Boy? Girl? My great Granddaughter.

How on earth was I supposed to deal with the question – “Can I come and stay with you for a month and learn how to dress like a girl” - This was my grandson Frank asking me.

With a little effort, this story could quite easily fit into the 'SisterDom' series. As currently written, it is a separate story.

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Boy? Girl? My great Granddaughter.

“Can I come and stay with you for a month and learn how to dress like a girl?"

Brain failure - how was I supposed to answer a question like that. What made the question difficult for me was that it was my fifteen year old grandson, Frank, asking me this and I couldn’t say ‘Well you’ll have to talk with your parents” – because they were standing next to him. I could hardly say ‘no’ either because I had always spoken reasonably kindly about ‘people who were different’ and how I always tried to deal strongly with intolerance and similar unkindnesses which some people hurled at those who did not fit their ‘accepted range’ for age, sex, gender, colour, money, fat, ugly, and all the other things which made people into real things.

Clearly he had spoken with his parents already and they had put together this idea that he should stay with me and learn how to improve his skills. It was after all rather obvious when looking at how he currently presented that he was short of a number of skills and techniques for looking like a girl. And they expected him to learn to do better while staying with me in a small country town - at Chichester on the South Coast. Cooo.

While Frank, apparently now calling him-herself Frances, went upstairs to do homework, the three adults talked. Clearly decisions had been made that Frances would spend 3 or 4 weeks with me learning to present as well as she could as a girl so that any risk at home could be kept to a reasonable minimum. Learning in a ‘safer’ place – such as with me – had been calculated as a worthwhile compromise.

I talked with my daughter Sara about how best to go about it. I said that Frances obviously needed help with her hair, her figure, her general shape, her style and probably most of all her confidence to stand up and be a real person.

I learnt that Frances had quite obviously been taking considerable interest in her underwear and that Sara had found a small stash behind the panels of the fitted cupboard in his room; a dress, two skirts, some pants, two necklaces, and so on. She had talked with Frank and found that he was surprisingly knowledgeable on the subject even if he had neither practice nor skills.

She and I looked through her woman’s magazines. We discussed hair-styles and possible options with Frances’ no more than neck-length hair. We talked about body-shape and how to ensure Frances had at least a mid-size bust, about clothes, makeup and more girly stuff than I had ever dealt with in my life.

Then she said, “Thanks for agreeing, Dad. I think this will be the best opportunity for Frances and I know you’ll look after her. I’m so grateful. I was so shocked, almost shattered when she told us what this was all about. But she says she’s not gay – well that she’s aware of – she feels rather neutral – but with a preference for girls. The real certainty is that she likes dressing as a girl and wearing the pretty colours and wider range of fabrics that make a girl feel special. I can sort of understand that because I would just hate, hate, hate to be restricted to the dull drabness that the average male must put up with. But for our son to dress as a girl – well I want him to be confident and safe when he or she does it. Yes. Let's treat this as an experiment, or a project perhaps. And I am also saying to you what I have said to Frances - no, repeat, no decision has been made yet as to what happens after we have done the Chichester phase of the project."

“Ummmph’, was my well-thought reply.

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I spent quite some time on the web in the next few days. I also emailed Frances with some simple questions. And I went into a lot of shops asking more questions I had never expected to ask of people I had never expected to talk to.

I began by wondering what were the characteristics which most obviously made a girl look like a girl – in particular at the age of about 15. I spent my first evening back home sitting in a coffee bar watching people – well, watching young girls and young women mostly. It wasn’t a task I had ever consciously done – and I found it delightful. It was like watching butterflies – bright, multi-coloured, glossy and shiny.

I learnt about cross-dressers and transvestites and drag-queens and sissies and what proportion were gay (apparently no different from the ‘normal’ population’!). I quickly picked up the comments about Scots who wore skirts aka kilts; about women who could wear almost anything masculine or mannish with most people not making any fuss about their costume at all. I had my own views about how customs and therefore costume could alter from country to country and decade to decade. In part, this was how Sara knew I would help with Frances' project.

Articles from various sources talked about whether cross-dressing was a fetish, a precursor for masturbation, a minimised form of transsexualism and too many people said it was wrong because of a whole verse in the bible. The major view was that cross-dressing was very different from transsexualism; that for some it was a fetish and related to sexual thrills; for some it was a real need to look female; for others it was a lesser but still significant need to ‘dress pretty’.

Some sites made startling comments which seemed to have little evidence to back them up …. ‘Many cross dressers are trans-gender, born of one gender but wishing to be identified with the other. These cross dressers might even be in the process of, or desiring to have, sexual reassignment surgery. For these people, their identity is what makes them cross dress, while for others it is a fetish. Still, for others, it is simply the desire to shake up social norms and for shock value.’ This seemed completely at variance with what Frances was saying and what other sites suggested.

Too many sites concentrated on what seemed to me to be minor issues such as ‘always wear the highest heels that you can manage’ – how silly. It was quite apparent from watching for an hour or so at the coffee bar – the key was to be comfortable and confident. How would high heels make that happen if you were frightened of falling or worried about showing that these were a new and unusual mode of transport. Daft.

One site stated ‘The most common and popular times for someone to cross dress would be for a party, parade or stage performance. For trans-gender persons, or those seeking or undergoing reassignment surgery, they might be cross dressing full time as part of their new identity. Straight people and entertainers often cross dress for laughs.’ Another said ‘Men who attend these events may wish to dress like a girl or woman to capture the attention of party-goers.’. Again, this seemed to be wildly at variance with Frances’ stated intent to dress as a normal girl and do normal girl things.

From the coffee bar, I went into three or four of the local hair salons. I’d never been in one before but I thought ‘let’s be upfront and then I won’t be (too) embarrassed and I’ll have real information to give to Frances at the weekend.

After a few trials, I found that my basic spiel was like this ….. “This sounds a bit unusual – but, erm, my grandson is coming to stay with me for a few weeks and he has told us he is a cross-dresser – but not very good at it. He’s about 15 and obviously needs help with his hairstyle and so on. Is this something you can help with?|”

To my surprise, almost everyone I spoke to was quite willing to help. Nobody curled their lip or scowled at the idea. Most of them seemed to be pleased to ask to help.

I then tried much the same thing at the make-up counter and in two of the clothes shops.

It became quite obvious to me that the more confident I was about what I was asking for, the easier it was. It was therefore even more obvious that the more confident Frances was in asking for help then the more help she would get and the more successful would be her transformation.

I went into Marks and Spencers to ask for help with fitting a bra for Frances – and yet again, by being straightforward in my request I got a simple response. “We’ve got several fitting rooms and provided it’s a fairly quiet time, I can’t see any problem at all. We do occasionally serve boys and men with bras so it’s not completely unusual and it’s certainly not inconvenient or in any way improper. Our job in this department is to fit underwear to those who ask for help.”

