By Tina Davis
I was at another multi-day event and had packed a small suitcase for a potential night out. I managed to switch an evening shift time with another volunteer’s afternoon shift, freeing up my Friday night for some Tina time. I had been working both the night before and early that morning, so on September 17, 2021, I looked at my outfit options for a visit to an upscale gastropub and bar. It was a foggy evening, but not too warm or cold.
I had brought three dresses with me, along with my nude heels. The purple dress with the color block detail was a new Amazon purchase and fit okay over my strapless bra, but it was a little too office-like for a Friday. I’ll find another time to wear it with a more appropriate bra.
The second dress is one I got a few years ago but have never gone out wearing it. The soft, stretchy fabric is wonderful, and the long sleeves make my arms look really thin. I like the way it looks, but I was unsure of how warm I would be in the restaurant. Again, there will be another opportunity to wear this dress, probably with different shoes for a spring or fall occasion.
I decided on this red dress with a sweetheart neckline that I got last year. I did wear it in a hotel room photo shoot and received many compliments on it when I posted those pictures. The strapless bra worked fine with it, allowing me to manufacture a little cleavage and show off my necklace. It’s not too short in my opinion, and the nude heels looked good with it.
I tried to do a more evening style of makeup and put on my false eyelashes. I used a gel eyeliner pen, and it works really well for defining my hooded eyes. I added a small wing on each side. Using my eyeshadow palette, I put a dot of nude shadow in the inner corners of my eyes and mixed a reddish shade with a light shimmer for my eyelids. After the basic contouring of cheeks and chin, I took some close-up selfies and thought I looked good.
Finally, it was time to drive to the restaurant. I put on a floral mask while leaving the hotel and drove to Bar Louie at Patriot Place (next to Gillette Stadium, where the NE Patriots play). I figured out which end of the lot was closest to the restaurant, as I didn’t want to have to walk a long distance. I went into the restaurant and asked about seating at the bar. The host said to check the first floor bar, but that the rooftop bar was also open. I made one pass around the main bar and didn’t find a good seat, so I let the host know and climbed the stairs to the rooftop.
There was a prime seat at the corner of the bar, right under the heating lamp. There was heavy fog, so I unfortunately couldn’t see the stadium seats, just some fuzzy lights from the field. A large party of 12-15 people was gathered around the front side of the bar, with a couple talking on my side who were part of the group. I perched myself on the seat, and the young female bartender came over with a menu and a smile. I ordered a dirty martini (one of their signature items) and a small plate of chipotle chicken tacos. While I waited for the food, I had a short chat with the bartender. She was so nice and continued to check on me throughout the evening. I am still a bit uncomfortable chatting, but I know I should try to be more outgoing. I also left my mask off as we were outside. The younger couple next to me paid no attention to me, although I noticed and appreciated the woman’s off-the-shoulder black dress and gold-accented black heels.
After finishing my tacos and martini, the rooftop bar was closing (although the main bar and restaurant was not). I needed to get back to my hotel, as I had another early morning shift at the event. As I got outside, I took the picture of the neon sign behind me. I carefully walked back to my car, drove to the hotel, took off my dress, heels, and makeup, put on my nightgown, and tumbled into bed.
I only wish I had more time when I get out, it always seems to end so quickly. But I have learned how to relax and have fun for myself just being in the moment. And I have no trouble walking outside my door and being confident in my presentation. Like our friend Dee says, they may know I’m a man in a dress, but they don’t know it’s me in that pretty dress.
Until the next time, whenever that may be!