Today I learned that people are (slightly?) more important than clothes, makeup, fab shoes and jewelry. Now I know this sounds like sacrilege, I mean what could be more important than shoes? But it is the truth.
Seriously, and with all flippant comments aside, I had a rather interesting night that affirmed this essential truth for me. People are important!
We had planned a night of fun and partying on Saturday night. A few of our drag queen friends were putting on a charity show at a local eatery and we had decided to go. We had sent in our table booking and had planned the day to make sure that I had time to get ready. To achieve this end, my wife took the children to see a movie giving me approximately two to three hours to get ready and get out of the house. She was then going to come home, get dressed, hand them over to the babysitter and meet me at the venue.
Everything got off to a good start. I showered, shaved, moisturised and dressed before putting on my makeup. I had selected the red butterfly motif blouse to pair with my black skater girl skirt that I had not had a chance to wear yet, with my black platform sandals and the usual selection of jewelry. I did a fantastic job of my makeup and had painted my toenails and put on my false nails. I was ready to leave.
Moments before I walked out of my door our tenant arrived home earlier than I expected*. Not to worry, I thought, he will soon get into his flat and I can leave. How wrong could I be? He decided that Saturday afternoon is the ideal time to do car maintenance in our driveway. I was stuck! I could not leave by the front door or the back door without having to walk past him (he was positioned in the one spot of our property where this is true) and to make matters worse, even if I could risk bolting past him I would need to ask him to move before I could get out! What to do?
I decided to see if I could wait him out. He would surely finish soon and I could then slip out unnoticed. I started up my laptop and did a bit of work. I waited and waited. He continued to potter around with his car. I started wondering how much time I had before my wife came home with the kids. I called her and the movie had just finished. On explaining the situation to her she said she would delay returning as long as possible. A true testament to how special this woman that I love is. The man continued tinkering and I grew increasingly frustrated.
I toyed with pulling a pair of shorts over my skirt and walking out but I knew he would spot my made up face from a mile a way (yes I had gone for a dramatic look because St Valentine’s Day eve). I toyed with removing the make up and reapplying it later but I baulked at the waste. Even taking a taxi or an Uber would have been impossible as due to his position he would be able to see me clearly as I walked down the driveway… Finally my wife called and said she needed to come home. I had no choice but to abandon my plans.
In a mad rush I got undressed, packed away the various bits and bobs, removed my nails and nail polish and washed off my makeup. As I was halfway through removing my makeup, I looked up and saw the tenant reversing past my bathroom window. He was leaving! But I now had no time to get dressed again. I had to stick with my plan.
I was very disappointed and really did not feel like going out anymore. I contemplated cancelling the whole evening. But then I thought of the people I would be letting down. My wife was looking forward to a night out. We had committed to our friends that we would be there to support them and I felt I could not let them down. I therefore brazened it out and arrived en homme rather than en femme. There are very few people in the world who have (knowingly) seen me in both iterations and I am somewhat anxious about letting people see me as both. I have always preferred people to know either one or the other side of me, but not both. This was therefore quite a big deal for me.
We arrived at the venue and I felt strangely awkward. More awkward than I recall feeling on my first time out en femme. I commented to my wife that I actually feel so much better en femme than en homme these days. Anyway once I introduced myself to our friend (she did not recognise me at first) I was relieved at the reaction I got. As our other friends arrived they were as friendly and welcoming as always (they did recognise me) and I realised that it is true: people, relationships and friendships are far more important than clothes (although clothes are still important).
We had an amazing evening with good food, brilliant company and as always lovely summer weather. Next time we need to think of a contingency plan.
*As I may have explained previously, I am semi-closeted, in that I am happy to be out and about and some people get to know about the true me, but due to concerns regarding professional and familial considerations, we have chosen to keep my identity private. Unfortunately the tenant is not only a tenant. He also works for me part time at my company and knows members of our extended family. Therefore discovery may have greater implications. I would prefer no to risk these problems.