So – by now, I had some confidence that we could fit Frances with hair, shoes, bras and possibly makeup. The major difficulty would be the whole wardrobe and the choice of style. I decided that we would spend our first day mostly looking and taking notes about what Frances found attractive and pleasing to look at on girls of her own age.

I continued looking on the internet. I began by thinking about what makes a girl different from a boy – and the most obvious thing was breasts. So - that’s where I began. I started with my old faithful Amazon site and (God knows what this would do to my list of favourites) typed in Breasts in the Health/Personal Care section. I got 3,610 results which came down to ‘only’ 271 when I amended it to ‘Breast Forms’. I could get Frances some real fake (wot) breasts for only thirty quid. I would check with Sara but I guessed that an A would be about right or B at maximum.

Sara and Frances had supplied me with measurements so I could get a few things ready beforehand. They seemed to be oblivious to the fact that some of this might be very embarrassing to ME. Perhaps old people don’t get embarrassed any more – huh.

Back to the web – I found some actually helpful suggestions from 2008 by a Vanessa Law “There are seven aspects to looking great and passing as a genetic woman every time:
1. Wearing clothes that make you look good
2. Making sure your curves are in the right places
3. Feminine body movement
4. Hairstyle that feminizes your face
5. Natural makeup
6. A feminine voice
7. Loving who you are as a woman

I thought about these for a while and put them in a different order for Frances.
1 be happy and comfortable as a girl looking like other girls
2 a body shape that looks reasonably girly (breast forms already ordered)
3 hairstyle that feminizes the face
4 wearing clothes that are age-suitable and peer-conforming
5 accessories, earrings and so on
6 makeup as minimal as possible but age-suitable
7 voice, walk, posture, movement, gesture, language – learn by watching
8 Smile more
9 Love the new you – because you’re special and lovely.

I didn’t think the often repeated advice about shaving, waxing and so on was actually relevant yet for Frances. Except as an adjunct of makeup where perhaps her eyebrows might be reshaped and her hairline trimmed at the sideburns.

Vanessa’s second article was about the mistakes that too many cross-dressers make regarding posture and presentation. I had already seen myself the obvious mistakes that stood out from the photographs on the sites I had made myself look at. Skirts too short or too frilly or too girly or too young, cleavage too obvious, hair unsuitable, too much makeup, trying too hard, and so on. So her advice was a useful confirmation that our target of being ‘nice’ was pretty sensible.

I kept looking – one site was insipid enough that its list of ideas was ‘Shave Visible Hair; Buy a Wig; Wear Makeup; Wear Women’s Clothing. I mean – how feeble and how unhelpful. Did these advisors not make any effort to look at real girls/women and then to look at typical cross-dressers and use both their brain cells to make some intelligent comparisons and to learn some lessons to share. Pathetic.

One more comment underlined the naivete of some advisors – “Typically, a man dressing as a woman for Halloween would want to appear as obvious as possible, so more garish make-up would be appropriate.” To me it felt obvious that the commentator was writing so that ‘his’ views were described as ‘everyone’s views’ or the weasel-word ‘typically’. Manipulative and wrong.

It was actually really interesting putting together a package for my dear Frances. Once I had the determination to set aside the noticeable percentage of drivel, there was a lot of useful guidance. But still I felt that getting help from a selection of real people was going to be so much quicker, better and actually easier than reading a few paragraphs or watching a few videos.

I gradually collected a portfolio of notes for the Frances Project. The headings included Planning; Objective; Style; Shape; Hair; Shoes; Underwear; Outerwear; Presentation; Voice; Makeup; Accessories;

There were some comments that did seem to be useful – and I would run them past Sara in the near future.

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NOTES FOR FRANCES * DRAFT * to be updated

PLANNING Purchase everything for your cross-dressing adventure especially if it is a one-off event. Try on all the clothing to ensure an adequate fit. Give yourself extra time to get ready if you have never cross-dressed before. If you are doing it for longer than a one-off event then aim for conventional, average and sensible.

Rule 1 – keep your look quite simple and ordinary UNLESS you want to look obvious. If you want to be obvious then the likelihood of being ‘outed’ or ‘failing to pass’ is much higher. Most people wish to avoid being obvious if there is any potential for embarrassment or difficulty. Aim for 'typical' and 'average' and 'everyday' in order to fit in with you chosen peer group.

Look at the internet and see how masculine some women do look and how a gesture or smile can alter their appearance. Amelie Mauresmo, the tennis player, looks stern and tough on court but when she smiles she is so much more feminine. Therefore, smiling is good. As well as displaying confidence, it does actually help you to be happy.

Don’t be scared – there are enough cross-dressers in the country that many shops and many shop-workers have experienced them. The key to their approach is ‘Can I make a sale’ not ‘yuk, this person is strange’. Be open and reasonable and expect to be treated well.

HAIR This needs to be is feminine in style. Even short hair with a flip to it is more feminine than short, flat hair. Use mousse to give volume and shape to your hair, whatever the length, and that will increase your womanly appearance. Bangs can be another addition to long or short hair to add femininity. Long hair is the easiest to style in a more feminine way, but it's not always necessary or even feasible to have long hair when dressing like a woman. A wig can be a sensible option. The most comfortable solution is your own hair done in a style that can be easily converted from masculine to feminine.

If there is time – grow your hair so that a pixie-cut or re-styling can be performed for the event. Look at the internet to see that short styles can be very feminine and your aim should be to look ordinary and reasonable and not to stand out in any way.

If you are using a wig, arrange your hair as close to your head as possible, using bobby pins and styling gel. Then, don your wig by gently pulling the front and back edges of it to widen the opening and slip the wig over your head. Tuck any stray hairs underneath the wig, and pin the wig to your head with additional bobby pins.

SHAPE Decide what you are going to do about your shape – the most obvious question is about your bust-line, breasts, boobs and cleavage. The sensible decision and one which will help you make up your mind about how far you want to go is –buying a bra!. Be up-front and borrow one from a female loved one who will then know your intention and either will offer to help [or will not !! so BE PREPARED], or go to the store and buy a brand new brassiere. The choice of ‘filler’ is up to you – but water-filled balloons, rice-filled balloons, cheap and expensive fake-boobs are all available.

As well as a padded bra, select clothing that creates or emphasizes or implies a female shape. For example, wear a dress with a wide skirt. If you have a slim figure, wear a dark colored T-shirt and wide pants or a wide skirt. This creates the appearance of female hips. There are only a few basic shapes – find which one is most suitable for you to adopt.

Buy your own underwear; panties and bra. The second issue apart from your lack of upper bulge or bustline is the existence of the lower bulge. According to stories and Youtube, a tight slightly small bikini-type panty or a ‘shaping’-panty will help keep things out of the way. In addition pantyhose can cover up any leg hair stubble or for extra help maintaining a smooth-ish crotch area.

