Thursday, November 13, 2008

To Kill a Mocking Word

I was at a party last month where I was approached by a married female coworker who had clearly been over-served (i.e., she was bombed). After noticing me in my tailored D&G suit, she came up to me and said the following: “I’ve seen you a few times around the office and you’re always dressed so great. Sometimes I wish my husband was gay. Or are you just a metrosexual?”

According to the Bible Wikipedia, a metrosexual is “a heterosexual man with a strong concern for his appearance, one whose lifestyle displays attributes stereotypically attributed to gay men.”

As a heterosexual man, this definition infuriates me beyond words. But I’ll try nonetheless.

What does my sexual preference have to do with my concern for my appearance? Nothing, I hope. I like to dress nicely. I’m comfortable wearing pastels. I have a 100+ pairs of shoes. And yet I love me some ladies.

Many of my straight friends often accuse me of being metrosexual. They say things like, “Nice lavender pocket square, dude. Did you borrow it from Clay Aiken?” These are my straight friends who wear pleated khakis, golf polos with the top button buttoned, and Oakley blades circa 1987. And these are the same straight friends who haven’t had a girlfriend since their sophomore year of college. So criticism from them doesn’t really bother me, since I know their (lack of) concern for their appearance just makes me look better to the other straight females out there.

Criticism from Jill, however, drives me insane.

I showed up at her house a few weeks ago wearing an uber-cool bright purple v-neck sweater and some matching purple high-top sneakers. I was ready for the runway. And yet I think the first comment out of her mouth was: “Wow, aren’t we looking very metrosexual today?” She also drops the m-word anytime I do any of the following things:

- Try on anything that's “slim fit”
- Get a facial or manicure*
- Comment that I like another guy’s outfit

To teach Jill a lesson, I’m tempted to show up at our next date wearing a pair of cut-off jean shorts and a XXL Minnesota Vikings shirt. Or maybe I’ll just stop washing my face and clipping my fingernails. Perhaps then I’ll look more “manly.”

And while I’m on this rant, let me just state one more fact for the record: not all gay men are good dressers. Some gay men dress just bad as my aforementioned straight friends. And yet the stereotype persists. Which brings me back to the woman at the party who asked me if I was gay or simply metrosexual.

If I wasn’t such a gentleman, I would have slapped Ms. McDrunkyDrunk upside the head. (But of course I would have done so in such a way to ensure that I didn’t break one of my manicured* nails.)
* For the record, no, I don't get manicures. But I'm adamently opposed to the idea that someone who does get manicures is in any way, shape, or form less "manly."


Jack and Jill said...

Hold up - you get manicures?? We may need to have a talk.

The Odd Duck said...

Ah early morning hilarity. Love it.

100+ shoes? Seriously? I've never seen anyone with that many in my life...aside from silly people on Cribs.

Hollywood Sucker said...

I think I'm jealous of your fashion sense. I look like a college freshman these days.

Jason said...

Don't let the haters turn you into one. You're FABULOUS! Just keep doing your thing.

Reese said...

my girlfriend says the same thing about my shoe collection (even though she has twice as many as me). Jack I am with you, i have always despised the term metrosexual becuase before that was coined i just looked nice, as soon as a term was made then i am categorized.

I hate it!

i have about 50 to 60 pair of shoes (i aspire to hit triple digits) and women see that as a problem. dont be upset because i dress better than you hehehe

good show jack good show

rs27 said...

If looking good is wrong I don't want to be right.

JenBun said...

Jack, I applaud your fashion choices! (I mean, I think. I haven't actually seen any of them, but anyone with 100+ pairs of shoes is good in my book!)

That said, I personally have to be verrrrrrrrry careful about dating anyone of the "metrosexual" persuasion. There's a fine line between "comfortable with his masculinity" and "honey, he looks better in your leather pants than you do! And is that... body glitter?"

Luvvie (aka Queen IG) said...

Jack, as a fellow shoe fanatic, I am with you. What is there not to love?? I;m actually a but jealous b/c I have about 75 pairs. I must get on your level.

You can call me, 'Sir' said...

I agree wholeheartedly. Try being a snappy dresser, single, and 35. Holy shit. It's like a foregone conclusion that you must be gay. I feel like I occasionally need to go on a mercy date with some random woman in front of everyone I know just to shut them the hell up.

Katie Killary said...

a lavender pocket square sounds cool!

Ali said...

I'm jealous of your shoe collection. My husband would divorce me...

Cayman's Girl said...

i prefer a guy to look after himself and love clothes as much as i do!!

Chief Rock Chef said...

Well if it makes you feel any better, as a father I would be very happy if my daughter brought home a guy like you! As it is, I love it that you are Jill are an item, she deserves a great guy (even if he does have a ridiculous number of shoes!).

Tysley said...

Jack! I love your fantastic sense of style! It's ok to love a good facial and a good woman. Just please tell me you've ditched the beeper as a fashion statement? -T

peterdewolf said...

100 pairs of shoes?

Wow. I haven't owned that may pairs of shoes in total. In my life.

I probably haven't owned that many individual shoes either.

amindinmotown said...

I'm so not into metro guys. I like "manly" men, like my boyfriend, who will easily rock the scruff (love it!) with his black Iron Maiden tee-shirt, disheveled hair and ripped up jeans.

Ah, how I swoon at that.

dmb5_libra said...

as long as the guy doesn't smell like ass, i don't really care what he wears....unless i have to be seen in public with him.

Jack and Jill said...

Thanks for the support, peoples. Me and my shoes salute you.

- Jack

Jack and Jill said...


Please define for me "a manly man."

Also, are you implying that I'm less manly than your boyfriend becuase I tend to wear pants without holes in them? I beg to differ.

And by the way, I also "rock the scruff" and like to wear rock band t-shirts. But those things certainly don't make me "manly."

- Jack

Wreggie said...

I dress more like your straight friends but do get pedicures.

My co worker keeps up with fashion and the ladies notice.

Jen said...

Awww, Jack. I think it's awesome that you do what you do and are not ashamed of it. The husband is the same way. He takes pride in dressing right. Though, he does not have 100+ shoes. . . even so, he has very nice shoes and they match the outfits he wears accordingly. I also wouldn't care if he had a 100+ shoes.

He too gets blamed for the "m" word as well as being gay, just b/c he takes the time to look good. Why is that weird to everybody? And, why do you have to obviously be gay to look good? Why does it matter if you're straight, gay or whatnot?

The husband also rocks the scruff and I think it's super sexy! Though I've not yet been able to convince him of the powers of a manicure. I used to work in a spa where professional basketball players came in for those. Nothing wrong with that.

Anyhow, Jack, all this rambling to say for once I'm with you!