Calling it a day, because what else would you call it?

I slept more than zero hours but probably fewer than four last night. My body is still in the throes of the cold that I’ve had for the past week and a half. On top of all that, I’m in A Mood. So once again, in lieu of quality content, I’m going to drop utter nonsense in bullet point form in the hopes that it fulfils my daily obligation of 30 minutes writing. Today, that’s about all I have in me.

  • I woke up with McDonald’s’ “Double Cheeseburger” ad in my head. The thing that’s pissing me off the most isn’t that it’s lodged firmly in there, but that I can’t find an example of the exact ad I’m talking about. I was all prepped this morning to do a Facebook post of “Sure there have been some bangers in the last 20 years, but let’s not pretend McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger song doesn’t exist.” Laughs would’ve been had by all, right? Thing is, it was a campaign that ran years ago and resurfaced basically every decade in a different iteration. Not only this, but there were national variations across the world. There are multiple US versions, multiple Australian versions and a whole host of assorted dubs. You know it for sure, the “double double cheese cheese burger burger please” one. In 90s New Zealand we had our own and I know this for sure because the price on ours was “Only two dollars and fifty cents”. That’s burned into my memory in places where basic motor skills were meant to go. I found a New Zealand version, but it’s clearly too old because it mentions $1.99 or something. I can’t be bothered going down a Google wormhole for the sake of this, so instead I’ll sit here and stew in my own fallibility. Anyway, here’s the old Aussie one ’cause it’s cheesy as shit. Doubly so.
  • Infinity War has too many characters. I’m doubtful it will be a good movie. I’m happy to be proven wrong.
  • The new Venom trailer is out and it looks similarly trash. I don’t think I’m gonna be proven wrong, but I’m very happy that it’s spawned this content.
  • Since we’re on the topic of ads and selling out, I’m happy to be a corporate shill too. I did my taxes today using Simple Tax, like I do every year. It took all of ten minutes (since it links up with your past return details and the CRA). If you’re in Canada and plan on doing your taxes in the next week, give them a shot.
  • Our bus was evacuated this morning because two homeless people got on and started arguing. The bystander effect was strongly in place and nobody really knew what to do. We just heard yelling and conflict (though nothing physical) between these two men who clearly had history. I’m assuming most everyone assumed mental illness was a factor and didn’t want to either dehumanise anyone or intervene in an unpredictable situation. Instead everyone just got off and walked to the bus stopped in front. The driver sat behind his plasticised screen and waited for things to subside, then went out of service. He probably had some kind of report to file. I walked the rest of the way to work in a daze.
  • Toronto in general is pretty conflict avoidant. I guess it has a lot to do with everyone possessing the illusion of being busy at all times. Even in the video of yesterday’s van based terrorism, people in the background are sort of just going about their day. There’s this police and suspect stand off in the middle of the street and passers by mostly seemed to ignore it or not give it a second look. Weird.
  • Speaking of the van attack, it seems to have been a terrorist attack rooted in toxic masculinity. The guy was some kind of incel and, I don’t know, wanted to go out in a blaze of “glory” or something. It was pretty fucked up. The cop who dealt with the situation acted like a total professional. All of the guy’s actions made it seem like he was angling towards suicide by cop. He was acting like he had a gun in his pocket, but the cop called his bluff. If we needed a better illustration of how our rigid forms of masculinity are harming young men, yesterday’s attack was it. This guy, like Elliot Rodger before him, decided that he was entitled to women’s bodies. That their lack of attraction to him demanded violent reprisal. There are ten Torontonians who will never wake up again because this lonely child acted from a place of anger and misguided indignance. How many families are today in mourning because of what we’re teaching men in our society? When are we going to reframe our long held beliefs to teach compassion and understanding instead of harmful stoicism? The Marlboro Man died of cancer. Toxic masculinity is a similar blight. When are we gonna cut it out?

I’m done.

