Double Standard Anyone?

This weekend my reality was challenged.  It was very hard to let go and NOT have a double standard… In fact, these are the words that came out of my mouth “Well, if you were gay, I’d let you do it – so I don’t really have a reason why you can’t do it since you are straight.”

I didn’t have a valid argument.  This was a situation that in my mind shouldn’t happen because “you are a guy”.

And, it’s true, but not valid!

Here’s a hint:

hot pink pedicure

Now, let’s back up and get the rest of the story!

Kate and Mr T

First, we’ll start with a gratuitous shot of me and Mr. T – He’s in his Easter outfit thanks to Grammy and Papa – and just looking so handsome!

Really, there was no point to the inclusion of that picture!

Now onto the story, a few days ago My Amy texted me and the conversation went something like this:

Winter sucks

Yes, it does!

Haven’t seen you in forever!

I know, but I think the sun is coming out, so I’ll probably be leaving the house soon!

We should get together… want to do something this weekend?

Sounds great!

Want to go across the border?

Cha-ching!  Of course I do… because just across the border is where you’ll find the casino! She had to work that morning, and I was volunteering at the food co-op mid-morning, so we met at my place at noon, went and picked up another friend and took off!

Winstar or bust!


It was so much fun! We walked the length of the casino and then back again, trying different machines along the way and just catching up with each other!

Casino bird kept taking my money!

I would like to say I was strategic and parlayed my small pocket change into a large fund; however, I wasn’t strategic! And, no, the casino didn’t end up giving me a big check; however, I won enough to make me a very happy camper!

I told Mr. T that I’d be paying off our weekend fun, but that we should do something special together with the leftovers!

He picked pedicures.

Mother and son pedicures

It was a good idea, there is something about being in those chairs that invites conversation, and really, who doesn’t love a good foot massage! As we were sitting there, he looks at me and goes “Can I get a color?”

No, of course you can’t get a color.  You. Are. A. Boy.

That’s what I said in my head.  Actually, I may have screamed it in my head!

What came out was “If you want.”

I grew up in a culture where boys didn’t wear polish.

But, my parents grew up in a culture where boys didn’t wear earrings and that never phased me. Mr. T got his ears pierced at a young age.  He doesn’t wear them often now; however, that never bothered me.

So, maybe I’m old fashioned.  Maybe I need to be the one to loosen up and let it go.

And, I’m not kidding, I told Mr. T that if he was gay, I’d totally understand him wanting polish – so I didn’t have a reason for saying no just because he was straight.

Then Mr. T goes “Can I get hot pink?”

Go big or go home, I guess.

hot pink pedicure

And that’s how I ended up with a son with hot pink toes sitting next to me at the nail salon.

And that’s how I ended up struggling with the double standard.

It was hard letting him walk out the door this morning.  But really, is there a valid argument?

Because it isn’t societal norm. Because I’m not comfortable with it.  Because it isn’t done.

None of that is valid.

None of those statements represent the person I want to be.

On one hand, it’s outside my comfort zone.  On the other hand, I’m so proud of that kid for being who he wants and not being bound by societal norm.

Yes, it’s a double standard, and yes, sometimes I still struggle with it.

But this morning, I was the person I wanted to be and I watched my son walk out the door with hot pink toe nails being the person he wants to be.

And I smiled, ’cause yeah, that just happened.

65 thoughts on “Double Standard Anyone?

  1. Woah, that’s a tough one. I get that, I totally do. I would have struggled with it too but you did the right thing. The polish will wear off but the way you handled that will always stay in his mind about how to treat others. Good for you 🙂

    • It didn’t bother them at all – everyone just took it in stride! I will admit that the high school he attends is amazing, the teachers and administrators all comment about how accepting the students are of each other, and how groups that would never mingle at other schools will frequently mingle at this one – so I think that helps him be who he wants to be!
      Or, I could totally be reading more into it than is there! But, his friends were just like “cool”. 🙂

  2. Saving My Belly Button Ring says:

    Dude, that is too cool!! I really like that Mr. T is true to himself and when he wants to try something just to try it, he does. And good for you for supporting him even when it nudges you out of your comfort zone. Awesome, awesome, AWESOME! And hot pink – hahahahaha!!!

    • Awesome, yeah, sure, that’s Exactly the word I used…. NOT! LOL!! But yes, after the fact, once my brain stopped spinning, I realized that there was probably a big lesson in there that I had to go through and learn, it just came in the form of Hot Pink… 🙂

  3. That is SOOOO awesome! Yes, it is hard to NOT have a double standard, even with (especially with) our own children. I have been in very similar situations with my daughters. I think YOU are awesome and your son is WAY ahead of his time!

    • Thanks so very much Ortsofsorts! I’m a big believer in following your bliss… unless apparently it involves hot pink toe nails! LOL. It’s still odd for me to think about – but he was happy – and it makes me happy to hear that you’ve been in very similar situations! Every generation changes, but it’s nice to know others in my village of today have made it through!!

      • As an addition, Daughter Number 3 is home for spring break and was reading over my shoulder. She said, “Ah – I want to go get manis and pedis”. I had her read your post, and she said “dangit, his feet look better than mine; smaller, too”. Alas, both true!

      • hahahahahaha! Okay, a few years ago (or many, many years ago), I don’t think that would have been the reaction out of most people! But this time, either everyone is actually growing as humans and societal expectations are shifting – or I’ve done a superb job of surrounding myself with AMAZING people! 🙂
        I know it’s a lot of the latter and a bit of the former 🙂

  4. I just love this! Love you and your honesty Kate! I would have felt the same thing! (Screaming the same thing in my head!) I’m also a bit of old fashioned and would’ve said something in the lines of “nail polish will ruin your nails”. Hah!

