14 August 2015

Twilight Zone – Stockings V (finial)

fter a time my hair started to reappear (on my legs that is), and I decided it was time to start shaving and keep them at bay. I went on the search for new shaving equipment as I couldn’t see myself regularly ‘Veet-ing’ in the months to come. Using Veet cream to remove them the first time was a good idea, now I needed to wield an appropriate combat blade. My normal razor, that I use occasionally to remove the small number of hairs that on my face dare to push spontaneously through to the light of day, would not cope with the revengeful hoard of hair that my legs brought fourth. 
I had to choose, it was either a razor for men or women. The girl in me got the upper hand and I went for Gillette’s 5 blade Venus Embrace Sensitive starter pack and Satin Care shaving cream. The idea was to convince Mrs.A, as she was now thinking again about shaving instead of seasonal Veet-ing, that we could use the same make of blades. As she didn’t say directly ‘no’, I took it as a ‘yes’ and added for her a Gillette Venus und Olaz starter pack to the Amazon basket. I must say I never thought that we would both end up shaving our legs, but we are.

[Ed: you never thought that we would end up varnishing your nails together either.]

True.

After the package arrived, together we checked what we had and how to use them. As she could never find the right shaving cream in the past she was quite taken back by what I had ordered for her with the ‘build in’ shaving gel. Of course it was not going to be rocket science, but Mrs.A is a stickler for reading instructions. So every text she could find in and on the packaging was read through aloud at least twice. I let her ‘experiment’ first to see how she would fair. She came back happy with how easy it was and with not having to lather up beforehand. 
On this high note I too went through the motions in the shower. Not that easy trying to get to all parts of a leg while standing on the other. It was well worth the effect, as they were smooth again. After the shave, Mrs.A gave me some moisturising cream to apply. I would never had thought of it on my own, even though I realised that the skin was quite sensitive and tingled some what for the rest of the day. I have now a routine of shaving every two weeks. If I know I will have the chance to dress, I unobtrusively do an extra session. 

As I’m on about shaving, I’ll give a little background to the experience of it or shall we say the lack of it when growing up.

[Ed: Here we go again, you and your anecdotes! This is why it’s taking so long!]

I promise this is the last part. Honest, let all my stockings ladder if it isn’t.

[Ed: I’ll believe it when I see read it, okay carry on..]

At school when hair started to appear on the faces of my male class mates they would start to talk about nothing else. Going on about how often they ‘had’ to shave, comparing the location of growth, and before leaving school, the shade of their four o’clock shadows. It was like a competition, the more hair the more bragging. I was just the opposite; to find any hair on my face apart from eyebrows you needed a magnifying glass and a lot of imagination. Nothing in sight for many years it turned out. 
At the time I was glad I didn’t have to shave. I saw my father every day struggling with a cutthroat or hand razor and leaving the house with the classic bits of tissue paper stuck to his neck and face. 
No thank you! 
I didn’t even look at his razor if I could help it, on the off chance it woke up the gene for facial hair and then all hell would have been let loose on the face front. I didn’t feel left out in this ‘hairy phase’ and I wasn’t harassed at school for my hairlessness, but for hanging out more with the girls than the boys. About a year later I could hear among my ‘shaving friends’ that it was not at the top of the list of things they wanted to do before leaving home in the morning, I just smiled. Well, years later that gene did wake up, but that’s another story in a future post. 

It was time for a new pair of stockings as back up. We can get a prescription every 6 months for a new pair, but one still has to pay 25€ towards the costs. They usually go for about 100€s in shops and about 70-80€ in the Net depending on make. I started to look around as I needed a pair to go under my business suit. 
No, not for a woman’s business suit,
although I had my eye on a grey pencil skirt to go with my mint silk blouse, strappy sandals and nail vanish…...
[Ed: hey! stop day dreaming and get moving.]
Yes .. err .. sure, maybe one day (sigh). I had the problem that the legs of my trousers had the tendency to ride up when sitting and expose my ankles and a little bit more leg than they should. With the standard compression stocking colour, it was obvious what I had on. Usually I have no problem with this, but it’s not always appropriate when a customer gets to see them and it becomes a small talk topic in the coffee break! I decided this time to go for a pair in black, which would give the illusion I had normal black socks on. 