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Coincidentally, “Better” was the only half-decent track from the legendarily delayed Guns N’ Roses album Chinese Democracy.

CW – Rape, rape culture, entitlement #notallmen-tality

Hey guys (and I’m talking to the men here. I have nothing valuable to teach women that they don’t already know), still listening? Lest anything in my tone yesterday came off as self-congratulatory, I’m here to hopefully expunge the thought that I have things to congratulate myself for. We saw countless women come forth yesterday and bravely divulge what they’ve been through. Siting back and say “I’ll try to be better” rings a little hollow without divulging any of my own shit. So here’s a thing. Strap in, this is gonna take a while.

I was 100% on course to become a full fledged, trillby tipping #notallmen-onist. Late teen/early 20s Leon would’ve been all over that shit. Many of you haven’t known me that long. Many of you have. Apart from all the commonplace egregious shit (feeling like women owed me anything at all, judging women based on how they dressed, befriending women largely with the hopes that it could lead to sex/intimacy), I sure did love some Devil’s Advocate or tossing out rape jokes. Grade A genius edgelord shit. Of course I thought rape was abhorrent, but I did love me a good rape joke. Why? Because to me (and I’m pretty sure I used these exact words many a time) rape was an abstract concept. It was a stand in for the worst of the worst. Comedy came from the chasm between expectations and delivery. Accordingly, if I was looking to spice up an innocuous set up, rape was an amazing out of nowhere punch line. I didn’t want anyone to be raped, but I did want people to be shocked.

Yep, I’m reading how fucking stupid this shit is as I’m typing it out. You don’t have to bear with me here. It’s the logic of a moronic twenty-something who knows it all while simultaneously has barely experienced the world.

Thing was, to twenty something Leon rape was an abstract concept. It wasn’t something I had to deal with in my everyday life. I could walk the streets at night without fear, but my life sucked because nobody wanted to fuck me. Yep. Super proud.

It’d be nice to say that I just grew out of it, but I wasn’t (am not) that smart. I got frequently taken to task by more intelligent Women who’d tell me how problematic my behaviour was. I’d engage in endless Devil’s Advocate arguments in an affort to prove some kind of intellectual superiority, then when my shitlord tactics provoked an emotional response, claim the intellectual high ground. This went on for years. Cracks in my bullshit appeared slowly, but let’s not overstate things. I still acted like a total piece of shit.

At some stage, a close friend of mine was raped. I didn’t know what to do. I felt stunned. I was heartbroken at what she’d been put through. I’d never been an angry person, but I had nothing in me but rage. I wanted to kill whoever it was that did it, but had no idea who he was. I physically trembled with no way to manifest the fury inside of me. It just stuck around and with no choice, I sat with it. I had literally no idea how to handle those feelings. I was fortunate enough to have access to a work supplied counsellor who talked me through it. It took time, but having sat with this foreign feeling, it was impossible to see the world in the same way.

Please please PLEASE, no sympathy. Why wasn’t I already blindingly furious? It’s shameful and abhorrent that this is what it took for me to stop seeing rape as an abstract concept. The “know it all” persona didn’t last for long after I discovered just how little I knew.

I started listening more, arguing less. At some stage I started learning. The older I’m getting, the more I’m understanding how little I know. As time goes by, I’m trying to listen even more. I’m trying to learn, but there are still so many little things I’ll never truly understand, because I don’t have to face them constantly on a daily basis.

