Spring Break 6 Moving toward Summer

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Spring Break 6 -
Moving Towards Summer

By Jessica C

Mom, Dad and I got a late start from Hilton Head as it was very emotional for me to leave my second family. Having a lot to talk about with my Mom and Dad, we did not hurry along as we do usually. We do make it to Baltimore and stopped to eat and stay the night. Funny to me, Mom insisted she and I share the room and Dad would sleep out on the sofa-sleeper.

The compromise for my father was that we went to a steak house to eat. Dad ordered a good size steak as he and I would regularly do. I instead ordered sirloin tips on a bed of wild rice and salad.

Once back to the room, I showered and changed into my nightgown in the bathroom. My Mom lends me her robe so I could go out to my Dad and say goodnight. Dad says, “You’ve cleaned off your makeup and you still look like my daughter and not the Marty I’ve known.”

I kiss his cheek, saying goodnight and thank him for his compliment. Dad asked, “Are you sure that your friend Deb McBride will accept you like this at the university? Are you sure this is how you’re going back to college?”

“I’m not naïve Dad, not everyone is going to be accepting. That will be part of the challenge to whether this is me. I’m thinking more and more that I’m me like this.”


We made it to our home late in the morning and my mother quickly rummaged through my sister’s old clothing to find jeans, skirts and other clothes that might fit me. I had to try them on and pass mom’s inspection. What fit went into the washer and what didn’t was now being discarded. There were a few skirts, tops and dresses that I could wear now, with a few more I could wear this summer or next winter. It did gave me more everyday clothes and options to wear. Mom gave me extra money that on my way to college so I could buy needed panties, bras and camisoles. She reminded me that young women today like to dress in layers.

Once I left, I was on my own for the first time. Ten minutes away from the university I call to Debra saying I was about there. Debra was out of the porch of their house to greet me as well as Cheri and Karyn. Suddenly, I became quite scared. Debra quickly smiled but Cheri and Karyn tried to hold their frowns indicating disapproval. Fortunately for me, they broke into smiles and I knew I was being teased.


Karyn finally lets out her breath as she relaxes with a smile. “We had images of what you’d look like Marti. That you are a presentable woman is helpful. It wouldn’t have changed that we accept you here. But it does make it easier.”

Debra, “We’ve informed Dean Baker that she should expect you in the morning. She thanked us for letting her know a head of time. She’ll help you with Mr. Bones in the registrar’s office.”

Debra says, “She wanted to know from us if this is a permanent change; something you’re considering; or if we thought you might be up to something?”

I said to her, “My decision is it’s still up in the air, but I am being open and honest with you.”

Debra says, “I told Dean Baker if this was one of your jokes that I would castrate you myself.” My body cringed at that thought, and I swore it was not a prank of any sort.

They’re jealous of the clothes that I got from the Sparks as well as the beach outfit I purchased, having found it mispriced.

Debra tells me “Cheri doesn’t need to be jealous. Her parents first bought this house for her older sister. Supposedly, its value has increased twenty percent in seven years. Besides Cheri’s fantastic wardrobe here is her slumming clothes for college. Her home is in the posh West Chester community.”

I was on my computer and ready for bed when Debra knocked and asked if I was presentable before she would talk. I said, “Come in, I hope you think I’m presentable.”

When the door opens, there are seven, no eight people all women. I am sure I turned beet red from embarrassment. Six of the women were from another apartment house close by.

Only one readily remembered the old Marty and she was amazed with the difference. “You should be sitting up better than you are but besides that I think you look comfortable being the new Marti. So you set out planning to use spring break to transition?”

Another student Meg said, “Who helped you to immerse yourself? Being this good isn’t any accident.”

We sat around my bedroom until midnight and we giggle and joke as I shared the stories from Spring break. Half way through our gathering Debra and Meg decide to redo my fingers and toenails. Cheri turns my earrings and is surprised that I had taken good care of them. The holes are now sealed.


