Having recently acquired both my concealed carry permit and my spiffy Princess Luna inside-the-waistband (IWB) holster, I decided that it was time for me to carry concealed. I remember being told by many people -- specifically JayG, but also others whom I don't recall -- that I would feel like everyone was watching me, and I'd be nervous, and would constantly be fidgeting.
Well, no. Not really.
As I've remarked before, I'm a part-time goth. I used to be gothier when I was living in Washington D.C., both because there were handy clubs and because the weather was better suited to wearing black than here in semi-rural and hotter than hell Florida. But the fact remains that I've gone out in public wearing some rather unusual outfits, and have been stared at by lots of people. So really, once you're used to being regarded as a freak because you're wearing black lace and pallor makeup by everyone in a subway car, then having a legal pistol inside my pants is really no big whoop.
I've also done my fair share of people-watching, and I realize just how oblivious most folks are in their day-to-day lives. To be completely honest, I doubt half of them would notice if I were carrying openly. (I hate to say it, but looking white and middle-class probably helps my case as well.)
I will admit to some fidgeting, but that's mostly because I'm not used to the way the pistol adds inches to my waist and makes my pants tighter. I imagine I'll become a lot more comfortable once I buy some looser clothes and find the sweet spot on my hip where the gun can sit without pinching or poking as I turn or bend over.
(Let me just say how nice it is to have the luxury of buying larger clothes without having the downside of admitting that I've gained weight.)
I've heard that a lot of folks who carry concealed are constantly touching their carry pieces to make sure they are in place and hidden. I get the feeling that a lot of that is from folks who 1) don't have proper holsters and 2) are carrying illegally. Since I know I am legal in what I am doing, and the fact that Florida only requires my gun be covered as opposed to "It must be rendered completely invisible" a la Texas and other states' rules, I basically have adopted an attitude of "I frankly don't care if you know I'm carrying."
And other than a slight increase in a feeling of preparedness and confidence, I really don't feel any different with it on.