I’m so sorry for all the shit women have had to put up with on my behalf. I’m sorry for the years of emotional labour to pull my shitty lizard brain to a place of burgeoning understanding. I’m sorry for the shit that I still put women through, even unwittingly. I’m sorry that apologies don’t make things better half as well as action does. I’m sorry that I don’t act nearly as often as I should. I’m thankful that so many women somehow never gave up on me. I should not have been your burden to carry. I still shouldn’t…

 

I don’t know how many men are still reading, but there’s something I want to talk about. I saw a lot of bullshit from self-righteous men yesterday when women were coming forth with their manifold admissions of trauma. There’s some bullshit regressive stereotype still permeating our society that logic is the domain of men and emotion is the domain of women. If this is still relevant to your life, maybe ask yourself why. What’s wrong with being emotional, having the capacity for compassion and empathising with others? Why is it more important for you to try and score “points” at the expense of someone else’s emotional wellbeing? When you’re engaging in these arguments, is it causing you to relive painful emotional experiences? Or are you just doing it out of some self-imposed duty to be “right”? Why do you think it’s #sobrave to poke and prod at the traumatic experiences of others when you haven’t had to repeatedly deal with the shit we men put women through. Because so many of us still believe that women owe us anything. That women exist for the purposes of our pleasure. That a woman’s humanity is secondary to what she can do for us. What is the value of this apparent logic that’s so obsessed with the notion of “winning” through technicalities and loopholes.

In what way is this “right”? It’s right in the way that both Bill Cosby and Jian Ghomeshi were not guilty in the eyes of the law, because the trials were predicated upon discrediting the testimonies of these brave (but unfortunately “emotional”) women. Do any of us really doubt they did it? Does that sound like justice to you? Does that seem like the “right” kind of society you want to live in? One that protects predators and makes victims relive their trauma in the hopes that when exposed to scrutinising light, the most miniscule loophole might shine through?

Men, we still have so an unfathomable amount of work to do to dismantle the bullshit biased society we’ve assembled. If that pressure is too much, let’s start small. The next time you’re about to start/join an argument about something a woman has gone through/is going through, ask yourself some questions: “How much of a personal stake do I have in this argument?” “Do I have tangible lived experience with what she’s talking about?” “What’s the worst that will happen if I don’t engage?” “If I listened instead of talking, could I possibly learn something from a point of view that’s outside of my own?” If any of the answers to the above questions are remotely affirmative, try sitting that one out. See what happens.

I know you’re certain that you have a totally unique point of view. I can assure you that nine times out of ten you don’t. I see the same arguments from men again and again. Why did #notallmen gain such groundswell? Because with no exaggeration, every day I see some supposedly well-intentioned dude pop into a discussion about shitty things that men do and say “yeah, I support what you’re saying for the most part, but I’m not like that.” If you’re not like that, she probably wasn’t talking about you. If she wasn’t talking about you, why would you pop in and make it about you? Do you think that any of your female friends talking shit about men think that you’re the scum of the Earth? Why then would they be your friends at all? If you’re so assured of your logic and intelligence, use that big brain and think about it. You’re not helping.

You can though. You can help. Instead of pouncing into an argument and loudly taking up space, listen and learn. Read what women are saying. Re-read it until it sinks in. Consider how these things make them feel. Do they sound frustrated? Angry? Why do they feel that way? Try putting yourself in their shoes and seeing things from their view point. Would you be angry in their situation? Would you just get over it if it was happening constantly? If you didn’t only have to deal with this shit, but when you expressed your frustrations, people told you that your feelings weren’t valid? Would that make you angry? Would it be possible to see their experiences as more than an abstract concept?

Listen… Learn… Repeat…

Take note of how other men treat women online. Does any of their behaviour seem strange to you? Do they seem like they have personal experience with the matter at hand? Or do they just seem like they’re trying to prove a point in order to prove a point? Does that seem strange to you?

Listen… Learn… Repeat…

Does the way that men carry themselves online still make sense to you. If a guy says something about a woman’s experience that shows little to no empathy, question it. If you know him and feel like he’s a decent dude, call him in. Send him a private message asking why feels that his opinion is more valid than hers. If you can’t call him in, try calling out that behaviour. Tell him that it doesn’t make sense for him to be telling a woman she’s wrong about something he doesn’t experience. Because that doesn’t make sense, right?

Listen… Learn… Repeat…

These are ellipses, not fullstops, because this is an ongoing thing. There’s not gonna be a point where you know everything. The more you learn, however, the more you can educate other men. If we’re gonna get anywhere, we’ve got to get there together. It shouldn’t be the job of women to make us work on our own shit.

