There is obviously something deeply wrong with me. I didn't think twice about the morning routine this morning. It's day six, the penultimate day of my forfeit for losing a bet with my wife on who can take more pain, men or women. I have spent the last five days experiencing several aspects of female pain. This morning, I removed the hair that had grown overnight around my thighs, moisturised, dressed and applied make-up automatically. It may have helped that I was a little more awake, my wife not having demanded sex this morning. I knew I could outlast her on that particular chore.
I still jabbed myself in the eye with the mascara brush, but I got the make-up right first time. Yay for me.
I was feeling pleased until breakfast. Well I say breakfast. I have never considered a cup of coffee and half a grapefruit breakfast, more a kind of way of making the rest of the day seem less horrid as it can only get better. Not today.
"We're going on a girly night out tonight," my wife told me, as she happily tucked into a bowlful of what the rabbit wouldn't eat.
I had forgotten, I looked at her in horror.
"But, I've got nothing to wear for a night out!" I exclaimed.
I paused, and replayed that. I'd heard my wife say it often enough. I thought about what was in my wardrobe. I had two outfits in the small space I laughingly call a wardrobe, and one on. As far as I was concerned, none of them were suitable for a night out.
I paused again.
"Hang on," I said. "What element of female pain will I learn by having a night out getting pissed?"
"You will learn more than you can possibly imagine," said my wife. "Now, we'd better get to the shops before they get busy. You still look like a man in a wig."
I drove to the retail park, trapped my hair in the door, caught my hair in the seatbelt and got the heal of my shoe caught under the accelerator while trying to get away from a stupidly grinning white van man at some lights.
"I do that all the time," was all my wife would say at each mishap.
We returned to the shop where I had bought what I was wearing. The shop assistants remembered me, and said I looked good in the outfit, which can only mean that either they were lying, or women couldn't look good in it. My wife explained what we needed, and we went looking. It turned out, much to my wife's intense annoyance, that my week long diet and two hours in the gym had caused me to drop a dress size. I was now a size fourteen, the same as her. We found a pretty black and red dress that my wife said she'd be having after I'd done with it.
"It's good we can share clothes now," I said, sounding as innocent as possible.
That was a mistake. My wife got vindictive. She got some different tights. With pictures on. She got a different bra: lace. I've learned to loathe lace. I narrowed my eyes, which caused the mascara to glue my eyelids together. I pulled them apart and gouged my nose with a shellac nail. It was just one more slice from the razor sharp talons at the end of my fingers to add to the slices on both thumbs, the one behind my left ear and the fifteen centimetre one all the way up my right thigh from putting on tights.
Bizarrely, although I looked like a man in a wig, nobody looked at us as we returned to the car. I think that anybody who wants to be a transvestite can avoid being stared at, by walking without thinking about it. I've got more advice for wannabe trannies. Don't get too tall and have small feet.
Make up that is worn through the day is not the same as make-up that is worn at night. My wife explained it was the lights. Pubs and clubs apparently don't use the same lights as everybody else. They have special lights that cause ordinary day make-up to turn purple, or melt or something. My wife has had more practice, so I bowed to her experience. Then she made me courtesy as girls don't bow, it shows too much cleavage.
We got a taxi into town.
"You girls going for a night out," the taxi driver asked.
"Should you be driving with your eyesight?" I replied.
"Yes, we are," my wife said.
"Thought so," the taxi driver said.
We met my wife's friends.
"Oh my god," said one, "You look like a woman!"
Now, is this a big compliment, or a huge insult? I think that it is the special light in pubs that interacts with special night time make-up to make anybody in night time make up under the special pub lights look at least moderately attractive. Perhaps the beer-goggle theory on waking up with the ugly sister of the girl you picked-up is slightly wrong. Perhaps it's not the beer, but the special lights in pubs.
And the female pains that I discovered that night? Firstly, there is the pain of constantly, and I mean constantly, having your conversation interrupted by some guy who thinks that saying something about stars falling from the sky is going to get him laid. One conversation went like this:
Guy: "Heaven must be missing an angel."
Me: "Is this because all angels are men, just like me?"
Me: "I'm a cross-dressing transvestite because I lost a bet with my wife, and you seriously need to drink less so you actually only chat up women."
Guy: "So that's a no then?"
Guy: "It's a yes?"
Me: "Fuck off."
Secondly, when going to the bar, it is virtually impossible to get served if you don't have one boob hanging out. I had no boobs to hang out. So I took to speaking very loudly and very deep. The bar staff didn't want me at the bar, and I got served quickly. Unfortunately, this meant I went to the bar more often. Going to the bar as a woman involves getting your arse pinched and slapped fairly regularly. I, personally, have never pinched some random women's arse. Ever. Coming back from the bar involves trying to totter on heels whilst avoiding having my arse slapped and carrying several drinks.
Thirdly, when travelling between pubs heels are designed to make calves look good, not make walking easy. Drinking also makes walking difficult. Combine them, and this is why women clasp each other on the walk between pubs. The slightest crack, a grid, any kerb that doesn't have a dozen flashing warning signs and a lollipop lady pointing at it while shouting "danger", and dips in the pavement on corners, all have been put on streets with the sole intention of causing drunk women in heels to fall over. As pretty as the dress was, it didn't keep me warm, and neither did the star spangled tights.
Finally: toilets. After drinking several glasses of wine, I needed the loo.
But which one?
"You'll have to come in with me," said my wife.
I got to visit a ladies loo in a pub. This is the Holy Grail for men. Who hasn't craned a neck as they walked past the ladies toilets as a woman's gone in, just to try and see what it looks like? I am here to tell you that they are a lot nicer than the gents. The one I went in had pink walls, a mirror all the way along the wall, soap in the dispensers, paper towels in the dispensers and floors that were not sticky. That moment was worth the entire week of pain. I got half undressed in the cubicle to have a wee. I carefully made sure that my dress was not tucked in my G-string and all the stars on my tights were still lined up. Then I discovered that the light they put in toilets is designed to make it look like make-up has come off. My wife and I had to reapply makeup and I was horrified to see my beard coming through the foundation, so I had to cake that on like I was about to serve drinks on the 12:50 British Air flight to Bombay.
In the taxi home, my wife asked me if I'd learned all about the female pain of a night out. I said I had. My wife demanded sex when we were both in bed, but we were too pissed to do anything about it.