22 December 2015

Twilight zone – Stockings VI (update)

mentioned in Stockings III, that I was thinking about trying out suspender belts as a way of keeping my compression stocking up. Here the flashback: 
.. I talked to Mrs.A about the results of my search and discussed the possibilities. She was fully décor with my conclusions, shave and stick. She dismissed the garters by passing over then very quickly. I could see she was trying to suppress a smile. But she held it back, well until I had left the room that is. I think if I had mentioned that I wanted to give them a go she would have started laughing but with a quizzical look of why when sticking will do?.. 

So originally I went for sticking. I have no problem with sticking apart from the stickiness and having to buy a new roll-on every few months. On removing the stockings one has to wash off the tide mark from the residue glue on ones thighs so it doesn't stick ones legs to the next garment one wears, ok one gets into the routine of things but still. 

In part II, I mentioned that I was recommended by Daria the 6-strap suspender belt from RAGO (code 72522 if you want to take a deco). But at the time they didn’t look up to it, for my stockings I thought I would needed a more robust construction. 
As one knows the majority of the suspender belts out there are for, let's say, somewhat flimsy materials. One of the things that got me going again was when I saw a recession on Amazon saying they worked well for compression stockings (it was from a man interesting enough).
[Ed: And what was the other thing that ‘got you going again’?]
We…ll, I really was looking for any excuse to wear suspenders with my stockings every day. Yes I admit it, even if the stockings are to compress and not look chic, even if they will be invisible all the time under trousers instead of a short skirt. I will at least know they are there and be aware of them most the day. 

Ok, so I told myself these were good excuses to go for it, one is only old once. What Mrs.A would say when she would see them I pushed to the back of my mind and would jump that girdle sorry hurdle when I came to it. 
I checked out Amazon, the US didn't have them in my size and in Germany I couldn't find them on Prime or anywhere else. But UK Amazon did have them, so they ended up in the basket. In the payment area I was greeted with a message that informed me that the destination address I had selected for this article was not allowed! 

Brilliant, now what! 

As I was now fixed on having them, I decided to send them to K; a confederate in Wales so that she could send them on here with the normal post.

I added some books for her and also took the opportunity - as I couldn't find them anywhere else - to order some mint press-on nails which had one pretty patterned nail for each hand and a set of matt black with a gold band. I can always find excuses to order a few ‘little’ things which end up as a lot of little things if I’m not careful.. 
I was thinking of having the nails sent direct to Germany but although they were only £3 a set they wanted £10 P&P each! One has to be careful with so-called under priced goods, the end price is usually on par with other sellers, but by reclamation one only gets the value of the goods back, not the P&P.

[Ed: More on nails in a nail dedicated post and other adventures with P&P while buying on-line.]
This was all a bit round the houses, but I was in no hurry and it would save postage in the long run. The order arrived in Wales in one piece, books extracted rest repacked and given up at the local post office.

It’s now 2 months and still no sign of them, the parcel just disappeared! An official search hasn’t brought any results until now and I don’t expect one either. A real shame as I can't get the nails anywhere near the price I paid, and I really fell for them! 

Dam stupid Welsh post! This is not the first time a parcel didn’t arrive. K sent us a Christmas package once, it turned up 6 months later back in Wales as undeliverable! I don't think it ever left the county let alone the country! I suspect this time that in the lawless Welsh Wild West that the stage coach was held up by bandits armed with loaded leeks (or am I thinking of lupines?) anyway some local farm produce or other. 

Anyway, in the meantime I looked around for another source for the suspenders and finally found an online shop in the UK (stockingshq.com) who would deliver to me here. What clinched it was they let me pay using my Amazon account which saved me flaunting my credit card details in another online shop. Must say they have some interesting garments on store, maybe I’ll look back now and then ... 
They arrived with no problem and I have them a couple of weeks now, at the moment still ‘unofficial’. That is Mrs.A doesn’t know they have arrived. Well she doesn’t know I ordered them again for that matter! She does know the Welsh post had lost the original package. Of course as the suspender belt was semi ‘official’ not pure Abigale I just happened to mention in passing - as one does when telling your wife you have ordered yourself a pair of 6 strapped suspenders - that I had decided to try out an alternative to sticking with all this stickiness etc.
As I had her attention and was in full swing, I told her I had ordered ‘heavy duty’ suspenders from an US company via Amazon instead of the National Health ones that I talked to her about. I went on about having them sent to K in Wales (leaving out the bit about the press-on nails of course).

