Now there’s a question guaranteed to raise an eyebrow when asked in the women’s clothing section at Wal Mart – particularly when the question is asked by a 6’2″ man who weighs 300 pounds on the hoof – give or take a Taco Bell value meal and a pair of trauma shears.
“Uh, excuse me Miss? The only thing I could find in my size was nude. Do you have anything in taupe? Maybe something in a control top?”
Now all the women over in the pharmacy and cosmetics department already think I’m a deviant because I shop for a lot of my moulage supplies over there. Nothing beats the look on a cashier’s face when you slide a few Maybelline concealer sticks, lipstick tubes in red, purple, black and green, and neutral foundation powder across the counter…and when their eyebrows inch upward, go ahead and slide across a jar of Vaseline, some unflavored Knox gelatin and a box of food coloring… and then wink.
And in my married days, I had already run the Emasculation Gauntlet and been sent on a douche shopping mission to the drugstore. (Here’s a hint, guys – never request a specific “flavor.” Those chicks at Walgreen’s have no sense of humor.)
Suffice it to say I considered myself embarassment-proof. Yet there is something about shopping for Frilly Things that just…does something to the male psyche. Particularly when you’re accompanied by your wife, who passes female judgment on every selection.
“Nope, honey. Not good with your skin tone.”
“Won’t work. Doesn’t go with your shoes or your handbag.”
“You’ll be the biggest woman on the stage, sweetie. We need to find something slimming that emphasizes your best features…like maybe a cardboard box that leaves your feet sticking out.”
“Blue eye shadow is a no-no. Yes, I know your eyes are blue. Just trust me on this. You look like that Mimi chick on the Drew Carey Show. Now go wash that stuff off and let me show you how to do it.”
Honestly, it was enough to damage a guy’s self esteem. I still bear the psychological scars, but then again so do the women who sold me my dress at Lane Bryant.
Now I should explain why I was taking this walk on the Wild Side. Although I have always described myself as a lesbian trapped in a man’s body, my orientation has always been fervently heterosexual. (grabs testicles and spits for masculine emphasis)
Nope, I was doing this for a Good Cause, specifically to raise money for a scholarship fund for widows and children of EMTs killed in the line of duty. One year during EMS Week, the Powers That Be decided that a Womanless Beauty Pageant would be an excellent fundraiser. The call went out for male medics who possessed certain attributes, like beauty… poise… intelligence… charm… talent.
Or failing that, at least find a couple of dozen exceedingly ugly, hairy male medics without absolutely no sense of decorum or self-respect. Naturally, I was one of the first ones approached.
So on the day of the pageant, I submitted myself to several hours of primping, preening, spackling, cinching, spraying and various other indignities at the hands of my wife, who pulled away the drape with a flourish and presented me with a hand mirror so that I could gaze upon the image of myself as…my mother.
Not my mother back in her youth when she was a knockout. Noooo, this version was of Mom after five kids and menopause, only with a five o’clock shadow and hairy legs.
It was a Norman Bates Moment.
Adding to the indignity was the fact that the banquet hall had no room for the boys to do their makeup on site. Nooooo…all we had was a ready room in which to congregate before our turn on the catwalk, necessitating every one of us to make the drive from our hotels to the banquet hall in full drag. I must confess that the drive over was made somewhat more entertaining by blowing kisses to every redneck at every stoplight. The Missus was driving, so I was even able to rub my hooters against the glass.
The ready room was packed with guys in various degrees of drag, each sizing the others up with a critical eye.
Not bad Bob, but my wig is better.
Geez, tweeze those eyebrows Larry!
Love the satin dress, Jason, but the panty line ruins it.
Got a little lipstick on your teeth there, Hank.
Boy these heels are tough to walk in, but DAMN don’t they make my calves look defined!
A concealer stick would cover those circles under your eyes, Frank.
Now whilst we were waiting, it would be fair to say that a fair amount of Liquid Courage was consumed. And while we were re-affirming our own masculinity, let’s just say that the language and the behavior got a little…coarse. At one point, a number of us noticed a rather attractive, statuesque blonde sitting quietly off to one side.
“Oh, sorry Ma’am, we didn’t realize you were sitting there. We didn’t mean to…Myron??? Is that YOU??? Damn, but you look HOT!”
At that point we all knew we were vying for second place.
Knowing that my hopes for winning hinged upon the talent competition, I decided to pull out all the stops. So I gave a lap dance to…this guy.
You EMTs may recognize the face of John Roquemore, former President of the National Association of EMTs. Needless to say he was less than enthused about a 300 pound drag queen gyrating around on his lap while singing Happy Birthday Mister President in the breathiest Marilyn Monroe voice I could muster…
…but he was a good sport about it, and I got First Runner Up. Raised $500 for the scholarship fund, too.
And rumor has it that Rocky spent his own money to buy up all the photo negatives taken during that event, so there is little chance any photos of my sexy self will make it onto the internet. Thank God.
Until next time…