Yes, posting this a day late but still under Friday...I'm a stickler for order, so sue me ^_^
So, after some jolly good Nina Simone in the morning...and uhming and aahing early afternoon, I finally got my butt outta the house and off to Oxford Street to go and buy stuff.
As per usual people would stare, or people who didn't like the concept would glare then turn away (as you do!?!) then glare some more. Hmmm, lovely London public.
Now, I know in busy places having a "faceless" person walking around even if all they want to do is buy something, can be seen as a national threat or something stupid. But hey, you never know unless you try, right?
So I found Primark with the sole agenda to find a cheap dress to base the design of this camo thing on. I walked in and immediately saw the security guy out of the corner of my eye but carried on walking, oblivious to the sheer panic that must have exploded across his face. I had my headphones on so couldn't really hear much. As people were literally parting way for me (nice!) and closing up quite quickly behind me, it made this security guy's job a bit harder to try and stop me from "infiltrating" the shop or whatever.
Eventually gave up trying to catch up with me and started shouting at me. Again, I barely heard him. Then he grabbed my arm. If I wasn't A) pushing my luck B) in a good mood and C) aware he was trying to get my attention....he would have had a broken nose by then. Yes, I can be a bit tetchy like that sometimes, there's no need to grab people...ever.
He said in an exasperated fashion, "What are you doing?" ..."What?" Again he said, "What are you doing?" I know what he means but my GOD are his communication skills rubbish. "I'm walking into your fine shop to buy a dress" .."No, you can't do that"
"Why ever not?" I tilt my head slightly
"Why have you got that on your face?"
"That, on your face! Why?"
"er..social project?" (I actually wanted to give him a smart ass reply but didn't fancy the aggro. Poor guy was stressing as is anyway)
"No, you must take it off?"
"If I take it off, and wave at a CCTV camera for like 2 minutes so you can get the details of my face then put it back on would that be ok??"
"No, it's Primark policy that you cannot hide your face."
(I'm sorry, but BS is it actually written in their policy. And why aren't these policies readily available for the public to read as they're obviously walking onto private property and need to know what's good and what isn't?)
I leave...walk to another shop and there's nothing there either. So, I really need to go into Primark to get a damned dress. Pride is swallowed and in a flash the hood is down and I'm charging through this place trying to find something suitable, pay for it and get the hell out of there.
I hate busy shops like these in "normal" circumstances. Add to that, my face is exposed and well...that panicky feeling is doing a number on me. Further more, the security guy I gave a bit of a hard time earlier for some reason has come ALL the way from his post, to the other side of the store to stalk me. My hood is down but my beanie is on as are my headphones and my collar turned up. From where I stand that's in line of their "policy" and seems so for him too as his constant chatting into his radio must signify his superiors are fine with me too.
Oh lookey, adult onsies!
Anyway, careering through this place trying to get the hell on out of there, I find nothing...Incidentally, people are staring at me with *more* shock/awe than usual. It's not every day you see a slightly androgynous looking person with no eyebrows :-) It then dawns on me that there are EPIC queues for everything! And it's then my frustration/panic-o-meter goes mental and I leave that place, simultaneously whipping the hood back on and crossing the street without losing my stride.
So, I go to my new found "home" for trimmings and fabrics n stuff and to calm down, and focus on the fact that I need to make a dress from scratch. In I walk and the ladies behind the tills don't batter an eyelid, one of them grins as she notices the concealed zipper on my face that I bought from her only a few weeks ago.
I rummage around for bits and bobs then go upstairs to see if there are any better patterns I could buy for this dress. There aren't. I come back down and get one of the girls to let me pay for the stuff I've got.
"So is that a statement or a protest to something?" she asks.
"Nope...just wearing it for a month, to see how people react"
"Oh, so it's like a performance thing?"
"uhh...no not really. But it's been interesting"
"I can imagine! How've there responses been? I bet people are scared of you!"
"Something like that, yeah. Though most people seem to be bothered by the fact that you can kinda see my eyes"
"You look like you have something to hide!" girl 2 now comes to the counter as she's interested too.
"Ah, but I have nothing to show! What gets me, is how we all think that we have the *right* to see someones face without their permission" I say.
"But that still implies you're hiding something" says girl 2
"Only because that's the way we've been brainwashed to think since day 0. Think about the "peek-a-boo" game? Your face isn't valid to a baby until they see your smile and eyes."
The whole room fills with various "hmmm"ing of approval. I totally forgot there was a room full of people shopping too. Oh well.
"So yeah, to me, it's not an issue. If you want to cover your face...cover your face. Not many people share my view...especially the jobsworth jacket fillers in Primark. Then again the dresses in Primark are shit."
Lots of giggling by the girls on the counter and one lady looking at spools of microweave turns to me laughing and says, "Oh gosh yes".
The conversation carries on, and they're interested in what I've been getting up to so gave them my blog site. At this moment, one of the shop owners walks in to walk up to his office and he looks at me for a long hard minute. The girls are giggling, I'm totally oblivious till I notice they're not looking at me. I look where they're looking and sure enough this elderly gentleman with hair as white as the rays of sun outside looking at me in sheer...terror? I don't know, it was a mixed expression. I was giggling too but said, "Y'alright?!" He broke his gaze and uttered something whilst walking up the stairs.
Apparently he's the guy I need to see in regards to getting my Pfaff sewing machine fixed. And the girls said they think I might have perturbed him somewhat thus making a chat at that particular moment in time, not wise. Fair play.
I bade the girls goodbye, and that Friday feeling was once back with me. Having High Contrast's remix of Hometown Glory playing as I walked down oxford street to a tube station made the psychotic London massive look like a wash of colours. :-)
On my way back, on the tube I'm standing, minding my own business when a father and son come on and stand opposite me. Immediately the kid clings onto his dad and darts in and out of his dad's protection looking at me. I didn't want to scare him so I stayed still. But he carried on. So I waved at him and he grinned and laughed a bit then hid behind his dad again. His dad looked at me and I looked back at him, smiled and shrugged. He smiled back. They got off at their stop and the kid was still staring at me, so as the doors closed I waved at him, he waved back and I put my had over my mouth and "giggled". He giggled back.
Home stretch and I need to buy food (more food than normal) for someone who was coming round for dinner. No problems from the staff as they're pretty used to me now. One problem that I did face was those annoying little plastic bags that you put fruit/veg in. It's hard enough when you've got your normal fingers. It's bad when you've only got your index finger. And lycra makes it neigh on impossible! Still, I managed eventually.
I put a bottle of wine (Pinot Noir) in the basket too then realised...Ug, I'm going to get ID'd (I ALWAYS get ID'd). I grinned and carried on. Got to the till and the guy was grinning at me. "Y'alright?" I asked.
"Yes good thanks" he said smiling
"I bet you don't get this every day?"
"Well I've seen you around the place quite often"
"Yeah, I live around the corner so it's local"
"Ah" He takes out the bottle of wine, "Err..."
I grin. "It's ok, I'll show you my ID and take off the hood, ok?"
He nods still unsure. I show him my driver's license but he still doesn't believe me. (For the record, my license has a picture of me with hair...I now have no hair) I tell him it's me, quote off all the details of the card and he's cool with that.
"Thanks a lot buddy" I said cheerfully as he helped pack everything and put the change in my hand (as opposed to on the counter)
"Have a good weekend miss" he said as I walked off.
Home now, and due to cook up a massive dinner. Unfortunately Salmon fillet isn't lycra friendly...in that it STINKS up the fabric, so the arms were out.
The guest was late, but it's a given as I was late to the dinner party on Sunday just gone. But the food went down well.
Onwards to the sewing!