The third issue, apart from the upper non-bulge and the lower bulge, is the lack of waist and hips. The average male lacks curve.

STYLE Are you going to dress Elegant, Slutty, Homemaker, very-casual Bohemian, Drag, Preppy, Business, Party-Glam or just-nice. As mentioned, look at the photographs of transvestites and observe the ones you think look okay and why the others are in some way off-key. If your intention is to ‘dress nice’ then there are obvious mistakes to avoid.

OUTFIT A man dressing as a woman might be most comfortable in either a skirt or a dress. He should choose a skirt with an elastic waist band so it forgives any excess belly fat. In pants, he should look for something with an elastic waist band, such as sweat pants or workout gear. Most men need a larger size to comfortably fit into women's pants, particularly jeans.

Observe outfits on mannequins or advertisements to confirm that you will be dressing appropriately. This will help provide some context for what to wear in what situations. An easy rule of thumb for first time cross-dressers is to wear something tight on top (to show off your bustline) and loose on the bottom (to hide your bulge).

A Dress is probably the best way to get the "woman" look across. However, for everyday wear a dress is not always appropriate. Men tend to be more straight all the way down, and women are not. With pants, the womanly curves you desire can be achieved through clothes with a cinch and a flare. Flared jeans with a top that has a belt or tie just below the breasts will help create those curves. Any colors will do, but make sure to match as best you can.

Find a dress and shoes that fit. Keep in mind that women have curvy shapes, and most men do not, so finding an aptly-fitted dress might take some time. Try to go for flowing styles that do not fit too tightly.

SHOES Watching a man wobble around in high heels may be funny, but it's probably not a practical idea if he plans to walk around for an extended period of time. He should try a pair of women's flats, or go for heels no higher than 2 inches. For extra foot support, he can purchase sole support that can be slipped into a shoe at a drug store.

Depending on your height, high heels may or may not be an option. If you're short, opt for heels when they'll work with your outfit. When they won't, or if you're tall, opt for flats. Any feminine sandals will work for dressing like a woman. If you choose open-toed shoes, get a pedicure.
Freshly painted toenails will make your feet and overall look more feminine. Practice walking in heels until you have it down, because you never know when an event will come up and the majority of girls will be wearing heels. Women often buy a wide variety of shoes (and accessories) so that they can match to their outfits.

Walk normally with sure, confident strides. Clumping around in women’s heels is a certain way to develop bunions and sore knees. On the other hand, tip-toeing around in high heels will get you nowhere fast. Modify your steps enough to accommodate your added height and a shifted center of balance, but don't overdo it.

Maintain good posture. Standing erect straightens the spine and takes the weight off of pressure points. This is like walking with a stack of books on your head. Practice makes perfect , but it's worth it. Slumping in women's heels hurts your back and kills the knees.

Pay extra for good heels. It will make all the difference. Cheap women's heels provide almost zero support to arches and no cushion for the impact of walking. Spending extra money will ensure more comfort, and it will make your shoes last longer.

Choose a wedge-shaped heel instead of stiletto. Wedge shaped heels give more overall support space and a better sense of balance. They distribute weight more evenly and distribute the impact of your steps over your entire body instead of just your feet.

Wear the highest heels in which you can comfortably walk and stand for a good while – NOT the highest available. Women's heels can be a challenge for men to wear because they require balance and sometimes come in only small sizes. For men with larger feet, try costume shops or just wear sandals and glue sequins on them.

ACCESSORIES A purse is a definite need because, as a woman, you'll need to carry around personal items like makeup along with standard items like a wallet and cell phone. A purse can be any color, but at first stick with brown, white, or black and switch depending on your outfit. If you're wearing a brown shirt and brown shoes, a brown purse should be what you choose. Belts, scarves and so on need to be considered and included in any look that you are putting together.

Other accessories, like jewelry, should be sparse and dainty. A two-inch-thick chain and a watch with a three-inch-diameter face will not work. Try a thin silver chain necklace with a small pendant, small diamond studded earrings, and a ring or two. A Pair of Earrings are always only worn by women.

Add jewelry that accentuates the dress. For a bold look, add costume jewelry that is chunky and colorful. Clip-on earrings can be found at many vintage and thrift stores, so do not fret if your ears are not pierced.

Find a purse that matches your outfit. When all else fails, try to match your shoes to your bag.

(Shaving) Facial hair is rather a giveaway that you ‘suffer’ from testosterone. Hair in other places is not helpful when emulating a woman either for an event or more often. Hair on fingers, wrists, eyebrows and other ‘obvious’ areas must be removed. Body hair is a sign of masculinity and the choice to shave particular areas can depend on the visibility of any growth. While actual women possess a full range of body types, from hairless to hairy, modern societal expectations of smooth skin make it easier to be perceived as a woman if you have no body hair.

If your body hair is particularly thick, use an electric trimmer before doing a smooth shave, or spring for a waxing session.

If dressing for an event, shave closely as shortly before the event as feasible. Shave legs, arms, armpits (with new razor) or choose clothing that will definitely cover those areas. Dark-coloured tights or stockings are a useful substitute and sometimes it is possible to wear two pairs, one atop the other.

Clean your fingernails. Grimy fingernails don't tend to go well with pretty dresses. Make sure they are clean, or better yet -- paint them with nail polish. Because men do not wear nail polish, coloured fingers are a major hint that the wearer is feminine.

MAKEUP
There are quantities of short and useful videos on Youtube on how to do makeup. In addition, you can get a beauty specialist to visit at home and give one-to-one guidance.

Examples of specific advice include : Brush concealer on under the inner corner of your eyes and gently downward across the rest of your face.

Apply lipstick, starting at the center of the lips and moving outward. Lightly rub your lips together to distribute the lipstick, and pat against a napkin or tissue to ensure you don't end up with too much.

To complete the outfit, a man might want to put on some jewelry and carry a purse. A scarf or hat might also work, as well as make-up, including fake eyelashes and extra long nails.
Wear feminine colors, such as pink or purple, for a more believable impersonation.

VOICE Speak with a higher voice by speaking from the throat. Practice speaking from your throat by singing songs one or two octaves higher than your usual singing voice.

Practise using feminine words, practice walking, sitting, moving around and doing tasks. Make a real effort to watch and learn from real people. As just one example, the average male describes using about a dozen colours – a well-trained girl can use up to a hundred quite easily. The male ‘Blue, Dark, Light or Medium’ becomes periwinkle, sky-blue, royal-blue, topaz, sapphire, and many more.

PRESENTATION Act like a girl when communicating in person or digitally. Listen closely when people talk to you, especially if they reveal their problems. Try to respond with care and compassion and avoid confrontation or challenging people.

PERFUME - your choice of perfume will reveal some of your inner girlishness.

