I’d managed to squirrel away some extra spending money this month and was at a loss to decide what to best use it on; a wrap/poncho, make-up, underwear, a dress, save it towards a wig … and new or used (ok, so not “used” underwear, eeuwgh).
I’d been looking at a few things online, eBay and such, but all the things I really liked were either out of my price bracket or too great a risk size-wise to be able to commit to.
I also needed to go down town to get some more VO5 hot oil for my hair.
Ok, so town it was going to be. Next question … Boy (another eeuwgh), or “Tish” (palpitations)?
I decided I’d shave, shower and do my hair then see whether I felt brave enough, and then see if I could decide what to wear of the few women’s clothes that I have that didn’t show the little folds in my still slightly over sized bra. Eventually I had an idea. I could use the little white top underneath my blouse and that should mask things enough. Pair that with a plain black skirt, the slightly narrower one in case it got windy, and I could be good to go (with two pairs of panties to give extra “squash”).
Slowly, very nervously, and in my standard totally disorganised manner I got myself and all my things ready. Although my handbag had been used before my little money purse hadn’t, so I had to transfer cash and cards into that too, and triple-check the bag contents to make sure I had everything I might need, and nothing that would take up much needed space.
Several cups of tea, a lot of blog reading, way too many cigarettes and a lot of quivering later and it was already gone 2:30 in the afternoon. I’d forgotten to go round the local shop for cigarettes before starting to get dressed but I devised a route that would take me past a small store that I’m not known in so I could get some on the way.
Ok Tish, so it’s now or never girl.
Why do I always stand at a funny angle when taking selfies? Probably because it’s such a new thing for me.
One last triple/quadruple check of everything (and two more tinkles) and out the door I went.
I got to the car without running in to any of the neighbours … good start! I switched into my RayBans for driving. Ok so it was a bright day, but every little bit of protection seemed appropriate.
Arriving at the little store I was able to park right in front of it and was about to get out of the car when a doddery old gent went in there. After a couple of minutes of waiting for him to come out again I thought “Oh, what the hell” and just went for it. The shopkeeper was chatting to a couple of people and took a minute or two to move along the counter to serve me. Couldn’t he tell I was bricking it?! He got the cigarettes for me and then asked “Will that be all, Sir?”.
EEK! Did he really HAVE to add anything gender specific to the end of the question?
I got back to the car, lit a much needed one, and carried on into town, fortunately finding a parking space in the 2-hour section not far from the Theatre, where I knew I could head to and use the toilets (yes, again!). Sitting in the car for a couple of minutes waiting until there was nobody in close proximity and then … OUT, into the wide world of the town centre as Tish, alone, for the first time.
I headed straight for the Theatre and the comparative safety of the Ladies Toilets, a reasonably safe bet in the afternoons as there are never many people there then, did what I needed to do, and then one final “spruce up”, check-over and selfie before making for the town centre proper. I’d decided to switch out of the RayBans as I felt they would draw even more attention to me, and I’d need to keep switching out of them back to my normal glasses once I was in the shops.
OMG, I LOVE women’s toilets! All those mirrors, and sooo much space! What a revelation.
As I headed along past the Police Station there were some students ahead of me who were walking much slower that I do, even with one shoe slipping drastically, so I had to run the gauntlet and overtake them. Deep breath and “go for it”. No obvious comments from them, so all good so far. I cut through a small precinct and down on to the High Street proper. YAY! … got there!
Suddenly I felt more confident. The High Street is pedestrianised, apart from Disabled parking and deliveries, and the familiarity of it seemed to ease my stress somewhat.
First job was to get some extra heel inserts to stop that shoe slipping, and so into Boots I went. When I got to the check-out counter the lady didn’t react in any unusual way, despite what she may have thought, and willingly disposed of the packaging as I put the new inserts into my shoes.
I seemed to have subconsciously realised that I feel “safe” in shops, they feel like a natural environment for me and I don’t feel so “out of place” or exposed there, so I wandered out the rear entrance into the mall and along to Peacocks, the store where I’d bought the skirt last week. Another little sigh of relief as I was in familiar territory again. The “Sale” rails are getting thinner now and there was nothing there in my size so I wandered around the Costume Jewellery stand by the pay counter and, while I was browsing, I heard the girl who’d served me last week say “How was the skirt?”. I turned to face her and we chatted for a few minutes; me explaining the problems I have not being able to hang things up properly due to the situation at home, her giving me tips on ways to get away without ironing stuff. It’s nice to have someone friendly and accepting of me to chat to and ease the tension.
For anyone going “out” for the first time I really would recommend trying to “break the ice” with a store attendant prior to your first trip “out” for real. Just hearing a friendly voice during this first trip down town made such a difference, and for a few minutes I really could relax and “be me” without worries of any kind. I barely even acknowledged the fact that her colleague was serving other people alongside us as we chatted, yet alone worried about how those people may be seeing me. Things were just “normal”.
We said our farewells and I carried on browsing the rails, seeing lots of lovely outfits that I couldn’t justify buying as I’d have nowhere to wear them and, more importantly, nowhere to hang them at home. If I were “free” to be me the whole time and had my own place I’d have snapped a couple of them up.
