I gradually moved from a very masculine and Alpha style of clothes, to really looking at the feminine clothing I enjoyed and looking for first ways to move more toward the centre of the gender spectrum, and then becoming more overt about the clothes I was choosing.
It started with the colors. Then the cut. A more fitted pair of jeans. A slightly more tailored cut to my shirts, and then the complete exclusion of shirts. I would choose soft lambswool sweaters that could easily be mistaken for women’s clothing. Gradually some of my sweaters were being bought from women’s clothes stores and became more overtly feminine.
Up until this time I’d not mentioned the shifts to my wife. There was simply no need.
Then one day we had a conversation that moved into how we felt about something or other.
“I don’t really feel very strongly about it, darling,” I said. “I don’t know, I feel a little more sensitive these days. I feel more inclined to accept a softer approach. What do you think?”
At first she looked at me a little strangely. After all, I was usually the forthright one of us.
“Well, I think you’re probably right.”
In that moment I was aware she’d seen a shift, not in my clothes but in my nature. And there had indeed been one. I was accepting so many things ina less aggressive and Alpha manner. I was allowing the softer sides of myself to emerge. It seems a small thing, but really it’s not.
Gradually I started allowing myself to think differently and be more gentle in my approach to life. It so happened that I replaced my vehicle around this time. Instead of looking for the fast muscle car that perhaps was more expected from a middle aged advertising executive, I opted for a powerful – but understated vehicle. That raised more eyebrows than my gradual shift to less gender binary clothing.
One day my wife said to me, “I like that you’re being more thoughtful these days. It’s like you’re maturing.”
I smiled and let it go. It was lovely comment.
Then one day I suggested, “Hey, when was the last time you had a pedicure?”
“I don’t know. Months I guess.”
“Well, why don’t you have one this week. I’d like to go with you.”
“Sure,” I said. “There’s a couple of guys in my office do, and I wondered what it might be like. Besides, we have a new client who want’s us to start promoting their chain of nail salons. I might as well know what I’m talking about.”
“Well, I guess,” she said.
Of course, I paid. And made a follow up appointment. And got spectacular nails as well.
Over the coming months we went several times and before long my wife was booking appoints for us both, aware I enjoyed it. If she didn’t travel so much I’ve no doubt we’d go even more often.