Saturday, January 06, 2007

Shopping With Bonzo

I am the Queen of Take-It-Back. I returned an item that I had second thoughts about. It was a beautiful bag, but I had to face up to the fact that it was simply too big for me, and things could never work out between us.

I sent Flip to the Men's Department while I conducted my transaction so he wouldn't see me cry. Nordstrom's was having a sale, and he is a bit of a shirt junkie. Okay, he's the Shirt King. His Indian name is Many Shirts.

He found several. They were not on sale. He bought them anyway because cost is irrelevant to Flip. He is a black hole where money is concerned. He has a philosophy of life slightly to the left of whoopee.

When I caught up with him, at the register, I noticed that they had some men's shoes on sale, too. Very nice ones. I suggested he try some because he does need more shoes.

This is true of everyone, of course. It is physically impossible to have too many shoes. The sale shoes didn't fit, but he saw some Other Shoes. The really expensive Not-On-Sale shoes.

He tried on a pair.

"Do they look gay?" he asked.

I shrugged. "Let's ask the salesman. He's a guy. He'll know."

"Do these look gay?" I asked the young man. As I was speaking, I noticed that he was wearing earrings. Uh oh. Diamond studs. Big ones. I was relieved to see that they were in BOTH ears, not just the right one.

He assured Flip that the shoes did not look gay. But he had lost his credibility because Flip had also spotted the diamond earrings. He requested a different style in his size.

As the nice young salesman with diamond earrings sparkled into the stock room, Flip said to me, "Nice work. We'll never see him again."

"Of course we will," I said.

"He took an early lunch. Or quit. You really have a way."

"Lots of straight men wear earrings in both ears," I said. "It doesn't mean he's a double-hitter or anything. It's just a style."

Flip shook his head. "Trust me. They don't. When the store closes, we'll still be sitting here. You lost him."

He began to shove his feet back into his sneakers.

"I happen to know that many gay men don't want to look 'gay' either," I said. He rolled his eyes in that annoying way people do when I talk to them.

"In the ear, out the mouth," my husband muttered. I hate it when he does that. I think that muttering shows disrespect. I offered to disappear (into Womens' shoes) but he was sure the harm was already done. He had no idea how much harm I could do over there. (Bless his heart.)

Eventually, our salesman returned. Flip bought the shoes. He probably would have even if they didn't fit to make it up to the guy.

Flip is not a homophobe; he just doesn't want to LOOK gay. I do not understand why this is an issue for men. It's common knowledge that gay men often have incredible taste.

Women would kill for the chance to look fabulous. We wouldn't quibble. So why would a man deliberately settle for looking like a guy when he could dress like a gay guy and turn heads?

I just don't get it.


molly said...

i dont understand male paranoia about appearing gay either.

women dont go "does this make me look lesbian?"

Bob said...

your hubby may not be a homophobe, but I'll bet if he were approached by other men he would have a hard time dealing with it.

I would venture to say that most men have difficulty with the concept of being found attractive by other men. We don't stand around talking about it, so I don't really know why.

I don't understand it. I am flattered when anyone finds me attractive - male or female.

Le Nightowl said...

Molly has a valid point :)
Women's main problem is usually more along the line of "do my butt look huge in those?" :)))
Watching the pair of you shopping is really something!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Good point!! Women are so much more evolved in that way.

Thanks for your visit.


He has some gay friends. The friendships are platonic.


I'm sure I've never heard a man ask if his butt looked big in anything. We have that one sewn up.

Lex said...

I suffer from the same earring confusion as Flip. I used to think I had the code down, but now it's just fashionable and all the rules are out the window.

Um? Queer Eye for the Straight Guy Hello? So much style.

I guess straight guys (at least unattatched ones) are afraid to look gay because they may fear that their look may shut down opportunities with women like, say, me who may possibly assume that he looks too nice and therefore must be gay and therefore not interested, so...NEXT! That doesn't help explain Flip though. Sorry.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


At least he isn't glued to sporting events on TV all the time.

Well, gosh. Does that mean he's gay? (He'll be very surprised.)

Mark said...

You live in San Francisco and you asked, "Do these look gay?"

OMG, *that's* funny.

djn said...

mark's got a really good point. LOL

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I'm usually funniest when I'm not trying to be.


Yes. I stand corrected.

Aisby said...

There's nothing sexier than a well dressed man, who CARES about his appearance... I don't even mind a little hair gel.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


We have to master Shoes first. Then Hair Gel.

monicker said...

Shoes, hair gel, heck - he's already got the shirts. Not too far from becoming metrosexual.

Odat said...

A man you can shop with??? wow! Stop right there...who cares how he shops!


