Geraint's blog

Can you see the world through obscure coloured glasses?
JULY 28, 2010 2:06PM

My wife might have married a gay man

Rate: 34 Flag

“Baby, have you seen my black belt?” I frantically search through the drawer where we keep our belts hoping it is there. 

“There’s one on the dresser.”

 “Are you kidding?” I scoff. “That belt is for jeans. I’m looking for the thinner one for dress trousers.” 

My wife thinks I might have a gay man trapped inside my hetero body. She wouldn’t be the first and I’m guessing she won’t be the last. In fact, I found out the other day what I long suspected – many people where I work thought (some might still think if they don’t know any better) that I am gay. My wife knows I’m not, and judging by the state I left her hair right before bed last night, she woke up this morning after I had gone to work wondering why she ever believed there was a gay man trapped inside me somewhere. 

For most of my adult life I have been asked, or it was assumed, that I was gay. I have no brothers, only two incredible sisters to bond with. The wonderful thing about having two sisters and no brothers is that you learn to shop; you learn to dress so women will notice you. The trouble is; men will notice you as well. When you’re younger, cocksure and arrogant, the unwanted overtures of a man are enough to raise your anger and send a shudder down your entire body. Naivety, immaturity, and a lack of knowledge are kindling for arrogance and attrition. While I never caused bodily harm, or even threatened anyone who approached me, my reaction was to utter a few curse words in the general direction of my suitor and leave as quickly as I could. 

Gradually, my reactions started to tame and I just accepted it as a mighty compliment and moved on. When I got to college (in my 30s) I had had enough worldly experiences to know a thing or two about life, and I knew who I was, who I wanted to become, and how I fit into the chasm my friends and I existed in. Having witnessed so many of my single friends out at bars and in other social settings, I picked up on many things I thought would give me the edge in a sometimes cruel dating world. And many times, they did. 

I can remember sitting around between classes in college and a group of us were enjoying lunch and some candid banter. One of the girls, Jo, decided to go around the table and check to see how many of the men were wearing matches shoes and belts. It turns out, only one: me. I was the only one who had an idea how to color coordinate as well. When she sat down she just said, “if I didn’t know that you lived with your girlfriend, I’d be setting you up with my friend Michael.” Naturally the jokes followed, lasting the entire four years of schooling, but it didn’t bother me in the slightest. 

At about the same time my stutter seemed to vanish enough to hold conversations and I forgot that I was pigeon-toed. I discovered, that with a bit of effort, I good be a good-looking guy. I was never going to impress anybody with my physique (I think I’m a little scrawny), so I thought the best way to stand out is to physically stand out. I’d wear a hoodie with a blazer and jeans for a twist on things. My own personal style carried off with confidence. I would buy shoes, lots of shoes, sometimes having a pair that could only be worn with one shirt. While I never used any facial products or went for manicures, I did have hairdresser at one of the top end salons, and would get my monthly pampering that way. And if having 35 pairs of shoes is excessive for a straight man, the other straight men just don’t know what they’re missing. 

The fact I went many years without a girlfriend probably did me no favours. My string of flings, as we all call my early relationships, meant that my friends never saw me with any girls for any length of time. And when I paid more attention to the wives and girlfriends of my friends than I did to other girls getting drunk at a bar, I guess I can see where an outsider might misinterpret my actions. 

Oh, and there’s another thing, just because I can spend hours in a shopping mall doesn’t necessarily mean I’m gay. And get over your insecurities already; Johnny Depp is a good looking guy! I’m man enough to say it. 

When I got to Saudi, my natural instincts of flirting and small talk took a back seat to shyness and safety. I had heard stories of people being fired, or worse, for being too friendly to people here – and people have a very different view of what constitutes sexual harassment. I decided it was easier to avoid eye contact, and only speak when spoken to. If they said hello, I’d say hello. With most of the population out looking for a spouse, I was just watching my shoes...that matched my belt of course. 

Coming out here single is difficult. The clock ticks during the day; at night it can get awfully quiet and awfully long. As such, many local expatriates do they all they can to get you involved in social activities as soon as they can. I was soon involved in a running club, a theatre group and was playing soccer. Throw in a party every week and I was never at home during the evenings. My best friend here, an American, and I were inseparable. He even went on my grand tour of Africa, where we spent 4 weeks touring 4 countries with 10 other people. The theatre group put on a pantomime performance of Aladdin and I played Widow Twankey, Aladdin’s mother, and had 6 costume changes. I felt like Cher. And all the while I would avoid the Arab women who wanted a man who was not an Arab. 

So when I ran into a woman who used to work here and she said she was surprised when she saw my wedding photos on Facebook because she thought I was gay, I wasn’t completely surprised. I checked my hair in the reflection from the metal strip on the door, checked my watch (with a strap the same colour as my belt and shoes), commented on the photo of her new husband (I said he was a good looking guy – she had done well) and walked away. 

