This week has, at least, as I type, a mixed bag. Nothing wrong, just a few ups and downs.
|Me: just a different style.|
As the road clears and the driver sets off, her bob cut hair swings as she double checks the road. A little voice within says "You're bald. You'll not have hair like that."
It's partly right. I'll not have long hair again. I've a buzz-cut, or skinhead, if you will. Sometimes, I miss my long hair. Not because it made me look female, and I don't miss the faffing about washing it, or brushing it. Now, I'm in the shower, a quick dry and I'm good.
But, I think, it would be nice to choose.... Not unlike being unable (or more accurately, unwilling) to pick your gender presentation.
Ah, but it's best, I think, to ignore such barbs, because they do little except rub salt in the proverbial wound. Instead, I try to think that I will not be just one presentation, all of the time. Chams, I guess, is my release to be the other side of me.
The Other Side of the Lens
When it came to packing for Thursday, I really took too many items. This is generally, a good indication that I don't know what to wear. For a day or three, I was a bit lost. Nothing I thought of seemed to work and I didn't want to repeat my lovely wrap dress from last week. Gah, what's an old trans bird supposed to do eh?
Well, to break up the outfit funk I'm having, I thought I'd try some opaque hold ups. Usually, I wear a pair of skin tone tights and an opaque set over the top. That or some thicker flesh tone ones and sheer black on top. It's not perfect, but hey, it works. Such is life in the Wookie zone ;-)
With the would-be shop visiting next month with some trousers and, well, frankly jumpsuits (I find that sometimes it's fun to just try things). I was planning with thin tights and dark hold ups for a quick change. But, having drawn a blank at two supermarkets, and the local Boots, on a whim, I tried my luck at a village lingerie store. Yeah, we're well posh down our way ;-)
I walked in and said hi to the sales lady. There was a wall of tights to my right, although they all looked sheer. I asked if the store stocked opaques, preferably hold ups, and in large. She lead me to a display at the rear of the store. "We only seen to have medium. Will these be okay?" I looked at the back and as the Ever Lovely Mrs J is only a little shorter than me, I knew medium wouldn't work.
"Sadly not. Not as [insert Mrs J' first name here] is fairly tall and size **." After a spot of rummaging, she found some ones in large, bless her.
We got chatting as I paid, and somehow the subject of gents buying lingerie for themselves came up. Now, at no point had I said the opaques were for me, nor was I asked. So, I said "If this isn't an odd question, can you tell when a chap is buying something for themselves?"
The lady thought about it and said that in her experience, gents who do are very nervous. The lurk outside a bit longer than gents buying for their partner. Also, they tend to hover about in the shop, seemingly not fully able to buy.
Fascinated, I asked if she had many and she said she had a regular number. She then went on to say she tried to help as best she could, with suggestions on sizes, fit and the returns policy.
I said that a sale is a sale, but helping people is what makes good customer service. Just like what she'd done for me. As I handed over the cash, she added, that some of those gents - "cross dressers, is that the right term?" - attended a group, and they'd sometimes go out in public.
I nodded, smiled and said "So long as people are safe as happy, eh?".
As she handed me my change, she added: "It must be awful having to lead a double life. Don't you think?"
I said, with hopefully a good Poker face, that I'd not given it a lot of thought, but I could see how that would be a worry. I added that I hoped people wouldn't mind, but I knew that some folk can be funny about being accepting.
The conversation drifted to Storm Dorris (English translation: the wind is a little brisk ;-) ) and she was glad the fallen tree had been removed. Luckily, I'd not come that way.
Given the above lady's comments, what can we learn if we want to be a bit more stealth?
- Confidence, seems key. Walk straight in, smile, be polite and don't lurk about.
- Help: Don't be afraid to ask for help and do accept it if offered. No need for excuses, just say "Hi, I'm after bra/corset/tights, in size blah. Could you help please?" Don't add in it's for my girlfriend or wife, I mean; why else would you be there? ;-)
- Do I tell? If the assistant asks directly, don't cook up a story. Just say yes, chances are they already know. After all, why risk upsetting a customer?
- Be polite: Don't be a perv. I don't want to hear from my female friends about how their undies may them hot, and I sure as spit, don't want to hear it from you either. Does the sales person need to know? No, no they don't.
At least, those four are my take on things. What about you dear reader? Any pearls of shopping wisdom to share?