And thus I can pleasure myself again without any guilt, aside from the standard guilt society would place on me for not finding a mate. Not that doing so would be in my best interest, but as it goes. Needless to say I’ve failed the Lent, but it was to be expected. Habits die hard, though I thankfully wasn’t going out of my mind like I was last time. No messed up dreams, wonky sleep schedules, or other issues one would expect. Just fairly normal frustration one with no outlet would come to expect, otherwise business as usual. That’s an improvement I suppose, so I’ll have to see what should happen to me next time I should take this up. Hell, the fact I’m even considering this shows I’m getting better at this sort of thing. I think.
Now it’s time to get serious. The next Lent is one I’ve been thinking on for awhile now, and I’ve been thinking on it long enough that the thought of thinking on it anymore makes me sick, especially knowing I can’t do it during the Winter. Given how I now know I have a history of going through depression during Winter, I don’t want to deal with even more loathsome regret because of being too chicken shit to follow through on something I actually want to do. But this is indeed not only a big sacrifice, but one that will actually effect how I’m treated in public. I’ve been meaning to disturb the universe for awhile now, however, so the heck with it. It’s settled: I will be giving up pants for the next 40 days & nights.
Now what exactly does that mean, giving up pants? Walk around in my underwear all day? Obviously not going to be the case, because I would get arrested for indecent exposure from simply walking about as normal (despite the fact boxers are pretty much shorts and boxer briefs are just really tight shorts). No, this merely means I’m giving up the most popular leg clothing people wear, and in its place using something else entirely. Namely, skirts. That’s right, I plan to wear skirts for Lent, and it’s going to get incredibly awkward incredibly fast.
For those who haven’t been keeping tabs on my life (pretty much everyone?), I got my first dress back in 2010 for a Rocky Horror Picture Show outing in Milwaukee. It was a pink dress with a pattern and cut I adored, because it really billowed out when you spun about. Problem being, that was the look and feel of the entire dress all the way to the top, making for an incredibly ugly dress (in my eyes), but an amazing skirt. This worked out in my favor, because I was feeling exceptionally conservative and wore normal attire on my upper half, what with it being the first time I wore a dress and all. Funny I would be so unrestrained about the type of skirt I would have, yet not be comfortable with the top half, but more on that later.
Despite getting that pink dress just for the RHPS event, I kept the dress around because I kinda liked to put it on now and then. It was fun and freeing, being able to move my legs unrestrained and all, plus the colors (because I had to put on the red and white stockings as well) made me smile. Some point after this, I got fed up with just wearing just shirts for the dress, and needed something to make it a “complete” dress. I don’t know when it was exactly, but my solution was first detailed in one of my Akoha blogs: tie a red and black corset up on top. Boom. Instant and full dress look that I can be happy with.
But getting a corset took a lot longer than it really needed to. Not really sure what the reason was, because I had the money, but it was likely the fear of needing the cash in some “apocalyptic” circumstance that kept my hand tight on what little I had. Also apathy, which ever hounds me to this day. But then I got inspiration thanks to Project Famous and our fabled Kickass Awesome Fake Band Photo shoot. I don’t know what I was thinking at the time, other than I thought it might be fun to dress up like those cute visual kei men rocking out. Don’t judge, you know they look good. One of the lovely ladies who made it for the photo shoot had a corset with her, and I once again felt the joy of having my middle being constantly compressed (a feeling first felt at Anime Central 2012). After that night of scrambling to make a costume and posing (yes, it was indeed thought up on the spot), I eventually got off my ass to get myself my own corset. And thus my pink dress and red corset get-up was complete.
