Sometimes you have those moments where you wonder ‘is this real life?’. And I’m not referencing pinch-me moments of finding the last dress in your size at Zara, the sheer delight of nabbing the first freshly-baked sourdough loaf at the bakery or winning the car park lottery of 59-minute parking.
I’m talking a bona fide, jaw hits the ground, outraged, ‘did he actually just say that?’ moment.
Last year I dated a guy. A guy that had an odd captivating quality about him, he was a fellow British-born Chinese and he felt like home. We liked the same music, laughed all the time, left each other disgustingly soppy voice notes and just-because texts. Sometimes it’s good to completely lose yourself in the moment and throw caution to the wind, forgetting about your gut instinct and all that other stuff people try to tell you about and that you’ll inevitably ignore, blinded by puppy love.
Three dates in though, we went on a lunch date. A day date. Now for me, a day date is a commitment. Evenings are somewhat less daunting: you’ve got the majority of the day out of the way and there’s only a handful of hours left to go. The day date requires many more hours and the prospect of also spending an evening with them. Additionally, a day date silently requires a different dress code, no? It was a relaxed afternoon of coffee and wandering the shops, heels and my usual evening date get-up simply wouldn’t suffice! Wrong.
It’s 2016. (Well, I mean it was 2015 at the time of The Incident, but you get the gist.) I selected a casj outfit of my Alexander Wang jersey tee, a little leather skirt and slip-ons and…
“Ugh, I hate it when girls wear round toe shoes and trainers.”
Calmly trying to remember that I am a sassy independent lady who don’t need no man/fashion advice/shit from stupid men, I remember pretending he didn’t say that and let him slowly realise his grave error. I mean, I work in luxury fashion! I’m a totes fashun writer! Nope.
“Girls should always wear short clothes and pointed toe shoes. It’s such a waste when they wear these skirts that go out* and other shoes.”
Hold on. Did you just? I should always wear short skirts and shorts and never wear casual things because he’d decided that was the way women ‘should’ dress? It was a problem. I let it slip the first time but now I was enraged. I’m not a particularly outspoken individual and I haaate confrontation, but damn. This was not going to slide. “Well, it’s Saturday and it’s 2015 and I’m going to wear what I want.”
Needless to say, the subsequent lunch date was cold and stony. (The food was damn good though.)
And the moral of this story is? Let me wear trainers goddammit!
* A-line skirts. God dammit, a girl just wants to dress like she's in Clueless, alright?!