Art Project – 19 Holiday Surprises

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Art Project – 19
Holiday Surprises

By Jessica C

Andrew’s problems started with
Designing a prom gown instead of a suit,
Turned Andrew’s problem into an opportunity…
Andrea is now in focus…


I tried over and again to design for my appearance in New York City, but when I focus on one design another idea pops into my mind. Andrew’s at his college class, when Professor Cozier is back to annoying me. “I don’t know why you don’t take to wearing a clown costume.”

Part of me wants to open my shirt and say my breasts are not costume. I remind myself next week I take exams and I won’t have Cozier as an instructor. What I’m learning from him is no longer worth the trouble and restless nights he causes me.

JC texts me after class when I’m at the Pub. She has a pink gown she’s designed and made up for me. It will be announced as something JC and I designed together. It is partially true since I can see glimpses of two of my designs partially in the gown. “Thank you so much JC. I cannot believe the sales numbers we are racking up?”

JC says, “This is why you’re considered a good designer. Please realize how many people are now relying on you for their employment. Tompkins says you only have eighty percent of your summer designs signed off for. You know, you need to stay ahead of the production people.”

I say, “But I’m having trouble using the bold colors I’m planning for next summer while the holiday colors are all around me. Shorts and light fabrics are hard while it’s getting colder not warmer.” JC reminds me these are only small problems that I need to learn to deal with. She says, “That will be a problem if you can’t stay three seasons ahead.”


Seemingly JC already knows some of my grades. She suggests I ask Megan Stuart to help me with math before my exams. It is now due to be Megan’s last semester at the high school as she’s mastered our science class that I’ve helped her with. She agrees to help me in exchange for her choice of outfits. I get three study sessions with her. My biggest problem is with misreading written problems. Each session I make progress and by exam time I am doing very well.

My Advanced Art and Design exam takes a full two hour but I am sure I did quite well.

I fly with Mom and JC Harper to New York City for a designers recognition show. I am wearing 4” heels, my gown is open in the front and I had almost three hours with a beautician. I was feeling great until Leah calls back with my grade from Dr. Cozier. My posted exam score is a C, with a B- for my final grade.


My entrance to the evening’s program includes a red-carpet regalia; JC and I are walking in together. I am not use to so many cameras flashing in front of me with photographers calling me by name. I am lucky if I even recognize ten percent of them and I know far less. We will purchase more than a few of their pictures. A larger than life poster of four of my dresses and gowns are there for me to stand in front of. From my prom gown to a wedding gown, a fall outfit and my ballet designs, it touts me as coming… “A Long Way… Short Time”.

Here my double life as Andrew/Andrea is seen as a colorful side of being a designer.

Minutes prior to my name being called I get a text from Jean Claude Cozier. “You did excellent on your exam. You earned an A. Sorry but the early posting of grades was from the beginning of the semester. I hope when you are a full-time student that I will have you as a student again.”

During the evening three designers including myself are proclaimed to be rising stars. When I am announced as the premiere rising star, I am overwhelmed by the ovation I receive. I am quickly up on my feet and my dainty handkerchief keeps my tears limited to watery eyes. I feel like a long experienced woman walking up the steps to the podium. “It has been a short time since by discovery by JC Harper, and she bringing me along as a designer. I have so much to learn as those of you who are veterans know. I have a list of people I thank.”

John Tompkins had announced my new contract earlier in the day and does so again at a formal reception. Several men the youngest eight years my senior escort me to the dance floor, as much for pictures as dancing. One model takes me from one as we swirl around the dance floor. She says, “So the men do not have all the fun of dancing with you.” Her kiss is passionate, not the usual air kiss.

I had already gone to Macy’s and will be going to Bloomingdales tomorrow. I want to go to Saks on Fifth Avenue but they do not carry any of my clothing line and only the upper tier of JC’s. Neither do many of the special women’s stores that mark the busier shopping areas.

It does cause me to develop an extra line of my clothes called Angie’s Silver Threads. It will include some of my more popular items. Now being made from a denser thread count and/or a higher quality fabric. Most will have a silver lining or a silver line along a hem or border of the item. It will include mostly long skirts or dresses. It will also include elegant blouses in red, white, black or silver.

I fly up to Boston with a round of greeting numerous retailers, before heading home. Wearing skirts there had the added problem of wind and cold chilling me to the bone. One day as Andrew would have been good, but it would have cost me a new wardrobe. An Aesthetician in Boston had me stop at her shop and took almost two hours giving me a grand make-over. I loaded up on some of her products, and I am already planning a return trip as I will forget more than half of what she’s showing me. She does have a website with tutorials.