Another short walk into one of the new “Cheap” stores that have recently opened up, but nothing of interest there this time, and then reluctantly bypassing T.K.Maxx along to my favourite Charity Shop, The Salvation Army. They always have the most gorgeous dresses on mannequins in their window, but never in my size of course. My main reason for preferring this shop is that all their rails are organised by item type and size so it’s really easy to narrow it down when looking for things. I wish all Charity Shops were as well organised. I know some are, but others just mix everything up and make it impossible to find anything without checking almost every single item on every rail. Grrr. Come on guys, think of your customers!
Unfortunately there was nothing suitable for me in the Autumn Wear this time, (oh to be a size 10, 12 or 14), and so I slipped down the adjoining empty corridor into BHS, almost walking straight into one lady who suddenly appeared from round the corner at the end as I was fumbling in my bag for my phone, considering taking a selfie with their display as a backdrop. Oops.
My plan at this point was to go from BHS back out onto the High Street, along a little way to Marks & Spencer (great wraps, even greater undies that I’m desperate to try) then back to Boots for the hair oil, but BHS took longer than I thought it would.
After checking out their knitted wraps and finding the patterns rather disappointing for my needs, bypassing the lovely nighties, deciding against any of the underwear, I was browsing some more jewellery stands and had picked out a small bracelet when I spotted a rather nice white wrap with black and grey blocks that would have well suited the rest of my outfit. There was a male store attendant close by, (dare I say he sounded slightly effeminate), so I asked him if I could try it on and he led me to the changing rooms. Unfortunately it made me look even more enormous than I already am and so it was a no-go, but he then suggested some others that I hadn’t noticed and took me over to see them. Again no luck, but he suggested another possibility that I might like and this time we were on a winner. It was one that I recalled seeing online and liking. Reversible, and this one was black and beige so would go with both this outfit and the lovely skirt I’d bought last week. Here is the Grey/Light Grey version (as worn properly) …
Oh, I’ve just noticed … the one I rejected is in the background of that picture.
The woman on the till when I went to pay was of a particularly chatty disposition, plus she had asked me if I wanted one of their store cards and, me being very inexperienced in these things, I thought she meant just a card which earned you bonus points. After several minutes of her taking lots of information from me, which I thought at the time was slightly odd but my feet were killing me by now and so I was having trouble thinking straight, it came to the crunch when she asked me to sign and I realised that it was actually a form of Credit Card that she was selling me. I wasn’t overly amused. I did sign for it but the chances are that I’ll get turned down anyway given my financial situation. She did like my little butterfly earrings though which I’d chosen to wear because they go with the outfit but are quite subtle. I think I’ll wear them a lot.
I took the selfie above on the way out of the store and then stood by some seats for a much needed ciggy, carefully turning my back on a group of “lads” who were passing by and a group of teenage schoolgirls.
Not having time now to go to M&S I popped back into Boots and as they have already started rearranging things to include their Christmas displays I had to ask where the hair oil had moved to. Not a problem as I really don’t have any difficulties speaking to store staff; they’re always pleasant and helpful and, let’s be honest, it would be more than their job’s worth to make any adverse comment.
Having got the oil I needed to head back to the car as my 2 hours were nearly up. The walk up the sloping passageway is always an awful struggle for me with the state of my legs, even now I’ve had my second treatment, but somehow I made it and headed back toward the Theatre as I didn’t think I was going to last out without another leak before getting home.
Just as I was passing the Police Station a car pulled up alongside me with the window down and a man’s voice was saying “Excuse me! … Excuse me! …”
I mean, come on!
Even from the back it must have been fairly obvious what you were dealing with here!
Anyway, I helped him with directions as best I could, although I’ve since realised that I got things a bit wrong. I had given him alternatives though so I hope he found his way without too much hassle.
On to the safety of the Theatre toilets and then back to the car, running the gauntlet of the stationary traffic at the lights close to the Theatre, grateful that the guy driving that grey Merc wasn’t someone I knew after all, and ignoring a couple of wolf-whistles from ignorant fucktards on the way.
Then relief! Home again without knowingly being spotted getting from the car and in through the door.
As it was now getting into “wifey possibly arriving home time” I did a rapid change, tidy up, double and triple checking that everything was put away and then a very much needed cuppa (!), followed by taking off that little bracelet I was still wearing … Oops!
So there we are, I’ve done it! My first time “out” by myself, en femme. YAY! So what have I learned?
I do need to use the rest of my available cash to buy more subtle, androgynous clothing, that’s for certain. Plus if I really do want to wear skirts or dresses down town I really will need a wig. My hair must glow as bright as a neon sign advertising the fact that I’m a “Tranny” of some sort, but it’s a learning process and I’ll get there eventually.
Then there’s the shoes. Those ballet flats made my big toes ache like hell after a while, plus they have no heel support and I have a long history of needing padding in the heel area. They were ok for the Pride film show the other month as that was in the Theatre and so was carpeted everywhere, but out on the streets they’re not so good. When I got up for a tinkle in the night I could hardly put my foot on the floor it hurt so much. How I find large female shoes with padded heels I have no idea, but in the meantime I do have a pair of bluey suede ankle boots that will just about be ok with trousers, gaucho pants, etc.. They have a hard heel but at least my toes won’t be fighting to keep them in place while I’m walking. Unfortunately they don’t go with the skirt I bought last week.
All I have left to say is that my bestest online T-Girl friend, S, has been “upping the stakes” recently with regard to how far each of us has been progressing with being “out” in public.
Your move, girl!