CLARA'S ANN CLAYMORE'S FIRST HALLOWEEN / LIFE STORY -- how she grabbed the ring and ran!


Have you ever felt like an outcast? You're reading this, so, of course you have. I was working a full time job and going to night school at the same time. In my third year, I had to change my schedule and take classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That's when I found out that there was a Halloween party every year. I came to the next two parties in my shirt and tie 'cause I always came directly from work to school.

As luck would have it, a friend of mine, who was also a photographer, had an event to photograph and needed help. First, his receptionist booked the event while he was out of town. She should have known that something was up when the client showed up five minutes after hanging up the phone to put down a deposit. The event was an annual Gay Costume Ball that was held every year, and my friend was a Mucho Macho Green Beret. Needless to say, I did most of the photography.

The ball was held every July. I had never seen men dressed like women in person before, and so many of them. So, as Halloween drew closer, I knew what I had to do. I would go as a woman!

I didn't know where to start, so I went to the largest costume shop in town and asked what costumes they had to fit me. The only one they had was a French Maid outfit for large women. So, there you go. When I got it home I found that it was lacking in many areas. My wife and I went to the downtown mall on the weekend (when it was always pretty near empty) to the Fredrick's of Hollywood store. I got a black garter belt, fishnet hose, black bra and a black garter with a gold heart. The sales girl kept bringing me more bras and garter belts to try on. When we were checking out, she asked me if I wanted a pair of padded panties. 'All of the transvestites wear them!' she added.

Next, to the shoe store. 'Would you like five inch heels, sir?' 'No, I am sure that three-inch will be quite enough.' Bought a pair of black heels and a pair of beige ones at half price. Off to Connie's. I found a pearl necklace (a choker on me!) with matching clamp-on earrings.

Just a few things left. Short black wig, Lee Press on Nails and RED Lipstick and nail polish. I was set! Could hardly contain my excitement.

I took a day of vacation on the day of the party. I laid everything out on the bed and added a pair of black, silk boxer shorts ('tap pants'). I got into the shower and had a good time with the razor. Out and completely smooth.

Sat down and started putting on my make-up. Finally, I started getting dressed. It felt so wonderful. Put on the brightly painted Lee's nails and my wig. I added the jewelry and I was all set. I gathered up my books, the food for the party, and stepped out he door.

There were some kids outside, playing in the street, as I was loading everything into my Blazer. They had no idea that I was a man. I drove very carefully to the school. I had my license in my purse, but I didn't want to take a chance on getting stopped for a traffic violation. Darn! No parking places close to the school! I parked three blocks away, loaded up my books and food and started walking.

Hum? What's going to be the best way to get into the building? I know, I'll go in the side door next to the auditorium. Feet aren't hurting as much as I thought. Made it to the door. It's just a short walk to the stairs and up to my classroom.

Oh My God! I have walked into a sea of cap and gowns!! The cosmetology class is having a graduation! One hundred girls and their families waiting to get into the auditorium. Just have to work my way through with out having to say 'Excuse Me!' Cat calls from the Hispanic men.

Didn't realize how short this skirt really is! Where the heck is that stairway?!

Finally made it to the corner and the stairs! Started walking up the stairs. The library is right above the auditorium and it has a glass wall that looks toward the stairwell. As I walk up the stair, I see one of my classmates getting ready to leave the library. Quickly up the stairs and turn the corner. I can hear his footsteps coming up quickly behind me. As he gets closer, I hear his steps slow; he's checking me out. He goes past me and, I let him get about three steps ahead.

'Hello, Bob!' He knows the voice! A sudden stop and a slow turn, mouth wide open! He doesn't know what to say. Wouldn't matter, can't speak anyway.

Standing there, looking at each other. My photo business instructor is walking down the hall. She recognizes me and comes up giggling. 'Are you going into Martin's class?' She asks. 'Yes,' I answer. 'I have got to see this! Give me those bags and let me get in there ahead of you.'

The two of them disappear through the classroom door. I stand there with my books for about thirty seconds. Do I walk in and put my book on the desk or do I walk in looking at Mr. Martin? Not looking! I reach down, grab the doorknob and walk in to the room. The door opens into the side of the classroom and my computer table is straight across the room. I share the table with a guy I know from the photo lab I use to process my film. He has a speech impediment, he stutters. As I put my books down, he looks up, cowers back, staring, unable to speak.

Time to look at Mr. Martin! Never did get to see him! There is this woman who sits across the aisle and one row behind me. She has had a crush on me for several years but I have always ignored the fact. As I turn around, she freaks!

'OH, MY GOD!! IT IS YOU!!' She is yelling at the top of her lungs! I am staring at her now. I finally look at the two instructors at the back of the room. Mr. Martin is smiling. but the other instructor is cracking up. The woman instructor leaves, taking the food for the party with her.

Well, the rest of the class I get comments from the girl and the lady next to her. 'Your outfit is too well coordinated, you're making us look bad.' 'How long have you been wearing heels, you walk too well in them.' 'Don't sit like that, you have to cross your legs like this!' Class is finally over, I gather up my books and leave.

As I am walking across campus to the other building where the party is being held, I can feel something new. It's my hips swaying as I walk in my heels. A smile comes across my face. This feels really good. Up the stairs and down the hall to the studio. The party is in the common room and by cutting through the studio; I can come in the back door. I put down my books and grab a plate. I stand by the table, eating some chips and dip, watching everyone else. They have no clue!

There is a little Oriental student with very thick glasses. He blinks all the time. He comes in and fills his plate with Fritos. 'Hi, Lee!' I say. The cat's out of the bag now. Everybody knows my voice. I don't remember a whole lot about the rest of the evening.

The next day, I get a call from my favorite instructor. Well, you ruined your image last night,' she said. 'What do you mean?' I asked. She answered, 'You have always been considered a techno geek, you have always make good grades and do well on your projects, so every one thought you were a nerd. Not anymore.'

Oh, yeah, wait to next year!

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