay that almost no one knows about."

"Yeah." I thought about it the beach she was talking about we discovered one year when everywhere was over run in the height of the summer. You had to be looking to see it from the highway and then you had to be creative about how you got down to it. There really wasn’t a road or even an organized trail. But it was a nice beach. It was just perfect for swimming or just wading.

"What do you think? Would you feel safe there?"

"Yeah, that would be OK."

Right away, Mom and I began packing a lunch. She boiled some eggs and made egg salad sandwiches. I got out the cooler and the blue ice. We ended up with a pretty good lunch.

"I’ll run into that little store on the highway and get some cold drinks. You can just wait in the car." She told me.

We were off in about an hour from making the decision. I couldn’t believe it. I was outside, in the real world twice in as many day wearing girls clothes. "I must be crazy. Didn’t I swear just yesterday, that I’d never go out of the house in a dress again?"

Mom pulled into the little parking lot. Thankfully she parked way down to the end of the building. Anyone coming while she was in the store would choose a spot closer to the door. It seemed like forever before she came back. Three cars had gone by and one did stop. She popped the trunk and put the drinks in the cooler and we were on our way again. I realized as we traveled down the highway, I had been excited when that car pulled in to the store, scared to death, but excited. There was something about the chance of being caught that I liked. "What was it? Why would I want to be caught?" I didn’t really; I just liked the chance that I would.

Mom pulled out and headed on down the road. I found myself looking forward to walking on the beach. Some how I wasn’t frightened like I had been when we went to the old houseboat slip to take pictures by the river. Mom made the turn south when she reached to coast highway. I knew it wouldn’t be long, Depot Bay was just down the road. Before I could even think about it, we were going through the town. A few more miles and I could see the beach we were headed for.

Mom found a place to park and we got out of the car. This time, there was no apreheancion. After all, it wasn’t like in town; there weren’t many people even likely to drive by or even if they did, notice the beach. And if the noticed they wouldn’t know how to get down there. We only knew because I had insisted on finding a way and Mom had relented because it was a lazy afternoon.

We picked our way around the bric-a-brac of rock placed there to prevent erosion and down the steep slope covered by scrub pine. Angling our way, first one way then the other, we soon broke out on the pristine beach. The reason I liked this beach was because there was none of the litter that you see on the popular beaches. With so few people, if any who knew how to get down here, it just didn’t happen. Each time we came, I could imagine that Mom and I were the only white men to have ever walked this particular stretch of sand. We walked the beach for a bit and then Mom began taking pictures. Candid shots at first. She just caught me being natural, doing what I always do at the beach. It was noon already and getting warm, unseasonably warm for early spring.

"Want to get lunch?" Mom asked.

"Yeah, all this walking around is making me hungry."

When we got back to the car, according to the thermometer Mom kept on the wind-wing, it was 75 outside the car and over 100 inside.

"Let’s find some shade to eat in." Mom offered starting the car.

On down the coast there was a lookout that offered a view out from under some Sidka spruce. There were three widely spaced picnic tables. We took the first one because it offered the best shade. We sat, enjoying the breeze off the ocean and ate our sandwiches and drank the pop that Mom bought at the store. From our vantagepoint, we could see one of the more popular beaches and there were hordes of people splashing in the surf. I watched them wistfully. Mom followed my gaze.

"It’s a perfect day for swimming." She said.

"Yeah, it’s great."

"You know, there was a swimsuit in the things that Jenna discarded."

"Really?" I said. Feeling a little mischievous, I continued. "Too bad we didn’t bring it, I want to swim so bad, I’d put it on."

Mom reached into the big canvas bag that she always carried to the beach. "I did bring it." She said, holding it up. It was blue print with wide straps that crossed over the back and buttoned on opposite side and it had a little skirt that just covered crotch. I swallowed hard. "There’s a restroom right over there. You could change there." She smiled.

I could feel my breath shorten as I looked at the swimsuit. Mom just smiled at me and held it out. I took it from her in a dream state and walked to the restroom. It was a single occupancy unit, so I wasn’t afraid the anyone would see me change. Inside, I stripped and pulled the suit up. It took a bit to get the buttons done on the straps, but I managed. I pulled the shell back on top of the suit. There wasn’t a mirror, but I imagined the suit looked like a mini-skirt.