So when I say I will wear a blue shirt because it brings out my eyes, I mean that blue is my favourite colour. When I sing along to the Sound of Music and other musicals, it just means the Welshman in me is holding onto his heritage; Wales is the land of song after all. And when I tell Kirsty she should do more yoga because it makes her skin look healthier, like it cleanses her pores, I have no idea why she giggles and calls me “the gayest straight man ever”.   

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Wish there were more like you!
Hilarious. My son-in-law is in the entertainment business and often wears pink. Keeps wondering why he keeps being invited to gay parties.
Sweetfeet - Plenty of my ego to go around. lol
Mimetalker - I have pink shirts, I rock them. I've been to a couple of gay parties and had a blast.
A straight man who can openly appreciate Johnny Depp. Right on.
Oh, you're not gay in the least, G - you are just a throwback to the 19th century dapper gentleman! (and one with exquisite taste.)
nothing gay about matching or wanting to look good. if you were gay though, i'd want to introduce you to my brother:)
Susan - Depp is the finest actor of his generation and you get the feeling he's a damn nice guy too.
Sgt. Mom - Dapper? I thank you for that compliment.
Lemonpulp - I am flattered you would think of me for your brother.
One of my brothers would have fit that bill, too. Quite possibly our son as well!
Owl - It's a good bill to fit.
See. Now I read that last line about yoga and thought of how it tones certain muscles handy to have toned for procreative activities. :)

I have two belts. But one is reversible.
Laugh, "35 pairs of shoes" your poor wife. Is there any room for her clothes? :D
Gwool - Yoga does help in stretching and folding and becoming a human pretzel. I can't do it though.
I really enjoyed this..it is wonderful to travel and looks like you have. You do have to watch customs, as you say, so you don't overstep your bounds. Americans are more relaxed than most cultures. I was a missionary's daughter, raised in Africa, so I hear you. Sounds to me like you are just a fellow that likes to look sharp.No, definitely not gay, lol!
Cindy - I have been fortunate enough to travel around. And thank you for stopping by and adding me as a favorite.
I'd like to voice my appreciation for well-dressed straight men. Come on, guys, T-shirts with stuff written on them is not your only fashion choice. Good for you, penguin. Strut your stuff.
As a woman who did marry a closeted gay man, I can assure you that being fashion-conscious and singing showtunes were not in his repetoire. He's been out of the closet for seven years. To this day, my friends and some of his call him "the straightest acting gay man" they know.

I dated a very hot (you look a little bit like him in your avatar) younger boyfriend who loved fashion. He lived in London for a while and learned a lot about fashion in his travels. He was tall, very thin (contrast to my being average height and very curvy) but always cut a striking figure because he was so well-dressed. I loved it about him. He was often taken for gay.

I almost thought he might be, too when we drove to DC and then to Philly to procure a specific coat from a specific Italian store that is not open in Baltimore. He wanted to try it on first. I enjoyed watching him try on clothes and giving me a fashion show. It was probably one of the hottest days we ever spent together. The night after all that was even hotter (if you know what I mean).

Contrast him to my gay ex-husband who got a baby-feces-colored carpet installed in the home we used to share. He has yet to take down the pink floral wallpaper that covers the living room and dining room (I did not install it--the previous owners did and we left it up). What little fashion sense he does have comes from his artist boyfriend, not from him.

I praise straight men (like my friend Heather's husband Scott) who have great taste and can shop for themselves and for their women. It's a rarity that is great to find! (R)
I wish more men would get the idea that good grooming doesn't equal gay. By the way, where did you grow up in Canada? I was born in Ontario. Good story! -R-
I think my husband may be a long-lost 'well-appointed' brother of yours! This was a very, very charming and funny post! Your wife is a lucky woman! I'll bet your shoes are shined, too!
I dated a man like you once. He loved nothing more than to take me shopping and "dress" me. And I mean everything. He'd tell the makeup counter women what we were looking for, could judge a pair of shoes on sight, and knew exactly what kind of dress suited me.
Many of his friends thought he was gay, also, because he cared about his appearance, and he always looked fantastic--I'm not talking handsome, I'm talking about a man who took pride in his "look."
And believe me, when we were alone, he was definitely not gay.
While the relationship didn't work out, he has recently re-married. I'm happy with my own love, who is secure in his manhood, too.
There is nothing sexier than a man who is so secure in his manhood that he feels no need to worry about what people think.
You rock.
I feel your pain.

When I was (way!) younger and dressed in a way I would describe as "stylish" but others might say was "flamboyant", the female streetwalkers in San Francisco would friggin' harrass me in the evening hours thinking that I was competing with them for customers.

I thought it would get easier when everything turned gray fifteen years ago, but the ponytail must have a magnetic force to every gay waiter in a restaurant. My wife is more aware of man-on-man flirting than I am, pointing-out how she is totally ignored during the food order and feels that there's a dismissive "you poor beard" attitude towards her.

