What a fabulous weekend. I had a ball, but it was not without incident! Here is a summary of events, including another (unscheduled) first for Ms Argento.
My eldest daughter had a Brownie camp this past weekend and my parents had agreed to have the youngest daughter stay at their house on Saturday so we had an opportunity for a day of en femme fun. The only small problem was that my lovely spouse had a Priscilla’s Services client who had booked one of our transformation packages for the Saturday morning a few weeks ago. But we are of course always happy to help our clients out and we were very happy to forego a little of pour own time if we could help someone achieve one of their dreams.
I managed to get some of my pre-outing beauty regime done after dropping the youngest daughter at her Teddies group, then an hour later I picked her up again and took her to my parents before turning around and fetching the eldest daughter from her camp and take her to a friend’s birthday party (she had a busy weekend). I then raced home and started getting ready to go out. Fortunately, my spouse finished up with her client and we were able to get going relatively early.
But first some photographs! I had decided to pair my cowboy boots with my leopard print jacket (I thought the colours worked), my grey skinny jeans and my green peep shoulder top. As ever a picture is worth a thousand words so here are three thousand for your viewing pleasure.
We had started off taking some photographs in the garden but then our tenants arrived home unexpectedly. I admittedly panicked and sprinted in doors when I saw their car pull up to the gate. This was silly, but clearly my flight response is well ingrained. We therefore continued our little photography session in doors.
After taking a few pictures, we left for Rosebank Mall. We selected one our favourite restaurants Piza e Vino (no, that isn’t a typo, that is how they spell their name) for lunch. As ever the front of house staff were very good and addressed us as ‘ladies’ which is always nice! The waiter was cool and very natural. This is always reassuring for me. We ordered our pizzas and had a very nice lunch together. All too soon it was nearly time for my spouse to go and fetch our eldest from her friend’s birthday party and take her back to her camp. But we did find time to go and browse a new lingerie store, once again the sales staff addressed us as ‘ladies’ and my confidence was at an all-time high. They had some nice bra and pantie sets as well as a number of other very interesting ‘specialty’ items. But as I was on a budget I behaved (and restrained) myself.
After that my spouse left and I returned to the mall. I had some shopping to do. We had invited my parents to Sunday lunch at our house so I had to get some grocery shopping done. My first stop was at the ladies’ room for a call of nature. All went well. I am getting less stressed in these situations and that is quite nice. I then went to the patisserie to get some confectionery for the following day’s afternoon tea. I confidently ordered 24 petit fours. The sales assistant was very good and addressed me as “ma’am” which again made me feel good. He did seem somewhat surprised when I ordered 24 petit fours. I had worked out with six people at lunch I needed at least 18 petit fours, but I also knew that the display stand I intended using held more than 18 (it actually holds 22) and I did not want any gaps, so I decided to ask for 24 petit fours as this seemed a nice round number and would be sure to avoid any unsightly gaps on my stand.
I knew petit fours were not exactly cheap, and I also knew that this was a bit of an extravagance, but my parents both love them and I wanted to treat them. The sales assistant and I selected a nice mixture of different flavours. It was then time to pay. The sales assistant told me they were R25 (US$1.90) each! I was shocked. I had fully expected them to be half that price. But, I had ordered them, I needed that many for my plans and so with a fair bit of remorse I handed over my R600 (US$45). Well, there goes the entertainment budget for the month. Blown!
After this rather surprising purchase I headed across the mall to the supermarket for the various things I needed for lunch. The trip to the supermarket was uneventful and far more affordable. Although in the current economic climate that is a relative concept. I then thought I would see about booking tickets for the movie that night. I went down to the cinemas and tried finding Dunkirk on the self-service ticketing platform. No joy. I called my spouse to find out if she knew which cinema it was showing at.
Before I had a chance to talk she told me the bad news. My eldest daughter was feeling very ill and she was bringing her home. What to do? I was at the mall. I was en femme. Our house was locked and I didn’t have keys for the house, as my spouse had them in her car! After some quick thinking, we made a plan. Our client had finished and had left the keys for the studio in a safe drop that I had access to. I therefore decided it was time for another Daniella Argento first: time to take an Uber en femme!
