As some of my geographically-local friends already know, I can be a bit of a dozy mare. I probably shouldn’t even write about my Saturday morning as you’ll all think I’m totally brainless, maybe I’m just too honest. Anyway, as I have detailed in many previous posts, I joined a walking group last May and they meet up every two weeks… and so as it had been two weeks since the last walk I was looking forward to my next walk with the group. I got up at 7.55, got ready, and drove to where I thought the walk was departing from… except that when I got there, five minutes early, there was nobody there that I recognised, particularly no cream mini which is driven by the walking group leader. How odd! But I assumed I was parked in the wrong place, as there weren’t loads of parking spaces, so I drove up the next road, where there was a large car park, but still nobody. I phoned walking-group-leader a couple of times, but no response, so I had a bright idea and phoned Margaret who I remembered was on the walk – she answered, and sounded quite pleased to hear me, and I asked her if she had after-all gone on the Stormont-Estate walk… and she said “Andrea, I don’t think that walk is for another two weeks”. Oh good grief, what an imbecile I felt… and unfortunately this can be fairly typical behaviour for me, when I am tired I can get very absent-minded and/or clumsy. Then Margaret admitted that she was miserable because it was the weekend anniversary of her husband dying… and I felt really bad.
Well, I was not intending to go all the way back home again, so I decided I would treat myself to a nice lunch. I was quite near Holywood where I remembered there was a lovely café that I had been to after a previous walk. I went to a nearby Tesco, changed into one of my favourite day-dresses from Next, then did a grocery shop; I wasn’t in a good mood, so did not chat much to the friendly checkout girl; as it was Mother’s Day I decided to buy myself some flowers (for the first time ever), maybe most people wouldn’t call me a mother, seeing as I did not give birth to my daughter, but I am her parent and I am a female. Then onto Holywood where I queued up at the Coffee Yard to order a roast chicken ciabata, which I enjoyed while listening to a couple of guitarists playing for customers. In the afternoon I went clothes shopping for several hours before heading home with only a few items after much time spent in changing rooms.
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Sunday was an altogether better day for several reasons, particularly as I would spend several hours of it with my BFF… but also because by the end of the day I felt even more of a girl… and in fact truly magical. I don’t know whether it was because I had a reasonable night of sleep, and also got a lie-in Sunday morning, or just because I have been full-time now for over six weeks, but I felt supremely confident everywhere I went and every time I spoke to anyone.
I don’t know why, but when I woke up a thought popped into my head – should I get my ears pierced today? After all, I have now lost two earrings from pairs that I like, and the last one I lost I was really annoyed about as I really liked it. But then I thought that maybe I should wait until my parents have visited, as maybe the shock of seeing me as a woman would be enough without that. Undecided, after putting on my face and clothes, I headed out. First stop was Argos, to get a clothes airer to hang my girlie washing on, as the tumble dryer is a no-go area for many of my girlie clothes – I paid with vouchers, and when the box arrived and the girl asked if I was okay carrying it I thought to myself “Girl carrying large box, not a good look… and NOT good for my bad back” so I asked if someone could carry it to the car and so the checkout girl said to a young guy “Could you carry something out for that lady?” (moi). He came out and carried it as far as the door and then an older guy took over, I chatted about training for lifting heavy things, and he was really nice. Onto Bowstreet Mall where I hoped I would have time to get eyebrows threaded, but alas no so I just went to Primark where I bought quite a number of lovely summery tops and a couple of dresses before meeting up with Kirsty outside support group HQ.
We spent the afternoon in Belfast centre, shopping for the most part. As usual, we parked in Castle Court and, after going in a couple of clothing stores, went to the far end, down the escalators, and towards the exit… past Claire’s which, for those of you who don’t know, is a shop selling earrings, jewellery, and other accessories. And I HAD to go in! Near the entrance was the chair where people’s ears are pierced and, as I um-ed and ah-ed, a family went in front of me with their little daughter to get her ears done; I was quite glad to watch her first, so I knew the process by the time it was my turn. The only problem was that when the girl’s ears got their rings in place her face collapsed into tears, and my legs went a bit jelly-ish; I said to Kirsty “Can I change my mind?” and she went “Uh, no!”. And then it was my turn!! I was presented with a picture-frame-type affair full of starter-earrings to choose from, and I immediately narrowed it down to two – I see myself as very feminine, and somewhat dainty, and so I went for a pair of 9-carat earrings with sparkly crystal inserts.
I filled out a long form with all types of questions and health clauses, I felt like I was buying life insurance! then the shop assistant drew little dots on my ears, one of which she corrected, then asked if I wanted them both done at the same time, and I figured that would be best, to get it out of the way all in one go. So another assistant came along, the first one counted to three with ear piercers (or whatever they are called) over my ears… and then it was done! For those contemplating it, there was literally a few seconds of stinging, a few minutes of my ears feeling slightly swollen, but otherwise fine. I paid, asked about follow-on earrings which I was showed on a stand, and then I headed out of the shop with Kirsty… and tears began to dribble down my eyes as emotions went out of control! I felt SO girlie with my newly-pierced ears, and I suppose that feeling rushed back again – only 14 months ago I was only venturing outdoors with any purpose… and NOW my ears were pierced, and I was into my seventh week of RLE. Kirsty and I spent the rest of the afternoon shopping – well, I spent a third of the time looking in pretty much any mirror I could find at my lovely ears, another third stemming the flow of tears from my elated feelings with Kirsty on-hand for support and make-up-ruining tear-spotting, and the other third focussed on shopping. Before returning to Lisburn and parting company, Kirsty and I finally had coffee and cake at a Café Nero, where I can now tell you all my latest news – I have my new passport, that I showed Kirsty as we ate… AND as well as having my girlie picture and name, IT SAYS I AM FEMALE!!! I was SOOO pleased when I got that in the post! So anyone who dares to question my gender I can now potentially show them my passport, should I have it with me, and say “so what does this say, huh?” FEMALE! ME!