[Ed: If the pictures here are anything to go by, I’m glad you didn’t say ‘sexy’!]
Yes! I had to hold back in my narrative, not easy! They are not that ‘sexy’, but they aren’t ex-army NATO green war worn either. They are well made, nice material, fit well and well a little.. um .. ok a little sexy ... 
I won’t say I was trying to play them down with Mrs.A as just a practical medical piece of ‘equipment’, as with my compression stockings, but I didn’t want her getting nosy at this stage by asking to see them on-line to get an idea what they would look like. These here are some of the first pictures one will find in the net taken from the web site. Finding these would not help trying to keep it all low key.

Well on finishing my 'patter' she didn’t give me that look of ‘what’s he up to’. She accepted it without comment; her attitude was anything that would help to ease coping with my leg problem on a daily basis was above board, classical female connotations or not. Since then she hasn’t mentioned it or asked for a status quo, so she has probably forgotten about it or added it to the low priority list of things to remember. 
The next thing to do, apart from telling you my experience with them, is to think up a story to 'hey look what arrived in the post at work today!' and 'now let’s see if they can cope with my stockings' and so on.. 

I must say this will not be our first joint action with garters and stockings ..
[Ed: More in another “windows:” post. If I mention the Rocky Horror Show then you may have an idea of what to expect.]

.. but this time I need to get it just right if I’m going ‘official’ with wearing them regularly. I’m not too sure how to go about this. 

I will have to monitor her response very carefully to see how she feels about me wearing them per se. I think knowing about them would be ok, but I have a little angst when she is confronted with seeing me putting them on or removing them. At the moment (pre revealing) and after she knows about them, I will have to watch my timing. I don’t think it’s going to be good idea when she unexpectedly comes in and catches me in ‘action’ similar to the picture left.

[Ed: nice panties! Any chance you wearing something similar to work in future?]
No! umm .. well it will depend on what you place under the Christmas tree.  
[Ed: I asked for that, didn’t I..]

Also I must make sure she doesn’t get the idea I want the suspender belt for other reasons, which I don’t really. I have a few other garters for ‘proper’ stockings that I would rather wear and are a lot easier to fasten. But as said, this could be a step in the direction to being able to wear suspenders on a regular bases... 
[Ed: It’s not as if you can only use them for the compression stockings.]
True, thinking about it, they would go nicely with those white lace top pair I have… 

Which brings me to the preliminary results of my ongoing field test. 

I have had them on for work (not at home) about 8 times to-date, whenever I had the chance not to be interrupted when putting them on. The main problem is although the belt and straps can support my compression stockings, the clips are for normal ‘flimsy’ stockings. The picture right shows the classical type of clip. 
When placing the stocking top over the nipple..  
[Ed: nipple? are you sure that’s the name, because..]
I have no idea what it is called! nipple will do! Okay?  

[Ed: Ok registered, nipple it is.]
I though this was going to be easy, the first time I tried I went for the usual routine of attachment. I have some experience with putting on stockings, it’s not rocket science and one gets the knack quick enough even with the blind tactile hock up at the back (see bending down picture above). 

But this time I found myself in learning mode all over again. Normally when the stocking top is placed over the nipple there is enough space to put the wider part of the loop over, press down and easily pull up to fasten. With my stockings it’s a major battle of tug and war. The material is just too thick; the stocking top has also 3 rubber bands as they are to function as stay ups, which works only in part in my case, hence the sticking. 

Here in ‘stuck up’ mode are my latest pair of stockings in Anthracite (Jobst, Ultra sheer). I think you can imagine the thickness of the stocking top and see the 3 light bands where the rubber strips are. The shine is typical of the Ultra Sheer model, quite like them. Don’t see why I can’t take the advantages available. 

With trial and error the only way to reduce the thickness while attaching, is to place the nipple under the stocking top pull the nipple and stocking up and away from the leg to stretch and ‘thin’ out the material. 
Not that easy due to the nature of the stocking, their ‘programmed’ to give support and will fight against any ‘over’ stretching manoeuvre one tries, and girl these are tough! So under tension and hovering in the air, one has to get the loop over into position, press hard down keeping tension squeezing the ‘thin’ material and without losing one’s grip, pull the loop up parallel to the leg to fasten.
[Ed: Not sure if they understood that, maybe you should make a video..]
  I think we will have to have a serious talk sometime. 

