Wednesday, May 17

The Yellow Razor

When my wife first came out to me (literally the next day) I decided to show her that I supported her and her transition by getting her a ‘starter pack’ of girl stuff. 
I got her women’s socks, some cute panties, a hair brush, some women’s deodorant, and a new razor. 
It was the same brand and model as the one I had been happily using for the prior year, only in a feminine pink instead of the metallic blue one I was using.

Months later, when the initial ‘jersey girl/ preteen’ phase of her transition settled into something more mature, and she realized that purple was her favorite color; 
I picked up a pretty purple razor for her. 

I chose not to buy myself the shimmery yellow one that I really liked, rationalizing that because I couldn’t use the blades that came with it (do to an allergy to the moisturizer strip) that the old one I had was still good enough 
and I didn’t actually need the new one I wanted. 

When my old one did need to be replaced, I got myself the pink one that came in the cheaper set, 
adding ‘mommy guilt’ to my earlier rationalizations.

But . . . my reaction to the feminine razor had 
nothing to do with Hunny’s transition. 
She wasn’t forcing me to keep the old one. 
She didn’t pick out the pink one for me. 
Had she been at the store with me, 
she likely would have just rolled her eyes, 
grabbed the set with the yellow one and gotten it for me. 
She would have seen that my reasons for not getting something nice for myself had to do with feeling like I don’t deserve it, not the brand of moisturizing strips or the price, 
and would have simply reminded me that 
I deserve nice things too.

There’s the desire for something nice that’s your own 
(which primary caregivers tend to sublimate into ‘mommy guilt’), that you don’t have to share, 
where you can put your own needs ahead of the children and spouses who you devote yourself to.

And then comes the guilt. That voice that is every single cruel stereotype and vicious piece of condescending ‘advice’ and shred of self-doubt you’ve ever heard or thought or felt.

How dare you not put your 
family/ children/ spouse’s needs before your own!

How dare you take food from your children’s mouths 
to get that thing you want!

You don’t really need it. 
And you’re selfish if you want it.

You’re taking advantage of your spouse by wasting money 
on (for me any purchase for myself over $30).

You don’t deserve the thing you want because 
you are selfish enough to want it.

And it’s ridiculous.

My own insecurities made me choose to treat myself as less deserving and continue to talk me out of getting myself the razor I want every time I could get it at the store.

I’m still working on my own application of self-care. 
But after I wrote this I was at Target . . . 

and I got myself the yellow razor.