And now for the longer version...
On Monday I ordered a purse, four pair of shoes and some pantyhose from Amazon. All but the hose were from Amazon Warehouse. I knew the stuff would arrive on Wednesday and that I'd run over there Thursday morning when I'd be home alone. Wednesday afternoon I got the notification that the items had arrived. At this point, 18 hours before leaving the house, my brain started churning: "Maybe I should go dressed?"
I cycled through a bunch of different options: a) wear women's clothes but present in guy mode (jeans, basic black top, flats) just push the gender line a bit; b) soccer mom wearing yoga pants, pink workout t-shirt and an athletic zipper jacket with keds; or c) just dart over in guymode and make this fast and easy.
I got to thinking about the fact that when I'm out and about in normal guy mode, every so often I get referred to as a female. It's usually clerks who don't really look up and based on their peripheral vision they assume I'm a woman. This always makes my heart leap. But I know, they just didn't actually look at me as once they do they apologize. But still, if I give off a hint of femininity, that's a step in the right direction.
And then I got to thinking about the positive feedback I get about my appearance on Flickr in pictures where all I do is put on lipstick & women's frame glasses, brush my hair to the side in a feminine way and wear a tasteful outfit. Sure, I look much much more convincing with my 15-minute makeup hack job, I know that.
With those two thoughts in mind I decided that I have got to do this: go out in full woman mode, don't have ass this. This is going to be what, 45-minutes round trip? Do it!
I woke up Thursday morning still convicted to do it. I brainstormed the outfit to wear and decided to go for my office worker mode. I showered, shaved, epilated hands (was overdue), got dressed, and did my makeup. That's the second time this week (and year) for makeup. COOL. I only wore makeup 9 times last year. I want to improve upon that this year.
I reload my starbucks card so I can use the app so that they can just scan my phone. I didn't want to pay by cash nor give them a card with my guy name on it. And it's raining out. I check the radar and it's gonna be coming down harder in a little while. Nah, that's not going to stop me
I arrive at the Amazon Locker location which is located at a pretty large fuel station (18 pumps?) with big convenience store. The locker is located outside and on the side of the building. The parking spots right in front of the locker are full so I have to park one row away - not what I was hoping for. I am parked with the back of my car toward the building. Just as I'm opening my door I see that the car between me and the locker has a guy getting out of his car. I pause and wait for maybe 15 seconds time thinking it will take him that long to walk inside.
And here I go. As I am walking to the locker I'm thinking two things: 1) I should be done before that guy comes back and 2) I know there are 4 packages, I'll grab two, take them to the car and come back for the other two. Best laid plans....y'know?
Well, although I have four different locker codes, once I enter one code the Amazon software is nice and helpful and says "oh hey you have 4 packages..." and proceeds to open one locker and when I close it, it opens the next, and so on. OK, I need to take them all at once. Fine fine, I'll make that work. Oh, did I tell you it's raining out? Not a drizzle, not a downpour. I'd have liked an umbrella, but for a short burst of time, it won't matter.
|Here's the haul of packages!|
As I pull out package #2 I realize I just have to stack these on the ground as I cannot pull them out and hold them at the same time. No worries, pushing forward. Somewhere about this time I see the black gentle pop out the side door of the convenience store. I just looked back and pushed through my task. Now that I have all four packages, time to grab the stack and take them to the car. This is not a small stack of packages, I can manage it, but did I look remotely feminine doing it? I doubt it.
With the car loaded and I pull away. As I pull onto the road I think, ok that's enough I don't need to do Starbucks I should get home. But, nope, I drive right to Starbucks. Oh I should say, the locker and Starbucks are located 15 minutes from my house. That is really closer to home that I'd prefer to be out like this, but I just didn't seem to let that stop me. Next time, I'll go a bit farther away just for a bit more sense of ease.
During my drive I started trying to talk like how I would when I needed to place my order. I knew I wanted to speak in a higher tone, but I have never practiced that. Nothing like 10 minutes of a crash course before going live. I get to the order menu, I place my order. She asked me like three times if there is anything else that I wanted - No just my Chai Tea Latte. And then, "And can I get your name for the order?" I hesitated and finally said Tanya. She asked me to repeat it. I said it again and she hesitated and repeated it back to me. At this point I noticed that above the mic is a camera - I never paid attention to that at drive-thru's before. Oh well, it's way too late to back out - full ahead.
I pull forward, get my beverage and as I hold my phone out for the gal to scan the code for my starbucks account I notice above the barcode is my guy name. Ha - that's my husbands name I think in my head. The girl didn't read it or say anything - just a thanks and have a nice day. And I'm off. Well that wasn't a big deal. Huh, what did I think it would be a big deal?
As I'm waiting at a stoplight I take notice of a woman in a car ahead. She's checking her makeup in her mirror and fluffing her hair. Yes! I've seen that lots. And without a second thought, I start doing the same. It was so natural but until that moment, I never felt relaxed enough in my car to just revel in being me. Normally I'm nervous trying not to look nervous but still looking around to see if anyone is looking my way. Enough of that kind of thinking - just be me; just be happy; just act like a woman.
The drive home was uneventful as had the entire drive been thus far. I took a drink of my latte and now the white plastic lid was adorned with my lipstick. It's these little moments in our feminine life that can bring such joy. This may have been the best tasting Chai Tea Latte I've ever had.
As I'm nearing home I realize I have one more hurdle. In order to get packages out of my trunk I need the garage door to up open. I had planned to put the packages on the passenger seat to avoid this. But with the gentleman watching I hit the remote trunk release back at the fuel station and chucked the boxes in the trunk. My neighbors do not know of this side of me. I try to be careful to not go outside where they can see me. But it's 10:00am and there is generally not much going on. Plus it's raining so my walking neighbors should not be out and about. I have a look down the block as I drive in and see no activity. So, I unload the car with my feminine self on full display.
Well I did it! With less than 24 hours I cooked up the idea of going out and I did it! I push through every obstacle that came my way. Admittedly, they were small obstacles but I know in the past I'd have let these derail my execution. I don't know exactly know what made today different. I do think that the past 6 months of taking pictures outside on the deck has got me past the fear of getting outside the walls of my house.
|Modeling new purse and heels|
My takeaways from the morning:
- I don't need elaborate planning to get out and about.
- Keep on doing makeup! It will keep getting better.
- Start practicing my femme voice - pitch and cadence!
- Be ready with my name when asked for take out orders - ha! And say it with confidence.
- Don't order more than 2 packages from Amazon Warehouse when I'm going to pick up in girl mode!
- Keep paying attention to woman to build my library of mannerisms.
- Get a basic small umbrella for my car.
- Keep practicing using my purse so it becomes more natural.
- Relish every moment I spend out in the world as ME!
- Do this again!!!