Because we need to own our shit. Nobody else can. Be better. That’s your job, not theirs.

On second thought, I had a sushirrito. How could I be the loser?

The other day while foraging for vittles on the mean streets of Chinatown (I ended up finally trying a sushirrito. Expensive but solid. I can roll with that) I bore witness to an amazing scene. More accurately, I heard it first. The squeal of a car horn, uninterrupted. A steady stream both attention grabbing and arrogant. I figure the point at which you become the asshole for honking your horn is about five seconds in. I didn’t see precisely what the conflict was, but I saw a sleek sports car pulling up next to a chunky SUV. The SUV driver began to turn into a side street as the other driver hounded him. The dude behind the wheel of the sports car yelled out “HEY! YOU WANNA GO THEN?” The SUV driver nodded emphatically. The sports car dude replied “ALRIGHT, LET’S DO THIS!” I stood transfixed on the opposite corner, all ready for action. Who was in the wrong? As far as I was concerned, anyone willing to come to fisticuffs over a road scuffle was a prime asshole. I was raring to see the punishment dolled out.

College Street is a busy street and the Bathurst intersection is busier still. The SUV driver parked up on the side street, but the other guy had already shot the mark. There was no way he could U-turn on a busy street, so he had no choice but to aggressively pull back into traffic and wait at the lights for some way to turn back around. I figured his best call was to turn left onto Bathurst, find a side street on the left to turn onto another side street, then get lucky and shoot across College (one way streets being the bane of this guy’s existence). He waited for the light to go green for maybe a minute, then made a speedy left turn onto Bathurst. My body was ready.

That was the last I saw of him.

I figure it’s pretty tough to retain anger. It’s very much an in-the-moment emotion. You’ve gotta be present to truly seethe with fury. Logic and reason have no place in that kind of spontaneous rage. How do you keep that up when you’re waiting for a green light. Say the radio comes on and you like the song? Or you realise that your partner is already at the brunch spot? How do you self-righteously go off and spend several minutes finding parking in a busy spot filled to the brim with bluster, without contemplating whether or not you really want to pump money into a meter just to potentially get your ass kicked? How do you quash common sense from creeping into your bloodlusted mindframe when a Cars for Kids ad comes on the radio? On a sunny Sunday afternoon? That takes commitment to the cause (the cause being most likely a broken nose or at least a bruised ego).

In all honesty though, it was all an act, right? Neither dude really foresaw anything resulting from the altercation. They huffed and puffed out their chests, beat their fists loudly and maybe threw one or two faeces. Then they left, having proclaimed themselves the victor in their own hearts and minds. Some elaborate ruse to convince themselves that they were worthy of their place in the food chain. At least wrestlers require a certain level of skill and fitness for their charlatanry. These two? Well at least they’d sleep at night, having told themselves that they put their best feet forward.

If anything, I was the only one who truly lost in this situation. I was hoping to see a free show.

Putting the trade into trading places.

I don’t truly know how it is to live as a woman. Chances are I never will. I’ve had a life laden with privilege, wearing the assumed status and ease of being a white male at all times. I don’t know what it is to be constantly belittled and undermined on the basis of my gender. I don’t deal with a stream of microaggressions on a daily basis. While I’m sympathetic to the struggles inherent to being female in a patriarchal society, it’d be a stretch of arrogance to claim empathy with any veracity. I can listen android recognise, but implicit understanding will likely remain beyond my reach.