Returning home for now is back to my apartment as I want hands on experience in helping to run the Flowery Saddle. I have an engraved barstool that quickly becomes known to be mine. Marion Tuft our lawyer has checked and double checked as an owner I am okay to work behind the bar or to serve drinks. It is not a big deal nor will I be doing it much, but to be able to do it and learn is beneficial.

Mom and others say I’ve changed. That I appear more rested and more like Andrea is me. I go to the Pub as Andrew two days in a row, but find it hard to be content as Andrew.


I spend a day, before going home to Hillside, wrapping gifts. I wrapped a pair of leggings for my step-brother Jay; suggesting he try using them in place of long-johns. I included a fifty dollar Amazon gift card, since it is likely to be seen as a gag gift.

Christmas sales are topping twenty seven million; my percentage of sales will be close to a million and a half dollars if I’m figuring correctly.

I am tempted to quit school but I am sure my mother won’t let me. I visit Dr. Paula Haverford at State Center High School; she called me earlier, she informs me that I have only one full year of school remaining. She says, between my college classes and additional life learning credits I have jumped ahead or my expected graduation date.

“Dr. Haverford,” I say, “It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me that I’m already making a lot of money, yet educators make a lot less. Why does one really need education then?”

She says, “Andrea, you’re becoming a young business person. What would you do if everything turned dramatically around as fast as it came? Would you know if someone is mishandling your business or might it take years and bankruptcy before you knew?”

“Possibly as important as any else taught you in this building, might be whom to turn to as a helpful friend. Your hips are filling out, I hope you enjoy being the young woman to appear to be becoming.”

I haven’t told her that I’m taking any hormones, but my body is changing. I had not planned to change this quickly. Mom says she noticed the same thing when she saw me on television via her computer. My hips have grown less than an inch; it is more that my waist has shrunk.

It is the day before I head home for Christmas and I’m at the Pub on a slow night. Patience is a biker who frequents the pub, more often than not on slow nights. She likes talking to Terri Wells, but she’s not here tonight. She hands me a pair of leather pants as well as a leather coat asking me to ride with her. Tami tells me, “I can lock up if you decide to stay out.”

I’m not planning any such thing, but I do squeeze myself into Patience’s leathers. I hug her from behind and we’re off biking in the dark of night. Sooner than I thought possible we show up at my apartment in State Center. I welcome her in as I’m needing to warm up. Patience does not have any special design on me, but she does like becoming a special friend. She brought in an unopened bottle that we put a good dent it. We’re affectionate, but when I wake in the middle of the night we’re in separate beds.

I was checking on her to see if she’s still there when she lifts a sheet and welcomes me in. Again it is not a sexual innuendo, but a warm friendship. She whispers, “I don’t particularly like you male appendage.” She does enjoy our sweet kisses and hands as she keeps me warm.

We shower early and get back to the Pub so I can retrieve my car.

Before I could get away from the apartments Tanya Jones in 1-C comes to my apartment asking, “After the holiday break would you help me to feminize my boyfriend Chuck?” They are both college students and she has complained to Leah and myself before that he doesn’t know how to be gentle with a woman.

I only agree to talk about the possibility after the holiday.


I am on the road soon enough to make my Hillside home by noon. I stop at a chain hardware store in town that is owned locally. Allen knows what my step-dad has in wood-working equipment and what he’s been looking at. A lathe is an extra he always wants, but hasn’t bought. I buy the better of two models. He, my mom and I will coordinate its delivery early Christmas Eve, when Dad should be up town for coffee.

I tell my Mom when I get home what I did. She reminds me that she had transferred more than enough funds into the account to cover it. I knew I already had a sufficient balance to cover it. Mom however holds me accountable for the times I do splurge like this. My apartments are now well over half paid for, anticipating my bonus. Present rent payments will cover my payments and the property tax I owe twice a year from here out.

I change into one of Andrew’s outfits and with my makeup mostly off I go to Carrie’s to say hello. Several people old enough to know say I look nice with my ‘Boy George’ look. Students my age think it is a new look and they have mixed feelings. Gwen says, “If you wanted to look like a boyish girl look, why not come as Andrew; you’d look girlish enough?”

Carrie and I sit back in a corner near an extra register. Carrie gives me a wrapped gift saying, “You need to wait until Christmas. I’m hoping you might wear it for New Year’s Eve and stop over to my celebration at my home.”

Feeling the weight to the gift, I’m already suspecting it is a complete outfit including extras like panties and bra; maybe even shoes. Mr. Tompkins encouraged me to give her, Carrie, an open ticket to fly to NYC to visit X-Press there. They would cover two nights of her stay with meals.