 [Ed: ! I was only try in to help..]
To begin with there was a lot of dams and twangs, followed by mini whiplashes that made one jump, followed again with more under the breath dams. Well I now have the knack and with only a few mishaps have all 6 straps fastened in under the minute. 

Okay that was to the first fastening of the day, now to wearing them. 
Unusual is the word I would use. 
Especially when I have to go to the rest room to ‘hook up’ one or two straps that have silently ‘twanged’ while walking around in the office. It’s usually the ones at the front, again to do with tension. While siting they are slack and somehow ease themselves lose, at the back no problem, the sides now and then. The first few days I would go and re-hook whenever I felt a twang, it was nice and quite novel. 

After being asked by some of my staff if I was alright and the mention of incontinence, I left it. Over the day I realised that just one strap would ‘hold the fort’ until I got home, or until had to spend a penny anyway. As I’m sitting here at work and writing this I can feel the straps and clips through the material and the ones at the back as I’m sitting on them, interesting and still, as said, unusual. 

Sometime ago I was talking to a girlfriend in London about this and that and I brought her up-to date about having to wear stockings and that I started to shave my legs etc. basically my stocking saga in twitter format, not mentioning Abi at all, as she is not in the know. At the end of my ‘confession’ she chucked and welcomed me to the ‘world of women’ without realising how close to the mark she was..
[Ed: You nearly spilled the beans didn’t you!]
Oh yes, that was a close call! We know each other over 40 years, a very close call indeed! Maybe I will tell her one day but not over the phone. Funny but I’m not sure if it would be a surprise to her, the last time we were together we were talking about a mutual friend that had SRS. I brought up the fiasco with the Welsh post and ask her if I could use her as a possible post box for a reorder of the suspender belt. We talked about the pros and cons of garters against pantyhose. Her opinion was to go for pantyhose, with her experience over the years garters where more trouble than they're worth, nice for special occasions but not routine every day. Maybe I will come to the same conclusion if the twanging continues.

[Ed: And so, what next?]

Well for my next buy I still have the navy blue pantyhose in my sights. I have also found from Jobst a patterned pair of stockings (here in Espresso). I really like patterned stockings and I thought this would be an ideal combination, but they have them at the moment only in CCL1 (20-30 mmHg) such a shame, I need CCL2 (30-40 mmHg).

 [Ed: Ok. They may be not the ideal strength, but better than nothing, you could wear them for relief at the weekends.]
No! They would have to be stored in my Stash and only come out to go on in an Abi session. If Mrs.A got wind of these pattered pair, the penny would drop and never stop spinning on impact. Here I would have to be very careful, maybe only for ‘special occasions’ as my girlfriend put it. 

Will let you all know how I get on with making the suspender belt an official member of my underwear entourage. 
[Ed: Ah! suspenders today - bras tomorrow?]
Don’t get carried away, time will tell.. 

So that’s all for now. As the festive season is before the door and I have been going on about stockings and keeping them up, Ed: thought this picture would be appropriate. If this is a hint for a present or not I’m not sure.     
[Ed: Well.. you can take it any way you want.] 
So from Ed: and I, all the best to you and your love ones for the rest of this and the up and coming new year. 
May you have the strength and love to be as one with yourself wherever you are on your journey and at the end of the day to arrive home safe and sound. 

Extra thanks to those of you for getting this far in this post. I know it’s a long haul and I appreciate you taking the time to read and I hope comment.

[Ed: By the way I still think the video was a good idea..]
Will think about it, ok?

19 November 2015

ObserVation: A year on..

ooking over my blog stats last week I realised that it has been over a year since I took the plunge and started to comment in blogs and then communicate with bloggers via e-mail. As soon as I let out that I was thinking of trying my hand at blogging some of you encouraged me to do so (you know who I’m talking about). Not only have I got to know some lovely people in the last year but have been allowed to accompany them in a small way on their personal journeys. 

In writing this post I reviewed the last year of blogging and the content of the posts. I am somewhat astonished on what I have ‘aired’ in the last 12 months, with roughly 38.000 words in 25 posts and 16000 views. Not wor(l)d breaking but I wasn’t out to try.

