What I Learned About Women's Challenges This International Women's Day

#IWD2017 #InternationalWomensDay
  1. Names have not been changed to preserve or protect any of the fabulous in this story.
  2. Imagine, if you would, could, should... being a "middle-class," Christian, white, average height and weight, ((BUT GAY!!)) male... the tough life, right? Not so!...
  3. Sure, it was awkward walking back into my parents home after a night at my boyfriend's downtown condo, the morning after, the walk of shame(?), blissfully smiling and saying hi to mom, the. walking into the bathroom, looking into the mirror, and seeing *GASP,* a hickey.
  4. A "love bite."
  5. Well, that won't do! You have an interview at THE STATE CAPITOL tomorrow, to be THE FIRST FACE FOR THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE.
    Hahahahaha
  6. So I went about my mostly privileged life, wearing a high collar and hoping mom wouldn't see it - or that she'd just leave it be if she ~did~ see.
  7. At work, my friend Alyssa and I caught up. Within about a minute or two from "What's new?" Alyssa had made a small muffled chortle "hmmph," indicated my neck, and sighed a smile of relief when she saw I knew of the small show of affection, and wasn't tooooooo embarrassed to admit to my little peck of shame.
  8. Alyssa commiserated and listened as I spun out the tale of first seeing the hickey and what-to-dos about my impending interview.
  9. Alyssa said "Does anyone have any makeup you could borrow?"
  10. Michael laughed "My mom...?"
  11. Alyssa smiled and moved on.
  12. Michael laughed "My sister??"
  13. Alyssa raised her brows with intrigue at the potential of this solution.
  14. "...she's 16." deflated Michael.
  15. "We will go shopping after work! I'll take you to Target and we will find you something cheap and good that should help. It's not THAT bad." Alyssa proclaimed.
  16. So we went to Target. A woman and an insecure gay boy. On International Women's Day, we walked down the makeup aisle.
  17. Alyssa began introducing me to the differences between concealer and foundation. Tones and shades. This and thats.
  18. She held up tubes of concealer to my neck to test for color.
  19. I looked around for a mirror to test, myself.
  20. "WHY ARE THERE NO MIRRORS IN THIS AISLE?!?!?" I gawked!
  21. Alyssa looked about two and a half steps away from saying "Oh, you're really gonna go there, pal?" and maybe slapping me. But it's Alyssa, she found the humor before I even did.
  22. "It's HARD being a woman, isn't it??" she empathized in her own amazingly sassy way.
  23. I smiled, catching on. "ON INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY!... I ~FINALLY~ UNDERSTAND THE CHALLENGES OF BEING A WOMAN. IN A MAKEUP AISLE IN TARGET."
  24. She laughed.
  25. We laughed.
  26. She taught me how I'd have to apply and blend the concealer with my ring finger.
  27. "Why that finger???" innocent little Michael posed.
  28. And then he learned that it applies the least amount of pressure so the concealer doesn't rub off.
  29. "Being a woman IS hard!"
  30. And then I walked up to check out and all the self check-out lanes were closed. And the cashier asked if I wanted a bag. And Alyssa saved me the (unnecessary) embarrassment of taking the concealer in hand like I'd purchased it for her. And we walked out. A woman and an insecure gay boy. Friends.
  31. All the joking aside. I was not "being" a woman. Men can wear makeup. Women don't have to wear makeup, but if they want to they can. Women face any number of small to large challenges whether created by a system, or accident, or negligence.
  32. And on this, The International Day of Women, the lack of mirrors in the makeup aisle or straining a weak ring finger to apply concealer are possibly the least important challenges for me to address. And I had makeup to practice (or not) and an interview to prepare for (or not) so I made a draft and wrote none of this story. And thought.
  33. And I came up with no conclusions.
  34. I found the coincidence and irony funny.
  35. And I wanted to say something about International Women's Day.
  36. But who made it my place to say anything?
  37. Women are important. They are kind. They are human. They are valid. They are teachers. They are helpers. They are business. They are the future. They are history. They are friends. They are successful. They are strong. And you know what? They don't need this man.
  38. But I'm here for them.
  39. Whatever that's worth.
  40. I'm just a "middle-class," Christian, white, average height and weight, ((BUT GAY!!)) male.
  41. And I wouldn't be who I am without a woman.
  42. Persist!