Tag Archives: fashion

Today I’m a 50-year-old boy

I turn 50 today.

It’s weird because most days I feel like a kid. A young boy somewhere in the age range of 12 to 17.

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Sir, I’ve been reading this great blog called The Flannel Files.

Most people I know say they don’t feel like adults either. Which means we’re all living in a giant Peanuts cartoon. No adults for miles–just an occasional wah wa-wah in the distance. You can call me Peppermint Patty. Or sir. Take your pick. Even though this lesbian doesn’t rock sandals.

 

W is throwing me a big party on Saturday complete with a party bus. I don’t know the details, so the rest is a surprise.

But today we’ll spend a quiet evening at home with the kids.

We’ll get pizza or some other takeout. I’ll open presents.

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Super sweet.

I already bought myself these cool black Puma throwbacks as a happy-birthday-to-me gift.

I’m thinking of treating myself to another pair in baby blue.

“Like my eyes,” I told W.

“Yes,” she said.

“My eyes are green,” I said.

“I meant they would compliment your eyes,” she said.

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Super sweet, too.

She doesn’t understand how sneakers work.

I’ll wait for next weekend to see The Lego Batman Movie. Maybe as a reward for getting our taxes ready.

“No thank you,” W said when I first asked her if she wanted to see the movie. She has since agreed to see it with me. Because pity, I guess. But whatever. It’s The Lego fucking Batman Movie.

And I’ll save some birthday money for comic books. To spend at that new store in Philly W said we could visit the weekend we see Cabaret.

I suppose 50 means I’m wise. At least wiser than I was at 49. If I’ve learned anything these past five decades, it’s be true to yourself. Live your authentic life.

Even if you’re a 50-year-old boy/woman and that means sneakers and comic books and The Lego fucking Batman Movie.

Life is too short, folks.

* * *

What Peanuts character are you? What’s your favorite type of sneaker? Put them together and make some kind of drag king/queen name. You know you want to. C’mon, it’s my birthday. Humor me.

Love,

Pat Puma

 

Boots

img_0139I buy my first pair of Dr. Marten’s before I come out. Before I know I’m a lesbian.

I buy them at a teen-oriented store in the mall that I’m too old to be shopping at.

Brown boots. Seven eyelet lace-ups. With the yellow stitching at the bottom, circling like the moons of Jupiter.

In many ways, my coming out is fluid. A smooth continuation of who I am. An ocean wave that sweeps over me and keeps going.

After I come out, the boots seem to have purpose. I stand taller in them. I stomp harder in them, the AirWair rubber soles bouncing off the pavement like basketballs.

I wear them on dates.

I wear them to piss my mother off.

I wear them when I’m angry.

I wear them when I’m not.

I wear them as a calling card. Rae Theodore, Lesbian, they say with each step.

Friends of mine are planning on attending the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 21, the day after the inauguration. It’s not a protest against Trump or the election results but a march to shed light on women’s issues, including sexual assault and workplace discrimination. You can read more about it here.

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I ask W if she wants to go.

“You want to change the world with me?” she asks.

“Yes,” I say.

I look at the route of the march. Two miles from the Lincoln Memorial to the White House.

I need to break in my boots before January.

* * *

Do you have something you wear that makes you feel powerful?

The magical, mystical butch

W’s brother is getting married this weekend. On Sunday, W and I coordinated our outfits for the rehearsal dinner and wedding, making sure my ties won’t clash with her dresses. It’s so exhausting being a lesbian power couple.

Sunday evening, I ended up running out to Kohl’s department store to pick up a few things. I am mostly over the awkwardness that comes from shopping in the men’s department. But on this particular shopping trip, I found myself feeling a bit like a strange mythical being. Kinda sorta like a centaur — one creature from the waist up and another from the waist down.

images7RMEIAOUWhile I was standing in the checkout line, I channeled my inner unicorn and reminded myself that I am a magical, mystical creature. I am a big, bad, beautiful butch. I stood head up, shoulders back.

As I daydreamed about rainbows and flying horses, I heard the cashier’s overenthusiastic cry.

“Can I help you, sir?”

I strutted to the register and placed my items down one at a time:

IMG_0472One Chaps-brand purple plaid necktie.

One pair of navy suspenders.

One Casio-brand retro wristwatch.

One white, wireless brassiere.

Welcome to my world, I thought. Imagine what it’s like to be me.

The young woman quickly rang up the items and placed them in a bag and sent me on my way.

I hurried home to show W my new wares.

* * *

For fun, check out this quiz that answers that age-old question: What kind of magical creature are you?

imagesAFUH18YFI got Liger. “You are like a lion and tiger mixed bred for skills in magic! You are unique and not afraid to be yourself. (And you actually do exist.)”

How did they know?

