Archive for the ‘shopping’ Tag

A Fitting Experience

While I’m taking a few days off work this week, I’m taking the opportunity to take care of some personal errands. As you do. It’s not a glamorous use of vacation time, but it’s necessary. But today was a majorly cool experience.

My big gift for Christmas this year was a gift certificate for a custom made suit. My brother and sister-in-law gave me this gift for a couple of reasons. First they know that I don’t like shopping and don’t often spend a lot of money on myself, but would do both if given a nudge like this. Second, it’s something I’ve been talking about doing in preparation for the Alaska cruise our family is taking this summer. So my SIL went with me to be measured and have an initial fitting today.

I’m a bit of a nervous nelly when it comes to clothes shopping. The task has been fraught with stress and anxiety for me for my entire life. As a child, it was almost a war between me and my mother over what was “appropriate” for me to wear. I rebelled against anything “girlie”, which she felt was the only look fitting for my gender. As I got older, the experience became even more excruciating when size stigma was piled on top of gender discomfort, as well as being constrained by cost.

But since I attained a level of comfort (financial as well as gender identity), choosing masculine clothing exclusively, I’ve felt better about myself and the shopping experience. Yet even with that relative ease, shopping for clothes has still been a tense experience. So I anticipated that today’s activity would be as well.

I’ve never been happier to be proven wrong. Today’s experience was the most comfortable, gender-affirming, fun shopping experience I’ve ever had. My sister-in-law had prepared the way by talking to the stylist ahead of time, warning him that I am easily embarrassed and don’t like to shop.

It worked, because he greeted me by name and with a smile and firm handshake. He treated me with dignity and attention to detail, careful to discuss with me how he needed to touch me, asking my consent first. And he was carefully discreet with my measurements, which was so important to me. He even joked with me when I said I needed to be sure they wouldn’t add girl darts to the jacket that would give me cone boobs. 😜

It was so positive that I ended up ordering two suits and will likely add at least one custom dress shirt, as well. I’m surprised at how excited I am to have clothes made specifically for my non-standard body. Makes me feel pretty good, I have to admit. And that I’m going to have them in time for my 50th birthday is also really cool. I can’t wait to sport some custom fashion!

Thankful for…bookstores

Don’t get me wrong, in many noble and community-minded ways, libraries trump bookstores by a long way. But specifically today, when madness of crowds seems to be the rule everywhere we go, I’m thankful for the bookstore.

Despite the occasional screaming kid in the kids section, the bookstore is a welcome harbor of relative peace in the midst of the throngs of people. I don’t do well with crowds and I really despise shopping at the best of times. But I’m out today to support my sister-in-law who does so very much for me. She loves this shopping madness and wanted to dive into it, but wouldn’t go alone. I couldn’t let her miss her fun, after all she does for me.

But I’m so thankful for the welcome break of relative quiet the bookstore offers. While she braves the genuine madness of ToysRUs (I just am not that brave!) on Black Friday, I’m ensconced in a quiet corner of the coffee shop inside B&N, typing this post, having a cool drink, and resting from the sensory overload after the mall.

Though I feel mildly guilty for experiencing a rush of relief at getting to hunker in this corner, I’m hugely grateful that the book shop is here and they offer this oasis of rest.

Good things to drink, nice smells from the coffee & pastries, and a table and high-backed booth to offer a welcome separation from the press of shoppers–all are part of the blessing I find in having a bookstore at the shopping center.

I suppose I should have butched-up and offered to run the toy-gauntlet with her. But since I didn’t, I’m going to enjoy this short season of reprieve and read a book, sip my craft soda or maybe a latte, and stay out of the way of the power-shoppers.

Happy Friday to all.

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