Stewart Sternberg said...

I never worry about looking gay. I'm just happy to be able to eat solid food.

Oh, The Joys said...

It is HILARIOUS that the "Do these look gay?" question shows up right next to the Gorilla feet!! BWAAAAA HA HA!!

urban-urchin said...

hmm- my comment disappeared and I am having a hard time commenting on other blogs- is it just me or is blogger misbehaving?

As I was saying... I overheard a man tell his wife not to buy an article of clothing for their baby boy because he thought it would make him look gay. Seriously as though anyone is even contemplating an infants sexuality.

My husband is a shoe whore- which is one of the reasons we get along so well. But he won't wear pink, I've tried,

Lee said...

I have a long history of dating men that I end up thinking are secretly gay. They are the hottest!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


You're right. With a little help, he could be a first class metrosexual. I think he'd like that.


You have a point. I am by nature a solitary shopper, but he always wants to come. I've gotten used to it. And his endurance is increasing. He used to wilt like a 4-year old after 2 or 3 stores.

I love you, Stewart! You always cut to the chase.


That's why I put it there. Bwahahaha.


Babies can look gay? That's about the silliest thing I ever heard.

Shoes are a great start. When the man is ready, the pink comes along.


I married one of them. We've been divorced for much longer than we were together. His hotness quotient was not what you seem to think, though.

Michael C said...

I'd leave a revolutionary comment about men's style and fashion, but my idea of style is a wrinkled t-shirt and a pair of shorts. Definitely not a head least according to my wife ;-)

Pickled Olives said...

thats funny. When I was younger, my brother and I would tell each other their outfits or hairstyles looked gay. Not understanding what Gay meant, we took it for retarded.

furiousBall said...

As a man, I think looking gay is definitely more attractive to women. Like one time I was driving somewhere with my metrosexual buddy and these rednecks drove by and said "hey you cocksuckers!" Which was mean, we were just dressed nicely, that's not fair. But in all fairness, we were sucking each other off.

Just kidding. I think looking gay is well-dressed. Looking gay would be the pastel sweater tied over the shoulders - which gay men wouldn't do anyway.

jali said...

I think it's great that you guys can shop together.

I interpret "does this look gay" as "does this look girlie" - even my gay buddies use the term sometimes.

You and Skip must be a blast to hang out with.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Well, I'm sure you clean up well.


There was a time when "gay" meant "happy." It's so confusing.


I don't even know any women who wear pastel sweaters draped over their shoulders anymore. It's very LL Bean, oddly, as you have to be quite rugged to survive Maine in the winter.


I think that girly is exactly what Flip meant when he used the word "gay." Or maybe somewhere between girly and dorky.

Our gay friends don't dress any differently from our straight ones. None of them are "girly men," to quote our idiot governor.

Open Grove Claudia said...

How does an inanimate object look like a sexual orientation? I'm confused.

But then, I'm not a shoe hound. My husband and his father disappear for days at a time in search of the perfect shoe.

If he's that worried, tell him to get some ropers. They are certified cowboy, comfortable and hellaciously cool.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


He's more metrosexual than cowboy, although his father was actually a singing cowboy in 50's movies. He sang to Marilyn in one of them.

Cece said...

I don't understand it, either. Like you said, gay men dress wonderful! I wish my husband would dress gay now & then! LOL

Liz said...

What I love is how you're taking something back and he kept purchasing the things that weren't on sale. Certainly flips the stereotype of the woman splurging on stuff and the man penny pinching.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Men are strange. They're just not like the rest of us.


You noticed that?! I call him "L.A. Boy" because he grew up in shopping malls and actually likes them. Whereas I do not.

Hmmm. Did I look butch in that?

curmudgeon said...

It's commonly known that women dress to impress or outdo other women. Sure, guys may notice, but if a woman dresses in any way other than "hot", it don't impress guys unless they're gay. (They may say so to please you, but not really)

On the other hand, guys don't want to dress to attract other guys, which is what would happen if they dressed in a manner according to all the gay styles in some phony rag such as GQ.

No, manly men want to be known as men. They dress accordingly.

The Law Fairy said...

Calling something "gay" as though "gay" somehow means something negative is one of my pet peeves. I know most people do it subconsciously, without meaning to be homophobic (including my little sister, who's a million times angrier and even more feminist than I am, if you can imagine that), but it still irks me.

I mean, gay guys don't sit around going, "oh God, does this shirt make me look STRAIGHT? Oh, EW."

But perhaps they should...

But then, what do I know. I'm simultaneously prettier and manlier than probably a good half of my male friends. It takes an evolved mind to comprehend that one :)

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Oh. I see. MANLY men. Thanks for clearing that up. I'm so glad we've had this little talk.