The other day in improv class we were working on character. To come to terms with what it was to quickly assume a new personally, we tried a monologue exercise intended to push us beyond our comfort levels and into the mindset of someone so foreign to our own. At the offset it sounded simple. We’d stand before the rest of the class. Collectively they’d build out our character: What we did, our age, gender, the status we gave ourselves, the status others gave to us and lastly, the environment in which we were. We’d answer questions from the crowd in front of us in character. Sounded challenging, but fun. The classmates who went first did a great job of fully realising their characters. Two guys, one inhabited the persona of a 60 year old naturopath presenting at a conference. He responded to questions so quickly an self-assuredly you would’ve assumed he did it for a living. Another guy played a gender-queer substitute French teacher with total aplomb. Incorporating accurate French and non-binary terms with his explanations to the class. They both made it look effortless, a wonder with such a challenging assignment.

My character was to be a 30 year old female welder. She came from a family of means, but didn’t feel comfortable with that lifestyle. She was constantly struggling to be taken seriously in a male dominated workplace/profession. The rest of the class assumed the role of my male co-workers and the scene began. I walked into the scene looking for an assist on a welding job. There was a pipe that’d been damaged in an accident and needed to be welded before it could resume use. I it was covered in debris and I needed a hand getting access. The response was an immediate flood of misogyny. “I’ve got a pipe you can weld, darling.” Yelled a co-worker. “Good luck finding anyone who wants to go near that rusty old thing Carl” I responded. A chorus of “woooOOOOoooo”s greeted me. A co-worker called out “what’s the matter? Little girl can’t do her job?” I felt my face redden. “I can do my job, I just need a hand to get it done quicker for our customers. Do any of you work?” Someone else chimed in with a dopey voice “what’s actually wrong with it?”

Flustered from the lack of help, I started inwardly panicking. Oh shit, I actually don’t know anything about welding. What the fuck do I say? I stammered out something about there being a hole in the pipe that needed mending. “Yeah” the dopey dude responded “but what’s there problem.” Everyone laughed. At me. I was in this character, but also felt very real opposition. I just wanted to do my job and nobody would take me seriously. “I can fucking weld!” My voice rose “the boss wouldn’t have hired me if I couldn’t.” I heard a voice chime in from the back of the room “I didn’t care if you could weld. I just liked the way your ass looked.” I was fuming. I tightened my first intentionally as a character moment, but with very real tension behind it. “Are we gonna get this fixed for the customer? Or am I gonna have to explain that the rest of the office was too lazy to get off their asses?” One dude spoke up. “Fine, I’ll give you a hand. Since you can’t seem to do it yourself.” Laughter greeted the comment and I stood there fuming as the scene ended.

The frustration of not being considered or taken seriously was such a new, visceral sensation. Of being defined and limited in the basis of my gender. Feeling so intensely the burning rage at this systematic undermining of my personhood. I went back to my seat inwardly trembling, shaken. “Welcome to the sisterhood Leon” called the teacher.

Is this regular behaviour? I’m starting a movement here.

Is anyone remotely surprised by Trump’s “grab ’em by the pussy” comment? The guy has proven repeatedly to be racist, aggressive, dishonest and misogynist. Is the idea that he treats women like they’re coffee mugs really out of left field? We’ve seen Trump’s type again and again. They’re the same entitled shitbags who’d flout the law and get bailed out by rich parents. They’re the kids who never learn from their mistakes because real consequences don’t exist in their lives. They’re the ones who are taught that the world is theirs for the grabbing, and they go on to treat everyone like shit, because they feel like the world owes them something. They’re also the first to get outraged by infringements on their worldview, because they don’t believe in boundaries.

I live in a bubble, so I don’t know what the other side sees when they go on Facebook. I’m sure there’s a large contingent of men loudly proclaiming “men don’t talk like this”. Bullshit. I went to high school. I know what it sounds like when immature men are deep in the throes of raging testosterone. I know the kinds of things they say. Yes, women are objectified (in the purest sense of the word- treated like non-sentient objects) by high school kids, for sure. In truth, I haven’t heard this kind of locker room talk in years. Most male locker rooms I’ve been in are usually full of silent, hurried men trying desperately not to look at one another. Because toxic masculinity and gay panic. That being said, I’m certain that there are 25+ year old high schoolers who never really grew up and still act the same way they did in the midst of puberty. Men like Donald Trump.

