Last night, after a seriously killer workout at one of the many gyms near my house that I routinely tear up like a motherfucker to the delight and amazement of pretty much everyone else at the gym, I walked past a seriously gay store in the seriously gay neighborhood I live in and spotted some awesome socks in the window (pictured above). As you can see, they feature a legstrap with a knife on them, which is pretty great. Since they were sitting in the window of a seriously gay store though, I thought maybe there was some gay code about having a knife on your leg that these socks were referring to. I'm not really hip to the gay code though (aside from that snapping thing, which pretty much everyone- gay or totally not gay- understands at this point), so I had no idea what that code might be. Still, these socks were so awesome I didn't care- I just wanted them on my feet immediately, regardless of their sexual orientation.
At the risk of making everyone who might have seen me enter the seriously gay store assume that I prefer the company of men (not true- I have made out with, like, five or six girls who really seemed to enjoy it as best I can tell), I barged right into the seriously gay store and said "Listen up- I don't care if everyone thinks I'm gay for coming in here- even thought I'm not- I just want to own those socks with the knife on the sides. And I don't care if that knife thing is some crazy gay code for some homosexual practice that I may have never even heard of- I want those socks on my feet right now because I love them and want to spend the rest of my life with them!" Actually, I only really thought all that stuff, but still all the totally gay guys in the store knew what was on my mind and said "Can I help you with anything?" in unison, just like you might expect.
"Hey, gay guy- I want those socks with the knife on the sides please!," I politely said to one of the gay guys who was working there.
"Sure thing," the gay guy said. Then I paid for the socks and the gay guy put them in a gay bag that I thought about telling him I didn't need because it's just a pair of socks and I could just put them in my pocket. But then I was afraid he would think that maybe I didn't want to carry the bag because I was afraid that everyone would think I was gay (even though I am so totally not gay it's actually kind of ridiculous). Since I was in the seriously gay store buying some seriously gay socks already though, I am hoping the gay guy knew that I was a completely open-minded and totally straight guy who just likes awesome socks whether they or gay or not. I am not a man who judges a sock for what it does on its own time and I am fairly certain the gay guy at the store appreciated that. Even so, I took the gay bag anyway so as not to hurt his gay feelings. And and if anyone looked at me while I was carrying the gay bag down the street I yelled "I'm here! I'm a straight guy carrying a gay bag down the street! Get used to it!" And they did.
Once I got the socks back home, I kept my eye on them for a while to see if they did anything particularly queer or not. Similarly, I kept tabs on myself for any signs of gayness that might have occurred as a result of walking into a totally gay store and buying a totally gay pair of socks (as many Americans will tell you- sometimes this is all it takes for full-on gayness to set in). So far no gayness of any sort has taken place though (unless you count the fact that when it was time for the male strippers to dance on the Robin Byrd Show I didn't always change the channel. But that's mostly because I am lazy and know that there will be another naked chick on the screen soon enough if I just be patient. I used the male stripper time to check my e-mail like a totally not gay person who wants to make the best use of his time when gayness is afoot). And hey, if the socks decided to do anything really gay in my place, I would be perfectly fine with it. All things being kind of equal, however, I looked at the website listed on the tag for the socks and it seemed to just be a regular sock website and not a gay sock website (though, for the record, as websites go, ones devoted to just socks are pretty gay to begin with). Admittedly, it was my insecurity that led me to check on the socks sexual orientation. But even if the website confirmed that my socks were totally gay, I would have loved them just the same. They would be slipped on my feet and worn for several days until the stench became unbearable, just like all my other socks, even if they had never known the love of a good woman.
I guess if there is anything to learn from all of this it's that- hey- we're not so different after all. One man can grow up wherever he grew up, turn totally gay, move to New York City and be totally into really gay stuff all the time (like other gay dudes, for example), and then decide to walk into pretty much the gayest store ever and buy some sexually ambiguous socks with a knife on them. Then another guy (me), can grow up a major poonhound in Cleveland, move to New York City, where he is so into chicks it's not even fucking funny, and walk into the same seriously gay store and buy the same pair of sexually ambiguous socks. Somehow the world keeps turning. And you know what? I love my gay socks, I really do. Even if they are a couple of major homos.
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