I was not at all sure how I would be feeling during this weekend, considering my daughter had informed my ex- that she did not want to see me… but one must make the best of one’s life, and that is exactly what I did; I thought about her quite a few times, but it was just that feeling of, at least temporary, resignation, that these are for now her feelings on the significant news that has been thrust upon her, and I am ready to help her however I can.
On Saturday it took me ages and ages to get ready, partly because I got side-tracked doing quite a few things at home, but also my face is still very much in recovery mode after its latest severe blasting from my last IPL session. Anyway, by about 2.15pm off I went to my local town of Banbridge, and I had just parked, ready to get out, when I realised I had left my makeup bag at home and so all the way back I went to pick it up… along with my brain!
Once firmly parked at Banbridge, it was around 2.50 so as I had not had breakfast, never mind lunch, it was time to eat, and so I went to my local up-market café called Quails; it is not part of any chain, but I had been there before and all was fine and so I went again. I ordered a bacon, brie, and cranberry panini, and did not have to wait long before it arrived with a copious amount of salad. As I started eating I noticed a woman in the queue for food look over in my direction and I wondered if she was reading me… but once she paid and put her bag on her seat she came over and nicely asked if she could have the newspaper that I was reading once I was done with it, to which I said ‘Of course, no problem at all’. My panini was yummy, I ate delicately, and once my coat was on I gave the paper to the lady who thanked me profusely. Once I had checked my face in the toilets, I exited the place and went across the road to Dorothy Perkins, a medium-level women’s clothes store which I quite like… and for which my lovely parents had given me an e-voucher for Xmas. I had a good browse around, picked up a few items of clothing, and was shown into the changing rooms by a nice lady I had met previously who offered help getting any different sizes if I needed them. I tried all my items on, finding a new way to take items off over my head without scraping half my foundation away, and I went out in one top and asked the lady for a bigger size. I settled for a beautiful almost holly-green dress with a moderate flower pattern with the occasional little butterfly, and the larger-size UK-12 top. At the checkout the women puzzled for a while over how to use the giftcard, but eventually all was sorted and I left happy.
Next stop library! Part of the reason was to upload some more holiday photos from recent years onto my flickr page (andrealough34), which I do there rather than at home to avoid gobbling up my mifi allowance, but the other reason was to change my membership details with them – ‘he’ was a member but I was not. Once I had logged onto the computer, and checked what details they had, I went up to the desk and told them that I was a member already but I had changed my name, and had also lost my card, so I gave them my number and the lady pulled up my details. I half-wondered if I would get any reaction, but there was none, she simply asked for anything showing my new name, which I gave her (which had ‘Miss A D…’) and then she gave me a form to fill out with my new name, also my date of birth, and she updated my existing record but moved it over to a new number. She then pointed to the ‘Gender’ field and said ‘I know this might be a sensitive, but should I update this’ and I said yes. And so now I have a new library card, with my new name in full and my new signature. She said ‘are you going to read a few books now’ in a light-hearted tone and I said ‘I hope so’ then smiled, thanked her for her help, and went back to the computer, where I uploaded photos for a couple of holidays, then looked at the travel books before leaving. I returned to the main street and went into a local department store for a browse of sale items, including the upstairs ‘chic’ floor (with sale prices to match), then thought about one or two more shops, but as it started to snow I thought it might be better to save that for another time. I lastly went to do a Tesco-supermarket shop, paying at a till with the same guy who served me on Boxing Day, so we had a good old chat, exchanged tales of New Year’s Eve, and as someone closed the gate to the till behind me I asked if he was off home, and he was so I talked about his day and wished him a good evening, so he gave me a really friendly farewell and a thumbs up.
One reason I wanted to get home was to ring my wonderful old friend Tim, who I mentioned in a previous post that I had come out to, to remarkable acceptance, earlier in the week. Once home I packed away my shopping, had a cup of tea, and tentatively rang him at about 6.35pm… and had a FAB time talking to him – owing to my significant news, a lot of that conversation was about me, and he had a lot of questions to ask which I was happy to answer, but he has a huge depth of understanding about my position, and of the way people feel in general, he is so perceptive, but I was able to fill in a number of gaps too. Of course, this conversation was in my new voice, and he told me that apart from one or two times when I slipped into old voice patterns (not voice as such, more word patterns) I was generally very consistently new-voice…. though he didn’t say how good it was. I told him about my walking group, the guys that fancied me, and the one I had to tell about me (see post mid-September if interested) where although he had a rough idea what Gender Dysphoria was he got it completely the wrong way round, he thought I was sitting in front of him as a woman wishing I could be a man! That sent Tim into TOTAL hysterics! HUGE gaffaws of laughter at the other end of the phone! Apart from the first minute, the whole call was brilliant, we were totally at ease, a couple of times he said my old name (which is to be expected when he has known me for 30 years) but mostly he said my new one and bid me farewell as such. He was completely fine with any detail I wanted to give him, and I put the phone down with a HUGE amount of hope for a solid ongoing friendship with him.