I’ve since wore this get-up a few times, the most public outing being ACen 2013 (I know there are pictures out there dammit), where in I apparently shocked more than a few coworkers whilst I walked and especially danced around. Strange how you can go to a convention where you can see hundreds of cosplayers, yet it’s the man in a dress that surprises you. More recently, I wore it to a birthday party of a fellow Project Famous member (by voter request, and I happened to have in my car), wherein I likely freaked out some of her coworkers at seeing a man wear not only something outrageous, but strictly for females…apparently? See, that’s the thing. They’re really just clothes to me. The issues with gender, sexual identity, etc. just feels moot, because it’s a fluid concept. Gender roles feel like an outdated idea, given who you are and what you do with your life is a lot deeper than what kind of genitals you have. Doctors would likely say otherwise, but aren’t it the same doctors who would say each patient is unique in how they could possibly be treated?
But if I had to think of clothing being a male vs. female issue, I’m of the mind women are a lot more free to wear whatever the hell they want. There used to be a time that all a woman could wear was a dress, and like hell she was ever going to wear a man’s pants. Since then, the lines have been blurred a bit (or fixed in my eyes), and now no one bats an eye if a woman wears a pair of jeans. Why? Because they are just clothes. As a society we have accepted this concept for women, but for men? Nothing has changed, which I supposed is understandable given it’s “perfectly okay” for women to be in homosexual relations, because it’s cute or trendy. But men kissing other men? Oh my god, what faggotry!
So I guess this pantless Lent I’m having is a bit of a statement as well, because I’m quite tired of the labels and hard wired beliefs we have with clothing. And I realize this is more a western world issue than of the whole world, but it’s the world I’m living in so it’s what I’m focusing on. The only thing we should be concerned about with clothing is the look we are going for with gender not being an issue, period. I kinda enjoy the dress when I happen to put it on, and I would like the freedom to find out if I could enjoy it 24/7…and thankfully, I do have that freedom, despite what other people will tell me.
As such, I bought a total of eleven skirts at a local Goodwill store, and yes, tried them on in the fitting room. I was not bothered with questions or concerns, and otherwise shopped “normally” at the store. A good start I suppose. My selection of skirts is akin to the reason why I bought the original pink dress: I liked the colors and/or cut, and while there were plenty of skirts I could have bought that would have fit better, I looked over them because they weren’t…cute enough? Strange that I would say that because I never really concerned myself with looking cute or looking as much of anything at all, but there you have it. Must be more of that programming within me: conservative enough not to wear a full dress, yet liberal enough to wear something with colorful flower patterns, because that’s what a skirt’s supposed to be? *shrug*
I know that despite my best intentions and well thought out reasons for doing this, I’m going to hit some resistance. I don’t know what form it will take, but I know there will be plenty of remarks, good and bad. Because I intend to travel using my bicycle more often for the coming weeks, I’ll need to learn how to pedal with a billowing skirt, and I’ll get the eyes and voices of all those around me. I get bothered enough by mass attention as it stands, but this is a whole other level. I may be setting myself up for disaster, because I get enough anxiety over what people think of me. Worst case scenario, my courage falters and I escape to my room to hide from the world, not willing to leave because of the rules I set for myself, prompting me to break my Lent just to go shopping for essentials.
And yet despite my conviction, I’m willing to concede this Lent on a couple points. One obviously being my work circumstances. I have enough sense to know I can’t afford to make my work life as difficult as the rest of my life (yet), especially considering the fact that I need an income ASAP. Pants and other “normal” attire shall be worn during work hours, but as soon as I get home them jeans are being dropped and replaced with some pretty skirts. My second point…I’m a little hesitant on. I shared my intentions of doing this Lent with a friend, only to be told I would be avoided if I attempted to see them during my Lent (between September 4th – October 15th). Because I wish to see them during this time frame, I said I was willing to forgo the Lent for their sake…but then a nagging feeling comes on, asking me if I can really call this person a friend if they are willing to toss me aside because I’m wearing a skirt. I’m still uncertain about this, and otherwise don’t know what I’ll do till it comes up.
And that’s the story. I’m otherwise spooked at how the world will accept me after this, because I’m always keen on being able to work with it. Yet this action has the potential to ruin some relationships…or on the flip-side rid myself of unnecessary ones. I like to think on the latter, because I would prefer change for the better, especially if it’s the right thing to do. Maybe nothing will happen? Never find out if you don’t try, so here we go…