The business world is now unreal to me. Terra finds me at the store and when I get up to give her my seat; she pulls me onto her lap. She is very happy about my news that I have only a year of high school to go.

I quickly tire of the Boy George look; taking off my hat and taking some of Terra’s makeup to change my look. Terra unbuttons my shirt as she takes me to a dressing room with a long sweater dress in her hands. I ask for a pair of leggings as I pull the sweater dress over me and smooth it out.

Terra uses a mascara stick and lip gloss to complete a simple change of looks.

A friend of my mom’s saw me before and after and she jokes about how easily Andrew changes over. She says, “I knew you when you were a little girl before you moved away. Your Mom showed me pictures of when you’d get into your sisters’ clothes even then. I saved one of those pictures and I recently got it out, I would appreciate it if you came over and signed it for me. It would probably be worth a pretty penny if I were willing to sell it.”

Carrie encourages her to save as it is likely to become more valuable. Carrie does ask if she can copy it to blow up as a poster sometime.

Christmas Eve, I went back into my room to find a vanity and chair had been moved into my room. It is very girly to the liking of Andrea. I quickly call some friends and share my news. My sister Heidi had already shared a picture with Jenn.

We went to the late night candlelight service, ending at midnight, candles and singing Silent Night. I know it is not about fashions, but I feel joyful wearing a new outfit like my sisters usually do. Mom has a deep red coat with white trim. It’s a good night to wear the 3” heel boots as the snow is slushy.


I’m upset a little, Mom scheduled an appointment for me with her GYN doctor for Wednesday.
Once there, Tina, a classmate at Hillside comes over to greet me after I checked in with the receptionist. It is different for me in filling out their forms as they expect everyone to be female. Tina laughs at my frustration, “Can’t you check female? You’re coming as one today. Would you like me to tell you about the exams we get?” I giggle with her nurse Bonnie takes tina and another nurse takes me in for our appointments.

I think my 141 pounds is good, but Tina called back to me saying she weighed 126. She says, “It must be your excess baggage.” It provided a short giggle, and me saying, “Wishful thinking.”

I get the younger and newer doctor, though Mom reminds me younger is in her early 30s and that she has been in this clinic for four years. She gives extra attention to my testicles saying there is a need to watch out for testicular cancer. She shows me how to examine them as well as my breasts once a month. She gives me a reminder to go into my purse to remind me to make a monthly exam of myself.

“Andrea, I am not telling you what to do, but there is an added risk from you trying to live in both worlds. You’d be able to convincingly dress as Andrew, without anyone needing to know you’ve become a girl.”

She continues, “I know there are doctors in the Caribbean, Mexico and Thailand that could do the operations, but you run a risk there. There is a doctor we recommend in Wisconsin who would use your penis to rebuild a functioning vagina.”

I ask, “Does my Mom know what you are suggesting to me?” She smiles saying, “Before I can bring her into the discussion; I’d need your permission. That is why I am bringing it up in private. Would you like me to call her in and schedule another appointment?”

I thought it would have been a simple, “No!” But I say, “Why don’t I talk with her and get back to you.” When I go back out I go to the receptionist desk and waived my Mom to come over. I felt I was giving in to the inevitable. Mom could we come back in next Tuesday Dr. Monica Triggs would like to talk with us.”

Mom is surprised, though I do not think completely. During the ride home she asks if I would seriously consider becoming a girl permanently. I say, “I would still be able to be Andrew like I can be Andrea now. I am needing to check my breasts and my testes now anyway.”

I ask her, “Please don’t tell anyone that I’m considering this. I will talk to Leah and maybe JC if and when I see her face to face.”


It is New Year’s Eve and my outfit from Carrie was very complete with lace stockings, not pantyhose. The bra fits nicely, lifting my breasts and having delicate pads to help my appearance. The sweater dress could have had leggings instead of the stockings, but I did not choose to go that way. Terra had picked me up to drive me over to Carrie’s.

I do help myself to a berry wine cooler and no one stops me. When I approach Carrie I turn around once and thank her for her good taste and generosity. The leather straps of my fashion boots hold their shape fitting around my ankles. It is important to keep my legs closed and make sure my dress stays underneath me as I gently sit on a bar stool.

Once I help myself to a second cooler, Terra decides this is where we will ring in the New Year. Leah came here by 11:30 though I had not thought she was coming. JC had rung into my phone as well as Carrie’s and my Mom’s. She is too young to be my second mom, but I see her as such anyway.

I had planned to stay out until the morning, but my Mom insists I am to come home. Terra, Leah and others decide they are better in continuing out without me.

Tuesday morning I am packed to return to State Center and school, but we go to see Dr. Monica Triggs before leaving town…

Story to continue…

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