Sunday, August 15, 2010

Krema D'Crop

The straight community (and a lot of gays) think drag is about dressing up as a woman. It's not. I didn't get it either at first. My gay friends and I avoided drag queens like the plague. After all, it's people like them who give people like me a bad name. Right?

Drag is really about selling yourself as something you are not. It's a persona; an illusion--perhaps even an alter ego. The illusion requires more than just the right look. To pull it off you have to own it.

Consider Krema D'Crop. She has appeared in public exactly one time in the last 30 years. It started when my first ex- and I planned to dress up in drag for Halloween with J____ and D____, our best friends. We hit secondhand stores, consignment shops and garage sales in search of appropriate attire and accessories.

Krema settled on a lovely leopard-print blouse and a tiny little black skirt. We couldn't find everything we needed secondhand. Some things you sorta want to buy new. Krema opted for medium-to-large boobs, blond hair, and a pair of leopard print pantyhose.

Buying the shoes was the funnest part. While perusing pumps at the Shoe Carnival, a kindly salesclerk asked if I needed any help. I told him I needed the biggest thing he had in a black spike pump.

Halloween was on a Tuesday. We all had to work and decided to go out on Friday instead. The new bar where Levas's Restaurant used to be was advertising prizes for best costume. We were in it to win it.

J____ worked in a hair salon. When the big day finally arrived, most of his coworkers came to his house to help the four of us get ready. The girl who did our make-up worked for Glamor Shots. A real manicurist did our nails. J____ did all the hair.

Krema's transformation was the first to be completed. While practicing to walk in 3-inch heels, she discovered a wardrobe problem. That cute little black skirt kept creeping up over her ass, shattering the entire illusion. No matter how much she tugged and pulled that skirt would NOT stay where it belonged.

At the last minute, she swapped it for a lovely maroon number last seen on a bride's maid a decade or two earlier. Without the matching blouse, the leopard print pantyhose looked a little odd but beat the heck out of having to shave my legs. The pumps worked--that's why every girl has a nice pair of black heels.

Krema and company headed out for a night on the town. We had to park a mile away and walk down Upper Street. By the time we go to the bar my feet were killing me.

We got ourselves together, payed the cover and headed into the bar. Turns out, the big bash had been Tuesday night. Nobody was dressed up. Not a soul.

My three dragmates bolted immediately. No way they were going to be caught looking that way when nobody else was dressed up. Always one to carpe the proverbial diem, Krema decided to stay. Besides, she hadn't spent all that time and money working herself into a look for nothing.

Krema had the time of her life. When her glass was empty another drink appeared. Dozens of men of all ages vied for a spot on her dance card. People asked Krema to dance who wouldn't otherwise give me the time of day. She had a blast.

There was really only one awkward moment. The bottomless cocktail eventually forced Krema to retreat to the powder room. Every man should have to pee in pantyhose. Between the tight fit and the inch-long fingernails, she barely avoided inflicting serious harm.

Thanks in no small part to RuPaul and Lady Gaga, drag is suddenly the rage. As is so often the case, I was years ahead of my time. Waiting for the rest of you to catch up keeps me...

The Crotchety Old Man

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