Ali, my gardener, is a Syrian refugee. He arrived in Canada a few years ago after fleeing Syria with his wife and two little girls.
After being in the country a week, he found himself on a bus travelling to northern Alberta, with over a hundred other Syrians who went up to Fort McMurray to help fight the forest fires that had encroach on the town and were burning it to the ground. A group of Syrian refugees had seen that the forest fires were devasting the area and volunteered to go and help the country that had offered them a home.
Like all refugees he had a story. In his case he was a professor at Damascus University and taught Botany. It would be hard to find a more educated gardener. He also speaks excellent English when he chooses to, but doesn’t allow this to stand in the way of his random comments about my neighbours garden.
“Marjory’s chlamydia is out early this year,” he might quip. “The vulvodynia is coming along nicely!”
Currently he is on his hands and knees head to the flower bed pointing east. He’s either praying or carrying out the jihad he’s declared on the weeds in the garden.
I like Ali very much. He is wise beyond his years, and I often listen to his advice. He is something of a fundamentalist, in a botanical sense rather than an Islamic one.
“Ali,” I said when he’d finished what he was doing, “how would you go about telling your wife you were into crossdressing?”
He looked at me long and hard, with that hawkish look of his.
“Really?” He said. “Have you seen what I wear every day?”
I glanced at his long robe. He had a point. Ali likes to wear traditional dress, and I must say he does look rather fetching in it.
“I mean, if you were into that sort of thing,” I said.
“Very gently. My beloved spent 9 years in the military. She’s a weapons specialist.”
I felt this wasn’t going very far.
As I continued about my daily chores I thought back to how I introduced my own wife to the idea. I’d not been dressing since before we were married, but then I felt the need and I missed the gentle relaxed way I felt when dressed. My wife requires a man who is quite Alpha, and just coming out with the news that I not only wanted to wear her clothes, but in some instances I might look better than her in them seemed something best approached with caution.
I started by wearing my existing clothes, but switching to more soft colors. More feminine colors. And then gradually I introduced a few other gradual changes.
“I’m letting my hair grow,” I told her one day. “I want it longer now. It’s so 2001!”
She’d been a little surprised at the time.
“You’re not going to have a pony tail are you? I’ve never met anyone with a pony tail who isn’t a complete douche.”
“That seems a trifle judgemental,” I pointed out.
“Grow your hair as much as you like, just don’t tail it.”
“Yes, dear,” I said.
Those words are of course the most useful ones in the vocabulary of the married crossdresser. You might want to make a note of them.