Well, today a year ago I pressed the ‘publish’ button in my blogger area and with a lot of apprehension and mixed feelings I saw my first little ‘Windows:’ post staring back at me from a web link in the Internet. I had taken the plunge and I’m so glad I did. It’s been a lot of fun as well as an emotional educational experience finding out more about myself and aspects of the me I was not fully aware of until I started to put it down in electronic print. 
I’m a nosey person by nature, that’s why I probably ended up in research, and with the blog it has been a sort of coming out to myself, giving me a rough idea of where to put the pin on my situation-map. 

In the future I suspect a certain amount of fine tuning may come about depending on how much I want to delve into ‘me’. On the other hand I’m not sure if I really want to spend that much time turning over stones, but instead just look up and enjoy the landscape as it is and the me in it. Will see where I am then I'll post an update report on this in a year.

Thanks to all those who follow me and the readers who drop in now and then to comment. My posts in future will be, as in the past, a mixed bag of Trans related personal experiences and ‘just me’ stories taken from deep down in the memory box while they are still recallable..

[Ed: Are you finished?]
[Ed: Wow that was really short!
Are you ok?]

Yes, perfectly ok. I thought I would ramble on as I usually do to extreme in the next post. This was just a short personal reflection of the past year.
[Ed: Good! I was getting worried. How about a cuppa?]
Good idea, shall I be mother?
[Ed: ?]
[Ed: Oh you mean pour the tea! yes if you want. Went off on the wrong track there, silly me..]

01 October 2015

ObserVation: Did my Mother know?

 his post was triggered by Stana’s post about 'How could she not know'. 

When I was living at home I explored my femininity as best as I could by borrowing my mother’s clothes and makeup whenever I had the opportunity. I have related some of my adventures/close calls here under my 'Windows:' posts. Over all those years at home I can’t recollect any panic concerning tearing or ruining of her things, only panic of direct detection and confrontation. Not once did I have the feeling that she ‘knew’ what was going on. We were very close after the early death of my father and I think I would have felt it if she knew what I was getting up to. 

Either I was really really good at leaving no traces or just suppressed them at the moment they occurred (selective erasure). Looking back I just can’t believe I didn’t make mistakes with relocation, lipstick use, and all those little signs that turn up over time and collect into a pattern on one’s radar. 

My conclusion, she must have known, but she hid it well. 

At my last visit before her death (I didn’t know it was going to be the last visit) we talked about everything under the sun apart from the girl in me. Over the two day visit I wore when possible pantyhose under my jeans, maybe I was trying to tell myself something. 

The whole time it nagged me, but I just did not dare bring up the subject. I was very scared to let it all out in an uncontrolled babble punctured with fits of crying something my boy upbringing wouldn’t allow.. 

At that time there was no Abigale as such. I think now, with her coming of age, blogging and making good friends with similar experiences and their collective constructive support that I could handle such a talk much better and explain myself to her in a way that I hope she would have understood. 

Before Abigale brought things together and handed me a roadmap I didn’t understand myself so how was I to explain ‘me’ to another. Thinking about it, my mother had 40 years of social counseling behind her, she probably had heard it all before anyway! 

I can’t turn back the clock, but I often wish I could. 
Sometimes I rehearse the talk with me mum in my mind. 
Every time I learn a little more about myself.

24 August 2015

ObserVation: Fashion Sense

usie Jay asked in the post ObserVation: Getting ready to go out about how my wife reacted to the change in my attitude, from in the past showing no interest at all, to now actively helping her choose what to wear while getting ready to go out. 

 [Ed: Half way through writing a reply as a comment, Madam realised that it was going to be a little long and so ended up as a post instead.]

Well in general quite positive. 
She is happy that we have now another aspect of bonding in our relationship. 
This change in attitude is one of the positive things I attribute to Abigale’s appearance on the scene. Now controlling the overdone external 'negative attitude' as barrier to not having to talk about female related things and possibly give the game away. 

Our ‘getting dressed dialogue’ has now overflowed into when we watch the box together. We have in Germany a TV program called "Shopping Queen", where a top dress designer to a particular theme, gives five woman 500 Euros each and a 3 hour time limit to go shopping and at the end get a makeover. They can take a shopping companion to help out; they are driven around, filmed the whole time and reminded constantly of the time and money left, sometimes they are down to the last second and cent when finished. 
Five shopping sprees over five days, at the end of each day the shopper presents themselves to the rest of the group on the catwalk. Points are given in secret also from the dress designer. The one with the most points at the end of the week gets a money prize. On Sunday afternoon there is a collective repeat of the 5 episodes. 
Sometimes on we sit and watch, but only if no alternative is on. 
There is usually no alternate on.. 
Well actually in the past the wife would watch, while I would have my face buried in a notebook, tablet whatever, lost to the world. She would now and then try and start a dialogue going by asking / remarking about something that was going on. I would look up and say something like ‘sorry darling, what was that?’ She usually would give up in frustration after I repeated my standard answer a few times.

