I have two vivid memories from when I was ten that help highlight my relationship with traditional masculinity.
Art class: I'm painting a rainbow. I get my hands on the purple paint and the other boys recoil in fear. "That's a girl's color"
, they tell me. No one can own a color, I scoff.
Summer camp: We're talking around the table at dinner. One of the other boys says "When I get married..." and I ask who he's planning on marrying. He doesn't know. He just knows that he will. The other boys all know that someday they
will get married. How? When? To whom? They have no idea. I scoff.
I scoff because I don't need someone else to tell me how to be a man.
and I moved in together, we had to deal with one of those fundamental incompatibilities that all cohabitators share. She likes the bedroom significantly colder than I do when we sleep at night. So I invest in pajamas. I have a lot of pajamas. Muppet pajamas. Superhero pajamas. Disney pajamas. Fleece pajamas. Flannel pajamas. Sleep pants. Union suits. Footie pajamas. Onesies. Some of these come from the menswear section of stores, but most come from the womens' intimates section.
About two years ago, I was in Wal*Mart, browsing their new winter collection of pajamas and I see something I did not expect to find irresistible. It was a Hello Kitty sleep set, with fluffy fleece sleep shorts with teeny tiny bows on the hem and a ruffled bubblegum pink camisole. It was the ruffle. Something about the hyperbolic shape of the ruffle appeals to the mathematician in me. I like the way they twirl, the way they refuse to lie flat. Also they're pretty. I bought it immediately
. I don't wear the camisole very often since I'm not a fan of spaghetti straps and it wasn't really built for someone with a torso as long as mine, but the sleep shorts are fantastic on the colder summer nights. So I've been looking at finding newer, more suitable sources of ruffles to wear.
Last winter, I had a dream involving a pair of pink sneakers and white ruffle socks. After a couple weeks of searching, I found the shoes but I still haven't found ruffle socks in my size. SADFACE. I stopped in at Lane Bryant last week to buy some tights for an Elizabethan event and took a browse through the clearance rack when I saw a skirt that I loved. It was white, green, and off-black in a sort of camo/floral pattern, with a gold wire on the hem of the ruffle to add a little sparkle. I didn't have time to try on clothes, so I left it to go finish running my errands.
Then on Tuesday we saw the future of human civilization go down the toilet
in front of our eyes and Wednesday night I was mad so I went to go buy me a skirt because Fuck Mike Pence
. So I went back to Lane Bryant and strode boldly forth over to the clearance rack and when the staff said "May I help you?", I said "Yes. I'm here to buy a skirt. I don't know what size I am so I may have to try on a few. I thought you had this one in a size 16 when I was in last week, but I can't find it now." She offered to go back to see if they had any more. I asked her to grab anything else ruffly that looked like it might fit.
Thanks to Awesome Andrea and Magic Michelle at Highland Commons Lane Bryant (in Hudson, MA), I now have *two* ruffly skirts: The camo/floral one and a faux-distressed-leather dealie that makes me look like a fangirl for the Shadows. They are awesome.
So, in summary:
I like pink, ruffles, and sparkles.
I wear a size 17 or so skirt.
I wear women's size 12 shoes.
I'm thinking of changing my gender designator from "cismale" to "ruffleboy".