Monday, October 21, 2013

Amongst Women - Madam's View

It appears Carrie has been delayed somewhat in reporting the latest events from my household regarding young Jack Swanson. It would not happen if he was under my supervision however under the circumstances I thought followers of Bea’s blog may be interested in some of my personal views on this and other issues.   

I think first of all readers should  know that while I am very fond of the boy, well what lady of a certain age could not be enamoured by such a sensitive creature, I was very upset when he absconded without so much as a by your leave. His actions have also affected his mother and Miss Strang and with good reason, after all, I had intended to make a substantial contribution to the school on the basis of his cooperation with my plans. However it does appear he has come to his senses and seems to be genuinely remorseful for his actions so I have agreed to give him a second chance.

It  may seem surprising to some that I’ve insisted he adopt the role of a housemaid for the duration of his stay with me  and while I have no doubt it will help Pamela with her play I must confess I do have an ulterior motive. In my defence it is one is borne out of a concern for his future and was prompted by an approach from his mother. Her new position at the Academy has entailed so much responsibility which will only increase because of the various plans my donation will pay for, she is very concerned she may not have sufficient control over him to prevent him from associating with an undesirable element particularly after school hours as well as at weekends. She’s well aware of the pitfalls for so many boys these days and is fearful for him in the current environment, agreeing with my view that properly supervised girls do not face similar dangers. I can empathise as I am sorely disappointed in Pamela’s unbecoming and almost masculine behaviour. It is  something I blame myself for and I am determined that the dear boy will not turn out like her so it is imperative he is protected against coming under the influence of those uncouth macho types he is likely to come into contact with if not kept under strict supervision.

I have seen too many young boys ruin their lives by such associations and it is to this end that I decided to intervene -with the full agreement of his mother of course. Most males are either unaware or too stubborn to realise that embracing their feminine side would greatly enhance their lives which is why they should be taken firmly in hand and  be forced if necessary in recognising a more feminine approach to life is a much better alternative than a life of meaningless masculine posturing. Young Jack has great potential in this regard and of course he would be of immense assistance in helping me to turn Pamela into the daughter I always wanted. Unisex clothing and by that I mean jeans, those dreadful shorts, cargo pants and such like  young people wear these days make it far too easy for both sexes to get into all sorts of mischief -so much harder when wearing  a pretty dress or tight skirt. I’m glad to say his mother see the merit in this view and thankfully is of the same opinion.

Naturally like most boys he has little or no idea of the importance of performing domestic tasks and his mother expressed a view that the role of a maid in the play was an ideal opportunity in not only helping Pamela but would also greatly benefit him in honing his domestic skills as well as teaching him some much needed respect for women in general and his betters in particular. Obviously I agree wholeheartedly, maids are an essential part of a well run household I simply could not imagine life without a maid and while I agree having a male maid is somewhat unusual I truly believe that once the individual is correctly uniformed in an apron and cap she will soon conform to her or in this case his role as a domestic servant. Perhaps he is fortunate in that he has some androgynous if not distinctly feminine features and characteristics so the only thing he really needed to be somewhat convincing were those wonderful breast forms, so natural and almost indistinguishable from the real thing.

In retrospect I suppose it was probably difficult for him in submitting to a feminine regimen but I very much doubt if he understands it really is for his own good, they rarely do after all. I hate to admit it but once I saw him in his girdle and bra I knew he would make a far prettier girl than Pamela, I could not say it of course and when I put him into his satin slip…. well he looked completely feminine and not only that but so vulnerable and submissive. Yes submissive…. a trait you rarely find in girls entering domestic service in recent times, why it has to be practically forced into them. They just do not seem to understand the very purpose of a maid is to serve her mistress and must do so with the appropriate degree of servility. Naturally this is the prime purpose of a maid’s uniform, not only is it to distinguish the maid from her mistress but also  to ensure the servant girl knows her place at all times. For some peculiar reason they find it an extremely humiliating item to wear but once in uniform there is no doubt that it does greatly contribute to changing their attitude making them more compliant and obedient.  

I suspect something of this sort was a contributing factor in Jack’s sudden and unexplained escape, well perhaps departure is a better word. His mother did tell me that despite his apparent compliant manner -which he displayed when I first encountered him at the lingerie store- there was also a typical male arrogance with all the horrible associated traits lying close beneath. That was something that needed to be nipped in the bud so while it was obviously extremely embarrassing for him to be dressed as a girl it must have been an excruciating humiliation to be dressed as a uniformed maid.  I could tell how he hated being trussed up in a girdle but it was obvious that having his breasts attached was a truly mortifying experience. Perhaps that was a bit excessive but Pamela persuaded me he would really look convincing if he had them attached and she was right. It was delightful to see him squirm as he tugged at the bra as the unfamiliar straps bit into his soft flesh.