Well it seems I had little choice with colours, to my surprise the only black ones I found in my compression strength (23-32 mmHg, CCL2) was again from Jobst in their ultra-sheer selection. But first I need a new prescription and as I had to go to my internist for a check-up I asked if he would give me one, no problem. I went back to the same sanitation house as last time to order them and was looking forward to see how the shop assistant will react to my order. 
It went something like this:
Morning!” 
Good morning!” 
I’m here about a new pair of compression stockings.” 
Ok, do you have a prescription?” 
Yes”. I handed it over. 
Sorry but I have a problem with this.” 
Oh! In what way?” 
The wording is not quite correct. We will have difficulty getting reimbursement with the medical insurance company if the text is not exactly how they want it.” 
Oh!” I said. 
Here, this is the exact text that has to be used.”
She scribbled it down and handed me the slip of paper. 
Sorry about that.” 
With a blank look I stared at it a while comparing it to the text on the prescription. 
Ok, can’t be helped, I’ll be back.” and left. 

Forty five minutes later and a different person behind the counter. 

Morning!” 
Good morning!” 
I’m here about a new pair of compression stockings.” 
Ok, do you have a prescription?” 
Yes”. I handed it over. 
Is the text correct now?” I enquired. 
?.. Yes quite all right, why do you ask?” 
Well I was here a short while ago and the prescription wording was not 100% correct.” 
Yes can happen, I see your internist gave you this not your phlebologist.” 
Yes, I told him what I needed.” 
That explains it. He is not used to writing prescriptions of this kind.” 
Looks like it, understandable I suppose.” 
Right, have you been here before?” 
Yes, about an hour ago.” 
?... No, I mean have you had stockings from us in the past?"
Sorry, yes I have.” 
Then I’ll check your records.” 
 She wandered off. 

In the mean time I studied the advertisements in the shop and my focus fell on the Jobst ultra-sheer ad displayed on the front of the counter. Ah navy blue! That would go with jeans quite well and those dark blue heels I saw.. 

She wandered back. 
Ok then, same again?” 
No, I have written down what I would like this time.” 

I had copied down the cryptic contents of the faded label from the original Jobst stockings. At the time I had no idea what half of the parameters meant. I only left out what I recognised - the washing symbols. 

I handed her the note. 
She studied it, a little longer than I thought necessary. 
She looked up with a mixture of surprise and slight disbelief. 
Ultra-sheer!?” 
Yes.” Pause. 
But that’s a … well a … woman’s stocking!” 
If you say so.. and?” 
Before she could think up a reply, I thought it was best to put her out of what looked like for her a potential embarrassing situation, and started to explain why I wanted this particular brand. 
Of course I didn’t go into the girly reasons (glance, chic, sexy [Ed: sexy?]). I just kept to the ‘hard’ facts considering the material and physical properties. I explained they were easier to put on than the others, even with the same mmHg strength and they were recommended by my gynaecologist .. 
(I paused a little to see if she was paying attention before I followed with ‘friend’ – the widening of her eyes said she was) 
.. and that I had the extended choice in colour. 
Pause. 
Colour?” 
Yes, I want them in black.” 
Black!?” came the echo. 
Yes black, for business.” 
 I think if there had been a chair behind her she would have sat down. 
Business?” that echo again. 

I was just about to say ‘Yes, business’, though better of it and told her about meetings and trousers riding up due to static sticking and that the sheer form allowed the trouser legs to slide down and sit better etc. 
If she bought all this I’m not sure, but she was getting into the swing of things and nodded now and then. With the look of relief that started to appear on her face I think she was seeing a rational behind it all and not what she first thought - whatever that was.
Well after the ‘pep’ talk, the order was made and as I was about to leave, I thought I would give her something to think about after I was gone. I remarked on the advertisement on the front of the counter (see right). I mentioned that sticking on stockings was not that ideal even with shaving and I was thinking of trying pantyhose next time and in the navy blue to go with my jeans (I didn’t mention the heels). 
Without waiting for any response I just turned and headed for the door. 
I thought I heard the scraping of a chair on the floor behind me. 
I could have been mistaken.

A week later I went back to collect them. Again another assistant behind the counter, funny that, as the place didn’t have that many staff. The black stockings worked well with my work clothes (no I don’t go to work like this, just wanted to show you the stocking tops). I have the routine of donning stockings early in the morning and removing them after getting home. I should keep them on until I go to bed, but that’s asking a little too much, I am just glad I’m compliant over the day. I should also have the stockings on at the weekends. 
 
At home I’m always in shorts and bare feet, summer and winter. Before the stockings became necessary no problem. Now it’s different, I still try to keep to shorts and be compliant with wearing the stockings but then I get remarks from Mrs.A. She can’t get used to seeing me ‘exposed’ in them, especially the black ones. The picture left is not a good one but one gets the idea. If I would walk around the house as in the picture above, I would get more than just a weird look.
Of course she knows why I wear them but she says they are too much like leggings and also reminds her of those of her mothers and that I look just too weird in general in them. The consequence is I only put them on in combination with trousers when we go for a walk, shopping or visiting family and friends. 