It took a few minutes, but I finally I wrapped my lingerie in my skort and opened the door. Nervously, I walked over to the table, where Mom was finishing off her pop.

"You look good, but you need a little help upstairs." She grinned. Fishing in her bag, she came up with two foam rubber things that were teardrop shaped and flat, only about a half an inch thick. She quickly pulled my top up and stuffed them down front of my suit. When my top was back in place, I looked and there was a noticeable bust line. Not like Dolly Parton, but it was there.

We got back in the car and made our way back to the beach. In a few short minutes, I was on the sand looking out at the waves. They were inviting. "Go ahead." Mom said. I took off my Keds and socks. Pulling off my top, I trotted into the surf. As the waves splashed around my legs, I forgot, for a time, that I was wearing a girls suit. I went deeper into the water and the wave began break over my waist. I could feel the extra pull at the skirt. That some how excited me. I big wave came and hit me in the chest. The swimsuit clung to me and made me aware of the of the suit even more. Mom motioned me in; so, reluctantly I waded back into the dry sand. She handed me a towel.

"It’s getting late. You need to dry out before we go. Why don’t lay in the sun for a while. I wondered why she had lugged her big bag down from the car. I could see that she had spread a blanket out, so I laid on it and began to enjoy the warmth. I hadn’t noticed the cold, but I think I had been numb because the sun sure felt good.

I started out on my stomach and nearly fell asleep. After a time, I rolled over on my back and I was vaguely aware of Mom standing over me with a camera. It was great, just laying there soaking up the sun. I’m not sure just how long we were there, but finally Mom informed me it was time to go.

I put my top back on and helped Mom shake out and fold the blanket. After packing it into her bag, we made our way up the car. It was late, the sun was low in the sky as we turned for home. It had been a great day. I haven’t enjoyed a day with Mom more since I was five. I was so at ease that when we got home, I jumped out of the car and opened the garage door, just as I would have if I had been dressed normally. I was inside before I realized what I had done.

"You’d better change out of your swimsuit and get it into the wash. You need to get the salt out of it."

My swimsuit? Well, I guess it wasn’t Jenna’s any more. It’s only mine for a while. In a week or so, we’ll take it to Goodwill. I went to my room and stripped out of the suit and put on some clean panties and bra. I was standing looking into my closet before I realized I was putting on girls clothes when I didn’t need to. I mean, Mom had all her pictures for the day. Oh well, I've got the underwear on already. I put on the outfit I had worn last Friday. It was really comfortable. It was white turtle neck sweater made of the softest yarn I’ve ever felt – I’ll miss this when we get rid of these clothes – and knee length full skirt that swished around me as I walked. "This is what heaven must be like."

I went into the kitchen and started helping Mom with dinner. She looked up, looked me up and down in a quick glance and smiled a pleasant, knowing smile and didn’t say anything. I know she thought I was strange, heck I thought I was strange, but somehow, it seemed to please her.

That night, after a shower, I was in the bathroom wearing my (my?) waltz length nightgown brushing out my hair when Mom walked right in. She stopped, looked me up and down. "Oh, I’m sorry sweetie, I though you were already in bed."

"I’m… I’m… I…"

"That’s OK honey, I can wait, take your time." She smiled.

I just stood there gasping and hoping my heart would start beating before I passed out. Mom turned and left smiling. I hung onto the counter while my body functions returned to normal. I left my hair like it was and went to bed. I nearly changed out of the nightgown, but, in the end, I decided to leave it on.

Getting dressed in the morning was a trip. I had clean panties on and was fastening my bra when it occurred to me that wearing a bra, even a training bra to school wasn’t a real great idea for a boy. I took the bra off and after a moments hesitation, I left the panties on. I mean, I’d been wearing them since Friday. They seemed natural.

This week was a carbon copy of the one before. Every evening I’d come right home from school, slip into whatever outfit that Mom had laid out for me, pose for some pictures inside and out, eat dinner, help clean up, do my homework at the kitchen table and spend and hour or two watching television with Mom. She never did say anything about catching me in the nightgown, so I just kept wearing them. (I discovered that wearing panties to school made it easier to change. Just one less thing to do.)