Once we got him into his uniform any idea of rebellion soon vanished. The merest hint of make-up and lipstick and he was indistinguishable from any other maid I’ve trained. Within minutes I had him curtsying perfectly, something else my friends say new recruits to domestic service refuse to do, which I feel is deplorable. Curtsying to one’s mistress should be an obligatory response from a well trained maid. I was determined that he should be trained properly from the outset, proper uniform, grey for day wear with a plain apron and cap  and a more formal black uniform  for the afternoon and evening with a more decorative  apron perhaps with some frills or flounces  and  matching cap of course. It is interesting to note that once in his new uniform he displayed the same level of submissiveness as maids who took weeks to reach a similar level. Perhaps boys make better maids than girls.

Prior to his departure he had shown an aptitude for housework and there were occasions I observed him without his knowledge. It is always satisfying for a mistress to see her maid carry out her domestic tasks to the letter and I must say- Jack or Elizabeth the maid as I now refer to him – is an apt pupil. Perhaps it is mean of me to say so but it was amusing to see him go about his chores in an obviously unfamiliar mode of dress and restrictive foundations not to mention those wonderful additions to his chest. On a few occasions I almost laughed out loud when they popped out of their cups and he had to reposition them, something that happens to all girls I suppose, if his mother approves I really must have him fitted properly for a new bra. I had to supress my giggles as he tugged at his girdle as it rode up and how occasionally he adjusted his bra straps – just like a real girl!

As well as the housemaids I employ I usually engage a lady’s maid to attend me personally, I find house or parlour maids are not generally attentive to my special requirements. I was curious to see how Elizabeth would perform as my lady’s maid and apart from some minor errors I have to say he surprised me with his attention to detail. As a female domestic servant he has so much potential. At the moment I’m between lady’s maids ….. Hmmm ….I wonder.

I must go as I have to instruct the dear boy in some of the more personal duties of a lady’s maid. Hopefully that awful Carrie will have his report done soon.



Emily Quinn

Monday, October 14, 2013

"Pictures of Courage"

October is upon us, and you know what that means.  No, I'm not referring to my birthday (a date I'd sooner forget).  I'm talking about Halloween, of course- the one time of the year in which an average fella can publicly crossdress without fear of it being perceived as aberrant behavior.  This post is gonna be an account of own very limited real-life personal experiences in that arena, so you can stop reading now if that's not of interest to you.  Be forewarned, I'm going to ramble a lot.  If I were you, I don't know if I'd have the patience to read this stuff.  But hey, it says right at the top of the page that this is a place to collect thoughts and experiences, so that's what I'm choosing to share with you today.

If you've ever watched South Park, you may be familiar with Nurse Gollum, a minor character with "conjoined twin myslexia."

In 2004, I drew a sexier version of said character in my own style.  When I sketched her facial features, they vaguely resembled my own.  This was because it had occurred to me that she might make an interesting subject for a Halloween costume for myself, though I didn't have any delusions that I could make myself look as good as in the drawing.  But that's what appealed to me about dressing up as that particular character.  It would allow me to partially satisfy my curiosity about crossdressing, while at the same time, with a fake fetus sticking out of one side of my head, nobody would blame me if I didn't look especially gorgeous.  FYI, technically, I guess this form of crossdressing is known as crossplay: dressing as a specific character of the opposite gender.  

The biggest hitch in my idea was, I hadn't had cause to dress up for Halloween since I outgrew trick or treating.  It's not like I got invited to costume parties... or parties in general. 

The first real opportunity presented itself five years later when a coworker extended to me an invitation to a Halloween party being held at the home of a friend of hers.  To this day, I don't know why she invited me.  She did invite other people at our place of business, but I was the only one stupid and/or pathetic enough to accept. 

I started gathering elements I required for my costume.  I purchased a nurse's uniform over the internet- a somewhat chancey proposition in any circumstance, as I was forced to guess at the correct size.  I also bought a wig through eBay, but because the seller was shipping from somewhere in China, I grew concerned that it might not arrive by the date of the party.

When my worries about the wig came to pass, I was forced to go with my backup option.  Since I at least already had the nurse's togs (which fit, thankfully), I knew it would be a fairly simple matter to shift gears and instead present myself as the Heath Ledger version of the Joker from The Dark Knight- specifically referencing the scene from that movie where he disguised himself as a nurse.
I was not thrilled with that idea; The Dark Knight had come out the year before and I had no doubt the Joker would be a popular costume.  I couldn't help remembering the episode of The Office that started with three of its characters arriving at work dressed as the clown prince of crime.