REACTIONS Eventually you will meet people who will have a bad reaction to what you are doing. If they are family or close friends or colleagues then this may become very uncomfortable. A key to dealing with them is YOUR confidence. A key message to get through to your opponents is that this is a pastime that you enjoy. You are finding that it gives you a huge insight into how girls and boys interact and you already know that this will be helpful later on. Make it very clear (provided it is true) that you are not homosexual, not a pervert and that you have no intention to be a bad influence or a bad example to anyone. If it is true then make it very clear you get no sexual thrill from dressing up – it is just rather nice to get away from the drab and dull. Re-emphasise that your hobby is relatively light-hearted, enjoyable and that a goodly number of relatives and friends support you.


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I was quite pleased with what I had put together. What it needed now was pictures and examples to make it specific to Frances rather than to any generic cross-dresser. After all – Frances barely had any need to shave so that wasn’t a significant page to include.

The next day or so as I snipped comments and pictures from all over the web reminded me of the advice from interior designers to create a ‘Mood Page’ when planning a makeover for a room. What was going to happen to Frances was quite a bit more significant than merely changing the wallpaper and curtains in one room. But on the other hand – Frank to Frances was a genuine makeover.

Time would tell. I had done the best I could.

Saturday came and Frank arrived by train from London.

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What or who was I expecting to arrive? I wasn’t sure actually.

I was very pleased to see that it was Frances stepping out of the carriage. Not a full-fledged Frances but certainly one with more confidence and, indeed, presence than a week before.

She was wearing a t-shirt and a pretty jacket which concealed whether she was wearing a bra of any sort. She had a knee-length skirt and shoes with a small heel on them. No makeup apart from a touch of lipstick, almost clear nail polish I was pleased to see. Hair-wise, her parting had been adapted into a sort of tousled arrangement that was definitely not boyish.

Overall, it was clear that some effort had been made in getting ready for her visit. She had a small suitcase – although I was confident that in a few weeks time she would be leaving with much more.

“Hello, Granddad,” she called and gave me a quick hug. Different from the week before when it had been wave of the hand and ‘hi’.

“Congratulations, I can tell you’ve been thinking about this trip and working hard to get ready.”

“Yes, Mummy(!) and I had a lovely time. We took your advice and spent quite some time sitting in coffeebars and watching. I took lots f notes and photographs too – then we went home and discussed what we had seen and what to do about it. As you can see, we did buy a few things once we decided that I would be travelling here as Frances. We decided that once we knew that I would be taking a train at a quiet time of day. Mummy took me to the station so I didn’t need to go on a bus or tube by myself – as we felt that might have been a bit risky. Now, I’m here and we can take the next steps. Isn’t that right, G’dad.” G’dad was what I was usually called by the kids.

“We’ll go to yet another coffee bar, sit for a while while you tell me what you’ve decided, what you’ve half-decided and what you want to do first. Then I’ll tell you what the options are that I’ve arranged – and we can begin to move on. And you can tell me what you’ve brought with you. And remember, you have to dazzle me with feminine and girly adjectives too."

“Well, I’ve got the prettiest summer dress for going to the park, and two lovely skirts – one quite short in a sort of pale yellow with a green trim, the other in a pale blue. I’ve got a super-soft sweater in a nearly matching yellow – and Mummy did buy me my new undies. As well as some ordinary panties, she bought me a set from M&S in pale cream with a flower pattern – and my first bra. She rather insisted that she should do this – it was half-frightening and half-exciting and mostly, in the end, wonderful. It felt so so so real when I put it on. ………… Is that the sort of thing you wanted to hear G’dad? Oh, – and these shoes too.”

“That was great. You’ve already started on this journey – and your talk sounds like a girl. I had my eyes closed for some of that so that I could get a feel for you just by the voice. I'm glad your Mum has been helping. Last week, I wasn't quite sure whether you were being sent here because Sara was not quite able and willing to be involved. I wasn’t sure how she was taking this experiment. But clearly, she’s more willing than she appeared last week.”

By this time, we had reached the coffee bar I had selected. On one of the main cross-roads in town, with a bank opposite and a major walkway through to the Market Square. A busy site with a quantity of people to watch passing every minute.

“Well, darling girl, tell me more. Point out some of the girls you with a style you like or even dislike. Then when you’ve caught your breath, we’ll spend the morning shopping.”

[If anyone is wondering why it should be Granddad telling this story and helping his grandson become more of a grand-daughter – well that’s just the way this story goes. My daughter knows that I love the ladies and their clothes, that I have given her good advice in the past and that on one or two occasions I have (carefully) lamented the modern social pattern that has men wearing drab and dull while the women have the luxury and pleasure of pattern, fabric, colour, style and all the gorgeousness that a mere 200 years ago was the prerogative of the male.]

Frances sat beside me and we looked at the passing parade.

“I like that one” she said. The girl had a thin white layered skirt, each of the four layers being trimmed with ribbon, with a bold turquoise sweater worn across her shoulders over a white t-shirt. And she took a quick note with a diagram too. I was amazed at how quickly her sketch absorbed the key details. I thought ‘there’s an unexpected and significant talent we didn’t know about.”

After pointing out of few more examples of what she did not like – which sadly were too often slightly overweight girls squeezing into fat-bulgy jeans or with tummies and armpits bulging out of tight t-shirts. There were others who had dreadful colour matches and the inevitable Goth. Frances made it clear that she disliked the big tattoos – but she did think the little girly motifs were kinda-neat.

A little later, Frances pointed out a group of girls that she liked the look of. And, I thought I knew one of them as a neighbor a few doors down the street. They wore jeans, skirts, and my neighbor was the only one in a dress – mostly white with a curl of big flowers down one side from the shoulder to the hem.

Not long after, we set off to our first destination, a salon I had noted as coming across as particularly helpful. There were only 3 girls working there but I liked how Jennifer had talked about being helpful. Since Frances had already got a useable style – I decided we would mostly go there for a chat.

When I went in, very conveniently, Jennifer was at the desk finishing with another client. She recognized me and gave a little wave to acknowledge us – we guessed that the three fingers she held up were a guess as to how long she would be. Not even that long in fact, and she turned to us and said, “Well, it’s nice to welcome a potential new client. Like your Granddad said, your hair is too short to do much with – but you knew that already. Someone has done a bit of work for you, what, yesterday, so let’s just sit and have a chat and look at a few of the very short hair options for the near future.”

Jennifer spent nearly 20 minutes with us before one of the others asked for some help. Frances gave her the ‘three-finger signal’ and Jennifer giggled. “I always use that and it’s neat to see that you’ve picked it up already.”

Frances said, “Thanks so much for spending time with us. I’ll be back in a fortnight as you suggested so that we can see what we can do next. And I’ll go and see that girl Serena about makeup and getting my eyebrows neatened up. Until next time”, and she gave Jennifer a brief hug with the mwaa-mwaa makeup-avoidance dance that was the common hello-goodbye for the girls we had been watching.

