30 July 2015

Twilight Zone – Stockings III

o into the last ‘run’. So where to start, well let’s see...
[Ed: How about starting where you left off last time, you know just a suggestion like, nothing complicated.]
Good idea..
[Ed: Also you won’t be finished here; you have rambled on so long we will have to split again, with the rest appearing in part IV.]
Oh! Ok if you say so. Where was I, yes, last time I went back to swollen ankles after burying my first compression stockings, as they were ruined by constantly having to pull them up when they lost their grip.
[Ed: Like you]
What?
[Ed: Grip loss]
?.. No.. I buried them before I lost anything... 
.. Well about 4 months later, I was back at my phlebologist for a check-up and told my sad story of the grip-less stockings. She had sympathy with me, but no constructive advice other than a prescription for a made-to-measure stocking with build in garter belt. I must backtrack a little here to the deceased stockings. I forgot to say that they were open-toed. My phlebologist had asked me, closed or open toe, as she was rummaging around in her cupboard. I was a bit hesitant and said open. I think in my mind I reasoned that open gave more freedom for the toes and let the air circulate better - nothing more. I saw no connotations in her asking or in my choice for that matter. 
 It was only when I went on the search for pictures for this post, that I came across this picture and a light went on. I searched in the net for open-toed compression stockings and found the following text on a website and the light shone brighter. 
..Are you looking for top quality compression hosiery that is versatile enough to be worn with your favourite open-toed shoes? If you want to show off your newly pedicured toes in your favorite strappy shoes, our womens open toe compression stockings prove that you do not have to compromise comfort for style... 

I don’t suspect my phlebologist though anything about it when I picked open, and as I didn’t at the time paint my toes (yes I do now, you will have to wait for the twilight post on nails), it never occurred to me there was a reason for open-toed compression stockings other than those I thought of when choosing. 

Another thing, although I wore compression stockings on both legs only one leg was a real problem, but as I had the feeling the other was going on the blink and as there was two in the box, I thought it would be a good idea, prophylactic like, to stocking up the other as well.  I was therefore only handed a prescription for a build in garter belt stocking for the one leg. So with my prescription tucked into my handbag..
[Ed: What!]
Sorry wrong film. 
So with my prescription tucked into my ‘pocket’, I was off to the local hosiery shop for a fitting... 

I’m not sure why, but I have, since my mother started to drag me (literally) around department stores up to the time when Mrs.A would do the same (ok not literally, but under mind control), whenever we entered the hosiery/lingerie or cosmetics departments I went all quiet and tried inwardly to distance myself from what was going on around me, disappearing with any feeble excuse whenever I could. 
With my mother, I just went red in the face and made a right nuisance of myself until I was promised that we would visit the toy department before leaving if I kept quiet for now. 
As a kid in the confinements of our home, I routinely raided my mother’s wardrobe and helped myself to her makeup (see Windows posts). However, out in the open a very different scenario. I had to make sure I didn’t give anything away. It got to the point that the only way to cope was a sensory shut down - less said and bored look the better. I don’t think I grew up and created this as a tactical manoeuvre when out with my mother, it just appeared, brought on I think by an extreme level of embarrassment that just numbed me. 

In my teens, shopping solo, if I have to pass through such a dept. to get elsewhere (no, not to the toy dept., usually high-tech, music etc.), then I would look straight ahead, avoid eye contact and make a beeline for the exit, even holding my breath if I thought it would help. 

For example, passing through cosmetic departments I had a paranoia panic that if a bored cosmetician would shout out “Hey boy! you have a cute face, how about a free makeover!” I’m quite sure I would have spontaneously said “yes please!” and promptly fainted. Then on recovering, as well as leaving with a shopping bag full of free samples and smelling like a perfume factory, I would have a bill for all the products which would be arranged with perfection on and around my face. 

With this vision in mind any form of detection, confrontation was absolutely undesirable.

This is only speculative but if I had been brought up as a girl, I think I would have jumped at the chance to handle the lingerie hanging around in the endless racks, with the classic question “Mum, when I can have a bra like this?”, or at the cosmetic counter “Please buy me a pink lipstick, just this once, you only have red ones, please!”. I will never know. I am now trying to 'makeup' for lost time, but of course it’s not the same. 