I'm not a huge comic book geek, but I had initially been slightly perturbed that the movie Joker's appearance was the result of makeup rather than his skin being dyed that way, as in the comics and other incarnations.  However, like the vast majority of moviegoers, I was won over by the film and Ledger's performance.  More importantly, the carelessly applied makeup made for a relatively easy look to emulate.

As it turns out, I didn't need to slather my face in clown white to be the whitest person at that party. All I'm saying is, it's a good thing I didn't get even lazier in my costume selection by cutting a couple holes in a bed sheet and going as a ghost.  Lest you get the wrong impression, the ethnic disparity didn't really exacerbate my discomfort; I was already plenty ill at ease simply not knowing anybody.  My coworker didn't even show up until about forty minutes after I got there, and then she left almost immediately because she forgot something at home.

Either I'd done a lackluster job on my makeup or there were people who hadn't seen the movie, because I got asked a couple times who I was supposed to be.  One such query came from the party's host, who was wearing a black and red harlequin outfit, which made me think of Harley Quinn, the Joker's girlfriend- that is, if Harley was male and large and African American.  Wisely, I kept that thought to myself.    

The full effect of my costume was probably dulled slightly by the fact that the party was held outdoors in the freezing cold, so I never took my coat off.  Perhaps it's for the best I didn't go in full drag.  One guy there was dressed as a Scotsman, and he received some ribbing just for wearing a kilt.  Good thing my brother wasn't with me (more on that in a bit).  I can only imagine what might have been said if it had been more apparent I was in a nurse's uniform... and a slip (fearing that people could see through the fabric of the uniform, when I ran out and purchased my cheap Joker makeup at the last minute, I also grabbed a half slip off a rack).  On the other hand, such jocularity was probably reserved for those who were already acquainted. 

My wig finally arrived a couple days later.  In a way, I was glad, since if I had been able to dress in my ideal costume, the effort would have been wasted on that incredibly awkward party.

Even if the party was a bust, I could at least be proud of myself for getting out and making an attempt to meet people.

At any rate, I got another chance the following year when I learned that the local burlesque troupe was having a Halloween show at my favorite movie theater.  Admission was two dollars cheaper for those in costume.  Obviously, it made a great deal of sense to shell out who knows how much on a costume in order to save a couple bucks.  Okay, maybe not, but I had a partial costume assembled already.  The unused wig and the nurse's uniform had been in my closet all year.  I just needed to procure a few more items.

Even if my wig had arrived in the nick of time the year before, I didn't allot myself enough time to compile all the things and knowledge I needed to make this costume work.  I don't think it had dawned on me just how complicated something like finding the right makeup would be, not to mention learning how to apply it.  I consulted several websites for tips.  I know I said that the beauty of this costume idea was that I didn't necessarily have to look beautiful, but I didn't want to look terrible either.

While I perused the makeup aisle, I grabbed a box of tampons and carried it under my arm, in the hopes that anyone around would assume I was picking up stuff for a girlfriend.  I've gathered from sitcoms that buying feminine products is humiliating for men, but I believe it's more so if people think you're the one who's going to use them.

A couple embellishments I made to the original Nurse Gollum design were the addition of a pair of pink and black stripped tights and glovettes, so I wouldn't need to remove hair from the areas they covered.  The glovettes were fingerless, though, and only went up to my elbows, necessitating (by my way of thinking) the use of a foul smelling depilatory cream on my fingers and the parts of my arms that still showed.
If it seemed jarring that the hair on my arms abruptly stopped above my elbows for a few weeks after that, nobody said anything.  I was more worried about the possibility of the hair growing back coarser.  It didn't.  If it had, that would have been an unpleasant price to pay for a stupid costume that I was maybe only going to end up wearing once.
Instead of going through that again when I wore the same costume the following year, I took the gray tights I'd worn as the Joker, cut them with scissors and wore them like sleeves to cover the exposed parts of my arms.

Considering how much work I was putting into various aspects of my appearance, it may seem odd that I didn't get a bra and try to simulate a bust.  That was where I drew the line.  It was nerve-wracking enough just buying makeup; I couldn't see myself stepping into the ladies intimates section and trying to figure out bra sizes, etc. without imploding from embarrassment.

Since fetus dolls don't appear to be widely available (except among anti-abortion activists, apparently), I had to make one of my own, by removing the head from one doll and attaching it to the body of a smaller one (trickier than it sounds). 

I was very much on edge the day of the show.  I might have been less so if I'd done a dry run and practiced my makeup skills before the main event, but as with most things in my life, I procrastinated too long.  Despite telling myself that I didn't care if I "passed" or not, somewhere not too far in the recesses of my mind, I fantasized about my neighbors wondering who this pink-haired girl was emerging from my apartment.  In hindsight, that was a little too much to hope for.