Law Fairy,

I think I'm prettier and also manlier than many of the men I know, too. As they say, sometimes the best man for the job is a woman.

I think people use "gay" w/o thinking of it as a sexual slur. Like so many overused words, it has lost much of its meaning, and just stands for anything not-quite-he-man enough. (Ugg.)

An explosive said...

Wow... your hubby sounds like my brother.. why are men like this? lol poor things! ~M

heartinsanfrancisco said...

My heart,

Who knows? Maybe God was having a bad day.

Anonymous said...

"Slightly to the left of whoopie?"

I think that's the best phrase of the year!


velvet girl said...

Why is inability to dress well worn as a badge of pride by so many men? I'm baffled.


Kevin said...

I don't think it's the "inability to dress well" that's worn as a badge of pride.

I know that I, being a guy, just don't to go through all the damn hassle that comes with getting all gussied up. Speaking for myself, and not ALL men, it just seems like a waste of time. Sure there's a time to dress up (weddings, business meetings with clients), and time to dress down (doing yard work, cleaning gutters, painting rooms) and all other times where you should just wear jeans, t-shirt and gym shoes. I AM proud of the fact that I own two pair of shoes. Everyday gym shoes, and then a pair dress shoes for "special" occasions.

I guess it depends on what "dressing well" means to whomever is dressing. I think I look very presentable when going out to malls with my wife.

Just D said...

I want those red shoes.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I calls 'em like I sees 'em.


I think it's more a lack of interest than a badge of pride.


I don't understand women who dress to kill and wear makeup to rake leaves.


I knocked off Dorothy for them. You can have them after I melt.

Dan said...

Flip is not a homophobe; he just doesn't want to LOOK gay. I do not understand why this is an issue for men. It's common knowledge that gay men often have incredible taste.

Hey! I love ... no ... I adore women. I want to take them home with me and hug them and kiss them and love them. But for crying out loud, I don't want to LOOK like a woman.

Your honor, I rest my case.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Nor do we want you to. We like you fine the way you are.

But there is a fallacy: I did not equate looking "gay" with looking like a woman, nor do most gay men look like women.

Bird on a Wire said...

I don't care if it makes me look "gay," I want to look good. Do gay guys put on sweats and a torn t-shirt and ask, "Do I look straight?"

The Law Fairy said...

You know, actually, now that I think about it... isn't worrying about how you look -- gay, straight, elephantine -- kind of, erm, "gay" in and of itself?

I think that's something to ponder ;)

katrice said...

When I wore my hair very short, (think Jada Pinkett-Smith several years ago), I sometimes worried that I looked like a lesbian. But part of that was because in the field I worked in, straight people were in the minority. I'm not homophobic by any stretch, but my boss was a very scary lesbian. By the same theory, I work with mostly straight guys now and I don't wear short skirts to work.

Anyway, many gay men are very hot.

Flip is hilarious. And I'm sure also very hot in the straightest way possible.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Yeah, well, I try not to look too girly myself.

Law Fairy,

I disagree. If people didn't worry at least a little, too many would be running around unbathed with unbrushed teeth and malodorous clothing.


C'mon, now. Nobody has ever accused Halle Berry of looking like a lesbian. It's not how you wear your hair, it's who you wiggle your butt at that counts.

slick said...

I'm on your husband's a non gay way of course. I don't know why it's just a matter of taste I reckon'.

Almost scary isn't it?

heartinsanfrancisco said...


It would be scary if he was bootlegging my panties under his jeans and stretching them out.

Kevin Charnas said...

If people paid as much attention to their insides as they do their outsides...

heartinsanfrancisco said...


From your lips to God's ear. Amen.

Lex said...

[knock, knock] Is everything all right in there??

Lex said...

[knock, knock] Is everything all right in there??


I don't know...the fact that Flip likes shirts and expensive shoes seems a little gay to me. ;)

Jocelyn said...

...and he could turn twice as many heads, if he appears of indeterminate sexual orientation. I just love reading about a man who loves his shopping.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Yep. I was just clearing away the shopping bags.


I'll tell him you said so. And one of us will have a good laugh about it.


As Woody Allen said, if you're bisexual, it doubles your chances for a date Saturday night.

velvet girl said...

BTW, I wasn't referring to Flip in my previous comment. He's a man who likes to shop and is clearly concerned about his appearance. I've actually met many men who fell into the other category. Maybe it's just he men I knew.

Just thought that I'd mention that in case there was some confusion.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I would never confuse Flip with a man who prides himself on looking bad. He's an artist, so he has a good eye for color and texture. And it's also true that I have created a monster by encouraging this.