What kind of magical creature are you?

You can take the quiz here or just respond with the creature you think is most like you. Oh c’mon, it’ll be fun.

 

 

T-shirt drama

W and I will be celebrating our first wedding anniversary tomorrow.  You can read about our wedding here.

I will have a table at OutFest in Philly promoting my book.

I was going to surprise her and wear this T-shirt tomorrow.

I Love My Wife T-shirt

Best laid plans of mice and butches.  The T-shirt place never shipped it.  They are sending out a replacement tee, but I won’t have it for tomorrow.

What’s a butch to do when she doesn’t have a special T-shirt for a special occasion?  So, I made this T-shirt today.

Old School Butch T-shirt

I am crafty like that.  Not crazy about the red-gray combination, but I will keep the stencils and make a new shirt sometime.  I’m thinking white on black would look good.  Because every old school butch should have an Old School Butch tee.

 

Throwback Thursday

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Baby butch in Dad’s shoes.

“How did you not know?” W asked when she saw this photo.

“Geez, I was 2,” I replied.

But still, you can see my penchant for men’s shoes, especially Converse sneakers.  And my good sartorial taste.

Even at 2 years of age, I liked to bust gender stereotypes and expectations.  I also had a developing sneaker addiction.

* * *

What about you?  Do you have a picture that foreshadowed who you were destined to be?

Living the dream and sneakers

Guys, it’s been a crazy week.

Last Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality AND my book was released.  Coincidence?  Yeah, probably, but I’m still taking credit.

I had a big gay book launch party at a local coffee shop.  We raised a total of $300 for the local Gay-Straight Alliance and the public library, which can now purchase a small collection of LGBT books.

Playing off the superhero theme, we used BAM! POW! napkins and handed out caped bookmarks.

Bam!  Pow!

Everyone was a superhero that day.

I was dressed in my butch finery.

I rocked this bowtie and these suspenders at my book launch party.

I rocked this bowtie and these suspenders at my book launch party.

And I wore these AWEsome Wonder Woman chucks.

Wonder Woman chucks

Holy Hera!  How awesome are these shoes?

I wasn’t walking but flying.  It was like each foot was soaring in its own invisible jet.

I’m not sure if it was the sneakers or the thrill of seeing a lifetime dream come true.

Lesbian fashion

MIDDLE-AGE BUTCH, THANK YOU FOR YOUR RECENT PURCHASE IN THE Boy’s DEPARTMENT.  SAVINGS LOOK GOOD ON YOU!

Gee, Kohl’s Department Store, I never knew you noticed.

This e-mail message was followed by pictures of two Justin Bieberish male models wearing striped v-neck shirts.

WE THOUGHT THESE WOULD LOOK GOOD ON YOU.

Oh, Kohl’s, how right you are.  You do know your lesbians.

W laughed when I told her about the e-mail.

“I’m touched,” I said.

“It’s kind of creepy,” she said.

“Touching and creepy,” I replied.

* * *

Here’s hoping you have a touching holiday minus the creepy, of course.  Happy Holidays! 

Mail call for Middle-age Butch

They came today.

Shipping box

A box inside a box.

Converse box

There they were.  Nestled under a tissue paper blanket.

Converse wrapped in tissue paper

I slowly peeled back the paper.  A thousand tiny angels started to sing.  It was beautiful.  Like when the Indigo Girls hit that note in “Closer to Fine.”  But better because these were angels.

Converse sneakers

I almost wept.  But then remembered I’m a butch.

Brand new custom Converse

Custom Converse.  White with navy blue tongues, laces and stitching.  Paisley/skull pattern inset.  Black rubber racing stripes.  Silver eyelets.  Navy blue outer heel stripes.

Custom Converse

With the date of the wedding stitched on the back.

Custom Converse with wedding date

 

 

 

The one where Middle-age butch hijacks the wedding

Or blue is the warmest wedding color

When W and I started planning our wedding, we decided to keep it casual. I told her I wanted to wear jeans and sneakers.  She decided on a white dress because she is a girl and all.  Not a fancy bridal gown but a simple white dress.

W said she didn’t want a color theme like we had at our commitment ceremony. Back then, our colors were various shades of pink and rose.  I happily wore an antique pink rose boutonniere and a matching vintage tie W had picked out at an antique store.  She was the bride after all.

This time around when I decided to wear a bowtie, I had unlimited color and pattern options. What doesn’t match white?

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I see trouble ahead for you, Middle-age Butch.

When the Jack & Ennis navy blue bowtie (that’s the one in the bandana pattern) was chosen by 40 percent of y’all, I placed my order with the tie bar. Some all-knowing butches out there commented that they would match their tie to their bride, but my bride said she was just wearing a white dress.

