A little while ago, blogstress par excellence Bliss hit the publish button on her Colorblocking a Classic post. In case you missed it and are too lazy to click on the link I provided, it’s about a Couch purse.
I like Bliss’ posts, a lot of which are about girly stuff, like purses, earrings, new shoes, doilies, and avoiding colour clashes. Anyways, I liked this particular post in spite of the fact that it was about a purse and I’m a man with an unblemished record of staunch heterosexuality* and non-transvestism* (except for that one Hallowe’en over thirty years ago when I dressed as a woman because I was told that I wouldn’t be allowed to get into the party without a costume — and I didn’t like wearing the panty hose one little bit!). I found that if I substituted references to the purses with thoughts of cars while reading her post, it turned into a great discussion! I even contributed to the whole thing by redesigning the bag with a “man’s touch”. It was a hit.
But a few days later Bliss’ post was still floating around inside my giant, bald, stubbly, fishbowl of a head. I had read the post, found out all I wanted to know about the purse in question, and made someone laugh as a result of my comments. Seems like “mission accomplished”, right?
As I thought about it, I came to a couple of realizations. The first was that the topic of a post doesn’t necessarily dictate the degree of enjoyment or satisfaction it will bring me, it’s all about the writer’s enthusiasm for the topic and the skill in which he/she brings it all together. It comes down to what I call “The I-Could-Have-Done-That Factor” where the writer creates a piece that is so well crafted that the reader cannot help but be dazzled while being lulled into the illusion that the piece was so easy to write it basically wrote itself. Bliss really pulled it off.
The other thing I realized was that I like a lot of stuff made exclusively for women — I wholeheartedly agree with the comedian Gallagher in that I feel a lot safer on a girl’s bike, for example. I also like women’s perfume… not to wear myself but to get a whiff of it when my wife sprinkles some on. When my wife wears Joy, it means that we’re going out to dinner at a place where I’ll have to tip an amount greater than the cost of the ingredients had I made the very same dinner at home. Chanel No. 5 means that I’ll be spending the evening spiking whatever she’s drinking with headache medicine.
But a lot of the stuff made for women have analogues sold with men in mind, the main difference is that men’s stuff is marketed as utilitarian and women’s stuff is sold as fashion.
Let’s take bags, for example. Many women have extensive purse collections, the appeal of which often escapes their husbands. But looking at my wife-authored list of things for me to do, I see an entry mandating that I clean up my office. My office is the closest thing I have to a man cave in our tiny home where my computer, two printers, scanner, paper stock, and camera equipment live. My wife’s sewing machine is also in here just to keep me honest. But looking over my shoulder, I can see that I own no less than ten purpose-built bags! So in homage (or, in this case, “femmage”) to Bliss I present you with photos of some of my masculine girlie stuff.
Being a married man, I haven’t personally bought clothes for myself since I said “I do”. My wife keeps bringing home bags of shirts, pants, sweaters, and jackets, shows them to me, and then stores them in giant Tupperware boxes where I cannot find them. Since these new clothes were bought out-of-season (when all the best bargains are to be had), shown to me once fresh out of the shopping bag and then stored away, I soon forget about them so I never end up wearing them. Another problem is that I’m middle aged and I don’t wear out clothes nearly as fast as I used to so I end up wearing a very limited repertoire of “outfits” in a fairly short rotation for years at a stretch.
I find perplexing the fact that my clothes last forever because I’ve gained 40+ lbs. since the nuptials and that extra tonnage should be stretching and exerting more force on the fabric, right? I don’t get to go out and play with my friends nearly as often as when I was single but I figure that at the very least the seats of the pants should be wearing out pretty quick considering the amount of time I spend sitting around watching TV, eating sit-down dinners, driving to shopping centres, etc.
At any rate, I’ll not be including photos of my clothes in this post. Worry not, this will not be a “nudie post”… I will remain fully clothed. It’s just that female readers would probably be sickened by the clothes I would choose to present in this show-and-tell post and my guy readers probably couldn’t care less.
I apologize if putting hats in their own category was the wrong thing to do — I didn’t know what genus to put them under according to the Standard Girly Stuff Phylogeny. If they should have been put under either the Clothing or the Accessories category, please excuse me.
Hats serve one of two functions for me… either keeping my head warm or protecting my defoliated scalp from the searing rays of the sun (or clouds).
Warning! The following photos were taken while I was seriously sleep deprived and so I look like a partially deflated Uncle Fester (from the original Addams Family TV series). The fact that the only full-length mirror in the house is tinted and in a really dark tiny corner in between the stairs and the closet near the front door limited my ability to exercise any creativity in the production of these images. In real life I’m much more delectable. Things were not helped by the fact that, apparently, an electronic flash brings out the streaks left after a feeble attempt to clean the mirror, something I hadn’t realized before putting all my junk away and uploading the images to my computer. Kudos for your clean mirror, Bliss!
As I mentioned earlier, bags are chosen by men according to what they are meant to carry, as opposed to women who choose their bags in a chameleon-like way so the bag will visually match its surroundings.
Apart from my wedding band, which I lovingly refer to as “The Ring of Obedience”, I don’t have any jewelry per se. I don’t have any piercings (I generated quite enough bodily punctures and scar tissue in my youth as an indirect consequence of doing normal life-threatening guy things) so I don’t have a little box to store extra earrings or tongue bolts. The only things I have that even comes close to jewelry are my watches and one tie clip.
Except for my Bulova, which was a wedding gift from Mrs. HoaiPhai, all my watches were inexpensive. I once told my brother that I like my watches to be like the women I dated before I met my wife… cheap, flashy, and unreliable. This, of course, was just a joke. But I do like inexpensive and even cheap watches, as long as they are gimmicky and gadgety. They either have to have a lot of cool features or display the time in some unusual way. I’m not hard to please.
So ends the journey through my manly girly stuff. Do you have any favourite “fashion accessories”?
Any leads on cool but really cheap under-twenty-dollar watches would be greatly appreciated!
* Not that there’s anything wrong with homosexuality or transvestism.
- dressing androgynously (perpetualtomboy.me)
- Say it Loud: Lipstick Tomboy, and Proud (clutchmagonline.com)
- For the Love of God, Put on Some Real Pants and Take Your Phone Out of Your Bra [Fashion] (jezebel.com)
- Not so shabby cute vintage like clothes (coolmom.com)
- You Might Be A Tomboy But You Should Still Look Like A Girl (geekmadel.com)