Stiletto Race, Russia 2012
I am a woman.
My hips, breasts and bottom make that clear to most people who pass me on the street.
That said, my height, hair and shoe choice sometimes leave room for confusion.
And that’s what I’m wondering about today. Why or how I grew up to be a mostly mature woman who can’t do any of the things that other ladies learn before they graduate from high school.
I can barely stand up, let alone walk, in a pair of shoes that require any kind of balancing on my heels.
Good friends have tried to teach me with advice like,
Practice just standing in front of mirror to get your posture right. Now shift your centre of balance. Stick out your butt. Push out your chest. Now stand up straight.
“But you just said to stick out my butt and chest…how is this even possible?”
I probably didn’t start wearing heels young enough since I was taller than most boys in high school, back when I cared about this kind of thing. So I blame short, Quebec-born men for the lack of stilettos in my closet. Hell, I don’t even own practical hush puppy heels like my grandma wore. It’s pathetic.
And then… how is it that I am 47-years old and my make-up bag contains one eye-liner that I got for free from Clinique back in 2003, two lipsticks from that same Clinique bonus bag, and a small eye shadow palette that I bought seven years ago when I was dating and thought that make-up would make me more attractive.
Really? A forty-year old who’s never learned to apply make-up thinking that her haphazard and random swipes of shades of pink and brown powder would make her look like anything more than a woman trying to look like a man trying to look like a woman?
Remember, I’m wearing motorcycle boots or Doc Marten’s on these dates. Which means I’m not in a pretty dress or pantyhose (even the word offends me). Jeans and a tight t-shirt or sweater for me. (I did manage to learn to accept the discomfort of an underwire, push-up bra, thank God!). Obviously, the eyeliner and shadow weren’t fooling anyone.
And then there was the lipstick. I’m told the two shades I own are good for my skin tone, which is a relief. But honestly, ladies how do live with the gunky feeling and that disgusting taste? Ech.
So, let me tell you about one of the men who was interested in dating a woman who was dealt an atrophied X chromosome.
He was tall. Built like an athlete. A professional who wears a suit and tie to work every day. And, a very nice man, who, for our third date asked if I wanted to watch him perform at a club in downtown Vancouver.
Musician? Nope. DJ? Uh-uh. Dancer? Why, yes, sort of.
“Can I come to your house to get ready?” he asked.
He arrived with a hockey bag which he dumped open on my bed. He had more dresses and more pairs of stilettos in that bag alone than I will ever own. And make-up? The man was an expert at applying fake eyelashes, foundation, eyeliner… hell, he could have moonlighted at the make-up counter at The Bay.
I was actually excited about this side of him. I watched him perform. He was… a bit stiff, but not bad, given he is six-foot-bloody-four and wearing size fourteen, five-inch stilettos. And a tight dress. And a wig with hair that kept falling in his face. I wouldn’t have been able to lean against the bar without falling over in what he was strutting and singing in.
After a night of dancing he came back to my place. We kissed.
“Ech. Can you wipe off the lipstick? It tastes disgusting,” I complained.
Honestly, kissees, why do you put up with it?
He was visibly hurt. Without going into the truly banal details, we woke up the next morning and agreed that we just didn’t have a connection.
No problem. Except that he told me in one of those, I’m not really thinking before I speak moments, that sleeping with me made him wonder why he’d stopped sleeping with men.
What’s a woman to say to that? You’re welcome?
That’s what was going through my mind this morning when I woke up, worried about what I’d wear to the cocktail party that the Vancouver chapter of the RWA will be hosting at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference in two weeks.
Aren’t you happy to have joined me for a little visit inside my brain today? Will you share a little something from your own messed-up mind to help me feel normal? Please?