A recent post by Pinksoda, a fellow CDO Blogger reminded me of what my friends used to say, "Forget to take care of yourself and your husband will leave you someday." I wonder if this is just a uniquely Pinoy sentiment or if others from around the world believe it too. Here, that roughly translates to, "Allowing yourself to get a waistline larger than your husband's, six pack eye bags and arm flab only a mother could love will ensure that your husband will leave you for Bb Gandanghari."
I guess my friends were worried for me. Although my bones tend to stick out more than my fat, I'm not exactly the kind of lady men would lay down their jackets on puddles for. You see, I used to look like a man. I looked masculine on purpose because I wanted to rebel against the conventions of femininity and the prevailing damsel in distress mentality that seemed so popular when I was young. Clearly, I preferred to be the distressing damsel.
I knew that my male look was a success because people called me dong, the local generic term for young boys and once, just for the heck of proving that I did not look feminine, I entered a mall's male comfort room. There was no mass exodus of scandalized males. (No. I did not look at what they were doing in those urinals.)
I found out later though that even if I wanted to look feminine, I would still have looked masculine simply because I had no idea that there is a difference between male and female casual clothing. That's what happens to teens whose heads are so far buried in the intoxicating clouds of literature. There is an absolute lack of awareness that outside, the world turns. My husband was the first to break the news to me that men's jeans and women's jeans don't come in the same cut. He was also the first to teach me that I don't have to dress like a man to seem strong.
My first office job temporarily put an end to my cross dressing days because I was required to wear clothing that no self-respecting man would've worm. I was also told to paint my face because the enemy (the boss or the client?) isn't pacified by a naturally pale face filled with the battle scars of corporate stress.
Unfortunately, a recent salon mishap has forced me to return to my less engaging alter ego. I knew that I was once again lacking a feminine exterior because of an unfortunate run in with a KFC service crew. In KFC here, the counter crew no longer issue numbers to waiting customers. Instead, they write descriptions of the customers on receipts that are then passed on to the service crew assigned to deliver the delayed orders and the receipts to the waiting customers.
My description said that I was a girl in a blue shirt. The service crew passed my table several times and it never occurred to him that I was the girl in blue. Unless he was color blind, he must have missed me because he didn't know that I was a girl.
I've asked my husband for his opinion. He says he prefers my androgynous, unpainted, unpolished look. It's either he's lying or he's got weird taste in women. So tell me, can Pinoy men really love a woman who looks like half of a man?