One Salesman. One comment. All Kinds of Mental Anguish.

So on the way home from work the other day, I looked down at my shoes and decided that they are starting to look a little worn out. There’s nothing worse than wearing a suit with a pair of shoes that are hobo-esque. It makes it look like you forgot that you had to wear shoes with your suit and can make a man look like he should be back in high school.

Anyway, like usual, when I go out looking for something in particular, I typically end up
completely forgetting what I was looking for and come home with something else…only to go out the next day and say, “Damn, I need new shoes.” So I ended up in this clothing store, looking at jeans (which is a habit). It was a pretty good sale, so since my jeans tend to all tear in the crotch for some reason (enter joke here) and I have a bunch of them like that right now, I figured I would get a few pairs.

I change it up. Straight cut, boot cut, relaxed, whatever. It all depends on what I am doing or where I am going. So I picked up a few pairs and headed to the fitting room. The guy who was “helping” me (and I use that term as loosely as I possibly can) hung the jeans up in the fitting room and disappeared. It was certainly a bit of magic, because he was gone. When I tried on the first pair, I liked them, so I went on to the next ones. No question on the first pair. The second pair were cool too, but a little slimmer than I thought they were going to be. I liked them, but I wasn’t sure how good they looked, so I stepped out of the fitting room and took a look in the 3-way mirror.

Out of nowhere (what is it with the ninja salesmen at this place?) this very flamboyant salesman said, “Wow, those look great. They really fit in well in the back.” Whazza? I said thanks (mum and dad always stressed manners) and headed back into the fitting room. Did that guy just offer a compliment just for the sole reason of selling some jeans or was that a come on? Even more important, did my butt really look good in these jeans? Question: who knows better how a man’s ass should look in a pair of jeans? A woman or a gay man? Discuss.

As I walked out of the store, I started to wonder about my behind. Back in Montreal last year, I was at Simons (love that place) and when I was trying on a suit, this salesman said with a certain amount of tact that I was rather “full in the seat.” I asked him outright if he just said that I had a big ass. He hesitated and when I started to laugh, I said that I was just joking and that he should relax. Personally, I don’t think I have a big ass, but it was nothing I ever really thought about. I’ve been told good things about it by different women over the years and I was in a good place. But now two different salesmen have made comments about it and they’re getting in my mind.

I started to wonder…am I giving off the wrong vibe? Why are other dudes talking about my behind? What was I doing to make them start talking about it? I mean, okay, so I was listening to Diana Ross on my iPod and it just happened to be on “I’m Coming Out” (absolutely true) and before I had that album on, I was listening to Rufus Wainwright (I don’t care…he’s amazingly talented and now that he’s sober, you can actually tolerate him in concert), but it’s not like I walked in singing dressed as Diana Ross and I certainly didn’t walk in with Rufus (although I would love to hang out with that guy for a bit…if you have ever seen him interviewed, he always has interesting stuff to say). Then I had a flashback to one year in university (trust me, this isn’t going THERE) when I was heading back for the Fall semester and my mum said, “Jay, when you get back to school, please try to buy some clothes that make you look more…well, less gay.” A stranger departing sentence has never been spoken and if there was ever an awkward silence, that was it.

So just to bolster my confidence, I went into another store and bought a pair of jeans there too, from a super hot salesgirl (who didn’t call me “sir”…I mean what’s up with that? I don’t look that old!). She said, “that style tends to look good on tall people.” Nice! Tall people! I mean, she could have said, “attractive people” or “strong people” or “fit people” or “people I would love to fantasize about,” but I was okay with “tall people.” I mean, I am one of the “tall people.” In the caveman days, we used to beat the short people for not being able to grow more. Tall People. People of the Tall Tribe. I felt good. I wanted to go out and kill a buffalo with my bare hands or start a bar brawl. I was back.

When I got home, I tried the jeans on in front of the wife and she likes all 3. Her comments? “Wow…you know why I like those ones, right?” But I was facing her. Uh-oh…

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