Today I had a nice time out by myself. After the upheavals of the last few months, I've needed some alone time, and a shopping trip was the perfect excursion.
My shift at work ended at 1300, and I had previously asked my sister if she would take me to a bookstore. There's a Borders just down the road from the hotel. In case you haven't heard, Borders are going out of business, and everything in their stores must go. Books and other merchandise are 50-70% off, and I decided to take advantage. I wandered around there for about an hour, and ended up with six paperbacks (various titles from the Warhammer 40K series The Horus Heresy, two trade paperbacks (William Gibson and Charles de Lint), a three-pack of pink and black fuzzy socks and a woven black and white checked tote bag (which I bought so I wouldn't have to lug around plastic shopping bags. My total there came to $62 and change, for merchandise which would've originally retailed for over $100. I didn't think I was doing too bad, but I wasn't finished.
I knew my sister wasn't going to be coming back for another hour or so, so I texted her to let her know I was going to walk down the road to Governor's Square Mall. I've only been to that mall once before, so I spent a few minutes perusing the directory posted just inside the entrance. I walked around the upper level until I found a salon called Brow Art. I used to get my brows waxed when I got my manicures or pedicures, but I haven't had regular salon service since just after I left my last position.
At Brow Art, they remove hair by threading. That was somewhat like being waxed, but different. For one thing, it hurt a little more. The effect was nice, but I think they left my brows a little heavier than I prefer. I can always go back and ask them to thin me out some more.
After the salon, I walked around and window-shopped a bit. I saw lots of pretty clothes, but I was trying to save my money for other things. I did try on a couple of pairs of heels at Payless, including a pair of those shoes that are so popular lately, with the 5.5-inch heels and a platform under the toe. My GM runs around all day in those, and I often wonder how she does it. I don't really want a pair of those right now (Yes I do!), but I wanted to reassure myself that I could walk in shoes like that if I wanted to.
My next port of call was GameStop. I discovered last week that my Xbox 360 isn't dead (it only overheated), so I bought a previously-owned copy of Halo: Reach, a game which my brother hooked me on while I've been hanging out in Havana. Using the gift card I won at the company Christmas party last year, I only had to spend $12. Very cool.
Cruising through the center court of the mall brought me to the MAC Cosmetics kiosk. I could have blown the rest of my paycheck there, but I held myself to just a couple of items. When I still had a femme profile pic on Facebook, one of my new friends commented that I needed better beard cover. I fielded several recommendations, and one I got the most often was a newer MAC product called Studio Tech Foundation. My beard had come in a bit since I shaved this morning, but Whitney (my artist) found a patch where it was still smooth, and worked the foundation in, combined with Prep+Prime/Skin, a primer. I've found that eye shadow stays on better if I apply primer first, so it stands to reason that the same might apply with foundation. Under the combination of products, my beard shadow disappeared. I've found another favorite product, I think. It's more expensive than the drug store brands, but not as pricey as the Lancome stuff I bought a couple of years ago. I can't wait to try it out.
I window-shopped a bit more, but my sister texted to say she was on her way, and she met me outside the entrance a few minutes later. It was a good trip, "A Grand Day Out" (if I may steal from Wallace and Gromit). I felt the most like myself that I have in a very long time. I went out dressed in men's clothing, but I went wherever I wanted, enjoyed my experiences, and spent a nice couple of hours wandering around in the air conditioning. I've got to do this more often.