I don’t remember learning how to tie my shoes. I grew up before Velcro and I refused to wear Mary Janes or flats. All of my shoes were lace-ups. I’m pretty sure I was taught the “bunny ears” method before I mastered the adult method. I made a double knot to avoid tripping on my laces.
I am a walker. I started walking around the city when I was eleven. My school was 1.5 miles away; it didn’t take more time to walk than to take the M15 bus. I liked the independence and the adventure. I used my bus money to buy a pastry or a bagel at one of the bakeries on my route. I double knotted my shoes so I wouldn’t have to stop and re-tie them. The knot and I were both chubby and clunky.
I own 13 pairs of shoes that lace up (five pairs of sneakers, two pairs of light hikers, two pairs of work boots, two pairs of chukka boots, a pair of boots for my transmasculine soul (see below), and a pair of insulated snow boots). I am hard on my shoes. I either wear down the soles or wear through the padding on the back of the collar. I try to rotate my shoes so they will last longer, but I notice myself mostly reaching for my light hikers. The ones with the fat round nylon laces that keep coming undone. Continue reading
It pains me to admit that I look better in pink than in blue. All through my childhood I refused to wear pink. Pink was for girls. I was not a girl. Q.E.D. I would wear blue, thank you. One of the first fights that I remember over clothing was the purchase of a pair of leather Oxford shoes. I was in nursery school. I wanted the navy blue ones. My mother wanted me to get the red ones. I pitched a fit.
If you read that first paragraph carefully, you guessed that there were many fights. Many of them over clothing. Many of them over shoes. Until I was in the middle of 5th grade, girls had to wear dresses to school, even pubic schools. There was not much of a point in fighting about that. It was “The Law”. I had an assortment of drab dresses that I absolutely hated. Not because they were drab.
Drab for me was always fine, at least until recently. Navy blue comes in many shades; I own clothing in all of them. Butches appreciate the nuances of navy blue. “Everything goes with blue jeans” is my motto, although I wouldn’t have included pink shirts until recently. I learned to wear pink by wearing what I thought of as “men’s pink”. I was at work and I saw a guy wearing a pink shirt and I thought “If he can do that then I can do that”. I went out and bought my first Brooks Brothers button down Oxford cloth shirt in pink.
I have a thing about button down shirts. I own about twenty of them. Four of them are pink. Initially it was hard for me to accept that I looked good in pink. I knew I looked good in maroon. Maroon was cool. Maroon could be a team color. Pink was for girls, except when it was for guys and then I could wear it. Once I could accept that I was handsome in pink, it worked. Sometimes my own logic defies logic.