Clothes Shopping Makes Gay Guy Into Straight Husband Stand-in?

Straight Guy,

I had a visitor this past weekend. She and I are college friends, so it's been a long and strong relationship. She was in town for a wedding and stayed with me. Great to have her around, and also amusing to see my little bathroom blossom with hair and face products.

She does not live in a place with great clothing selection. She arrived on Friday, and I volunteered to take off work for a day of shopping. It was an interesting day: Being car-free, I only shop at subway-accessible places but we went to an upscale suburban mall; I don't shop for women's clothes; and I don't usually shop with other people. It was fun to be a consultant, not the shopper.

I give pretty direct feedback: Good shape, bad shape; good color, color that washes her out. I trashed one dress with relish. It was a tight sheath dress with evenly spaced horizontal rows of ruffles. I couldn't hold back that it made me think of condom ads that pitched "Ribbed for Her Pleasure."

All of this is to say that it was fun to take on the guise of the husband, or at least a role that I saw my dad take. I doubt dad gave mom fashion advice, but he did stand patiently within sight of the fitting room door, dripping with coats and shopping bags. I think he drew the line at holding mom's purse. I found a chair in a few of the stores and used the time to clean out my BlackBerry. But still dripped with coats and bags. I'm a modern man, so I fearlessly took on the purse.

It was rather fun to take on both the husband and sassy gay friend roles at the same time.

So, gay guys and straight guys out there: Do you lend a fashion eye to the women in your life? Shop separately and come in to deliver the final piece of advice? Get the heebie-jeebies at the thought of the math involved in sizes 4, 6, 8 and what body parts they correlate to? Let me know.

--Gay Guy


Straight Guy said...

My wife and I don't shop together very often. Stereotypical, but I don't like it much anyway.

You were a good friend, though. Except that the dress sounds kind of hot.

Anyone ashamed to watch over someone's purse while they try on clothes has a lot of selfish issues. No one is asking them to tote it through the mall.

straight in upstate said...

Four and a half years ago my wife went to a milestone high school reunion and asked me to help pick out an outfit. Without picking at the scab too much, I'll say I gave an honest opinion, which she listened to, which turned out to be totally the wrong look for the reunion. (In my defense, her dad was in the early stages of terminal cancer, so almost our decisions during that time were bad.) The next milestone is this fall - we're going, and we've agreed (not without terrible memories of the last time) that she will shop early and with no help from me.

On a non-milestone basis, she goes with friends and does her own shopping. I shop alone.

Dorn said...

I now freely give my wife feedback...she gets rather pissy otherwise. Ultimately she wants to look good for me, so why not let her know if something is not working. I still push back on her to what she feels good in because I am NOT dressing a barbie, she's shopping.

And why stores don't all have chairs near the waiting room is astonishing to me. Longer into the shopping, I get pretty vocal about a no chair situation when a name tag is within ear shot.

Good on you GG.

Anonymous said...

I want to know more about the condom dress. Pictures?

David said...

Shoot. My friends would say that I can barely dress myself. And that 2-4-6-8 or whatever thing you just mentioned... I have no clue what that means. BUT! I don't mind going shopping with others and I've been known to carry a friend's purse around.

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