This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.
I got home from work a few days ago and, as per usual, my wife basically throws the baby at me as soon as I walk in the door because she’s ready to jump off a bridge after caring for him all day.
“He needs a diaper change,” she says as she wanders off to take some much-needed time for herself. So I walk into the nursery and start the process. I’m about halfway through getting peed on when I noticed something extremely unsettling.
He was wearing pink socks.
I thought maybe I was imagining it. After all, I had made myself pretty clear on this subject when Will was still in utero. No pink on my boy. Ever. Under any circumstances. So I called for my wife who dressed him earlier that day.
“What the hell is this?” I asked, more than slightly annoyed.
“Socks,” she deadpanned.
“Pink socks. You dressed my son in pink socks. Unacceptable.”
“Get over it moron.”
And with that she walked away, apparently declaring herself the winner of the argument. But I was not done. After changing his socks to a much more masculine shade of blue, I squared off with MJ for Round 2. I told her I already get upset when some schmuck looks at Will and says “Oh my goodness she’s so beautiful” because MJ insists on dressing him in “gender neutral” colors, despite my insistence that yellow is not gender neutral, it’s a girl color! So with people already thinking he’s a girl, I cannot have him confusing the matter even further by wearing pink.
Her response was “Well how do you think you’re going to feel when he’s wearing a white gown at his baptism?”
Oh hell no!
This led into full blown combat. I’m already having the baptism in a Catholic church shoved down my throat, but now she wants to stick my little boy in a dress in front of our family and friends? Uh uh. No way. Not happening.
This is my son we’re talking about. My manly, masculine, tough son. My future baseball player, cheerleader dating boy. A specimen of manliness the likes of John Wayne, Paul Bunyon and several WNBA players. My son will never wear a dress and the only time he’ll be donning anything pink is when all the MLB players use pink bats on Mother’s Day. As soon as I got the pink socks off him I immediately sat with him in front of the TV watching SportsCenter on ESPN to escape the dirty pinkish residue I could feel all over us. We both burped and farted and acted like men watching sports together. It was beautiful.
And before any of you start, save all the criticism. I’m not a homophobe and I’m not close-minded. Well OK, I may be a little close-minded but I’m not prejudiced. If my son turns out to be gay then I’ll be the proudest and most loving father a gay son ever had. But I’m not going to prod him down that path either. And yes I know that a pair of pink socks and a baptismal gown are not going to make him gay or a big wuss…well, I don’t know. Maybe they could. But the point is I can’t help having certain hopes and expectations. And that includes seeing my son get signed by a professional sporting league, eventually become president of a Fortune 500 company and get married to a woman. And of course life has its own plan for Will and things will likely not turn out as I expected, but there are two things I am sure of.
1) He will never wear anything pink
2) Will will NOT be wearing any kind of fruity gown at his baptism.
If he wants to break his father’s heart and become a crossdresser when he gets older that’s his choice, but for as long as I can help it that boy will never be put in a dress. There are very few things I’m willing to put my foot down about, but you can bet your ass this is one of them.