Monday, 3 March 2008

Shopping but not buying

I’ve been thinking about Saturday 01 March 2008.

Mostly on lunch break walks. Nervous. Uncertain as to why I want to do it, but sure that I do.

Friday 29 February 2008. “Ten o’clock?” … my wife kind of sniggers. “Billie’s coming at ten o’clock?” It’s funny because it means I need to wake up at 8:15 to stand a chance of getting made up and dressed ready for the shopping trip. On Saturdays I usually sleep in a lot later than that.

Friday night I file my nails and apply a couple of coats of pink nail polish. I know that attempting to do this on Saturday morning just would not work.

Saturday 03 March 2008. It’s 8:15.

Shower.

Breakfast.

My wife surprises me with a card. It says “Good luck. U can do it! Good luck. Go 4 it”. Inside she has written some very encouraging and sweet words. Makes me smile. I’m a lucky guy. And a lucky girl.

Brush teeth.

Shave. Shaving takes a lot longer when I know I need to apply foundation afterwards.

What to wear? I collect things from the wardrobe and chest of drawers.

Coat and scarf. Black jeans. Stripy shirt. Black holdup stockings. Bra. Panties. White trainers ( sneakers). I bought the trainers last weekend. I would have bought pink, but they don’t do pink in my size.

Underwear and stockings on.

Silicone boobies in place.

Foundation (Max Factor applied by wiping it on with fingers… for me I think it works better than the TV sticks that I used to use).

Pad on translucent powder and brush off the excess.

Shiny silver eye shadow.

A darker layer of gold shadow.

Black liquid eye liner.

The phone rings. Actually it plays a tune.

Being in mid-makeup I kind of listen to it with an air of distraction.

My wife is in the bath and reacts a lot faster to the sound than I do. Younger daughter is 21 today and said she’d phone sometime.

I hear the phone being answered. My wife singing loudly … “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear …”

Then it goes quiet. The phone is passed to me. “It’s Billie”.

Makes me smile. How many people get naked renditions of “Happy Birthday”? And it’s not even Billie’s birthday.

Billie is running a bit late. I’m grateful. Putting on makeup and being in a hurry are incompatible.

Back at the mirror my eyelids have black lines where there should be no black lines. It’s not a good idea to blink with eye liner that is still wet. Cotton wool buds are my friend.

White eyelash thickener.

Black mascara. And a cotton wool bud.

My wife heads off for the golf match.

Blusher.

Lip liner.

Lipstick.

Lip gloss.

Necklace.

Shirt.

Jeans.

Hair.

Earrings.

Watch.

Bracelet.

Ring.

Trainers.

It’s a little after ten o’clock.

The voice of Simone White keeps me company for a while.

The door chime plays a tune.

I head for the door and then think … what if it’s the postman? So I sneak a peek through the window. It’s Billie.

We talk a bit. I think I’m not as nervous as I thought I would be.

The plan is … Matalan (a clothing shop) in Slough followed by shops and lunch in Windsor.

Coat.

Scarf.

I drive … Billie thinks it will help me avoid anxiety. Tidbits of advice as we drive along.

As we head towards Slough we pass under the M4. At the next roundabout there is a line of traffic. Unusual. It looks as though there is a police presence doing some kind of a random check on vehicles. I’m glad that they don’t seem to be hunting down transvestites. I take a left at the roundabout. I had planned on going straight on, but I’m in the wrong lane and a left turn will still get us where we need to be.

We pull into the car park at Matalan. It takes me an unusually long time to park. I smile and blame it on the blond hair.

Heart beating a little faster than usual, we get out of the car and walk towards the store. I’m careful not to look at anyone. A few people … including Billie … have explained to me that this helps reduce the chance of people looking at me.

Peripheral vision is, however, fully active.

People have told me … I’ve told myself … no one really notices … no one cares. And I really do have the feeling that no one is staring at me. The reality of it is somehow liberating.

I can be me.

It’s ok to be me.

I recall that last week someone had asked me what I was planning to buy. I remember saying … “Oh …. nothing. It’s just a shopping trip.” This is definitely a statement that has its source in the feminine part of me.

We look at the shirts, blouses, skirts. Billie mentions that they have a great selection of bras. Good value and well made. I smile.

Billie goes in search of shoes and leaves me to wander around alone for a little while.

I avoid looking at people. It reminds me of a Winnie-the-Pooh story. I think it was piglet … yes … Google gives me the quote:

Winnie the Pooh: Look, look, Piglet. There's something in that tree over there.
Piglet: Is it one of the f-f-fiercer animals?
Tigger: Halloo!
Winnie the Pooh: Yes. It's a "jagular."
Piglet: W-What do "jagulars" d-do, Pooh?
Winnie the Pooh: Well, "jagulars" always call, "Halloo!" And when you look up, they drop on you.
Piglet: I'm looking *down*, P-P-Pooh.

I was definitely looking down. But also smiling.

Billie finds me again and we look around a little while longer.

Then, back into the car and we head for Windsor.

There’s a surprising amount of traffic on Victoria Street … but no queue to get into the car park.

I’m a little surprised at how normal everything feels.

We call by Shoe Fetish, a few (well, ok, all) of the charity shops, Daniels, Marks and Spencer. Billie is looking out for a hat, but none catches her eye.

Then on to Café Rouge. It’s busy, but there are a few seats. We sit down. Beer, orange juice, mussels, chicken salad. The waitress bats no eyelids. But I am still mostly looking down – just in case there are jagulars around.

People come and sit at the table next to us. The guy knocks the beer bottle over. Just as well it’s almost empty. He apologises.

The food arrives. The waiter bats no eyelids.

As we eat I’m kinda looking at people. No one is staring. People arrive at the other adjoining table. The place is pretty much full.

Billie visits the ladies.

I send a happy birthday text to my daughter.

We pay the bill.

I mention I wish I had a camera. Somehow it would be nice to capture something of the moment. Billie has one on her mobile phone. So … as we approach Shoe Fetish, I cross the road to stand outside the shop. Billie stays on the other side of the street to capture the moment.

There’s a big guy standing in front of the shop window. Smoking and talking loudly into his phone. There’s a bus separating me and Billie. I smile. The bus and the big guy move on. All of a sudden I’m being handed a thigh high white boot … “here … this ought to be in the picture.” It’s Kelvin from the shop. Obviously pretty observant. It makes me smile again. Billy captures the moment.



We pop into the shop and chat a while. Such nice people. Natalie (? ... I’m so bad at remembering names) tries my ring on. I met Kelvin at the party in January. We were both schoolgirls at the time. We talk about wigs and shoes and parties and people. With a bit of luck a get together at the pub across the road might become a regular event.

And then ... back to the car. The short drive home.

I didn’t buy a thing.

But I gained a lot!

The nicest shopping trip of my life.

Thank you Billie!

4 comments:

Pretty Sissy Dani said...

You went to all that trouble and didn't buy anything? Not even a pair of shoes? Some hose? A tube of lipstick?

And you call yourself a "girl"!

Andrea said...

Lol ... that's right :)

Actually though it was no trouble at all ... just a lot of fun.

I've noticed that some girls do a lot more shopping than they do buying.

There was a time that I only ever shopped with a purpose. These days I can just enjoy the experience.

The girl part of me is, I think, mostly an expressinon of femininity. It's not the same as being a girl. And, for sure, every girl is different. Every tgirl is different. I guess I'm not a stereotype. Any more than is anone else.

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