By Tina “Gettin’ It Done” Davis
I had another opportunity to get out dressed much sooner than usual for me. I was at another competition and staying at a hotel in Portsmouth, NH. I deliberately asked for a room for the last night, when I might normally drive home. I explained this to my wife as that I would be tired after 3 ½ long days and did not want to drive home at night when it was forecast to be extremely cold (11-12° F). She wasn’t too happy as she gets lonely by herself for too long but understood my reasons.
This meant that on Saturday, January 20th, 2024, I planned to get dinner and looked for possible restaurants or bars with live music and/or dancing. I was pleasantly surprised to find the Portsmouth Gas Light Company, which has multiple levels in a building. The basement is a pizza pub, the 1st floor is an American grill, the 2nd floor has a seasonal deck with live music (obviously closed in January!), and the 3rd floor has a nightclub.
Now, what would I wear?
Given that there was still snow, ice, and slush on the streets, I needed to wear my heeled booties as I don’t have other women’s boots. I wanted to bring an edge to my outfit, so I pulled out a pair of black fishnet tights with a back seam. Then I looked at my dresses and picked this black glittering dress with ruching on the sleeves and down the front and sides. I also packed a more demure sweater and skirt with plain black tights just in case I was nervous about the dress.
I had a 2-hour window in the mid-afternoon to get to a nail salon for a manicure. I wanted a polish with a shimmer and they suggested a pale silver with glitter. It was actually pretty good and went unnoticed when I got back to the facility for my last shift of the day. This picture was taken at the restaurant, the shimmer is just visible.
I didn’t leave the competition until after 6:30, getting back to the hotel at 7. I put on the fishnets, my firm shapewear, and then the dress. I thought I looked good and went to do my makeup, trying for a look to match the party vibe of the dress and nail polish. Once I was ready, it was picture time!
I put my puffer coat on, as I don’t have a woman’s winter coat, along with some sleek gloves that look feminine and my shoulder bag. I walked to the elevator and hoped I could ride to the lobby alone from the 4th floor. However, it stopped on the 2nd floor, and two people from the competition stepped on (yikes!). I smiled, and they didn’t seem to recognize me. I had to walk through the lobby past the hotel bar, which was quite busy, and out the door into the cold evening. I was careful in my heels going down a flight of stairs, crossing the street, and walking on the brick sidewalk.
Arriving at the restaurant, I was seated in the grill near the bar and ordered a locally brewed beer. For dinner, I decided on a vegetable stir fry with grilled chicken. As I waited for the food to come, I took a couple of selfies and watched people walk by to the bar and the ladies’ room. The women’s outfits were a mix of styles, both edgy and casual, so I felt fine with my dress and fishnets.
I finished my dinner, paid the bill, and went upstairs to the second floor, where they had a coat room. I checked my coat, keeping my shoulder bag, and was told to go down the other stairs to get a (free!) wristband for the nightclub. I had seen several people head up to the club and heard the electronic music playing, so I was excited to see how loud and busy it was for a cold Saturday night.
Sadly, there were not many people in the club. No one was on the dance floor, though the music was loud and the lights were flashing. The main room had maybe 20-25 people scattered around at the tables. I went to the bar and ordered another beer, then perched myself on a stool at a high table.
After I sipped my beer for several minutes, checking out the other patrons, I decided to brave the dance floor. There was a single person dancing, a man with a ponytail. So I put my bag down on a shelf under the mirror and started to dance. The song changed to Adele (Rolling in the Deep), and my dancing grew more comfortable and confident as I watched myself in the mirror. Again, I was disappointed that no one else came to dance. The song finished and changed again, so I picked up my bag, went back to the table, and rested a moment before leaving the club.
The cold air felt good as I walked back to the hotel. I didn’t have any slips or stumbles in my block heels, and the sound of them on the streets was surprisingly soothing. I passed the hotel bar again, still busy at 10:30 PM, and headed for the elevator. As I passed the desk, I heard a voice say “Miss! Miss! You dropped your glove.” One of the desk clerks had picked it up, and I thanked him as I called for the elevator. The affirmation was a nice end to the night.
I got back into my room, called my wife to talk about the competition, and stayed dressed until midnight. Unfortunately, when I took off the fishnets, I put my thumb right through them, making a large hole – so they had to be tossed. Guess I’ll be looking for a new pair or two! Here’s a closer look at them from my perch at the nightclub.
I’m sure that this club is much busier during the warmer months, but it was still a fun time and I’m glad I made time for another adventure to get dressed up. It may be several months before the next opportunity. But every time I do get out, it feels like I gain more self-confidence and enjoy myself just being able to interact with people. Being a contributor to this site has been so meaningful to my growth as a crossdresser and as a person.