When this whole thing started, I thought that there’d be a dozen days of wearing one outfit a day. That should have been two each Monday through Friday and a weekend in-between. But Mom managed to come up with a couple of different combinations. So… on the second weekend, Mom still had two more outfits for me to wear. Of course, by then, I hadn’t worn my boy underwear in over a week nor my own pajamas. I was so used to the whole thing that I didn’t even think about it, I just put on whatever Mom laid out, like it was the most normal thing in the world. It was that Friday, after I came home from school and changed, that Mom suggested the inevitable.

"Honey, there are still two more outfits to get pictures of you in. Do you want to go somewhere tomorrow and Sunday? That would get it over with it, or do you want to wait for Monday and Tuesday? I’d like just to go out and get it done. What do you think?"

"Well, where would we go?"

"Oh, I don’t know. I was thinking maybe we could find a couple of places for picnics. You know someplace where not a lot of people would be around and those who were wouldn’t know you."

"I guess that would be alright."

"I know, why don’t I see if I can find us a motel on the south coast?"

"A motel? Wouldn’t that be kind of tough to do? I mean, if you check in with your son, and then they see me looking like your daughter?"

"Weeelll, I kind of thought I could check in with my daughter."

"You mean, spend the whole weekend as your daughter?"

"Well, you did last weekend."

"But… but I’d be out were everyone could see me."

"Like maybe you weren’t last weekend? I seem to remember a trip to the movies and lunch at Shari’s on Saturday and a picnic at a rest area along 101 on Sunday. As far as everyone seeing you, as I remember you carried on a long conversation with a little girl and went to the ladies restroom with me. Now just what do you think might happen this weekend that didn’t happen last weekend?"

I thought about it. I wanted to veto the idea, but just thinking about it, I could feel my pulse rise. I knew I would regret it, but I said, "Oh, alright. Let’s do it."

"Great, I hoped you’d agree. I’ve already packed a bag for you and we have reservations at the Wayside Inn. If we leave right now, we can be there by seven."

I followed her out to the garage and climbed into the car, knowing that I’d be out of the house for the third time in a dress. We were on the highway by 4:00. We were head through Lincoln City about 5:00

"I’m hungry. How about you?" Mom asked.

"I could eat."

What say we stop a Mo’s for some clam chowder? They’re famous for it."

"Sounds good. I love clam chowder."

I regretted agreeing before I was through speaking. I hadn’t given any thought to how I was dressed. Girls clothes just seemed too natural to take them into account. It was only a couple of minutes later that Mom pulled into the lot and I found myself following her in.

I was a bundle of nerves. How do I get myself into these things? The receptionist seated us at a window table. We had a great view of Taft bay. There was a guy wind surfing. He put on quite a show. The chowder was great, and no one blinked an eye. Well, there was a boy, just a few tables away. He kept looking at me. At my legs anyway. My skirt, while full, was a little on the short side. He even went so far as to drop his spoon. Once I noticed him, I could hardly relax. I regretted every moment I ever spent trying to see up a girls skirt.

We were back on the road by 5:45 and were only fifteen minutes late getting to the motel. I waited in the car for Mom to register. The Wayside Inn was an older motel. The kind of place you see in old movies. It wasn’t part of a chain or anything. I think the word for it is rustic. There were about a dozen free standing cabins. I couldn’t see the ocean, but I could hear the surf faintly in the distance. Mom came out, keys in hand and we drove down to the end cabin.

Inside there were two bedrooms, a small sitting room with a Franklin stove and small, but adequate kitchen. But most impressive of all was the view. The motel was on a bluff and the ocean was everywhere. After we stowed our bags in the bedrooms, we went out on the edge of the bluff to get a better look, if that was possible. Once there, I could see that there was a stairway down to the beach, about at fifty foot decent. The breeze was on shore, brisk and a little on the cool side. It tickled my legs and swirled my skirt around my knees. I could feel it trying to creep up my thighs. I leaned against the railing and took in the panorama. I had heard before that you could see the curvature of the earth when looking out to sea, but this was the first time that I had really noticed. The horizon straight out from me did seem to be significantly higher then it did on either the right or the left. It was hard to believe that it was only 48 miles away, it seemed to go on forever.

Something caught my eye and I turned to see Mom, camera in hand. "Smile," she said. I cocked my head and gave her a wry smile. What was with her and that camera? I’m sure that she already had enough pictures to fill several albums. I guess I should have elected to wear the clothes in a single day, just as I did at Aunt Judy’s.