Now - and this in part is Abigales doing - I do not clam up or show total disinterest concerning what I use to think was a taboo for men. Now I give up my humble opinion when talking about ‘girl stuff’. Of course this ‘joining in’ didn’t just appear overnight. I went softly softly into this. Not really tactical, just subliminal, always trying to keep just under the surprise level of ‘Hey! What’s going on here?’ I see this as one of the ways to let Abigale dimly shine though my boy facade and anyway it’s fun! 
Well, on the TV shopping front it didn’t take that long to get into the swing of things. We both now give up our preferences and discuss what we would prefer the shopper to wear from what she has looked at / tried on and at the end if the makeover would match or not. 
Interestingly enough we usually have the same opinions and tastes. You know the situation, one would say something, the other looks astonished and remarks 
‘I was just about to say that!’ one then laughs/giggles together (yes giggles (not too girly my side)) and so on. We have been together over 40 years, it’s understandable that we rub off on each other, even in silence. 
Mrs.A is sometimes a little surprised to what detail I would go, when e.g. the eyebrow colour should be black and not brown with that particular eye shadow (I hold back on suggesting which product name and number would look better, that would be a right giveaway if I did!). 
We now have fun making jokes and rolling our eyes at the programs sometimes silly commentary and when some of the women have no idea how to dress themselves even with a friend tagging along. She is not surprised any more that I give up an opinion, has rather got used to it in fact and now asks actively what I think unless I get in first. 
The only thing during the program is I have to be constantly on my guard to think but not say ‘Oh! That’s nice, wouldn’t mind that, maybe in blue’ or at the other extreme 
‘I wouldn’t be seen dead in that!’ 
I almost put my foot in it once, literally. The woman was trying on shoes to go with the dress she have an eye on. Mrs.A remarked “that’s a nice pair, they would go really well with my new summer dress”. I almost blurted out ‘Yes they would, I have a pair just like that in the cellar, shame they won’t fit you.’ 

[Ed: The Mrs wears a size 2-3UK. Madam a 9.]

With browsing my wife’s woman’s catalogues, scouring the online shops for clothes and shoes in my size, reading up on all manner of do’s and don’ts and watching umpteen YouTube videos with tips and tricks, I now think - I hope – I have developed a little ‘fashion sense’ in and to female attire and accessories (my boy fashion sense, if it exists, is still on the starting line).

These days I don’t restrict myself to what I like to see on my wife and the women in our circle of friends, but also to give up a spontaneous opinion when looking at someone passing on the street or a remark about someone’s appearance when they appear on the box. 
Here two recent examples. 
I had to go to the DIY store to buy some stick-on hooks for the bathroom. As I was waiting in line to pay, I saw that the cashier had long blue nails with all manner of art work, each nail slightly different. I was fascinated. After paying and just before leaving, I complimented her on the lovely nails. To begin with, I think she was a little taken back at my remark as it coming from a man. But then came a big smile and a warm ‘thank you!’. I won’t say I made her day, but I could see she was quite chuffed that I had said something. 
Some time ago we were watching ‘Let’s Dance’, one of the girls had a gorgeous mint dress on with all the trimmings. My heart beat faster. I said Wow! What a lovely dress and the colour! 
The wife agreed and we discussed it in detail and then moved on to the other dress creations swirling around the dance floor. 
What I thought at the time was ‘Wow! I really do need this dress to go with my new heels!’ (see picture). 

Not all people have an eye for mode and a lot of it is recycled hype anyway, but most people have some sort of dress sense. I have been told not only from my wife but also friends (girls), that I seem to have more sense / taste when it comes to clothing the female form than to my own male clothing conventions. 
I must say I fully agree and it’s a darn sight more fun to!

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.]


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:
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. 

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. 
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. 
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.]