About 25 years ago I was friends with one of the secretaries at work (only friends), she was quite lovely and her makeup was always perfect. One day after work I invited her out for a meal, afterwards we went back to her place for a coffee (only a coffee I might add). She had a room that looked like a cosmetic studio with a reclining chair, lights, the works. We started chatting about her hobby and I remarked that this explained why she looked like she had a professional makeover before coming to work every day. She was flatted by this, with a smile she asked if I might like to see how she would do my face. I was a little taken back and I’m still not sure if she meant it in enhancing my face as a boy in some way or making me look like a girl. I’m still kicking myself to this day for not accepting and finding out what she intended to do to me. 
 
In the last year, when I’m out with Mrs.A and we end up in the cosmetics dept. I interact with her as well as I can with the knowledge I have gathered from YouTube videos and make suggestions where appropriate, but also I’m critical if I don’t like something on her. I am at the same time in my head having a running commentary with myself about what I would like to wear. I haven’t todate checked out sample lipsticks on my own hand, although when I think about it she has used my hand sometimes when she has smeared hers full. 
I think the earlier panic / embarrassment attacks where due to not really knowing I had deep down in me a girl side. Now after ‘personalising’ her with a name, I now realise how important Abigale is to me and having her react with the world. Ok, it brings a lot of frustration with not being able to dress when I want, maybe I would become more Abigale if she was let lose more often, but that’s the way it is at the moment. 
I don’t have to keep that much of a wary eye on her any more as I understand myself better. Although there has been some near misses and tight situations, like being asked in a shoe shop if I would like to try on some heels, and then having to weigh up pretty quickly what to say without giving the game away! (see ‘Heels for health’)

[Ed: I think that’s enough flashback.]

Ok. Now where was I, yes, prescription, fitting for a stocking..

.. So I entered the small hosiery shop around the corner from work, my prescription tight in my mitt and with that ‘I should be somewhere else’ feeling in my stomach. The shop had hosiery but also corsets and other foundation garments I couldn’t put a name to. There was a customer just paying, the shop assistance and the woman were chatting like friends and so I suspect they were. They didn’t notice me at first, but when they did the chatter abruptly stopped and the women went to leave. I smiled and held the door open for her, she thanked me returned the smile and added a nod. I was just about to follow her when I remembered why I was there in the first place. 
So it was about turn and with the prescription held out at arm’s length quickly advanced on the assistant to get this all over with. If I hadn’t smiled and said ‘hello’ she would probably have disappeared backwards into the dark recesses of the shop and out the back door. But she was brave and held her ground, took the prescription scrutinised it, grabbed her tape measure and beckoned me behind a curtain and asked me to drop my trousers.
As I was loosening my belt, I had the long drummed into me thought. 
Did I have clean underwear on?
[Ed: and if yes, did I have underpants or panties on?]
No, I didn’t think that! You know well enough I hadn’t any at that time, today is different but then strictly drab boy underwear. 

She started to take measurements, jot them down, then back to the tape measure, it took ages. I had the feeling she had more scribbled details about my leg on her notepad than I would get with a CT or MRI scan. Then it was up to my hip and waist for the last measurements, we made out a fitting date and then I was released and free! 

The experience was uncanny in some way. It’s not as if I’m not use to having my measurements taken done there. My father carted me off to Savile Row for a fitting because of an evening at the Savoy. He wanted me, as he put it, dressed ‘proper’ at least once in my life. I had no problem when I felt a pair of hands in an unusual place and was asked ‘left’ or ‘right’ and before I understood what he was going on about, the assistant had decided for me! And you know what, he was right with left! As said no problem. 

But here with the fitting, I felt slightly embarrassed. It was only a surgical garment, nothing more nothing less. But a stocking is still a stocking, compression or not, and with years of conditioning in wanting to wear stockings because it was sexy, feminine and I felt good in them and at the same time it being forbidden, a taboo and just ‘not done’, I was and still am in conflict with the situation surrounding them. 
TED: thromboembolism-deterrent
At the appointed time I went back tried it on and it fitted. There was a problem with having to first put both legs in the belt (one piece no join) then trying to get the stocking onto the leg without compromising the belt in some way, then pulling up the stocking and the belt at the same time. This was not easy and in no way elegant. The belt part sat ‘okay’ but the test would be how it went the rest of the day. 
Well sitting around was no problem, but too much walking (coffee machine and back) things started to slip. Not the belt, this was a little tight and with not being that thin in the waist area would only budge when I wanted it to. But the stocking had other plans; it started to sag down to the knee. The 15 cm wide strip of material woven in between the belt material and stocking was just too weak to counteract the stocking doing its own thing. It was stretching like a rubber band. The whole contraption was a farce. I went back and complained, was measured again and got a Mark II to try on a week later. Ok it was better, but lasted only a couple of hand washes until it died from the same weakness as Mark I.

