November 21st, 2011
Ashley talks about her parents’ recent visit and how she asked them to consider calling her Ashley rather than her birth name.
She also recounts the reprimand she received from her employer for using the bathrooms matching her gender presentation rather than those of the gender she was assigned at birth. Ashley struggles to grasp her employer’s rationalizations, but she resigns herself to workdays blighted by elevator slogs to restrooms on different floors.
Jay follows up on his earlier suggestion that Ashley buy some “girly glasses” and asks whether HRT has tempted her to drink more so-called “girly drinks” (even though Jay admits there’s no logic to that question). Ashley announces her nail polish bottle count and suggests a way to trade some of her lesser-used polishes in exchange for others she might rather have.
Ashley talks about which polish she finally decided to wear during her parents’ visit, Nite Owl from Orly’s “Birds of a Feather” collection, a taupe with just enough shimmer to keep things interesting. Ashley also espouses the value of the common cotton swab and makes the case for Johnson’s brand over Q-tips for this tiny but essential makeup tool.
November 14th, 2011
Ashley celebrates her first week presenting as her gender full-time, with warm words and open arms from her coworkers, a more comfortable wardrobe (as well as a new laptop bag), and some entirely unremarkable bathroom visits. She and Jay also talk about how it’s been different carrying around one’s day-to-day items in a purse rather than a wallet nestled in one’s back pockets (or, in Jay’s case, a messenger bag).
Ashley recounts some early shopping trips with friends soon after she had come out to them and how they had come along with her for a gleeful day of shopping while also playing the role as sort of a fashion tour guide to help Ashley learn the ropes of her new clothing options. She also reminisces about a recent trip to Nordstrom in which they not only had shoes in her size — oodles of them — but also shoe clerks with the attentiveness that made her feel like she had acquired her own shoe sommelier.
As time drew closer to her transition at work, Ashley sprang for a series of makeup lessons from both an independent makeup artist as well as one from her local MAC store. Eager to share some of what she learned, Ashley conveys how one can use a sponge wedge to help smooth one’s foundation and a trick that can make it easier to recover from small mistakes when applying one’s eye makeup.