I suppose it had to happen one day. I got in touch with my feminine side. When it happened, it was like brushing my teeth: neither exciting nor pleasurable but I would have felt unclean if I hadn’t done it.

For the first time in over a decade, I am going to a ball. It is for single Christians, held at the Sheraton – that explains the $150 price tag. I oscillated for a couple of weeks before deciding at the 11th hour that I would go.

I have three formal suits, courtesy of my step-brother Ash: like me, he isn’t sartorially retentive; but unlike me, he can afford expensive clothes, and more of them. Props to him. I usually wouldn’t choose his style for myself but it doesn’t take me long to become fond of his cast-offs.

So, the ball. They’re putting on the whole schemola: canapés, dinner, dessert, coffee, music, dancing, a likely ratio of 3 girls to 1 guy … The dancing tipped the scales. This was the moment when the lost leg of my Y chromosome purred in my ear, murmuring: ‘You need a new pair of shoes.’

To be fair to my essential testostorosity, I already wanted a new pair of dancing shoes. The pair I had bought (from a Good Sammy’s shop, which was a mistake: never buy underwear, socks or shoes at thrift stores) were slightly too tight, and on the first night I wore them they rubbed my heels of a dozen layers of skin . So the temporal proximity of the ball and the need for shoes was mere coincidence. That’s right, keep believing it.

But at least I didn’t lose all my masculinity. I bought the shoes to do double duty, for both dancing and formal events. I could have gone for a two-tone, matt finish kind but it was the shiny and matt black shoes that I decided for. They cost a mere $95 as well: I had been expecting almost twice the price.

And now – to the ball! Cinderella!
….

And after the ball.

My tip on dance shoes: don’t make them do double duty. Dance shoes are meant to be used only on the dance floor, not on any other surface. The soles are now well scuffed; I hope that a little care – brushing and so forth – should see them right. Time will tell.

The ball itself I quite enjoyed: I managed to strut my funky stuff on the floor during one or two swing-type numbers. The music took us from the forties through to the noughties, the volume becoming steadily louder, so that before the dessert arrived conversations had to be held mouth-to-ear. The food was adequate vis-à-vis taste, although we would have appreciated larger portions.

Otherwise, I got out of the flat, did something a little different and met several interesting people. I’m glad that I didn’t shave for five days before the ball: my throat hates razors. If I shave every day, or even every other day, it isn’t long before I end up with several cuts and a nasty shaving rash. There aren’t many things that prevent it, apart from abstinence – allowing my inner Sasquatch to emerge.

Regarding hair: mine is country-bred. It disliked the high-density lifestyle that my scalp provided, so it dispersed to enjoy more Lebensraum. Thankfully my arms are long and quite flexible; even so, it’s tricky to manoeuvre the Remington comprehensively over my back.

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