Patricia needed to go shopping today. I had some errands to run, so they were done in drab. I am not ready to go out fully dressed. I decided to go as compromised Patricia. I had on my copper wig, ladybug dangly earrings, makeup (mascara, lipstick and powder), and wearing a sweater and jeans. I have also taken to wearing scarves as I have a trach for sleep apnea. Until I can think of a way to make it into jewelry, I will hide it with scarves.
Since it was my birthday, I wanted to go shoe shopping, which my wife said that I could. I’d taken the day off from work, a day all to myself. I had been shoe shopping both in-store and on-line for several days. Torrid specializes in big women’s fashions. Their website states they have 13 W shoes
A couple times, I thought about not doing it, but the thoughts were short lived. I wanted Patricia to experience the world. I liked the look of my makeup. It was only powder, concealer and lipstick, but it did enough to soften my features. With my dangly ladybug earrings and copper, shoulder length wig, I looked femme. Now was the time to take her on the road. If I saw a bunch of people pointing fingers or commenting to the person they were with, I could always duck and run. Mind you, it would take more than one occurrence to make that happen.
I left the house and drove on one of the busiest streets in town. It was an uneventful drive. I arrived at the mall and checked myself out in the car mirrors, still satisfied with my look. The time to present Patricia to the public had arrived. Life is seen from a 1st person view, so I wasn’t aware of my looks. I could see people around me, and I paid attention to their facial expressions. Not one raised eyebrow or had a startled look (not even a second glance my way). My confidence grew, but I hadn’t directly talked to anyone. Even when checking the mall directory, one of the girls ahead of me gave me a bored look and went on talking to her friend.
Entering the store, I looked around as a sales lady came to help out. I told her the type of shoe I was looking for–wide shoes, size 13 with a 2-3-inch block heel. Most of the season’s shoes were boots. She pointed me to the closeouts where we found a pair of 13W flats. I sat on a bench by the dressing rooms. There were other ladies in the area, but no one paid any more attention to me than they would to a woman trying on shoes. Being skeptical, I tried them on and they FIT. First time, like a glove, they FIT!! I have my first pair of flats. Since it was a clearance item, I was able to pick a second item for free. I finally decided on a purse. When I checked out, I set up an account in Patricia’s name using her email address. The three sales ladies that helped me chatted and joked; I felt accepted. I left the store, sat on a bench, and changed out my shoes. My exercise shoes felt like giant pillows compared to the thin sole flats.
There is a new ramen restaurant in town so I headed there for a late lunch. I figured this would be a better test for Patricia blending in as the Torrid staff may have just been CD friendly. I chose a seat at the bar by the register. My waitress introduced herself as Britany. I asked what she liked in ramen and ordered that. As I was eating, one of the other waitresses came up and, out of the blue, said, “Your hair is cute. I like the color.” She dropped something off and left. She said it as if she were talking to any other girl. I chatted with Britany about seeing ramen in anime, especially Naruto. We talked about that and other things we had in common. I’ve never had such an open conversation with a girl as I did today.
I learned something important. When you are dressed, and don’t have a bank account in her name, pay in cash. Torrid took my card as a chipped debit card and there was nothing I might have to explain. Here my card was processed with the receipt to sign. I did not feel like trying to explain the name discrepancy so I signed and quickly left before there were any questions.
I beat my wife home and waited for her to get off work in my outfit from shopping. Since it was my birthday, it was time to go for my dinner. She was less than comfortable with me changing into my favorite skirt and blouse, but she did go with me dressed. The first restaurant was totally packed so we went to an Italian restaurant. An older man did smile at me before we left.
At the Italian restaurant, I didn’t notice anyone giving me a second look, but my wife said there had been a guy sitting across from us looking at me for a long time. I don’t know if he was trying to figure me out or just liked what he saw. The waiter was cordial and asked if it was separate checks. My wife made a minor slip in telling the waiter that “It’s his birthday.” She caught herself, and I think it was overlooked by the waiter. Then again, in this day and age, with two women sitting there, maybe he thought I had the male role in our relationship.
It was a great birthday for Patricia to come out and for my male self to add another birthday to the other 63. I hadn’t realized that it was also National Coming Out Day!!