07 August 2015

Twilight Zone – Stockings IV

o I had looked at two from my stocking bucket list. Sticking of the stockings and using heavy duty garters / straps. With sticking I was left with either hairs being pulled out or removing them beforehand. I optioned for the latter, it would mean more routine but I hoped less pain. 
I talked to Mrs.A about the results of my search and discussed the possibilities. She was fully décor with my conclusions, shave and stick. She dismissed the garters by passing over then very quickly. I could see she was trying to suppress a smile. But she held it back, well until I had left the room that is. I think if I had mentioned that I wanted to give them a go she would have started laughing but with a quizzical look of ‘why when sticking will do?’ 
A day later after returning from work, I was greeted with a kiss and a tube of Veet and a note with a scribbled link to WikiHow on applying and removing. I remarked that I thought I would be shaving them off. The answer was along the lines: with that jungle you will need a machete and a week and this is quicker and not so bloody. She had a point. 
After reading the instructions I was a little hesitant with all this 24h test run in case of allergy, leaving it no longer than 3 minutes otherwise your leg or something else will fall off. Also keep it clear from the eyes and if any does get in, wash it out and look for a doctor if you cannot see anything, you know the kind of warnings all in font point 6 and hardly readable. 
Well I wasn’t going to wait 24 hours to see if I came out in a rash and anyway I realised I was working towards something I had always want to do! So it was strip and apply, well strip was easy, the apply was not. It was like priming a bathroom wall with cement before sticking tiles up! Really hard work and as I never had to smear my legs in this way, a right contortion act as well! I was just over half way through one leg trying to make sure I covered everything evenly when the 3 minutes were up! I kept at it until the leg was finished. I waited a little longer and then started to scrape the goo off. I must say not the sweetest of smells and what a mess. And girls do this regularly, wow! I then rinsed and did the other leg. 
I sat down and as I looked at my shiny legs ran my fingers up and down them. There I was for the first time with hairless legs! Although as a kid I had hardly any hair on them, they were usually grimy not shiny! I was fascinated with the smoothness, it was so unusual, I knew it would take some time to get used to, but I also I realised that I never wanted to go back. The girl in me was clapping her hands and jumping about with joy knowing that in future, on the rare chances she gets to wear stockings and pantyhose, it will be without hairs getting in the way sensory as well as optically. The boy in me was only hoping this was going to help towards the stockings staying up. 
Every few minutes throughout the procedure I was being asked from downstairs if everything was ok. I shouted back that I was still alive. After a call “aren’t you finished yet?” I realised I had spent over half an hour doing my legs and admiring the results! I padded myself dry and donned a pair of shorts and went down for inspection. She checked everything with her critical eye, I had the feeling I was on parade. 
She asked me how it felt. My immediate reaction was, ah a trick question! But then I realised she was genuinely interested. I tried to stay nonchalant about it and just in case took on an ‘I suppose it must be’ attitude. I remarked it was ‘ok’ but a weird feeling. She just nodded. Out of habit (school teacher) when the inspection was over, I was given a B+. She took off points for missing a few hairs on the back of my legs. 
On retiring to bed, I had the new sensation of the bedclothes caressing my legs. The next morning getting ready to leave for work, with every movement I was aware of my legs. It was chilly outside and on the way to the car I realised that my legs were dam cold! I’m not usually sensitive to lower temperatures, it must my Celtic genes, but that morning I started to freeze, I really felt it in my legs. I had no idea that hair could be such a good insulation material! 
With this hairlessness, I decided to try commercial stockings again, not those home brew contraptions I was subjected to last time. I went back to my phlebologist told her my continuing sad story and the last escapade. She just rolled her eyes and handed me a new prescription this time for ‘proper’ stockings. Funny, she said nothing to the state of my legs after examining them. 
This time I went to the local sanitation house and asked for advice. They measured me up and gave me the appropriate model from another company not Jobst. They mentioned a contraption (see left) as helper but I thought I’m not that feeble just yet. 
What was really helpful was in showing me how to put them on using ‘special’ rubber gloves. Why nobody had informed me about them before I have no idea. I say special because they are not your common and garden washing up type, they are easier to put on and have knobs on the palms section that adhere better to the stocking material when pulling them up (see right), the ‘specialness’ had a price tag that went with them. They also stopped my nails wreaking havoc which was also a plus point. 
For sticking them down they sold me a roll-on. I went home with the feeling I was getting somewhere at last. The new stockings were a little tighter than my first pair. I had to use muscle to get them over my feet. Taking them off was also difficult, with having to pull away from the foot to finally remove them giving off a sound like a whip being cracked. Sticking them up was quite easy, it worked well, no slipping at all. On removing the stockings evenings I had to wash the excess glue off my legs otherwise everything would stick to them. I was recommended to wash the stockings daily, I think that’s was going a bit far. Up to now I do it every couple of days and only hand wash. I don’t trust myself with a washing machine, neither does Mrs.A. 
You have to make sure one uses enough glue, and the rubber band is clean otherwise a stocking could ‘release’ itself at an inopportune moment while walking. This happened one day at work on the way back from lunch. I recognised the signs of slipping stockings. I don’t usually carry with me a spare roll-on and I didn’t want to have to wait until I got home to stick again, so I went on a hunting trip. 
The problem was I was not sure where to go; there are no sanitation shops in the area that I knew of. What was on the high street was a hosiery shop. The shop window had stockings in all shapes, colours and patterns. When I’m out to lunch without any colleagues, I would slow down on going pass and look as unobtrusive as possible at what was on display. Some items were quite glamorous not your usual department store ware. I never saw any customers inside only someone sitting at a desk that I suspected was the owner. Now I had a half backed excuse to not only stop and look at the shop display, but to go in and ask if he had or knew where I could get some glue. I looked in through the shop door window to check if any customers were visible, all was clear so I entered. 