"We still have a couple of hours daylight left. Let’s go down on the beach." Mom suggested.

"OK."

She turned and nearly ran to the top of the stairs. By the time I got there, she was over half way down. I wasn’t in that big a hurry. I looked up as I descended. Mom, her ever present camera to her eye, was snapping pictures of my as I walked down.

The beach was not overly populated, though a few people were there. We started down the beach, away from the largest of the groups. Again, I walked, picked up shells and generally explored the beach. Mom, of course, took pictures.

As the sun got low, we headed back for the stairs. When we reached the top, the sky was golden; the sun an orange ball just inches from the horizon. At Mom’s insistence I posed at the railing and she snapped some pictures of me in silhouette. Just as she was taking the last of them, a young family came up the stairs. The mother smiled at my mother. I think they connected in some strange way; the young Mom was carrying a camera too.

Inside, Mom suggested that we get ready for be and watch some cable television. In my room, I put my suitcase on the little stand in the closet. I took out the other blouse and skirt, as well as the dress and hung them in the closet. I was surprised to see that Mom had packed a nightgown for me and the baby dolls and no regular PJ's at all. Not even the girls pajamas. Oh well, I guess she expects me to be her daughter even at night. After all, it won’t be the first time she saw me in a nightgown.

Nervously, I don’t really know why I should feel nervous, I went and joined Mom. She had a fire going in the Franklin stove. She looked up and smiled at me when I came in. The TV was on and a movie was just starting. I sat on the easy chair, tucking my legs under me. Don’t ask me why, it just seemed like it was the thing to do. Mom got out some Jiffy Pop and we had popcorn. Then it happened. A flash went off and Mom had a picture of me in a nightgown. I was thankful that that it was at least a long gown. I could have been wearing the baby dolls.

In the morning, we lazed around in our nightgowns and had a light breakfast. Then we hit the beach with me in one of the last two outfits. Mom found some driftwood to pose me next to and I took of my shoes and waded across a creek. You might know what Mom was doing. Hint: click click.

After lunch, Mom persuaded me to put on the swimsuit for some more pictures of me in the surf. OK, so it didn’t really take much persuading. It was warm and I wanted to play in the ocean. What really did bother me, was that there were people out and about when we went down to the beach. In all, a couple of dozen people saw me, some up close. I guess I was becoming immune to worrying about what people would think if they saw me. I know I was getting used to skirts flowing around my legs. I actually liked it. Mom noticed that I didn’t go out of my way to avoid people like I had before. We were coming back to the room for lunch when Mom got an idea.

"I feel like ice cream. What say we head for the local Dairy Queen?"

Seemed like every coastal town had one. I had to admit it had been a long time since I’d had a Banana Split. Thinking with my stomach, rather then my head, I said. "OK."

Next thing I knew, I had changed and we were in the car heading for the DQ. When we got there, I just walked right in as if it were the most normal thing going. We had burgers and fries then finished up with ice cream deserts. Mom had a Peanut Buster Parfait and I had that Banana Split. When we were through, instead of getting right back in the car, Mom turned to walk down the main street, where all the shops were.

"I need to walk off all that ice cream." She told me.

We sauntered along window-shopping. There were all kinds of shops. One was one of those junk shops. Second hand store, I think is the polite term. You know, "One man’s junk is another mans treasure." Mom went in. I should have known. She’s a sucker for that kind of shop. There weren’t many people there, so I felt comfortable going in. We browsed. I found some neat things, but nothing I wanted to buy. Mom on the other hand, did; she bought several knickknacks.

On down the street we went. Mom wasn’t going to be satisfied until she had seen every shop on the street. The next shop to catch her eye was a beach wear shop. Again, not many people in the store, so I followed her in. There were some really cute things. I found my self going up and down the racks of girls clothes looking at sundresses. Every now and then, I find one that especially took my eye and I’d take it off the rack and hold it up. I was lost in my own world. I didn’t know what Mom was doing. One of the dresses, I held up to me to check the hem length. Out of nowhere, the sales clerk was there.

"Would you like to try that on, honey?"

My head snapped around and I looked up at her. I looked for Mom. She was just down the rack. "Go ahead Joan. I’d like to see you in it." She said.

