My Secret Envy

Envy is never a good emotion. It’s one of the seven deadly sins, after all.

Still, I gotta admit to it, especially when it comes to my male co-workers. Here are six things I really envy.


1. Shoes

I cannot tell you how envious I am of my male co-workers’ shoes. They are not expected to sport heels of any sort. Their shoes are designed for comfort, and it’s easy for them to get shoes with non-slip soles for our floors. We’re a heavy manufacturer, so we don’t have carpet anywhere except the CEO and President’s office. That’s it. So, those leather or synthetic soles on the bottoms of most women’s shoes turns the floors into an ice skating rink. We’ve actually had several women slip and fall on the floors.


Seriously, which looks more practical to you? Which do you want to walk the shop floor in? Or even walk to the bathroom wearing?

So yes, I buck this trend, and I accept the “hit” to my professional appearance accordingly.


2. Hair

Men can “do” their hair in about 2.3 minutes. The concept of a bad hair day is about as alien to them as putting their feet in shoes designed for Barbie rather than the anatomical realities of a human foot.

Men don’t have to blow dry, straighten, curl, or figure out which products do what. Best of all, most of the men I know get their hair cut for under $25 including tip. Yeah, that’s less than half the going rate in my area for a woman’s haircut.

If you talk to most guys about coloring their hair, they’ll look at you like you’re speaking Swahili. Yet, women over a certain age are expected to color their hair. Heck, it doesn’t even matter if you’re of a certain age. The moment that grey starts to peak through, you’re expected to take care of it.

I hate going to the salon. Not only is it expensive, but I have to sit there while people I don’t know touch me and try to make conversation. Is there any more of a nightmare for an introvert?


I am fortunate that I don’t yet have any grey hair. Yeah, I know, odd, but true. When I do start to go grey, I will have to make a hard decision on whether or not I buck the trend. Given my allergies, I am not sure I could even tolerate the chemicals.

Still, I’m jealous of my male counterparts that are considered distinguished with grey hair rather than just “old”.



3. Make Up

As I confessed in this post, I already don’t wear it. I can’t.

As a professional woman, there’s a price to pay for this. My male counterparts are expected NOT to wear makeup. A few lines or wrinkles adds distinction.

If only…



4. Pants

I work in heavy manufacturing. Wearing skirts or dresses, while possible, is pretty impractical. Even if I didn’t work in manufacturing, dresses are really impractical. I want to see a man put on pantyhose just once. Or having to sit with their legs just so. Or worrying about skirt length as they’re walking up or down stairs.

However, buying pants as a woman is a nightmare.

I can buy my husband’s khakis in about 3 clicks. Wrinkle resistant? Yep. Waist size? Yep. Inseam? Yep. Click buy and 95% of the time they fit perfectly.

Women’s pants don’t come in inseams. Or waist sizes. I think this is a ploy to keep tailors in business. See, I have to scour the internet to find a pair of weirdly sized pants (what exactly does 8, 10 and 12 relate to?!?), and once I find a pair that fits  (the size of which will vary by brand, by cut, and by phase of the moon), I then get to take them to the tailor and have them hemmed to fit me and the waist taken in.

I once asked a sales clerk why the pants were so darn long as I walked on the hems while trying them on. I’m average height for an American woman, so why don’t the pants fit me? She explained that they’re designed for women to wear shoes like the ones above. Um, yeah. I’ll just keep paying the tailor.


5. Bras

My male coworkers don’t wear them.

I cannot explain the “joy” of wearing one, or how long and hard you have to look to find the right one. I once told my husband to imagine having to wear a jock strap constantly. But, having never had to wear one, I have no idea if it’s accurate. The way he squirmed when I said that made me think it’s at least part way there.


6. Underwear

Men buy them in packs of 6 for under $20.  ‘Nuf said.


How about you? Ever feel envy for something, even if it was something small? What was it and why?

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10 thoughts on “My Secret Envy

  1. I have four sisters who have all said this in so many ways. It does bring to mind the controversy of a few years ago about why dry cleaners charge more to clean and press women’s blouses (and probably other items of clothing). I don’t remember if it was because the buttons are on the opposite side as on men’s clothing or not, but it seems odd to charge more.
    When I worked at Busch Gardens in Tampa, I was furnished with work clothes. At one point, I ended up with a woman’s shirt. I had a heck of a time with the buttons on the shirt until someone told me why 🙂

    1. I’d forgotten about that! Yes, mens shirts can be dry cleaned for 99 cents. Women was 4.99. So frustrating! Didn’t matter even if the shirt was just a shell and didn’t have buttons!

    1. Yes. Your pants are “supposed” to be about a half inch above the ground. As women’s shoes have heel heights ranging from 1/2 an inch to 4 inches in a professional environment, you have to match your pants to your heel height. Otherwise, you’ll show too much shoe and look unprofessional or be walking on the hems.

      1. Well, your pants heights are more complex than that. There’s supposed to be a slight break on the front crease where the cuff rests on the shoe, and most prefer that the cuff isn’t an exactly straight line, but a slight angle, so it’s lower in the rear.

        Of course, women don’t need to suffer through socks. Men in the know can wear colorful and unusual ‘power socks’. And women rarely endure ties. What sort of knot on that.

        But I’m being facetious. Having sisters, a wife, Mom and female co-workers, I much prefer men’s fashion problems over women’s issues. I didn’t know about any of the issues involved with a properly fitting bra until my wife finally said she was going to Nordstrom for a proper fitting. Apparently, putting it on can become more challenging and interesting as women age, as well.

        I enjoyed your post. My secret envy? I wish I was taller. I lie and say I’m five eight, but I need a half inch to reach that august height.

        I also wish I could grow a better beard.


        1. Yeah, I didn’t get into the “break” on the hem. The seamstress that does my pants always deals with all of it. Worth the $20.

          As for socks, it’s too darn cold here to go without them. I found gold toe and am never going back to those nasty women’s trouser socks that are just nylons in disguise!

  2. Interesting. To be fair I never got why people say Birkenstocks are ugly, particularly compared to soccer slides. It just kind of shows how bought out fashion culture is.

    When, lets me honest, I’ve seen other women that just look better in roughed up skinny jeans and Boston clogs than some honestly unattractive dresses.

    And thats only factoring in looks. Plus you can tell some men dig tomboys too, or there wouldnt be so much … worship of Steampunk girls…

    I really wish society could move last fashion.

  3. I’ve always loved the idea of Birks, but my feet were never wide enough for them. Got to wear them for the first time when I was pregnant.

    I think a lot of fashion needs an overhaul. I’m not expert, but I’m betting a little research would show reams of discarded clothes at Goodwill and in landfills.

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