Sunday, June 1, 2008
My husband wears a kilt. Almost every day. It started when Joe-Henry was just three. Here's a picture of him in his first kilt.... Awwwwwww, doesn't he look so proud!
His ancestry is Scottish and Greek, and he'd been reading a lot about the Scots. He'd started working a full time job the year before, and had become a father two years before that, so I think he was carving out some creative space for himself in the world. I won't lie and say it didn't take some getting used to on my part. As you know, I'm a wallflower, so I don't like to call attention to myself (she said with a straight face), and hanging out with a handsome fella in a kilt is going to turn some heads. But I've more than gotten used to it, it kind of freaks me out now when he wears pants. He just looks like he was made to wear them - he has great gams and it can be a real conversation starter. He set the Paris fashion world on fire when we went back in 2005 - those normally subtle Parisiennes would give themselves whiplash watching him pass.
It's been interesting living here in a small-ish town in the Northwest, too. I think our neighbors might have been a little, um, nervous? when they first saw us, but they got over it. And it always cracks me up when he gets stares from twenty-somethings with their piercings and tattoos and blue hair. Where's that rebel solidarity, kids? But mostly, the reaction is great. Today, we were at a huge carnival in Portland, and Joe-Henry was bonking his dad on the head with a balloon hammer, when a man said "be careful! we need all the geniuses we can get!" We exchanged pleasantries, and after he walked away, Charley said "he'd never have remembered me if it weren't for the kilt." There is a lot of curiosity - from both men and women. At my nieces' wedding, a family friend, with enough alcohol in her to ask the question came over to me on the dance floor and asked "So...does he wear that thing like he should?" To which I replied "there's nothing under there but the cool breeze and my good graces!" The men who are bold enough to ask (when I'm around) are usually wanting to know if it feels as good as it should, and I think I can say honestly if it didn't feel amazing, he wouldn't wear one every day. He's a guy who likes comfort, and I don't think that there is anything more comfortable for men, with all their equipment. Honestly, the person who came up with the idea of pants for men is probably the same sadist who came up with high heels and thongs for women.
The reason I started this post though, is because last week he got a huge package in the mail. It was from Utilikilts. Utilikilts is an American kilt company that makes these amazing utilitarian kilts. He has kilts from other companies, and even a dress kilt in the family tartan.
But Utilikilts are the best. They're sturdy, and they have great pockets, they wear forever, and look very manly. I mean, look at that freedom of movement!
And they're great for dad's, too - with all those pockets to carry the flashlight and first aid kit and money and it's easy to smuggle a little Halloween candy in there for yourself, too!
When we were in Paris, I took this shot of him beneath the Eiffel Tower in his kilt and he submitted it for their monthly contest and won.
They have a very loyal following, and a trip to their website will give you a wide sample of the kind of men who wear kilts. Of course there are those you'd expect, but there are also a lot of regular Joe's, or regular Joe's with the confidence to wear a kilt. A while back he entered a contest to make a mockumercial for them, and all the contestants got these crazy-ass kilts and sweatshirts. Seriously, this kilt was the ugliest thing I'd ever seen. It had " 2008 Mockumercial Winner" screen printed on the front panel in black and white. So somehow, he managed to scrape that off, and he's been doing this Jackson Pollack thing to it with fabric paint. Whether he'll ever wear it, I don't know. If not we can frame it and hang it in his office. But the best part, was that when he took the tag off, the tag that is attached to every utilikilt sold, there was this picture of him, walking with Joe-Henry and his mom.
It's one of my favorite pictures. So if you ever make it into the Utilikilts Flagship store in Seattle, one of their many authorized retailers or happen to see them at your local Highland Games/Gay Pride/Comic Con, check out the tag on one of those kilts. That's my guy! He wears a kilt!