So. I took the plunge - figuratively - today. In two ways, actually.
First, I decided to not only wear a dress that I would normally consider to be outside my comfort zone, but even to wear it with pride.
Don't get me wrong - this is no Lady Gaga-esque number made of meat or cling film. It's probably a stunningly boring dress by Katy Perry standards (no exploding whipped cream). But it's quite short, it's a halter neck and it has a somewhat plunging neckline (hardly a "neck" line at all, in fact, more a "rackline" to be honest). And, because of its halter-ness (and the princess line) it requires bralessness to boot.
Strangely enough, I put it on almost without thinking this morning. I went out, off to the market to get my week's supply of fruit and vegetables, and didn't think once about my bralessness, bare-backedness, more-thigh-than-I'd-like-showing-ness. I felt cool with myself.
I've said before that I have no pretensions, illusions or delusions regarding the way I look, but with this simple, cotton dress (madras-sy type check in turquoise, taupe, cream and red if you're interested), I felt OK. Good, almost.
Quite a novel feeling, I must say.
My second figurative plunge into unknown (or at least unfamiliar) waters also occurred this morning, while I was out.
Before hitting the market, I went to the hairdresser's. Again, I know this doesn't sound earth-shattering, but a) I have always, always loathed getting my hair cut and b) given (a) and my mounting debts, it's been easy to push this ordeal to one side on the pretense of "saving money", so I haven't actually been in about 18 months I shouldn't think.
First, I got appointments for the girls (who haven't been since spring 2010 and have straggly string-like hair down to their waists). Next Wednesday, 2.30 pm. Much snipping will be in order.
And then, I sucked it up and took an appointment for me, too - next Friday, 2 pm. I even told the young girl that I want - gasp! shock! - a "change". Of course, I immediately qualified that with "nothing radical, though". She mentioned layering (which I don't think I've ever had done). I'm both horrified at the thought of having to go through with this and, at the same time, weirdly excited. My hair at present is a disaster - almost waist-length, straggly, unkempt. The only good thing is the colour - not a hint of grey, still a pale red (I like to think of it as "strawberry blond", but it's probably not quite as blond as that. But not coppery or even fully ginger either). The idea of having a proper "style", instead of just requesting that a chunk be cut off the bottom in a straight line, is terrifying and exhilarating. I do feel kind of sick, though.
Despite the fact that I did bugger all for the rest of the day (I even sank as low as "watching" the first stage of the Tour de France (cycling! Me, watching cycling!) on TV), I feel more than a little proud of myself for actually achieving something today. Nothing major by most people's standards - I'm well aware of that - but fuck that. Major for me.