I ordered a matching pair of sneakers and called it a day.

So, when I went to make the programs for the wedding this weekend, I needed a color. Can you say navy blue?  The cake?  The icing is navy blue.

Yes, I’ve hijacked the wedding or at least the wedding color. Yesterday, W went to pick out a sweater to wear over her dress.  (The wedding is being held at a park.)  She got one in white and one in navy blue.

What’s a butch to do?

It’s butch etiquette to let the lady pick out things like flowers and colors (see Butch Handbook, page 23).

So, I feel bad and like a bully.  At least a color bully.

W doesn’t seem to mind.  In fact, she seems tickled that we’re using the color navy because of my bowtie.  She’s a good sport and a good woman.

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I love this bowtie!

The bowtie came by the way.  In a small white box tucked under a blanket of tissue paper.

It took me three tries to get it tied.

This butch says thanks for the bowtie tying lesson, Stay Fly 101 of youtube fame.

One thing to cross off my bucket list.

Learn how to tie a bowtie.

Now, I just have to figure out if I’m too old to be fly.  Word.

My name is Middle-age butch, and I am addicted to sneakers

My first pair of Nikes looked like this.

My first pair of Nikes looked like this.

I got my first pair of Nikes when I was about 11 years old.  Ladies Roadrunners, light blue with darker blue swooshes.  My mom bought them for me from a sporting goods store in the Berkshire Mall.  I slipped them on, laced them up and raced around the perimeter of the store.  I insisted I could run faster, jump higher in these expensive running shoes.  Each time I looked down at my feet, I broke out in a big, silly grin that these days I reserve for Sofia Vergara and clips of Beyoncé in concert.

The Nikes came in a bright orange box with a map of the world on the front.  The map showed the shoes were made in Beaverton, Ore., and sold all over the world.

Beaverton, Oregon.  How special and exotic, my 11-year-old self said.

My 47-year-old lesbian self says he he he he he he.

I was hooked.  It was with that pair of Nikes that I became obsessed with athletic shoes.  Tennis shoes.  Sneakers.  Kicks.  Whatever you call them, I love them.

I came back for more Nikes.  My next pair were Nike Roadrunners, dark blue with complimentary light blue swooshes.  They were the Bizarro version of my first pair — the same thing just reversed.

I can’t remember all of my sneakers (that’s what we call them in the Philadelphia suburbs).  There have been so many:

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Always a classic.

The high-top gray Chucks that I bought with money I made working at McDonald’s.

The three-quarter cut Reebok basketball shoes with the black and neon pink accents.  Note: These were the most expensive pair of sneakers I ever purchased.  I shelled out $125 for them in the 1990s using the money I made working register and stocking shelves at Drug Emporium.

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These were my party shoes in 1985.  These were my dress-up shoes in 1985.

I wore a pair of white Asics wrestling shoes with black stripes my freshman year of college.

I told my mom everyone was wearing them.

No one was wearing them.

Except for me.

And the wrestling team.

There were others:

A pair of white Asics high-tops with red stripes.  They were a half-size too small, which meant my toes pushed into the end of these exquisite high-tops every time I wore them.  My toes are curling as I type this.  But, god, they were cool.

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Everybody had a pair of these.

Reebok classic high-tops with velcro straps.

Bright white Nike tennis shoes (shoes meant to play tennis in) with light blue swooshes.

Black Nike sneakers with white swooshes like a referee would wear.

I don’t associate these shoes with specific memories.  Instead, they remind me of periods of my life.

Today, I can pretty much afford to buy whatever sneakers I want.  I usually buy them from the men’s clearance rack though.  I stockpile them and break out a new pair as needed.  I’m not so fussy anymore.  Sometimes I’ll splurge, but what really turns me on is a good bargain.

I look through the sports store catalogs in the Sunday paper as if they are porn magazines.

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Enough said.

“Look at these,” I say to W.

“Sweet,” she responds.

She knows not to call them “cute.”

We’ve been over that.

My tastes have changed over the years.

I’m more fond of Adidas these days.  I wore a pair of gray suede Adidas Neo shoes for most of the summer.

I’ve learned that New Balance might not be the best looking shoes on the shelf, but they are sturdy and incredibly comfortable.  If I were a sneaker, I’d probably be a New Balance.

My feet have changed, too.  I can’t wear most Nikes these days unless I find a pair in a wide.

Sneakers bring out the kid in me.  That little boy/girl somewhere inside.  Every once in a while, I’ll catch myself grinning as I work my foot into a brand new pair of checkered Vans or striped Adidas or Nikes that look like those ones I wanted back in the day.  These are the shoes, I tell myself.  The ones that will make me run faster and jump higher.

* * *

What about you?  What was your all-time favorite pair of sneakers?  What do you rock these days?