Shopping at Walmart is a real drag

IMG_8426Hello to all y’all. I don’t know about you, but I am so glad the holidays are over. It’s exhausting. Now maybe I can get some much-needed rest. Just kidding — a drag queen’s work is never done. Even when shit slows down and everybody goes back to work or school, the show must go on. So like the Post Office, despite rain, sleet, snow or hail, you can always count on a drag queen to show up.

I often get asked what I don’t like about doing drag. I have many answers for that. I hate padding but can’t do it without my big ol’ hips and ass. I hate getting out of drag, and washing off makeup is a pain. I hate wearing heels, they freaking hurt — all the time. And if you have been to one of my shows, you know my feet turn into lesbian feet by the end of the night because I put on some Birkenstocks for comfort.

I don’t mind tucking as long as you can get a good tuck — sometimes you get a ball that just won’t stay put. I think it has something to do with the weather: If it’s hot out, it’s harder to wrangle the boys. Cold weather usually means they are already hiding, so problem solved! But some days they have a mind of their own and refuse to stay put, which can result in a meaty tuck (i.e., a large mound in your FUPA).

I also hate the mess getting in drag creates. I wear a lot of makeup — makeup that stains everything. I wear a lot of black eye shadow, a color that rarely comes out of light colored fabric. I can’t tell you how many carpets I have ruined before we got our fabulous dressing room to get ready in. Even our poor dressing room looks like it was painted beige, when actually it was painted white. But after years of Cody powder dust storms and an evil spray-tan mist, our dressing room walls have become a creepy flesh tone, like it’s a living creature. Thank god it is not. If that dressing room could talk ….

The other thing I hate about drag may surprise some of you: I hate shopping for drag. Some days, if I want a new outfit, I just buy fabric and have it made. I don’t mind fabric shopping. But when in years past I have needed something, I would rummage through thrift or department stores and buy what I needed. My taste level has always been questionable, usually if it fit I would wear it at least once. I absolutely hate drag shopping by myself, but don’t mind as much if I am with another queen. You always feel bolder when you have a sister with you. Valerie Lohr and I have punished many a store. But I can get very defensive when I shop by myself. I’m weird.

Just last week, I went bra shopping. I have worn the same black bra for years, and it finally fell apart. (RIP Miss Bra, you were a hard working girl.) So I went to our friendly neighborhood Walmart to buy me a few new brassieres and maybe a new body shaper. I was all by my lonesome. I planned to push my basket quickly through the women’s undergarment section, grab a few things quickly and flee to the self-check-out before getting too many side-eyes.

Of course, that is not how it went down. I get to the bra department and notice how tightly packed the rows are and of course it is in a discombobulated mess. I settle in and start looking for the things I need, I fall into a false sense of secureness thinking I am all by myself. I find the cutest black bra with stars on it and throw it in my buggy. I find these Spanx-like shapers and think, oh, bitch! It’s cute and on sale (only $16.95). I will get one in black and a nude one. I am actually enjoying shopping for once … then I looked up from my little world I had created and saw these two bitches (a woman about my age and her teenaged daughter) giving me “the face” — the face of someone shocked that there was a big ol’ man looking at dem-dare girlie thangs.

They had apparently been staring at me for a while. They both wore the same appalled expression. My blood immediately started to boil. Now, I know my life is not in the norm. I know that because of how I look and act I will always get noticed and I am totally OK with that. I can tolerate a lot of things, but you disrespecting me is not one of them. These two “ladies” were staring at me in disgust, and when I looked up at them, they both rolled their eyes. I was minding my own business, not harming anyone.

Well, I went from James to Cassie in an instant. I asked said ladies if they had a problem, the older bitch said “no” … and then they giggled. In my head, I heard Carrie
White’s mother saying, “They’re all going to laugh at you!” Thank the Lord I do not have Carrie’s power of telekinesis cuz those assholes would have had one of those falling prices happy face signs knocking them both in the back of the head. I would have made the bras wrap around the mothers throat and slap her in the face with my dirty pillows. I would have had the boots come from shoe department and kick that young one in her ass. The fire extinguisher would have sprayed them both in the face as tampons fell out of their boxes onto their heads, sticking all over them.

I don’t have telekinetic powers so all I said was, “Screw both you bitches!” and I walked off. A younger me might have really gone off on them, but as I get older, I have learned that people like that don’t deserve your time or energy. They said something back to me, but I couldn’t hear it over the sound of my middle finger being turned way up. For some reason, a middle finger salute can be so satisfying. I got what I needed so I went on with my shopping.

A few minutes later, one of the Walmart employees — a cute, short guy with a neck tattoo that has worked there for years — came up to me and said, “Excuse me sir, but could you please not cuss out the other shoppers.” Then he started to laugh. I started to get angry and stomp off and find and read the shit outta those hoes, but he was so tickled. Apparently they told him I said a lot more than what I actually did. He just kept laughing and said, “You don’t know how many times I have wanted to say that shit to some of these Walmart folks.” I laughed with him and let the anger fall away. I told him I wouldn’t do it again and he just said, “Well if you do, make sure I am within earshot.” He gave me a fist bump and walked away laughing.

I really should stop going to Walmart, but it’s one of the only places to shop in Midlothian and it is like only five blocks from my house. It definitely has some interesting characters. Oh my God, I am one of the Weirdos of Walmart. C’est la vie.

If you ever have a question about life, love or anything, I am still here for you all. This did start out as kind of an advice column. So send me a line if you need any advice on just about anything. I’m very intuitive or at least that’s what I tell myself.

Remember, love more, bitch less and be fabulous! XOXO, Cassie Nova.

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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 8, 2016.