I haven't yet explicitly stated that I suffer from a severe anxiety disorder which has significantly affected my ability to function in society or enjoy life.  At one point, I had been too afraid to step into this theater when it was playing my favorite film, "Bringing Up Baby."  Now I was going there to watch girls stripping down to pasties and g-strings while I was dressed as a female nurse (and an unconvincing one at that).  You can see how this was kind of a major step for me.

When I parked near the theater and got out of my car, some guy whistled at me from his porch, which I took as an encouraging sign.  Thanks to my preparation taking much longer than anticipated, I nearly made myself late for the show, which started at ten PM.  Fortunately, there were still tickets available when I arrived, or else I would have been all dressed up with nowhere to go, not to mention feeling very foolish to boot. 

The night was what I'd consider to be a success.  The theater was packed, and being surrounded by many other garishly costumed individuals greatly mitigated my conspicuousness.  I may have looked ridiculous, but my getup did garner several compliments from strangers.  The guy at the concession stand even liked my costume so much that when I ordered a soft drink, he let me have it on the house.
 The show was scheduled to end at midnight, but due to overbooking and numerous intermissions, it stretched on to twice as long.  While a portion of the crowd filtered out after the first two or three hours, I happily stuck around until the very end.  

Around this period, I went through a phase in which I became what might be described as a burlesque groupie (or junkie), attending shows virtually every month.  It wasn't so much that I got a prurient thrill from it; rather, I simply came to appreciate and enjoy the passion and energy present at those events.
 Occasionally, my emotions after such shows were unpredictable.  Half the time, I'd walk away feeling more upbeat and alive, but as time wore on, more often than not, being around other people having fun only served to enhance my own sense of emptiness and isolation.  It was like looking into a world where people led vastly more interesting and exciting lives than my own; a world that had no real place for me.  Hell, maybe there's a part of me that had some impossible wish that I could have traded places with the girls on stage and been a burlesque performer myself; I haven't bothered to examine that hypothesis too deeply.

The following year, there was another Halloween show and I donned the same costume.  No sense in using it only once after all the work and expense that had gone into it.  The one major difference between this excursion and the one the year before was that this time, I wasn't there alone; I met up with my brother and his (then) fiance.  As it turns out, my brother, who is a way more social animal than myself, was acquainted with two or three people in the show.  One of his friends- the "pickup artist" (i.e., a provocatively dressed girl who picks up discarded clothing in between sets)- granted us access to seats right next to the stage.  

My brother empathized with my frustrations trying to get my false eyelashes to adhere.  I had to wonder what he'd know about such matters, but I'd forgotten he did sell Mary Kay cosmetics for a while in college.  Additionally, he's had experience in the theater.  Either of those reasons could explain it.  It could also explain why, when they got married a couple months ago, he was the one who did his wife's makeup for the ceremony.

One might imagine my brother is the one with the crossdressing fetish.  Besides his evident prowess with a makeup brush, he happens to greatly prefer kilts to pants.  The older generation in our family may have raised eyebrows at this, but I hardly see it as worth calling attention to.  I'm certainly not one to judge.  As I expected, he even wore a kilt at his wedding.  At the reception, after he completed the tradition of removing his bride's garter from under her dress, she then proceeded to remove the garter from under his kilt. 

After this second Halloween show outing, my brother and his fiance went back to their apartment, accompanied by the pickup artist, and I went home alone, as usual.  While it was nice to not be by myself for once at one of these shows, I realized it was more stressful and not as much fun while in costume.  I was constantly aware of the need to keep my legs together while seated, for example, plus the one eyelash that wouldn't stick properly was a source of irritation.  Every time I venture outside or interact with others, I'm already putting on a facade.  For me, dressing up was decidedly not a freeing sensation; it was just one more layer of artifice I needed to struggle to maintain.

I haven't been to another burlesque show since that night.  For starters, my financial situation has become such that I can't justify throwing money away on extravagances like that.  It may be just as well; surprisingly, watching girls take their clothes off can get quite tedious after a while.  Also, the performers actually expect the audience to show encouragement by cheering and hollering- something I was never fully comfortable with, given my innate taciturnity.  I can't deny it may be possible that discovering my brother's connections to that group helped to cool my zeal somewhat as well.  Attending burlesque shows was the one offbeat activity I engaged in, and suddenly, it was no longer just my thing.

Perhaps someday I'll find another excuse to crossdress before I get too old for it.  Until such a time, I find I'm mostly content doing artwork related to crossdressing instead of practicing it myself.