Sunday, 24 June 2012
Shopping - a bittersweet experience
Shopping has never ever really been my friend. In boy mode, buying boy clothes, apart from one very memorable experience with my friend Sarah, I have never really enjoyed it. Mainly this is because I feel I’m wasting money buying an ugly and frankly dull disguise. Even buying girl clothes has only ever been done in boy mode or on the Internet. I doth my millenary to Lynn Jones of YATGB fame for her posting this week on shopping en femme. She looks amazing and her quick wit is just the coolest thing ever.
But back to the plot. In the last week I have had two contrasting experiences of shopping. Both unpleasant in their own special ways. Both reinforcing why its such a tough thing.
I don’t know about you, but buying girl clothes dressed as a boy can sometimes be slightly traumatic. Over the last few years, I’ve done it lots and have grown accustomed to the stares and weird looks. I know that I should have graduated to shopping in girl mode, but I haven’t yet. Plus, I’m not convinced that the stares would be less if I did. But needs must. I’ve got a photo shoot coming up in a few weeks. I have only have one outfit sorted. 2-3 more are needed, I had some free time so I thought I’d make a start.
In a strange twist, Cheltenham was the convenient location for this trip. I live in a very weird travelling world. Battle had commenced and I was in my second shop of the day. Suddenly, from nowhere a big confidence zapping (and indeed sapping) machine came from the sky, cartoon style, hovered above my head and sucked every ounce from me. I instantly went from confident would-be girl to rabbit snared by headlights. I just had to escape as quickly as possible. I got immediately into the lift to my car and I was glad that I was alone because I’m not embarrassed to tell you, I cried.
Does this strike you as odd behaviour? Even now, when I reflect on it, I don’t really know what happened. Despite promising myself that I would lose weight, I haven’t yet. Its rubbish I know, but that’s life. I wonder if it was just one too many shopping trips as a fat man that got on top of me. Either way, the horse is there, I need to get back on it asap.
In a few weeks time, I have the transgendered person’s possibly worst nightmare evening coming up. The black tie dinner. Even as I’m typing, I have a sinking feeling at the thought. It is an event where the men will have to look dashing and the women (most of whom are under 30 and impossibly slim) will look fabulous in their lovely dresses, heels, make up etc. I’m sure you are starting to see the problem.
Yesterday I went to purchase my outfit for the night. Given that it is a thing attended by lots of my work clients, the girl clothes possibility is at less than zero. So instead, went to arrange for the hire of my tux. Now that’s trauma. Suit hire places, as I found yesterday, really do play to the law of averages. My body refuses to abide by such boring social conventions. I tried on the trousers - to get ones that fit my waist, they swamp my legs. I tried on the jacket - to fit my chest size, the jacket has to be huge in shoulders - unlike me! And I get to pay a load of money for the privilege of looking disproportionate.
Don’t get me wrong, every time I’ve gone to one of those events, I eventually enjoy it - I think that it may be the oncoming, stupefying effect of alcohol. But its getting harder to watch half the crowd getting to look amazing while I am in a very boring, ill-fitting uniform. And to watch the other half of them carry off dashing remarkably well.
I really don’t fit with either camp. And the sad thing is that I'm not sure I ever will.