I went outside and waited on the street. I called the Uber via the app on my phone. Whilst waiting I was busy on the phone explaining the plan to my spouse. A man walked past and made a comment about me being sexy or something. I am always deeply conflicted when this happens. On the one hand, it is affirming and it is nice to know that people find you desirable and attractive. It is also good to know that your presentation is good. On the other, it is scary as hell. Not only is it sometimes said in an aggressive fashion, but I am always worried what might happen if my admirer figures out that I am not what he may at first have thought. I doubt that this will ever end well. It is also upsetting as whilst I try to dress well and in a way that makes me feel good I am not trying to ‘fool’ anyone. I do my best to be authentic at all times. I also am not dressing the way I dress in an effort to attract a sexual partner. I dress the way I do for me and for me alone. The unintended consequences are indeed foreseeable, but I am not going to dress conservatively just to appease male egos. Anyway, he just walked on by and that was a good thing. I think he just said what he said as a reaction to a woman on the street. It probably wasn’t even about me as much as it is his ingrained reaction to women in general.
Fortunately, in a matter of minutes my Uber arrived. I looked up from my phone, checked the registration number and walked the 15 or so metres to the car and hopped into the passenger seat. I was a little surprised to be told that he was still finishing off his ride (I looked behind me and there was another woman in the back seat and they were concluding their transaction. Awkward! I hadn’t seen the message on my phone saying that he was concluding a trip. Anyway, we all handled it rather well and I waited patiently for them to finish their business.
Once they had done so and she had left the vehicle, the Uber driver attended to me. I was trying to speak as little as possible as he had been very charming and polite and had not misgendered me. I was a little nervous as I really didn’t want to have a bad experience and strangers are just that, strangers. You never know how they will react! We chatted a little bit and I did my best to preserve the illusion, but my voice nearly always betrays me. Nonetheless he was amazing throughout. He was professional and a very competent driver.
On the way home my spouse phoned saying that my daughter had made a miraculous recovery and that she was staying at the camp after all. We arrived and I let myself into the driveway. I then let myself into the studio and waited for my beloved to arrive to let me into the house, which she did after a very short wait.
I was quote concerned about my daughter but I was told that she had taken some paracetamol and was feeling much better. We decided to have a quick wardrobe change and then go see our movie at Cresta as it was showing earlier and that would give us the best chance of seeing the movie. We were concerned that we may need to go and fetch our daughter from the camp.
We changed quickly and touched up our makeup. I opted for the new white skinny jeans I had bought a few weeks ago, with the new faux leather jacket I bought on the same day, paired with my black peep shoulder top. Once again, here are a few thousand words for your viewing pleasure.
Oh wow! look in a mere matter of hours my hair grew about 4 or 5 inches. That is truly incredible!
We arrived at Cresta Mall and before buying the movie tickets checked in with the adult in charge regarding our daughter’s state of health. We were assured she was fine so we bought our tickets. We had some time to kill, so we spent a pleasurable thirty minutes looking at some clothing stores. Once again, we were remarkably well behaved and managed to not buy anything despite seeing some beautiful clothes.
We watched Dunkirk, which I can heartily recommend. It is a war movie and there is thus a fair bit of horror depicted, but it is not as gory and disturbing as Saving Private Ryan (for example). It also manages to avoid telling the history of the evacuation, and rather tells the story from a very real human and personal point of view. Having said that the movie is relatively faithful to the historical record and thus does a good job of being a good movie telling a good story without taking too many liberties with history. Of course there is some poetic license at work, but I am ok with that.
After the movie we went and got ourselves some cake from a cafe and then went home to have the cake with some homemade cappuccino and then we watched yet another movie (this time Burlesque), well we did go to a very early movie. Thus concluded a very fun day out.
I will say this as a result of my experiences. When having a day en femme you should always plan for all eventualities. This means that you should always have your house keys with you and a means of transportation. I think I have said this before, but clearly, I do not follow my own advice. Also, it may be a good idea to have an emergency pack in your car at all times. This should include some wet wipes to remove makeup and some men’s clothes (don’t forget the shoes) that you can use for a quick change, perhaps even in the car.
Fortunately, it all worked out well in the end, but I would have had less stress if I could have gotten back into my house. I can recommend Uber (before you get angry with me please note that we do not have Lyft or any other similar service other than Uber and the traditional metered taxi services in South Africa). I have used the service extensively en homme, but never en femme before. I was a little anxious at first but on this admittedly small sample size it all went well and I felt safe at all times. I suppose the other big take away here is that apart from the problems I had it all went rather well. Just another example of how safe it is to be out and about en femme in Johannesburg.
PS For those who are interested, Sunday lunch was very good. We had roast leg of lamb with roast potatoes, gem squash and peas, followed by Malva Pudding and the infamous petit fours for afternoon tea. Sadly, we had to fetch my daughter early on Sunday as she had come down with a fever. She has since recovered, but now the youngest daughter and my spouse are both also sick. We shall overcome!
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