The comedian Steve Wright tells this joke:
“I was at this restaurant. The sign said "Breakfast Anytime." So I ordered French Toast in the Renaissance.”
I like this joke. Now it probably doesn't have to do much with crossdressing, the role of fantasy in our lives, life satisfaction or even French Toast. It does, maybe, very tenuously, tie in to something I've been thinking about lately.
One of the great, amazing things about the Internet has been finding out how many people like us are out there. By us, I mean everyone on the so called continuum of gender identity from the very occasional crossdresser to true transsexuals.
In addition to the intensity of the need to crossdress or otherwise express a feminine aspect of ourselves, there also seem to be many many individual reasons for why and how we crossdress.
There are many crossdressers who just enjoy the wonderful feeling that many of us are familiar with that comes from putting on some item of feminine attire. Others may feel a personality transformation when they dress. For others, dressing is tied up allowing feelings of submissiveness that are otherwise buried to come to the surface. For many, crossdressing offers an escape from a stressful life period, a chance to lay down life's responsibilities, at least for a little while. I know for me, dressing up also involves giving myself permission to look nice - as a boy and man, I've also felt uncomfortable and vain in trying too hard to look good.
Sometimes, when I dress, at least in my fantasies, I'm not just an attractive middle-aged woman. I dream of being an attractive young woman in my 20s, well-dressed, outgoing and confident. I think partly this is because like many crossdressers, I get stuck in an idealized image of what a woman should look like based on what I imagine women were like at an important time of my life. I think that's why I also have fantasies of being a pretty, vivacious 16 year old.
It's funny that I seldom have fantasies about being a 20 something man. My 20s weren't bad. I miss certain aspects of being 25, including being in shape, being able to go my own way, not have a lot of responsibilities and not have a lot of the minor aches and pains I have to deal with. I miss those times to some degree, but I don't fantasize about being a 25 year old man.
However, I do fantasize about being a 25 year old woman.
One of the good deals about being a man as opposed to a woman is that despite some progress in equality of gender roles, it still seems easier for a man to age than it is for a woman. Men are not encouraged to use "age defying" skin care products and there's much more of a blurring of what's age appropriate dress for men than for women. Growing older for men (at least to a point) seems to be associated with increasing wisdom while for many women, growing older is associated with a loss of attractiveness and sexuality. It's not right but it's a prevailing sentiment in society. An example of how this works is the difficulty many actresses have in finding good roles after they turn 35, especially roles where they're considered attractive. Compare this to actors, like Paul Newman and Robert Redford, who were still considered attractive and sexy into their 70s.
One of the feelings I get sometimes is of "time running out" for me to look ok when I crossdress. Now, if I'm really honest with myself, time has already run out. Even on my best days wearing my cutest clothes and having applied my makeup well (through some miracle), I'm going to look like a middle-aged guy in a dress. Not much glamor there.
But the "time running out" feeling is exacerbated by the thought of being a late middle-aged, dowdy crossdresser. While in some ways, a crossdresser in his 50s or 60s may have more success passing as a woman than one in his 20s (especially if he wears age appropriate clothing and makeup), I don't find the prospect of being a dowdy but passable crossdresser especially attractive.
So, how does any of this tie in to "Breakfast Anytime?" I posted an entry a few weeks ago about magic pills in which I said I'd love a magic pill that would not only transform me into a woman temporarily but would also transform me into a young, beautiful woman. As long as I'm having unrealistic fantasies, may as well have really good ones. Not enough to have French Toast at 3:00 PM - I want to have my French Toast at 3:00 while being a gorgeous 25 year old in a pretty dress and cute pumps.
I think the crossdressers who are most satisfied with their lives are those who not only accept and celebrate the feminine aspect of themselves but also accept and celebrate their growing older. I'm still working on that part.