I think she's being kooky until the bill comes with the waiter's name and phone number on it along with some doodle that suggests that my wife's interpretation of the situation may be dead-on.

But 35 pairs of shoes, no way!

(don't mention the 10 pairs of sneakers, each to match a specific gym "outfit" ... just don't mention it!)

(R)
I've dated men like you who, surprisingly, were attracted by my lack of make-up and refusal to wear "heels". Maybe we are all slightly in drag.
"Dapper" - someone said it above - is a great description. And I was always willing to dress up to the nines for suitable occasions...and knock his socks off.
My first love was similar to you...what a wonderful guy. I am sorry he got away, he has been happily married for many years, had a child later in his life and is a millionaire plus. Oh, the ones that got away!!!! Ha, revel in who you are! R
Dapper indeed, there is nothing better than a well dressed man, who doesn't require a woman saying what the heck are you wearing!!
35 pairs of shoes?
I can't have that many. My closet is the only place to store my books. And if it comes to deciding between shoes or books...
But maybe you can give fashion advice to those of us who are fashion-challenged.
Metro, a hetero guy with a thing for checking himself out in reflective door strips.
as long as i wear matching socks... am i...?
I would consider it a compliment. Good writing.
My first husband was (still is) like you, Geraint. He called himself a dandy. I like men who pay attention to their grooming and don't feel intimidated by what others say about them. Good for you - Kirsty is lucky! ~R
I knew I liked you but knowing you sing along to the Sound of Music sealed the deal! lol, this was awesome and maybe you're bi.
Thought this would make a good addition to my writing on taboo - when and if I ever get the writing done, that is...I'm sure it'll take me a few months to cover all the taboos I have in mind...
"Johnny Depp is a good looking guy! I’m man enough to say it. " Me too. I think Antonio Banderas is still sexy!! :D

Rated!!!
And a charmer you are with a most charming story. Being a Southerner we do the matchy matchy stuff all the time and if a man doesn't know it, then he isn'[t let out of the house till he is properly 'matched up'! lol
I love men (gay or straight) who take care of their appearance. It's a good thing._r
@Geraintt: I am aware *YOU* can't. I was thinking of the possibilities from a different, uh, perspective.
@Geraintt: I am aware *YOU* can't. I was thinking of the possibilities from a different, uh, perspective.
You actually own thirty five pairs of shoes! Do you have any suspenders? I love a man with argyle socks and pink suspenders.
R
Sounds like Kirsty knows that a man who can pick the perfect accessory for her negligee is totally ab-fab…
You just sound like a smart man having a good time and a good life. It is very important to clean out your spirit and of course it leaves clean pores! tee hee
Hyblaean-Julie - Most of them were left at home in Canada. And we have two closets here anyway.
Sixty - Nothing trumps socks and sandals though.
Kat Hudson - Thank you for stopping by my blog. I have a friend here who is gay and no one knows it. But I did have to give him fashion advice.
Christine - Thank you for stopping by. Nothing wrong with looking good. I grew up in Alberta, by the way.

Susan Creamer Joy - Thank you for stopping by. Normally the shoes are shined, that is correct.
Will - Matching shoes and belt is a start. The next step - No white sport socks with black shoes and trousers.
Wanderer - I am a shopper, I won't lie. And really, I don't care what people think about me. I know who I am, and so do my friends.
Czar - Thank you for stopping by. We haven't gotten to that point yet, but for every woman who checks me out, at least four men do.
Kate - a man after my own heart. Shoes are important.
Aim - Kirsty doesn't wear much make-up and that's cool with me. And when she dresses to the nines, she does it well.

Sheila - I like to think Angelina Jolie got away. Although she's not a patch on Kirsty.
Poppi - Kirsty hasn't once had to tell me to take something off before we go out.
Vanessa - Books are just as important as shoes. And I'm always available to give advice.
Gabby - I am definitely metrosexual. Definitely.
Chuck - It all depends on what your socks match!
Poetess - It is indeed a compliment. I take it as one.
Fusun - It doesn't take me too long to get ready though.
Amanda - Sorry, I'm not bi. I've never had any inclinations to move on a man.
Doublygifted - I'm flattered.
Tink - Antonoio Banderas has lost it. Sorry dude.
Patie - Not really a charmer. Just like to look my best.
Joan H - It's not a crime to look good.
Willie - No suspenders. I've tried to find those little sock suspenders but haven't been able to.
Nova - No clothes go best with her neglige.
Bleue - I am having a wonderful time, that is true.
Mark - I totally agree. While I don't spend hours preening, a little effort isn't much to expect.
That's okay, some people think I've lost it too, but you're still invited to my funeral, ABBA and drag queens are going to be there. When will my funeral be? Next week...;D
Tink - You better not die next week. I need comedy in my life man. You are a master at it.