“That went well,” I said as we left.

“Yes. Jennifer seemed to be well aware of how to set up a to-and-fro boyish-girlish hairstyle. I reckon she knows a few more people like me.”

“What, pretty young girls, eh?”

“Thanks G’dad – but no. I mean boys who like dressing as girls – not ‘real’ girls I mean.”

“Now, we’ll have less of that. The key to this project is you being confident about who you are and displaying ‘I am a girl’ to anyone you meet. I do not want any comparison of you against ‘real’ girls and definitely no more comments about you being a boy ‘dressing up’ as a girl. For the next few weeks, you are a girl – even if admittedly short of skill and experience.”

“Oh G;dad, you’re such a support, so encouraging. I do love you.” And she held my arm a little tighter and somehow snuggled closer.

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I suppose I ought to mention that I’ve read a lot of stories too. I found the sites with not much effort either, after learning to avoid the porn and near-porn. I liked the general friendly sort of story that you get on BigCloset. The control / domination / sissy type of story that is too frequent on Fictionmania doesn’t really catch my interest. I read a lot, perhaps I spent too much time on the BC site but I read fast and I enjoyed a lot of what was there. It was a shame that Crystal’s Storysite had faded out but the BC and FM sites had a lot of stories, far more than some of the lesser sites.

Of course, I’ve looked at other sites sometimes too – after all we all know how far and how deep one can get with just a few button-clicks. I’ve read about adult babies, about bimbo-ization, about dressing young children which seemed just wrong; and a whole lot of stuff that I really didn’t like. But I did read the stories and sometimes I read some more ‘just to prove to myself that they were ugly’. Dim. You can go far too far with only a few clicks. Perhaps that's how some people drift to real ugly perversity.

In fact I could see how some people went down the track and into areas that were just wrong. I had spent time in areas well beyond the minor ‘perversion’ of dressing-up. And some of those were wrong and ugly and definitely treated their victim / targets in a demeaning and vile and improper way. And a few clicks from there and I would have read about or looked at p-dophilia and even uglier stuff – as if toilet games and machines and torture weren’t equally vile.

I had lots of useful notes from the stories I had read and enjoyed in the week since I learnt about Frances. I had re-read some favourite authors – Bailey Summers, Paula Dillon, Susan Brown amongst others who I had a pretty god idea often gave good advice within the frame of the story.

As one example, I noted : “Look at who is talking or who you’re talking to, not like your staring or gawking at them, but like what they are saying to you and what you say to them, really matters to you. Don’t feign attention either, girls pick up on things like that and will check you in a heartbeat. If you learn one thing about girls today, brother, if you learn to communicate to girls as a girl does you will be way ahead of other guys. Girls love to talk and be talked to as equals.” PD – The Slap.

-----------------------------

At the next salon, I had arranged for the girl there, Fleur, to talk about skincare and nail-care. Frances was excited when I said Fleur will probably do some work on your eyebrows, she’ll pierce your ears so you can wear the earrings we’ll buy later and it may be here that we get your nails done. These are all quite big signals that you are a girl, a normal girl and that you’re here to stay for some while – yes.”

“If necessary, you and Fleur can go next door to Accessorize and you have a budget of £30, strictly £30. If you see anything more than that, then we’ll think about it afterwards when I can be there too.

“Oh G’dad – thanks so much. I did want them done before we left but Mummy was quite firm that it wasn’s suitable until I was here in quiet ol’ Chichester.”

I sat and enjoyed the free coffee which the salon offered me. They did say that ‘Sitting Dad’s were often sent to the winebar opposite but perhaps not today’.

Fleur and Frances spent a lot of time whispering and giggling. I read my newspaper and tried to do the General Knowledge crossword. Just as I was gettting slower with the difficult questions, the two girls finished up and Frances pranced towards me. She bounced with excitement – like a little puppy or kitten. I was delighted that she was enjoying herself so much. Fleur had added a sparkly barrette to Frances’ hair as well as a number of bangles, and accessories.

Fleur escorted Frances to a nail station where she got acrylic gel nails added to her fingers. They gave her three quarters of an inch long French nails, with oval tips. The nails glistened and reflected the lights of the salon. Frances was dazzled, if not mesmerized, as she held up her fingers and looked at her nails.

Next she moved on to the makeup station, a lady named Brenda, who worked on Frances and taught her as she toiled with brush and wand. She plucked Frances’ eyebrows; not insanely thin, but she did shape them nicely and gave them a feminine arch. She continued with Frances’ lessons on doing her own makeup.

Finally she used a piercing needle to pierce and insert a pair of glinty zircon earrings in her ear lobes. The hair style that had been chosen, with most of her hair tousled into a more feminine style allowed the earrings to be shown off nicely.

Frances was squeaking she was so happy. “I know my ears hurt but I feel so pretty. I love what Fleur and everyone has done for me.”

The extra work had given Frances considerable extra confidence that she was in girl-mode and could be confident that no boyishness was showing through.

“You look wonderful, dear. So confident, so excited. Let’s go and get you set up with some more, er, shapely items.”

“Ooh, G’dad – d’you mean my own boobs, ooh please yes.”

“Perhaps just a little quieter and less obvious, dear. But yes. We’ve got an appointment.”

“Oh, G’dad – you are wonderful. You must have been doing a lot of organising and planning.”

“You could say that. I do know now that I know a lot more about some subjects than I ever ever expected. I know how to go into a shop and ask to buy a bra, how to ask for advice on fitting a bra properly – not quite the normal life of your old G’dad, y’know.”

“I’m so very glad that you’ve put so much effort in. I’m proud of my G’dad – learning new tricks when he should be lying down in front of the fire.” she giggled. And it was a giggle not a boyish chuckle. This was another confirmation to me that this was a girl.

“Don’t label me as just an old dog – I’ve still got some surprises for you – and even for me as this goes on.” Wow – I was pleased I managed to squeeze in that ‘as’ instead of the ‘if’ I had been meaning to say.

“Lead on, G’dad – let’s go boob-hunting – it’s like haggis hunting but you do it in the town instead of on the hills.”

The shop I was aiming for was just a few yards off the main street. Secluded and discreet – as one would expect. The door was labelled ‘BAC’ in large letters and ‘Breast Advice Consultants’ in smaller letters.

Once we were inside, we were surrounded by pink and frills. There were two mannequins – I smirked to myself that they were definitely girlequins. One was labelled ‘Before’ and the other was labelled ‘After’. And I could see no difference between them.

A few moments later, a young woman came towards us. “I’m sorry I wasn’t in the shop as you arrived. I was just putting away some items from the last client. How can I help you today. I’m Briony. It is Mr Pelly is it – and this is our actual client. And I can see you’ve brought Frances with you.” And she smiled at the still excited girl beside me.

