Going out and buying clothes is something that you always have a hard time with. You always feel weird, like the eyes of the world are all drawn upon you. All you want is to be able to look at dresses and women’s fashions without feeling like you’re being judged for being a freak, a weirdo, or a sexual deviant.
It’s even worse when you’re buying clothes with your mom.
She doesn’t know about your recent “change.” You’re still her little boy. You’ve been doing your best to hide this from her. You can lose friends, you can lose partners, but you just can’t lose your mom. You don’t want to lose your mom. Sure, she always says, “there’s nothing wrong with that,” but there’s a big difference between saying it, and actually meaning it, especially when it’s your kid that’s in question. And that is not a chance that you are willing to take.
So now you’re at a Major American Clothing Retailer. Remember to deepen your voice and act “manly!”
Immediately, your ears are assaulted by the terrible music playing over the PA system. What a load of bullshit.
On instinct, you turn right to head towards the Women’s section. Before you can go too far, though, you stop yourself. “Shit, that’s right, my mom is here!” Begrudgingly, you make your way over to the, ugh, Men’s department.
It’s a parade of intentionally wrecked denim and douchey v-necks and polos. You don’t want to wear this stuff. It’s trash. You look at the price tags, and amend your statement: it’s expensive trash.
“James! What do you think of this?” You hate how she keeps calling you that. You hate that you can’t just sit her down and tell her that you aren’t her son, but her daughter. But you can’t. You’re too afraid. You feel like a coward.
“Oh, this looks really nice! And these jeans would go really nice with that, too!”
A bundle of shit is heaped upon you. You mutter out what was supposed to be, “fine,” but it instead sounds like, “fffhhhffff.” You don’t feel like speaking. Your throat is drying up. The only thing left now is to go into the fitting room and try them on. Come on, make your mother happy!
The first thing you see is your own reflection in a full length mirror. You just shaved before coming here, but you can still see every individual strand of facial hair on your face. You JUST fucking shaved, and this bullshit is all over your face. They’re taunting you with their very existence. You hate it. You feel gross. You feel humiliated. You feel like you’ve been betrayed by your own body. Fuck this.
You want to cry, but you can’t, because you’re in public.
The clothes your mom suggested all fit. Perfectly, as a matter of fact. But they only fit on the outside. You know this is wrong, and you wish everyone else knew, too.
You exit the fitting room, and hand the clothes back to your mom. “This will do,” you say, thinking of nothing but leaving immediately. A cashier rings up your purchases, and your mom hands you a gift card to cover most of the cost. Out of the corner of your eye, you see the clothes you really want. Cute sweaters, cool dresses. You just want to look, and feel, feminine for once in your life.
A new pair of jeans and a cashmere sweater are now yours. Why aren’t you happy?