Come Monday morning despite not having any classes Debra woke me early, forcing me out of bed. “Remember you’re meeting Dean Ellen Baker. I’m sure she and other things we’ll have to do will make for us a busy day.”

Debra sent me back to redo my makeup, saying it’s too early in the day to use that much. She then came in and out of my room to check if I’m doing things right.

I had berries, lite yogurt and tea for breakfast. Debra decides we’re to travel on the campus transit to the administration building. She tells the receptionist, “Marti Stanley has an 8:00 a.m. appointment with Dean Baker though it might not be on her schedule.”

True enough the receptionist had to call back to the Dean Baker to confirm the appointment. She said, “This must be important. The Dean is usually considered early if she’s here before 9:00.”

When I went back, Debra went with me. “Dean Baker, I want to introduce Marti to you. I’ve known her having shared classes and becoming good friends this year. I am pretty sure this is going to become permanent though Marti says she’s exploring at this point.”

The Dean listens but it’s her associate Joan Bell who takes me around to other offices and helping me in getting settled as a female student. They already have scheduled an appointment for me at the university women’s clinic for 11:00 this morning. Having a medical exam is embarrassing as a woman having male genitals. The nurse and physician’s assistant both reiterate it’s important that I become comfortable with myself. “Regard any problems you might have with people being unaccepting; it is important that you allow them to be the problems of others’ perception. Please use one of our counselors to deal with your anxieties and adjustments as you transition.”

Joan Bell, the Dean of Women’s Associate, asks if I am going to begin to take hormones and to transition. She said, “I’m sure the doctors and the psychiatrist are going to be cautious. I however would like to see a step by step progression that confirms you’re not trying to fool the university or those who are friends to you.”

Marti said, “My Mom and I already agreed I could begin treatments. Dr. DauSchmidt has a dosage in mind if the Psychiatrist agrees. I have had an initial interview with Dr. DauSchmidt and a follow-up visit come Thursday noon.”

Debra and I go to my bank to change over my account and to get new credit and debit cards with a new photo as well as the present spelling as Marti Lea Stanley.

That night we go to an inexpensive Italian place to eat. It’s going well until Karyn’s boyfriend Jack came around. He got right to the point, “Hey, I hear you’re Marty Stanley but now in drag. That doesn’t go over big with me. Especially since you’ve taken to living in their house. Try to get up and protect yourself like a man. I’m just looking for an excuse to splatter you all over the place.”

Karyn’s embarrassed and I am a bit scared. I knew I’d get some flack, but I wasn’t ready for a threat as such. I start to stand as he’s on the other side of Karyn. Debra warns me not to, “You don’t play into someone’s emotional outburst. He needs time to find that you’re no threat Marti. Jack’s grown to accept Karyn’s friends and ours, hopefully he’s going to do the same with you.”

Under her breath Cheri, another woman sharing the apartment, says, “You never know his friend Darin is between girls, maybe you’ll be asked by him for a dance or even a date.” I could only lightly laugh and give thanks Jack didn’t hear it.”

Cheri’s a year older and when we got back to the apartment she asks me, “If I could get you into Reilly’s would you be open to getting a drink and maybe dance with someone?”

I’m not inclined to go, but Debra shakes her head yes helps me solidify the decision to go. Debra spent time and helped me to arrange my bedroom. She’s lent me a colorful bedspread, and Debra even brought in a poster: It’s of a guy with his shirt off and the snap on his jeans open. He’s kind of buff. He reminds me of someone I saw on spring break. I say, “He’s good looking I guess, thanks for the poster.”

Debra says, “Do me the favor of doing your lips and kissing the poster?” There was no way I was doing that. Except Debra wouldn’t stop hassling me until I did. I kissed the poster on the guy’s upper body. Debra says, “That indicates you don’t want others to know you like him.”

We get to Reilly’s by 10:30 and sit near some of Cheri’s friends. They’ve been my friends too, but as Marti I’m not sure. We each nursed a drink and I have one dance with her and then two guys each ask us for the next dance. It ends up being two more dances.

