At this point in my life, I am pretty secure in my masculinity. Sure, I like to cook – and not just grilling, either. I make a kick-ass frittata, and despite the fact that’s pretty much Spanish for “quiche,” I stand by my guy bona fides. And yeah, I got a little misty during “Toy Story 3,” but who besides Chuck Norris didn’t? And my position on poop jokes is clear – for the record: always funny.
So, like I said – rock solid Guy bona fides. And despite this fact, I know a frightening amount of Girl Stuff. I credit that to (or blame it on) having lived with a woman for a very long time. Liz and I just marked our 23rd anniversary, and I don’t believe any man can live with a woman that long without picking up some degree of knowledge about – but probably very little insight into – Girl Stuff.
For instance, when Liz asks me if Earrings A complement her ensemble better than Earrings B, nine times out of 10 I can make the right call. Likewise, if she asks about a shade of lipstick, I can usually keep her from leaving the house looking like a clown (I’d do the same for myself, but the big, red shoes are so comfy.)
Anyway, I know a frightening amount of this stuff. And you know what? I’m totally cool with it. It doesn’t bother me a bit that I know mascara from eyeliner, or the difference between espadrilles and spectator pumps. Like I said – I’m totally secure in my dudeness, and also kind of proud of my acquired knowledge.
But the other day Liz asked me if I had seen her skorts, and I drew a total blank. If I’d seen ’em, I didn’t know it because I have (or had) absolutely no idea what skorts are.
Her query made me realize that, despite my knowledge of Girl Stuff, there are some areas where I am clearly out of my depth. And this made me wonder where the line is (or if such a line even exists) that a guy crosses at his own peril – a line beyond which a man goes from being just a garden-variety metrosexual Dude and plunges into the murky waters of Girly-Man-hood.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not equating Girly-Man-hood with gayness. Plenty of straight-up hetero guys can discuss window treatments and hemlines with any woman on the planet and still fart on cue (with a two-octave range). And likewise, the gayest of the gay can be a fat, ignorant trash-talking redneck who doesn’t know Gucci from Pucci. So, a guy’s preference in plumbing has nothing to do with his being a Guy’s Guy.
As it turns out, skorts – despite their ear-grating name – are not some intestinal affliction that comes from eating tainted pork; nor are they related to the unfairly maligned spork. They are instead a piece of clothing that mashes up a skirt and a pair of shorts, combining the functionality of both while retaining the sex appeal of neither.
Typically, not knowing something bugs me; I’m a Guy, and we’re supposed to know stuff – and by my lights, that includes a degree of Girl Stuff. But today I must admit defeat – bested by a pair of skorts.