"Right this way, sweetheart." The sales clerk showed me the way to the fitting rooms. Mom was right behind with three of the other dresses I had looked at.

"Here, take these as well."

I found myself in the fitting room changing into the dresses. I didn’t remember evening saying I wanted to try on. I didn’t even say anything, yet here I was. This is such a thrill. The first one on, I went out to show Mom.

"Oh, that is nice on you." She enthused. "Turn around for me." I complied. "I love it. Go try on the others.

Back in the fitting room, I carefully hung the dress back on its’ hanger and put on the next one. Back out for a repeat performance. This went on until I had tried on all four dresses. The sales clerk was right there commenting on just how good I looked in them. When I was done, I brought out the dresses and gave them to the sales clerk.

"You do know that our entire line of girls clothes are half price?" She asked Mom.

"Oh really? The price is already very good. Why that’s like buying one and getting another free."

To my complete surprise, Mom actually bought two. "What in the world? …" Outside, Mom turned on down the block toward the other stores.

"Mom," I hissed. "why did you buy those dresses?"

"Sweetheart, they were half price. That’s a great buy! I just couldn’t pass them up."

"But Mom, when will I ever wear them?"

"Well, I would imagine lots of times. This won’t be the last time we come to the beach. Summer’s coming you know."

"But Mom, the next time we come to the beach, I’ll be John, not Joan."

"Oh, …well, …I guess I just got carried away. You know, I’ve never had a daughter to go shopping with before."

"Maybe you could just take them back."

"I don’t think so. I saw a sign which said, ‘No Return on Sale Items.’ We’re stuck with them." She looked at me and touched my shoulder tenderly. "Maybe I could persuade you to wear them sometimes, just so we could remember this weekend and our ‘mother, daughter’ shopping trip."

"You want me to wear those dresses sometime?" I stammered.

"Well, it was just a thought." She looked so sad you'd have thought that her best friend had just moved away.

"How often would I have to wear them, and where?"

"OH, you wouldn’t have to wear them. But you know, just once in a while around the house…" She said quickly. "or… maybe back here sometime?" She continued softly.

"I … well, maybe around the house, but I’m not sure about coming back here."

"Well, I just thought, this is such a nice beach and I’d like to come back sometime. And, well, everybody at the motel and now in town thinks you’re a girl… I mean, what would it hurt?"

"I’ll think about it. But I can tell you right now I’m not that up on the idea."

Mom swept into her arms for a big hug. I could tell I had made her very happy. After poking around a couple of more shops, we head back to the motel. In one of the shops, Mom almost bought me a new swimsuit. But I saw the look in her eye and managed to quietly persuade her not to.

It was a perfect afternoon. When we got back, Mom suggested that I put on one of my new dresses and let her take some pictures. The first set was out by the railing. That young family came by again.

"I can see you’re like me, I have to have pictures of everything." The mother told Mom.

"Could you do me a favor? I’d like a picture of me and my daughter together. Would mind taking it for me?"

"No, not at all. I know, I’ll take a couple of you and your daughter and then you can take some of us."

"I’d be glad too." Mom assured her.

Mom posed with me for two pictures and then took three of them. We all went down on the beach together. The two little boys seemed to gravitate to me. They were four and six. "Your pretty." The older one said.

"No, I’m not, not really." I told him, deeply embarrassed that he’d say something like that.

"I think you are."

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." I informed him.

"I think you’re pretty too." The four-year-old said.

"Thank you." I blushed.

Fortunately, they were planning on parking on the beach and we were out for a walk. We walked and Mom took more pictures. It was really restful. The breeze was light, just enough to swirl my dress around my legs, never letting be forget what I was wearing. It was intoxicating.

That evening, I helped Mom prepare dinner in the motel. We ate out on the patio and watched the sun go down. Inside, Mom thought it we should get ready for bed and watch some more television.

"Why don’t you wear the baby dolls tonight?" She suggested as I headed into my room.

"OK." I thought. "If she wants baby dolls, it’s baby dolls she’ll get." I put them on and curled up on the couch with the remote in my hand. Some time later, – FLASH – Mom had another candid shot of me in girls sleepwear. "Oh well. What’s one more?"

