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Several Meals, Shopping, and a Concert Outing Part 2

June 17, 2017

6/14/2017

This is a continuation of part 1…  (Thank you for reading my stories!)

Buffet Family Restaurant
For supper, I went to eat at a restaurant that has an all-you-can-eat buffet.  I have considered going to a restaurant like this before, but never did.  It was frightening to me to have to stand in front of everyone at the buffet.  I envisioned it as though the room was silent and wide open.  I felt like standing at the buffet would be as eye-catching as standing on stage.  It was not like that at all.

I walked into the restaurant.  A man was in the lobby with two children.  I know the little girl looked at me, but she looked away just as quickly as though she saw nothing unusual or interesting.  (I am getting that a lot in this brown skirt.)

The girl who took my money gave me a glance and then was polite and business-like.  I walked into the dining area.  It was crowded.  Lots of families were everywhere.  An older guy at a table was facing me.  Promptly, his wife slowly started to rotate around to get a look at me.  I felt some pressure to find a seat quickly.  I selected a table near me that was also near the older couple.  No one else appeared to see me.  The tables and short walls around the room blocked the view of me.  Also, everyone was busy with their families and meals.  Perhaps, that couple were the only ones who noticed me.

I went to the buffet.  I was side-by-side with people while I filled my plate.  They never seemed to pay me any attention.  Instead of being wide open, the walls and buffet blocked the people dining from seeing me.  Also, people were still busy.  I was not the center of attention.  I have become so comfortable in public that I could stand wherever in view of whomever at this buffet and not feel panicky.

At the buffet, one boy walked by me like kids do when they are pretending not to pay attention, but they are.  A woman in a striped dress made eye contact and smiled in an encouraging way.  An employee working the buffet spoke to me when I approached her area.  She was either friendly in general, or she was playfully engaging me because I was different.  No one spoke of my clothes.  No one was mean.  I was where I belonged!

I ate my supper.  The server, a man, may have never noticed my outfit.  Around the time I finished eating, a lot of customers arrived.  Perhaps they arrived together on a bus.  I waited for them to pass before I got up to get my dessert.  I went to the dessert counter on the buffet.  It turns out that a part of the large group decided to cross the buffet area to find seats and my path intersected with theirs.  My attempt to avoid them amounted to me coming face to face with them.  The ones who saw me smiled and let me cross in front of them.  People are nice, it turns out!

I crossed paths with other customers.  Some of them would look at my outfit and then move on.  It was okay.  I was comfortable and they were polite.  When I was eating, I noticed my hands were a little shaky.  However, I was not afraid.  I am significantly bolder than I used to be!

While I ate my dessert, the older couple got up to leave.  I looked over at them as they passed a few feet from me.  I made eye contact with the man.  He smiled at me and nodded a hello toward me.

When it was my time to leave, I simply walked out.  Again, I was not the center of attention.  People saw me, but they did nothing.  I walked to my car victorious.  I had conquered my fear of going to a buffet-style restaurant.

Concert
That evening I went to a small concert.  I was not comfortable with the idea of going to a concert while dressed pretty, so I changed into menswear.  When I arrived, I saw a sign on the door that said, “Safe Place” with a rainbow color scheme.  The staff inside had a lot of piercings, tattoos, and facial hair.  That roughly describes the clientèle as well.

At several times during the concert, I thought that I could have been wearing a skirt and been just fine.  These people might have complimented me.  A couple times, I considered going out and changing into my pretty clothes.  After the concert, that is just what I did.

There was an event after the concert that I was not participating in.  I went out to my car, parked in a better space, and changed into my skirt and top.  I waited for the crowd in the lobby to thin some before going in.  No one appeared to notice me walking in.  I went to the restaurant in the facility.  I ordered a soft drink and found a place to sit and drink it.

Maybe one or two people saw me.  I was in plain sight, but everyone was milling around talking to their friends.  I was not visible to them.  Eventually, I finished up and left.

Grocery Store
I went to a grocery store to get one item.  When I arrived, I did not know what that item would be.  I just did not want to go home yet.  Nothing interesting happened.  I do not even think anyone noticed me.

Late Night Diner
My last stop was a trip to a late-night diner.  I have been to one of these before, but I felt disappointed with that outing.  I was trying to conquer another fear.  I walked into the diner and I went to a table.  Where I was sitting, I was not hidden.  A male employee was near me.  When I approached my table, he stood up and spoke to me.  I sat and he took my order.  Nothing unusual happened.  The other customers behaved like normal.  Once again I was where I belonged.

I went home and changed into my pajamas.

 

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From → True Stories

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