Sunday, October 27, 2002

The Ruffle Shirt Blues

Have you ever worn a really ruffledy shirt? You know, those big poufy poet/pirate things you see on the pages of International Male? The overblown satin draperies meant to remind one of more gracious times of male peacockery? You should. It's fun. Shooting your cuffs has so much more panache when there's three inches of white satin hanging to your knuckles; layers and layers of fabric floating around your breastbone draws ever so much attention away from your tummy. And the billowing sleeves, what can I say about the billowing sleeves? All I can say about them is that all sleeves ought to billow. It is now my belief that sleeves which do not billow are responsible for the world being in such a sorry state of affairs.

Interesting, though... almost all gay men have had the International Male catalog and ogled the hunks therein, but wouldn't be caught dead wearing anything that obviously came from that catalog. And when someone does wear something from that catalog (as I did tonight), you wouldn't believe the stares! In fact, once in the past I wore an obviously International Male shirt to the Pride Parade, a champagne satin swashbuckler shirt (as it was called, one of those big billowing things with the lace-up placket and shirred yoke), and people actually stared and tittered at me, making not very subtle or inaudible comments like "I didn't know people actually bought those things!" Ah, children can be so cruel. Even tonight, when other people were arrayed in the very heights of tackiness, I could see and feel people staring amazedly at my shirt... not admiring it, but wondering if I really bought that thing from International Male?!

So I just got back from a Halloween Dance. I did not dance, though I was tempted to do so at times... great music. But my feet hurt. I was wearing my black Bass cap-toes and they are the most uncomfortable shoes I own (but the only ones that go with my black suit and purple vest, which I had to wear to offset the ruffledy shirt, because you can't wear a white satin ruffled shirt with chinos and sneakers, you know)... they would probably be comfortable if I ever had a chance to break them in properly, but since I only wear a suit maybe four times a year, and since those shoes only go with two of my suits, they simply don't get enough air-time to be broken in. Every time I wear them it's like they're brand-new out of the box, they pinch my pinkie-toes and give me blisters on my heel. Each time I wear them I swear I'm going to shove them in the fireplace and burn them, but then I remember I paid $60 for them on sale and I can't bring myself to do it (and I know that $60 isn't a lot to pay for dress shoes, but it's the most I've ever paid for men's shoes... I pay more for my pumps, but I wear them more often).

Of course, I could have danced after I took the shoes off (which I did shortly after returning from my first trip to the bathroom, when my feet hurt so bad I couldn't bear it anymore... another thing I learned in the bathroom is that you have to roll up the sleeves of ruffledy shirts before using the bathroom... the rufflecuffs get very much in the way). But I didn't. I very seldom do dance at dances, and never at clubs. I guess I just don't like dancing very much. This always causes raised eyebrows and nonplussed gasps when I divulge that item to my gay brethren and sistren. Even more befuddling to them is that I don't like oral sex, either giving or receiving. Apparently I'm the only man on the face of the planet who doesn't like getting head.

There are a number of other things about me which seem to be setting me apart from my fellow queens. On top of the no dancing and the no cocksucking, I don't much care for Cher, I loathe (and I do mean loathe) Madonna, I wish Mariah Carey would drop dead along with the entire Techno/House/Trance movement (totally unrelated phenomena, but I dislike them for the same reasons)... I also don't like sushi or Thai food, hate cutting my hair shorter than two inches in length, the only lycra I own is in my control-top panty-hose, and the only leather I own is contained in the usual belts (which I almost never wear) and some of my shoes. I hate scented candles, faux modern design, Billy dolls, anything made out of soy, and Fiestaware. And I don't really care much about Halloween. As holidays go, I much prefer Thanksgiving.

On the other hand, I do love Judy Garland, opera, small dogs, table-setting, and ruffledy shirts. I guess I was just born in the wrong generation of gay. Or the wrong generation of humanity. I am an anachronism. Which is better than being an anarchist or an anabaptist, I guess. What are anabaptists, anyway? I've always wondered.

So, anyway, despite the painful shoes and the no dancing, I did enjoy the dance. Not very many people there (in fact, the entire Castro was pretty dead, even for just a Saturday, much less the Saturday before Halloween... I guess everyone was worn out from baseball and peace marches and what-have-you), but I got to talk with some good friends and new acquaintances, drank some Coke and ate some Smarties (my favorite!) and sang along to "The Time Warp," ogled some cuties and dished some tragedies and learned about the oversized member of someone I already thought was attractive but now consider absolutely fascinating, fluffed my breast ruffles and fluttered my rufflecuffs, and all-in-all had a very good time.

So now I shall check on some other blogs and get into bed. I have a show tomorrow, and I don't really feel very prepared. Aside from wanting to change one of my numbers but not knowing what to change it to, I still have to get a glittering pitchfork and try to find some silver spiders. This costume business is a lot harder than just doing drag. I mean, I bought three female Halloween costumes (at first I bought two, then found a third that was better than the second, but I can't return the second, so I am stuck with three costumes...She-Devil, Witch, and Spider Woman), and I spent more on each costume than I generally do on any one dress, and none of these things are pieces that I can use again, except as future Halloween costumes. It's like this fun and lovely ruffledy shirt, I bought it last year for a Halloween costume (I'd planned to be an 80s glam rocker, with vinyl pants and ruffledy shirt and opulent cummerbund and spike-heeled boots and a big red wig, but the shirt and pants didn't arrive in the mail until the day after Halloween, so I ended up going to the dance in my pajamas)... and aside from Halloween, I can't think of a single other opportunity to wear this shirt.

But maybe I should make occasions. I really can't tell you enough how much fun this shirt has been, even with the disapproving stares. But now I'm going to take it off and get into bed and go to sleep. XOXO!

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