Sunday, I wore my other new dress and we got the requisite number of pictures. After lunch, we packed up and headed home. We arrived in town mid-afternoon. Mom stopped by the local pharmacy just long enough to run in and drop off her, now large bag of exposed fill at the one-hour finishing counter. I don’t really understand just why she needed to rush the pictures.

When we got home, I did it again. Without thinking, I just got out and opened the garage door. Once inside, I thought of just how foolish that was. I thought about it and decided that I was pretty sure that no one had seen me. Just as I was unpacking, I heard the phone ring. When I came back out, Mom was hanging it up.

"That was your Aunt Judy. She wants us to come over for a barbecue next weekend. Kind of a house warming. They’re all settled in and want to thank us for all the help in moving."

"That’ll be cool." I agreed.

After dinner, Mom went out for a little bit. When she came back, she had a new photo album and a sack of finished photos from the pharmacy. We spent the evening mounting the pictures in the album. I was amazed. She had over sixty pictures. I had been right, there were more then would fit in the album. Most of them were candid shots I never knew she took. I don’t mean to brag, but I looked pretty good in some of them. As we flipped through the finished product, Mom hugged me and kissed me on top of my head several times. At the end of the book, we looked at the pictures from this weekend.

"That was sure a nice beach. I had fun there. I’d like to go there again sometime, wouldn’t you, Joan?"

"Oh yeah, it was lots of fun. I’d like to go again." It wasn’t until later that I realized that I had agreed to go to the beach where everyone knew me as Joan and that it was Joan Mom suggested the going again to.

The rest of the week was just like any other week. I went to school everyday. The only thing different was that I wore panties a lot and I continued to sleep in nightgowns, not that I let Mom know. I figured I liked sleeping in them and that they’d be gone as soon as Mom remembered we had to take them to Goodwill. Just in case, I hid a couple of pair of panties, a bra and a nightgown. I also put my two new dresses inside my raincoat. It was just long enough to hide them. Just so I’d have a little supply when the inevitable happened.

"Why would I want to hide this stuff? I mean, aren’t I going to give this all up? I mean, I just did it to please Mom."

The next weekend came around a usual and we headed over to Aunt Judy’s just after lunch. Mom put together her famous potato salad. I was assigned to guard it on the way over. I was really looking forward to the barbecue. I love Mom’s potato salad. We found the house OK, because Mom had been there already. I spotted it because of Aunt Judy’s car in the driveway.

The girls came running out as we pulled up. The house was a small older home. The kind of thing they used to call a bungalow. It had a fair sized yard, very comparable to ours. I got out, carefully balancing the salad. It was heavier this time then I remembered it.

"Hi Joan, Aunt Linda!" Jenna called.

"Hi girls." Mom replied.

Aunt Judy stepped out the door. "Hi Linda, hi John, come on in. Have you had lunch?"

"Hi Judy, yes we have. Come on John. We need to get the potato salad into the fridge."

We went inside, the girls were chattering about their new home. I was ushered to their room. It was a little bit bigger then mine and had a pair of twin bed. I never realized it before, but the girls beds were twin beds. They only had one bathroom in the hall, like we did, and another half bath in their mothers room. Out back, they had a patio where their barbecue was set up. When we got back to the living room, Mom and Aunt Judy were sitting on the couch looking at a photograph album. I froze. I recognized the album only it looked thicker. It was the one that Mom bought last Sunday.

"Oh, girls. Come over here Aunt Linda brought some pictures of Joan."

"Joan?" Asked Jenna.

"You know… Joan." Aunt Judy looked up at me and smiled.

"Joan!" Jenna squealed and raced over to the couch. Oh wow Lucy, come look at this!"

Lucy ran over and peered at the album. "Oh wow!"

"Is that really you, John, or should I say Joan?"

"I guess, but it’s nothing you haven't seen before. You know I wore all that stuff the day you guys moved."

"But why did you wear them again?"

"’Cause Mom wanted pictures. Look, you guys promised you wouldn’t tell anyone about Sunday. You can’t tell anyone about this either."

"Oh, we won’t. Will we Lucy?"

"Un uh."

They all crowded around the album. I walked over and looked over their shoulders. When Mom turned the page from the first Saturday Jenna gasped. "He didn’t stay in the house."

