The question mark is not due to my own confusion, of that I assure you.
Today, for the first time that I can ever remember, I was referred to as feminine. Not just feminine – VERY feminine.
I know, you’re all as shocked as I was. (Or perhaps not, as I only know of one reader, and anybody else who stumbles upon this place likely doesn’t know me. But that’s not the point.) I confess: I was taken aback. Don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing wrong with being feminine. It’s simply not a word that I’ve ever used in reference to myself, and certainly not a way I would have thought others thought of me. Even when I occasionally put nail polish on, or tights, and am willfully dressing more feminine, I certainly don’t feel that I exude a feminine vibe.
Now, I’ve known this woman for a while, but only see her occasionally, only through work circumstances, and while we are friendly, we are certainly not friends, or close. I wanted to ask her – why do you say that? (er, in general. not as a comment in the conversation – it was part of a larger conversation, in which the placement of the comment made sense.) What is it about me that, in the total ~2 hours we’ve spent together over the last 2.5 years, makes you think that I’m “very feminine?” I’m honestly curious. But it was busy, we were in a rush, and there were a lot of people about, so I didn’t pursue it further.
Meanwhile, about half an hour earlier, I’d had another first. I was referred to as “he.”
Gigantic boobs aside, this one is at least a bit more understandable, as I’m sporting a super short haircut, and happen to be wearing a men’s polo today. When I turned and commented to the woman (I thought she had been referring to the young man on the other side of me), she was horribly embarrassed. I tried to reassure her – I didn’t mind. After all, I am dressing intentionally masculine (though it wasn’t a setting in which I could have said that). She blushed and mumbled apologies, and I made a quick exit.
When I was younger, I regularly wore more masculine clothes, and occasionally had a short haircut, and though I was referred to as many things, I wasn’t ever (that I can remember, at least) referred to as a male. And I’ve had this haircut for over a year now, and while I’ve been adding more bought-from-the-men’s-side-of-the-store items to my wardrobe, my style hasn’t changed. So why today? Who knows.
I’m not quite sure where I’m going with this, other than it was really kind of surreal to have two fairly polar opposite descriptions placed on me by others (as opposed to by myself – and I hesitate even to write ‘polar opposite,’ because that’s not true, and you can be a feminine man, but anyway) in such close proximity to one another.