I answered as I was not sure what Frances would say. “We spoke during the week. As you correctly state, Frances has come with me today and we want to fit her with age-appropriate extras so that she can look externally like the girl she feels she is.”

“Sounds good to me. Now, darling. Tell me what it’s like to wear a bra for the first time. I can tell you’re wearing one but we need to make sure it’s the right one for you.”

“Oh, it’s wonderful. It makes me feel secure and so much more like a woman rather than a boy dressing up in panties or even skirt and blouse. The bra makes me feel so much more real.”

“Well, real is what we are aiming at. When you leave in a little while, I want you to be able to believe with your heart and soul and brain that you are a woman, well young girl, with the shape and feel of a young girl. Your own breasts – hey – does that sound good’”

“Ohh, you’d never believe it.”

“Now you’re being silly – I know what it’s like – or at least I’ve seen the look of wonder and delight on the faces of quite a number of new-girls in the past few years. When I came to work here I didn’t know that there were people who wanted this experience – but there’s quite a number who use our services. You’d be surprised, I certainly was.”

Halfway down on the right was a sloping shelf with a display of pink lumps and I realized that this was my first sight of fake boobs – and what a lot of sizes and even different shapes there were. I was startled. I was no longer a young man and I had fondled a fair variety of genuine breasts in my life so I knew about small, pert, standard handful, large, sagging; I had sampled small nipples, huge nipples, protruding nipples and the occasional haired nipple- but never to my knowledge had I encountered an escaped silicon boob.

And, like I say, there were small, medium and large; there were push-ups, round blobs, triangular and elongated too. I was quite surprised but then I reconsidered. Under what circumstances would an average bloke have encountered a quantity of fake boobs (other than with a wife or friend after cancer surgery).

I turned to Briony and raised an eyebrow. She smirked as she knew exactly what I was thinking. “You can see why we insist on a personal fitting to make sure we get the right answer for each of our clients."

It took some time but Briony eventually had Frances aglow and abreast with a pair of size B forms in a 32 inch bra – with little yellow flowers edging the lacy cups. Frances had four other bras so that she could report back on what was the most comfortable. Briony repeated several times that she didn’t like her clients to say after only a few seconds whether a particular style was good or excellent. “I mean, we all can tell after about 2 or 5 or 30 seconds whether a chosen bra is appalling, terrible or not good enough. But the choice between great and wonderful needs more effort. This is true of bras even though the shape in and around can vary with the day of the month or with gaining or losing a few pounds. Listen and learn, Grasshopper."

“I wouldn’t have thought you knew that program from the dark ages of the 1960s” I murmured.

“Dad was always quoting it. You can’t help pick up the occasional bad habit from a parent.”

We went home after ‘just one more shop’ where I bought Frances a layered dress very like the one she had noticed in the morning. This one was a little heavier in pale blue with dark blue sating edging. Frances held my hand and swung my arm as we walked back to the car with our bags. I could tell that she was happy, very happy.

“Thanks G’Dad. You’re put a lot of effort into today. I’m so grateful.”

I smiled back – then stopped on the pavement and pulled her into a hug. “I’m not sure I understand all that’s going on. I’ve been reading a lot, and listening a lot too and watching a lot. And to me it is quite clear – you were never much of a boy boy even though you tried quite hard. I can see now that you were pretending a lot of the time. I can re-interpret some of the signs and signals that I didn’t understand back then. To me, it’s pretty obvious – you were never a boy. What you were was a girl pretending, no, not pretending because that’s sort of conscious, you were a girl who had been told by everybody a lot of times that you were a boy and that this was how you should behave as a typical boy. And you did your best."

“I know now from what you say that it was puberty that started you realizing that things were a bit skew. I mean, all those other boys getting bigger, hairier, musclier if that’s a word, more boy all over in their brains and hearts and groins too – and you didn’t fit in. You didn’t understand. In fact, how could you really have a clue except by trying to twist what you had been told so that it fitted what you were told about yourself."

“But now we know – you’re a girl. So be a girl. Throw off that horrid camouflage and be the best girl you can be. You have a fine shape for a teenage girl – a bit skinny maybe but not fat or muscly or, worse, skeletal. From your comments about people, I can say with certainty that you talk and think like a girl and not like a boy. I can also say that the person with me on this pavement in this little country town was a girl, a genuine girl with a feminine brain, feminine personality and a feminine heart. And just in case you weren't sure, I love Frances."

---------------

During the week, we went into the town centre for more coffee bar watching, and I was persuaded to let Frances buy one or two items on almost every trip. She got to know several of the shops and several of the assistants very well. Some were almost her age even though most shops won’t take 15 year olds – but this was the country and rules are more, er, rural and relaxed.

We went back next weekend to Jennifer’s salon. It was Frances’ first proper visit and her hair was so short, they went for a shampoo first as Frank had never had his hair washed professionally, then a minimal trim without bothering with a perm, then color and style. We could see the next door clients having their hair up on rods and the pong of the permanent solution being added. It smelt worse than the dumpsters behind the pub.

During her a few moments under the dryer, a couple of nail techs came over and began working on her hands. They escorted her back to the chair where Fleur began to color the hair. Her hair was colored and a few blond highlights were added. Fleur then turned to being a stylist and brought Frances’ hair into its final shape. Frances loved what she saw.

At the end of this session, Frances looked even more non-boyish than before. In fact, I couldn’t detect anything boyish about her. This was my special granddaughter. She glowed.

After yet another session in the shops, where I let Frances spend the amount her mother was sending each week for new clothes. It had been agreed that Frances would learn more by buying a few items regularly rather than a whole wardrobe in a few days with a quantity of things which might then never be worn. Frances had agreed a rule that each item bought had to be worn within the next 3 days. It did mean that some days were a flurry of costume changing. The record, I think, had been seven changes in a single day. It didn’t count to just run downstairs, display and then run upstairs again. Each item had to be tried for walking, sitting, bending and so on for at least an hour.

Frances agreed, after a few days, that this was much the best way to decide what felt comfortable and what felt wrong. By the third week, much fewer things were being taken back to the shops for exchanging.

I was sad when the time came for Frances to leave. But it was time. Her mum had come down from London for one afternoon and evening and had been joyous at her daughter’s confidence and style. What she had seen was a young girl of good judgment and social presence. And she had driven down this morning so that I could take the ladies into town, show my daughter some of the shops and even meet a few of Frances’ favourite assistants.

It had been a lovely lunch. I had watched as both of them chose a disgustingly girly salad and how they had, in unknowing synchronization, used the same gestures to wipe their lips with a napkin. That had made me smile. And going round the shops for Frances to say goodbye had been very nice too. Every shop had said that it had been a pleasure and to ‘come back soon’. And I thought that they had meant it rather than the average ‘have a nice day’ type of response.

But it was now time to go. Frances’ mum had come in the estate car because there was a lot more luggage than when Frankces had arrived. I was right with that!