"It gets better." Mom told them. "He wore one outfit a day. Wait until you see Sunday." With that, Jenna flipped the next page. It was on that secluded beach. And at the rest area. Mom really shot a lot of pictures of me in the surf, and on the blanket wearing the swimsuit. It was then, I figured out that Mom hadn’t shown me all the pictures she had taken. She must have gotten extra pages for the album. I knew she had taken several candid shots, but I thought I knew when most of them were. But I guess not.

"You went to the beach. It’s been forever since we went to the beach."

The next pages were of the second week. It was then, I noticed that Mom had put the day and date on corner of each page and each day had taken up two facing pages. There were no surprises; everything taken at home. But when they got to Friday, that was a surprise.

"You went to the beach again!" Jenna blurted. "Oh look, how the wind is blowing his skirt."

Lucy pointed at the facing page. "Look he’s wearing one of your nighties."

"It’s not my nightie any more." She told her, "It’s Joan’s nightie now." They both giggled while Aunt Judy smiled.

"We stayed at a motel. A place called ‘The Wayside Inn,’ near Yahats." Mom told them. "We really liked it. I think we’ll go back sometime."

Jenna flipped the next page. "Hey, Joan when shopping."

I looked with surprise. I didn’t know that Mom took any pictures of me in the store. I guess I was really into what I was doing that day. There I was holding a dress out. Then there was the sales clerk talking with me. There was another of me in front of a three-way mirror wearing on of the dresses we didn’t buy. "Now how did she get that without me noticing it?" I didn’t even know she had the camera in the shop. The pictures in the shop took up all the left page. On the right were the pictures of me in one of the dresses we bought.

"Look, there’s Aunt Linda in the picture with Joan. Who took that picture?"

"Oh, we met a nice family there and they took pictures of us and we took pictures of them."

"How neat. I want some pictures of us with Joan." Jenna said.

"He’s wearing baby dolls here." Lucy pointed out.

"Those are the coolest pictures." Jenna opined, "Mom, next time Aunt Linda and Joan go to the beach, can we go with them?"

"Sure, if Linda and Joan don’t mind."

"We’d love to have you guys join us." Mom smiled.

"You know what would be really neat? Jenna offered. "We could all take our vacation there."

Well, the barbecue went off as planed. What else was planed was our vacation. Both Mom and Aunt Judy were sure that they could get the third week in July. It went so far as Mom calling the Wayside Inn and inquiring about the availability of a three bedroom unit and then reserving it for that week.

As we left that day, Jenna said, "I can’t wait for our vacation with Joan."

When we got home, Mom began making lists of things that needed doing before vacation. The first thing she decided to do was get me some more casual clothes. That meant wearing on of my new dresses and driving down the valley to a small town that had a big outlet mall. She kind of went wild. I ended up with six very girlish shorts, three of them had matching tops. I also got a large assortment of very feminine socks and a pair of girls sneakers with pink trim and pink shoelaces with silver threads woven right in. To my surprise, she also picked some more underwear and nightgowns.

In the weeks since then, Aunt Judy and the girls have been over here a couple of times and of course, Jenna wasn’t satisfied until I was Joan. Of course, she had to hear all about the things I did as Joan. She suggested that I write it all down. She thought it would be a great story.

Well, that would explain how it is that I’m here, with two suitcases full of girls in the front hall and sitting at my computer putting the finishing touches on this account. I’m wearing a pair of white linen shorts. I have on a padded training bra, new, under a pastel yellow tank top with fine filigree lace around the neckline and armholes and a sassy little satin bow in the middle of the neck. It has a daisy embroidered just off center to the left in the middle of the chest. I haven’t worn boxer shorts since the barbecue. Panties are much nicer.

We’re waiting for Aunt Judy to come pick us up. Today’s the day. I’ll spend the next ten days as Joan. I’m surprised that, to spite some real misgivings about the length of time I’ll have to keep up the pretense, I’m really looking forward to it. Mom is too.

When will I ever quit dressing like a girl? … For now it doesn’t look like I ever will.

 

 



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2001 by Patricia Marie Allen. All Rights Reserved. These documents (including, without limitation, all articles, text, images, logos, compilation design) may printed for personal use only. No portion of these documents may be stored electronically, distributed electronically, or otherwise made available without express written consent of the copyright holder.