Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Shopping and Catching Up With Friends

I haven't gotten to hang out with my two favorite local friends very much lately.  So when (hmm, lets make up some names....) Jack and Diane invited me out of town last Saturday I jumped at the chance!

The trip was required for Jack, who had an all day meeting.  That left Diane and I with a girl's day out sort of situation, which was just awesome!   We had lots of time to chat and catch up, ate some Taco Bell for lunch in the car, sat on a bench on the college campus for a long chat, and drove around checking out the town.  It was all just great.

But the highpoint was the shopping.  We hit Factory Connection and the merchandise and prices were amazing.  I've mentioned for a while now that I need work clothes and that I have a hard time shopping for them.  When I think about work I always imagine that I'm going to be under my co-workers' microscope and completely over analyzed this January.  Thinking about it makes me feel a need to over-analyze too, and to make sure every purchase is inscrutable.

When I walked into this store, I was hit with much the same feeling.  I just started going through the racks, feeling overwhelmed by all the worries.  Shopping for clothes is easy.  Shopping for acceptance-not so much.

Diane was great though and helped me get past it.  She started pointing out things she knew I would like.  She was so excited about all of her finds and the enthusiasm was contagious.  Before long, I was actually picking out pieces to too, and once the dressing room was unlocked and I had tried on a few things, I was pretty much unstoppable!

I ended up with stuff that is work appropriate, flattering and very much in sync with my sense of style.  I didn't hold back and this trip marks a complete departure from the androgynous clothing choices I've made in the past few months.  I think I am geared up for the entire winter season now.  After winter break I will be full time, and my limited wardrobe was one of the biggest remaining hurdles.  It is very exciting to finally have that sorted.  I love the way I look in all these clothes too, which helps my confidence.  And coming out at work, confidence is always a good thing.  :)

After Jack got out he had Taco Bell too, and then we hit the next town over and shopped Burke's Outlet.  Jack and Diane walked around checking out the whole store.  I had a very specific purpose in mind though.  For my coming out I have clothes, shoes and outerwear all covered.  But I needed a nice versatile bag.

In the end I found a brown metallic   Kathy Van Zeeland bag at an outrageously low price. It is probably the nicest bag I have ever had, and the color should prove versatile.

I've really always wanted the convenience of being able to carry a bag.  I stopped carrying men's wallets two years ago, and since then everything I carry on a daily basis gets shuffled between coat boxes, the car glove box, pants pockets, desk drawers and my laptop case all day.  Then on weekends when I am out, it all gets migrated into luggage and purses.  Its very hard to keep up with anything this way.

 It is going to be so wild, being able to just put everything in a bag and always know where it is.  As my first bag for every day carry, I'll probably end up developing quit an attachment to it. I also got a wallet and a 7 day pill box to take care of my remaining storage needs.

In Burke's we ran into one of my co-workers, who was, according to Jack and Diane, sneaking around trying to get a good enough look to positively identify me.  I really wasn't dressed for greeting co-workers, in much less androgynous clothing than I generally pick for around the office.  They are used to turtlenecks, crew necks and such, not off the shoulder cowl necks and embroidered stretchy jeans with rhinestones all the way down the sides.  I could not leave the bag though, so I decided to take my chances and check out anyway.  She ended up striking up a conversation with Jack and Diane as they waited in line behind me and I knew at that point I had definitely been made.  I still didn't turn around though.  I'm full time in just a few work weeks and the game is up.  No worries!

After Burke's we all got sandwiches at Penn Station (where they wrote me up as Shana yet again.) Then we headed home for an evening of chatting and watching movies.  We picked Avatar, which turned out to be a bit of a let down.  Diane pointed out some similarities between it and Pocahontas and we ended up making fun of most of the first half.  Then the movie got more serious and I ended up getting drawn in despite all the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 type commentary, and the presence of umpteen gazziolion cliches, from the bad ass marine with a heart of gold, to the stereotypical tomboy femme fatale pilot, and General Duke Nukem.

I stayed over night and Sunday we watched Steel Magnolias, which I could write a whole separate blog on.  I have an acne spot beside my right eye that probably has something to do with all the crying I did.  Steve fell asleep.  LOL!

We spent the last part of the evening on a technical project for Diane's class.  I love that sort of thing so I enjoyed helping out, and learned some software stuff I didn't know too!

Monday morning it was hard to believe the weekend was over, but it was only a two day week and I was feeling so confident had happy after the wonderful weekend.  I was very productive and happy for those two days.

In the hall during the last class change of the day a student stopped me.  "I saw you this weekend!" she exclaimed happily.

"Oh, where at?" I asked, more curious than alarmed.


"Oh yeh!" I said, and waved as I made my way down the hall.


Melissa said...

I hope we get to see a fashion show of all your new clothes! Something tells me, this is going to be the best holiday season of your life so far!

Melissa XX

Two Auntees said...

Sounds like you made out like a bandit, love shopping a good sale. Sounds like a good weekend all the way around.

Suzi said...

I'm with Melissa...we need a lot more pics of you, especially when you go full time. What are the 7 day pill boxes for?...birth control pills? :)Suzi

Amy K. said...

Congratulations on getting your first real bag! Shuffling those cards and papers around sure sounds confusing. But I can understand you wanting to get rid of that nasty ol' wallet. As for me, I burned mine. ;)

Shopping and such sounded like so much fun. I'm glad you had a good time out. :)