Thursday, November 4, 2021

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly or Brenda’s Attempt at “Out and About”

By Brenda

I had a rare opportunity with no one home for a full 24 hours that would allow me to be “out and about” for an evening. My plan was to visit the mall, a hardware store and Ikea. I planned to leave the house upon nightfall allowing several hours of shopping. However, retail hours have been cut short and stores are not open until 10 p.m. anymore.

I had my outfit ready to go and would enjoy an afternoon at home first. I just needed to tape up the Zoom camera just in case I had a work call.

The Good

Wearing of a mask means I don’t need any real makeup except for eye shadow. Wearing glasses, the impact may be less. I still put on lipstick to match my press-on nails.

The Bad

An important package was to arrive at the last minute needing a signature, which put my departure time later than planned. This cost me time.

The neighbors set up a hockey net right in front of my driveway and played road hockey with their kids. That cost me time as I needed for them to go away so I could drive out without notice or suspicion.

My shoe size has gone from a size 10, 20 years ago to a size 11 and now it’s very much a size 12. Pre -planning helped me find a nice pump, but I really wanted a chunkier heel, but the stiletto would work. Is this what happens as we age – our feet get bigger?

COVID weight gain pushed my skirt size up two sizes, but a quick visit to the thrift shops solved that problem. In fact, I spotted another gurl casually spending time enjoying herself shopping.

The Ugly

My left knee has become problematic and of course, it was giving me pain the day before. This ruled out the high heels. No problem – my flats fit fine, but I will bring my pumps just in case.

So anxiously eyeballing the road hockey family, they finally realized it was too dark to play and packed up. By now it was 7:30 p.m. and I decided maybe I should just go straight to Ikea as the mall closed at 8 p.m.

Well, I managed to check out DSW just before closing hoping to find new shoes, but no luck.

Ikea worked out great as I followed through the maze, but what I wanted was out of stock. My knee held up well with the high heels with the shopping cart providing support.

The time savings without the check out line let me drop into Lowes to look up paint colors and stroll through appliances and kitchens. I was feeling very confident that I am sure the middle-aged woman would pass well in the power tools section as well. I did wear my flats.

So what does a femulator do when the stores close?

A drive-through coffee, a visit with a couple of ATM machines, return some books at the library drop box, drop off donation items at two charity boxes, but I did not mail any letters. I switched to my heels and parked farther away than normal allowing the swish of my skirt and the clicking of my heels to serenade my femininity.

I was home by 10:30 p.m. and changed into something more casual, but still feminine (as opposed to a sweat shirt and track pants) and enjoyed tidying up the kitchen and putting everything away.

I did enjoy my chance to go get some fresh air even though I had several obstacles in my way. My confidence went up as the mask provides a sense on anonymity, but in my hyper vigilance of reading reactions, I found no instance of double takes or confused stares that would put me on edge. Many shoppers go about their business unaware of others and I found that I am passable because I try to blend in for my age group and stay confident in knowing I belong. Just like the civilians, I too go about my business unaware of others (though my Spidey sense is always on).

One thing I did realize is that possibly I will seem out of place in the malls from a fashion standpoint. Women have moved to tight sport clothes, casual sweats, jeans and more casual footwear. The stylish woman is either hiding in her home or they too have adopted the new, super casual look. This is a look I don’t think I can pull off and blend into the crowd as I prefer the jacket, skirt and scarf that represents the executive assistant or secretary style.

Maybe I need to lose the extra weight and give the casual look a try. Maybe I also need to abandon the Spanx and girdle and leave the bra behind like todays woman, but then I won’t have a skirt or heels or stockings to make myself feel feminine.

Source: Böhme
Wearing Böhme

John Inman
John Inman (right) femulating in British television’s Are You Being Served?


  1. I'd point out the secretaries and AAs may hit the stores on the way home... I think the other women at the mall are dressed differently at 6 than at 9. I do not see many other women in heels at the market at 2 or 8... but 5:30? There are a few

    1. I worked in an office park and the nearby Stop&Shop was always populated with women in skirts and heels at lunchtime.

    2. I'd say even more after work - you can pick up refrigerated items to take home you wouldn't leave in the car while you returned to the office

  2. Thank you for the story -The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

  3. Thanks for publishing my story. I cannot let Stana do all the writing but in the end if I am going be out then I am going to present As myself. Fiona, I did not notice any looks my way but now that I recall back I may have been the only one in heels at Ikea. I did have flats in my purse as a back up.

    However, I present with heels, stockings, skirt and a blouse and if I wanted to blend in better then maybe the look wouldnt work at that time. Brenda

  4. Wearing Böhme , wow ! , an incredibly beautiful model !