So I was stocking-less again.
This wasn’t getting me anywhere. I started to surf for others in my situation. That is 'male', hairy legs, desperate to keep stockings up.

[Ed: it’s a wonder you didn’t put a contact add in certain magazines. With that description the replies and offers of help would have flooded in!]

Yes it would have been interesting. But I was just looking in forums to see what the census was to my problem. Between the numerous threads from males with a, shall we put it, affinity to pantyhose and Co., I eventually found a thread on compression stockings and hairy male legs. Of course I ‘knew’ deep down what I could do about the slippery stockings, but at the time I just couldn’t think about it without the “girly” aspect of it rearing up. On reading the posts I came to the conclusion that I had little choice in the matter. 
There was: 
  • sticking them on, 
  • the wearing of heavy duty garter belts with 4-6 straps,
  • the shaving of the legs and 
  • a few others that reminded me of the stapler on my office desk. 
Well if that’s going to be the content of my stocking bucket list then I should weigh them up and decide what to try first. 
I started with the ‘sticking them on’. Most of the companies that supply stockings also sold their own wash solutions and roll on water soluable glue. Gluing sounded okay, no girly inferences at all. Good! that’s it then. But I got to thinking, one of the reasons, if not the main reason, was the grip on my hairy legs, sticking would only partly work as they would be sticking to hairs as well as skin. Hairs that would slowly be pulled out by their roots. Ouch!
Ok, next on the list. The idea of garters and straps, heavy duty or not, made me come over all funny, too girly for my boy mode, wouldn’t be answerable for myself. But I still looked round in the Net to see what was available.
Daria commented in part II and send a link to Rago shapewear, I checked it out and found this (see left). There was another link in Goggle with the same article code and I ended up with this (see right). By the look of the stockings the garter belt is not in the heavy duty category, still a nice combi with the bra.
With a further search I found four companies that had garter belts that are supposed to stand up to being pulled down. One was from the NHS in the UK, it was too ugly by half and in a sort of NATO like green! Maybe it was for the National Health personnel when on military manoeuvres, no idea. 
Here are two (Jobst on the left and Therafirm right) that look like they could cope with the strain. The Jobst looks like something I could get used to as an alternative to sticking. It could be a little tight and looks like its formed for female hips. By the look of it I doubt if there is a chance of it slipping. The problem is I can’t find any store here in Europe that sells garter belts of this type, only in the States. 
One thing I’ve noticed, in all the pictures displaying garters here or in the Net they are worn over panties. It looks better that way, but is totally impractical when one has to visit the rest room. Of course I’m talking here from practical experience not just 'in theory'. 

It looks like I need a break after mentioning the rest room. 
So I’ll finish this next time, promise.
[Ed: You said that last time if I remember.]
I know, didn’t think I would need so much space.
[Ed: Too many diversions getting in the way. And what are you going to go on about next time?]
I’ll go on about, as you put it, support pantyhose, rubber gloves and the fun I had when buying my next pair of stockings. Also the next point on my check list is shaving and in this vain I'll end with this card.

4 comments:

  1. So many common experiences for many of us I am expecting. The desire, the embarrassment, and coping mechanisms. In the end however, it is clothing, and perhaps uncomfortable clothing at that. Still, for some of us, it is the right clothing.

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    1. Yes it is only clothing and one is not always conscious of it presence, but it is also a second skin. It will not influence ones true nature but it will make a statement in the way we interact with the world.
      Thanks for dropping by, xoxo

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    2. "I think the earlier panic / embarrassment attacks were due to not really knowing I had deep down in me a girl side. Now after ‘personalising’ her with a name, I now realise how important Abigale is to me and having her react with the world."
      Abi, that so perfectly expresses what I'm discovering.
      Had a good giggle at your Keep Calm sticker.
      I'm pretty sure most girls wear panties over the garter belt, if only to prevent the straps riding out when they sit down. Plus more convenient for bathroom visits.

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    3. Never thought about the straps riding out, it sounds like you have been there, done that!

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