Frances turned to me and hugged me, I noticed her back leg flip up at the ankle in that so-girly pose. “G’dad, you’ve been so wonderful. I couldn’t have done this so well without your support and the girls in town that you found for me.” She sniffled a bit. “I’m so happy that I can feel like the real me instead of hiding. I’m so glad that I can confess that Frank was a mask, a camouflage that I was hiding behind. I like Frank, well, I liked Frank, he was kind of useful, but I love being Frances.”

“Oh, honeychile, you just gotta give yosel’ a pat on the back – it’s all yew, yew did the hard work. If yo got a pretty picture hidden under durt, a bit o cleanin and a noo frame – it’s gonna be gorjus’”

“G’dad, I don’t know what accent that was – but it was awful.” And she giggled again.

“Time to go. You will always be welcome here so that I can spoil you a little bit more. The other granddaughters are so much younger that I feel they are more like prototypes than real people yet. But you are definitely my best and favourite teenage granddaughter.”

“Duh, that’s because I’m your ONLY teenage granddaughter.”

“Duh, so – whatever’”

“By G’dad. I’ll be in touch lots.”

“Give us a hug and a kiss and get in that car – and don’t smear me with lipstick.”

“As if I would after all those lessons – unless I wanted to brand you, eh”

The car drove away – and I felt a little bit alone.

-----------------

A few weeks passed, and Frances kept in touch. She had moved schools in order to do her A-levels so there were lots of new boys and new girls to get lost in and fortunately very few had transferred from her old school. This was mostly because Frances was both a bit brighter than most of them and she wanted to do courses that weren’t available at that school or locally. My bright lass was doing Sociology, Psychology and Russian in particular as well as . In addition, Frances’ new college could also give a taster into Theatre, Drama, Photography and others with evening sessions and the like.

She rang one evening to tell me how wonderful it all was. Like any other girl, she told me tales about what Alice and Beth and Charlotte and Denise and Edina and Frances and Georgeanne had been doing (I couldn’t keep up with the names so guessed at the whole alphabet!).

She giggled furiously when she told me that she had bullied Louise into going to get properly fitted for a bra and that Louise had even tried on a corset while they were there. She told me to go and tell the story to Briony.

On Frances’ last visit to Briony, Briony had insisted that one day soon I should wear a properly fitted bra ‘just so you can understand from a man’s point of view’. She smirked when she saw me come in by myself a few days later.

I was about give a summary of how Frances was getting on back home and the funny story about Louise and the Corset, when Briony said – ‘”I have a cancelled appointment so why don’t we give you your trial run’, yet again that almost resistible smirk and giggle.

I don’t know even yet why I let her persuade me – but in just a few minutes, we were in the back of the shop in one of the large cubicles with the three-sided mirrors and Briony was pulling the straps of my own ‘first bra’ over my shoulders. A few moments later, she was fitting medium-sized silicon boobs into the cups and giving a push here and a squeeze there. I smiled when I noticed that the box had been on the shelf above the radiator so that they were faintly not-cool when they were put in. I had noted once or twice when Frances had squeaked as she put in her breast-forms and they had been cold. That was only on the first day or so before Briony had agreed to glue them in place.

I was amazed, there were so many new sensations – the tightness across the back; the pull of the straps over the shoulders, the slight stretch under the arms where the unaccustomed wire squeezed just a little – and most surprising the new and very different curve of my chest at the bottom of my eyesight. Every time I looked in any direction, especially down, all I was conscious of was this fascinating double curve. I was amazed, enthralled and I said so. “The bra feels, lets say, very different but the amazing thing is how the curve of my chest is not what I have had for the last fifty years – there’s a curve there, I can see every moment that my breasts are bulging out and ….. I’m not sure what else to say.”

“Do you like the new sensation, the new feeling?”

“Like I say, it’s very, er, very different. I’m not sure it’s right for me. Like you say, it does give me a chance to learn a little of what Frances has been doing – but I have not inner-girl hidden away inside me. I’ve never thought for a moment, either while Frances was here or at any other time in my life, I am actually a girl not a boy. I’ve never thought ‘what would it be like to be a woman. About all I have ever wondered, especially when I have a nice pair of breasts in my hands, is what would it be like to have these things suspended on my chest?’. I know women never have the equivalent ‘what must it be like to have a stiffy in the morning’ or the ‘it would be easier to be able to pee outdoors’ but that’s just some of the difference between a man and a woman. And not many women and even fewer men are going to get the difference in just of few minutes of ‘wow – I now have a bustline which has two curves instead of one.”

Briony smiled “you’re right there. Not many women and not many men. Perhaps more than you would have guessed before Fran came into your life – but not many. Now, you’ve described the change of view – what about the feel of them.”

I put my hands to my breasts and hefted them a little. The feel of ‘my’ breasts in my hands was actually less of a surprise – although I did rather enjoy the feel of the breast through the satin vest atop ‘my’ bra. It was still the change in the visible outline that was still fascinating me.

“The difference is kind of different. Usually, a breast in the hand is warm and inviting. These are, sort of, attached to me and when I move them then my body moves. Unusual. I’ll have to think about this until I can get this off.”

“And you’re keeping them on for a while. I want you to go home and do things at home so you can feel your bra and your breasts making you act differently as well as feel different. Now, let’s see how easily you can get the bra off by yourself when I’m not there to help you.”

It took a bit of effort and some stretching both of me and the bra to learn how to get it off – but I had to learn as Briony insisted that I wear it home and keep it on for at least an hour. “Five or ten minutes won’t give you anything like the right feel – I do know what I’m doing here. You need to understand what Frances’ is going through so that you can give her the best help you can. I nearly said be as supportive as you can – but that’s the job of the bra itself,” giggle.

I tried to look offended but failed – and smiled back. So, a few minutes later, I walked out of Briony’s shop to my car – all of a hundred yards away fortunately. I set off certain that at every step – someone would scream and point at me ‘Look at that man – he’s got breasts’.

By the time I got to the car I was no longer panicking about ‘being noticed as a Man Wearing a Bra’ in fact I was (almost) getting relaxed about it. I remembered talking to Frances ‘It’s all about confidence – if you look as if it’s completely right and reasonable to be dressed as you are then the reaction of other people is their problem – and generally they won’t even notice.’

I drove through the town, getting caught up in traffic and sitting stationary a few times – and each time I wondered if anyone would notice – and scream – or shout or make a fuss. And each time the moment passed and I realized that there wasn’t that much to worry about. After all, with the whole obesity epidemic, there were more than a few men with moobs – and some of them actually ought to get a bra. I was wearing a bra without having actual moobs – and instead I had almost volunteered for actual boobs. I smiled.

When I got home, my smile hiccupped and vanished. My neighbor, Joan, was outside on our joint drive. I parked and set off to the house. Appallingly and unfortunately, she called me over asking if I could help her lift a couple of large flower tubs.

