I'm writing this Monday evening, I may not complete until later as I have to go out to a rehearsal before long, and I don't know when it will get posted. Enough of the preamble, but before I get into the main story I do need to give a little background. My wife knows a bit about Paula, and that's how she wants to leave it, she doesn't want to know, and would rather that no one else did either. Indeed she would like me to stop, and because of that I would, if I could, but I can't. This does mean that despite this blog I am pretty much in the closet. Although I go out, I am not out. only one couple of my friends know about Paula, and that is because they saw me out one day. Anyway on with the story......
Well just as I was going to work this morning I had my only appointment of the day cancelled, normally I would be put out by this, but today I decided that this meant I could have an unscheduled, unplanned Paula day. As my wife was at home this meant that I grabbed my case of Paula's clothes and my make up and essentials case (I think of this as Paula in a box). I managed to slip my undergarments on in a family rest room / baby changing room, and completed my presentation in the van. Not ideal I know but then I have to grab the opportunities when they come up.
I had to go the the bank to pay in some cheques and the post office to send a couple of parcels, after that the day was mine, which left me with the problem of what to do with. I visited all the charity shops in West Wickham, and found nothing that demanded to be bought, then meandered over to Biggin Hill where I stopped for a coffee and a visit to Waitrose, before making my way to Westerham, the location of my favorite charity shop, well my favorite charity shop manager anyway. Again there were a couple of things I thought about buying, but nothing that I had to buy. I stopped there for a coffee, and rang a friend of mine (I'll call her P) who I hadn't seen for a long time; a couple of times over the years I have tried to come out to P but never managed to find the moment or the words, I knew she had been ill so had not wanted to worry her with my issues, but she sounded her old bubbly self. We chatted for a while, I then explained that I had phoned to discus something with her that was important to me, I just didn't know how to phrase what I had to say. when it became clear that I was having a day off, she invited me over for a cup of tea and a chat. Of course I accepted.
As I was driving over I started to have second thoughts and was getting very nervous. I decided that it would be best to send a text message to give a bit of warning, this is what I sent "Warning prepare yourself for a shock, when I'm dressed this way I prefer to be called Paula! can I still come?" I didn't get a reply and started to worry that she would not want to see me like this, when I arrived outside the house I phoned again and more less read out my message, as it happened this message didn't arrive until after I had, and P was really cool about the whole thing. Her attitude was basically "You're still my friend, just wearing different clothes" I was made very welcome by P and her husband, who both appeared to be totally unfazed by the whole experience.
I had a lovely afternoon and hope to be able to repeat the visit often, it is great to have friends who accept you. I have been worrying about telling someone for ages, and now I have it seems to have been a bit of a none event, I was worrying about nothing, but I will still have to be careful who I tell, so as not to upset my wife. I do love her and treasure her, and don't tell her often enough that I love her, so I brought home a bunch of flowers to to give me the excuse to say "I love you"