Everything in life is part of a greater cycle. There are cycle we see like the earth’s turning about its axis, the moon’s orbit or the earth’s trajectory about the sun. We infer and measure others large and small from the vibration of a single electron in the s-orbital of the hydrogen atom, smaller still to the smallest quanta of space and time where fluctuations cause virtual particles to appear and withdraw constantly to the very large stately cycles the stars make in their orbits around the galactic core.
Back in early 2013 I made my first public appearance at an outdoor outlet mall as Rachel. I was frightened and could only partially dress “en femme” at home as our daughter was living with us. I completed the wardrobe change in the car, did my make up and walked with a distinctly unsteady gate to the entrance where
… it’s cold outside
.. ho di dum
Nothing happens. Nobody cares. I know now that anyone who cared to look would have seen that I wasn’t “genuine” but it made no difference.
Everything was, of course novel. The first time trying on clothes in a dressing room. Interacting with salespeople as a woman. Trying to fit in, contain my excitement, terror and avoid really being noticed.
That day being over I retreated, stopped by a CVS for a last run at being a girl in public and then change back and drive home.
There would be many more encounters to come.
Today I went there and it was a bit different experience.
To start with I got up showered and dressed normally. I put on some lippy but didn’t bother otherwise with makeup. I put on a pair of green earrings that go with my top and after a bit I drove up to the outlet mall.
Today was a little cloudy but mild. That first time was wintertime and a bit uncomfy. I got out of my car and wandered in. I used the bathroom. People do that. I’m people. It is no longer an interesting thing after four years. It wasn’t when I was a guy either come to think about it.
I made my way to Chico’s by way of Jockey. I decided I have enough Jockey underwear for now and that I want to give what Costco’s selling a shot (Jockey’s always my fallback though).
At Chico I tried on a bunch of stuff and managed to find a really pretty long skirt. I moved along and went in the Loft. I found a pair of ankle pants that fit remarkably well. I had a few conversations with the adorable 20 something clerks in the dressing room area.
Last I went by Henckels. I like good knives. I had a long chat with both of the guys there. It occurred to me after that I was relating in a very guy way with the older man. Whatever. It was a good conversation and he told me when the next sale was likely to be.
Then I stopped by Costco for food and headed home. Nobody was going to figure anything out unless I told them, but it wouldn’t have mattered. I didn’t waste much energy thinking about it either.
That’s what almost five years gets you. A degree of comfort and feeling of place in the world.
And the nicest part? The nice cashier at Costco called me miss. Sweet! Isn’t flattery lovely?