I’m thankful that I don’t seem to know guys like this any more. It’s a wonderful existence to not be constantly reminded first hand of the shittiness inherent to a patriarchal society. This is not something to get complacent about. This kind of rhetoric is obviously still floating around and it should be guys like me, those who are lucky enough to have grown up, to help inform these kind of Cro-Magnons that they should have evolved by now. It’s not enough to desire change without stepping in and helping where we can. Do you think men who treat women like things are gonna listen to their opinions? Or are they more likely to open their ears to someone they can’t push around?

Are you someone who can stand in and say a few words the next time you hear talk like this? If you are, the next time you hear the words of a teenager coming from the mouth of a grown man, let him know why that’s not okay, why that language is damaging on a personal and societal level. And if he doesn’t listen, wait till he leaves the locker room and shit on his spare clothes.

Because that’s what moral fibre is for.

The tropestest with the mopestest.

For a change I feel creatively bankrupt. I don’t have any pressing social issues to talk about (like my ill fitting shoes or Pokémon Go adventures), so I’m gonna go on a guided tour of a TV Tropes rabbit hole. I’ll go page by page and follow whatever piques my interest, bringing you along for the ride. My only hope is that the 30 minute time limit will help me jump out of said rabbit hole instead of going deeper for the rest of the night. First up…

Chain Letter

I figure you all know what a chain letter is. The only reason I started here is that (spoiler) my other idea was do fill out one of those dumb chain letter things for today’s entry. I quote: “Chain letters in real life have nowhere near the credibility that they do in media, and are annoyingly common in e-mail spam and on comment pages and message boards.” Too true, TV Tropes. Anyway let’s see what Glurge means:

Glurge

A word derived from the sound of someone throwing up, “Glurge is a catch-all term for any “inspirational” tale which conceals a much darker meaning than the uplifting moral lessons it purports to offer.” It also notes that consequences are often simplified in a manner that leaves the only option as accepting the positive message. No shades of grey, kind of thing. Which leads us to our next hole, Tastes Like Diabetes:

Tastes Like Diabetes

An audience reaction best simply defined as “saccharine”. When things are revoltingly cutesy, idealistic and have no dimensions or nuance. Primarily because the focus is so much on making things sweet to the point of the body’s physical limits. So basically the entire Air Bud Cinematic Universe. Okay, there is no reason I wouldn’t click American Kirby is Hardcore:

American Kirby is Hardcore

Oh, this one is interesting. Apparently with video game ports from Japan to the United States, there’s a habit of altering box art from cutesy to determined. Kirby being the example. The article implies that there’s a concern from the largely male, testosterone fuelled American audience that overly cutesy things imply childishness and immaturity and will actively be harmful to their cultivated masculine identity. In Japan, alternatively, pink is a neutral colour and historians have linked the Japanese tendency to move towards softer, cuter imagery as a 180° turn from their warrior culture after World War 2. Now let’s see what Heart of Blackened Steel leads to:

Surprise Difficulty

Heart of Blackened Steel redirects to Suprise Difficulty. This video game trope revolves around an assumed correlation between cuteness and ease of play. There are references to licensed games based on children’s series, which sends my mind reeling back to all those fast food themed video games of the early 90s like Cool Spot or M.C. Kids. Okay, what’s the Animation Age Ghetto got in store for us?

Animation Age Ghetto

Oh, it’s a page about how animation is still widely believed to be a childish medium. It credits the proliferation of profitable merchandising within child targeting animation as one of the big pushes towards animation’s assumed demographic. It does mention Futurama, Rick and Morty, South Park and so on as shifting away from this notion, though it’s not like they don’t all lend themselves to merchandising of their own. Running out of time here, let’s look at 30-Minute Commercials.