Debra joyfully says, “Now others know this Marti can dance like a girl.”


The first week of classes play to a mixed review. There’re two classes where friends are obviously cool to my change. My old friend Hennessey says, “I’m not sure what you’re trying to prove, but this is creepy.” Hennessey may have been a bit more upset because we rode to a conference together first semester and shared a room.

Debra jokes with him, “Don’t worry we’re not wondering about your gender or sexual preferences Hennessey.”

I’m one of those unfortunate students who got stuck with a Friday afternoon class. Instructor Williams is working on his PhD, so Friday morning and afternoon is when he has two of his classes. “Marti with an ‘i’ is it, Mr. Stanley? Would you mind sharing with the class, what brings about this dramatic change? Like an iceberg was this there all along but lying out of sight?”

I hoped, he would move on and not push it. That was wishful thinking. Instead he says, “This is a university where things like this are open for discussion.”

I say, “Well, on spring break a young woman discovered this side of me. So I came out and decided not to go back into hiding. Is that okay with you? I know it’s a big change, but I don’t see it as hurting anyone.”

When he presses to go further, I said, “Please go on, I’m not ready to talk about it anymore.”

Mr. Williams says, “How can you afford the change to a woman’s wardrobe and everything else that goes with it?”

I say, “Sandy and her family were quite helpful. Even my parents helped me as they could. End of discussion for now please.” I was ready to leave if he kept talking about me.


I’m ready to relax come the weekend. The week had gone relatively well yet there is so much to do.

My counselor Michele Allen ends up being a fully certified psychiatrist. “Marti, I am impressed that you’ve shared so openly. I’d like to have you begin taking some medicine to counter the testosterone your body is producing.” I tell her I’m scared about doing so.

She counters that saying, “It is better for you to be trying it now while you’re in a predictable environment and will have follow up appointments. It shouldn’t cause dramatic change, but hopefully enough to help you gain a better experience.

“Come the end of this semester you should be in a better position to make some more decisions for yourself. I’d like to encourage you to develop more of social life, making sure that you are not isolating yourself.”

I get a phone call near the end of my appointment, from Tricia. I answer the call because she’s tried three other times to call me. “Tricia, can I call you back in say fifteen minutes?”

Dr. Allen thanks me for ending the call quickly. “I take it that she’s one of the sisters back in the Carolinas who’s taken a liking to you?”

“No she’s one of their friends, we’ve become very close and she wants me to transfer to her college for next year.”

Dr. Allen asks, “Would that be with you transitioning to become Marti fulltime?”

“I have a summer internship with Sandy and Hannah’s father that he’s offered to me as Marti.” I take a deep breath, “It will allow me time to find myself and decide for sure if I’m transferring.”

Dr. Michele warns, “I want you to be careful about burning bridges behind you and not having any where to turn if they become disillusioned with you.”

I pause and look to read her, “You’re not trying to frighten me are you? Mr. Sparks and I talked. He thinks I need to commit myself, if I’m going to be Marti. I think he’s risking as much as I am in some ways.”


The weekend is a fun time of shopping and Debra having fun at my expense. Two weeks later it was warm enough that we sunbathed on our property. It is nice to have the help of Debra and our friends.

Despite wrestling with my changes, my grades actually improve and papers get done, reflecting good work. Dean Baker is supportive knowing I may be transferring or coming back to the University in late August. Having one semester better than a 3.0 grade average has me more attractive as a student to both universities. Both universities offer to help me with financial offerings.

It is the last week of April that Mr. Sparks calls solidifying my internship. Howard says, “You will be working most weeks out of Columbia and it will be up to you to decide if you have time to be with us at our home. You are invited, but I need to learn how well you are able to do your work and in scheduling your time. That includes making sure you get your work done and taking care of yourself. I will not be happy if you burn yourself out by July fourth.”