As an alternative to stockings, I started to look around for pantyhose which had at least a support function. I could not blatantly go off and buy normal hose (Abi has an extensive stash in the cellar under raps, but that doesn't count), I just would not have an excuse for wearing them.  
But if they were ‘support’ hose I had the chance she would not start asking questions. I found some 140 den 18-22 mmHg CCL1, one level below what I ‘should’ wear, almost normal compared to what I have. My rational for Mrs.A was having a relief from wearing my heavy duty and still having support. I could see she was a little concerned with this slacking off variation, but I held to my ‘theory’ and ordered in graphite and nude, one had more colour variations with lesser den. Also my legs didn’t look that bad in them combined with a dress and heels. 

I try as far as possible to keep the hose out of sight and only put them on when it is unlikely Mrs.A would enter the room and ‘catch’ me. I must say it does look and feel a little bit girly when putting them on and removing them, tug of war or not. The feeling is quite nice, its tight and supportive, the material is smooth and it keeps my tummy in as well. I also have the feeling I can walk better in them than without.
When I’m wearing them I have to tighten my trouser belt an extra 2 notches. One time I forgot to do this and on leaving the house my trousers just fell frictionless from me to the ground. As I was ‘encased’ in nylon I didn’t realise what had happened until I stepped forward tripped and nearly fell flat on my face! I’m just glad none of the neighbours as well as the wife saw me. 
I only have them ‘out in the open’ on wash day, and hang them up in the bathroom to dry where she can’t really miss them. But this seems to be ok. Well, I haven’t heard any remarks to date. As the hose is more delicate than my stockings I have to make sure I don’t ruin them. The picture on the left shows low compression hose with a pattern. I’m partial to patterns. Would love to have these, but I think I would have problems if I wore them, compression or not. 
As I mentioned the rubber gloves are quite effective. I’ve had them some time now and they are pretty weather beaten. It’s interesting that the thumbs were the first to tear and fall off. They now look simular to a pair of leather gloves I have for kite flying, they have the thumb and the index finger missing so that one can de-knot the kite’s strings with ones fingers and still have grip without burning oneself through friction. Holes are now appearing in the fingers and the material is getting thin allowing the white colour is coming through (see picture). They are still effective but I will need a new pair soon. 

I went back to the shop 6 months later for a new pair of stockings. Again I had someone else serving me (where do they come from?). I said 'Yes' to the question 'same again' but took another colour - caramel. No funny looks, just routine. Will see what happens when I go and order the blue hose the next time around, if I get served at all that is.
I haven’t added any pictures of myself till now, being shy and for other reasons, but I though a picture of the latest compression stockings with a dress and heels wouldn’t be a miss. Just a snap shot from one of the rare occasions when Abigale is allowed to show herself, well as least to the camera. 

I hope my stocking story wasn’t that trying. 

I had never thought I would have had such a journey due to a health problem, especially with what one could construe as having girly connotations. If any of you have similar experiences please let me know, I would be interested. Also any info to any outlet here in Europe to the heavy duty garter belts mentioned last time would also be appreciated. 

Well that’s over.. for now.

[Ed: yes it was a long run. Nails next I me think.]

Yes, but I hope it won't be as long as this was.

[Ed: okay, to get into the swing of things and as you’re dyslectic I though this card would be appropriate.]

I am knot going two toll a rate this! Even if ewe r write!

[Ed: only joking, shall I put the kettle on for a cuppa?]

Oh yes do! And a rich tea bicky if you please. 
I can’t do anything until my nails dry anyway.

[Ed: Right, coming up.]

5 comments:

  1. Just started reading your blog...love it!

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    1. Thank you Mandy! Kind of you. Comments in past posts are always welcome.

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    2. One of the advantages of supermarket self-service tils is that it makes buying hosiery and cosmetics easier.

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  2. Wow - so much to read!
    One thing you could try: I had a lot of bother with the razor making very small small nicks which turn a bit funky (so-called razor burn) but this is fixed if you apply Tend Skin right after shaving. It is basically isopropyl alcohol (which kills the bugs), a bit of Aspirin (which stops inflammation) and some dimethicone which softens the skin. You don't need much and if you follow up with a smudge of hand cream your legs will feel great.
    Tend Skin can be bought from Amazon - a 16 oz bottle lasts me 6 months, though it's best to start with a 4oz bottle and then top it up from the big one every so often.
    Cheers
    Penny

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    1. Thanks for the tip Penny (sorry I crossed wired this text first to Susie), I have to date no real nicking problem. I must be very careful when shaving as I have varicose veins (thanks Mum!), nipping them can be complicated. But I'll look here for a similar cocktail. Abi xx

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