Manhood, One Little Black Dress at a Time
So often, I am in familiar territory. I am my girlfriend Kassie‘s best friend, she’s my best friend, we get each other. Usually we can talk on the same page, even when we’re talking about things where we differ. However, I was definitely in over my head on Monday night after football.
It was after football, I felt exhausted. Kassie was sorely disappointed that the dress she thought she was buying for confirmation is not at all what she thought it was(it had blue patches that made it look like a patched tarp). Apparently the blue didn’t show up on her phone, and she thought it was an all black dress. This wasn’t a crisis, she wasn’t freaking out, but I could tell she was a bit disappointed.
Herein I will describe how I made it through.
Well, I now have a glimpse into the women’s struggle that is shopping for Church clothing. I mean, I have never shopped online for clothing, let alone clothing that was not for me. This was ridiculous.
I’ll say it again. Ridiculous. My little Texas Maiden and I decide to help her find a dress to wear for her confirmation, and it was one of the most challenging experiences of my life. I don’t mean it was trying, it wasn’t like pulling teeth. I legitimately love my girlfriend and I wanted to help her, but the experience itself was almost akin to the 12 labors of Hercules. The struggle to find an acceptably modest dress with style and class that would fit the season we’re being confirmed may as well have been trying to walk into a Calvinist service on Sunday morning and get everyone to pray the rosary and kiss an icon of St. Jude (Who I felt was more than aptly called on several times silently that night).
We looked through website after website, for dress after dress, and nothing would click. I started off with a few good choices (at least that’s what she told me,) but as we progressed I got more weary, and more exasperated by the sheer amount of selection without benefit. I was stifled by the surplus, and overwhelmed by the omnibus. There was a legion of dresses, few modest, even fewer combining said modesty with class, or style.
And we’re not ignorant first-time web shoppers, well, she’s not. I mean, we just wanted to find a black dress. I thought, “no big deal,” when the evening started, by the end of it all I may as well have undertaken singlehandedly returning all the protestants to the dutiful authority of the Holy See. We’re informed shoppers, we do our homework. We had tools on our side. We read Betty Beguiles we know where to look. We had an arsenal of energy, and a “tag-team this undertaking” attitude as well as a general humor that made it bearable, and really it was a bit of fun, to be completely honest.
I’d picture my little Texas Flower in dress after dress, some of them making me cringe, others appealing, but not for Church. Others seemed perfect, and I’d forward a link and some were really good. But we still hadn’t found perfection.
I know some of my readers might think I’m God’s gift to Catholic women, I am orthodox, go dress shopping online and love to read, write and cook. You’re right. Well, not really, but I do have this to say: I’m not afraid of being supportive with my manhood. I’m not afraid of making room for Kassie to shine, or make demands on my time, or attention. I’m not opposed to her asking for my energy, or even asking me to undo some stereotypical masculinity. She didn’t actively ask by the way, she was already looking, I volunteered. Which she jumped at.
I’m a source for her, as a man, I’m a source she can come to for strength, encouragement, and fun. And it was fun. We looked at dresses, sometimes despairing about fashion sense in the market, sometimes wishing a blue or orange one would come in black. I enjoyed being able to just help her out, and despite my exasperation (I found a great dress, but I didn’t notice that the sides were cut-out. Not just, slits, like wildly large gaping hip-flare holes from the pits of hell, cut out.)
I didn’t mind it at all. I know I said it was a labor, but the spending time with Kassie part of it wasn’t. It was the actual finding of a modest dress that was.
I was definitely out of my league, and I knew it. I was a guppy, surfing the web with sharks. Despite that feeling though, I learned a few good things. I learned that being a man isn’t always about doing stereotypically manly things. I mean I knew that, but it’s nice to have reminders. I can just be there and spend time with my girlfriend helping her do something that makes her happy. I was available to her, just having fun and laughing. I learned that we really are awesome together, and that if we can survive dress shopping on the internet for modest clothing that even Betty Beguiles wouldn’t shake a stick at, we can survive anything.
I really did have fun, even if less than half the time I knew what I was doing. I just know that she would do the same for me if I wanted to watch football or do something really Brasilian or masculine. I figured it was the least I could do, and I ended up having a great, albeit slightly heckled time.
I mean, I didn’t end up converting the protestants, or starting an Inquisition, or even finding the right dress. Kassie found it on her own, without any help from me. I didn’t mind at all, because we had fun.
I am secure in my manhood enough to help my girlfriend shop for her confirmation dress, and develop a Catholic, loving, thoughtful manhood, one little black dress at a time.