    • Well, I will admit that I’ve told him no for years! This isn’t the first time he’s asked… LOL! But, it was the first time I realized that the world probably wasn’t going to tilt off it’s axis if I said yes… probably… 🙂 Thanks Jhanis!!

  5. I love this story, and more to the point I love that you went and did that together. What an amazing bond and friendship you too have. 🙂 My boy is going to be different. I don’t know exactly how yet, he’s just so quiet and I worry that he is bottling things up. But he talks to me, not his dad. Anyway, whatever he wants and needs I’ll be right beside him. Even pink toenails. 🙂 xo

    • As long as your son is talking to one of you – I see that as a good sign! The worst trial I went through with Mr. T as a teenager was when he wasn’t speaking to me! That was a rough period to survive! But, I love that you already know that whatever he needs, you’ll be there for him! 🙂

  6. He is a real character. I don’t know that I would be comfortable with it. I commend you.
    Bummer you didn’t win at the casino cause I know you’d remember me! Ha ha.
    Still no luck getting the blog delivered?

      • I hated to see him go – to the Eagles – but no, I don’t think he is worth the money they spent on him. Well, obviously they think he is worth the money, but I’m glad we didn’t attempt to match it, there is no way his numbers would have justified that high of a salary. He’s a great guy and a great player, and he’ll do y’all well, but he’s not worth the money that is being spent. I guess I’m glad it’s the Eagles spending it and not us!
        Of course, now we’ve lost key defensive players and still have massive pass rush needs… but we’re working on it!

  7. Oh I’ve so been there. Remember Saxon and the pink daycare backpack? In the end I did the right thing too but I felt ashamed of my struggle to get there. Well done mama. You nailed it. Rock on!

  8. Bonjour Brittany says:

    I admire Mr. T so much. I hope to raise my son in a way that he will be comfortable enough to be unapologetically himself.

  9. I do admire T for being comfortable enough in his own skin to even consider having pink nail polish on. My T would be very impressed. I’m curious though to know, what does his girlfriend think?

    • His girlfriend just sighs and rolls her eyes! LOL. She’s great about accepting him for him – even when he is outlandish! In fact, I’m pretty sure if he didn’t do something like this every once in a while, then she’d be shocked! 🙂

  10. Very well written, I really enjoyed this and it did make me think a lot. You are a brave mom 🙂 I hope I can hold myself to the same standard as my son ages 🙂

    • Thank you Kaily! And I’m glad it looks brave, cause on the inside I was a scared little girl! I hated the struggle I had to go through internally, but recognize that I probably HAD to go through that struggle as part of my own life path! LOL.

  11. Good for you, Kate. Let him make his own choices since he is the one who must live with the consequences.

    If he gets teased, it will give him the chance to celebrate his uniqueness:

    Don’t worry about what the world wants from you. Focus on what makes you feel more fully alive. What the world really needs are people who are fully alive. ~ Joseph Campbell

    People are unhappy because they aren’t being truthful with themselves. Being truthful with yourself plugs you into your inner power. ~ Suze Orman

    Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

  12. I must admit that this would concern me too. My son is very anti-pink because it’s a “girl color” he says. But as much as it would bother me, I’d have to ask myself whether it was really wrong or not. Everything in me says yes, but who am I to dictate what’s right for someone else to do? After all, we’re all individuals and have the right to be who we are.

    • That’s just it! Everything inside me said it was wrong – but who am I to impose what is comfortable to ME on to my son, or anyone else! It was a struggle, I can’t even pretend it wasn’t!! LOL, but there was also that little voice reminding me that in the grand scheme of things, it could be worse! 🙂 Thank you Mewhoami!

      • You are right about that. It could be a lot worse! If the only concerning thing he’s doing is painting his toenails, then you’ve got a lot to be grateful for.

  13. Do you think deep down your actual worry was just that he might get teased, and so your concern was really just a protective concern rather than anything else? Because I think that would be my worry if it was my son wanting to do that. But hey I think the younger generation are more embracing of individuality than we give them credit for!

    • The younger generation really is embracing individuality!! And oh yes, I was scared to death of what others would say to him, and if they would tease him… and it just so far outside my comfort zone that I swear I felt my brain spinning in my head as a thousand thoughts rushed around! In fact, the first several hours today, I’ve kinda been on edge, every time my phone went off I expected it to be him asking me to release him from school so he could come take off the polish.
      But, he and I have texted a couple of times and the polish hasn’t even come up once! So, yes, I was worried about the other kids reactions, and I’m proud of my son for showing me that I was worried for naught!! 🙂

  14. Well I think the whole adventure was fabulous and props to both you and Mr. T.
    Which reminds me that this past Friday I went to get a mani and this older gentleman came into get a pedicure. His toenails were rank…just thinking about it makes me throw up a little in my mouth. And the poor woman who did his feet had to wear a face mask. There was no really no point to that story. I just felt the need to share. Enjoy your digits!

  15. Interesting situation. I remember the first time my son REALLY wanted a pink shirt, then a pink cast and recently pink golfballs. Kids are just weird today and goofy and things don’t hold the same meaning they do for us. Good for you being supportive. I probably would’ve made Chase wear socks hehe.

    • hahahaha, I did say something along the lines of “don’t you have cheer practice, you need to wear shoes” – but that attempt was thwarted! He goes “I have my cheer shoes in the car” And then he smirked at me… he knew what I was doing!
      And you are right, it’s just a different time and I can’t force my comfort zone on my son… even when I really, really want too! LOL.

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