“I hear Tricia also has a summer work-study in Columbia. I will not be surprised if my daughters find an excuse for being there as well. Do you think you can handle all that?”

I say, “Yes Mr. Sparks. Sandy says you have already rented an apartment where I and two other interns will be living. What do I need to bring for the apartment and need to budget for its rent?”

He says, “It is a good place though not at all fancy or expensive. The Finance Center picks up that tab. You’ll probably need to work after the workday is officially done. But if you do well, like I believe you will. You can solidify a place in the company, most likely working for me.”

“Florence won’t have a medical facility that can see you through transitioning but Columbia’s medical centers will be more than capable.”


My classes end the Friday before Mother’s Day and I am pleased to have ten days at home. It will be the first time my sister Tammy and I get to meet. We have Facebooked and visited on the phone. And I’m pretty sure she is still skeptical about what I’m doing. “Marty, I know you raided my closet more than once. However I did not see anything more than you wanting attention.”

Once we’re both home celebrating Mother’s Day, she informs us of her real concern. “Mom and Dad, Dane wants to ask me to marry him. But I said I wanted to come home alone; I’m not sure what he’ll do if he finds out that Marty’s changing.”

Tammy says, “Mom told me you’re looking more like her and me. I thought that sounded creepy. I didn’t want a brother looking like me even if he’s joking around. I’m sorry, I didn’t realize. It must have been something hard, trying to hold something like this in.

“My friend Jan tried to tell me you had a problem. But after we argued that time, she wouldn’t bring it up anymore. I bet she’s going to be happy to say ‘I told you so.’”

Jan and Tammy went out Saturday night. Tammy calls me saying Jan wants to see me. It took the better part of an hour to get made-up and to the Straw Hat. Jan came outside and gave me Tammy’s i.d. to pass as being 21 to get in.

The ironic part is that three guys were looking for three women to be together to dance with them. Travis the guy I dance with is a nice guy I knew from the next town over. He didn’t recognize me and I didn’t feel the need to explain for one time dancing together


I have a blouse, Mrs. Sparks sent me for my mother. It makes for one of the nicer gifts I ever gave her on Mother’s day. Mother likes it and seems very comfortable having two daughters.

Monday is regularly a slow day, with Dad going to work, Tammy having returned to her job in Connecticut and Mom doing wash. Today is different, I’m nicely dressed and she and I go to have lunch at a tea room. It is like waking up in a very feminine and proper place from the past. The sandwich is small, with a pasta salad on the side and the cups being very dainty.

When we arrived there, I would never had imagined I would be there more than two hours enjoying my mother-daughter time. Among other things, I bought a lace handkerchief and a small ceramic kitten playing with a ball of yarn.

Mom and I went to lunch again on Wednesday and this time it was to introduce me to her friends. Those who came already knew of my change and were respectful if not accepting. Mrs. Brock even brought her daughter Jenny who knew me from high school.

Jenny realized at the end of our luncheon that I was in need of using the women’s restroom to wash and check my makeup. Jenny stood up, “Marti why don’t we go wash up and fix our makeup? It will give our moms and chance to visit without us.”

Once we’re in the restroom she asks, “Would you like to go out Friday night and have a good time as Marti?” She says, “It’s going to take a while for me to see you this way. But actually it is easier in visiting as friends. I can’t remember too many times ever seeing you out having fun.”

Come Saturday morning my car was packed and more things would be sent to me. The time out the night before was enjoyable and Jenny and I will continue to be in contact through FB and gmail.

It was 6:00 p.m. Sunday evening when I found the house I would be sharing. Stephanie greeted me, saying it was her second summer with South Carolina Financials. I was glad come 8:00 that evening when Steph acknowledged knowing about me. “Mr. Sparks’ older daughter Hannah and I are friends. She trusted me to know about you. I am impressed on how well you present yourself. She mentioned it was Sandy Jo who discovered your little secret…”

To be continued…

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