I have never seen such a collection of stockings and accessories on display in one place other than on Pinterest! It looked like a specialised shop for ‘specialised’ customers. I let Abigale take over for a moment and just stood there staring letting her fill our mental shopping basket. 
Then the owner approached and I heard a “Hello can I help, can I show you anything?” I turned, smiled and had that ‘I should be somewhere else’ feeling again but not strong enough to make a run for it. I complemented him on the displays and the range, saying I had never seen anything like it before. He thanked me, said he prided himself in catering for all tastes and asked if I was looking for anything in particular. 

I then explained in a somewhat embarrassed tone about my leg problem, having to wear stockings, one becoming unstuck, looking for glue and the off chance, as his shop had stockings – but of course not the same as mine, if he could help me in some way, this being my last hope. He took all this in, his face becoming sadder by the minute as I rambled on. When I had stopped, he placed a delicate hand lightly on my arm and said “Oh! You poor thing!” and went on that this was not really in his line. 
He started to ponder and as a help I mentioned that the glue was water soluble and something similar to that used by costume people in theatres for sticking hairpieces and moustaches etc. He lighten up somewhat, repeated the word ‘theatre’ and picked up the phone and started to dial. In between trying different numbers he mentioned he had friends in show business that may be able to help. I was going to thank him for taking the time and to say he didn’t have to go to so much trouble, but I could see he was in his element. 
I was not going to ask him what branch of ‘show business’ he meant, thinking about it I had a pretty good idea I knew anyway. I was plump in the middle of the cities LBGT Bermuda triangle. After about 4 to 5 conversations and no source for my glue, he put the phone down with a despondent look on his face. I must admit I was slightly relieved. If one of the calls had found a source, I imagined myself been sent off to the basement of a local bar to meet one of the girls/gurls who would have helped me stick the stocking back up. On the other hand it might have been interesting to get to ask what they use the glue for and ask to see. I know it wouldn’t be for falsies. I’ve tried, it doesn’t work. 

I was now sorry for him; he looked so unhappy that he couldn’t help. We talked a little and he mentioned the chemist, I must admit I never thought of it, it’s possible the fixation of getting to see the inside of the shop had suppressed the idea. As I was thanking him for his trouble, the shop door opened and two young elegantly dressed women entered. This was my cue to leave. I said I would let him know how I got on in the chemist. He nodded and seemed genuinely interested in the outcome. I checked and they did have one roll-on left and so I could stick and not wait until I was home. 

The next day on passing the hosiery shop I opened the door and as he was occupied with a customer I didn’t enter. I just said ‘hello’ gave him a smile and thumbs up about the glue. He looked pleased gave me a wave and a big smile. I waved back and left. I made a mental note that I would come back another time and let him show me some of the articles that where now in my shopping basket. 

In the office I was asked in passing why my lunch break had taken so long that day. I could honestly reply I was at the chemists, and not in a local gay bar, looking for glue. 

I need another break.

[Ed: Again!]

Yes, it’s getting sticky, weather wise not glue wise.

[Ed: Do you think we can finish next time?]

Most likely. Unless I remember some other antidotes.

[Ed: Gordon Bennett! Will this never end..]