Waisting my life – why I love corsets.
“That’s how it began – Just an injury – then a corset but now …...
You don’t get life-changing injuries in Tennis! Not unless you’re very unlucky. T’was so for me.
An AP-500 story
Running full-tilt to reach a drop-shot near the net, I scooped it up and kept going into the net. I tried to jump but just caught my foot. I fell – duh – and the handle of the racket speared into my ribs. Did I scream – wow yes.
The ambulance arrived within 15 minutes – pretty quick what with cutbacks and shortages of all sorts. At the hospital, I was triaged, eventually dealt with and patched up. They couldn’t do much for my ribs but said that ‘I would be spending quite some time in physiotherapy’.
Oh how true. My whole back had been twisted by me trying to fall carefully but being caught by the netting. My ribs gradually mended but the back – nope. Mum got investigating and chatting to all sorts of medics, pseudo-medics, quacks, weirdos and some charlatans too – judging by the guff they spouted and the failure to make any difference.
Eventually, she was reading some old Victorian romance where the heroine had fallen from a pony. The governess decreed that after weeks of fainting and vapours, that the girl, Ursula, would need corseting both for her back and to ‘stop her hoydenish ways’. That – I had to look up ‘a girl who behaves boisterously and without satisfactory ladylike conduct’; sometimes a tomboy’.
Soon Mum had spoken with, can you believe there are people called ‘corsetieres’, and the physiotherapist. Both of them said that a corset might be a useful addition to the work I was doing to get fit again.
Can you believe that I, a nineteen year-old boy in the first year at university, was being fitted for a corset. Well, it happened. And, horrible to say, it did make a difference. It made me walk, stand and even sit differently – and some of my back pain went away.
It wasn’t easy wearing a corset. I did accept that my back was getting better but – me, a boy, wearing a corset. Mum tried to persuade me about Georgian and Victorian gentlemen – no thanks.
After a while I got used to it, but I didn’t like the comments. “Girly-boy.” And so on.
Then one day, Archie Dawson called out ‘Yer can’t even make your mind up if you’re a girl or a boy”
That got me thinking. So, I asked my mum if during the holidays and at weekends, I could dress a bit more, um, sensibly, um, so that I don’t look like a mixed-up boy.”
“Sandy, d’you mean you want to try dressing like a girl.”
“Well, sort of, but more as a sort of disguise.”
“I’m not spending money for a whim.”
“But I hate being seen as a boy-in-a-corset!”
“We’ll have to make sure you look real-girly then, yes?”
And it’s wonderful. After just a week, I loved all the sleek, smooth undies and skirts too. And I’ve seen some sundresses I’d love to try. Maybe a bra.
Another AP-500 story to borrow and grow, please
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