Well: knock me down with a day-old doner.
Co-incidence? Or something shifting in the way i present myself.
A couple of posts back i wrote about the first time someone in public had referred to me as “Ma’am”. Sheer irony was my take on it. They couldn’t possibly have mistaken me for female: so they were either having a laugh or, as they were trying to sell me a Big Issue at the time, they were perhaps calculating that i would be so bowled over by their perspicacity that i’d buy one there and then.
But less than a week later, its happening again, and this time its definitely not ironic.
I’m out and about, picking up a large kebab (“with everything”) for t’other half. I stand at one end of the counter, quietly reading a newspaper, when the guy behind the counter calls over: “do you want salt and vinegar with that, Madam?”
I smiled. Then smiled again as i turned, and he went into mega-apology mode. “Oh. Sorry, Sir. I thought… That is…you looked like…”.
People don’t often splutter. He did.
i think it safe to say, from his embarrassment, that he had genuinely taken me for female – and then thought he had committed a terrible faux pas by so doing. i did my best to re-assure him, but in this instance, i think he was beyond consolation.
So there it is. The first time anyone has looked at me and genuinely – albeit briefly – taken me for a woman. I find that gently satisfying – and shall be returning there again for future kebabs.
But perhaps it is not so strange. Another friend turned up this week and took a closer look. My glasses, she said, no longer looked right.
What was wrong?
“Too masculine”, she replied.
Change is definitely in the air.