A few feet in these shoes is plenty

By on March 27, 2012

Gaga makeup goes on. (Style Davita)

“Walk a mile in my shoes” is a common refrain in our language. I found it applicable to my (short) Life as a Woman during the recent “Womanless Beauty Pageant” fundraiser for Relay for Life and cancer research.

I can state with confidence that even with significant practice in 4-inch heels at home, I never came close to walking a mile in those shoes. But I did scare one of our cats to the point he hid or cowered as I tried to replicate the dance moves of my chosen character — Lady Gaga.

I did learn a lot about the absurd rituals women must endure to “look good” for men.

My short version is this: If men were required to go through the machinations demanded to transform themselves into a thing of beauty, the bar for what we define as “hot” in the vernacular would be significantly lowered.

Let me start with the shoes. With no offense directed to any woman who chooses to wear those super-high heeled get-ups, these things have no utilitarian value whatsoever.

Sure, they really make your calves look good and in the process tone them. But God did not intend for humans to walk on a downward slope, and our bodies were designed to bear our weight evenly across the foot — including the heel — and not concentrated on the toes and balls of your feet.

And yes, they are dangerous, even with practice. I typically don’t worry about small holes in parking lots or uneven dance floors as I move about.

Remember the Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Shilling and his “bloody sock” from pitching too long in a World Series game? I had the bloody pantyhose version when those high heels came off.

Apparently I created and burst a blood blister the size of a Big Mac during the course of the night.

One simple thought process should tell you all you need to know about super high heels: If you are 55 years old and use footwear that requires a (literally) steep learning curve to operate, it’s best left on the shelf.

Next up, the pantyhose. I will liberally paraphrase John Adams describing the futility of the office of vice-president:

“Pantyhose are the most useless product that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived.”

Making the best of a rough canvas. (Dee Buchanan)

Good grief! They are fragile things and threats abound. A stray hangnail here, a sharp corner of a table there, even putting them on requires the delicacy of movement reserved for ballet dancers.

And they are damned uncomfortable.

As to the ergonomics of these insidious articles of clothing, let’s just say I understand one of the reasons women avoid beer. Once the rent is due, there is nothing easy where pantyhose are concerned.

In case you are wondering, my fellow males, control-top pantyhose might “control” a slight pooch, but they are defenseless against a well-honed male beer belly.

Dress sizes are an article of frustration among women. I have heard, for years now, that women’s clothing is designed for scrawny supermodels or 13-year-old girls — take your pick.

The ladies are correct. There is no female equivalent of “relaxed” fit pants, shirts or other clothing available to middle-aged men.

My wife chose a tube-type dress of the ruched variety for my act. I bought an extra-large from Amazon.com.

Lady Gaga had recently hinted in a media interview she might want to have a baby. In the unlikely event the paparazzi might have mistaken me for the real Gaga, the National Enquirer would be reporting she was about seven months into the process.
I am 5’7” and extra-large fit me as if I were a bloated tick and barely covered my backside.

Indeed, in the two days leading up to the event, I found myself doing some very woman-like things, especially avoiding any food or drink that might lead to bloating and further emphasize my physical imperfections.

I’ll stick to male extra-large T-shirts and relaxed-fit pants that are in no way form-fitting.

And I make a motion that Congress convene hearings immediately and grill the likes of Calvin Klein and others to have them explain why they so openly discriminate against women of a normal physique
.
Long finger nails. Men love them on women. I found I could not operate my smart phone for a day (and with a tube dress, I found I had no place to put a cell phone anyway!), lived in fear of running my hose and worse, when I scratched my upper arm I opened a wound that I thought might require stitches.

Prep time. Admittedly, the professionals at Style Divita had to start from a much cruder foundation with the nine men they volunteered to transform, but the hours it took to apply makeup, eye liner and eye lashes, blush, lipstick and wig styling was incredible.

Never, ever complain to your spouse she is taking too long to “get ready.” Trust me men, it would take you twice as long.

And, as we stood in the March wind waiting to be escorted into the event tent we discovered three minutes of wind and rain can render an hour’s worth of hair styling and blow drying into a bird nest of tangles.

Until the Style Davita crisis intervention team sprang into action, I was transformed from Gaga to Phyllis Diller in a matter of minutes. Hair a mess, lipstick gone, and makeup running from the very light drizzle — something no man ever worries about.
And there were some other issues.

Shaving is a complete waste of time. My legs and arms had never been shaved, and I didn’t quite know how to approach the task. I tried a regular razor, but the hairs were far too long. So I used the Tim “Tool Time” Taylor method of “more power” and found my beard trimmer. I took off the razor guard and went for broke.

The hair came off quite easily, as well as most of the outer epidermis of my legs. There were white scratch marks everywhere.

When my wife got home, and after she finished laughing at the loss of skin, she told me it still “wasn’t good enough” and I had to get into the shower and shave them the real way.

Twice.

Since my dress was strapless, off came the hair under the arms, one-half of my chest hair, the nape of my neck and other places that had never felt the sting of a razor.

With a beard, it usually takes me less than a minute to shave. With short hair, I expend absolutely no time in that department each morning.

Making up my face involves slapping some cologne on it.

Getting dressed requires two socks, boxer shorts, a pullover shirt, pants and two laced shoes that are level with the floor.

Even with a shower, I can be ready to hit the door in less than 20 minutes.

By my calculations, if each cigarette takes seven minutes off of one’s life, each time a woman gets ready for work it uses up 45 minutes to an hour of her life, and if she is getting ready for a party, perhaps an entire NFL football game, including commercial breaks.

One final danger presented itself that fateful night.

At the end of the night, the false eyelash on my right eye came off easily.
The one on the left was tougher, so I called my wife in for help. She tugged on it three or four times and each attempt made the pain worse.

We finally determined that eyelash had fallen off sometime during the event and what she was pulling were my real eyelashes.

Or maybe she knew that and was serving up one more object lesson in “beauty.” At least my eyelid has now healed.

If I were a woman, I might have some suggestions on what to tell your man the next time he wants you to emulate Angelina Jolie.

It involves suggesting he visit a warm place, but one that lacks a nice beach.

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