Merchandise-Driven

There’s a picture of Optimus Prime on the page, so I’m rolling with their pun, intentional or not. Big mentions for Transformers and Pokémon (I mean, it’s imperative to catch them all) An interesting quote goes: “the key difference between this and normal licensed merchandising is that here, it is the toy manufacturer who dictates the show’s canon. They may be able to demand addition or removal of characters from the series based on the actual toys in their production line, or that new characters must be something that they can design a toy version for on demand.” Transformers: The Movie was a total joy to watch as a kid (and kind of still is), but I always loved this quote from Orson Wells on his final film role: “I play a big toy who attacks a bunch of smaller toys.”

So if you were wondering what half an hour on TV Tropes looks like, that’s it. I’ve intentionally not included the links because I value your spare time. Then again, I’m not saying there’s anything stopping you for taking a look yourself. Do you really need to go to that party?

Truancy and unseemly behaviour.

Did you know that dabbing a little clear nail polish onto runs in pantyhose can stop those runs from spreading further?

How do I know this? Because developed a run in my pantyhose last night. Why was I wearing pantyhose last night? Because it was part of my costume. What costume was this? Why a sexy schoolgirl costume of course. Why was I dressed as a sexy schoolgirl? Because the party had a school theme, obviously. What else was I supposed to wear?

Real talk though, dressing in female clothing is fun as fuck. Failing anything it’s a chance to experience how another gender dresses. Before last night I knew that runs in hose were a thing that happened. I’d heard female friends complain about them before, but never paid them any mind. Oh, they happen alright and it’s alarming how quickly one little hole expands. Before I’d even left the house, nay, before I’d even left the room where I put them on I already had a run. The tightly woven fabric snagged a little splinter off my wooden floor and the process had begun. Given that I was walking around without shoes the whole night, I could see this virulent gap growing next to the pad of my foot. I was worried that by the end of the evening my toes would be exposed to the harsh air, unprotected by this thin mesh. That’s something quite nice actually. The feeling of the wind on hosed legs is pretty pleasant, something I’d never know if I hadn’t garbed them in sexy thigh-highs.

I mean, there was more to the costume than just pantyhose. On the event page I inquired if anyone had a skirt big enough to fit me. A friend chimed in with not only a skirt, but a whole costume: Thigh-highs, a garter belt, two choices of skirt and a tie. All I needed was a white shirt. I couldn’t remember if I owned a white shirt other than my good white shirt and I certainly didn’t want that one getting ruined. Especially after the whole debacle with that fucking shirt in the first place. I went to the local derelict mall that’s on loan from the 80s and bought one. Now, the only cheap (sub $5) shirt I could find was a women’s M. On my frame it was impossible to close the top three buttons. Suitable, I thought, given I was looking to up the sexiness quotient anyway. I purchased the shirt assuming that at worst I could always flex, hulk out and tear the shirt for kicks.

My friend and girlfriend helped me dress as we cycled through options. The shirt was certainly tight, but also restrictive enough that reaching above my head was not really an option. Like, what if I had to catch a high flying frisbee or something? We used another shirt I owned that I’d never much liked and tied a neat little bow for some scandalous midriff. I was showed how to bunch up pantyhose before stepping into them. They fit smoothly and the mini rubber tops stopped them from slipping. The first skirt was perhaps the length of my middle finger, so I got the smallest undies I could find in hopes that they’d be short enough not to show. Just, as it turns out. My friend clipped the garter in and I had a peek. My bum was framed pretty nicely, which had my girlfriend drooling a little. Perv. We ended up swapping the skirt for one with a little more length. You know, since the slightest provocation would have me poking out the front. I was the only one who didn’t know how to properly tie a tie, so the gals sorted that out. Looking pretty sassy, I grabbed my school bag and we headed out the door.

The party was a blast and it was fantastic dressing up. The big lesson I learned came as we were walking up the road to the party. I had something in my shoe, so I lifted up my foot, pulled off the shoe and shook it out, only to hear the gals cracking up. I’d just unintentionally flashed the whole neighbourhood. How unbecoming.