“I’ll be out in a few minutes, Joan. Just got to do a couple of things.”

“Oh, don’t be silly, Martin. It’s looking like rain any moment and this will take all of 30 seconds. Hip hop, let’s get it done. I just need you to get each one onto the trolley and off at the other side.”

I groaned to myself. And bent to lift the first one. I heard an intake of breath and hoped this meant nothing. We walked over to the far side of her garden and I bent to waddle the pot off the trolley. By the time we had done all five pots, I was actually puffing a bit and the drizzle had begun to come down.

Joan smiled at me and said ,”Now, you can come in for a coffee and a biscuit and tell me what’s been happening. I’ve seen that pretty young thing staying with you for the last couple of weeks. Has she gone for long? Will she be back soon?”

By the time my brain and body had caught up with each other, she had bustled me into her kitchen and we were sitting waiting for the kettle to boil for the cafetiere. Joan preferred her semi-posh coffee to my instant.

As she brought the cafetiere over, she stumbled and put her hand on my shoulder to steady herself. I was definitely not mistaken this time when I heard a small gasp. ‘Oh deary deary me – we have a problem Houston’ was what I thought. Then I thought ‘Exactly what sort of problem do we have – display confidence here.”

I smiled at Joan. “Thanks for the coffee. I do prefer a better coffee but it seems such a bother when it’s only me. It’s almost as bad a cooking for one – too much of the time, you think, why bother. The rest of the time, you cook three or four portions and hope they’ll keep in the fridge or freezer for long enough. It does translate into being a bit lazy, I suppose. But we’ve played this particular record more than a few times.”

“Yes, we have. And you’re avoiding my questions too. I’m not as dim as some, and I know that you’ve only got one grandchild in the teenage bracket – so why was your grandson looking so very cute and pretty as a girl rather than his official self.”

“Simple answer – the official outside does not match with the unofficial and personal and individual inside. That child is not a boy – not as regards heart or soul – and not much as regards body. I had Frances to stay with me for four weeks while she learnt how to dress as a girl and present as a girl. She wants to be a girl at home as well – and we all decided that a little time of practice in a quiet corner where she knew nobody would be rather sensible. So Frank came here to learn to look like a Frances rather than just being a Frances locked or at least camouflaged by being a Frank every day of his-her life.”

“Interesting. And I have to say, there was almost nothing – apart from my knowledge about you grandson being a male – that made me think anything other than ‘what a nice-looking girl’. I won’t overgloss things and suggest that she was more pretty than the average girl or even as pretty as an average girl – I’ll just say she looked nice, smart, confident and definitely pleased at being a girl. Can’t get much more girly than that, can you?”

I smiled back at my nosy neighbor. “Well, that was kind of you to say so. And kind of you not to make a fuss about Frances. She was trying her best and I think she did a pretty good job. She arrived here a bit lost or at least wandering – and the person who left yesterday – to me – she looked like any of the other girls we had watched in town. Like you say, confident, typical and a girl.”

“Well, in that case, I think you’ve done a good job and in fact a good deed. It would have been silly for Frances to dress up for the first time in an area where her friends and schoolmates and so on could or would be likely to spot her and make life difficult. She can go back and be a girl instead of a pretend-girl or even worse a boy easily detectable as a ‘boy in a dress’.

“But, today, I have to say I’m a little puzzled. Is this dressing thing infectious [I squirmed as my almost worst fears came alight] or what. I didn’t try to notice that you were wearing a bra – but the shape of your chest is somehow different and when you bent over I could see what looked very like the lines of a bra across your back – and I do agree I put my hand on your sholder on purpose – I now know that you are wearing a bra – and shapers. I’m puzzled and mildly interested in what’s happening here."

I took a deep breath. “It’s the fault of that Briony. The girl who fitted Frances with her breasts.” What was I letting out these secrets so easily for! “She bullied me into trying these out so that I could ‘get a better view of what Frances had to do’. But I can’t feel she’s right."

“What d’you mean?”

“Well, Frances needed breasts – she was a fifteen year old girl, fifteen year old girls have breasts therefore Frances needed breasts. Therefore she needed a bra and, in her case, she needed fifteen years of sudden advice and guidance so as to stop being a pretend-boy."

“And”

“You’re very good at this – are you a professional listener.”

“I’ve done my share – and simple encouragements get more of the story out quicker than interrupting with bigger questions. Stop interrupting yourself and keep talking."

“Like I say, Frances needed breasts because she is a girl. I am not a girl or a woman or, as far as I have ever thought, feminine in any way. I do not NEED breasts. I am a male without moobs. I have a grandson who is now a great granddaughter. But Briony insisted and I need to keep her on the team for Frances’ sake – so now, here I am, temporarily wearing a bra ‘to see what it feels like!’"

“And.”

“It’s not dreadful. I can understand, or I think I can begin to understand why some women feel it’s more of a cage than a support. I can’t guess what it must be like to have big breasts pulling down at the front like a gravity-magnet. Oooomph, horrid, I would guess. But that’s for only some of half the population to worry about. Trying this on has been very, er, interesting but I don’t think I’ll need to try it again."

“Interesting, you say.”

“Stop that, clever clogs.”

“You say you 'don’t think you’ll try it again. Is there some possibility then?”

“Don’t twist things, you naughty neighbor.”

“Can’t fish without a hook. Are you a fish and could you be hooked.”

“No and no.”

“Ummmm.”

“What does that mean?”

“I’m the one supposed to be asking the questions. Just wondering how far ‘interesting’ might take you.”

“As far as I’m concerned, today and no further, yes”

“Oh dear. And there was I thinking we could stir up this neighhourhood a bit”

“Joan, what do you mean.”

[Author decision time – do I write the story where Joan gets excited about Martin becoming a crossdresser and encourages him to come out and be a minor outrage
OR as my original thought, more quietly, Joan confesses to knowing nothing about the TV/CD scene and wondering if it will give her widowed life a bit of spice. ]

“Look, Martin, this is small town Chichester. Don’t you think the locals deserve of a bit of a wakeup. What would be the effect if ……………..

“No, just stop right there. I’ve helped Frank learn about Frances. I’ve helped Frances meet up with and get help from several local shops …… and, somehow, today I’ve been pushed into a bra and persuaded to drive home with a pair of lumps on my chest. Enough. I’m off home to get dressed in something I’ve chosen. I’m going to get this thing off me and I have no intention of doing anything like this again. Thanks for the coffee.”

And even though it was now raining quite hard, I pushed out of the kitchen, across the driveway and into my own, quiet, uncomplicated, masculine house. Of course, I wasn’t upset by what Briony had persuaded me to do, nor was I upset by Joan displaying slight interest. I would let things move on – and I would wrap up the bra and breastforms and squeeze them through Briony’s letterbox in the next day or so.

Of course I would.



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