Over the past few weeks I've been noticing that I need a new pair of shoes for work; I work in fast-food, so I need non-slip shoes for work. I usually go to Payless for shoes, and my father usually comes along so we can take advantage of whatever "buy-one. . ." discount they have going on at the time. Naturally, I was prepared to do this yet again, and then something happened: a customer at work called me "sir."
Don't get me wrong, I understand why she did it. I haven't begun a transition or come out to my family and coworkers yet, so, to any average onlooker I appear to be a regular (though significantly overweight) guy. I didn't have any hard feelings toward that customer, I still don't, but it did make me more aware that I was chafing in my own skin. Naturally, I was feeling rather exasperated by the time I left work.
As I sat in the exit lane of the driveway where I work, waiting for traffic to clear long enough for me to pull out against traffic and pick up my father for our usual trudge to Payless, I suddenly clicked the turn signal in the other direction. I drove down to a local Wal Mart that I don't normally use (my father is a teamster, and I was raised to be pro-union) because I knew that they kept all the work shoes, both the men's and the women's, in one area.
I took a few minutes to look at the shoes and managed to find a women's, non-slip shoe that was kind of cute but that I could pass off as being men's or unisex (as long as no one looked at the label). I waited excitedly for the employee in the shoe area to leave and grabbed the largest pair I could find to try on. As might be expected, since I normally wear a men's 13, it didn't fit. But, despite the failure to find the right size, to have another little something to reaffirm my feminity to myself on an everytday basis (which would have been fabulous. The feeling, not the shoes. They were kinda cute but not THAT cute), I actually felt good. And that hasn't happened in a long time.
Now I just need to find a pair that fits.