Being jobless and awfully lazy I got out of bed at about 11.40am after hitting Snooze (funny word) severally times. I felt guilty about it as I thought of all the people out seizing the day and taking full advantage of the precious time before death comes a knocking – I soon got over it because I was ‘well snoozed up’.
I had nothing in the house for breakfast/brunch/prettymuchlunchtime and just a dribble of milk for one cup of tea. As I was about to get dressed to visit my overpriced local convenience store I said to myself “what would happen if I didn’t get dressed and just headed out in what I was wearing?”. I was wearing a fetching Guinness branded dressing gown my Dad got me for Christmas, a classic festive gift from a father if ever there was one.
I don’t know what I was expecting to happen, perhaps I’d be attacked by local youths or arrested and sent to an asylum or worse refused entry into Sainsbury’s and ultimately starve to death, but I was pretty sure nobody would care. However I was once again unexpectedly nervous, which seems so far to be a theme of my mission to do new things.
I feel I must at this point admit I did go to Drama School and I am technically a trained actor. Initially I wasn’t going to mention this in my blog as I felt I should keep a sense of mystery about myself – the everyday man trying to find his ‘sparkle’ against the odds of being bumbling and stupid.
Dressing up and going out on to the street should not be a big deal for an actor (I realise how middle-class this all sounds, but honestly my Dad’s an electrician and my Mum’s a clairvoyant) but it was a big deal as I was really nervous. It’s odd I’m nervous as I’ll happily stand confidently on stage making an idiot of myself, but the stage is a place where you’re given permission to publicly be whoever you want to be and if the public don’t like they’ll soon let you know. The ‘real world’, despite what Shakespeare says, is not a stage and doing things in the ‘real world’ makes me nervous, I’m constantly worried what strangers think of me. Anyway I imagine this is getting quiet boring…so what happened when I went to Sainsbury’s Local in my dressing gown holding a cup of tea?
Firstly, I ran down the garden path quickly so the neighbours didn’t see me, knowing they’re probably still judging me after hearing yesterday’s huffing and puffing with Jane Fonda. Once I get past my flat I try to walk at a normal pace until I see a women coming towards me, I speed up again. I don’t know whether to look her in the eyes or just keep my head down, I decided to smile at her and take a big gulp of tea then raise it in a manner suggesting ‘cheers’ – nothing!
I walk past the half-way house next to my flat (the landlord forgot to mention this when we moved in). Now not being judgemental but this is where a lot of the nutcases seem to live so it’s probably not an unusual sight seeing somebody outside in a dressing gown, although even when I get past it I soon realise nobody is paying me any attention. I don’t know what I was expecting. I guess I thought people would come up to me saying “you’re so whacky, I wish I could be as wild as you” but they didn’t.
Every time someone does make eye contact with me I again sip my tea and raise it. The cup has become a prop and I’m becoming a character, so I try to stop and just be myself in a dressing gown with a cup of tea.
When I get to Sainsbury’s Local I’m still nervous even though nobody is looking at me, apart from the security guard who I’m aware is staring intently (if this was America he’d definitely have his hand hovering over his gun right now). I panic buy:
In my panic I actually buy practical things. Looking back £8.15 really isn’t a good price for so little, but I have noticed that around £8 seems to be the standard spend this week on my tasks – if it keeps going this way that’ll £2,920 by the end of the year (really must get a job).
The woman at the counter doesn’t even acknowledge me, which I find weird as I have put a cup of hot tea on the counter directly in front of her, but perhaps this is covered in the Sainsbury’s staff training. I walk back home.
In conclusion: strangers really don’t seem to care or notice what you wear so just wear it. Also a bacon, avocado and hummous sandwich is nice.
TICK TO ANOTHER NEW THING.
P.S. the security guard took the photo so I think I will be allowed back into the store. Great.