Monday, October 31, 2011

A Year In A Kilt. What Can Possibly Go Wrong?

"Every man dies. Not every man really lives." Mel Gibson as William Wallace in "Braveheart"

When one is about to turn 50, one starts thinking about topics like living and dying. Truth be told, one probably starts leaning a little heavier toward the "dying" thoughts but I suppose that's natural. As for me, well, I hope I have a lot more living to do and what better way to celebrate the remainder of my living than by doing something I've never done before?

 I admit I've never been much of a daredevil kind of guy. Skydiving and bungee jumping don't appeal to me. I don't have the finances to run out and buy a Lamborghini and I don't have the energy to get tanked and marry a 22 year old reality TV star in Vegas (hey, don't think they aren't lining up for the chance...). I prefer to celebrate in a more laid-back fashion. Still incorporate the danger of skydiving, the style of the Lamborghini and the romance and sexuality of the Vegas marriage. What else could capture all of these things better than wearing a kilt for an entire year? You knew I was going to say that, right? Well it's the title of the blog for haggis' sake!

Oh. One other confession. I've never owned or worn a kilt before. For many years I've wanted to own one but they always seemed so expensive and I never go to enough Celtic festivals or Renaissance Faires to make it worth it. The majority of my heritage is Scotch/Irish so I've always had the kilt on my list of things to purchase one day but always put it off. Recently I was making a mental list of things I would like to do after I turn 50 and I thought about wanting to buy a kilt. One thing led to another and I suddenly thought, "What if I commit to wearing a kilt every day of my 50th year?" Next thing I know, I did just that. I committed. In front of someone else even. I guess that means I gotta do it. Yeah.

After a little research I discovered there are some companies that make very affordable kilts. They may not be the traditional 8 yard wool kilts that some Scots believe you have to own to be in their snobby little "kilt club" but they're good enough to allow you to pull up the pleats in the back and tell those guys to kiss your pasty-white arse! That's good enough for me. Suddenly I find myself with seven kilts hanging in my closet. I'm all stocked-up now for my adventure! This is gonna be fun! Or really, really sad.

Oh, yeah. The adventure. Let's discuss that briefly.

My plan is to wear a kilt every day of my 50th year. I turn 50 on April 27, 2012. That will make the adventure expire on April 27, 2013. I don't want to discover things during the actual year of my adventure that may shut down the process so I plan on making several "trial runs" beginning January 1, 2012. There is no sense in being completely overwhelmed during the year. I feel I could use a few "warm up passes," so to speak. I will make occasional kilt-wearing excursions beginning with the first of the year which I hope will give me the required experience and testicular fortitude necessary to be a dude wearing a skirt every day for a year. Yes, I'm  nervous about it. This blog will document my feelings, my encounters, my adventures, my failures and my successes. I encourage you to come back and read the blog on a regular basis and give me encouragement and support. God knows I can use the support. If... you know what I mean...

10 comments:

  1. I am glad to see another joining the ranks of wearing kilts as normal attire. I wear a kilt about 50% of the time. The 50% in pants is mostly because of work. I work in an office environment so the type of work is not the problem. Company dress code just assumes that all guys wear trousers. If I wore a kilt to work I don't think anyone would make a fuss about it to the point where HR would tell me to go home and change. It is just that I have worked there 20 years and to all of a sudden come in wearing kilts every day would appear strange to many. As an experiment I did wear a kilt one day for a special company event. News traveled fast around the place but everyone just attached the kilt to the company event as if it was a costume for the day. Only one person made comments that indicated he thought it was inappropriate. Actually, not inappropriate, but I think it threatened his weak male ego and made him nervous.

    Outside of work I wear a kilt. Mostly tartan kilts but I toss in a contemporary one from time-to-time. I am now well known at restaurants frequent on a regular basis. Some female servers have requested I ask for them when I come in. Not bad for a 50 (plus a couple) year old guy having a 20 something young gal make this request. One is now on my Facebook friend list. I have also talked to many people where that conversation would have never taken place if I was dressed like every other man in boring pants. Made many new friends over the past four years in a kilt. It has been a great ride.

    Some are concerned about wearing a kilt and having to prove some Scottish or Celtic background. Don't worry about it. As for tartans there are plenty of non-clan ones to choose from. Then you also have the non-tartan contemporary kilts. My ancestry is eastern Europe and English. On mom's side of the family is a name that is normally considered Scottish by the spelling but ancestry appears to point back to England not Scotland.

    I do recommend that you learn the history of the kilt, tartans, and clans. Check out the reference material on the Scottish Tartan Museum web site. You will find your adopted Celtic culture interesting.

    I also recommend joining kilt discussion web forums such as XmarksTheScot.com and Kiltsrock.com. Make sure you read the forums regulations on what is allowed and what is not when posting. These forums are great for learning about the kilt, vendors, etc. You will also find those in the same geographical area sponsor "kilt nights". These are social events where members get together for dinner and drinks.

    As for negative comments most people will not say something to your face but between themselves as you go out of hearing range. You may get a few giggles and "nice skirt" comments. More so when wearing contemporary kilts vs. the traditional I have found. The positive comments have out numbered the negative ones by a large margin.

    Good luck in the coming year.

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  2. Thanks Mike. For the support and the information. I know a lot of guys have been doing this a lot longer than I have and in just the short amount of time I've been experimenting with kilt-wearing I've realized that it takes a brave man to do it but also that it does seem to be something women especially enjoy. I'll be reporting back on those experiences in the coming months. In the meantime I will certainly check out your suggested websites. Thanks again!

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  3. Great idea! I may not wear a kilt, but the second half of my life will be enjoyable!

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  4. Well, I'm not 22 years old but I did propose marriage (with-in seconds after you showed me your kilty blog)..and it was full of excitement! lol

    You are just so funny, I cannot say it enough xx

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  5. Marriage?? Er... can I just have another kilt?? :P

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  6. You look great in a kilt....nice legs

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  7. Just came across your blog. Fantastic idea, I say. Based on the pics I have seen, you rock the kilt quite well. But don't stop after a year.

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  8. Nearly at the end of your journey.You are doing a great job. I live in Australia and of Scottish descent. Never been there but hope to one day.
    Leaty

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